Bringing us Together; The Scalia Election; New energy source?

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Liberalism is a philosophy of consolation for the West as it commits suicide.

James Burnham

If a foreign government had imposed this system of education on the United States, we would rightfully consider it an act of war.

Glenn T. Seaborg, National Commission on Education, 1983

“Deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

Immigration without assimilation is invasion.



Bringing us together.

Trump has called for national unity. Historically, that hasn’t worked in the past few decades. The Liberal Democrats are perfectly willing to work with Republicans so long as the Republicans adopt the Liberal agenda, but genuine compromise usually ends in “We won. Get used to it.” Congressional compromise offers have been met with “I’ve got a phone and I’ve got a pen, and I don’t need you.”

The national news media doesn’t report it that way, but that is what I’ve seen. I wish Trump well in trying to bring the parties closer together, but if one side believes that compromise means the other side surrenders, it’s impossible.

There were protest marches against the election results in many big cities. Apparently, there are those who do not accept the results of the election, despite Mrs. Clinton’s concession. Most were – relatively – peaceful, but some street activity was not. One was in Chicago. You may Google “You voted Trump. You gonna pay for that shit” to find this video: . There are others, although many have been taken down.

It is reported that Chicago police are investigating; I have no reports of arrests. This is not likely to encourage national unity.


Apparently, at least one Wall Street Journal columnist who misunderstood Mr. Trump for most of the campaign has been enlightened:

How Donald Trump Pulled It Off

His most-revolutionary move was to lighten up the campaign and keep his audience riveted.


Holman W. Jenkins, Jr.

Donald Trump probably won’t get credit, even from those bending over backward to be charitable to last night’s winner, for his most-revolutionary endeavor—namely his effort to lighten up campaign rhetoric.

Even now many Republican anti-Trumpers continue to fume over his remark about John McCain: “I like people who weren’t captured.” It was disrespectful, yes. It was also a joke; a wisecrack, offered in response to Sen. McCain’s equally flippant dismissal of Trump supporters as “crazies.”

Mr. Trump never stopped being an entertainer in his campaign. Though his approach went over the heads of the media, in one way it was genius: He basically stopped trying to convince anybody soon after his famous escalator ride in the Trump Tower in Manhattan. He figured out early that his voters didn’t need any more explanation or justification. His argument was completely embodied in “Make America great again” plus his outsize public persona. He only needed to keep his fans jollied up, and fired up, for the long wait ’til election day.

The biggest embarrassment of this campaign has been the sodden pundits who kept insisting on taking oh-so-seriously his every remark. They never understood that Mr. Trump did not speak to lay out a platform. He was inventing almost daily a new episode of the 16-month Trump-for-president reality show to keep his audience from drifting off. [snip]

Mr. Jenkins is hardly my favorite columnist, but he does seem to have learned. I was disturbed by the McCain remark until I heard that the Senator had called all of Trump’s supporters “crazies.” Then it made sense. If you joke about me, I am free to joke about you. I would never have said what Trump said, but on reflection it was so obviously wrong – whatever you think of McCain as a Senator his service is unquestionable and Mr. Trump has to know that – that the humor of the exchange of remarks escaped me, as it did many people. After all, it is no less absurd or degrading to say that all those who support you must be crazy. Fortunately Senator McCain did not choose to escalate. I suspect they will eventually see mutual interests.


This was written just before the election. It remains true:

The Antonin Scalia Election

We cheapen politics when we look to courts at the expense of the ballot box.


William McGurn

When Americans find themselves inside the voting booth on Tuesday, for many the decisive factor will be which candidate— Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton—should fill Antonin Scalia’s empty seat on the Supreme Court.

This is no small thing. Still, whose vote will replace Scalia’s on the high court is only half the Scalia story, and perhaps not the important half. Beyond even his jurisprudence, this was a man whose wisdom was to appreciate that American liberty is rooted in the separation of powers—and that the chief means of accountability is the ballot box and not the criminal courts.

