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Who checks the fact-checkers?

dem debateRemember the Democratic Presidential debate where every candidate raised their hand when asked to “raise your hand if your government plan would provide coverage for undocumented immigrants?” It was a touching show of solidarity from a group of people who are pretty much on the same page when it comes to ignoring any restraints to government power and authority.
 
Since then, GOP operatives have (understandably) used this in their advertising. They claim Democratic candidates said they wanted to give free health care to illegals.  You don’t need a political guru to figure this is something to take advantage of.
 
Not so fast, says the holy, unimpeachable fact-checkers at PolitiFact! They correctly point out that the debate in question featured only HALF of the Democratic candidates. OK. Fine. The fact that every one of them raised their hands certainly suggests a broad consensus, but if you want to nitpick about this, go for it.
 
But no. The sacrosanct fact-checkers take it a bit further. Evidently they are drawing a clear distinction between wanting to “give free health care to illegals,” and “providing coverage for undocumented immigrants.” Seriously. That microscopic distinction was enough for them to take an obviously-true statement and rate it as “Mostly False.”
 
Let ME ask for a show of hands. If you hear that the government is going to provide something to you, isn’t the assumption that it will come at no direct cost? That is to say, without you having to shell out beyond your regular tax burden?  Let’s put it another way.  If the candidates supported a proposal to “provide people with cars,” wouldn’t that mean that you would get your car without having to cut a check? Is that not a reasonable expectation?
 
This is Clintonian-level word-parsing.  This exceedingly-minor difference is enough for the brave firefighters at PolitiFact to take an obvious truth that was broadcast to millions of people and call it a lie.  Well, “Mostly False,” at least.
 
Keep this in mind when someone cites a PolitiFact fact check as the final and unassailable Word of God.  Much like the Mainstream Media hides behind the cloak afforded them by their status as “journalists” to produce a steady stream of hackery; Politifact and their ilk do likewise while shielding themselves under the rubric of being saintly fact-checkers.
If you want to be a hack, that’s fine.  But embrace it. Don’t pretend to be something else.  That makes you look like a filthy, mendacious coward.

The 2019 Endorsements from Chuck’s Common Sense

Let’s see…Halloween hangover, rotting leaves, my favorite college football teams seeing their post-season hopes fade away.  Yup.  It must be time for an election.

 

And with that comes the once-coveted round of endorsements from Chuck’s Common Sense.  In bygone days the means by which these endorsements were secured changed the course of human history.  These days, I can be bought with a case of beer.

 

I will focus on events in my hometown, so most of you probably won’t give a rip.  That’s fine.  Hopefully you can find something entertaining regardless.  You get what you pay for.

 

In my hometown of Danville-Virginia there is a contested House of Delegates race…but it is contested in name only.  Full disclosure: I have done digital production work for Republican Delegate Danny Marshall who is seeking re-election.  Even if that were NOT the case, this would be a no-brainer.

 

Marshall’s opponent, political newcomer Eric Stamps, is a self-avowed Democratic Socialist in the vein of Bernie Sanders.  It’s a cute little philosophy…if you possess a fourth grade understanding of math, economics and basic human behavior.

 

DhQxHl0U8AAjHvwIf we are to take them at face value, what Democratic Socialists want is not really socialism. What they want is highly-taxed, heavily-regulated Capitalism to fund all of their great ideas. The problem is, Capitalism doesn’t flourish under such conditions. To pay for their good ideas, they will have to go MUCH further. Because what happens when this great engine stalls and sputters under their regulatory yoke and is no longer able to produce the revenue needed to make college free for everyone?

 

Why does socialism inevitably fail? Because it ignores our inherent desire for ownership. Shared means of production means no private property—this, no ownership. Without ownership, there is no incentive for innovation or improvement.  Forced mediocrity produces only an equality of misery.  History is littered with such examples. You can dress it up with the “Democratic” qualifier; but the envy that serves as the primary fuel remains the same.

