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Both HotAir and Twitchy have really good links and info on the crazy reaction.  The short short version is that eBay, Amazon, etsy and Walmart have all pulled any and all merchandise with the Confederate Flag on it in some kind of crazed knee-jerk response to a murderer having some interest in the flag.

I’m not from the Old South, so I’m not particularly attached to the flag.  It holds no personal meaning for me, but it is a historical symbol.  Some folks are attached to it for personal reasons – like Byron Thomas, whose ancestors fought for the south and despite having been slaves, were compensated by the state.  It’s not part of my heritage, but it is still part of American heritage.

When I was stationed in NC for a while, I visited some Civil War sites, talked with some reenactors, and frankly they’re the only ones I see getting hurt in this.  They do living history and play dress-up, and now they’re suddenly terrorist racists or something.

It is telling to see handwringing by both leftists and the big city right worrying about “a creepy underground market” and driving a symbol underground to make it a martyr’s mark or something, where they’re all worried not that their spastic eradication and witch hunt is insane, but that there might still be some hardcore hate-driven hate-hate people who bond around a flag.  Because of course they don’t know any reenactors, and only know what their bubble tells them about that flag.

The folks ostensibly on the right asking “why do these places still sell Nazi and Communist memorabilia” are hopefully trying to point out a double standard, but risk getting even more things banned.  Frankly, if someone wants a bust of Stalin (20,000,000 murders to his credit) or a copy of Mao’s little red book (65,000,000 murders), it’s telling of the owner, whether they’re a historian, history buff, or Communist.  And if you want to dress like a Nazi, maybe you’re an apt pupil, or maybe you’re part of a theater company doing a version of The Producers, or you’re a WWII reenactor (yes, they exist).

The character of a person is not changed by obliterating a flag from existence.  But the character of the people demanding eradication is often made quite clear.

Stephen Miller hits on the real lesson to take from this (via Twitchy):

conf flag stephen millerIn three days it went from “let’s take down the flag in historic capitals because we don’t really need it there anymore” to “burn it all”.

ban all the things

Slippery slope?  Nope, just the left getting people to agree with them and do their bidding.  If it does not conform, it must be obliterated.

Also, the Confederate Battle Flag belongs on the General Lee… which is being stripped of the flag.

As a MOPAR guy, that’s offensive.  It’s also yet another reminder that the objective of the left is to utterly obliterate anything they disagree with.  It must all be destroyed.

Update: And now Google’s going to do its part to delete the Confederate flag from existence.

We keep finding out it’s a bigger breach than we were told it was:

Washington (CNN) – The personal data of an estimated 18 million current, former and prospective federal employees were affected by a cyber breach at the Office of Personnel Management – more than four times the 4.2 million the agency has publicly acknowledged. The number is expected to grow, according to U.S. officials briefed on the investigation.

FBI Director James Comey gave the 18 million estimate in a closed-door briefing to Senators in recent weeks, using the OPM’s own internal data, according to U.S. officials briefed on the matter. Those affected could include people who applied for government jobs, but never actually ended up working for the government.

Just to give some idea what’s included in that vague term “data” – it includes SF86 forms done by the huge numbers of government employees who have any security clearance or any job related to security.  For readers who aren’t familiar with the SF86, you can skim the form here.  It’s 127 pages long in that PDF, and is very, very in-depth.  It’s basically putting down a pretty substantial part of your life story in order to apply for a job.  And now all of that data is in the hands of the Chinese government and whoever they’ve decided to sell it to.

Citing the long, long list of Obama administration failures – from Fast and Furious to VA death lines to Benghazi and a dozen more, Jim Geraghty at NRO found it to be characteristic of the whole Obama Administration:

We are governed by progressives who have an infinite faith in the federal government’s ability to manage enormously complicated tasks and almost no interest in ensuring the government actually does those tasks well.

What I found interesting was that the data breach as DC has tried to spin it (because they don’t care about the 4 million plus wage slaves whose government-collected data is now for sale on the black market) was that there might be some risk to US agents overseas, because a pretty big chunk of their life stories and identity has been given away.

