The science is settled, er, a settlement

We’re asked daily to accept a lot of ideas based on the recommendations of “experts.”  It’s important to realize that “experts” — and the people who offer them data — are still fallible human beings, susceptible to error… or deliberate misconduct:

Duke University is paying the U.S. government $112.5 million to settle accusations that it submitted bogus data to win federal research grants. The settlement will also bring a $33.75 million payment to Joseph Thomas, the whistleblower who drew attention to the fraud when he worked for Duke.

The dozens of grants in question covered the study of the lung function of mice. The Justice Department says Thomas’ lawsuit alleged that “between 2006 and 2018, Duke knowingly submitted and caused to be submitted” claims to federal agencies that were unknowingly paying grant money for falsified research data.

In a letter to the university’s community, Price said, “This is a difficult moment for Duke. Citing the “devastating impact of research fraud,” he also said the school had taken numerous steps to encourage scientific integrity, improve training and archive research data.

Because Thomas brought the original lawsuit under the False Claims Act’s qui tam, or whistleblower, provisions, he stood to share in any money that was recovered from Duke. For pursuing the case on the U.S. government’s behalf, he will now receive $33,750,000 from the settlement, the Justice Department said.

Thomas’ attorneys say he stuck with the case after the government opted not to mount its own investigation after he reported his allegations and filed suit.

“In many meritorious cases, the government decides to ‘intervene’ at that stage of the proceedings, basically taking over the lead of the case,” lawyers for Thomas said. “But here, that never happened. This left Mr. Thomas and his lawyers at the point of the spear – going against a venerated academic institution with enormous resources.”

Note it was a private citizen, not the government, that ultimately forced the issue and brought accountability.  That’s the problem with most government spending: too little incentive to ensure it’s doing any good.  As we’ve seen with Federal funding of many “green technologies” under the past administration, Uncle Sam is often a lousy judge of potential.  Is it harder to get private money?  Sure.  But if someone like the late Paul Allen is funding your project, you can expect to be asked regularly what their money is accomplishing.  That gets better results.

Accountability: the standard of winning societies.

(Oh, and remember this anytime global warming alarmists smugly tell you “the science is settled.”  Is it really?)

Be grateful or be gone

The depths of ingratitude some people possess is simply astonishing:

(Congresswoman) Ilhan Omar’s country collapsed as a child. She lived for years in Kenya in that refugee camp. She may have died there without outside help. But help came, from where? From here, America. And this country didn’t just welcome Ilhan Omar to America, we paid to relocate her family and many others from a foreign continent purely for the sake of being good people, for altruism. Because no country in history has been as generous as we are. To places we have no ties to and no obligation to, we have been kind anyway because that’s who we are. Despite her humble and foreign birth, Omar has been elected to our national law-making body. And good for her. So how does she repay her adopted country, the one that may literally have saved her life? She attacks it as hateful and racist, and for that she is applauded by the Democratic Party because they view this country as hateful and racist too.

It should be noted that among the many freedoms enjoyed here is the freedom to leave at will.  Unlike the old Soviet Union or today’s Communist China, there is nothing preventing any resident of the United States from picking up and relocating to a country they believe suits them better.

So why don’t we see millennials migrating to Venezuela, or Cuba, or some other alleged “workers’ paradise?”  It’s because no matter how strongly they rail against America in public, they know full well how good they have it here.  In Omar’s case, she knows first hand what conditions can be like outside of a stable, representative, capitalist country.  She simply chooses to ignore that because her preferred rhetoric, sad to say, helps her accrue power via today’s ignorant masses.

Our country is not, and never has been, perfect.  But I defy anyone to name any country, anywhere, that has provided a better standard of living and greater freedoms than has the United States.  And yet so many of our people listen to the siren songs of these pied pipers that we need to throw out all of the social and legal foundations upon which those successes rest.  Arrogance, ignorance and ingratitude are a toxic cocktail.  That’s how we end up with freshmen in Congress who believe socialism simply hasn’t ever been implemented correctly, or that somehow Islamic Sharia law is to be preferred to secular self-governance guided by Christian principles.

