Constitutional right to protest

Posted by Christine & John on December 18, 2014 at 4:08 PM

Americans have the Constitutional right to protest peacefully It is a right, but it is a neural one, i.e. not all protests are actually right or useful and some are bad. I support the rights of people to protest "police violence." I exercise my right to say that they are mostly wrong. I would do nothing to encourage them.

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Obama did good on Cuba

Posted by Christine & John on December 17, 2014 at 12:12 PM

Cuba is an economic basket-case run by decrepit old men, using a decrepit a old ideology. Back in the Kennedy Administration, before most people alive today were born, Cuba was a forward operating base for the Soviet Union. It was the tip of a Soviet spear and was dangerous for that reason. Cuba itself was no threat and when the Soviet empire collapsed so did most of the threat of Cuba. The bankrupt country and bankrupt ideology was kept on life support by Venezuelan oil. Today, Venezuela is also a basket-case and oil prices are dropping. Cuba has no place else to go. We should be magnanimous in victory.

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Lighten up 2

Posted by Christine & John on December 16, 2014 at 7:20 AM

I wrote a similar post a few months ago, but I see this as a persistent problem that perhaps deserves regular consideration. Our Western Civilization is threatened less by the big but uncommon disasters than by daily little criticisms and second guessing, amplified by threats from the media, lawyers and even the authorities. Let me explain with a few examples

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To Drone or not to Drone

Posted by Keeley on December 15, 2014 at 6:05 PM

Is a model airplane an aircraft? The FAA is saying yes lately, appealing a ruling by a National Transportation Safety Board administrative law judge. The ruling in question dealt with the case of a man in Charlottesville, Va. who used a 56-inch wingspan radio controlled plane, in essence a drone, to film a commercial. He was charged with operating the aircraft too close to pedestrians. Ridiculous you say? Perhaps not, in view of the fact that there have been 25 near misses between drones and commercial planes, around airports in the U.S. since June 1st. Another near collision with an airliner recently occurred near London England. So the FAA is planning to put restrictions in place that will severely limit the operation of drones, essentially cutting off any opportunities for their commercial use. Restricting them to less than 400 feet of altitude and perhaps requiring visual contact between the drone and the operator would make it impossible to use them for any other than, well, model-aircraft style outings at your local private airport, or go-cart track, on a Saturday morning.

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Different Democrats

Posted by Christine & John on December 9, 2014 at 10:37 PM

An interesting article about how the Democrats have changed since the New Deal. It makes a lot of sense. I grew up in a Democratic family, in a Democratic city with Democratic traditions. We revered the memory of FDR. The Kennedys were like gods. We didn't know any Republicans, although we suspected my father's boss was one. Most of my relatives in this generation are Republicans. What happened?

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Economy is finally getting back where it belongs

Posted by Christine & John on December 8, 2014 at 2:48 AM

We had some unambiguously good economic news last week. It took longer than most experts predicted. Many thought that the summer of recover would be 2010. Even the more pessimistic thought we would have been in robust recovery by 2012. Republicans blamed Obama for wasting too much on the stimulus. Democrats blamed Republicans for not allowing even more spending. Since we still have President Obama and the stimulus ran out, both were wrong. What happened?

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The reason we need rule of law, not mob hysteria

Posted by Christine & John on December 5, 2014 at 6:06 PM

Rolling Stone magazine is backing away from its story of a gang rape at a UVA fraternity. The truth may be coming out. But what a mob-rule. UVA suspended all fraternities. The fraternities were vandalized. Innocent men were stigmatized. That is why we need rule of law, not rule of accusation, innuendo and Internet. This looks like it is similar to the Duke lacrosse case, where a crazy woman accused athletes of rape and cost lots of people trouble. In both cases the PC universities reacted inappropriately.

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Hands up, don't shoot

Posted by Christine & John on December 4, 2014 at 4:14 PM

This has become a sign of protest. Let's hope it catches on. If Michael Brown had put his hands up and said don't shoot, he would be alive today and nobody outside Missouri would ever have heard of Ferguson.

The Departure of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel

Posted by SPBrooker on December 3, 2014 at 10:23 PM

On Monday 25 November, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced he will be stepping down from his post. There were those who believed Hagel might resign at some point over the course of the remainder of Obama's term but for the most part the suddenness of the announcement was a shock. Immediately there was speculation over why; was this Hagel's choice or was he forced out. The Obama administration has been under intense criticism for its handling of foreign policy and so the White House may have seen the need for a new defense secretary. On the other hand, it is reported that Hagel was increasingly at odds with Obama and his closest advisers. Whatever the case, I fear the next secretary will be even less independent of the White House.

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Causes of black poverty and inequality

Posted by Christine & John on December 1, 2014 at 10:26 AM

Kevin L linked to an interesting article about problems in the black community. I have written about inequality more generally being the result more of habits and behaviors than larger factors. An interesting part of Kevin's article is "The Census Bureau pegs the poverty rate among blacks at 28.1 percent. A statistic that one never hears about is that the poverty rate among intact married black families has been in the single digits for more than two decades, currently at 8.4 percent. Weak family structures not only spell poverty and dependency but also contribute to the social pathology seen in many black communities -- for example, violence and predatory sex."

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What would Martin Luther King say about Furguson?

Posted by Christine & John on November 27, 2014 at 11:25 AM

MLK would have deplored the violence and he would have deplored the killing of a young black man. But we have something even more precise. MLK spoke in 1961 in St Louis, only a short distance from Ferguson. He said, "Do you know that Negroes are 10 percent of the population of St. Louis and are responsible for 58 percent of its crimes? We've got to face that. And we've got to do something about our moral standards. We know that there are many things wrong in the white world, but there are many things wrong in the black world, too. We can't keep on blaming the white man. There are things we must do for ourselves."

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Profile in courage - justice done in Ferguson

Posted by Christine & John on November 25, 2014 at 9:21 AM

It takes courage to stand up against the mob. Members of the Grand Jury must have known that their decision would be greeted with outrage, real and feigned, and that violence would result in their home town. Yet they made the choice based on the evidence. We congratulate them on ensuring justice was done.

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Saving and risking black lives

Posted by Christine & John on November 24, 2014 at 5:42 PM

Rudy Giuliani provoked the wrath of the grievance industry by pointing out some facts. One is that the number of innocent young blacks killed by white police officers is vanishingly small compared to number of young blacks killed by young blacks. He also pointed out that police have challenges in inner cities communities because of the violence and then made the point that enrages the pinheads. He says that his policies saved lots of black lives. He is right, however, so the response is not to argue but rather to rage against him.

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Old accusations: Jackson, Cosby et al

Posted by Christine & John on November 24, 2014 at 6:09 AM

I surprised Chrissy once with my vigorous defense of Micheal Jackson. She thought he was a homosexual perv because of accusations made by boys, or more correctly by their parents. I thought he was sure enough weird, but maybe not a perv. Now we get accusations against Bill Cosby. Everybody jumps on the bandwagon when a famous guy is accused. We should be careful.

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Obama out to destroy America?

Posted by Christine & John on November 21, 2014 at 11:17 PM

President Obama was reelected in 2012 by about the same plurality than Bush won in 2004. He lost support from 2008, i.e. when people got to know him. In the midterm elections he said, "make no mistake. My policies are on the ballot." That election resulted in the biggest whuppin/thumpin/shellackin in a generation. Yet Obama thinks he somehow won and has a mandate to change America. He is now exceeding his authority, according to his own earlier - and often repeated - statements. So what is up with this guy?

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