The Rashomon effect occurs when the same event is given contradictory interpretations by different individuals involved. The effect is named after Akira Kurosawa‘s 1950 film Rashomon, in which a murder is described in four mutually contradictory ways by its four witnesses. More broadly, the term addresses the motivations, mechanism, and occurrences of the reporting on the circumstance, and so addresses contested interpretations of events, the existence of disagreements regarding the evidence of events, and the subjects of subjectivity versus objectivity in human perception, memory, and reporting.
We live in Rashomon times.
On the one hand, there’s the Wolff book, where the author admits he’s lying (emphasis added):
Wolff’s sourcing note in an excerpt explains many of the myriad inaccuracies, saying, “Many of the accounts of what has happened in the Trump White House are in conflict with one another; many, in Trumpian fashion, are baldly untrue. These conflicts, and that looseness with the truth, if not with reality itself, are an elemental thread of the book.”
Anti-trumpers aiming to throw Pres. Trump out of office through a “25th Amendment solution” by declaring him mentally incompetent are relying in this book’s anecdotes.
On the other hand, there’s yesterday’s meeting, aired live for the full 55 minutes. Some things you need to see for yourself, so I encourage you to watch,
He invited nearly everyone at the table to have their say. He urged bipartisan cooperation, promising to sign whatever bill Congress brings him.
. . .
He joked, listened, accepted flattery, told anecdotes and presided over a positive tone on an issue that has eluded a legislative solution for a decade or more.
Call it political theater, if you may, but, as I tweeted yesterday,
Anyone watching @realDonaldTrump running the televised live WH meeting on immigration who thinks he’s mentally incapable needs to have their head examined
The Government Tries to Buy Guns Illegally, and Fails
The anti-gun lobby’s use of skewed, misleading, or simply incorrect statistics has long been noted. Whether it is inflating the number of people killed in mass shooting events, or claiming that suppressors allow silent killing, those of us on the conservative right have learned to distrust the results of “studies” commissioned by the left.
That’s why it’s gratifying to hear this week that an extremely partisan “study”, designed to show that it is easy to buy guns illegally online, found that it isn’t.
As the NRA reports, “the Government Accountability Office (GAO) report — “Internet Firearm Sales: ATF Enforcement Efforts and Outcomes of GAO Covert Testing” – was commissioned by three staunchly anti-gun members of Congress. Leading the charge was Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, who was joined by Sens. Brian Schatz (D-HI) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)”.
The study consisted of responding to online adverts for guns, and including a suggestion that the “buyer” was barred from buying guns. Earlier “studies” had claimed that 62% of private sellers were nonetheless happy to proceed with the sale.
Some were sceptical about this, and their scepticism has been born out in the results of the new study, which found that precisely 0% of private sellers would be willing to sell a gun to someone they suspected of being barred from owning a firearm.
It turns out that the lure of hard cash, and even the relative anonymity of the internet, is still not enough to convince responsible gun owners to break the law.
The Myth Of The Dark Web
In a complete inversion of the scientific method, it seems that the investigators started with a conclusion, and designed a study to prove it. It’s gratifying that they failed, of course, but it’s also worth looking at the conclusion itself.
This, broadly, is that the internet facilitates illegal gun sales. To those with as little knowledge about the technicalities of the web as about guns, this might seem to be true. There has been a huge increase in the number of online ammunition stores in recent years, and technologies such as blockchain appear to make buying illegal weapons absolutely anonymous.
In truth, though, the idea that one can use the “dark web” to buy illegal weapons faces one major problem: the decency of the average American. People use bitcoins because they are worried about online fraud, not to buy illegal rifles. People buy their ammunition online because it is simply more convenient to do so, especially in rural communities.
It is, of course, possible to buy illegal weapons online. The study itself investigated the “dark web”, which it wrongly claimed is inherently “designed to facilitate criminal activity online”. Even after dropping the suggestion that the “buyer” was barred from owning firearms, the investigators were only able to buy two of the seven weapons they attempted to purchase. If you were really looking to buy an illegal weapon, you might have more success on your local street corner.
