[update] We just go back at 11pm. What a fantastic evening of musicianship and entertainment was put on by Paul and friends for an appreciative crowd of locals that filled the Nevada Theater. Thank you Paul.
Tonight we recorded the sixth edition of Breaking Bread at the NCTV studios. BB6 may be the last program recorded at the former Grass Valley Group facility since the station is undergoing a transition which involves moving to new quarters for the new year. I hosted the program in which we introduced a new one-on-one format – a conversation between the host and invited guest.
The topics that I sought to explore Sheriff Royal’s views on were the militarization of the nation’s police and sheriffs, the constitutional sheriffs movement, and Nevada County’s preparedness for large scale emergencies. The hour went well, we both felt comfortable in the conversational format, and all topics received appropriate coverage.
BB6 was hastily arranged and scheduled for tonight. Producers Terri Hicklin and Patty Smith wanted to get in one last edition of BB before NCTV had to start disassembling its studio this Friday. After some thought, I volunteered to do the program due to the apparent unavailability of any of the other hosts. The program airings will be announced on the NCTV website, and it will be archived there for later viewing on demand. The working title of BB6 is ‘A Conversation With Nevada County Sheriff Keith Royal’. I will post the link when it's available.
Many thanks to the crew of all volunteers who showed up on a rainy evening to at least provide a professional effort behind the cameras. These folks make community television possible.
The Nevada County Republican Women Federated should feel justifiably proud for putting on one of the best organized and attended public speaking events in recent memory. More than 600 people showed up last night in the Grass Valley Veterans Hall to hear Sheriff Richard Mack deliver a rousing defense of local governance against the established overreach of the federal leviathan.
Former county supervisor Ms Fran Freedle (pictured lower right) chaired the small committee of women who worked months to plan, organize, and bring about this occasion that was attended by a broad spectrum of political interests and perspectives from Nevada County and environs. My Jo Ann was a long and hard working member of that committee, so I was privy to the bumps and progress as the sheriff’s visit drew nigh.
(I was also one of the husbands conscripted to assist, serving as the projector guy and Nevada County chauffer for Sheriff Mack. Friends Russ Steele and Norm Sauer handled the lights, and friends Jim and Mary Booth next door contributed their guest house for the sheriff to decompress and freshen up before the night’s reception and talk. Earlier in the day Sheriff Mack attended a luncheon at the National Hotel with Sheriff Keith Royal and other local law enforcement officers. Needless to say, I also had ample opportunity to talk privately with Sheriff Mack.)
As corroborated by other attendees, Sheriff Mack is not the most polished of public speakers, but that makes his heartfelt monologue come across more genuine and peer-to-peer to his audiences. He dwelled on his successful case against the ‘Brady Bill’ that reached SCOTUS from which it received a favorable landmark ruling that further corroborated the Founders’ intents as to the rights and powers of the several states when confronting the federal government.
This morning Jo Ann and I drove to Folsom to attend Igor Birman’s announcement of his candidacy for Congress from California’s 7th congressional district. We were not the only Nevada County residents to make the trek. Even though we can’t vote for him, many of us who live up here see Igor’s candidacy as adding to the conservative cohort from our state that can help bring our country back on course. (Igor’s website)
Igor Birman has been Congressman Tom McClintock’s chief of staff, and is one of the youngest to hold such an important job in Washington. Igor was born in the USSR and got out when his parents took advantage of the window that President Reagan created with the agreement to let Russian Jews emigrate from a land in which they have been third class citizens for generations. While I have a definite affinity with Igor’s odyssey – my parents also escaped communism when I was a youngster (cf My Story) – we support Igor’s candidacy because he is very smart, has high moral standards, and recognizes way better than most the tragedy that socialism cum collectivism brings into human lives.
Some years back Tom McClintock introduced us to Igor, and since then he has become our friend, often spending meal times at our house during which we have delved into some very interesting topics of state and national interest. Igor’s job in Washington has always brought perspectives to bear on the topic that are accessible only to one who knows and operates in the belly of the beast. Igor’s understanding of the nation’s problems, especially in public education and its contribution to systemic unemployment in a shrinking workforce, is thorough and deep. His overall ideology and politics also make him a desirable candidate for the tea party faction of the Republican party.
Congressman McClintock delivered an eloquently bittersweet introduction to Igor, acknowledging the loss of an extremely valuable aide while celebrating his promising and needed candidacy for Congress. I am heartened by the potential of adding Igor Birman to the team of conservative northern Californians comprised of Doug LaMalfa, Tom McClintock, and Dan Logue (who is running for the 3rd congressional district seat) – the four horsemen of socialism's apocalypse.
