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It’s time that someone started to fight back against big tech, and Governor Ron DeSantis is leading the pack. Here’s what he had to say a few days ago:
‘As these companies have grown and their influence has expanded, Big Tech has come to look more like Big Brother with each passing day,’ DeSantis told reporters at the Capitol. ‘But this is 2021, not 1984, and this is real life, not George Orwell’s fiction. These companies exert monopoly power over a centrally important forum in the public discourse and the access of information that Floridians rely on.’
I’m one of those dinosaurs who actually cares about the truth. I despise people who lie, and especially people who lie and think there’s nothing wrong with it.
For a long time, my friends have told me that in politics, lying is baked in the cake. I refuse to accept that lying must be accepted in politics, but I guess I have to expect that there are people who say it’s a necessary evil.
“I attribute my success to this — I never gave or took any excuse.” — Florence Nightingale
Okay, I admit it; I’m obsessed with the importance of personal responsibility. And this quotation by Florence Nightingale, the woman who was the founder of modern nursing, reflects my strong beliefs on the subject. No doubt Ms. Nightingale ran into more than her share of roadblocks in her aspirations, but she was fearless and willing to take them on.
Today we have a society that is drowning in excuses. People who encounter difficulties blame others for holding them back. They purport to know people’s biases, feelings, preferences, and hatred toward them. They want to be able to pursue their goals in life with a minimum amount of effort. If they weren’t hired for jobs, racism was to blame. If they weren’t promoted to a new position, someone had unfair influence. The opportunities for feeling insecure and frustrated are endless. Especially when we can blame other people for our losses.
When I heard from @rodin that the report on John Durham’s comprehensive investigation wasn’t coming out before the election, I was livid. I’m sure many of you experienced a similar reaction. But I started thinking about the investigation and its results, and realized that we might want to look at them with a revised perspective.
Let’s review the hopes we had when we learned that John Durham was on the case. We hoped that he would provide an incriminating report that would implicate every despicable action taken by the miscreants at the FBI. Perhaps even more important, we wanted justice to be served; after years of watching the attacks on Republicans by the political Left, asking for justice seemed appropriate and fair.
The assumptions we made early on were that the report would be published well before the election, so that the Republicans were less likely to be accused of political motives. We assumed that Joe Biden’s role in these activities would be included, and we would relish his trying to free himself from the entanglement with these outrageous acts. Finally, we wanted to ensure that the results could be acted on by a Republican-appointed Attorney General before the Democrats could bury the information.
The First Amendment guarantees a free press. Preview Open
Kellyanne Conway is fighting back. She’s not just willing to say, “let’s just move along, folks”; for one, she’s going after Adam Schiff:
Adam Schiff should resign. He has no right as somebody who has been peddling a lie, day after day after day, unchallenged and not under oath. Somebody should have put him under oath and said ‘you have evidence, where is it’?
We knew this would happen. All the men and women who were excited about fighting for ISIS wanted to be involved with the ISIS cause and they went to fight in Syria. And now one of them wants to come home with her child.
Hoda Muthana went to Syria in 2014; she was one of 1,500 foreign women and the only American staying in a Kurdish-run refugee camp. She was married three times and widowed twice. And now she has an 18-month old son. She is asking to return to the United States.
This is a true story, from the height of the Cold War, about the failure of a system within a critical system and the very human responses to a truth-teller. Why tell the tale now? Because a friend’s work situation, in a major corporation, recalled the memory. So, take this tale as a parable for all times, and consider how the players in context, the conflict, and the conclusion relate to your work, your community, or state and national policy areas.
It was the late 1980s, at the height of the Cold War, in West Germany. This was to be ground zero for World War III, if it should come. The plains and valleys would be carpeted by armies of Soviet tanks, while the sky would be filled with aerial armadas operating under Soviet doctrine as the deep extension of artillery fires. To give our tanks, infantry, and artillery enough freedom to execute our maneuver-centered doctrine, “Air Land Battle,” air defense artillery (ADA) had to effectively deal with both planes and helicopter gunships.
We just finished watching the Senate vote on the Kavanaugh confirmation. It passed, but not without lots of loud, disruptive protesting. It is my understanding that in order to get into the gallery, you need a pass from one of your senators. I assume it is signed or otherwise keyed to the senator.
It seems to me that anyone who is disruptive enough to be removed should have their pass taken and a count kept for which senators had issued the passes. Then, for every one removed, reduce that senator’s quota. Or at least make the list of senators public.
The deportation of Jakiw Palij has once more raised the specter of the Nazi holocaust and whether or not those who were guards at the concentration camps should be pursued and prosecuted.
Some people are saying that Palij is 95 years old and has led a quiet life in Jackson Heights, NY and should be left alone. Most people didn’t even know about his association with the camps until it became public after the U.S. revoked his citizenship in 2003. A judge ordered his expulsion in 2005, but the German authorities didn’t want to prosecute him since his crimes took place on foreign soil; the Poles claimed he was Germany’s responsibility. Finally, our current German ambassador, Richard Grenell, persuaded the Germans to accept him, and he has finally been deported. No one has reported whether deporting him to another country was ever considered.
After these many years, some people are saying that we didn’t need to deport him: he was an old man; we didn’t know if there was proof that he had killed anyone in the Trawniki camp; and would he survive prison if he were prosecuted?
Who watches the Watchmen? The Watchmen, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, 1986. Preview Open
The Inspectors General are probably the most underappreciated and underrated people in the federal government.
The Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE) was statutorily established as an independent entity within the executive branch. Since then it has been instrumental in identifying fraud, waste, mismanagement, and abuse, as well as developing policies to deal with those problems. As part of the office of the Inspectors General, the Office of Evaluations and Special Projects was created in 2014 to oversee the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2012. This gives them the following mandate:
ESP is also responsible for reviewing allegations of administrative misconduct by senior officials, and issuing management alerts to highlight urgent need for corrective actions and capping reports on thematic areas of concern. Additionally, ESP is responsible for special evaluations and reviews, including responses to congressional inquiries. The work of this new office complements the work of OIG’s audits, investigations, and inspections by developing a capacity to focus on broader, systemic issues.
Old Ten Senseless (@10cents) started something called the 90-Day Challenge. We did at least two rounds of them in the past, and I plan to revive it starting September First to give us all a chance to get our Christmas and Hanukkuh projects finished before those days roll around. However, to do it properly will […]
One of my Facebook interlocutors’ favourite talking points is that Trump is so bad that “we can’t give him the benefit of the doubt”. I was unclear on what that actually meant, in practice. I mean, what did this interlocutor suggest those disappointed by the election results should actually do about it? Preview Open
According to the Inspector General for the Department of Veterans Affairs, there are now 26 facilities around the country under investigation for delaying treatment and falsifying records related to veterans’ health care. Before you succumb to outrage, however, take this comfort: the President of the United States is responding to this scandal with his greatest weapon: a speech. From Fox News:
“We’ve got to do better,” Obama conceded, while indicating he wants to wait for the conclusion of internal probes before addressing whether any more top officials should resign.
“When I hear allegations of misconduct … I will not stand for it,” Obama said. “None of us should.”