 

Marshall is a reliable and steady conservative voice for Southside Virginia.  He eschews “the politics of politics.”  He’s a good man.

CCS proudly endorses Danny Marshall in the 14th district House of Delegates race.

 

The only other contested race in my area is the 20th District State Senate race.  Republican incumbent Bill Stanley faces a challenge from Independent Sherman Witcher.  I’m not Stanley’s biggest fan.  I think he is a politician first and a Senator second.  On several occasions I think he has been obtusely partisan when it was not necessary.  Still, he has a reliable conservative record, and has explored some out-of-the-box solutions on issues like health care and education.  His opponent, Witcher, is a perennial candidate for….something.

CCS endorses Bill Stanley in the 20th district Senate Race.

 

In Danville, voters will answer a pari-mutual betting question on the ballot.  If approved, it would allow Colonial Downs to open one of their Rosie’s Gaming Emporiums in Danville.

 

I am probably the LAST person who will darken the doors of this place, once it opens.  I have never even purchased a lottery ticket.  I have a basic understanding of math and the “thrill” that some people get from wagering is completely foreign to me.

 

Still, I will be an enthusiastic YES vote on this question.  As a libertarian I will support just about ANY effort to create jobs.  I would vote for a brothel.  Federal laws notwithstanding, I would support an opium den.  Also as a libertarian, I think it takes an unadulterated amount of hubris to tell people what they can and cannot do.  Some people have no problem doing that.  I don’t like those people.

 

CCS urges a “yes” vote on Pari-Mutual betting in Danville-Virginia

 

Although my endorsements are limited to local races, there is the specter of Democrats taking both houses of the General Assembly.  With Democrats simultaneously occupying the top three positions of the Executive Branch, that is bad news for people who cherish individual liberty.  With Democratic legislative AND executive control, there is no apparent obstacle to passing gun control laws that would make our Commonwealth more closely resemble California.  And while abortion is not my favorite issue to discuss, such a scenario would offer NO protection against a bill like the despicable one introduced last year by Kathy Tran from becoming law.

 

The social and political divides that pits US coastal and rural dwellers are played out on a smaller scale here in Virginia, where large swaths of “the sticks” are being overtaken by the ever-expanding suburbs and exburbs of Northern Virginia.  As would befit a population composed of a disproportionate number of federal government workers, Northern Virginia is VERY fond of policies that expand the power of government.  Unlike at the Federal Level, where minorities have protections afforded by Federalist principles like The Senate and The Electoral College; Virginia is strictly a democracy.  The biggest mob wins.

 

It is my fervent hope that at least one house of the Virginia General Assembly remains under Republican control.  That would serve as an effective check against people who think that all power comes from government and is shared with We the People.  It is the exact opposite.

 

CCS HEARTILY endorses a divided General Assembly…or a GOP-controlled legislature.

 

So there you have it.  There’s still time to send me a case of beer and change my mind.

Yes…apparently you can be arrested for “ridicule.”

When does “stupid” or “boorish” become criminal? Should it?

Two white students at the University of Connecticut were arrested yesterday for shouting racial slurs as they walked through a parking lot outside student apartments earlier this month.

uconn arrests21-year-olds Jarred Karal and Ryan Mucaj were captured on a viral video repeatedly shouting the N-word. As best I can figure, these drunk cretins were playing a game where they yelled vulgar words. I have yet to see any evidence that these words were directly at anyone in particular. The video that went viral over the weekend shows them yelling the words in an empty parking lot. Evidently they also yelled them while walking down the halls of the apartment.

Where is the “victim” here? Well, their fellow students who never heard the words seized upon the opportunity we have provided people to earn “woke points” by being victims. Students launched large rallies in protest of the video, and the campus chapter of the NAACP demanded school officials take action against the pair. The arrests were announced hours after a “march against racism” at the campus.

On Monday, the NAACP UConn executive board called the pair of incidents “highlights of bigotry and the regurgitation of white supremacy” and released a list of demands in a letter to the editor of The Daily Campus, the student newspaper. Their requests included the creation of specific guidelines and punishments for racist and hate speech incidents, as well as, a required First-Year Experience course that would convey the consequences.