We have such representatives because we’ve allowed ourselves to be invaded and colonized.  An enclave of Somali refugees is the base of Omar’s political ascent.  Immigrants who fail to understand the fabric of how our system works, along with Americans who’ve failed to learn about it, are the constituency of people like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (also known appropriately as “occasional cortex.”)

The Musketeers’ Mom isn’t known for being publicly political very often.  She made a good point yesterday, however.  In response to an online story about Hollywood celebs threatening not to make films in Georgia if the State passes a heartbeat bill protecting the unborn, she posted “aren’t ya’ll supposed to be in Canada already?”  It’s time we extend that sort of dismissive shunning to everyone who takes routine potshots at our country without acknowledging the many things it gets right — particularly those who come here from abroad, then disparage the country that’s taken them in.  They act like spoiled children throwing temper tantrums, so I don’t see why anyone needs to take them seriously.

It’s time that when these ingrates bite the hand that sustains them, that hand smacks some sense into them.  Don’t like it here?  Get out… there’s over 190 other countries you can choose to call home.  So stop tearing down the one I live in and gave two dozen years of my life in uniform to defend.  I have no sympathy for it.  Neither do many, many other Americans.  So don’t be surprised when there’s broad public support for keeping people out and sending people home.  America’s not a flop house, people.

 

Such lovely expressions of civic virtue… let’s adopt them.  (Not)

Middle-Finger

Fools all around

How better to mark April Fool’s day than to note some of the world’s ongoing foolishness

Exhibit A: British politicians

Whatever its outcome, the Brexit process will leave Britain at its least governable since the Seventies… A more fundamental factor is the refusal of the political class to respond intelligently to the 2016 referendum. Instead of trying to understand and implement its result, they have treated it as an eruption of unreason that must be resisted at any cost.   Instead, by seeking to thwart the result they have deepened the estrangement of voters from the political system.

Exhibit B: U.S. politicians who won’t defend the border

Along the Texas border with Mexico – from El Paso to Eagle Pass to the Rio Grande Valley – masses of migrants have been crossing the border in unprecedented numbers, overwhelming federal holding facilities and sending local leaders and volunteers scrambling to deal with the relentless waves of people.

Border Patrol officials were on pace in March for more than 100,000 apprehensions and encounters with migrants – the highest monthly tally in over a decade, he said. Around 90 percent of those – or 90,000 – crossed the border between legal ports of entry.

Increasingly, smugglers are bringing larger numbers of families together and delivering them across the Rio Grande, knowing they’ll overrun facilities and be released until their immigration court date, she said. Under U.S. law, Border Patrol is not supposed to hold any migrant for longer than 72 hours.

Usually, Border Patrol hands them over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which can detain families for up to 20 days. But all of those facilities are overcrowded, Brown said, leading Border Patrol to skip the transfer to ICE and release migrants to shelters en masse.

“This is a system-wide collapse,” she said.

Exhibit C: U.S. voters

In El Paso, Texas, I was surprised to learn that the resounding second-choice pick of Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke fans is Bernie Sanders.  They have very little in common, but that might be irrelevant. When pressed for more specifics, hardcore Beto fans at his hometown rally couldn’t point to much. Some said they believed Beto and Bernie Sanders share good character and values. Others did not care much about the difference in economic policy (Bernie being a legitimate socialist and all, with Beto being roughly pro-free trade) when asked whether that bothered them.

That’s not to say people didn’t have their reasons for supporting O’Rourke, but the message was clear throughout: O’Rourke is the new Obama, a positive campaigner, young and new on the scene, who provides necessary contrast to the current guy in charge. He gives them the warm fuzzies. Maybe that’s all it takes. Warm fuzzies should not be underestimated.

Shauna and Joe, from Greenville, Texas, drove more than 600 miles to see O’Rourke in El Paso. Like devoted groupies, they’ll be following him to his third rally today in Austin, Texas (that’s about 570 miles across Texas over the course of nine hours).