The left abandoned this principle long ago. From the special prosecutors who dogged Caspar Weinberger and Scooter Libby to the outrageous “John Doe” probes in Wisconsin of conservative groups such as the free-market Club for Growth, the left has a history of criminalizing political differences for electoral advantage. This year, alas, some on the right likewise pinned their hopes for Tuesday’s election on an indictment or news of a crime that would knock Mrs. Clinton out of the race.

Let’s stipulate that Mrs. Clinton may well deserve to go to jail. But look how the focus on “lock her up” has turned out: with disruptive, 11th-hour pronouncements by FBI Director James Comey first opening and then closing an investigation into newly discovered Clinton emails.

Truth is, Mr. Comey’s real outrage was his acquiescence to the handcuffs the Justice Department put on FBI investigators throughout the Clinton email investigation—especially Justice’s refusal to go to a grand jury, without which investigators have no good way to compel evidence and testimony. The principled stand for an FBI director would have been to inform the attorney general, Loretta Lynch, that unless she gave his agents the standard tools of an FBI investigation, he would resign and tell the American people why.

Instead, Mr. Comey proceeded with the constraints and then showboated with a July press conference absolving Mrs. Clinton of any prosecutable wrongdoing. Never mind that an indictment was not his decision to make.

No doubt Ms. Lynch would not have indicted Mrs. Clinton. But had Mr. Comey kept his mouth shut, she, President Obama and Mrs. Clinton would be answering for the decision—not to mention for the highly unethical meeting between the attorney general and Mrs. Clinton’s husband that would have remained secret but for an intrepid reporter. Now all Mr. Comey has to show for his concern for his personal reputation is to have added the FBI to the list of government institutions the public no longer trusts. [snip]

Scalia was a scholar who revered the original intentions of the Constitution, but as Mr. Justice Holmes once observed, the Court does read the newspapers. Of course the newspapers he read in his day had a variety of opinions and positions; they weren’t so monolithic as the main stream media are today. Replacing Scalia with someone similar would seem to be fair, but I doubt that Senator Warren and the Senate Democrats will allow it. This leaves Trump with his first big test, which is also a test for the Senate majority: they did little or nothing during Obama’s Presidency despite having majorities in the Congress for much of it. They pleaded that Obama would shut down the government and make them take the blame for it.

They do not have that – excuse? – now. They hold majorities, Trump has won the election and will be President, and the balance of the Court majority is at stake. The Democrats will plead that Trump should appoint a compromise candidate. Trump has promised to appoint as near as possible a Scalia clone. There can be no “compromise” or reaching across the aisle here. This will be a key issue. I am sure Mr. Trump knows this. I am not so certain about the Republican Senate leadership, although it has certainly behaved well under considerable pressure in refusing to confirm Mr. Obama’s “compromise” candidate. I look forward on this with both anticipation and a bit of fear.


Conclusions drawn from Results of US election

Hi Jerry
Great to hear of Roberta’s continued improvement. I am providing a Part 2 submission from Conrad Black regarding the US election. This time his focus outlines a succinct analysis of the results you and your readers may find interesting.
This is a positive appraisal of the results, and provides a nicely summarized critique of why this event occurred.
Take Care
Sam Mattina

It is a good analysis. It also contains some truths. Here is one of them.

The latter group, including a number of the conservative intellectuals who stormed out of the Republican party and noisily slammed the door behind them, are claiming to be prophets who will be honoured, are proud of the martyrdom they have (unintentionally) chosen, and warn darkly of Trump’s authoritarian tendencies. Such tendencies are less pronounced in the president-elect’s character than in the personality of his chief opponent, and the whole concept is nonsense, given the robustness of the constitutional strength of the legislative and judicial branches of the U.S. government. (All three branches have performed poorly during the past 20 years, which is ultimately why Donald Trump will be the next president, but they are at least proficient in ensuring they are not overrun by the other branches.)

