Every Time You Think It Can’t Get Any Worse…

Well…then it does. 

Today’s lunacy example for instance. There’s this black law professor at Harvard…Ronald Sullivan, Jr…who also happens to be the faculty dean of Winthrop House…which is one of Harvard’s 12 undergraduate housing complexes.

Earlier this year…Mr. Sullivan joined Harvey Weinstein’s legal team…ya know that whole due process, everyone gets their day in court, must be proven guilt beyond a reasonable doubt thing…anyway he’s now part of the legal team handling Mr. Weinstein’s case.

So along comes a “visual and environmental studies” major…whatever that means, I have no idea…who first initiated an online petition that has since turned into an in-depth review by Harvard administrators…anyway the student claims that Mr. Sullivan’s choice of legal client was…”deeply trauma inducing” and shows that Mr. Sullivan doesn’t “value the safety of students”.

Instead of calmly explaining to the poor millennial that even the most despicable defendants are entitled under the constitution to a fair trial by a jury of their peers in an adversarial proceeding where guilt has to be proven “beyond reasonable doubt”…Harvard has launched a review of “concerns about the community’s overall climate”…where they’re individually interviewing students residing at Winthrop House. The dean of Harvard’s faculty of Arts and Sciences…well, he’s not sure about Mr. Sullivan’s ability to rehabilitate himself because his statements to date to reassure the community have been “insufficient”. 

Now I have no other information about Mr. Sullivan than what was published in a Wall Street Journal opinion piece today…and while Mr. Weinstein’s actions if true are probably reprehensible…like many instances in today’s me-too climate it’s pretty clear that actual evidence may be limited and whatever happened might come down to he said/she said…and since I’m not on the jury and haven’t heard the evidence I have no idea whether I would vote for conviction or acquittal…but the idea of a fair trial with competent legal representation is one of the founding blocks of American jurisprudence.

So instead of using this as a learning opportunity to explain to the poor snowflake undergrads that they don’t always get what they want and that the college administration is in charge…Harvard is essentially saying that because Mr. Weinstein is unpopular he doesn’t deserve his constitutionally guaranteed protections.

Nuts I tellya.

Ya remember hearing how the progressives were howling about how the President’s Supreme Court choices would undermine the rule of law and overturn all the rights that progressive judges had enshrined in the constitution even though they’re not really there Yeah, me too. So in two of the three decisions issued by the court yesterday…those two justices were on opposite sides. Granted…these two cases involved Indian treaties and maritime law…but rather than the lockstep voting control of the court that was decried during their confirmation hearings…apparently each voted based on his understanding of the constitution. Imagine that…judges that actually read and interpret what it says…shocking I tellya.

Regarding the shooting at the pair of mosques in Christchurch New Zealand last week…first up it took all of 3 days for the media to Invoke TDS and say it was Mr. Trump’s fault. Second…and more importantly…the hero in the story who probably saved a lot of lives was this fella named Abdul Aziz. He’s an Afghan native who lived in Australia for 25 years before moving to New Zealand. When the shooting started…he got his family and other worshipers down on the floor then ran out to attract the gunman’s attention…first throwing a credit card machine at him and then picking up a discarded shotgun and breaking the window in the getaway vehicle causing the gunman to leave the scene. With all the bad press that an extreme minority of Muslim folks get…it’s nice to see an example that illustrates…as we’ve said around these parts for a long time…that the vast majority of them are good people…and law abiding citizens who do the right thing.

Ran across another presidential candidate yesterday…some guy named Andrew Yang…never heard of him but apparently he’s running too…on a platform to guarantee a universal basic income of $1,000 per month to every adult in America…and he’s going to cancel completely Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, and welfare to pay for it. The only trouble with his plan…which he conveniently ignores…is that cancelling all of that gives him about $2 trillion a year to spend on his universal basic income…which will cost somewhere north of $3.5 trillion a year. Guess he needs to go back and take first grade arithmetic again.

Neil went over yesterday and picked up our new flooring…when we get to the NHOG rally in Kerrville he and a buddy are going to install it in our living room slide. The carpet is pretty worn out and we’ve always wanted the hardwood flooring in the slide as well as the rest of the rig…so we’ll solve both problems.