The nation’s insanity continues unabated. According to the Chicago Fox affiliate (you maybe expected a lamestream outlet?) a group of illegal aliens are on a hunger strike protesting that they haven’t been put on the list for government subsidized organ transplants. Instead of a quick ticket back to Mexico – they are Mexican nationals – we are now going through a gasping ‘what to do, what to do?’ ordeal. Why? well, the organ transplant protocols at certain hospitals don’t include a codicil about whether to qualify for a transplant you need to be an American, or at least a legal resident. Whoda thunk?
The question for our morally superior progressives is moot; their answer being ‘Damn straight, do the transplant and have the US taxpayer foot the bill. These people are also contributing to America.’ For the rest of us, the answer is to shell out for a ticket back to their homeland where the Mexican government can deal with their grievances. These aliens even use the progressive-approved argument that resonates with the dufus parade – “local hospitals are discriminating against immigrants here illegally.” Lord, I hope so.
Meanwhile elsewhere in the Windy City, where else, five people were shot in a gang war ambush in front of a church serving meals to the needy on a street that is identified and maintained as a ‘Safe Passage’ way for kids to get between home and school (more here). The street is manned by over 600 good-hearted, ‘trained volunteers’ to make sure the kids make it through there alive. Of course, there is not a slingshot to be had between all these volunteers, and the gangs don’t give a big rat’s ass about safe passage streets. They know that until the cops get there, they rule. And they also know – courtesy of the specter of Chapter 9 - that the thin blue line is getting thinner by the day. But Chicago’s job one is to keep guns from the hands of law abiding citizens while prohibiting the police from conducting those oh so racial search, question, and frisk exercises. And according to established custom, nobody demonstrated to protest these daily shootings. You see, it don’t matter none if you shoot those po’ black folk, as long as yo’s not a racist. Progressive government in peace and war.
(Coda – consider all hot buttons pushed.)
[21aug13 update] The record wouldn't be complete without noting the most recent murder of a white athlete by three blacks in Oklahoma. The 'just for fun' drive-by killing of the Australian baseball player occurred on a country road near the town of Duncan (more here). No screaming headlines. No charges of racism. No mass demonstrations by whites across the country. Same ol' same ol'.
[This is the transcript of my 16aug13 KVMR radio commentary, plus a couple of snapshots.]
Last Tuesday I attended the opening of the Nevada County Library’s Collaborative Technology Center or CTC. The ribbon to the new 2,000 square foot facility was cut by country librarian Jessica Hudson after a few attending dignitaries had a chance to speak. The CTC is designed to support up to 70 people who will operate computers, laptops, tablets, printers, and even a 3D printer while learning everything from becoming computer literate to actually manufacturing a physical object described in a computer file.
The affair at the Madelyn Helling main branch was well attended by a large crowd of locals wanting to see what all the fuss was about. Among the notables were Supervisors Nate Beason, Hank Weston, Ed Scofield, and County CEO Rick Haffey. Supervisors Weston and Beason contributed to the opening remarks. Major credit for developing this technology learning center goes to Ms Jessica Hudson and director of the county’s information technology services, Mr Steve Monaghan. With the supes blessings it was they who corralled all the cats and herded them in the right direction to get the job done. (Left photo - R to L SteveM, JessicaH, NateB, HankW)
The surface calm during our cool summer is beguiling and more than misleading. Over the years RR readers have had an early heads up on a number of national and international issues affecting us that are now coming home to roost, and several of them are already here. All of them were pooh-poohed by the local Left, taking the cue from their national leadership. Here’s a short list.
Greece is still in the tank and sinking deeper. Now the IMF is trying to quietly muscle in ahead of other creditors as it sees Greece hitting the bottom next year despite the Eurozone bailouts which have had no impact on Greece’s GDP growth. There simply is no there there; Greece is a country that could economically disappear from the world scene with no impact save a haircut to those who lent it money. Some time ago RR readers received a formula with which compute the probability of default; it worked in spades. Other countries like Spain, Portugal, Italy, and even Belgium are standing in the EU’s default line.
Incipient financial ruin of America’s cities and states is acknowledged worldwide. Again our light thinking Left denied for years the role of public service unions and their pension planning with sleazebag politicians. Now we have witnessed a quiet pivot by progressives who are quietly trying to fix the unfixable without ever uttering things like SEIU. For a snoot full of how obvious the problem is to all but the national liberal chorus and, of course, the oblivians, read ‘The Unsteady States of America – Why the pensions nightmare is only just beginning’ in the 27jul13 Economist. Again, RR reported on this inevitability almost seven years ago when the SESF report presented to the local Board of Supervisors was risibly ignored.
