Wednesday, October 3, 2018


     A few people have asked, over the years, why I group little bits of observation and commentary into “assorted” posts rather than giving each one its own post and headline. I know a lot of other Web writers would do as those correspondents have suggested. I don’t, for two reasons:

  1. There are one hell of a lot of posts at Liberty’s Torch, and I see no reason to multiply them pointlessly.
  2. I have a life beyond blogging. I write fiction, remember? Stuff that people read for pleasure and that occasionally brings in revenue? So I try to be efficient in my other pursuits.

     So have another grab-bag.

1. Punch back twice as hard.

     Apparently, U. S. Senator Bill Cassidy hasn’t read the manual. Review Cassidy’s linked exchange with a shrieking anti-Kavanaugh shill. Then let’s take a swing at how it should be done:

Left-wing heckler: Why are you supporting Kavanaugh?
Cassidy: Because conscienceless scum are trying to destroy his life.
Heckler: So you’re OK as a doctor to harm a woman?
Cassidy: Aha! So you’re conscienceless scum. Security! I’m being harassed!

     Now watch a master do it.

2. Mindlessly cheering for a number.

     Do not uncritically celebrate a high DJIA:

     The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose to a record Tuesday, while major indexes in other regions of the world struggled, a sign of the growing divergence in expectations for growth in the U.S. and elsewhere.

     Shares of Boeing , Caterpillar and 3M , manufacturers that have been sensitive to trade, led the Dow industrials higher, contributing to more than half of the index’s roughly 123-point gain. Monday’s revamped North American trade pact between the U.S., Canada and Mexico helped spur the latest leg of the Dow’s climb, its fourth consecutive session of gains.

     This is less newsworthy than one might think. There are several thousand equities listed on the New York Stock Exchange alone. The DJIA comprises only thirty of them – and they’re not representative of the sector that provides most of the nation’s economic growth.

     But even if some average of equities prices could justly be called nationally representative, what does such an average tell you? Only this: Money is flowing into equities. Where’s the money coming from? Was it freshly created by the Fed as “stimulus?” Has it been “sitting on the sidelines,” as many large cash balances did during the Obama years? Or might it be coming from overseas?

     A stock market average is, in the words of a wag whose name I’ve lost, like a bikini on a beautiful girl: “What it reveals is interesting, but what it conceals is vital.”

3. Perjury plain and simple.

     Lie-detector tests can be beaten, and Christine Blasey Ford knows how:

     In a sworn statement provided to the Senate Judiciary Committee, a man who claims to be an ex-boyfriend of Christine Blasey Ford says that he personally witnessed Ford coach a friend on how to take a polygraph exam. If true, it would mean Ford provided false testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee last week when she claimed she had never had any discussions with anyone about how to take a polygraph.

     The troubling allegations about Ford’s polygraph history and potentially false testimony were revealed Tuesday in a letter from Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, to attorneys for Ford. Ford and her attorneys have thus far refused to provide all polygraph-related documents and media to the Senate for review.

     The polygraph does not determine whether the subject is lying. It determines only whether his pulse, respiration rate, and perspiration are rising or falling. Thus, it can be beaten with a modest amount of training, which is why polygraph examinations are not admissible in court.

4. Must be bad for the Democrats.

     Dianne Feinstein wants the FBI report on the allegations against Brett Kavanaugh kept private to the Senate:

     People familiar with the process said Tuesday that the FBI investigation into the allegations of sexual misconduct against Judge Kavanaugh could wrap up very soon, well ahead of the end-of week deadline. ...

     The top Democrat on the committee, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, said "it depends" and she thinks a report it "should be limited" to the committee.

     What inferences would you draw from Feinstein’s preference?

5. The Double-Bind.

     Provoke a man to anger over scurrilous, unsupported allegations that are impossible to refute, then accuse him of “partisanry:”

     After Brett Kavanaugh’s heartbreaking testimony last week, which was in response to his life being destroyed, RINO Jeff Flake said he was troubled hearing the judge’s address. Flake says Kavanaugh was “sharp and partisan”.

     “I was very troubled by the tone of the remarks,” Flake said in a panel discussion alongside Democratic Senator Chris Coons at the Atlantic Festival on Tuesday.

     “We can’t have that on the Court,” said the Arizona senator, who didn’t elaborate on which interactions he was referring to....

     “The initial defense that Judge Kavanaugh gave was something like, I told my wife: ‘I hope that I sound that indignant if I was unjustly maligned,’” Flake added. “But then it went on, and the interaction with the members was sharp and partisan and that concerns me.”

     I think Flake has been bought off. He’s leaving the Senate in January, which makes him purchasable without legal consequence.

6. Escalation in progress.

     I wrote yesterday that should the nation react to the Democrats’ smear tactics by supporting the Republicans in November, we should expect and be braced for an escalation in their viciousness. But apparently they’ve decided not to wait:

     And it could yet get still worse. Be watchful. Always go armed.

     That’s all for today, Gentle Reader. I’m still editing Experienced, which I hope to release as soon as I have a cover image for it. See you tomorrow.

     UPDATE: I've been informed that the "Kavanaugh's home vandalized" article linked above above has been revealed as a hoax. Apparently it got a lot of circulation before it was debunked. Apologies.

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