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bnuckols

Conservative Christian Family Doctor, promoting conservative news and views. (Hot Air under the right wing!)
bnuckols has written 1053 posts for WingRight

Select Committee Green New Deal

Are you worthy of the oxygen you breathe, much less the carbon dioxide you exhale?

Well, let’s see what the new Dem Rep from New York has to say:

Select Committee for a Green New Deal
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1jxUzp9SZ6-VB-4wSm8sselVMsqWZrSrYpYC9slHKLzo/mobilebasic

How does MasterCard feeeeel about your buying, selling, eating and drinking – or breathing?

Cashless Society, Internet to Dystopia?

The dystopias of Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, Orwell’s 1984, or Bradbury’s Farenheit 451 had nothing available to monitor and police behavior and thought nearly as powerful as the Internet.

Oh, my readers probably were relieved when the powers-that-be halted the Obama Department of Justice’s “Operation Choke Point” pressure on banks to shut down gun manufacturers, buyers and sellers. At one point,the New York State Department of Financial Services was enforcing similar pressure and, in Florida, second-hand sellers like pawn shops were targeted.

But that was *government* acting outside of Constitutional guidelines, not private business. . .

Facebook puts you in “jail?” Twitter suspends or bans you? Just a matter of private companies exercising property rights!

Facebook, Apple, Spotify, and YouTube ban and erase/delete Alex Jones on* the* same* day*? Only conspiracy nuts would see a conspiracy in the timing!

How do you feel about your credit card company conspiring and colluding with Internet platforms to monitor – and “de-monitize” – your actions and speech: “sins,” as arbitrarily determined by the arbitrary ethics or whims of a 3rd or 4th party?

In the same month that Jones was kicked off multiple Internet sites, AmazonSmile kicked the Alliance Defending Freedom off its charity donation program because of pressure from the Southern Poverty Law Center. The SPLC deems ADF a “hate” organization because it defends people like that Colorado baker.
In the last month, one Internet “platform” (not only a host for writing and videos, but a way to collect subscription fees using credit cards and PayPal – think of a bank alternative), Patreon, removed the account of anti-PC blogger/YouTuber “Sargon of Akkad,” Carl Benjamin, even though the behavior they claim as justificationwas not on their site, and he definitely did not violate Patreon’s Community Guidelines. He was responding in a sarcastic manner to attacks by white supremacists!
In December, 2018, Patreon suspended the owner of “Jihad Watch,” Robert Spencer, without reason or notice. When Spencer asked why, he was told that, “unfortunately,” the credit card company, MasterCard had forced the ban.
At what point does the use of currency to arbitrarily impose decisions on what is right or wrong become a Federal issue? If two or more supposedly unrelated companies or organizations interfere to limit commerce, is it delusional to see a conspiracy?

Even if you don’t read Revelation as the prediction of the ultimate dystopia, you might agree that there’s a move to force political – ethical – correctness on the public by monitoring and restricting how you spend and receive money. You might even see the possibility that in order to spend and earn money, we could soon need the approval – the “Mark” if not of *the* “Beast, “of some lesser beast, composed of powerful organizations.

“Reliable Allies Refuse to Defend a President Content With Chaos.” (NYT)

Mr. Trump grew angry over his news coverage.

Well, who wouldn’t when confronted with this New York Times headline: “Reliable Allies Refuse to Defend a President Content With Chaos.”

The opening paragraph might add to that anger:

President Trump, who has long believed that he is his own best adviser and spokesman, was forced to test that idea on Friday when few of his allies seemed willing to publicly share in his evident satisfaction with the tumultuous events that have buffeted the White House in the past few days.

This is the online version,of the which has a footnote that explains that the print version carried a more neutral title:

A version of this article appears in print on Page A18 with the headline: Confusion and Controversy Swirl, But the President Remains Positive.

The internet address for the article hints at the original purpose behind the column in the US Politics section of what was once the “newspaper of record:” “donald-trump-syria-government-shutdown.”

Other than a few comments that this is the 3rd shutdown in recent years, news coverage ignores the fact that Schumer and the Senate Democrats “shutdown” the government in January, 2018 when they staged a filibuster over another funding Bill because it didn’t protect DACA.

The President is said to have an “aggressively partisan stance,” but New York’s Democrat Senator Chuck Schumer is the one who ranted on the Senate floor:

“You’re not getting the wall today, next week or on Jan. 3 when Democrats take control of the House.”

You don’t have to wonder how Not-the-Majority-Leader Chuck really feels. And it’s clear that he has “reliable allies” at the NYT.

Border Wall : now or never

For two years, the problem with funding the border wall has been exactly the same that the country faces now: the Senate Dems refuse to budge. It’s down to the last minute, now or never for the wall, and up to the Dems to choose.

The solution is simple: instead of dedicating $10+B in aid to Mexico and Central America, allocate the money necessary to build the wall and secure the border.

What a shame that the division has become so partisan and the talking points so bitterly derisive.

As to the “immorality” that Schumer decries: just as with your home, there is a moral difference between a wall intended to control who comes into the Country and one intended to lock the inhabitants in.

The solution is simple: instead of dedicating $10+B in aid to Mexico and Central America, allocate the money necessary to build the wall and secure the border.

Remembering Mama’s last lesson

“Mama’s last lesson was that we owe it to our loved ones to allow them to care for us, for their sakes.”

Mama taught me the best lessons in my life – all through our time together, even that last day. I hope I used what she taught me before Daddy and my mother-in-law, Connie, passed away. They reinforced Mama’s lessons about trusting God and His love, as well as learning through caring for others.