The Republic is strong, and with the new Supreme Court will remain so.


“The unbearable smugness of the press”

Phil Tharp

Comment would be superfluous.


Robert Reich gets it.

‘The power structure is shocked by the outcome of the 2016 election because it has cut itself off from the lives of most Americans. Perhaps it also doesn’t wish to understand, because that would mean acknowledging its role in enabling the presidency of Donald Trump.’



Roland Dobbins

Amazing that he would make that comment; but no one has suggested that he is stupid.


Press Already Unhappy with President-Elect Trump

Associated Press

President-elect Donald Trump left New York for a White House meeting with President Obama on Thursday morning. He took off through a salute of water provided by airport fire safety personnel, but he didn’t take the press corps with him. Apparently, that has the media upset, because he’s breaking away from “how things are always done” with the press corps.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President-elect Donald Trump on Thursday refused to let a group of journalists travel with him to cover his historic first meeting with President Barack Obama, breaking a long-standing practice intended to ensure the public has a watchful eye on the nation’s leader.

Trump flew from New York to Washington on his private jet without that “pool” of reporters, photographers and television cameras that have traveled with presidents and presidents-elect.

Trump’s flouting of press access was one of his first public decisions since his election Tuesday.

Trump’s meeting with Obama on Thursday will be recorded by the pool of White House reporters, photographers and TV cameras who cover the president.[snip]

I don’t know what this means, but it is likely to be significant.


President-Elect Trump, Paul Ryan and Wisconsin

Greetings from that part of “flyover land” known as Wisconsin. So glad to be able to say that this election my home state got it right.
Yesterday you stated that ‘Paul Ryan did yeoman work in delivering Wisconsin for Trump’ – actually not so much. After release of the Access Hollywood Ryan refused to campaign with or even be in the same location as Trump. I would say that Scott Walker, Sean Duffy & Ron Johnson helped to move WI to the Trump Train.
Best wishes and prayers for Roberta’s continued recovery – and yours as well.
One fiction question I’ve been meaning to ask – How did Grand Senator Bronson end up being from Wisconsin?

Tony Sherfinski

Unlike Rockefeller in 1964, Ryan did urge voters to vote the straight ticket. That was very likely the key to Trump’s win there. The Republican ground organization is strong in Wisconsin, and it urged the straight ticket vote. That too was significant. I am sure that Mr. Trump knows this.



The Trump Presidency

Dear Mr. Pournelle:
I’m still processing this, but I think one thing needs to be said early: President Obama and Hillary Clinton are right that we now need to work together to make a Trump presidency successful.
I do not like him, trust him, or respect him. That is all irrelevant. Our United States need a successful president, and I need to work for that.
As a beginning: Mr. Trump has recently stated two priorities which, if we can achieve them, would be enough (if he doesn’t precipitate disasters) for me to consider him a good president. First, do no harm: but after this, if this election leads to a better result for blue collar Americans and also leads to a rebuilding of our infrastructure, that would be enough for me.
Caveats: Mr. Trump has promised to be a voice for people who have been forgotten. Yes. We need that. I have a hard time believing it. But perhaps this is his Prince Hal moment, when responsibility leads to a change change in direction. I will hope for that, I will pray for that, and if it happens I will support that with enthusiasm.
Mr. Trump promises to rebuild our infrastructure, our roads and our rails. Excellent. That’s been a long time needed. My caveat: that will be expensive. Fine. It would be money well spent. But where is it coming from? If it comes from more debt, that will scare me: although, even then, if it’s well invested the risk could be worth it.
I’m sure you understand that I remain concerned. From my perspective: I am looking at a presidency in which all three branches of government are controlled by a single party, with no effective checks and balances in sight, all led by a megalomaniac bully. What could possibly go wrong?
But I hope that discussion will never be needed. For now: what might be done to make the Trump Presidency successful for all Americans?
Allan E. Johnson

To begin, I think that it would be good to stop talking about megalomaniac bullies. I can think of many appellations to be made about others, many at present in high office, but I do not think this is the right time to be saying them. Why present them with remarks that would make them appear cowardly if overlooked?