In short, though the study attempted to show that it is easy to illegally buy a firearm online, it ended up proving the opposite, much more reassuring, conclusion: that the vast majority of firearms sellers in the USA are aware of the relevant laws, take their responsibilities under them seriously, and are not willing to break them, even for hard cash.
Illinois will have one of the most-closely watched gubernatorial contests this year. Republican incumbent Bruce Rauner has been a tremendous disappointment to me and just about every conservative voter I know. I enthusiastically backed the then-political newcomer in 2014, but this time around, as I explained here at Da Tech Guy, I’m supporting Rauner’s Republican challenger, state representative Jeanne Ives in the March primary election.
Ives is attacking Rauner, and to be fair, the Dems are too. Rauner has much to answer for. Actually he has little to answer for–as Rauner has not accomplished much of anything. For her part Ives is promoting common sense reforms that only public-sector union bosses and their enablers oppose, such as amending the state constitution so pension benefits can be changed, that is, so payment increases can be lowered, and having new state employees enroll in 401(k) plans.
Deals with the Democrats’ state worker wing, the public-sector unions, that some Republican governors signed off on–but not Rauner–have burdened the Prairie State with $250 billion in pension debt. Retiring at 50 with full benefits is nice–except for chumps like me who have to pay for it. Illinois’ current budget is $36 billion and a whopping one-quarter of it goes to government worker pension payments. Illinois has suffered from the worst credit rating among the states for years, currently that rating is just one level above junk.
Illinoisans are responding sensibly and predictably–for four straight years Illinois has had negative population growth.
There is little to celebrate during Illinois’ bicentennial year.
Two candidates on the Democratic side are getting most of the attention from the media and presumably it’s a race between them, as there is currently no polling data on gubernatorial race. Billionaire investor JB Pritzker, a scion of the family that own the Hyatt Hotel chain, has collected the lion’s share of endorsements from prominent Democrats and the party’s union allies. He the only Democratic candidate regularly running ads on radio, television, and on the internet. The other prominent contender is Chris Kennedy, the son of Robert F. Kennedy who used to run Chicago’s Merchandise Mart.
Neither have much to say about Illinois’ long-running fiscal crisis and solutions for it, other than “taxing the rich.” But they don’t even talk much about that.
Pritzker’s web advertisements are a daily presence on my Facebook and Pandora pages–in these Pritzker almost always attacks Donald Trump, as he does for instance in this YouTube ad. Trump has not visited Illinois since he was elected president. Last year, in front of Chicago’s Trump Tower, Pritzker released his five-point plant to resist the president. And when the inevitable spring tornado tears through Illinois bringing death and destruction, who will Governor Pritzker call for help?
Since Trump has been monopolized as a scapegoat by Pritzker, Kennedy is left with smaller prey. One of his targets is a worthy one, at least for scorn. That one is Cook County Assessor Joseph Berrios, who is also the chairman of the Cook County Regular Democratic Organization, better known as the Chicago Machine. Pritzker owns a mansion on Chicago’s Gold Coast. He purchased a smaller mansion that sits next to his. The billionaire didn’t maintain it–and then he successfully appealed his property tax assessment with Berrios’ office because the other mansion was “vacant and uninhabitable,” saving Pritzker a bundle of cash. Berrios has been under attack by the Chicago Tribune for his assessing practices, which the Chicago Tribunesays favors the rich over the poor. Kennedy is calling for Berrios to resign as assessor, but the tiny yet powerful law firm where the longtime state House Speaker and state Democratic Party chairman, Michael Madigan, is a partner was hired to lower the property taxes of a company owned by Kennedy’s Merchandise Mart.
Last week Kennedy moved on to another unpopular target, Chicago’s embattled mayor, Rahm Emanuel.
“I believe that black people are being pushed out of Chicago intentionally by a strategy that involves disinvestment in communities being implemented by the city administration,” Kennedy said at a press conference held in a predominately African-American neighborhood on Chicago’s West Side. “I believe Rahm Emanuel is the head of the city administration and therefore needs to be held responsible for those outcomes,” he added.