Well you can’t say the Professional Grievance Industry isn’t shooting for the moon here. We have all of the elements. First, using singular evidence of a couple of drunks shouting bad things as evidence of campus-wide racism. Secondly, demanding “punishment” for people who say things they don’t like. Thirdly, pushing for “re-education” to make sure unapproved words are never uttered.

If the school wanted to discipline them for violating whatever code of conduct they have established for students, that’s one thing. But to *arrest* them? And to file *criminal charges?* That is another thing entirely.

Equally chilling is the fact that, according to the charges filed against them, people in Connecticut can be arrested for speech that “ridicules” based on ethnicity, race, etc. etc. Are you kidding me? We’re not talking intimidation or coercion. We’re talking RIDICULE. There are many rights we enjoy in a free country, but the right protecting us from ridicule does not exist. Nor should it.

And if person A can be arrested for ridiculing person B; but person B canNOT be arrested for ridiculing person A—then how is that Equal Protection Under the Law?  Here’s a hint.  It’s not.

And again, there is no evidence they said these words directly at someone. So the only ones claiming victim status here are people who watched a video and didn’t like the words they heard in it. Think about that! We are establishing the precedent that if someone sees a video of you saying bad things, they can have you arrested. Not just chagrined or socially ostracized. Arrested and subject to the power of The State. That is incompatible with the core concepts of Free Speech.

Now this is where non-thinkers will point out that “free speech has consequences.” Yes. But those consequences must NOT come from government. Shaming someone for saying bad things is permissible. So is an employer firing them if they deem the words will have a negative impact on their bottom line. But when you bring down the power of government on someone for “wrongspeak,” then you are in direct violation of the First Amendment. This not is “yelling fire in a crowded theater.” There was no intent to harm here. There was no victim here. Therefore, government sanctions must NOT apply.

In short, we are crossing a *very* dangerous line here. You do NOT have the right to have someone arrested for uttering words that you don’t like. ESPECIALLY if those words were not said in your presence nor were directed at you.  If this is an acceptable use of government power, then what is to prevent someone from going on YouTube, finding videos of people saying random bad things, then demanding they be arrested for “ridiculing” someone?

We have got to STOP this, people!

Astro-nomic Climate Change BS

rangers stadium

One of the favorite tactics of the devotees of the Church of Climatology is to diminish heretical statements by pointing to their holy scriptures.  To wit: “The Science!”  Their defense dictates that unless you have a dozen peer-reviewed Climate Reports on your resume, you are not allowed to have an opinion on whether or not we revert to an agrarian lifestyle to appease the Climate Gods.

Never mind that it is not the scientists who are suggesting such drastic societal changes be made.  No…they are merely the scribes in this Church.  The holy prophets of the media, the world of politics and mainstream climate activism are the ones interpreting the Holy Scriptures in such a way.

The latest Papal Bull was issued this week by Bloomberg Magazine.  In this Op-Ed, the writer/acolyte informs us that Climate Change is the reason the Texas Rangers are building a new stadium with a retractable roof and air conditioning.  Evidently it just now occurred to them that summers in Texas are hot.  Film at 11.

colt45I’m not a scientist, ‘tis true.  But I am a baseball historian.  Let me tell you a little story about another Major League team in Texas.  They began in 1962 as the Houston Colt 45’s.  They played their games in an open air stadium (pictured, left) that offered NO shade from the Texas heat and flying varmints.  Houston pitcher Larry Dierker once quipped that the women in Houston don’t wear perfume—they wear mosquito repellent.

astrodomeThe heat was bad enough to prompt the team to explore an ambitious undertaking.  An INDOOR stadium!  In 1965, the Houston Astrodome, the Eighth Wonder of the World, opened.  (pictured, right)  It was the first successful use of synthetic grass, called “Astroturf.”  The team changed their name and the rest is history.