It’s the Christmas season, when many Christians remember the birth of the Baby Who truly cared and cares for us. I’m sure that our family isn’t the only one who is also remembering an anniversary of a loved one’s death – or learning new lessons about loving each other through caring for an elderly family member.

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WSJ: “The Flynn Entrapment”

Enough details to support any worry you’ve ever had about Comey, McCabe and the biased FBI.
The judge evidently has reason to believe that there was bias on the part of the Comey/McCabe FBI and is demanding to know why there was a difference in treatment of different people and different groups.

Unlike this editorial and several other news sources, the Washington Post article barely mentions the order by the judge. It doesn’t report McCabe’s or Comey’s involvement at all, merely claiming that “Flynn demurred” having a lawyer present, without reporting McCabe’s own testimony:

“I explained that I thought the quickest way to get this done was to have a conversation between [Mr. Flynn] and the agents only. I further stated that if LTG Flynn wished to include anyone else in the meeting, like the White House Counsel for instance, that I would need to involve the Department of Justice. [Mr. Flynn] stated that this would not be necessary and agreed to meet with the agents without any additional participants,” wrote Mr. McCabe in a memo viewed by the Flynn defense team.

The WSJ op-ed has additional information from former FBI Director, James Comey’s testimony about his decision to go around protocol to set up the meeting with Flynn:

“” This is “something I probably wouldn’t have done or wouldn’t have gotten away with in a more organized administration,” Mr. Comey boasted on MSNBC this weekend. “In the George W. Bush Administration or the Obama Administration, if the FBI wanted to send agents into the White House itself to interview a senior official, you would work through the White House counsel, there would be discussions and approvals and who would be there. And I thought, it’s early enough let’s just send a couple guys over.”“”

If there were no investigation, as Flynn believed at the time, why would the FBI expect full disclosure about what he was doing and saying to attempt to prevent escalation of the Russian response to sanctions?

The WaPo does cover more of the story in their own op-ed, which is a purposeful denial of any possibility of a “perjury trap” by “[c]ritics of the Russian investigation.”

The big lessons are, don’t ever sit down with investigators without a lawyer, and always read more than one news source.

Real-World Consequences of Inappropriate Behavior

The new “normal” of bullying in the name of gender-fluidity and transgendered activists in various stages of transition reminds me of the old days when we women were helpless against aggressive men and were told that we would have to change what we do, how we dress, and where we go.

(Or, just like Europe today and the sometimes official reaction to raping immigrants.)

In a column in the National Review today, “The Real-World Consequences of Submitting to the Transgender Zeitgeist,” Ben Shapiro writes about a man who effectively ran off a group of religious, conservative women who cancelled their membership at a “women only” gym after a transgendered MtF (a man who claims to be a woman) began using the gym and dressing room.

The women had frequented the gym out of modesty: they didn’t want to see half-baked men or be seen by men in their workout clothes.

The man not only came to the gym, he undressed in the dressing room, where it evidently became obvious that he was “all man.”

He refused the offer of a private dressing room (most women wouldn’t, I certainly wouldn’t!) and declared that since he is a woman he can undress with all the other women.

If he wants. That’s what it’s all about, right? His wants vs. age old cultural norms and thousands of years of religious modesty practice.

As time went on, he evidently continued to do the same. The gym manager was told by his bosses that the company couldn’t risk a lawsuit or boycott. So, the modest women left the gym and cancelled their memberships.

How I wish women would join together to confront men like this. We should legally use his own strategy of social pressure. Politely but firmly tell him he’s acting inappropriately. Attempt to have him arrested for indecent exposure and voyeurism – and act every time a man comes into a “women’s” dressing room or bathroom.
Seriously, talking and writing, as I did today, won’t work anymore.

It’s not easy, and it would be vital to work together as a group. This isn’t a call for harassment. But, we each have the same right as this person to express our individual disapproval and to do it with our philisophical sisters, as others have done.

(And in reality, our brothers can’t act with the same righteousness as we can. A group of men objecting to a transgender woman in the same way would risk false harassment and assault charges.)

In a way, I’m writing this as my own protest. The social media Powers-That-Be are blocking people who object to the “new normal.”

Take our dressing rooms back! Restore modesty – and common sense.

Transgender First Principles

This weekend, the debate concerning the ethics of medical and surgical intervention for transgendered men and women, more properly called “gender dysphoria,” heated up again. The New York Times published an essay by a man who wishes to become a woman so much that he is about to undergo a 6 hour surgical procedure to fashion an artificial vagina, although the author admits that the surgery may not produce happiness and, indeed, will most certainly cause lifelong pain and the necessity of further intermittent, painful procedures.

In answer to my assertion (in an online private group) that transgender ideation is a pathology, a pediatrician said that I might as well claim that being black is a pathology.
While I’ve never heard of a black person seeking medical or psychological treatment to make his body more or less in concert with his race or body image ( or maybe I have..), there has to be some perception of a problem on the part of the transgendered person who seeks intervention.
Back in the’90’s, when I was in medical school, the definition included a lack of pleasure from the “wrong” genitalia. While it appears that this requirement for intervention has gone by the wayside, at the least, gender dysphoria makes leading their lives difficult. This seems to be a fair, if simplified, definition for “disorder.”

In addition, one of the early leaders in the development of surgical procedures for trans persons, Dr. Phil McHugh, agrees that transgender ideation is a “Pathogenic meme.”