Exhibit D: Companies more interested in “virtue signaling” than in making money

Dick’s CEO Edward Stack – with evident pressure from the media and anti-gun lobby – has embarked on an escalating series of policies to restrict the chain’s sale of guns, at one point a significant part of the company’s revenue stream. Stack went so far as to formally collaborate with the Michael Bloomberg-funded Everytown for Gun Safety and to sign a letter endorsing gun control bills pending on Capitol Hill. His company even retained corporate lobbyists to press Congress for additional gun control.

Now Bloomberg’s own media outlet, Bloomberg.com, is reporting that Dick’s itself estimates the price of its anti-gun advocacy at $150 million in lost sales in 2018, or almost 2% of the company’s annual revenue.

And of course, we need to remember in our increasingly godless society, that

“The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”
They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds;
there is none who does good.”    Psalm 14:1

Happy Atheists’ Day!

Our duty

The highest duty of a citizen is not to protect freedom for himself.  It is to preserve freedom for future generations.  I firmly believe the past few years have shown there are more threats to our Constitution and way of life from within our country than from without.  Those threats must be exposed and dealt with.  We owe it to our descendants.

d1346b509db01ada01819a426985ebe7

Rogues Gallery copy

Thomas Paine

Today’s readings

Two related readings I highly recommend today.  The first one is a bit long (including helpful infographics), but is an excellent summary of all we know to date regarding the efforts by bureaucrats to protect Her Hillariness, and later, attempt to overturn a duly elected administration.  The second reading places this knowledge in the light of broader trends that show the rule of law is, at best, on life support in this country.

Spygate: The Inside Story Behind the Alleged Plot to Take Down Trump.”  Excerpts:

This article builds on dozens of congressional testimonies, court documents, and other research to provide an inside look at the actions of Obama administration officials in the scandal that’s become known as Spygate.

To understand this abuse of power, it helps to go back to July 2011, when DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz was appointed.  From the very start, Horowitz found his duties throttled by Attorney General Eric Holder, who placed limitations on the inspector general’s right to have unobstructed access to information…

It is against this backdrop of minimal oversight that Spygate took place.

Starting in October 2015 and continuing into early 2016, FBI Director James Comey made a series of high-profile reassignments that resulted in the complete turnover of the upper-echelon of the FBI team working on the Clinton email investigation… Comey is the only known senior FBI leadership official who remained involved throughout the entire Clinton email investigation. McCabe had the second-longest tenure…

In order for Clinton to be prosecuted, the DOJ required the FBI to establish evidence of intent—even though the gross negligence statute explicitly does not require this…

As the Clinton investigation wound down, interest from the intelligence community in the Trump campaign was ramping up. Sometime in 2015, it appears former CIA Director John Brennan established himself as the point man to push for an investigation into the Trump campaign…

During this time, Brennan appeared to have employed the use of reverse targeting, which refers to the targeting of a foreign individual with the intent of capturing data on a U.S. citizen…

Meanwhile, another less official effort began. Information paid for by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Clinton campaign targeting Trump made its way to the highest levels of the FBI and the State Department, with a sophisticated strategy relying on the personal connections of hired operatives…

Most definitely, read the entire piece.  Next, Kurt Schlichter places this labyrinthine conspiracy in a broader context of a two-tiered system of injustice:

The media hacks failed for two years-plus, nonstop and without equivocation, but are they ever going to be held to account? No, they’re just going to gather in a big circle and Pulitzer each other…

Imagine you committed a racial hate crime where you falsely accused people who didn’t look or think like you of a horrible atrocity… Now, what are the chances the DA is going to transform your 16 felony counts into a $10K fine and a couple days community servicing? Your chances of said outcome are poor. They are poor because your pals are neither Mrs. Obama or Willie Brown’s gal pal.

