07 July 2020

Justice Kagan's Accidentally Correct Opinion: The States Elect The President

As the Supreme Court finishes out the 2019-2020 term, it ruled on two small, barely noticed cases from the 2016 Presidential election. Indeed, the cases were noteworthy more for having received a unanimous vote from the Court than from any contentious debate over finer points of Constitutional law, and from the fact that the two cases were heard separately, as Justice Sotomayor had to recuse herself from one case but not the other.

However seemingly minor the cases appear to be, arising from two lawsuits over a state's authority to bind Presidential electors to a specific voting preference, the ruling reiterates an important aspect of Presidential elections that has all but disappeared from political discourse and debate in this country: A President is elected not by the people but by the States. In issuing their per curiam opinion in Chiafalo, et al, v Washington (591 U.S. ___ (2020), Docket 19-465), the Supreme Court laid down a legal reminder of the Constitutional order of things.

04 July 2020

Decent Respect To The Opinion Of Mankind: Declaring The Why Of Independence

Decent Respect To The Opinion Of Mankind: Declaring The Why Of Independence
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

Every Fourth of July, Americans celebrate one of the world's most remarkable documents. On that day, in 1776, the Second Continental Congress issued a declaration of their intent to be free from British rule, and by so doing made real a radical proposition that hitherto had only been a quaint abstract concept: that political authority, and the right to govern, descended from the people of a nation.

We are rightly awed by the majesty of Thomas Jefferson's rhetoric. We are properly impressed by the hope and humanity of the ideals he set forth. From that first Fourth of July until now, America has struggled imperfectly to measure up to the premise of universal human equality at the heart of the Declaration of Independence.

Yet the Declaration of Independence is more than its ideals. It is more than a mere assertion of inalienable rights. It is also an homage to humanity.

18 June 2020

Roberts DACA Ruling: An Act Of SCOTUS Repugnant To The Constitution

Roberts DACA Ruling. An Act Of SCOTUS Repugnant To The Constitution
The legacy media could scarcely contain its glee when Chief Justice John Roberts elected to ignore the Constitution and the rule of law to block President Donald Trump's efforts to end Barack Obama's unconstitutional Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Here was proof, they claimed, that the laws are not what Donald Trump says they are, but whatever the Supreme Court says they are.

What the legacy media gets wrong is the same thing Chief Justice Roberts gets wrong: the only standard of law is the Constitution. No act of government which goes against the Constitution can ever enjoy force of law. No act of government which contradicts the Constitution can ever be considered part of the law.

All acts of government repugnant to the Constitution are null and void. That includes Presidential orders and Supreme Court rulings.

14 June 2020

Lessons From Antifastan: Celebrating The Mayflower Compact

The evolution of the "Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone", which has sprung up more or less spontaneously around the East Precinct building of the Seattle Police Department, is arguably many things.

With their declaration of autonomy, the zone is almost certainly an insurrection against the laws of the United States. Their clear affiliations with the "Antifa" movement (itself a domestic terrorist group) and "Black Lives Matter" (arguably also a domestic terrorist group) further enhances this depiction, leading to the somewhat unkind but not entirely inaccurate depiction of the zone as "Antifastan".

Having moved into an area effectively abandoned by the Seattle Police Department, some also want to compare the zone to the Paris Commune of 1871, and other radical communities throughout history. Without passing judgment on the merits of the zone itself, a consideration of how the zone has evolved during its as-yet brief existence offers an opportunity to reconsider--and renew appreciation for--early America's own experiments in building new societies and creating new government. In particular, events in Antifastan highlight the unique success and wisdom of the Mayflower Compact, perhaps the earliest charter of self-government in North America.

Still No Third Option. All Lives Must Matter

Still No Third Option. All Lives Must Matter
We have learned nothing.

We have learned nothing from the death of George Floyd.

We have learned nothing from the riots and anarchy that followed.

The legacy media has learned nothing about the importance of reporting stories accurately and honestly.

Is it any surprise we have more hysteria, more riots, more howling mobs after the shooting death of Rayshard Brooks by the Atlanta Police?

