The IG report’s whitewashing of the FBI is statistically unbelievable

Karl Denninger points out that a statistical analysis of the Inspector General’s report on the FBI investigation into President Trump reveals that it’s fundamentally impossible. The IG report, after reading through a good part of it, states that seventeen “errors” were made by the FBI. May I remind you of an indisputable fact: Errors are randomly distributed. That is, let’s assume you intend to drive at 40mph.  If you make an error you will operate your car some of the time at 38mph, and some of the time at 42mph.  The errors, if they are actual errors, will be randomly distributed around the correct action.  Some of the errors will

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Not so fast on the Afghanistan analysis!

The Washington Post recently published a lengthy article headed “The Afghanistan Papers:  A secret history of the war“.  It purports to show how the US military lied to the public about the conduct of the war, and covered up important information. The former Naval officer who blogs as Cdr. Salamander was there at the time, and he has a rather different view.  He’s taken the time and trouble to write an extensive essay challenging the errors he sees in the Washington Post article.  I found it intriguing.  Here are a few excerpts from what is, of necessity, a very long essay. With

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“Government employees multiplying like rabbits”

That’s the title of a thought-provoking article at BizPacReview.  Here’s an excerpt. By 2015, the Bureau of Labor Statistics stated there were 80% more people employed by government in America than those employed in the manufacturing sector. And federal, state and local governments employed about 21 million people. By October, 2019, this number had risen to 24,421,000 government workers, if we include the 1.4 million military employees. Of this amount, 17.3% worked for the federal government, 21.9% worked for state government, and 60.8% were employed by local governments. The expanding federal government helps to explain why this country is running a federal

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No, things were NOT better under white rule in South Africa

There seems to be a perennial attempt to insinuate that the only reason things are so bad in South Africa these days is because white supremacist rulers and their policy of apartheid are no longer in charge.  I addressed this at some length in a previous essay (which, if you haven’t read it, remains very relevant, IMHO), but there are still plenty of doubters out there. Now Kim du Toit, another expatriate South African who’s now an American citizen, brings his own contribution to the debate.  He concludes: So there’s no point in reevaluating apartheid:  it was a savagely iniquitous and evil system, and the

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California’s homeless crisis: a musical explanation

We’ve visited the homelessness crisis before.  It’s particularly bad in Los Angeles, but the same problem exists in other Californian cities (e.g. San Diego). This video may be labeled a “parody”, but there’s an awful lot of truth in it. My take on the subject is that as long as government is expected to provide the solution, there won’t be one.  Government sees only the opportunity to spend lots of our money, and create lots of new jobs for their bureaucratic drones, while ignoring the reality of the situation.  In fact, it’s in their best interests not to solve the problem – otherwise what would they do with all those

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Ornithology, not ecclesiology – thank heaven!

A news headline made me sit up in sudden concern last week: Cardinal with rare abnormality discovered in central Texas However, I needn’t have worried.  It didn’t refer to yet another sex scandal in the Catholic Church! According to the Inland Bird Banding Association, the bird shows apparent bilateral gynandromorphism, a rare abnormality that causes it to have female plumage on one side of its body, and male on the other. Phew . . . (wipes brow to remove beads of sweat) . . . a bird, rather than an ecclesiastical rank, and feathers, not vestments.  What a relief, considering my article last week! Peter

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It’s the end of the world as we know it – and we feel terrible!

Three articles struck a powerful chord in me over the past few days.  They all approach a central theme from different directions, but their conclusions are very similar:  today’s extremists see politics, ideology, and life itself in religious terms rather than secular.  Their beliefs may have nothing to do with any Deity that we might recognize, but they’re nevertheless oriented towards a cause that assumes God-like proportions in their eyes. First, Alma Boykin (a good friend in meatspace as well as cyberspace) compares the attitudes of modern, secular millennialist extremists to religious fundamentalism. Millennialism, leaning on Richard Landes’ definition and discussion, is an emotional, socially

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Sunday morning music

AC/DC‘s classic rock hit “Thunderstruck” has become an international icon of the classic rock scene.  Here’s the original music video. However, there have been almost innumerable covers and different versions of the song – some a serious attempt at music, others rather less so.  I thought I’d gather up some of the oddballs, and see if you like them. Here’s 2Cellos with their not-quite-classical rendition. The BadPiper had a go at it in hard-blowing fashion. A 12-year-old self-taught Chinese guitarist produced this outstanding rendition for acoustic guitar. Finnish parody group Steve’N’Seagulls tried it in bluegrass style. Here’s Luna Lee tackling “Thunderstruck” on the gayageum, a traditional Korean instrument.

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Saturday Snippet: The USS Enterprise and the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor

As we all know, the US aircraft carriers weren’t at Pearl Harbor when the Japanese attacked it on December 7th, 1941.  However, they weren’t far away.  USS Enterprise was one of only three US carriers (along with USS Saratoga and USS Ranger) to serve throughout World War II from the first day to the last.  As the Japanese attack went in, she was returning to Pearl Harbor after delivering fighter aircraft to Wake Island, soon to be occupied by Japan. Cdr. Edward P. Stafford wrote a history of the ship, “The Big E”.  Published in 1962, it’s become one of the classic accounts of naval warfare.  I’m particularly pleased

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Fitness – but not for that purpose?

I was both saddened and amused to read that FitBit, an activity tracking device that monitors your level of exertion during your daily activities, has emerged as a tell-tale device as well.  NFL correspondent Jane Slater tweeted: We can laugh, of course, but it’s yet another reflection of how personal privacy has almost disappeared with the advent of ubiquitous consumer electronics.  Consider these facts: If you buy a modern CPAP device, information on your sleep habits (including date and time of sleep sessions, the level of sleep, etc.) is automatically passed to a central monitoring service, where the details are recorded – basically forever.  The

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