The fact is that the treatments sought or offered are based on biologic sex and are essentially bimorphic: MtF (Male to Female), FtM (Female to Male). The treatments themselves are described as “feminizing” or ” masculinizing” – one or the other.
The incidence of transgender ideation in the US is less than 1% (probably about 0.5%), with as many as 80% of those who claim to be transgendered in childhood “desisted,” changing their minds at a later date, usually around puberty.
The known association with autism
and schizophrenia, along with the “clusters” of peer-group rapid and late onset, as well as the rate of reversals, suggest caution when it comes to treatment that might later be considered disfiguring and permanent.
The author of the NYT piece states that the traditional “First Principle” of medical ethics, “First, do no harm,” is only a way for doctors to be “little kings” who deny what patients “want,”
“”Nonmaleficence is a principle violated in its very observation. Its true purpose is not to shield patients from injury but to install the medical professional as a little kings of someone else’s body.””

If doctors truly forget the First Principle, what’s to stop us from “First, doing harm?” Who decides the “harm” in that case? Better hope we don’t give up our consciences.

Certainly, in this case, I would be one of those “little king” doctors who would not carry through on surgery, based on what appears to be atypical reaction to the cross-sex hormones.
Just as it’s malpractice to affirm the anorexic girl’s body image as correct and help her avoid food, it’s unethical to pretend that transgender ideation is normal or even something we can “affirm.”

Please comment on my Facebook page, Beverly Nuckols.

More on poor vs. wealthy

In their statements about income inequality, most people ignore what I covered yesterday: the measurements of poverty almost invariably are based on income, not true poverty as measured by actual resources and consumption.

They appear to be stating that the only reason the wealthy have money is because they steal from the poor. That’s not born out by the evidence on upward mobility.

Our analysis of new administrative records on income shows that children entering the labor market today have the same chances of moving up in the income distribution relative to their parents as children born in the 1970s. Putting together our results with evidence from Hertz (2007) and Lee and Solon (2009) that intergenerational elasticities of income did not change significantly between the 1950 and 1970 birth cohorts, we conclude that rank-based measures of social mobility have remained remarkably stable over the second half of the twentieth century in the United States. In light of the findings in our companion paper on the geography of mobility (CHKS), the key issue is not that prospects for upward mobility are declining but rather that some regions of the U.S. persistently offer less mobility than most other developed countries.”

It turns out that research indicates that conservative cities not only grow faster than liberal cities, but have better chances of upward mobility.

That same Brookings Institute referred to yesterday has reported what it takes to become middle class by US standards: graduate high school, get married before having children, and get a job..

We know what encourages learning and successful education. It’s not only money, although the bulk of education dollars should go to the classroom rather than the administration. The extent of parental involvement and prioritizing education is number one, along with a belief in the importance of attendance.

I hope this information helps you the next time someone implies that the income inequality in the US is caused by the aggression of the wealthy.

American poor are middle class in world standards

I have so much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving Day. Unfortunately, there are people who think I should be ashamed instead.

So, in my geeky way, I did some research and found some information to have on hand the next time someone talks about the poor in the US.

Those poverty rates are based on income. SNAP, TANF, Section 8 vouchers,etc., aren’t counted as income. (You could add in our public education system, as well. If you believe it’s adequate.)

According to a report (in .pdf) by the Brookings Institute, using poverty measurements based on consumption or expenditures, those living under the poverty rate in the US would be considered middle class in the rest of the world.

“Even those reporting no income at all in the US have consumption possibilities roughly equal to those reporting incomes of $20 a day.”

Thankful for my wonderful husband, our shared faith in the Lord, our material blessings, and the Internet that enables my geekiness!

Federal vs. State (FGM) Updated

Update from the Detroit News:
“[T]he judge left intact conspiracy and obstruction charges that could send Nagarwala and three others to federal prison for decades.”

This story has me thinking about the powers of the State vs. the Federal government.

I am a firm believer that the individual States should regulate and enforce both criminal law and the practice of medicine.

States may make what I might consider errors in their specific codes and punishments. However, the 50 States act as individual laboratories for laws and law enforcement. As long as the States rather than the Federal government regulate these areas, citizens have a better access to the Legislators who make the laws and the bureaucracy that implement and enforce them. The voters can speak directly to their legislators in person and at the ballot box and, if truly unhappy or unwilling to wait for often slow legal changes, they can move to a State with laws they like.

These cases involve two doctors and multiple accomplices who conspired to bring girls across State lines in order to carry out Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

The procedure is described in words and pictures at the link above and at the World Health Organization report(in .pdf), but here’s the short, least-horrifying-I-could-come-up-with version:

Pre-pubertal girls (two of the girls in this case were 7 years old at the time) are subjected to some degree of cutting in their genital area. The procedure may be anywhere between a minor cutting sufficient to cause bleeding without permanent structural or functional change, to removal of the entire labia majora and minora, along with the entire clitoris, with the vaginal opening sewn almost completely closed, only to be opened (obviously, traumatically) at marriage to allow vaginal intercourse and at childbirth.

The clitoris is a sensitive organ and very much an important part of the sexual function of the female body. The cutting site, the scarring, and the consequences of obstructed urine and menstrual flow can be life long. The actual reported goal is to make the girl chaste and impair her ability to engage in illicit sex and blunt her sexual pleasure.

FGM is a criminal act and should most certainly be malpractice under State’s medical codes. These sorts of cases would normally best be brought before the State courts.