06 June 2020

All Lives Matter Or No Lives Matter. There Is No Third Option

All Lives Matter Or No Lives Matter. There Is No Third Option
Despite the arrests of the officers involved in the killing of George Floyd, the protests catalyzed by Floyd's death continue. Whether the protests continue to devolve into riots, looting, and anarchy remains to be seen, although in New York City at least, where some of the worst violence has taken place, peaceful protest appears to be making somewhat of a comeback.

The rallying cry for both the protests and the riots: "Black Lives Matter", the slogan popularized after a police officer shot and killed a young black man in self defense.

In both the present and the past, the rallying cry is simply the wrong message and the wrong motivation. In both the present and the past, "Black Lives Matter" seeks not to end injustice, but to rationalize it, and to amplify it.

In the past, present, and the future, black lives matter only if all lives matter. If all lives do not matter, then no lives matter. There is no third option.

04 June 2020

George Floyd Was Never The Issue

George Floyd Was Never The Issue
Today memorial services were held in Minneapolis for George Floyd, a man wrongfully killed by Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin (since fired).

While Floyd is being laid to rest, the controversies surrounding his death are far from being laid to rest. Derek Chauvin and three other MPD officers are now facing criminal charges over his death, which sparked a number of protests as well as violent destructive riots nationwide.

Yet when we examine the current headlines on Google News, which are almost entirely stories related to George Floyd's death, there is a curious quality to most of them: very few of the stories are actually about George Floyd or even his death at the hands of the MPD. There is an important realization to be had from this, which is that George Floyd was never the issue. As counterintuitive as it may seem, the controversy and debate is not about George Floyd, nor should it be.

31 May 2020

George Floyd Mattered, Just Not To The Legacy Media

George Floyd Mattered -- RIP
There is no question that George Floyd's death was murder. There is no doubt that Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin had no business kneeling on his neck. There is no doubt that George Floyd's death was an appalling example of police brutality.

Because George Floyd was black and Derek Chauvin is white, many argue that Floyd's death is also an example of inexecusable racism within the Minneapolis Police Department itself. Certainly there have been few facts to rebut that particular charge, although the extent to which racial animus played a role cannot be conclusively established with facts currently available to the public.

How many of those facts will ultimately be made public is a question still to be answered, for once again the legacy media has displayed its usual incompetence, indolence, and indifference to journalism, choosing instead to push narrative, with or without facts.

15 May 2020

No Finality For Flynn: Judicial Chaos Is Justice Denied

The case United States v Michael T. Flynn has become a neverending saga of chicanery, controversy, and arguably corruption. Even though by all outward appearances, the case should have ended on May 7 with the Department of Justice filing a motion to dismiss the case with prejudice, Judge Emmet Sullivan seems determined not to let the case go gently into that good night. 

On May 12, Judge Sullivan delayed his final ruling on the motion by opening the proceedings up for potential filings by amicus curiae wishing to opine on the propriety or impropriety of the motion. On May 13, Judge Sullivan fueled controversy even further by issuing an order appointing retired judge John Gleeson as amicus and directing him to present arguments against the DoJ's motion. Judge Gleeson is further ordered to present arguments regarding a possible contempt charge against General Flynn for his efforts to withdraw his guilty plea. Both orders represent a significant departure from normal trial procedure within the Federal courts.

In many ways, the Flynn case has become a disturbing political Rorschach test across American society, with perceptions of Lieutenant General Flynn's ultimate guilt or innocence, as well as the severity of his alleged offense, colored primarily by whether one supports or opposes President Donald Trump. One need only briefly consider Congressman Jerry Nadler's Twitter meltdown over the motion to dismiss to apprehend the passion and the illogic governing peoples' view of the Flynn case.

We must be mindful, however, that within the American legal system criminal trials are not to be governed by political considerations, but solely by relevant facts and applicable law. The facts especially in Flynn's case are not friendly to Judge Sullivan's actions, and suggest that Sullivan, far from keeping political animus away from the proceedings, has made it the essence of the case.

