Monthly Archives: December 2016

Increased Tensions? Not Really.

From Daniel Estrin for the Associated Press:

JERUSALEM (AP) — A senior Israeli Cabinet minister on Wednesday called U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s planned Mideast policy speech a “pathetic step,” further heightening tensions between the two close allies as the Obama administration prepares to leave office.

It took me a moment to notice the man-handed bias, partly because I’m out of practice.

The phrase “further heightening tensions between the two close allies as the Obama administration prepares to leave office…” blames the supposed heightening of tensions on the Israeli Cabinet minister.  As if there is no history of heightening tensions prior to that statement. When some folks report on ongoing conflicts involving Israel, this is the norm. Whatever Israel does, the reporters pretend it is the first event.

In 22 days, the new administration will take over. Rather than wait for smarter and more talented people to take over, the Obama Administration is still trying to make some impact on the Middle East peace process.  They will accomplish nothing, as evidenced by the last 8 years.

Are there now heightened tensions between the “two close allies?” No. There might be increased tensions between Obama/Kerry and the Israelis, but those two guys will be out of work in less than a month.

With good reason.



I Condemn in the Strongest Terms

The jackwagon who painted this:

We at the Craft Blog don’t use those kinds of words, wouldn’t print them even with the pixelation, without good reason.  

Another week, another hate crime hoax, this time in Texas where a man spray-painted “N–gger Lovers” on his own garage door and lit his truck and motorcycle on fire.

The incident allegedly occurred on the morning of December 12, when David Williams and his wife Jenny awoke to find their motorcycle and truck ablaze on their front law alongside a racist message on their garage door. After reporting it to the police, Williams later admitted to his wife of perpetrating the vandalism himself. [The Williams family is white. — Dave]

“David confessed to spray painting our garage door and starting the fire at our home,” Jenny Williams wrote on her Facebook page.

Anytime there is a ‘hate crime’ involving vandalism, every time someone claims they were harassed — though there were no witnesses, and every time we hear a third-hand account like “My cousin was harassed by boys shouting Trump…” we all have good reason to suspect fraud.

It goes without saying: I hate hate.  I’m commanded by my God, and taught by my father to respect and love all people.  Millions upon millions of conservative, white, Christian Americans reject racism and bigotry.

Apparently, Until Recently There Were No Racist Events Anywhere

I hate hate. Racists are idiots. My God demands I treat everyone as His creation. 

Am I the only one who questions the ‘uptick’ or ‘surge’ in racist stuff, supposedly blamed on Donald Trump’s election?

From Whitefish in the northwest to Billings in the southeast, Montana is experiencing a rise is hate-related speech and propaganda, according to Rachel Carroll Rivas, co-director of the Montana Human Rights Network. She said incidents include Nazi graffiti, language launched at people of color, anti-gay slurs, anti-Semitic and racist leafletting, and bullying of youth and teachers of color.

The increase in hate speech in Montana is tied to Donald Trump, Carroll Rivas said.

“The election of Donald Trump emboldened and validated some people’s efforts to subject others to hateful beliefs and to use intimidation to instill fear,” she said. “And there is a heightened awareness of bigotry because of the microphone and podium the president-elect has given to discriminatory and biased ideas. Both are real reasons and we don’t expect either to subside.”

These two statements are at odds. I suppose it is possible that some idiots somewhere feel emboldened. Maybe even validated, though that’s not a word your average goober might use. I really don’t think that’s widespread phenomenon.  

I agree with the second sentence, which I’ve put in italics.  Well, half of it. Has Trump has given a podium to discriminatory and based ideas? And what an odd phrase that is! A responsible person can’t say he’s said racist things.  Oh, the average Mexican living in the U.S. illegally might try to say that, but he has only been politically incorrect.  Even clumsy.

This writer needs several words to work around the idea that Trump hasn’t said stuff that’s racist, but that he has given a podium to…certain ideas. Whenever the left starts couching words in terms like “swirling with…” or “given a podium to…” you know they are hedging.

Secondly, is there a heightened awareness of bigotry? I’d say the awareness is so heightened that every little thing — including fictional or third-hand accounts — are now blamed on Trump, as they occur since the election.