I seem to recall that such a thing would be treated with some severity in times past.  I can’t imagine “all data on all US government employees has made it into the hands of the Soviets” being the kind of thing that Eisenhower or Kennedy or Nixon or Reagan would just blow off as “optics”.

Heck, the idea of government employee identities being compromised to a hostile power is crux of the plot in the James Bond film Skyfall.

Life Imitates Farce: Gesture Controls

Posted: June 11, 2015 by ShortTimer in Humor
Tags:

Via Drudge, from CNBC:

From BMW’s perspective, the new 7 Series sedan will take luxury and technology to a whole new level—one that includes gesture controls so drivers can adjust the radio and other in-car systems with a wave of their hand.

I’ve heard about this design before.  Douglas Adams wrote about the idea in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy:

A loud clatter of gunk music flooded through the Heart of Gold cabin as Zaphod searched the sub-etha radio wave bands for news of himself. The machine was rather difficult to operate. For years radios had been operated by means of pressing buttons and turning dials; then as the technology became more sophisticated the controls were made touch-sensitive–you merely had to brush the panels with your fingers; now all you had to do was wave your hand in the general direction of the components and hope. It saved a lot of muscular expenditure, of course, but meant that you had to sit infuriatingly still if you wanted to keep listening to the same program.

Zaphod waved a hand and the channel switched again.

zaphod beeblebrox

A few months ago, Paul Homewood at Not A Lot of People Know That looked into climate data in South America and found it had been “adjusted” by NASA.  It made a bit of news, but not a lot.

The simplest way to look at it is to see the raw data vs adjustment data that he found juxtaposed.  First, the raw data:

puerto casado raw

And the adjusted data:

puerto casado adjusted

And the animation he used to really highlight the difference:

puerto casado massive tampering with temperatures in south america nasa

Pretty big change.  This was done at a lot of stations.  They can be searched by going through the sources he used if one is so inclined.  It’s really interesting to see the differences in stations before and after.

Sources

Raw data from GISS is here.

http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/station_data_v2/

Adjusted data here.

http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/station_data/

And now today, from the DailyCaller:

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientists have found a solution to the 15-year “pause” in global warming: They “adjusted” the hiatus in warming out of the temperature record.

New climate data by NOAA scientists doubles the warming trend since the late 1990s by adjusting pre-hiatus temperatures downward and inflating temperatures in more recent years.

“Newly corrected and updated global surface temperature data from NOAA’s [National Centers for Environmental Information] do not support the notion of a global warming ‘hiatus,’” wrote NOAA scientists in their study presenting newly adjusted climate data.

Watts Up With That has a lot more:

NCDC has been in the business of adjusting the surface temperature record for quite some time. The modus operandi so far has been to get a new paper published describing what NCDC considers to be a new and improved dataset, and since NCDC’s articles are often peer reviewed by other government employed scientists at NOAA, they often don’t get a critical peer review. Certainly, based on the reports I’ve received over the years, few if any skeptic scientists have ever been asked to review an NCDC paper on a new global temperature dataset and the techniques involved.

One important bit there is that they’re peer reviewed by other people with the same interests.  All scientists are supposed to be questioning of everything – they’re supposed to be testing a hypothesis through experimentation and analysis of data – something that should be fairly objective in the case of “what number does the thermometer say?”  They’re not supposed to be reevaluating data because they’re sure of their hypothesis so the instruments must all be wrong… and it’s telling that every time the instruments are wrong, they’re always wrong the same way… and the greater solutions they’re advocating for us are always the same.

WUWT also points out that part of the NOAA claim seems to be that the hiatus was due to faulty data to begin with… which was actually used to massage the data years ago in order to show global warming then.  Adjust the temp down so you can show it go up precipitously in order to sound the alarm in the short term, then when reality shows it to be BS and you feel the need to sound the alarm again years later, you just erase that last time you cried wolf from the dataset with “adjustments” and then you cry wolf again.  Or rather, not wolf, but Manbearpig.