The reason that these particular cases should be prosecuted (also prosecuted?) in Federal Court is that the girls were transported across State lines. In addition, they were irreversibly mutilated solely because they are females. If this latter doesn’t come under the 14th Amendment Equal Protection clause, I need a lawyer to explain that protection. In slow, simple language, please.

Now, I know some people will ask how I can oppose what is most likely a religious act and one that seems to come under both parental rights protection and the penumbra of “right to privacy.” And what about male circumcision?

The right to freedom of religion. Parental rights, and privacy do not have precedence over the rights not to be permanently harmed. Unlike male circumcision, there’s no medical reason to perform FGM, FGM directly impairs multiple bodily functions, and carries a significant risk of life long pain, repetitive infections, and even death.

It’s the legitimate function of government under our US Constitution and supported by the Declaration of Independence to protect the rights of individuals from being placed in harm’s way. These cases of mutilation are nothing but harmful for life, were performed on minors who are too young to consent, and were accomplished by conspiracy, using federally regulated telecommunications to make appointments, taking the girls across State lines, and utilized State licensed personnel, equipment, and medications.

I hope the Federal appeals overturn this ruling. Quickly!

Time for your flu shot!

I admit to being an advocate for ethically produced vaccines. I’m also against involuntary vaccination and very much an advocate for parental rights. However, I believe in education and (strong) encouragement to take advantage of vaccines, which are a fantastic tool to prevent disease.

I’m often confronted with objections about the actual seriousness of flu, the lack of effectiveness of the vaccines and fears about the side effects of the shots. So, in my geeky way, I spent some time doing research.
Here’s the CDC data for influenza infection rates and effects in the US over the last year, including deaths. And here’s a review of actual historic vaccine effectiveness.

Even with the variation in effectiveness of vaccines, prevention is always better than any treatment, since treatment effectiveness will also vary according to the health and risks of individual patients. Vaccines are the best prevention we can offer.

Hospitals and medical facilities work to prevent – and to detect – iatrogenic infections: handwashing, gloves, masks, isolation, active infectious disease department surveillance, etc. The trouble with so many diseases, including influenza, is that they are contagious before the symptoms are obvious.
This week, friends are sharing an article about objections from nurses who are required to either be vaccinated or wear a mask during flu season. (I won’t share that article because it’s nearly a year old, points to out dated information from as far back as 1990, and is full of false accusations and inaccuracies.)

The most recent data that I found shows that a requirement for health care workers (HCW) to choose to either wear a mask or be vaccinated reduces infection in those workers by 74%-88%.

However, the studies on effectiveness for prevention of patient infection weren’t as conclusive. The problem is that the studies available were conducted in nursing homes (not in hospitals) where patients were exposed to many more people than simply HCW and only about 12% of the HCW actually got vaccinated.
One thing to remember about reports on side effects: all of them are present in the general population. The important data is whether there’s a higher incidence in the vaccinated population than in the controls.

Here is a study on flu vaccine safety last year, as reported by over 70,000 Australian patients. There were no serious events, and only about 1% sought “Medical Attendance” (saw a doctor) for events, usually fevers.

Thanksgiving is next week, with its travel and visiting – and spreading of germs. Expect cases to increase in time for Christmas and New Year, as usual. Please think about getting your vaccine, this week.

Pelosi: “It’s about stopping the GOP”

Forget about her promise of “debate.” Look at her history.

The last time 78 year old Nancy Pelosi was Speaker of the House, she and the Democrats changed the House rules to deny amendments or even debate from Republicans. Once, in August, 2008, she even ordered the lights, microphones, and AC turned off in the House gallery in an attempt to prevent speeches by the Republicans. She then ordered the Press removed from the Gallery.

In 2007, Pelosi became Speaker with a majority in the House. Then, as now, the Republicans maintained a narrow majority in the Senate. However, from late 2009 to January 2011, the Dems had a majority that did not require any cooperation from the Republicans, in both the House and Senate.

And then, there’s the way the “Affordable Care Act,” (“Obamacare”) was passed.

Harry Reed shoved a crude, early version of Obamacare through the Senate on Christmas Eve, 2009. Pelosi’s House Democrats, with 220 votes, had substituted the language in another Bill, HR 3590, the “Service Members Home Ownership Tax Act of 2009,” in order to bypass the usual process. Senate Dems had 60 votes (including the two “Independents” Bernie Sanders and Joe Lieberman, Dems-in-all-but-name who caucused with the Dems), so no need for bipartisanship.

This was the form about which Pelosi infamously said, “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it,” because the actual leviathan of a Bill was worked out in conference between House and Senate members in early 2010, without a single Republican vote.

That law included huge tax increases, in addition to the individual mandate that required everyone to buy health insurance:

  • Medicare tax: from 1.45% to 2.35%
  • Top income bracket from 35% to 39.5%
  • Top income payroll tax from 37.4% to 52.2%
  • Capital gains tax from 15% to 28%
  • Dividend tax from 15% to 39.6%
  • Estate (“Death”) tax 0% to 55%
  • A new 3.5% Real Estate Transaction tax, imposed even when you sell your home, and the Net Investment tax of 3.8% were created.

Some of these taxes were decreased or removed by the recent tax cuts, the changes are all temporary , some changes won’t take effect this year and the Dems have promised to reopen the tax debate, presumably to increase taxes again.

At least with the Republican President and Senate majority, Pelosi’s abuses – hopefully – won’t result in renewed taxes in the next two years.

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Don’t mess with Texas Republican Women!

Mama had surgery for Thymic carcinoma back in 2004. She voted early and scheduled the surgery for the day after the election, so her daughters could work as election clerks.

