Series Review: Making a Murderer

So you’ve probably heard something about Netflix’s documentary series Making a Murderer. The series centers around Steven Avery, a Wisconsin man with a long criminal history who was convicted of a sexual assault he did not commit in 1985. After his exoneration, he sued Manitowoc County and the sheriff, alleging misconduct in the initial investigation and prosecution.

In the middle of this, a young photographer, Teresa Halbech, went missing. Avery was the last person she supposedly saw and police found her car and burned bone fragments on his property. He and his nephew were convicted of murdering her.

Avery insists on his innocence and claims he was railroaded again because of the lawsuit. The documentary goes through his case, from the previous charge, to the investigation, through the trial and the first round of appeals. It has caused an online sensation, with numerous blogs discussing the case and a White House petition for Avery and his nephew to be pardoned.

This review is going to be very spoilery. I’m going to discuss the case as if you’ve watched the documentary or read some of the coverage. So if you haven’t and plan to, you might want to bookmark this and come back in ten hours.

Read more… »

The road to hell and all that jazz…

The other day I was having a discussion with your usual idiotic collectivist retard whom couldn’t contain his admiration and fawning over Bernie Sanders and his idiotic socialist beliefs. Of course I pointed out how the stupid shit they believe is what will finally make the world a just and good place, always results in misery and evil. We discussed the good old USSR, China, Cuba, and of course, the more modern incarnations such as North Korea, Venezuela, and the western shitholes that decided to embrace a less virulent form of the disease which only differs from communism and fascism in how fast they reach the end result. The poor idiot would not be dissuaded. Mention the over 100 million killed and the billions turned into slaves of an uncaring state? A litany of excuses. Point out that the pursuit of equality of outcome, something that is impossible to do, and frankly more evil than the inequality it pretends to want to address? Even more excuses. Call attention to the fact that collectivism will always create a miserable entity with an elite on top that rack all the benefits and the rest serving as dispensable serfs of the state? And I got even more excuses, including the usual trope about how we have never seen the real outcome of collectivism in practice, because the reason that every collectivist experiment eventually degenerates into what we see in Venezuela, is only because the right people were not put in charge. And yes! Bernie would be the right person finally.

Man, did that poor idiots head explode when I pointed out that no, the big lie isn’t that we have not had the right people in charge, but that what we see is really what collectivism will always produce. There is no right leadership that will suddenly prevent collectivism from resulting in economic devastation and the destruction of life, and that is simply because while it pretends to be the solution to injustice, it is nothing but another vehicle to split people into the elite/aristocracy and the serfs. Sure, it does a great PR job by claiming it can create heaven on earth – and it does so because it is the new religion – but it can’t and will never deliver anything but pain and suffering. That’s because of the simple problem that always gets ignored: you will eventually run out of other people’s money with which to pretend you are a benevolent entity when you buy your power. What we see now in Venezuela is what happens once you have no more sheep to fleece. It’s not an accident that Chavez’s only child is a billionaire, Maduro’s and those he has chosen to bless, and a few people that help keep the serfs in line through force are loaded, while the rest are living in hell on earth. It’s what socialism will always end up as. Outside of the family unit, where some kind of instinct or true bond exists that allows most of us to make sacrifices for others, collectivism breaks and actually produces a system that has no equal in its ability to inflict pain, misery, and yes, even death. Read some history. And I don’t mean the propaganda the collectivist agents of the KGB have flooded the planet with in order to capitalize on the envy and greed of so many fools out there.

And before any of you followers of the religion of collectivism try to pretend the model was working in Europe or elsewhere, let me tell you that the cracks are not only there, but the writing is on the wall. The elite in Europe have even decided that to keep their power they are willing to make your lives even more miserable, if not outright sacrifice it, by doubling down on the idiocy while importing some of the planet’s most miserable people. I am sure you true believers, in a great tribute to Heinlein and his famous quote, will blame it all on “bad luck”. The universe is not a just place, and that is actually something sad, but you should fear, nay loathe, anyone that tells you they want to fix that. That’s because in the end, they will do far more harm than any incidental good they happen to cause, on the way to the inevitable. If you want to help others and buy into collectivism, do it with your own money and time. Leave the rest of us alone. Slavery is supposed to be an evil thing, but the collectivists seem unwilling to admit that the indentured servitude they have foisted on the productive is nothing but another form of slavery.