Manbearpig busted.  Again.

It’s interesting to watch the left try to figure this out.  Over at Daily Beast, there’s a somewhat bizarre piece about the prosecutor and the legality of Freddie Gray’s knife.

The weapon police described is definitely illegal—so why did Marilyn Mosby say it wasn’t? The answer hinges on a single spring.

So the man goes to jail or goes free, lives or dies, according to whether or not his knife has a spring in it?

Larry Kobilinsky, a professor of forensic science at New York’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice, believes Gray’s knife could make or break Mosby’s case.

“I think it makes a lot of difference if the arrest was legal,” Kobilinsky said. “If they took him into custody and had reasonable suspicion that a crime had been committed, then they acted reasonably in restraining him and taking him to jail.”

Furthermore, by saying the arrest was illegal, Mosby has made the case to the public that cops should have never begun what ended with Gray’s death. Cops surely had no right to kill Freddie Gray, but they may have had the right to arrest him. All of that—and what happens next in Baltimore—may now hinge on a single spring.

Freddie Gray had a substantial criminal history, and running when you see the police is something that may draw police attention, but he was arrested and ultimately ended up dead – whether due to trying to injure himself in the back of the police van in order to serve time in a hospital rather than jail, or malfeasance or murder on the cops part – because of a cutting tool that’s been around for thousands of years.

It’s a knife.  Who cares how it opens?

(Also a minor note in the Daily Beast piece – cops do not have a “right” to arrest.  They have an authority to arrest.  A right is intrinsic, God-given or nature-given, and inherent to free men, an authority is derived from the state’s power.)

From KnifeRights:

While it is theoretically possible that without the presence of a knife in his pocket, Gray might have been arrested on some other trumped-up charge, it is clear that the presence of a knife was used as the actual basis for the arrest, and the practice has unfortunately become a common one.

Thousands of law-abiding citizens are regularly harassed and arrested for nothing more than carrying this basic tool, and that is unacceptable. Knife Rights is committed to forging a Sharper Future by passing knife law preemption and removing all restrictions on the lawful carry of knives. Those who misuse any tool (knife or otherwise) in the commission of a crime should be severely punished, but law-abiding citizens who possess knives should be left alone.

If Freddie Gray was out on his streetcorner dealing drugs (and discussion of repeal of drug prohibition is another question), then why wasn’t he arrested for that?  If he was out conspiring with other known criminals to conduct some crime, why wasn’t he arrested for conspiracy for that attempted crime?

When the arrest is “he had an illegal knife”… I’d be curious to know why that knife was illegal?  Also, with the thousands of incomprehensible laws on the books making mens rea for any crime a real stretch, did he know that knife was illegal?

And how is a ban on a sharp piece of metal Constitutional?  And how is a conviction for carrying a sharp piece of metal ever upheld as Constitutional?

Knife laws are often even worse than gun laws, because people just know to avoid certain states when it comes to guns.  People don’t know that some municipality decided to ban carrying of a pocketknife because some pants-wetting progressive statist in the 1950s saw “West Side Story” and decided they needed a way to arrest those ethnic hoodlums.

The left does want to see everyone defenseless, and would agree with draconian Sword Hunts in order to render people defenseless, but for those people who don’t believe in being dominated by an all-powerful state, why would you want anyone chased down, arrested, sent to prison or possibly killed because they have a sharp piece of metal in their pocket that opens with a spring?

Why is Freddie Gray dead over something that’s legal in so many other states?

And why is the left so infuriated over an arrest for knife control laws they support and the resulting death in police custody in a leftist state that has the kinds of leftist knife (and gun) control laws they want to inflict on everyone?  They got the government they wanted to make.  They got the knife from his cold dead hands.

As an addendum, there are a handful of people who are coming around to seeing that the roots and the effects of knife control laws are racist (just like gun control laws).  Despite the story being from inherently biased Bloomberg:

“I don’t see knives posing that big of a danger to the public,” Representative Harold Dutton Jr., who sponsored the bill, said in an interview. “Now that we’re going to let everybody have a gun, I think we ought to set knives free.”