The current poster child of municipal malfeasance and corruption is Detroit whose 700K citizens have been characterized by Michigan’s governor as innocent “good people” on whom this financial disaster has come like an unpreventable act of nature. Never mind that it is these same people who have continued to vote for the most corrupt collection of politicians decade after decade. Now they all are looking with expectant faces toward Washington for what could become the first of a national avalanche of bailouts and bondholder haircuts as at least 100 more cities are stewing in their own versions of such Chapter 9 fiscal fiascoes.
Breaking Bread Edition #4 on Climate Change will be recorded this Monday at the NCTV studios. The issues discussion program will be hosted by Eric Tombs and I will be one of Eric’s guests. Climate change is, of course, today’s more acceptable term for global warming, specifically man-made or anthropogenic GW, specifically correctable AGW, and specifically ‘We just gotta do SOMETHING!!!’ AGW. We had a pre-taping session the other day during which the strong argument of the true believers was again presented – consensus science. When it was pointed out that 1) there is no consensus science on AGW, and 2) consensus science should send up red flags and wailing sirens whenever it is cited, things got a little heated.
What really nudged me to post on this was Matt Ridley’s Mind and Matter column in the 6jul13 WSJ titled ‘Science is about Evidence NOT Consensus’. (Sadly, this is Dr Ridley’s last regular column for the WSJ. The distinguished author and member of the House of Lords is returning to his many other pursuits. I shall miss him.) Ridley uses climate change as his example to teach how scientific propositions should be evaluated. RR readers are well aware of his arguments which have made not a dent in some commenters beliefs on the matter.
Well, at our BB4 meeting it became clear that ‘Consensus Über Alles’ will be the one and only redoubt from which the adherents of climate change will sally forth. The format of BB properly prohibits participants launching ad homonyms against their opposite numbers. It is a forum where ideas are explained, and where ideas may then contend on their own merits. However, today this topic is so asymmetrically supported by reason that it was suggested there should be no attempt to discredit consensus science if that is all one could muster to support energetic public policies to combat AGW. The short of it was that opinions based on warm fuzzies should weigh equally with those more formidably armed - after all, are we not all equal? But not to worry dear reader, the proposal did not carry.
Matt Ridley’s swansong admonitions are worthy recounting as we prepare for the 2,047,619th ‘discussion’ on climate change.
…the "consensus" about climate change only extends to the propositions that it has been happening and is partly man-made, both of which I readily agree with. Forecasts show huge uncertainty.
…science does not respect consensus. There was once widespread agreement about phlogiston (a nonexistent element said to be a crucial part of combustion), eugenics, the impossibility of continental drift, the idea that genes were made of protein (not DNA) and stomach ulcers were caused by stress, and so forth—all of which proved false. Science, Richard Feynman once said, is "the belief in the ignorance of experts."
So, yes, it is the evidence that persuades me whether a theory is right or wrong, and no, I could not care less what the "consensus" says.
The article is too short, but well worth the read.
[11jul13 update] We taped BB4 last Monday (8jul13) evening at NCTV, and apparently it has already been aired, and will be again. For the next showings please visit NCTV here. It will soon be available for online viewing on the Breaking Bread website.
[19jul13 update] Remaining BB4 broadcast from NCTV are:
Thursday 7/18/2013, 6:00 PM, Channel 11
Sunday 7/21/2013, 5:00 PM, Channel 11
Monday 7/22/2013, 9:30 AM, Channel 11
No word yet on when it will appear on line.
[26jul13 update] The video of BB4 is archived and can be found on this page of the NCTV website filed under 18 July programs - or you can simply search the page (Ctrl F) with 'Breaking Bread'.
Last weekend Jo Ann and I attended an international gathering in San Francisco that celebrated the historical role of a culture over the last two centuries. This event is held every five years in a different part of the world, and its nearby venue this year made attendance convenient for us. People from all quarters of the globe gathered at the Grand Hyatt where seminars on the various functions and expressions of the culture were conducted. The event opened at the magnificent Palace of Fine Arts with a gala performance featuring entertainments ranging from poetry to ballet. Other prominent venues during the weekend featured folk dancing, a huge songfest with orchestra and multiple choirs, and individual performers with various ethnic offerings, both traditional and contemporary.
