Has the Confederate statue issue reached peak stupidity?

In the 1980s and 1990s the concept of Repressed Memory attained wide public awareness after percolating in the academia since 1896, when it was identified by Sigmund Freud in his essay Zur Ätiologie der Hysterie (“On the etiology of hysteria”). All went well till the people started recalling encounters with UFOs and visiting aliens on other planets. That was the start of the end of Repressed Memory concept and it died completely after a series of scandals, lawsuits, and license revocations.

Perhaps this whole Confederate statues issue is reaching the same point of absurdity. Here are some examples.

Traveler, USC’s mascot, comes under scrutiny for having a name similar to Robert E. Lee’s horse

Confederate flag ‘looking’ tiles to be removed from subway

Joan of Arc statue in French Quarter tagged with ‘Tear It Down’ graffiti

Group calls for removal of Christopher Columbus statue downtown

Black Pastors Ask Smithsonian to Remove Bust of Planned Parenthood Founder

Work crew removes Taney statue from Maryland State House grounds

Who knows what examples tomorrow’s news will bring us. Perhaps redesign of the Roman numeral “X” because it looks too similar to the Confederate flag below? Perhaps remove the statues of Malcolm X because his last name is lifted right off the Confederate flag? Oh sorry, it is already in the works! Statue of Malcolm X in Oakland Should Be Removed

As for those guys walking around with tiki torches, anybody who walks around with those torches without serving Mai Tai is a fool.

US 2018 election factoid

From the liberal pollster Nate Silver.

Even if Democrats were to win every single 2018 House and Senate race for seats representing places that Hillary Clinton won or that Trump won by less than 3 percentage points — a pretty good midterm by historical standards — they could still fall short of the House majority and lose five Senate seats.

This is partly attributable to the nature of House districts: GOP gerrymandering and Democratic voters’ clustering in urban districts has moved the median House seat well to the right of the nation. Part of it is bad timing. Democrats have been cursed by a terrible Senate map in 2018: They must defend 25 of their 48 seats1 while Republicans must defend just eight of their 52.

Trump and the illegal vote

One oft-cited remark about Trump is that he lost the popular vote. Given that lot of Republicans in California don’t even bother voting because they don’t have any candidates to vote for, with the following fact, perhaps the outcome could have been different.

Based on our review of 2016 EAC EAVS report , the 2011-2015 U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, and the most recent California total active and total inactive voter registration records , California is failing to comply with the voter registration list maintenance requirements of Section 8 of the NVRA. For example, a comparison of the 2011- 2015 U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, and the most recent California active and inactive voter registration records shows there were more total registered voters than there were adults over the age of 18 living in each of the following eleven (11)counties : Imperial (102%), Lassen (102%), Los Angeles (112%),Monterey (104%), San Diego (138%), San Francisco (114%), San Mateo (111%), Santa Cruz (109%),Solano (111%), Stanislaus (102%), and Yolo (110%).

Our own research shows that the situation in these counties is, if anything, worse than the foregoing data suggest . For example, we contacted Los Angeles County directly this past June. At that time, county officials informed us that the total number of registered voters now stands at a number that is a whopping 144% of the total number of resident citizens of voting age. In our experience, these kinds of registration rates indicate a failure to comply with the vote.

Slicing & dicing the latest “most trusted media brand” poll

Missouri School of Journalism released the following survey results for the news brands people trust.

Mentioned as trusted:

  1. The Economist
  2. Public television
  3. Reuters
  4. BBC
  5. NPR
  6. PBS
  7. The Guardian
  8. The Wall Street Journal
  9. Los Angeles Times
  10. The Dallas Morning News

Mentioned as not trusted:

  1. Occupy Democrats
  2. BuzzFeed
  3. Breitbart
  4. Social media
  5. Trump
  6. Infowars
  7. Yahoo
  8. Internet
  9. Huffington Post
  10. The Blaze

Let us look at the above results in another way with the help of a Gallup poll.

In the first survey, the top seven most trusted brands are left of center. If one looks at the Gallup survey it is obvious that Democrats are much more likely to trust the media and given the echo chamber that they live in, they are far more likely to gravitate toward center-left publications to get their news. Is it any surprise that the publication that is on top, The Economist, is one of the most condescending publication which is consistent with the general attitude of center-left?

The Missouri survey should be more aptly titled, “Where do smug leftist get their news?” While we are on the topic of trustworthy media, consider this from the Saturday Guardian.