Dutton, a black Democrat from Houston, sees knife laws as a threat to civil rights.

“It is another one of those things that helps establish probable cause for a policeman to stop you,” he said.

Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old Baltimore man whose April death in police custody ignited riots, was arrested after police said they noticed a knife inside his pants.

Guns or knives in this case are just the same – they’re tools and also individual arms for any uses that don’t infringe on someone else’s life, rights, property or person.  Frankly it’s insane that the state’s enforcers could send you to prison for decades for the “crime” of owning them, or that you could end up dead in police custody arrested for a knife that might have had a spring in it, and even more insane that there are people who still support and advocate eliminating the rights of the citizenry to own those tools at all.

The argument is frequently heard that “if those weapons exist in people’s hands they will hurt someone”, which is both absurd and as ridiculous as the “if it saves one child’s life” plea for more tyranny.  Regardless of anything else involved in the case and his past history, Freddie Gray is dead because some hand-wringing leftist demanded he be sacrificed for their world where only the police and the state have weapons – the very institutions that killed Freddie Gray.

Lives only matter to the progressive left when it’s convenient – doesn’t matter the gender, age, creed, background or color they are.

First off, this piece from Salon, that says exactly what it says:

Baltimore’s violent protesters are right: Smashing police cars is a legitimate political strategy
It’s crucial to see non-violence as a tactic, not a philosophy. If it fails to win people over it’s a futile tactic
Benji Hart

As a nation, we fail to comprehend Black political strategy in much the same way we fail to recognize the value of Black life.

We see ghettos and crime and absent parents where we should see communities actively struggling against mental health crises and premeditated economic exploitation. And when we see police cars being smashed and corporate property being destroyed, we should see reasonable responses to generations of extreme state violence, and logical decisions about what kind of actions yield the desired political results.

I’m overwhelmed by the pervasive slandering of protesters in Baltimore this weekend for not remaining peaceful. The bad-apple rhetoric would have us believe that most Baltimore protesters are demonstrating the right way—as is their constitutional right—and only a few are disrupting the peace, giving the movement a bad name.

This spin should be disregarded, first because of the virtual media blackout of any of the action happening on the ground, particularly over the weekend.  Equally, it makes no sense to cite the Constitution in any demonstration for Black civil rights (that document was not written about us, remember?)

Benji’s pretty deep into social justice-socialist revolutionary communist rhetoric here, and it’s only with those red-colored glasses that he finds a world so warped.

To give him credit, he does actually acknowledge the violence in Baltimore as not just “a few bad apples” or “outside agitators”, but rather acknowledges that it is a big part of his community.

Of course, he’s in support of that.

I do not advocate non-violence

Clearly.

The political goals of rioters in Baltimore are not unclear—just as they were not unclear when poor, Black people rioted in Ferguson last fall. When the free market, real estate, the elected government, the legal system have all shown you they are not going to protect you—in fact, that they are the sources of the greatest violence you face—then political action becomes about stopping the machine that is trying to kill you, even if only for a moment, getting the boot off your neck, even if it only allows you a second of air. This is exactly what blocking off streets, disrupting white consumerism, and destroying state property are designed to do.

This is really hardcore social justice socialist revolutionary marxist communist rhetoric.

The political goals are to throw a violent, destructive tantrum.

The free market has a difficult time existing in the cities of the hard left.  Eric Garner, the “black man killed by a police choke hold” in NYC, was killed by positional asphyxia, and was arrested for selling cigarettes.  The socialist nanny state determined to save people from their own habits decided to massively tax cigarettes for the stupid masses’ own good, and when Eric Garner wanted to sell cigarettes for the going price on a free market, the socialist state put him down.

The free market was not one of “the sources of the greatest violence” faced by anyone.

The buildings and homes and businesses in Baltimore or any other riot-plagued city were providing jobs, incomes, and a steady life for people.