09 May 2020

Follow The Data -- The Facts Are Out There

What are the facts? Again and again and again – what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what “the stars foretell,” avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable “verdict of history” – what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!

The foundation of any reasoned argument, the basis of all rational debate must be facts and evidence. Whether the topic is "collusion" between Donald Trump's 2016 Presidential campaign staff and elements of the Russian government, the legal case (or lack thereof) against Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, or  the origin of the CCPVirus, reasoned discourse begins and ends with the facts, with what we can prove is so.

Thankfully, the real world abounds with facts.

07 May 2020

Finality For Flynn: Justice Delayed But Not Wholly Denied

Today the Department Of Justice filed a motion with the US District Court for the District of Columbia to dismiss with prejudice the entirety of its case against Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, who previously had pleaded guilty to one count of lying to the FBI, and has in recent months been seeking to withdraw that guilty plea.

This one motion marks an abrupt and final end to one of the more notorious legal controversies in recent memory. The Department of Justice' rationale for the dismissial was fittingly blunt.
The Government has determined, pursuant to the Principles of Federal Prosecution and based on an extensive review and careful consideration of the circumstances, that continued prosecution of this case would not serve the interests of justice.
The DoJ moved to dismiss because it admitted it had no case, which it acknowledged in the body of the motion.

02 May 2020

CCPVirus: Yes, It Is A Bioweapon

The legacy media has been far more a source of propaganda, lies, and misinformation about the SARS-CoV-2 virus (which I label the CCPVirus, as this virus is a gift of the Chinese Communist Party to the world) and the related disease, COVID19, as they have been a source of relevant information. They have promoted a quasi-official narrative, and undermine competing narratives with suppression and censorship, calling such narratives "conspiracy theory" or even "misinformation" (irony abounds).

Facts and evidence are stubborn things, however, and never quite so easily dismissed, and eventually even the legacy media must bow to the inevitable and acknowledge when "conspiracy theory" has become mainstream news. Reluctantly, this they have done with theories that the CCPVirus is a man-made artifact from a Chinese virology lab.

24 April 2020

Who Needs Science When You Have Experts?

"Science", we are told, is the foundation of all which the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)--the government agency tasked with protecting the nation's public health--undertakes. Their decisions and recommendations are always guided by science--and presumably not by politics.

How do we know this? They tell us this. They promise us this.

Base all public health decisions on the highest quality scientific data that is derived openly and objectively
When it comes to the current COVID-19 (aka "CCPVirus") pandemic, however, they are falling far short of the mark. Many of their decisions and pronouncements lack scientific support or scientific rigor. The latest and most glaring example of this is the hype du jour over the wearing of masks and facial coverings to mitigate the spread of the disease.

18 April 2020

Lies, Damned Lies, And COVID-19 (CCPVirus) Deaths

"There are lies, damned lies and statistics."

Earlier, I noted that the real world data on the COVID-19 pandemic diverged from the "experts" projections in several key respects.  As I said at the time, "we're missing cases."

It turns out that not only are we missing cases, we are missing quite a few deaths as well.

16 April 2020

Free Fall: Where Will It End?

With the April 16 report of initial jobless claims, United States reached a grim milestone in grappling with the CCPVirus outbreak: 22 million people have now filed for unemployment in the past four weeks. To put that number in some perspective, the number of jobs destroyed by the CCPVirus shutdowns exceeds the total number of jobs created since the end of the "Great Recession" in 2009.

More remarkably, these jobs were not lost due to an external supply or demand shock, but due to deliberate government action. The United States quite simply chose to destroy a minimum of 22 million jobs, in what is already proving to be an act of economic suicide.

I will not delve further into the particulars of why the lockdown strategy was the wrong strategy to take. My comments on the strategy, as well as on the ultimate cost in lives, have already been made, and nothing has yet arisen to cause either their revision or retraction. The legality, the Constitutionality, the wisdom or unwisdom of the strategy, are all now as they have been.