It is worth noting that 1965 was well before SUVs and Al Gore’s polar bears.  That is to say, in the days before all this Global Warming took place, the heat was STILL enough to prompt out-of-the-box solutions on ways to beat it.

That is one of many reasons why it is laughable to hear that a 2019 decision by the Texas Rangers (Located just a couple of hours northwest of Houston) could be attributed to hot weather.  The intrepid Climate Servant even included a handy-dandy chart showing that it’s getting HOTTER in the Dallas area!  Well, not really.  The graph shows the normal fluctuations you routinely get with something as volatile as the weather.  In fact, the average daytime temperature for home games this year was a whopping .6 degrees higher than the average over the past 75 years.

Indeed, our prophet assures us it was Climate Change that “ruined outdoor baseball at Globe Life Park.”  Really?  Did it suddenly get hot in mid-Texas this summer?  No.  Even the data from your sacrosanct scientists shows that it has always been hot.  And if it is ANY hotter today, it is by tenths of degrees.  That is not enough to prompt a $1.2 billion dollar investment.  What IS enough is the realization that more people will spend a little more money to enjoy a game in a climate-controlled environment.  Especially since we have fashioned a society where people spend most of their waking hours in places where the temperature is around 72 degrees.

This is not evil Climate Change driving the decision to build a palatial new stadium…it’s evil Capitalism.  Wonderful, beautiful Capitalism.  The same Capitalism that has led to the most prosperous period in human history.  The same Capitalism that gives nimrods like this Op-Ed writer a comfortable place to type from as he frets about the evils of red meat and internal combustion engines.

Play Ball!  And turn the AC up!

Affirmatively Disappointed

harvardA judge today ruled in favor of Harvard University in a high-profile case centered on Harvard’s consideration of race in admissions.  A group representing Asian students claimed the policy discriminated against Asian students, who have a markedly higher average score on entrance examinations.

 

Federal District Court Judge Allison D. Burroughs said, “Harvard’s admission program passes constitutional muster” and that “ensuring diversity at Harvard relies, in part, on race conscious admissions.”

 

Her phraseology is curious.  In 2015, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, aka the “Wise Latina,” offered a blistering 58-page dissent when the high court voted 6-2 to uphold an effort to end affirmative action at public universities in Michigan. While writing with all of the grace and decorum of a jilted 13-year old girl, Sotomayor also committed the mistake made by all people who are losing the argument. She tried to re-brand it. Instead of “affirmative action” Sotomayor said she preferred the term “race-sensitive admissions policies.”  Judge Burroughs clearly read Sotomayor’s screed.

 

The irony is that Affirmative Action, which seeks to fight racial discrimination, is a racist concept.  If you support affirmative action, then you support individuals, who would otherwise be considered less qualified, earning positions and favors over more qualified people due to nothing more than their ethnicity. This, by definition, is racism.  It may be well-intentioned and it MAY have even been necessary at some point—but don’t try and pretend it is not racist.

 

Never mind the untold number of students and workers who have used this concept to land spots for which they were ill-prepared—consider the other consequences. Affirmative Action has given rise to the notion of “tokens.” It has compelled people to look at others with suspicion—wondering if they earned their job, or their seat in the classroom—or if they were “placed” there by a well-meaning system that is inherently flawed.

 

Do you think this fosters a spirit of cooperation and goodwill? Or does it foster suspicion and resentment?

 

I’ll put it another way. In 1985, I graduated Dan River High School, bound for Virginia Tech. Think about where we were at this point in history in terms of the development of computers. I NEVER touched a computer in high school. I barely knew what one looked like. I was computer-illiterate. When I got to Tech, I quickly learned that those who graduated from high schools in more prosperous areas in Northern Virginia had LOTS of experience with computers and were quite savvy. Since we were competing for grades I was at a MAJOR competitive disadvantage.