Phrased succinctly, Rahm, according to Kennedy, is driving blacks out of Chicago.
For a variety of reasons, including most notably high crime and execrable unionized schools, in sheer numbers and by percentage, the black population of many large cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and even Detroit has been falling, as I stated in my own blog when I reported on this story. Kennedy’s claim is tin-foil hat stuff.
And what does Trump and Emanuel have to do with Illinois’ pension debacle? Nothing with the former and a just a little bit in regards to the latter, since Rahm, a longtime prominent Illinois Democrat, was silent about the festering fiscal disease that is devouring ILL-inois. As for Berrios, I’ll place the party boss somewhere in the middle.
But the role of scapegoats, using the term in the modern sense, is to defer attention away from larger problems. And Kennedy and Pritzker don’t have solutions–or if they do they don’t care to share them with voters.
Boss Michael Madigan’s use of “Illinois math” to kick the pension problem down the road isn’t an option anymore. Illinois has reached the cliff.
John Ruberry, a fifth-generation Illinois resident, regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.
“Nobody gets removed for adultery! You’re charges won’t stand.”
These words were spoken by a (now former) Sailor when I officially delivered charges. He had been trouble since almost his first day showing up at the command. Besides going through a messy divorce for his shotgun wedding, having a kid and then not paying child support, causing my first safety stand down in years when he shorted out an UPS battery…all these and more, this guy was just problems. After numerous verbal and written counselings, being put on report just wasn’t getting the message across, so I administratively separated him on three different charges, one of which was a self-admitted adultery.
If you ask most military members, they’ll tell you the same thing he did: that nobody gets removed for adultery. And they are wrong, if only because I removed a Sailor for it. Adultery is still illegal in the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
But that statement speaks to something else…that somehow, because we disagree with a law, and because it’s socially acceptable to partake in such actions, that somehow that justifies doing those things, and thus we shouldn’t enforce that rule.
Happy first weekend of the New Year! In my part of the country we are experiencing the big bombo deep freeze after the big bombo snowstorm we got yesterday. Lucky for me, five of my six dogs are either Siberian Husky (the momma dog) or Siberian Husky Half Breeds (my 15 month old puppies, whose daddy is a Dalmatian mixed with we don’t know what), so I can still put most of the dogs out to play a few times a day. I am into week two of my six week not allowed to do much of anything post-surgery recovery period, so my family is tasked with most of my chores and I miss walking all of my dogs more than words can say. The next four weeks cannot pass quickly enough for me, but I suppose that is true for a lot of people this time of year, regardless of whether or not they have sutures in the process of healing. I heard on teevee that a “thaw” may be coming next week, so that’s something to hope for! Let’s see what excitement the dextrosphere has for us right now:
As an aside, this appears to be the biggest political scandal in the history of the country. Never before has an outgoing administration attempted to fix a presidential election. It’s like something out of a third world country. But then, Obama always admired dictators like Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez.
If seeing that spreadsheet of nefarious activity has you upset, and it should, maybe some pictures of our First Lady looking gorgeous will cheer you up. MOTUS has the goods, HERE.
Right here at DaTech Guy Blog, Fausta has a debunking of the ridiculous book, Fire and Fury, by that lying weirdo, Michael Wolff. However, I take exception to something she quoted from Althouse which infers that My Donald is “Fat” – President Trump is not “fat”, he is robust, hale, heart, mighty, big, and strong.
Wolff has a reputation for making things up and pretending that they really happened, and he even put a disclaimer in his book admitting that the stuff therein is junk and then blames his lying on President Trump – of course!
From the department of what’s good for the goose is good for the gander, iOTWReport.com is writing a book, and you can help! Check it out and be sure to read the comments section!
It was a big hubabaloo in the enemedia when Macy’s drank the SJW Kool Aidand stopped carrying Trump brand items from their stores after Donald Trump thruthfully made mention of the fact that violent criminals invading our country across our uninforced southern border are harming Ameican Citizens, but Macy’s is now learning that they drank poison:
CINCINNATI, Aug. 11 (UPI) — Macy’s Inc. will close about 100 of its 728 stores, beginning in early in 2017, the company announced Thursday.
