Interesting Items 04/10

Howdy all, a few Interesting Items for your information. Enjoy –

In this issue:

  1. Banishment
  2. Election
  3. Rollback
  4. Privacy
  5. Warren
  6. SPLC
  7. Licensing
  8. Rickles

  1. Banishment. There is a business owner in rural Alaska that is about to make a boatload of money in court.  The 73-year old was taken into custody by tribal members in Togiak, left in a holding cell for days, duct-taped and dumped on an aircraft out of town. This is colloquially called banishment, where tribes in villages without state law enforcement can remove a tribal member who has been a bad actor.  Typically, this happens to drug and alcohol dealers.  And it always happens when both sides are Native Alaskans.  The problem with the 73-year old is that he is a Caucasian, not subject to tribal law.  He was banished twice, accused of selling alcohol.  After the first time, he called his lawyer and was advised to return.  The second trip out of town involved duct tape.  Here’s the interesting part of the story, village councils have no rights over those who are not tribal members.  And it is usually the State of Alaska that steps in.  Not so the Walker – Mallott administration, which has been doing its level best to pander to native and tribal separatists since they started running for Governor / LtGov.  While this is great politics if you are pandering to the Bush, it is not so great if you are the rest of us who have some quaint belief in what used to be known as the Rule of Law.
  1. Election. I don’t normally write about local elections for any number of reasons.  Last week we had one in Anchorage.  Turnout was dismal at just over 19%.  Five Assembly seats were up and democrats won four of them.  The Municipally operated taxicab monopoly floated a ballot initiative to roll back an ordinance opening Anchorage to Uber and Lyft.  That initiative failed miserably, though a lot of money was spent.  The most odious action came in South Anchorage where a conservative candidate who was former military was defeated.  He was a nice kid.  Pretty sharp.  Met him while he was walking the neighborhoods and offered him a beer.  Also turns out that he was gay, which I didn’t know at the time, not that it matters.  His democrat opponent ran a pair of robo-calls the weekend before the election outing him and claiming he would bring the gay rights agenda back to Anchorage again.  The call was followed with a second one claiming the democrat was the social conservative in the race.  Her win was about 500 votes, or 5% as enough conservatives decided to stay home to hand her three years on the Assembly.  The two basic rules of elections are this:  There is always another one.  And those that show up generally win.  We conservatives forget this at our peril.
  1. Rollback. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced last week an extensive review of multiple consent agreements the O’Bama (In)Justice Department extorted out of municipalities using their police departments as an excuse over the last eight years.  Those consent agreements allowed (In)Justice’s Civil Rights Division to essentially take over local police departments and run them for its benefit rather than the benefit of the local residents.  Why do this?  So as to create a national police force city by city.  The typical sequence of events was to have a white cop shoot a black perp.  This was quickly followed by Soros-funded riots, demonstrations, presidential intervention, and the predictable (In)Justice investigation to crucify the local police force with charges of racism and civil rights violations of the perp.  The extortion comes out of threats of federal lawsuits that will bankrupt the local government defending its turf from the feds.  Most communities so targeted rolled belly up pretty quickly.  As with all things passed with a pen and a phone, these can be overturned nearly instantly with one side or the other pulling out.  And it sounds like Sessions is getting ready to do just that.
  1. Privacy. Last week demonstrated the full power of the disinformation media aimed against congress and President Trump.  The topic was the repeal of so-called broadband privacy rules inflicted by O’Bama’s FCC.  Reporting almost exclusively decried the repeal as a direct assault on internet privacy and defenders were few and far between.  It took a few days before the real story was told by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and Maureen Ohlhausen acting Chairman of the FTC.  Two years ago, a democrat majority on the FCC voted to strip the FTC of its jurisdiction over internet broadband providers.  The democrats decided to treat the internet like a public utility, removing the FTC’s ability to police broadband providers.  Expertise for this sort of regulation has historically resided in the FTC but they didn’t agree with the democrat majority on the FCC and had to be steam rolled.  The whole mess was sold as net neutrality by the democrat appointees.  What really took place was the new FCC regulations picked winners and losers among internet providers, taking very good care of the Big Boys like Google and giving the rest of the service providers the back of their hand along with a boatload of new onerous rules and regulations intended to drive them out of business.  Essentially, the FCC stripped privacy protections from the general public with their vote in 2015 and handed the whole mess over to their Silicon Valley big money donors.  That giveaway was repealed last week.  Congress and President Trump should be congratulated.