On the 6th of November, the on-call neurologist made disparaging remarks about the man Mama called “My George Bush,” who was on TV when he walked in. He then began his exam, asking a standard memory question: “Name as many animals as you can in a minute.”
Mama’s answer: “… Lions & tigers & bears… horses, jackasses and Democrats!”

Health care poll

Today, I came across a poll of likely Texas voters, conducted by the University of Texas and Texas Tribune that said that for Texans, health care is a distant third in importance, behind border security and immigration. This was in contrast with frequent news reports in the last week that an unnamed “recent poll” had found that health care is the number one issue in the 2018 election for voters. That first, UT/TT, poll was more consistent with other recent news coverage and the issues that I keep seeing pop up on Twitter and Facebook.

So I did some research….

It turns out that the first poll (“KFF,” download pdf file,with results) was conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit based in San Francisco, California. In fact, approximately 30% of the respondents listed health care as their number one issue and were designated “Health Care Voters” by pollsters. 70%, designated “non-Health Care Voters,” chose other issues, including the economy and jobs (21%).

The demographics of those polled were heavily slanted toward Democrats, with registered Democrats and “Independents” who are identified as “Independent Lean Democrat” adding up to 68% of the “Healthcare Voters.” “Non-Health Care Voters” came in at 49% Republican or “Independent Leans Republican.”

While KFF is considered one of the “Least Biased” polling bodies, they are still subject to sampling errors. It appears that this might be one of those times.

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Scott Adams Jumps the Shark**

I enjoy Ben Shapiro’s Sunday Specials; one hour conversations with current thinkers and doers. I watched this week’s conversation with Scott Adams, the creator of the Dilbert comic with a bit of disbelief. (I watched on The Daily Wire, but it’s also available on YouTube.)

From approximately minute markers 29 to 45, Adams’ discription of his belief in the future (or existing) computer “algorithm” which will to decide future elections (“Trump is the last human President”), the denial of free will (but “I act as though” it exists), to turning toward the camera to repeat that “the end *always* justifies the means,” and finally to the idea that we live in a simulation of life that just seems like reality Adams displays a loose connection with reality accompanied by relatively sane inserts.

I love good science fiction and there’s no doubt that Adams is an intelligent man. But he’s not a great philosopher. I agree with Shapiro when he asks whether Adams is just trying to avoid God with his simulation. Just as some physicists posit multiple universes to explain ours, Adams requires multiple simulations.

Oh, well, if it makes you “happy,” Scott.

Reading Dilbert irregularly over the years, I’ve been repeatedly turned off by Adam’s anger and bitterness. Sometimes it just can’t be disquised as wit. Now I wonder whether the anger has affected his rationality: does he even know what or when he says something wrong or immoral?

Perhaps. Adams displayed physiologic changes consistent with stress: blinking more often and his neck reddened as the hour went along. Is he stressed at examining his beliefs or by lying – invoking hyperbole about hyperbole – about them? Or is he just stressed by thinking his thoughts through, out loud, in an effort to be witty and change Shapiro’s mind?

(**”Jumping the Shark” is a reference to going too far, indicative of lost relevance.)

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“Illegal alien” ban?

I keep seeing reports that Twitter is blocking posts that contain the phrase, “illegal alien.” Obviously, not true.

How do memes like this get a hold? (Please comment on Facebook, not here or Twitter. I’m not omni-social-media.)

NYT “Had to try.”

As the Wall Street Journal’s “Best of the Web Today” suggests, “Use the Reader Comments to Learn More About the Times” and how the public views the journalistic abuse.

It seems that the NYT (and other media) decided to investigate the wife of SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavenaugh, Ashley. The NYT readers point out the lack of similar”vetting” of Obama’s judicial nominees.

Fake news, indeed. 85 emails from Mrs. Kavenaugh’s position as town manager of Chevy Chase, Maryland revealed nothing of interest – except exposure of the NYT bias, perhaps.

But the Op Ed says, ” We had to try.” Just what were they trying?

Euroean Travel Politics

20180813_0628344140598101829459225.jpg

I’m very careful about politics when traveling. The media far too often tells us that the rest of the world doesn’t like the US since Trump was elected. The “Italian for Dummies” web page even has the phrase, “Non siamo americani.” (We aren’t American.”)

But my experience has been different: a lot of Europeans think Donald Trump is right about border security and limiting immigration. And we’ve heard this from citizens of England and Italy, who go out of their way to express their support of President Trump.

Last month, a British couple stopped to admire our narrowboat on the Thames. When they found out we were Americans, they turned the conversation to politics, support for Brexit and praise for President Trump.

We picked up our car at the Rome Airport on Friday and it happened again. Out of the blue, the 30-something agent asked, “What about Trump?”

I deferred answering to Larry and braced myself for criticism or ridicule of the President from our new aquaintance.

Instead, our Roman friend volunteered his approval of Donald Trump and the “changes’ both our countries are making in response to international pressure to accept overwhelming numbers of refugees.

He talked about the inability to vet the refugees picked up at sea, the effects on Italy’s employment situation, and the financial stress the boat loads of immigrants were causing Italy before his government’s recent refusal to accept ships full of migrants at Italian ports.

He said, “Trump is making changes. People are afraid of change, but this is good change.”

None of the people we talked to – or who made it a point to talk to us – expressed hate or racism. They are worried about the future if their countries and disapprove of “Brussels” forcing regulations on them, not simply afraid of foreigners.

I wonder who’s listening.

(BTW, several different sets of Canadians have initiated similar conversations. All approved of the President and disapproved of Trudeau.)