The lockdown strategy, for better or worse, is the strategy that has been chosen to mitigate the effects of the CCPVirus--which is the proper name for the COVID-19 coronavirus, for it would not exist but for the malignancy and malevolence of the Chinese Communist Party. For better or worse, its consequences will shape the United States and the world going forward. We must consider those consequences if we wish to emerge from this crisis with any shred of what was.

12 April 2020

Who Counts The Deaths From Recession?

As of this writing, there are 551,081 cases of COVID-19 (aka CCPVirus) infection in the United States, and there have been 21,668 deaths. Worldwide, there have been 1,837,785 infections, resulting in 113,312 deaths. To prevent further deaths, we have been told extreme measures over and above rudimentary "social distancing" are necessary, including the wholesale closures of businesses, the destruction of millions of jobs, the contraction of the world economy on a massive scale.

We are rigorously counting every death from the CCPVirus, taking care not to miss any. Yet who is counting the deaths from the economic chaos being unleashed on the world?

Do Not Look For The Living Among The Dead

Why do you look for the living among the dead?
On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; He has risen! Remember how He told you, while He was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” Then they remembered His words.

When the women who followed Jesus from Galilee to Jerusalem returned to the tomb in which He had been laid after His crucifixion, they were coming to ritually anoint His body with perfumes and spices in accordance with Jewish tradition, having waited through the Sabbath to do so. This was how they would say their final farewell to Him.

However, instead of saying "goodbye", they heard a most miraculous "hello!"

The women were also presented with a question: "why do you look for the living among the dead?"

24 March 2020

Destroying Society Is No Way To Save Society

In just under three months, the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, aka COVID-19, aka the CCPVirus, has completely remade the world in which we live.

We have gone from marveling at the seeming unwisdom of the Federal Reserve's rampant money printing and obsessive interventionism to wondering if their interventions will be enough. Where before the talk of China revolved around Hong Kong protests and trade wars, now we are coming to terms with China's shocking crime against humanity in creating and releasing COVID-19.

28 February 2020

Narrative Fail: We're Missing Some Coronavirus Cases.

One of the most important questions the serious analyst can ever ask is the simple "Does this make sense?" In my career as a Voice and Data Engineer it is a crucial step in any diagnostic process--if the data and reported symptoms do not fit together into a coherent description of a situation, it is absolutely certain that something is missing.

Above all else, data must make sense. Hypotheses must fit the data to become theories--and they must fit all the data. When something does not fit, that incongruity is where our attention is properly focused.

In assembling and digesting the media reports about the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic (yes, it is a pandemic even though the WHO still dithers and dickers about using the "p-word"), a glaring incongruity stands out: we are missing cases. More precisely, we are missing large numbers of severe cases and pneumonias. Based on the "official" data, there should be far more severe cases reported than there are.

21 February 2020

COVID-19 As A Bioweapon: Conspiracy Theory Or Fact?

The reflexive derisive insult the legacy media routinely applies to stories of which is disapproves is "conspiracy theory". Such stories, we are told, are the mere deluded ramblings of the misinformed and the uninformed. Such stories, we are told, are the ludicrous efforts by the paranoid the prey on the prejudices of the public. Such stories, we are told, are journalistic garbage.

Yet we cannot ignore such stories, because often the "conspiracy theory" narrative turns out to have more substance than the narratives of the legacy media. We must not forget that it was the "conspiracy theorists" at alternative media sites such as ZeroHedge that first drew the world's attention to the coronavirus, while the legacy media has been a primary purveyor of misinformation and pro-China propaganda. 

Today's "conspiracy theory" can all too quickly become tomorrow's substantive fact.

We must bear this in mind when considering the most disturbing "conspiracy theory" we have yet on COVID-19: that the virus is a laboratory construct, a bioweapon released either by accident or by design.

18 February 2020

Abandon All Hope, Ye Who Enter Here? Only If We Listen To "Experts"

Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch'intrate"
Dante Alighieri, Inferno, Canto III line 9

"Abandon all hope, ye who enter here." 

Some would deem that a fitting sign to hang in the concourse of Beijing Capital International Airport, given China's current Dantesque state:
Keep in mind all of this has taken place in China within just the past three weeks, since the beginning of February.