Now imagine that you studied really hard while the rich kids partied and smoked dope… Now imagine how you feel when Durwood Richguy IV gets admitted to Harvard when he can’t count past 10 with his Gucci loafers on and you get slotted on a waiting list for Gumbo State…

Imagine you handled classified information and you took it home and put it on your iPad. Do you think the FBI would be super-concerned with your feels about it and give you a pass, like Felonia Milhous von Pantsuit got from Jim Comey…?

Our elite is not elite. Instead, it’s a bunch of bums who somehow got a little money and took the reins of power and are now shaking-down our great nation for every penny they can wring out of it. We owe them nothing – not respect, not gratitude and certainly not obedience.

If you still wonder how we got Trump, just look around you. He’s a cry for help, a scream against the injustice we’re surrounded by. This injustice is poison to our country. (emphasis added) This injustice is what makes republics fall apart, when the worthless ruling class pushes its contempt in the people’s collective face so hard and for so long that the population finally screams “The hell with this!”

It can’t continue. It won’t continue.

I hope Schlichter’s correct, and that The Reckoning is about to happen.  A friend of mine used to say “nobody is completely useless; they can always serve as a bad example.”  The underhanded, scheming fifth columnists in government who facilitated the abuses included on the list above, can still serve their country well — if we make a proper example out of them.  Where we find evidence of wrongdoing, we need to be sure to respect judicial process and the presumption of innocence (something that should distinguish us from the modern Left).  But if found guilty, Lock Them Up!

Questions that need public answers

The end of the Mueller investigation appears to have answered the main question: there is no evidence President Trump or any of his campaign officials attempted to collude with Russia to sway the 2016 presidential election.  Democrats will continue to point to the handful of indictments handed down, but it’s important to keep reminding them these have nothing to do with foreign collusion, and mostly amount to “process fouls” committed during the investigation.

The investigation lasted nearly two years, during which time many leading Democrats either alluded or outright stated there was direct evidence of collusion driving the Special Counsel’s activity.  We now know that to be categorically false (which should utterly destroy the credibility of those, like Rep. Adam Schiff, who continually dabbled in such statements).  The end of the investigation leaves open more questions than it answers, primarily concerning how the allegations of collusion were made in the first place.  Sharyl Attkison, one of the few professional journalists left in our country, has compiled a list of questions Americans deserve answers to.  Excerpt:

If, in the end, Mueller found no convincing evidence that Americans colluded with Russia, how did top current and former U.S. intel officials supposedly become so convinced otherwise?

In fact, one might ask, were they really convinced, or were they promulgating a narrative they knew was at best unproven and quite possibly false?
And if so, why?

Who thought it was a valid idea to continue to wiretap Page, time after time after time, as if he were a Russian agent, while they apparently turned up no evidence that he was?

Did any Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court judges question the FBI’s relentless pursuit of Carter Page and the dragnet the wiretaps allowed them to secretly cast for those around him, including, quite possibly, Trump?

Who was behind the campaign of anti-Trump leaks—frequently including false information—that became ubiquitous in the news media?

What does it say about the judgment of some of our one-time top intel officials if they really believed Trump colluded with Russia? This includes former CIA Director John Brennan, former FBI Director James Comey, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former national security adviser Susan Rice, and former ambassador Samantha Power.

What other mistakes did they make, and what actions did they take based on any such mistakes?

Were any of the “unmaskings” of American citizens by these intel officials in 2016 politically motivated?

What did the Justice Department ever do about the criminal referral Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) made against (ex-MI6 spy Christopher) Steele in January 2018?

James Comey, who would be keeping a low public profile if he had any sense of shame, tweeted “So many questions.” after Attorney General William Barr released his summary of the Mueller Report.  While this was a transparent attempt to keep the anti-Trump focus alive, he’s actually correct that many questions remain.  Just not the ones he’s dreaming up.  Senator Lindsey Graham had the appropriate response to Comey:

Graham

Here’s hoping Senate Republicans haul all the Obama-era officials involved in this witch hunt before Congress and bore into the woodwork on these questions.  Perhaps we’ll finally get the real “bombshells” if they do so.  The weaponization of the IRS under the last administration was just the start.  Americans deserve to know just how far that corruption spread.