A Clown Car Without The Clown

Just a quick note on last night’s debate.

It was easily the best and most substantive debate we’ve had so far. The absence of Trump and presence of Megyn Kelly meant pointed tough questions for the candidates. Several of them did massively better. Rand Paul showed why I always liked him, giving an excellent answer on criminal justice reform and landing a few solid blows on Cruz. Bush looked better than he had in months, although it’s probably too little too late.

The big loser, in my mind, was Ted Cruz. Trump’s bloviating narcissism had the effect, in early debates, of making Cruz look good. Without that distraction, Cruz’s big flaws as a candidate were on display. He did a poor job explaining his flip-flop on immigration. The other candidates attacked him on various issues and were effective in doing so. This was his chance to make some headway on Donald Trump and he didn’t.

Really, this was the campaign we should have been having for the last four months, with Paul, Christie, Cruz, Rubio and Bush fighting it out for the heart of the party. It really highlighted just how badly the Trump Show has damaged the GOP’s chances.

The consensus this morning is that Trump was a big winner because he wasn’t there to get pinned on the issues while his rivals attacked each other. I’m not so sure, mainly because these are the same people who’ve been pronouncing Trump dead for the last year. If they think he did well, he must have done poorly. The caucuses are next week, so we’ll soon find out. But my suggestion for the future, if the GOP wants to recover, is to let the Donald sit out every future debate. They are way better off without him.

Call Me Mr. Frumpy

I know, another Trump post, I can’t help myself, he brings out the worse in me.

No doubt everyone has heard that Trump is skipping tomorrow night’s presidential debate because he is not up to tangling with a woman. He did not like Megyn Kelly in the last Fox sponsored debate asking him about his past comments denigrating women. Instead of answering the question like an adult he went on a jihad, both at the debate and later in the media, attacking Kelly, trying to get her suspended and fired. Not one to ever ever take the high road, he has continued slamming both Kelly and Foxnews as not being fair to him, even though Trump has more air time on Foxnews than all other candidates combined.

Here is my dilemma. In the last 40 years I have never sat out a presidential election. There has always been a candidate who was closer (sometimes marginally) to my political ideology then his opponent so it made sense for me to go to the polls and do my part. Dole, both Bush’s, Mccain and Romney, none gave me everything I wanted but all gave me a bit more than the other guy. And before yesterday I felt that I could hold my nose, admit that Trump was not even close to conservative, was arrogant/petulant/prone to allowing emotion over reason/not sufficiently versed in the mechanics of government, but could still pull the lever on him given the alternative. But given this last bit caviling, I am prepared to sit this one out.

I know the argument, staying home is a vote for Hillary, that is not motivating me. What is the real difference between Trump and Hillary anyway? Give me some actual policy differences. Yeah, yeah, it’s all about immigration. but here is the deal, all of Trump’s bold immigration moves require the approval of Congress and they are not going to stand idly by and allow Trump to deport 12 million illegals already here or ban ALL Muslims from entering the country, ain’t gonna happen.

So what else does he have? His “hire smart people” went right out the window for me with Katrina Pierson.

What I wanted from Trump was just a little humility, something that showed me he had the maturity and level headedness to be president. He could have deflected the Kelly thing so easily and turned it to his favor. Same thing with the National Review article, a better man could have addressed this, could have won them over. He needs them to win the election, he needs folks like me, he needs all those GOP voters that stayed home and did not support Romney, he needs the independents, but he is just too arrogant to unify or to be a conciliator.

Yeah, it’s early and he may yet become something that he is now not. But I doubt it.

DOOOOOOM!

Today is the 10th anniversary of Man-bear-pig’s prediction, that in 10 years, if the left was not allowed to institute the draconian and freedom robbing rules that are part and parcel of the SJWs on humanity, that the world would end.