The co-founder of the Women’s Equality party, Catherine Mayer, is suing her former employer, Time magazine, for gender and age discrimination, making the weekly favoured by President Donald Trump the latest major media company to be embroiled in accusations of institutional sexism.

Yes, you read that right. Time magazine, a vociferous anti-Trump magazine, is favoured by Trump. Perhaps from the leftist perspective that the Guardian occupies, Time could be considered pro-Trump.

Pets and global warming

Well this was bound to happen.

Environmental impacts of food consumption by dogs and cats by Gregory S. Okin 
Published: August 2, 2017 

In the US, there are more than 163 million dogs and cats that consume, as a significant portion of their diet,
animal products and therefore potentially constitute a considerable dietary footprint. Here, the energy and 
animal-derived product consumption of these pets in the US is evaluated for the first time, as are the 
environmental impacts from the animal products fed to them, including feces production. In the US, dogs 
and cats consume about 19% ± 2% of the amount of dietary energy that humans do 
(203 ± 15 PJ yr-1 vs. 1051 ± 9 PJ yr-1) and 33% ± 9% of the animal-derived energy 
(67 ± 17 PJ yr-1 vs. 206 ± 2 PJ yr-1). They produce about 30% ± 13%, by mass, as much feces as 
Americans (5.1 ± Tg yr-1 vs. 17.2 Tg yr-1), and through their diet, constitute about 25–30% of the 
environmental impacts from animal production in terms of the use of land, water, fossil fuel, phosphate, 
and biocides. Dog and cat animal product consumption is responsible for release of up to 64 ± 16 million 
tons CO2-equivalent methane and nitrous oxide, two powerful greenhouse gasses (GHGs). Americans 
are the largest pet owners in the world, but the tradition of pet ownership in the US has considerable costs. 
As pet ownership increases in some developing countries, especially China, and trends continue in pet 
food toward higher content and quality of meat, globally, pet ownership will compound the environmental 
impacts of human dietary choices. Reducing the rate of dog and cat ownership, perhaps in favor of other 
pets that offer similar health and emotional benefits would considerably reduce these impacts. Simultaneous 
industry-wide efforts to reduce overfeeding, reduce waste, and find alternative sources of protein will also 
reduce these impacts.

Muslim origins of Statue of Liberty

With CNN’s Jim Acosta taking his immigration policy inspiration from the Statue of Liberty, it is instructive to recall the origins of the statue.

The United States has debated immigration since the country’s founding, and the Statue of Liberty—a potent symbol for immigrants—is often invoked as an argument for why we should usher in those who seek safety and opportunity with open arms. A little-known fact about Lady Liberty adds an intriguing twist to today’s debate about refugees from the Muslim world: As pointed out by The Daily Beast’s Michael Daly in a recent op-ed, the statue itself was originally intended to represent a female Egyptian peasant as a Colossus of Rhodes for the Industrial Age….

artholdi envisioned a colossal monument featuring a robe-clad woman representing Egypt to stand at Port Said, the city at the northern terminus of the canal in Egypt. To prep for this undertaking, Barry Moreno, author of multiple books about the statue, writes that Bartholdi studied art like the Colossus, honing the concept for a figure called Libertas who would stand at the canal. “Taking the form of a veiled peasant woman,” writes Moreno, “the statue was to stand 86 feet high, and its pedestal was to rise to a height of 48 feet.” Early models of the statue were called “Egypt Carrying the Light to Asia.”

Edward Berenson, author of Statue of Liberty: A Translatlantic Story, writes that Bartholdi’s concept morphed from “a gigantic female fellah, or Arab peasant” into “a colossal goddess.” But Egypt, which had invested enormous amounts of time and money into the landmark canal, was not as eager about Bartholdi’s idea. Isma’il Pasha, the reigning khedive, rejected the plan as too costly.

Eventually, a 180-foot tall lighthouse was installed at Port Said instead. But Bartholdi was not discouraged. He eventually repurposed his concept into “Liberty Enlightening the World”—the official name for the statue that has been overlooking New York Harbor since 1886.

As for the poem “The New Colossus”, which contains the phrase ” “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…”, the background to it is as follows.

“The New Colossus” was the first entry read at the exhibit’s opening, but was forgotten and played no role at the opening of the statue in 1886. In 1901, Lazarus’s friend Georgina Schuyler began an effort to memorialize Lazarus and her poem, which succeeded in 1903 when a plaque bearing the text of the poem was put on the inner wall of the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty.

Wasserman Schultz and the DNC Imbroglio – Continued

More on the Pakistani IT support crew of the Democrat party.