Poor reporting generates hate along with misinformation

A little girl may have died. I care, even though I never knew her.
I also care about the grief and division caused by poor reporting and inappropriate reactions, so I did research on the story (And in the process found stories about so many deaths and abuses for all sorts of reasons – a 10 year old girl electrocuted, a mom shot in Houston, a post partum suicide…)
Then, there’s the condemnation and subsequent reactions, including against the “pro-birthers,” who evidently don’t care enough – or in the right way.

There is very little information about the girl or her circumstances of death. The initial report that she died in the ICE detention center at Dilley, Texas was wrong and subsequent stories simply repeat the history of the reporting.
Dilley is a family shelter, so the child may never have been separated from her mother. (ICE has stated that children under 5 years old weren’t routinely separated.)
In fact, the mother and child apparently left Dilley together: ” “AILA learned from a contact who was in touch with the family that the death occurred after the child and parent left Dilley. “”
The Washington Postfinally has a bit more. The AILA Lawyer says, “Gregory Z. Chen, director of government relations for the 15,000-member association, said in a statement. “We do not have information on the cause of death or information that confirms a connection between medical treatment at STFRC and this death.””
Now look at the posts generated on Twitter and Facebook after the rumor was posted, often with (unnecessary)) accusations about lack of compassion from Conservatives, even about pro-life – “pro-birthers” – people like me.
Yes, some people’s anger at illegal immigration has been exposed as actually hateful, but we wouldn’t have been exposed to it ourselves if not for that first, blaming post.
The hate multiplies as a result of the accusations and blame. Who knows what the result would have been from a post that merely grieved, without the accusations?

Let’s grieve together, not divided.

Edited for typos 12:20 PM BST. BBN

How the magic happens (Bret Weinstein)

Are there university meetings where white people are refused access to the provided food, drinks, and chairs? Do some professors refuse to teach “privileged” students?

Watch this evolutionary biologist  talk about the tactics and consequences of the “social justice” movement, especially as it’s playing out in universities. (Former) Professor Bret Weinstein, Ph.D., was forced out of a tenured position at Evergreen State University in Washington State because he ran afoul of the activists behind the College’s “equity” policies.

The idea that minority students are considered a traitor to their cause (equity for people of color,etc.) for studying science is alarming.

Here’s a link to Weinstein’s recommended political survey, “Political Compass.” Some other forms I’ve seen in the past (especially those published by Ron Paul libertarians) are more biased, in my opinion. On those, I’ve scored slightly authoritarian because I believe in National borders, the science about human embryonic development and prefer not to redefine marriage (at the level of social experiment on future generations of children who can’t consent).

Edit: Here is another discussion about the events leading up to Weinstein’s talk. BBN

“Mail bride” or Brave, Accomplished Woman?

Let’s help Lila, @lpieinfl , know who Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao is and inform her that it’s not nice to be a misogynistic racist.

Lila tweeted,

“What mail order did that bride come in?”‘

Mail Order Bride Bigotry

The screen shot shows a tweet in response to the video of the gang that confronted the Secretary and her husband, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

She confronted them right back. Watch the video posted by one of the harassers, “Roberto6254351,” a self-proclimed “rising Senior ” (sic), who had just left his job as an intern at “United We Dream,” an organization devoted to activism for the undocumented.

We confronted @SenateMajLdr and @SecElaineChao with @ProPublica audio of children separated from their families at the border while leaving a @Georgetown event. We must #AbolishICE & #AbolishCBP! #FreedomforImmigrants https://t.co/ljv70F3F0L https://twitter.com/Roberto62543651/status/1011694022417633281?s=17

For those who aren’t aware of the Secretary’s accomplishments:

Chao’s parents fled Communist China for Taiwan during the 1949 Civil War. She came to the US with her mother and 2 sisters on a cargo ship at about 7 yo. They joined her father who eventually started what became a successful shipping company. She became a naturalized citizen at 19.

Elaine Chao has served our country in many capacities, including as Secretary of Labor (2001-2009), Deputy Secretary of Transportation, and Director of the Peace Corps (1991-1992). She was appointed to the Chair of the Federal Maritime Commission by Ronald Reagan (1988-1988).

And she became the Senator’s bride in 1993.

Sanctuary City Swimming in Other People’s Taxes

From the Mayor of the home town of La Joya Independent School District, the “independent” school system in Hildalgo County, Texas with the water park, a 22K sq ft natatorium, tennis courts, a planetarium, and a golf course,enabled with money from Texas taxpayers:

My position was why should the city of La Joya, or any city in the Valley, detain any ICE illegals when ICE already has cages for them?”Salinas said Sunday. “Maybe they have a better place for them than we do and, of course, we’re totally against what they’re doing; I think we should unite the families, not divide them.”

“If it hadn’t been for that I would not have reacted this way,” he said, “but I’m a Mexican-American and I support my people.”

It’s not just “that.”

Last year, Mayor Salinas led La Joya to join the lawsuit against Texas’ Senate Bill 4, that penalizes cities that refuse to cooperate with Federal immigration laws and authorities. So far, that lawsuit has been upheld in Court.
Yet, the Mayor has no problem with the budget of his school district accepting accepting over $51M from the Federal Government.
Of course, that’s only 15% of the “Independent” school district’s funding. Texas Taxpayers pay 75% or $251,737,388.

The City also receives Federal funding through the Operation Stonegarden Program from the Department of Homeland Security, but the Mayor says they don’t use those funds to detain anyone for ICE.
I wish the Mayor respected non-hyphenated Americans and Texans, even if he doesn’t count us as his

people.