That real estate that Benji thinks is one of “the sources of the greatest violence” was something that provided for people.  It was a tiny glint of hope in a neighborhood that didn’t have stability.  It was the free market trying desperately to sneak in and give people there something reliable, stable, and hopeful.

And Benji the communist terrorist wannabe would burn it down because he thinks CVS is the enemy.

The elected government?  Oh, the elected government in Baltimore starts and ends with the hard left.  Mayor Stephanie Rawlins-Blake empathizes with the rioters with her own brand of leftism, so much so that she called the police off so the rioters could destroy people’s homes and businesses.  And of course she’s in favor of giving people who wish to destroy space to do so.

The elected government in Baltimore is, as the quote goes, funded by people who work for a living and elected by people who vote for a living.  There’s no one to blame but the community and their community organizers.

The legal system?  If one were to trust it in Baltimore, it hasn’t been given time to go through the process to determine if there was wrongdoing by the police, which in a system of rule of law requires presuming everyone’s innocent until proven guilty (and they may well be).  But among the things missed in the last week were that Freddie Gray (the man whose spine was severed while in police custody) had an extensive criminal history.  There may well have been much more to his arrest than “looking at the cops wrong” as his lawyers have claimed.  Everyone knows that lawyers for defendants are always trustworthy.

As Alinksy said, all the angels must be on one side and all the demons on the other – can’t give the legal system a chance if it were to do the right thing.

And meanwhile, The Fourth Estate claims to have dug up info suggesting that Freddie Gray had a spinal injury treated the week before his arrest.

If this is true, then it is possible that Gray’s spinal injury resulting from his encounter with the Baltimore Police was not the result of rough-handling or abuse, but rather a freak accident that occurred when Gray should have been at home resting, not selling drugs.

So it could be murder in police custody (it does happen), or it could be an accident, an accident that’s got people like Benji sweating in their Che shirts dreaming of burning down convenience stores.  There’s not even a chance for the legal process to be concluded.  (And of course the legal process is only so slow because of the left dominating the law business both in Baltimore and Maryland government and courts.)

There is no “machine trying to kill you”.  The only “machine” is the hard left Democratic one that exists to perpetuate itself.  It dominates Baltimore, it dominates the discussion in Baltimore, and like the communists blaming the kulaks or people who wear glasses, it’s never the hard left system that people like Benji have instituted that’s the problem, it’s always that someone somewhere has resisted them.

“White consumerism” like the CVS that had a black manager and all black employees (at least in the video above) that Benji hates so much was the only thing helping those communities.  It did not have a boot on their neck.  It’s also only “white consumerism” to a marxist like Benji.

“Corporate property” is property of those who are stockholders in the corporation.  It’s also intrinsically valuable to the employees of the corporation and people in the community, who were crying at the loss of a major store in their community.  “Corporate property” is not white, and is not the enemy, unless you’re a hardcore marxist leftist.  Of course, judging by his writing, Benji is a social justice hardcore revolutionary marxist communist leftist.

Militance is about direct action which defends our communities from violence. It is about responses which meet the political goals of our communities in the moment, and deal with the repercussions as they come. It is about saying no, firmly drawing and holding boundaries, demanding the return of stolen resources. And from Queer Liberation and Black Power to centuries-old movements for Native sovereignty and anti-colonialism, it is how virtually all of our oppressed movements were sparked, and has arguably gained us the only real political victories we’ve had under the rule of empire.

With this kind of crazy true-believer communist, raised in an environment free of actual dangers, with no understanding of what came before or what will come after, there’s not really much you can do.  I did look up the author and find that the only Benji Hart that Google knows is a British actor, so maybe Salon just adopted a new marxist.