Fortunately, Mr. Trump is accustomed to dealing with people who disagree with him to various degrees, and whose interests are not exactly his, nor his theirs; yet they must work together to get anything done. We will see.

I would not have run the campaign as Mr. Trump did – and I would not have won either nomination nor election. Clearly he understands those who voted for him – and those who voted against Mrs. Clinton and another term for Obama – quite well. He also knows that without Congress – people in both parties – he can get little done. He is said to understand the art of the deal. For now, I suspect we live with that.


Sharpton: ‘We Are Not Going Down Without a Fight and Donald Needs to Know That’

Wednesday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” in reacting to Republican President-elect Donald Trump’s victory, Al Sharpton said, “We are not going down without a fight and Donald needs to know that.”

Sharpton said, “I think that we are in a real moment like Nixon. I mean, if you look at the backlash after the Great Society and of a lot of the unrest, that is what defeated Hubert Humphrey and brought in Richard Nixon. I was a kid. I remember it like it was yesterday. You had assassinations of Kennedy, King. Unrest. People go for extreme measures to respond. Trump played to that. I said that. He did all of the dog whistles. This is not Bernie Sanders populism. This is George Wallace populism that he’s doing. And I think that many people have got to call it the way it is. Now the question is how will he govern? But he cannot say he did not run a campaign that has created a lot of racial fears and a lot of divisiveness and he played to the crowd and he knew what he was playing to. I know him here in New York. He knew exactly what he was doing. He was playing to the worst elements. The question is now what are you going to do?”

He added, “And I think that there’s going to be — rather than going to a blame game, we need to analyze, this man’s going to be president and all that many of us have fought for during our lives is at stake. And we are not going down without a fight and Donald needs to know that.”

Not unexpected. See or

Tawana Brawley seems to be missing from the official biography of Mr. Sharpton.




going forward

Just a thought, what will we call the “Clinton News Network” now?
Driving the volunteer medical van in my town I’ve listened to a lot of Seniors during the campaign, I can tell you that there was no love for Hillary there. In fact I can’t remember anyone expressing an intention to vote for Hillary. But at the end of the day, she handily won the vote in my town and the state.
I think my youngest friend is barely forty, I really don’t move among the 18-49 crowd at all. But winning this election with the full support of ‘Last Century” voters is not a future winning strategy.
My hope is that Trump succeeds in proving that less regulation, less federal interference and more personal responsibly can improve the lives of everyone, including that damn 18-49 crowd. They can’t remember what they have never seen. So let’s show them.

John The River


Reactor that produces liquid fuel from CO2 in the air to be tested in portable pilot plant

I wonder what the efficiencies of this process are. If they are fairly good, this would be a way to store excess production from solar/wind/etc. for later use.

The fuels we burn add carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, which contributes to climate change. A new compact power plant is starting up in Finland that could help combat the problem by converting atmospheric carbon dioxide itself into usable fuels. The transportable chemical reactor uses solar power to convert CO2 from the air and regenerative hydrogen from electrolysis into liquid fuels.

John Harlow

I’ve never heard of this, but I have written about other energy alternatives. I have no great desire to add CO2 without limit to the atmosphere; I’d be glad to see it stable. Of course with more nuclear power and space solar power satellites, we could determine just how much CO2 we want, testing various levels until we find an optimum. We don’t have to burn fossil fuels. For less – much less – than the cost of the Middle East Wars, we could have built fission reactors and told the Arabs we no longer need their oil – while paying retirement wages to the coal miners put out of work.

But I wrote all this forty years ago, and again when we contemplated the first desert war.




Freedom is not free. Free men are not equal. Equal men are not free.



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