The whole affair was a unifying experience connecting a revered and honored past with the present, and making explicit the ties that bind the older generations to the young. It is these young people who during such occasions see that they are a part of something bigger than themselves, something of worth that has survived centuries of assault through dedication, persistence, and courage of their ancestors.
So much bad stuff is happening that it’s literally hopeless to keep track of it any more. A few samples follow.
Asylum for climate change refugees. A correspondent sends me this heads up on the latest from the idiot senator from Hawaii. He writes, “Sen. Brian Schatz’s bill would create a sort of political asylum for global warming refugees. Senator Brian Schatz’s (D-HI) filed an amendment for the immigration bill Wednesday that would allow stateless people in the U.S. to seek conditional lawful status if their nations have been made uninhabitable by climate change. Who decides what is uninhabitable? Does that mean all countries without air conditioned buildings?” You can't make this stuff up.
Speaking of the immigration bill, it looks like the Republican heartthrob Senator Marco Rubio has caved. No more requirement for a secure border. The new bill would keep it porous and plug the holes with ‘best efforts’ rhetoric directed at the isheeple (q.v.). Things will really look bad when the Border Patrol agents strap on their buttons that read ‘Pardon me, but you have me confused with someone who gives a crap.’
The Dow has dropped about 550 points in the last three days. Helicopter Ben has now told everyone in the world that his chopper will soon be running out of gas thereby quenching QE whatever its number is. Is this a Black Swan event? Hard to believe that it is since everyone has been anticipating it for at least six months. As predicted here, everyone thought that they could get out whole when the time came, because they would know it ahead of time. Well, had they known, then the markets would not have plunged as they have, and it ain’t over yet.
“Signs of ObamaCare's failings mount daily, including soaring insurance costs, looming provider shortages and inadequate insurance exchanges. Yet the law's most disturbing feature may be the Independent Payment Advisory Board. The IPAB, sometimes called a "death panel," threatens both the Medicare program and the Constitution's separation of powers. At a time when many Americans have been unsettled by abuses at the Internal Revenue Service and Justice Department, the introduction of a powerful and largely unaccountable board into health care merits special scrutiny.” So say DAVID B. RIVKIN JR. and ELIZABETH P. FOLEY in the 20jun13 WSJ of these un-fireable appointed bureaucrats. And the bad news on that law will get a lot worse before serious attempts to repeal it are mounted. Attributed deaths will have to number in the thousands before progressives will take notice (if then).
But there is an outside chance that this monster may collapse on itself from the gross incompetence at HHS according to the auditing arm of the GAO. It seems that the HHS dunces in residence have not done their homework, and are having one hell of a time setting up the infamous insurance ‘exchanges’. In fact, no one really knows what all is supposed to happen in these new bueraucracies that will dot the national landscape – that is one of the many reasons why HHS is running Obamacare as a black ops mission that is as opaque as it can possibly be – and the band starts playing in October. Nationwide support for Obamacare is now down to about one out of three Americans, true believers all (more here).
To feel better, just go to the lamestream and/or any of the leftwing blogs where you will be burdened with none of this.
[21jun13 update]The kids will get to ride elephants at the Nevada County Fair. The fair board listened politely to the protestations of local ‘animal activists’, and then refused to cancel the contract with Have Trunk Will Travel. To me people from organizations like Center for Animal Protection and Education comprise the faction of soft-headed, politically correct busybodies that have done so much to take our nation into the cultural oblivion and proscribed property rights mess in which we now wallow. It’s good to celebrate a rare sparkle of sanity here and there in the public forum.
The WSJ’s enthusiastic editorial policy on immigration reform continues to miss the mark. They celebrate the CBO’s analysis that the present bill would slightly lower our deficits by supplying new workers to boost GDP. This is supposed to represent CBO’s new approach to ‘dynamic scoring’ instead of the ‘static’ type that they usually do in which every law is evaluated as if it will act in a hermetically sealed container from which collateral effects are removed. Well, the CBO’s analysis and the WSJ’s assessment ('Mi Casa Su Growth Casa') of it both overlook the overriding effect of technology induced systemic unemployment (much discussed in these pages). Neither organization recognizes that the existing legal American workforce continues to have trouble selling their outdated and rapidly diminishing skillsets into job markets that today demand so much more.
I expect this from the gang that can never shoot straight at the CBO, but the WSJ error continues to surprise me. The new beneficiaries of amnesty that this immigration bill would create will be able to add significantly to the lines at the various welfare windows that the feds and state governments operate. And we haven’t even begun to consider that the illegal alien problem will continue under the new perpetually porous borders provisions of this so-called immigration reform.