The announcement comes as Macy’s revenue decreased 3.9 percent in the second quarter of 2016, and sales in the first half of 2016 totaled $11.637 billion, down 5.9 percent from the comparable 2015 period. Another Macy’s statement cited the closing of 41 underperforming stores in 2015.
MJ Stevenson, AKA Zilla, is best known on the web as Zilla at MareZilla.com. She lives in a woodland shack near a creek, in one of those rural parts of New York State that nobody knows or cares about, with her family and a large pack of guardian companion animals.
Tourists at the Orlando amusement parks are shivering.
People are lining up at Walmart buying windproof jackets lined with fleece, sweaters, hats, and what gloves and scarves they can find.
Snowbirds laugh at the panicking locals, remarking that, “back in Fargo, we’d be wearing flip-flops and shorts when the temps hit 30.”
Everybody is talking about the weather. But what to do during bad weather?
I stole this post’s title from Carlos Eire’s magnificent Waiting For Snow in Havana. If you want to curl up and read a good book during the storm, read this beautifully incandescent memoir. Goodreads describes it,
Narrated with the urgency of a confession, Waiting for Snow in Havana is both an exorcism and an ode to a paradise lost. More than that, it captures the terrible beauty of those times in our lives when we are certain we have died — and then are somehow, miraculously, reborn.
Eire earned a National Book Award for Nonfiction in 2003. The New York Times (of Duranty Pulitzer fame) never reviewed Waiting For Snow because it did not meet the Times’s narrative on Cuba.
Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes on U. S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog
My old boss, Roger L. Simon, delves into the first issue that came to my mind when I read that the Iranian people were protesting against the mullahs: the last time it happened. That was in 2009.
Back in those pre-9/11 days when I identified as a liberal, the one thing I was sure drew all my then cohort together was opposition to fascism, whether secular or religious.
Boy, was I wrong and never was that more clear than in 2009 when the Green Movement demonstrators were marching through the streets of Tehran and other Iranian cities, demanding freedom from the mullahs. The whole world was watching, as we used to say in the sixties, only their cause was purer than ours was then. The horrifying theocrats who ran the “Islamic Republic” regularly raped women in prison before they killed them, hanged homosexuals in the streets and tortured just about everyone else who didn’t comply with the edicts of their Islamo-fascist regime.
The students and others marching in the streets to overthrow these tyrants desperately wanted America’s help, specifically the support of our “oh-so-liberal-progressive” president. they shouted, “Obama, Obama, are you with us or are you with them?”
Obama was silent.
I can’t think of a moment I was more disgusted by the acts (inaction actually) of an American president. What did he stand for? What did we stand for?
Well, who knows? What we do know is he wanted to deal with Iran his way — whether to get the glory for himself or for other even less attractive reasons we will never know. He was secretly communicating with Ahmadinejad and Khamenei even before he took office, hinting at accommodation.
“Without preconditions,” as I recall from Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign website. His way, indeed.
Well, we all know about the former president’s Iran Deal. But what of the latest revelation of the previous administration allowing Hezbollah drug cartels free rein to move snowy mountains into the United States?
Iran, Iran, Iran. Senator Obama, then afterward, President Obama, seem intent on pleasing and appeasing the mullahcracy of that nation at any costs — like a courtship.
It’s almost as if they have some hidden hold over him. Or maybe I’m just a racist.
US intelligence agencies have given Israel the green light to assassinate the senior Iranian responsible for coordinating military activity on behalf of the Islamic Republic in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq, according to the Kuwaiti newspaper al-Jarida.
For the past 20 years or so, Qassem Soleimani has commanded the Quds Force — the branch of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards responsible for military and clandestine operations outside of the Islamic Republic. (…)
Three years ago, Israel came close to assassinating Soleimani near Damascus, al-Jarida quoted unnamed source as saying, but the Americans [meaning President Obama] tipped off the Iranians against the background of intense disagreement between Washington and Jerusalem.