FYI: Everything over the last few weeks has been ‘after the election.’  Not all have been because of the election. 

I’m pretty sure there were incidents of racism before Trump announced for president. Sadly, there will be some even after he is out of office.

I am sympathetic to those who are concerned about the country, as someone whose ideas they reject is now poised to be president.  I’ve been there.  Twice.

I’d be concerned if I thought we were headed down the road to racism.  Maybe because I can easily listen in on white guys talking that I can share some good news: Most of the talk after the election has been about jobs. Oil and coal production.  Patriotism. Some worries about Trump doing something stupid or saying outrageous things. 

If there are pockets of morons, their cousins/wives and slack-jawed kids talking about how the country now belongs to the white man, like God intended…I think those guys were around before this election.  They’re not a big part of our country.

If you are liberal, black, Hispanic, LGBTQ or all of those things…maybe you’d want to see these Trump years as a challenge.  How will you react to a different tone in Washington?

Will you seek out any incident and insist that Trump caused it? Put away you heightened awareness.  Insist on a fair and just America, but don’t expect the Klan on horseback every time you hear hoof beats.


Unintended Consequences are Caused by…

Here’s fun thought experiment.  What words have I erased from this story about Nitrogen Dioxide levels in London?

Washington Post:

Here and in cities across environmentally minded Europe, NO2 levels are substantially higher than in North America, or even in Asian and African megacities whose names have become bywords for dirty air. And that is all because of decades of                                                               designed to spur the purchase of supposedly cleaner diesel cars and trucks.

Apparently London is a once again a smoggy city, and it’s all due to…anti-environmental greedy private industry? Nah, too many letters.  

Government incentives.

Governments across Europe have aggressively promoted diesel vehicles, reasoning that diesel’s lower carbon-dioxide output makes it gentler on the planet than gasoline. In London, the streets are filled with diesel-powered buses and taxis. Continent-wide, diesel accounts for about half the car market.

But diesel has one glaring disadvantage: It is a major source of NO2, a pollutant that stunts lung growth and has been linked to a range of respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. The diesel push has meant that although air in Europe is far cleaner overall than in many parts of the globe, it still can be — and often is — deadly.

Only government can make air that is cleaner, but deadlier.


Police Blotter

The Craft Blog has a zero tolerance policy for stupid.

The Daily Signal:

After examining the evidence—a single butter knife—the police department turned over the investigation to the local Florida state attorney’s office, which is now weighing whether to bring criminal charges against the student.

A spokeswoman for the school district maintains that the school followed district policy throughout the incident, while pointing out that the district is working with the family of the suspended student by agreeing to reduce her suspension from six to three days. Needless to say, the family is not satisfied with the ongoing investigation and has hired a lawyer to represent them in the matter.

It was a downsized, rounded, dull butter knife.  As dull as the adults involved, one might say.

You. You got time to arrest an 11-year-old for a butter knife? Me neither.

Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident, but yet another example of an overreaction to minor infractions due to a zero tolerance school weapons ban, which can have serious consequences.

In Ohio, 10th-grader Da’von Shaw gave a class presentation on how to make a healthy breakfast, which included an apple that he sliced in front of the class. Da’von received a five-day suspension for possessing a weapon on campus due to his demonstration.

In California, high school senior Brandon Cappelletti was not nearly as fortunate. He faced a misdemeanor charge after school officials discovered pocket knives left over from a family fishing trip in the console of his car, which was parked on school grounds. Cappelletti narrowly avoided expulsion due to community outrage against the disproportionate punishment.

I Think Bart Once Called Moe’s and Asked for This Guy


European experts criticise Denmark for taking interventions against religious extremism one step too far, reports Kristeligt Dagblad.

Danish Parliament on Monday adopted the last part of the anti-extremism package, the so-called ‘forkynderlov’, which includes a public sanction list of religious preachers.

According to Ingvill Thorson Plesner, a human rights researcher at University of Olso, and Peter Edge, a professor of law at Oxford Brookes University, the new law is in conflict with religious freedom.

I can’t actually tell if the law is in conflict with established views of ‘religious freedom,’ but this something to watch out for.  On the other hand, I had to blog about this because the law is actually called ‘forkynderlov.’