Grand baby Alex isn’t doing too well…he got nipped by Betty yesterday. Apparently he crawled up on the couch and she snapped at him. We didn’t get any real details…but my guess is that since Betty is basically blind at this point she was probably asleep on the couch and Alex either startled or landed on her and hurt her and she instinctively reacted. Alex isn’t too badly damaged…got a bandage on his nose. Connie’s worried he will have a scar…Neil told her that guys didn’t care about scars…but she’s not quite convinced.

Over in CA…the governor has apparently decided the wishes of his voters don’t matter. On the ballot in 2016 there was a referendum to abolish the death penalty in the state…and the referendum lost 53%-47%. So by a popular vote totaling 13.5 million valid ballots…over 1.0 million were rejected as invalid, that’s 7% of the ballots cast which says something about the ability of CA voters to read and understand a simple question and then choose Yes or No…anyway the population voted in favor of capital punishment. Newly inaugurated Governor Newsome has chosen to ignore the states voters and (a) initiated a moratorium on capital punishment in the state and (b) commuted the sentence of all death row inmates…that latter decision can never be overturned by a governor who might follow him. Unsurprisingly enough…he trotted out a widow (or maybe mother, can’t find the particular url again) of a murder victim who agreed with his decision. Also unsurprisingly…he didn’t specify how many victim relative he had to ask before he found one who agreed. While I haven’t seen any polls on his decision…from the articles I’ve seen most victim families seem to be pretty darned upset about it. His justification is that capital punishment is applied disproportionately to people of color…seems to me a better idea is to apply it to all murders  and once guilt has been established limit the time for appeals…and we all know there are countless appeals that have nothing to do with guilt but everything to do with delay of sentence imposition…ya know, things like “he was abused as a child” and “she was a victim of Stockholm syndrome who was abused by her husband/father/whatever. In most of these cases…guilt is pretty well established. It’s true that there are a lot of people of color on death row…but how much of this is because they commit the crimes and how much is because they’re people of color has never been shown by the other side. Me…I think if you can’t do the time then you shouldn’t do the crime and that the chief problem with capital punishment is that it takes too long. The other side claims it’s not a deterrent…but I can tell ya for sure that it deters at least one murderer…and if it was carried out more expeditiously it just might deter some others as well…I wouldn’t be opposed to bringing back public hanging or beheading like they used to do.

Apparently there are some issues with the Boeing 737 Max aircraft…two basically new planes have crashed in the past year with pretty similar flight paths after takeoff. I’m not an aerospace expert…after all I’m just a bear…but I did a little googling yesterday after seeing numerous articles blaming the problem entirely on Boeing. My 15 minutes of research indicates that there’s probably a lot of blame to go around…from the FAA who certified the aircraft and who are probably too in bed with the aircraft industry to be a proper regulatory agency to the airlines who wanted an aircraft that didn’t need a new type rating for the pilots, a different type rating requirement would mean more pilot training/cost and make scheduling of aircraft and aircrew harder/more expensive to Boeing who wanted a more efficient plane and made some design changes that may or may not have had an impact to the software engineers who…because of the mechanical changes to the airframe instituted a new system that issues flight control instructions without the pilots knowing anything about them at intervals specified by the software.

Naturally though…the commenters on internet articles have deduced both the cause and required corrective actions necessary…the black (well, actually they’re orange and not really boxes either these days) boxes haven’t been analyzed yet but since the interwebs weenies have already figured it out maybe we ought to just skip the NTSB investigation and force Boeing out of business.