The left has not really gotten its way despite the orchestrated anti-science consensus shaming campaign, so I am now going to hunker down in my basement and wait for the end…..

No, seriously…

Nixon wants his presidency back

I pity anyone that trust the legal system, especially when government is involved, today, because in the last 7 years it has gone from being a capricious and oft wrong system to one where the people in power wield it without impunity against their political enemies. The other day the WaPo had an article, full of vim and righteous indignation, finger wagging at all the people that had been vindicated by videos showing how another politicized leftist entity was not just abusing tax payers, but life itself, for profit, of all reasons.

The WaPo writer was up high on her soapbox. She wanted everyone to know that Planned Parenthood, accused of selling baby parts for profit, had been vindicated! The vindication came in the form of a stunning reversal where the people investigating the case indicting the video makers and not Planned Parenthood. In this author’s mind, this twist of faith validates their belief that the crime here was not what Planned Parenthood was doing (and based on the evidence Planned Parenthood was definitely doing this), but instead, on the fact someone had the temerity to take the lipstick off the pig. The crime that brought these indictments? Tampering with government records!

This turn of play is nothing but more of the same done by those that count on how most people have willfully or otherwise remained negligent of the rampant abuses of power by those in power, at every level of government, in the past 7 years. From a DOJ that chose and continues to only enforce the laws that favor this administration and the left in general, and even went out of its way to run a criminal scheme that amounted to an act of war in order to turn the American public against the second amendment, to a court system that flagrantly chooses to target political enemies of the state at every level, we no longer have a nation of men and laws but one so corrupt that only a fool has any faith in the judicial system today.

We had a criminal political class that allowed a US ambassador to be killed, by terrorists, in a post they knew was targeted by said terrorists to make a point. That all happened so these criminal leftist politicians could protect the left’s chances in an election, because they had decided to bank electoral points on taking center stage to declare terrorism defeated. When this shit went south, they blamed a movie maker for it in the hopes of not just deflecting blame, but to use the crisis to attack social media which remained a thorn in their side, and constantly defeated their orchestrated work with a complicit media in shaping the message in their favor. Considering these leftist morons were all instrumental in the fabrication of a lie about the previous president’s appearance on a US aircraft carrier, where he declared that carrier’s mission as a success, but they twisted that to their political advantage to pretend he was claiming total victory (the left was actively working to make sure the US lost that conflict, and Obama succeeded at doing just that), this ironic twist of faith is just beyond karmic.

It is all political advantage, every time, and every day, with these people. And they will cheat, lie, and commit any and all crimes to get their way. Ask Scott Walker whom had the democratic political machine target him and all of his supporters for doing something that helped the taxpayers of Wisconsin over the democrat money machine in the state. Ask the people targeted by the IRS for belonging to the only real enemy the left feels need to be defeated. Ask the supposed fat cats that the SEC or the DOJ prosecuted or prosecutes for what in the grand scheme of things amount to petty financial indiscretion while letting democrats like Corazine, who stole billions from hard working people, walk. Ask the taxpayers fleeced for over a billion dollars so the political left could funnel tons of money to their friends, lobbyists, and own campaign coffers. And most of all ask all the people that have been sold one lie after another by these crooks. Let’s not forget those that thought Obamacare would actually reduce cost and provide better care. Or those of us that keep paying for such collectivist vote buying schemes that span the spectrum of the lefts “caring programs”, including a broken immigration scheme that will fundamentally change America. The list goes on.

And this supposed twist in the Planned Parenthood investigation is nothing more than more of the same. See, it turns out that there is a simple reason for this twist: Planned Parenthood has insider help. And yes, that is the reason this has happened. It’s a punitive action. These people are going to be made examples, just like others that dared to point out the corruption and criminal activity.

Obama has a legacy: he has created another American banana republic.