 

If I followed the victimhood philosophy, I would have complained to the university about the inherent and institutionalized disadvantage I was under. I would have complained about not being able to compete with students who came from homes where the household income was ten times higher than my own. I would have pushed for quotas allowing a proportionate percentage of students from “disadvantaged” school districts to be allowed access to the advanced classes—despite our poorer performance in entry-level courses. Anyone who disagreed with me would be “anti-rural” or “anti-poor.” I would have spent most of my waking hours denigrating them for their stance while claiming moral superiority.

 

Or….. I could have done what I ended up doing. I busted my ass and studied hard. I learned about computers. I learned MORE about computers. I continued to learn about computers. I helped others who were having trouble with computers. By the time I got out of Tech, only the engineers possessed more computer knowledge than me. I think I made the right choice. Its served me pretty well in other areas as well.

 

It’s time to face the facts. Applying the same solutions that were needed in the Civil Rights movement in a modern-day context is ineffective. At what point have we separated ourselves sufficiently from our past to end the remedies? In other words, when can we take the band-aid off of the wound? Do we keep it there forever; as it yellows and ceases to have any legitimate function, other than to remind us of the original wound?

 

If we are going to be a truly color-blind society, we need to become…..(wait for it)…..color-blind.

 

 

 

Greta the Child Abuse victim

Once upon a time if you purposefully intensified an autistic child’s fears, then paraded them around in front of cameras to do exactly what you told them do, you would be accused of child abuse.  I guess that only applies now if we’re talking stage mothers at child beauty pageants in the south.

 

gretaGreta Thunberg, a 16-year old Swedish girl who has Asperger’s Syndrome appeared before the United Nations Monday.  She has become the face of the far-left extreme of the Climate Change movement.  She is convinced that the world is beyond saving and there’s no point in her attending school as the world will be uninhabitable by the time she’d be an adult.  Her speech yesterday to the governing body included about two-dozen “How Dare Yous!!”

 

These are the kids that Progressives have created. This is exactly what they want. Kids who are scared to death and thinking we’re all going to die soon…screaming at the adults to SAVE THEM!  This is the modern-day equivalent of “The boogeyman’s going to get you!”  Of course, parents who used that old trick to scare their children into compliance did not subsequently use the kid to go from coast-to-coast to scare OTHER kids.

 

It would be noteworthy if this were a new tactic, but it is not.  And it is not necessarily limited to those on the political left—although they seem to have perfected it.  Boomers grew up scared to death of imminent Nuclear attacks.  My generation had a dose of that, along with a lot of environmentalist-fueled anxiety about the coming Ice Age and uncontrollable population growth.  Those younger than we were hit at tender ages with fears about Acid Rain and holes in the Ozone Layer.  Those implanted fears and anxieties now mostly center around the Climate Change debate.

 

Pumping out worst-case scenarios and placing government as the only possible savior has been a tactic of Statists for centuries.  And there is no more reliable recipient and eager amplifier of these Doomsday messages than young children who have not yet developed the capacity to think, reason and judge.

 

I forced myself to watch Greta’s speech to the United Nations yesterday.  I have no evidence either way but I could not convince myself that these were entirely her words.  At times, it looked like a hostage video.  Yes, I think her fear is real.  That has been forcefully incorporated into every fiber of her being.  But I do NOT believe the words were hers.

 

“We are in the beginning of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you.”

 

Those are not the words of a frightened 16-year old girl.  Those are the words of people who are USING a frightened 16-year old girl to deliver a message promoting a far-left economic and social agenda.  A viscerally frightened girl is not going to refer to Capitalism as a “fairy tale of eternal economic growth.”  Those are the words of Anti-Capitalist adults who are hiding behind the emotional avatar Thunberg presents.

 

You can’t have it both ways.  You can’t use a child as a political prop, push her out on an international stage to give emotional testimony on why billions of people would have to make sacrifices—then act with righteous indignation when criticism comes. If people really cared that “she’s just a kid”, then she wouldn’t be on this world tour to begin with.  People saying “it’s abusive to use this child as a prop for a political agenda” are not cyber bullying.  Simple.