There’s this Fox personality named Jeanine Pirro who asked the other day on her interview show whether the fact that Representative Omar wears the hijab in public means that she supports Sharia law which is in some respects antithetical to what the Constitution says…her intention was to initiate a debate on her show about the question. I don’t see anything Islamaphobic in that question…but the left is outraged by it and she’s been apparently suspended (or at least her show was preempted last Saturday). At the same time…Representative Omar’s “anti-Semitic” remarks…which again I don’t find all that anti-Semitic but then I’m not Jewish…are left to pass and she’s being lauded by many on the left. In both cases…having read the exact wording of each woman’s remarks…I can say that each has a valid point but because they were on opposite political sides they phrased their statements poorly…and then the other side jumped all over their poor wording rather than the substance of what they were trying to say. What ever happened to political discourse…we used to be able to at least talk reasonably with the other side and while we might not convince them of the rightness of our position…at least it wasn’t just name calling. And it’s not just us…down in Australia a right wing Senator had some comments about the New Zealand shooting…and again he (in my opinion) chose poor wording to make his point. So this millennial…he sneaks up behind the elderly Senator who was talking to some reporters and after carefully positioning his phone to record video…so he could go viral I guess…anyway he smashes an egg into the back of the Senator’s head. The Senator reacted and popped the snot nosed little so and so one. Now the kid is being lauded in the media as a hero and several senior legal folks in Australia are trying to being the Senator up on charges. From looking at the  video…the Senator…even though he worded it poorly…had a valid point of view, he was attacked by the kid, and he responded. Nobody went to the hospital, no blood was shed…and the kid got his 15 minutes of fame out of the it…so why make a big deal out of it.

We rarely vote Democrat ‘round these parts…but I did see a couple of interesting election related articles in the past day or so. First…from all the media exposure that Ms. Omar, AOC, and other socialist/far left folks are getting these days…it turns out that the more mainstream Democrat PACs were far more effective at getting their candidates elected than the far left was. In the primaries…something like 80% of the candidates endorsed by the mainstream PAC won their primaries and only about 25% of those endorsed by the far left won their primaries…and precisely 0 of the seats flipped by the Democrats from Republican control were won by the far left endorsed candidates. Second…mostly what we’ve heard about the election in 2016 was that Ms. Clinton “won the popular vote”. Now notwithstanding the fact that Mr. Clinton won twice while losing the popular vote and nobody was talking about popular vote back then…there are about 3,200 counties in the US…the number is inexact because some states have districts instead of counties so let’s call it 3,200 country like political boundaries. Turns out that Mr. Trump won the county tally by about 2,500 to 500…again it depends on exactly how you define “county”. Even in supposedly blue NY state…he won over half of the counties in the state but Ms. Clinton’s 2 million vote majority in 4 of the 5 counties that make up NYC (he actually one one of them) tipped the state to her. What this means is that the founding fathers got it exactly right when they instituted the Electoral College…which was originally setup to prevent the populous southern states from outvoting the relatively low population northeast states…in order to ensure that all states…from smallest to largest…had a say in the election. If we shifted instead to a national popular vote standard instead of the Electoral College…an idea Ms. Warren has said should be completed before the 2020 election…then the only states that would matter are CA, NY, FL, and TX with perhaps PA and OH added to the mix. Looking beyond states…it would mostly be NYC instead of NY, LA instead of CA, southern FL instead of FL and Dallas/Fort Worth  instead of TX that would elect the President…those areas have enough population to override anything the rest of the country could do. I don’t think the Electoral College overturning constitutional amendment will happen though…you need 2/3 majority in both houses of congress to get it started and you need 38 states to ratify it and I can guarantee that the small states…the ones Ms. Clinton and her ilk refer to as fly-over states…aren’t going to ratify it.

Ok…on to interesting things found on the net.

I know I missed the date and that St. Paddy’s Day was last Sunday…but here’s a belated Happy St. Paddy’s Day to ya’. You can always find a pot o’gold at the end of the rainbow ya know.

StPaddysDayRainbow

This is a guy from the UK responding to the NZ mosque shootings…another hero.

ManchesterMosque

Ya know that guy at Alabama who’s the quarterback…his name is Tua Tagoviola…I wondered why his first name was Tua and why his parents gave him that name. Turns out…it’s just short for his real name kinda like Bob and Robert. 

TuaFirstName

In the long name category…I think we have a winner. This is a sign at a train station in Wales.

WelshTrainStation

Everybody knows that a hydro electric dam is big…but sometimes you need to see a photo like this to realize just how big they are. This is a picture of the penstock…that’s the name for the pipe that leads down to the generator room…being installed at the Hoover Dam back in 1935.

HooverDamPenstock

This gang violence has to stop…now.

GangViolence

This is a diamond squid…it’s about 2 feet long. Pretty neat.

DiamondSquid

Who says birds aren’t smart?

FireHawk

And finally…

DrHedgehog

Cyas.

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About Gunther

The full time RV travels and experiences of Gunther the Bear and Kara the Dog…along with their human staff neil and Connie.
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