Edited to correct spelling. BBN

Is there a solution to the current immigration emergency?

I’m following and responding to the news reports and conversations on Twitter and Facebook about the arrests and separations of alien families because I’m looking for a solution that will work and have fewest unintended consequences.

We can spend all day screaming our objections or justifications and playing political games based on what should have been done and when, in the past and present. Or, we can tell our legislators that we recognize the reality of the circumstances, today, and that we need to make immediate changes, followed by more measured steps.

We urgently need to:

1. Ensure that the very young are safe and nurtured. This is an emergency, because of the damage that we know tactile deprivation has on small children. No more claims that some institutional rule prohibits holding a toddler;

2. Make sure that no more children are “lost” and that even those who are separated can communicate with their parents.

(Hospital arm bands? Schlitterbahn and the Toob renters in my home town use similar bands. The tracking numbers could follow numbers on the bands and would not only work better with digitizing information

Would it be possible/permissible to use RFID and/or GPS?

Delta uses bar codes attached to each suitcase and can text me when my suitcase is loaded or unloaded on the plane. Last month, when I was on a cruise, ATT texted me that I wasn’t covered by their international plan as soon as I stepped on the ship, before the ship left the dock.);

3. Speed up the process of reuniting the families;
(This last will be enabled by the above, but will also require resources for the rapid setting up of family shelters for those awaiting hearings, and hiring personnel for those shelters and judges to hear the cases and lawyers to represent the asylum seekers.);

4. Streamline the process for approving or rejecting application for asylum at the ports of entry. (See above. This may be a useful job for civilians -paif or volunteer – and the National Guard after apprehension and/or initial evaluation by Border Patrol);

5. Fix the laws concerning detention of children separated from their parents, the right of application for asylum for anyone who manages to step on US soil, temporary worker permits that do not allow family to immigrate, and for immigration in general;

6. Continue to identify, arrest, and prosecute people who willfully violate our immigration laws;

7. None of this is dependent upon or contradictory to securing the Border. All of them are enhanced by increased security, however;

8. Stop the partisan game playing!

It should be made clear that our government will follow the law as written. Perhaps we can continue the ads Obama’s Administration is said to have used in Central America.

None of these should be done so that more people show up expecting immediate visas, green cards, or even healthcare and food stamps. They certainly shouldn’t believe that they have a right to immigration or to burden our social infrastructure and taxpayers.

Please comment on my Facebook page.

Edited numbering, BBN

Happy Birth Parent Day

screenshot_20180616-075345_chrome5005037694364168408-e1529155414475.jpg
Google Images for “Baby Daddy” card

That lawsuit I wrote about yesterday would not only would put an end to Texas’ Medical and legal regulations on abortion – including informed consent, waiting periods, and sonograms – the plaintiffs go out of their way to redefine mother and father, too.

From Footnote 1, page 2:
“”1 Most people with the capacity to become pregnant identify as women. Historically, both jurisprudence and public health data have focused on women when addressing reproductive rights and health. But there is an emerging recognition in the law and society more generally that not all people who may become pregnant identify as women. See generally Glenn v. Brumby, 663 F.3d 1312, 1316-19 (11th Cir. 2011)
(holding, consistent with the weight of authority, that the Equal Protection Clause prohibits discrimination on the basis of “gender nonconformity”) (collecting cases); Robin Marantz Henig, How Science Is Helping Us Understand Gender, National Geographic (2017), https://www.nationalgeographic.com/
of all individuals to end an unwanted pregnancy, regardless of gender identity.”
 (I’m sorry, but can’t find a link to the lawsuit on line. It’s “Whole Woman’s Health Alliance et al v Paxton et al, U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas, No. 18-00500.)

From the UK, we see the inevitable results in a time of identity and personal choice :

Lawyers have told a judge that he had been biologically able to become pregnant but had legally become a man when the child was born.

“They say the transgender man wants to be identified as the child’s “father” or “parent” on a birth certificate.”

And, in Ohio:

“Explaining their unusual parenting arrangements, Amy said: “We went through a lot of fertility treatments, until we finally reached a point where we needed to make a decision as to whether we were going to do more medical intervention or if we were going to switch bodies. (emphasis mine)

“We were fortunate enough to have two uteruses. So, after a lot of thought and emotion and difficulties we switched to Chris.

“And while Chris lived as a man and didn’t feel female, he was willing to use his womb for the good of their family.”

Of course, neither Chris nor Amy could donate sperm. So, who is really — is there even — a father?

Or a parent, of either gender or any identity, who sees the child as his own person, human-enough to possess inalienable rights, rather than a political statement and a means to an end?

Safe, legal, and unrestricted?

If the law deems some of our offspring not human-enough to have the right not to be killed, what’s the use of restrictions on the licensed killers?

From the San Antonio Express News, we learn about a new lawsuit filed by the State’s ” largest abortion provider.”

“The lawsuits (sic) challenges numerous requirements including only allowing doctors to perform abortions, rather than clinic staff. It also challenges licensing standards, 24-hour waiting periods and a requirement that an ultrasound be shown to the patient.””

I suppose “Whole Women’s Health” owner, Amy Miller may have a point. Perhaps the ruling against HB2 made whole new conditions for abortion laws. See the timeline of litigation on HB2, here.

Do we even need to license the killers in the first place? Why should only doctors wield a vacuum wand or curette or dispense abortifacients without an ultrasound?