The Price of Socialism

The Sanders campaign has released some details about his socialized medicine system. Vox conveniently lays out just how much your taxes will go up to pay for “Medicare for all” (which will actually be “Medicaid for all”).

sanders-taxes5002

Now it’s easy to get caught on that top-line marginal rate of 77%, which is truly astonishing. But note that taxes will go up for everyone. Even the lowest income bracket will see their taxes go up ten percentage points. This reinforces a point I’ve been making for along time — you can’t pay for all this crap just by taxing “the rich”, with “the rich” being defined at whatever income level your focus group thinks is “rich”. You have to tax everyone. It’s the only way it works. At least Sanders is being honest about it.

Or is he? Sanders’ plan anticipates big savings from nowhere. He anticipates that he will cut healthcare spending by about 20% (this being approximately the difference between Medicare rates and typical insurance rates). But he never really gets into details. And as we’ve discovered with Obamacare, these mysterious savings never do seem to show up. Obamacare was supposed to save us money with fewer ER admissions. But ER admissions went up. It was supposed to save money with electronic medical records. But those medical records systems turned out to be very expensive. It was supposed to save money with more preventative medicine. But preventative medicine, while a good thing, does not save money.

(All of this was pointed out in advance by critics of Obamacare. Repeatedly. And we were bashed as callous tools of the insurance industry who hated poor people.)

Sanders has mentioned having Medicare “negotiate” lower prices for prescription drugs (i.e, forcing them to sell their drugs cheaper). But apart from the damage it would do to pharmaceutical innovation, prescription drugs are a small part of the healthcare bill. Eventually, you’re going to be forcing doctors and nurses to take pay cuts, something the Left has long wanted. If you read any article about the glories of universal healthcare, you will eventually come across the part where they lament that American doctors make a lot more money than doctors in socialized systems.

And that really cuts to the core of it. This isn’t really about providing better healthcare to the poors. It’s not even clear that expanded insurance will improve healthcare outcomes. This is about class warfare. It’s about raising taxes on the hated rich to “fair” levels. It’s about cutting pharma profits to “fair” levels. It’s about cutting doctor’s salaries to “fair” levels. It’s about hobbling “rich” people under the deranged notion that this will somehow help everyone else. Look at that chart again. The astronomical tax rates in that chart aren’t a bug, they’re a feature.

Don’t be fooled. Don’t be fooled when this gibberish comes from Democrats. But especially don’t be fooled when this gibberish comes from, oh, let’s say, the Republican front-runner.

Out Comes The Long Knives

This week has not been good for Donald Trump. Yeah, I know he still leads in the polls, still commands large audiences at his rallies and still controls the narrative, so far. On Thursday the National Review came out with their “Conservatives Against Trump” issue, 22 of their leading authors, a veritable who’s who of the nation’s top conservative political thinkers, all came out with one voice in calling out Trump as not conservative, not qualified to lead the nation, and not the guy many on the right think he is. You can read it here. All are short, concise and laser like in exposing the man behind the curtain (you can skip Glenn Beck, he is certifiable, but the rest are all interesting reads).

Then yesterday a Super Pac came out with this;

Straight from the horses mouth.

The last few days my head has been spinning. The usual right leaning sites I frequent have been populated by Trump supporters, folks who will defend him no matter what based mostly on the fact that he is not a politician and stands for the big eff you to the establishment. The NR piece was met with ,”We are not supposed to eat our own”, “That was then, Trump has evolved”, “He is not part of the establishment, he will shake things up?”, and my favorite ,”Those NR types are part of the problem, they are the establishment”, even though they are not funded by K St., provide conservative commentary, and have endorsed no other candidates.

Now this video comes out, and if anything it has “hardened Pharaoh’s heart”, it has increased their stridency and made them dig in their heels deeper. Loyalty is a wonderful thing, but loyalty should be questioned if what you are loyal to is not what you thought it was.

There are some issues, namely; the 2nd Amendment, partial birth abortion, eminent domain, prohibitive/onerous taxation, federal land management , that are beyond evolving, are immutable on the face, and can’t be compromised by any lover of liberty.