There’s a lot going on for the Navy right now. We’re promised a substantial increase in ships, we’ve got a new strategy that calls out our near-peer adversaries, and we’re finally taking a hard look at how badly we run people into the ground.
A 25-year-old man was arrested in South Los Angeles on Friday night in connection with an alleged “swatting” prank that resulted in a police-involved fatal shooting in Kansas, police said.
Authorities identified the suspect as Tyler Barriss of Los Angeles, KABC-TV reported. They say Barriss is suspected of making a hoax phone call to police in Wichita, Kan., that resulted in the death of an innocent 28-year-old man.
Wichita police officials were investigating whether the hoax phone call they received Thursday was an example of “swatting,” in which someone reports a false emergency in hopes of getting a SWAT team to arrive at a scene where no actual emergency exists.
However this is a topic that we talked about a long time ago
It got so bad that I discretely spoke to my local police about it to let them know about the trend so that if anyone made such a call here they would be forewarned.
But the media yawned, in fact it wasn’t until a letter sent to Eric Holder signed by 63 sitting gop members of congress concerning this trend:
Today, U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder regarding recent reports that several conservative political commentators have been targeted with harassing and frightening actions. Chambliss demanded that Holder examine these cases to determine if federal laws have been violated.
These dangerous hoaxes, also known as “SWAT-ting,” occur when a perpetrator contacts local police to report a violent incident at a target’s home. These callers are believed to utilize voice-over IP (VOIP) and other less-traditional telecommunications methods to make the call appear to come from the target residence and to hide the caller’s true identity.
That the MSM gave it any attention at all but alas, as the targets were all conservatives and the letter signed by republicans while it the Obama justice department ignored it and other writers dismissed it.
Of course now five years later that a swatting incident that this has become the story of rogue gamers and police acting before thinking CNN is all over it vs targeted attacks against conservatives for CNN it rates coverage and on air video.
And yet as a family prepares to bury their dead I have to wonder, if the MSM and the Obama administration had taken the issue seriously when people were warning about it, would a family in Kansas be about to end their new year so badly?
If you’d like to continue to support independent journalism, the type that covered the swatting stories when CNN didn’t please consider hitting DaTipJar here.
Consider subscribing. While you might have heard I’ve been unexpectedly rehired at my job. how long that will last is anyone’s guess (I have Jan 7th or 8th in the pool) but if we can get 92 more subscribers at $20 a month I can do this full time without worry.
Short story: The tree is in danger of falling unexpectedly. It is currently only being held up by artificial support (cables, etc.), but those cables aren’t enough to keep the thing from crashing to the ground and maybe killing someone or damaging the White House.
I admit it, I’m worse than Melania:
My Princeton house had two dozen trees on a half acre. The prior owners thought any tree was a good tree, so there were saplings sprouting off the ground all over the place, and those had to go as soon as we moved in.
Then there was the female gingko that had been (unsuccessfully) semi-chopped down sometime in its past, and periodically covered a large expanse of the front lawn with gummy, stinking, rot.
And let’s not forget the large cedar leaning over the neighbor’s little house, a.k.a. a lawsuit in the making.
Last, but not least, the 50′ tall elm that rotted from the inside, leaving a huge, HOLLOW diseased carcass still standing.
Melania wisely reviewed the information from the specialists at the United States National Arboretum and decided the tree had to come down. I don’t have that kind of resources, so we got rid of the saplings and the gingko without asking anyone else.
I did consult with the local arborist who did our tree maintenance (yes, Virginia, trees need regular maintenance) regarding the cedar and the elm.
The cedar was healthy, so it was turned into mulch for the other trees. The mulching was done after the chipper had been sanitized to avoid possible contagion from trees that had been put through that chipper.
The elm was dead and came down, much to my elderly neighbor’s dismay, as he could not understand that it was a hazard.
So Melania has a ways to go before her total of felled trees nears mine.
The moral of this story is, trees are living things, and, as such, have life spans. Chop responsibly.
Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes on U. S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog
The photo above of the front yard is four years old. No trees were harmed during the writing of this post.