Family members of a staffer for the former Democratic National Committee chair who was arrested this week while attempting to leave the U.S. for Pakistan once worked for several Southern California congressional offices.

Imran Awan was fired Tuesday by Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the same day he pleaded not guilty to a bank fraud charge in connection with a $165,000 home equity loan, authorities said.

His brother Abid Awan, was employed earlier this year by Democratic Reps. Ted Lieu, Tony Cardenas, and nearly 30 more House Democrats as a “shared employee”, according to Legistorm, a website that tracks congressional employment.

Root cause of Trump Win

Simple summary of why Trump won and it wasn’t the Russians.

For all its vacuity, however, the hysteria is certainly understandable, because President Trump has defied all expectations by actually trying to do what he promised that he would try to do. But another reason is that the major cause of last November’s electoral outcome has remained mostly unexplored, even un­discovered. That is not due to intellectual laziness, but rather reflects the refusal of almost all commentators to contend with the political economy that determined the outcome of the election. Long-term processes of income redistribution from working people to everyone else, non-working welfare recipients as well as the very rich, had been evident for at least two decades. (I explored the phenomenon in my book The Endangered American Dream, 1993.) Those changes called for a painful party realignment (which would have cost the Democrats their ample Wall Street funding) that never happened – not even when Bernie Sanders arrived to be its instrument. The Democratic Party officials and leading lights of the media elite who helped to deny the nomination to Sanders, and thus very likely the White House, understandably have a guilty conscience, because they truly did everything possible to stop him, including ever so discreet anti-Semitic messaging very precisely aimed at black voters wavering in their pre-ordained fealty to Hillary Clinton.

As it was, of course, the victory of the Democratic establishment merely ensured the victory of the only Sanders counterpart on the Repub­lican side with whom Sanders differed sharply on almost everything – except for the only thing that really mattered to both: the urgent need to mobilize government policies to increase American jobs and wages, in firm opposition to all the competing international and planetary priorities continuously proffered by elite Americans and their core institutions, along with Pope Francis and other leading figures.

The key point is that the concerns of the ordinary people were ignored. When Obama went to deliver a campaign speech at the Brandenburg Gate in 2008, it was obvious that his interests were aligned somewhere else and when Hillary Clinton stated the following in a prepared speech in May 2013, it was a case of deja vu.

“My dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders, sometime in the future with energy that’s as green and sustainable as we can get it, powering growth and opportunity for every person in the hemisphere,” Clinton reportedly said to investors in a paid speech she gave to Brazilian Banco Itau in 2013.

For the record Clinton’s response to the above was as follows. Notice the outright deception in her response where she implies that open borders are for energy and not immigration?

Tobacco a health product?

File this under, bound to happen.

Sley, a 33-year-old ex-Wall Streeter who’s smoked cigars since he was 15, launched Hestia in 2013. The company’s small-batch “cigarillos” are made with tobacco grown on organic farms in the South and rolled in retardant-free natural papers with a nontoxic filter. Sley says the cigs are made for people like him, who eat kale and shop at Whole Foods: “People who put care and intention in their bodies.”…

“The act of smoking is like a meditation practice. You’re consciously breathing in and exhaling,” says the 34-year-old Dose Market startup founder.

 

From 2014 but still valid advice for Trump haters

Ask Andrew W.K.: My Dad Is a Right-Wing Asshole

Q: I’m writing because I just can’t deal with my father anymore. He’s a 65-year-old super right-wing conservative who has basically turned into a total asshole intent on ruining our relationship and our planet with his politics. I’m more or less a liberal democrat with very progressive values and I know that people like my dad are going to destroy us all…

A: Go back and read the opening sentences of your letter. Read them again. Then read the rest of your letter. Then read it again. Try to find a single instance where you referred to your dad as a human being, a person, or a man. There isn’t one. You’ve reduced your father — the person who created you — to a set of beliefs and political views and how it relates to you. And you don’t consider your dad a person of his own standing — he’s just “your dad.” You’ve also reduced yourself to a set of opposing views, and reduced your relationship with him to a fight between the two. The humanity has been reduced to nothingness and all that’s left in its place is an argument that can never really be won. And even if one side did win, it probably wouldn’t satisfy the deeper desire to be in a state of inflamed passionate conflict.

The world isn’t being destroyed by democrats or republicans, red or blue, liberal or conservative, religious or atheist — the world is being destroyed by one side believing the other side is destroying the world. The world is being hurt and damaged by one group of people believing they’re truly better people than the others who think differently. The world officially ends when we let our beliefs conquer love. We must not let this happen….