  1. Warren. Fauxahontas herself, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D, MA) long used Equal Pay Day for some well-rehearsed faux outrage over the years, demanding that women be paid the same as men regardless of the individual jobs or positons or hours they fill.  She is one of the best demagogues on the left and fills her role well.  This year, she was strangely silent, choosing to sit the festivities out.  Perhaps she was thinking up an appropriate explanation for a Washington Free Beacon report that documented that she paid her female staffers 71% of the male ones.  Median salary for men in her office is some $20,000 higher than the median income for women.  Her top five earners are all men.  Now, I reject categorically the generic notion of equal pay for equal work, as if you drill down into the data a bit, there is already complete pay equality.  The problem comes when trying to compare differing jobs and professions while calling them equal.  Men typically work more dangerous jobs, work longer, and take less time away from work.  Not so for women, who generally work less dangerous jobs, less overtime and take time off for family and other reasons.  But is so much more fun to beat the drums of gender warfare.  Nice to see Warren caught up in a web of her own construction.
  1. SPLC. Under the O’Bama regime, the IRS was weaponized into a political tool, obstructing, punishing, and otherwise making life unbearable for enemies of the regime while green lighting anything its friends and supporters did.  The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) which for decades has weighed in against all things conservative and Republican played an active role during the 2016 campaign, a role that went far outside its electioneering boundaries as a non-profit.  SPLC provided “educational materials” to government schools from time to time.  Generally, these “materials” are little more than rank leftist propaganda.  The most recent is something entitled “Teaching Tolerance” which now includes an anti-Trump screed entitled “The Trump Effect.”  It includes teachers’ explanations of the anxiety that Trump was causing their students.  A second report entitled “Hate in the Race” focused extensively on Trump’s ties to alleged hate groups.  The thing the SPLC does as its stock in trade is label conservative groups of all sorts as hate groups and then defend the designation.  The O’Bama regime used these bogus designations as input into FBI investigations, IRS actions and even DoD reeducation classes with the troops.  One of their targets, the Immigration Law Reform Institute has demanded that the IRS pull the SPLC’s non-profit designation for spending too much time and money supporting Hilly’s campaign.  This may be fun to watch.
  1. Licensing. One of my favorite movies is Office Space, partly because I am in the IT business and partly because Jennifer Anniston was (and is) very nice on the eyes.  The movie was done by Mike Judge of King of the Hill and Beavis and Butthead.  If you like that sort of humor, you are in business.  I was and am.  A favorite scene in the move was a pair of consultants hired to lead a general housecleaning of the company sat the employees down and asked them what they did in their jobs, essentially interviewing the employees for their own jobs.  Some handled it well.  Some didn’t.  Looks like a similar thing is going on in Arizona, where the governor signed an executive order giving 25 licensing boards until the end of June to make their case that what they do is vital to the body politic.  Typically, licensing boards are set up to protect incumbent businesses, acting as government barriers to new people in the marketplace.  Union apprenticeship programs serve the same function.  Over the years, Arizona has gotten particularly bad in this, creating 64 licensing boards.  Training requirements are typically outrageous.  For example, HVAC experts require 1,460 training days to qualify.  On average, the state requires 599 days of training – a year and a half – before granting a license.  This is part of an effort to roll back rules, regulations, and barriers to entry into the marketplace.  The Arizona governor should be congratulated.
  1. Rickles. Comedian Don Rickles passed away last week at the age of 90.  He was long called “Mr. Warmth” based on his comedic talent of insulting any and everyone in the audience.  I ran across him nearly 50 years ago on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and almost hurt myself laughing.  Been following him ever since.  It was and is a guilty pleasure.  Much like Mel Brooks, Rickles took no prisoners, dishing out the anti-PC venom to everyone in eyesight.  His targets generally loved it.  Apparently Rickles did too, as he was still working the casinos to within weeks of his death.  In this day of PC, Don Rickles was an antidote.  I will miss him and his humor.

More later –

– AG

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