Kevin D. Williamson breaks down the riots of Baltimore further, pointing out that Baltimore is an entirely leftist, entirely progressive, entirely Democrat problem:

Yes, Baltimore seems to have some police problems. But let us be clear about whose fecklessness and dishonesty we are talking about here: No Republican, and certainly no conservative, has left so much as a thumbprint on the public institutions of Baltimore in a generation. Baltimore’s police department is, like Detroit’s economy and Atlanta’s schools, the product of the progressive wing of the Democratic party enabled in no small part by black identity politics. This is entirely a left-wing project, and a Democratic-party project.

When will the Left be held to account for the brutality in Baltimore — brutality for which it bears a measure of responsibility on both sides? There aren’t any Republicans out there cheering on the looters, and there aren’t any Republicans exercising real political power over the police or other municipal institutions in Baltimore. Community-organizer — a wretched term — Adam Jackson declared that in Baltimore “the Democrats and the Republicans have both failed.” Really? Which Republicans? Ulysses S. Grant? Unless I’m reading the charts wrong, the Baltimore city council is 100 percent Democratic.

That’s how the rebellion against “corporate property” and “white consumerism” and the “free” market and “real estate” comes about.  When the communists couldn’t find anyone to blame for the bad wheat harvests, it was the kulaks.  Once the kulaks were gone, it was outside influences or people who weren’t sufficiently revolutionary.  The application of leftist policy demands more leftist policy.

It’s never that it’s wrong, of they’ve gone too far – it’s that there’s someone out there somewhere who isn’t part of them, and there’s someone out there somewhere that’s ruining their “perfect” system that never turns out that way.  Everyone else is at fault, everything that goes wrong is someone else’s fault, and if they’re in control of their own future it’s a lie because of cultural history and socioeconomic historic inequalities they’ll never be free of and someone else is really at fault.  There’s always someone else to blame – often out of mad jealousy that the others have something the leftist wants and they want and need it because of their own failures – failures they’ll never see because all they can do is find a fictional cause to their problems in someone else’s lack of problems.  Blame and destroy, and implode.

A is hungry.  B has food.  A is hungry because B has food.  A needs to take B’s food and destroy B, because if B didn’t have food, A and B would be equal, and B will always take food that A should have.  B must be destroyed.  Once B is destroyed and A is hungry again, it must be because of B again and because elements within A now think like B.  A(B) must be destroyed by A.

This is all the left doing itself in.  Problem is that they want to destroy everyone and everything else that’s successful out of mad envy and hatred at their own failure before they go away.

Minor addendum: It’s possible Benji Hart is just an elaborate troll by Salon to see what kind of responses they get from printing stuff the CPUSA would find off-putting.  But it’s difficult to tell.

Also, with the massive political storm and riots, it’s going to be difficult for authorities to go through the process of determining what happened as politics will be saturating the situation.  With Eric Holder’s racist cop-killing DOJ descending on Ferguson, MO, like a biblical plague, they still couldn’t find wrongdoing on the part of Wilson.  I’m much more suspect of Baltimore (as it’s run by Democrats and progressives) than I am of the Ferguson PD, but it’s only going to make things more difficult now, because assuming the Baltimore PD did kill Gray, who’s going to be the Democrat used as a scapegoat and what will they do to try to keep themselves from going down?

She said she didn’t say what she said about giving rioters space to destroy the city.

It’d be laughable if it weren’t so sad.

All day long pundits and politicians have gone on about “policies that have failed communities” without yet recognizing that it’s the hard left policies and ideas that have failed.  Their answer, is of course more hard left policies and ideas – their conclusion is that they haven’t yet gone far enough – rather than that they could be wrong.

How far gone are the policies?  So far gone that rioters are “protesters” and they should be given space to destroy.  MSNBC spent the day talking about “controlled burns” and how they think it was a good thing that the police just let the rioters destroy part of the city.  Given that the crux of the left’s ideological mindset is destruction of everything successful, it’s how they can so easily disconnect from the fact that people are destroying their own communities – that and justifying any act by means of calling it “justice” while they engage in grievance-based violence over perceived slights.  Well, that and the fact that somebody else will be left to pick up the bill after the destruction.

But she didn’t say they were giving those who wish to destroy space to do so… except that she did.