Yet if China is truly on a descent into Dante's Inferno, it is not traveling alone. A veritable globalist caravan seems intent on making the journey with them.

13 February 2020

COVID19 Outside China Shows Value Of Early Response

The statistics surrounding the coronavirus erupting out of Wuhan, China, officially labeld COVID19, and more colloquially known as "Wuhan Coronavirus" paint a grim picture. As of this morning (Thursday, February 13), there were nearly 60,000 cases in China alone, and over 1,000 deaths:
In China:
59,804 cases
1,367 dead
5,911 recovered.

Case Fatality Rate ~ 18.7% 
Outside China:
581 cases
3 deaths
75 recovered

Case Fatality Rate ~ 3.8%

08 February 2020

Coronavirus Costs Lives Now. China Closure Will Cost Jobs Later

The Wuhan Coronavirus epidemic is not merely a serious public health crisis in China. With currently 80 cities and over 400 million people under lockdown, it is better to think of it as a public health catastrophe.

Wuhan, Guangzhou, Wenzhou, Shenzhen, Shanghai--the list of cities brought literally to a complete standstill reads like the top of the list of China's most populous cities. The Wuhan Coronavirus has quite literally shut China almost completely down.

The official numbers (which are at this point highly dubious) paint a grim picture for China: over 34,000 confirmed cases, over 6,000 of which are serious or critical, and over 700 deaths. Just over 2,000 have recovered from the disease. Against the total number of cases, the deaths represent just over a 2% mortality rate. However, against the number of patients reported as recovered, the mortality rate is a grim 26%--if that ratio holds, as those 34,000 cases resolve towards either recovery or fatality, the ultimate number of deaths in China could easily top 9,000.

Yet, as bad as the disease is, its economic impact is likely to be even worse. Between the disease and the lockdowns and quarantines instituted by Beijing in an effort to contain the disease, virtually the whole of China's economy has been shut down

07 February 2020

Speech Or Silence: Facebook Will Now Decide For You

I begin by reiterating a truth I have stated numerous times, and yet must state again: Free Speech is not merely a legal right, but a moral imperative.

We have a moral duty to speak out on things that matter. We have a moral duty to listen when others speak out. We have a moral duty to ensure others can be heard. This is a duty we owe ourselves, for if we do not speak out, if we do not listen, if we do not enable others to be heard, we have no hope of ever having all the information we need to make good decisions about our lives and our communities.

We must have Free Speech or we can not ever be a Free People. This is the order of things.

Yet, in the wake of the most significant global public health crisis since SARS in 2003, one with the potential to become the worst pandemic since the Spanish Influenza pandemic of 1918, the social media giants Facebook and Twitter have taken it upon themselves to ensure that Free Speech is the one thing we can never have. When it comes to the Wuhan Coronavirus (officially titled 2019-nCoV), they will decide what we can see, what we can year, and what we can think.

06 February 2020

Tencent Proves Legacy Media "Journalism" Not Worth A Dime

Mark Twain pithily observed in his autobiography that "there are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics." China's official reports on the 2019-nCoV coronavirus sweeping that country may very well be a combination of all three--and the legacy media is enabling Chinese mendacity at every turn.

As of this posting, the number of reported confirmed cases in China is 28,023, with 563 reported deaths. The vast majority of cases are in Wuhan, in Hubei Province, where the disease originated: 19,665 reported confirmed cases, and 549 deaths. There are nearly a thousand cases each in two of China's most economically important provinces, Zhejiang and Guangdong--and yet no reported deaths.

As disconcerting as these official numbers are, marking as they do the spread of the disease from just around 50 reported cases a little more than a month, there has been a persistent undercurrent of stories suggesting they are a fraud, and that the real numbers are far, far worse. This was made plain on February 5, when Taiwan News reported that Chinese social media giant Tencent's "Epidemic Situation Tracker" page had, on February 1, briefly showed statistics ten times the official reported numbers:
On late Saturday evening (Feb. 1), Tencent on its webpage titled "Epidemic Situation Tracker" which showed confirmed cases of novel coronavirus (2019nCoV) in China standing at 154,023, 10 times the official figure at the time. It listed the number of suspected cases as 79,808, four times the official figure. 
The number of cured cases was only 269, well below the official number that day of 300. Most ominously, the death toll listed was 24,589, vastly higher than the 300 officially listed that day.