The question is whether this case is unique and sweeping enough to move the Supreme Court to hear another Texas abortion case? And will the Court remain divided as it was on HB2, which was decided 5-3 in the absence of the late Justice Antonin Scalia?

Could this pressure Justices Anthony Kennedy (81 years old) or Stephen Bryer (80 yo in August) to put off retirement a while longer? And will Justice Ruth Ginsberg (85 yo) still be on the Court?

But we don’t have to question where the money to pay the abortionists’ lawyers. Unfortunately, the taxpayer’s of Texas are required to pay the lawyers that represented the plaintiffs $4.5 Million.

06/15/18 12;50 PM Edited to clean grammar, BBN

06/16/18 7:30 AM Edited formatting, BBN

Open letter to RPT Convention delegates on censure

I am writing to ask you to vote against censure by the Convention of named Republican, elected, officials.

How often have we complained about the elites who get in power only to ignore us to follow their own agenda? How many of you are at the Convention because you got tired of the establishment working against you?

Well, guess what? If you make it to the State Convention, you’re the elite establishment! Don’t be that kind of elite establishment.

For the first time in years, I couldn’t participate in the 2018 Republican Party of Texas Convention process. I still follow your efforts and have read the resolutions submitted to the Platform Committee. One Senate District has submitted resolutions demanding that the RPT State Convention censure specific legislators.

I appreciate the work you’re doing this not just this week, but over the last few months. Having served as a Delegate to the Republican Party of Texas State Convention and on both the Platform and the Rules Committees, I know you have a week of long walks to simply get to your meeting rooms, heated discussions, long waits, and many re-votes, one after another. The Committees and sessions start early and go late. (Wear comfortable shoes and take snacks!)

Through all of this, please don’t forget that you are in San Antonio as the grass roots embodiment of our Nation’s representative democracy, our Republic. You are not simply individuals expressing your own will and opinion. You are there as representatives of your constituents: the Republican voters from your Counties, Congressional Districts, and Senate Districts.

In the same way that you expect legislators to represent their voters, your voters expect you to represent us.

While it may be appropriate for the local SD Convention to censure their own legislators, especially before the Primary or run-off, many people in our Party disagree. But now, these are elected candidates. I don’t believe that it’s appropriate for the State Convention to censure them in opposition to the local electorate’s wishes.

When the votes on censure of any Republican elected official comes up, please take a look at their constituents’ votes, especially in the last Primary. Did he or she win? Was it by a substantial margin? Was he or she unopposed in the Primary because no one even challenged them?

These men and women deserve your respect, just as President Donald Trump should be given the respect he deserves after being elected President. In the same way that it was wrong for Hillary to deride Republican women as voting the way their husbands told them to, it’s wrong to dismiss these voters as illegitimate.

In addition, as this is an election year, you are writing the campaign ads for the Democrats.

Please do not oppose the voters you represent by voting in favor of public censure of Republicans.

Beverly B. Nuckols, MD

Comal County, SD 25 and CD 21

(Edited because some of the formatting got lost.)

Existing tariffs, duty, and barriers to trade in Canadian law.

Current barriers on imports into Canada from the US affect dairy, wine, telecommunications like TV, cable, and broadcasting, and even software and “cloud” data storage.

The CRTC also requires that 35 percent of popular musical selections broadcast on the radio qualify as “Canadian” under a Canadian government-determined point system.”
This requirement precludes U.S.-based “cloud” computing suppliers from participating in the procurement process, unless they replicate data storage and processing facilities in Canada.”

https://www.export.gov/article?id=Canada-Import-Tariffs

In contrast, there are very few barriers to trade with Mexico.

(Edited to add the link to information on Mexico.)

Human-chicken hybrids in the lab

Nature reports on the creation of human-chicken hybrids using “embryo-like structures” in order to study human embryonic “organizer cells.”

The ethical line is at destroying the embryo to harvest the stem cells. Could these “structures” have been created with ethical induced non-destructive stem cells?
I’m not sure that the “embryo-like” structures are or ever had the capacity to become human organisms, but it is worrying that the implication is that they were. It doesn’t appear that there was ever a placenta or the possibility of one. However, the “structures” developed a primitive streak and notochord – the earliest neural and skeletal structures – and other apparently human cell lines

, in an organized manner.

How significant are the primitive streak and notochord? Are these deliberately created stunted human organisms or simply cell lines and isolated organ systems grown in the lab? What are the ethical limits for creating huma-animal hybrids?
Scientists must respect the dignity of every human being, at every stage of life and development. That is not possible if beginning by destroying a human embryo.

The Day That Justice Died

Where is the freedom or justice in raiding the attorney/client privilege? Not just the offices and homes of a lawyer, but documents that most of us thought were protected by an all-but-inviolable privilege?

 

Supposedly, Cohen lied to his bankers about why he wanted a loan. Was it by comission or omission???Is it a Federal offence to not fully disclose why you want to go into debt?

 

Stormy Daniels threatened (black-mailed) to make accusations about Trump immediately before the 2016 election, got money and signed a contract, now wants to reneg (she pretty much has) on her contract, but the one who paid the money is the one who is being investigated/harrassed.

 

Why aren’t the Trump people demanding the same deals Hillary’s people got: immunity and non-disclosure agreements before sitting down with the FBI?

 

When were any of the Clinton lawyers or aides’ homes or offices raided?

 

 

Trump wasn’t my first, second or third choice in the Republican Primary of 2016.  And I’ve already mourned the death of the rule of law, back when Comey killed it.  But I agree with the President: this looks like a witch hunt.

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