Given Trump’s high unfavorability rating and the fact many Republican voters will not support Trump and stay home (low GOP voter turnout doomed Romney) I have to conclude that Trump can not win in November. Sure, he can win the nomination, and since we don’t know who he will be running against (still waiting for the criminal indictment for Hillary) it could be close. But I’m betting it won’t be. I know we have some Trump supporters here, where am I going wrong?

Trump is a lot like Obama, both narcissistic to the point of nausea, and both haven’t a clue on how the government works.

EPA Knew, Part II

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the crisis in Flint, Michigan, where a criminally inept government contaminated the drinking water with lead and spent months pretending the problem didn’t exist. Now, the other shoe has dropped:

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s top Midwest official said her department knew as early as April about the lack of corrosion controls in Flint’s water supply — a situation that likely put residents at risk for lead contamination — but said her hands were tied in bringing the information to the public.

Starting with inquiries made in February, the federal agency battled Michigan’s Department of Environmental Quality behind the scenes for at least six months over whether Flint needed to use chemical treatments to keep lead lines and plumbing connections from leaching into drinking water. The EPA did not publicize its concern that Flint residents’ health was jeopardized by the state’s insistence that such controls were not required by law.

Instead of moving quickly to verify the concerns or take preventative measures, federal officials opted to prod the DEQ to act, EPA Region 5 Administrator Susan Hedman told The Detroit News this week. Hedman said she sought a legal opinion on whether the EPA could force action, but it wasn’t completed until November.

The EPA’s point is that actual decision-making is made by the DEQ, a state-level agency. They mainly monitor and advise. But that doesn’t explain why they spent six months in bureaucratic tickle fight instead of, you know, telling a city of tens of thousands people that there water was poisonous.

This is the second time the EPA has stayed quiet on a massive ecological disaster as you may remember from last year’s mine blowout. Amazing, the EPA is standing by that decision.

The Democrats are in a huff to blame Snyder for this. And, to be fair, Snyder does deserve some blame. The decision to switch to river water was signed off on by the emergency manager and Snyder picked the emergency manager. Responsibility rolls upward.

But this is not exclusively or even mainly the fault of the governor or austerity or “free markets”. Snyder has released a trove of e-mails show that the DEQ concealed what was going on, from him and from the citizens of Flint. Dalmia walks us through how this was a failure at every level of government, not because of an emergency manager or austerity but because of incompetence, cover-up and malfeasance:

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, the state agency that is responsible for implementing federal EPA environmental standards and ensure water standards, ignored citizen concerns that there was something wrong with the water they were getting from the new Flint River water system.

The EPA required the DEQ to perform a faulty test to measure water quality that totally failed to catch the problem. That’s not all that the EPA did wrong, however. Even after it realized that the DEQ wasn’t taking a simple step necessary to prevent lead poisoning – namely adding phosphorous – it did absolutely nothing. It didn’t go public with this information; it didn’t warn residents that they should take steps to prevent themselves. It basically fiddled as Flint residents were getting poisoned. What’s even more infuriating? It would have cost less than $50,000 annually to add the phosphorous.

The local mayor was even worse than the EPA. If the EPA passively allowed residents to poison themselves, the mayor actively encouraged them to do so. He told them that there was nothing wrong with the water and they’d be wasting their “precious” money by buying bottled water. This, incidentally, was after GM stopped using this water because it was corroding auto parts.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services dismissed tests showing a spike in lead levels in blood tests of local residents after the switch to Flint River as a “seasonal anomaly.”

(The Mayor of Flint actually drank some of the water on TV to prove it was safe. Greg Branch has written another good explainer that breaks down what happened.)

You get it now, liberals? I know you hate Snyder. I know you hate Republicans. I know you hate the whole emergency manager thing. But this went a lot deeper than Snyder. He wasn’t the one who signed off on the switch and then spent months ignoring or deliberately covering up the problem. Quit using this an excuse to go after a governor you don’t like. Yes, he bears some responsibility. There may two people in this whole mess who don’t. But there are a lot of people who a lot more responsibility than Snyder. And most of them are Democrats.