01 February 2020

Coronavirus: The Latest Legacy Media Epic Fail

Whoever said "better late than never" did not work in journalism. They certainly did not cover a fast-moving story such as the coronavirus epidemic sweeping China and threatening the rest of the world.

Yet the legacy media has been tardy if not downright derelict in covering several significant aspects of this ongoing event. It was alternative media and social media that first called attention to the existence of the virus, officially named 2019-nCoV (also referenced as nCoV2019). It has been the alternative media and social media that has highlighted serious shortcomings and outright deceptions by Chinese officials and the state-run media.

19 January 2020

Is Adam Schiff Guilty Of Perjury?

As the Impeachment Trial of President Trump gets underway, Congressman Adam Schiff, the leader of the House Managers arguing the case for impeachment on behalf of the House Democrats, submitted to the Senate his "Trial Memorandum" laying out his theory of impeachment and the case he will be arguing on its behalf.

The memorandum has just one problem: It's a lie. Many of of Congressman Shiff's allegations are simply and demonstrably not true.

It is to Schiff's benefit that the memorandum appears to not have been filed under penalty of felony, for if it were Schiff would be guilty of perjury, instead of merely lying to the Senate. Yet let there be no misapprehension here: Congressman Adam Schiff has without a doubt lied to the Senate as he has lied to the American people throughout this impeachment inquiry. The only thing standing between Schiff and a perjury charge is the status of the Trial Memorandum as not being sworn and subscribed to.

17 January 2020

The Purpose Of Impeaching Donald Trump: Breaking Presidential Power

Nancy Pelosi finally completed the impeachment of the President, signing the articles of impeachment and transmitting them to the Senate. With articles in hand, the Senate officially swore in Chief Justice John Roberts to preside over the impeachment trial, and the senators themselves were sworn in as the impeachment jury--the Senate has now been converted into the Court of Impeachments described by Alexander Hamilton in Federalist 65.

After months of partisan wrangling over hyperpartisan inquiry and investigation by the House, the Senate finally will have its say on the merits and demerits of the case the Democrats have assembled, even as the true purpose of impeachment has already been revealed and acknowledge by those same Democrats: removing a President they do not like, or at least subordinating him to the whimsy of Congress.

11 January 2020

Profiles In Courage

It is rare for a single vote by a single Congressman to be noteworthy, or even remarkable. Recently we have seen several remarkable votes by individual Congressmen--those willing to buck demands for party loyalty and unity in defense of larger principles. With so many politicians of all stripes pandering to their particular political base, we should take a moment to consider those who decided to take step back from the partisan divide.

04 January 2020

Getting The Trump Presidency All Wrong

Within the span of two days, President Donald Trump reminded the world yet again the extent to which the legacy media has completely failed to grasp the essence of the Trump Administration. We are barely into 2020, and already the prevailing narratives surrounding Donald Trump have been completely shredded. Trump accomplished with just two highly surgical air strikes against pro-Iranian Iraqi militias and their Iranian sponsors, the first one resulting in the death of Qassim Suleimani, leader of Iran's Quds Force, and the second targeting part of the leadership of the pro-Iranian Popular Mobilization Forces militia.

(Note: Subsequent reporting suggests the PMF leadership was not killed in this second strike, with the PMF disputing Pentagon claims in this regard. As of this writing much of the reporting is unconfirmed with many details subject to change)

01 January 2020

Happy New Year. Let's Have (Another) War

The image is all too familiar: Anti-American protests in a Middle Eastern capital turn violent, with a US embassy--and the US civilians stationed there--becoming a convenient target of the protesters' rage. Too easily, it recalls the horrific 2012 attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, in which Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed.  Thankfully, this attack on a US embassy had a somewhat better outcome, as no one was reported hurt during the attack.