 

And to Greta, I would say this.  People who insist on eating beef and enjoying the comfort of air conditioning have not “taken away your childhood.”  That would be your parents—and the other enablers who have filled you with irrational fear, then pushed you out into the forefront of a global debate to be used simultaneously as an unassailable shield and a cudgel.   They thrust you into the front lines while cowardly standing behind you and decrying every defense of your opponents as an attack against a girl.  In short, you are being used like a Shake N Bake bag by very bad people, and it is heartbreaking to witness.

 

This is made doubly heartbreaking by the fact that I have a high-functioning 13-year old autistic son.   If I were to take Charlie out on a world tour to promote libertarian ideas and ideals you would (correctly) claim I was guilty of child abuse.  But I won’t do that.  I respect Charlie too much.  And I respect the debate process too much.  And I’m not a dick.

 

My experience with Charlie and some of his autistic peers has also taught me that they can be the perfect vehicles for unscrupulous people to use them to broadcast emotional appeals to the masses.  Autistic children are VERY narrow-minded and literal.  Once they are convinced of certain facts there is NOTHING that will change their minds.  One of the traits of autism is GREAT difficulty in processing new information that doesn’t agree with previously-established facts. The process produces anxiety and anti-social behavior, along with emotional shutdowns.  I couldn’t stop thinking of this while I watched this poor girl regurgitate the fears that have been drilled into her.

 

Yes, there are many out there attacking Thunberg personally, and that is wrong.  Period. But the vast majority of people being called out for “attacking a scared 16-year old girl” are saying nothing about her and focusing on her coerced message—along with those who are clearly pulling her emotional strings.  It is plenty bad enough that these people are arguing for large-scale economic and social overhauls in order to fight this imaginary dragon they have created.  But to use a 16-year old girl that you have been frightening into compliance as an unassailable avatar of your angst makes you a terrible person.
And I will not give an inch to people like you.

“Climate Strike” strikes all the wrong notes

mind if i smokeI don’t doubt the sincerity of the thousands (millions?) who are participating in the Climate Strike today. But I think many of you have been misled. At least I am *hoping* that is the case.
 
Robert Colvile is Director of the Centre for Policy Studies, a conservative British think tank. He pulls the mask off of the Global Climate Strike movement in this quick series.
 
I’m getting the same vibe that I did from the thousands of participants in the Women’s March a couple of years ago. Many did not know there were marching at the behest of a virulently anti-Semitic group.
 
These marches aren’t about saving the planet – it’s about ‘climate justice’. ‘reparations’. It’s about ending all fossil fuels. It about the outright rejection of more moderate proposals like Geoengineering, Carbon Capture and Storage, Biofuels and Smart agriculture. It is also the rejection of market forces, economics or technology to cut carbon emissions.
If you don’t believe that, simply go to the Global Climate Strike website and read their goals…and check out some of their “interesting” links.
 
Colville notes the Global Climate Strike movement’s goals are, “To facilitate and support non-market approaches to climate action”, support “environmentally sound, socially acceptable, gender responsive and equitable climate technologies.”
 
These are the ramblings of an SJW hopped up on Caramel Maccihatos…not seriously policy goals.
 
Colville correctly calls it, ‘utopian authoritarianism’ – the idea that the only way to save the planet is for people on the left to command others, in the developed and developing world, to live poorer, meaner lives.
 

Climate Change policy means you import the entire progressive agenda into the conversation about how to protect the environment, ensuring no conservatives are interested.  That way you can attack conservatives as “anti-science.” Cute strategy.  We’re not buying it.

We saw something similar happen with the seventies when hard leftists took over the environmental movement.  That forced your elderly neighbor who simply wanted clean fishing waters to break bread with neo-Marxists who wanted to essentially eliminate the very concept of Private Property.

I will repeat something I have said a thousand times.  I have no beef with Climate scientists who are simply offering up data from their research.  My issue is with those who interpret that data as an excuse to enact policies that would (in many cases) change the fundamental relationship between The Individual and The State.

So…fire up the McCullough!

 

 
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