The Jury Talks Back


Man Claims to Be Woman to Get Insurance Discount; Canadian Government Complies

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 7:54 am

Via Allahpundit on Twitter comes this story that well illustrates the way that people can manipulate a “choose your own gender” society to their advantage:

A Canadian man in his early 20s was unhappy with the high quote he got from his car insurance company, so he decided to do something about it: legally switch his gender from male to female.

The cunning 24-year-old resident of Alberta, Canada, first detailed his insurance stratagem on Reddit back in April, boasting that changing his gender on paper saved him nearly $1,100 a year.

‘I have taken advantage of a loophole,’ the man, whom called David, told the news outlet. ‘I’m a man, 100 per cent. Legally, I’m a woman.’

Presumably, if the company tried to use his actual gender to impose accurate rates on him, that would be discrimination of the worst possible kind.

You gotta love 2018.


Sunday Music: Bach Cantata BWV 21, Part 1

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 12:01 am

It is the tenth Sunday after Pentecost. The title of today’s Bach cantata is “Ich hatte viel Bekümmernis” (I had much grief). This cantata provides the music for both this week and the next, with Part 1 heard today, and the conclusion heard next week.

Today’s Gospel reading is John 6:1-21.

Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand

Some time after this, Jesus crossed to the far shore of the Sea of Galilee (that is, the Sea of Tiberias), and a great crowd of people followed him because they saw the signs he had performed by healing the sick. Then Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down with his disciples. The Jewish Passover Festival was near.

When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.

Philip answered him, “It would take more than half a year’s wages to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!”

Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”

Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass in that place, and they sat down (about five thousand men were there). Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.

When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.

After the people saw the sign Jesus performed, they began to say, “Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.” Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself.

Jesus Walks on the Water

When evening came, his disciples went down to the lake, where they got into a boat and set off across the lake for Capernaum. By now it was dark, and Jesus had not yet joined them. A strong wind was blowing and the waters grew rough. When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus approaching the boat, walking on the water; and they were frightened. But he said to them, “It is I; don’t be afraid.” Then they were willing to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the shore where they were heading.

The prescribed reading takes up the miracles of Jesus feeding the five thousand and walking on the water, which were skipped over in last week’s prescribed reading from the Gospel according to Mark. I have included the Gospel of these miracles according to Mark on a separate page, here — so that if you wish, you can compare Mark’s version of the story to John’s.

The text of today’s piece is available here. Here are words from Part 1 which, like Jesus’s miracles, reflect God’s ability to provide strength and comfort to those who are in deep distress, and who might feel that they have been abandoned. The words remind us that God will be there even at our most troubled times:

I had much trouble in my heart; but your consolations revive my soul.

. . . .

What? have You therefore, my God,
in my trouble,
in my fear and despair,
turned completely away from me?
Ah! do You not know Your child?
Ah! do You not hear the cries
of those, that are Yours
by covenant and faith?

. . . .

Why do you trouble yourself, my soul, and are so restless in me? Wait for God; for I will yet thank Him, since He is the help of my countenance and my God.

The deep suffering reflected in Part 1, this week, gives way to trust in God and a hymn of praise in Part 2 — which comes next week.

Stay tuned, and as always:

Happy listening!


Cohen: Trump Knew About Trump Tower Meeting in Advance

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 10:53 am

Well, of course he did:

Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former personal attorney, claims that then-candidate Trump knew in advance about the June 2016 meeting in Trump Tower in which Russians were expected to offer his campaign dirt on Hillary Clinton, sources with knowledge tell CNN. Cohen is willing to make that assertion to special counsel Robert Mueller, the sources said.

Cohen’s claim would contradict repeated denials by Trump, Donald Trump Jr., their lawyers and other administration officials who have said that the President knew nothing about the Trump Tower meeting until he was approached about it by The New York Times in July 2017.
Cohen alleges that he was present, along with several others, when Trump was informed of the Russians’ offer by Trump Jr. By Cohen’s account, Trump approved going ahead with the meeting with the Russians, according to sources.

Cohen is hardly Mr. Credibility, and the “sources” relied upon say he doesn’t have evidence. And to the most diehard Trump supporters, this doesn’t move the needle, because they don’t think there’s anything wrong with a presidential candidate seeking dirt on his opponent from the Kremlin. (Three years ago, the bolded passage I just wrote would have been unthinkable, but that’s our politics these days. It’s Trump’s world; we’re just living in it.)

So, just like Avenatti’s claim that Trump paid off way more women than previously suspected — or like literally any other evidence you can think of — this news seems unlikely to change minds. Which raises the question that I now pose to avid Trump supporters: what would change your minds about this guy? What, if proved with solid evidence, would make you say: Hmmm. This seems to be a bad guy who doesn’t deserve my support?

Just curious.


Mark Meadows and Jim Jordan Introduce Articles of Impeachment for Rosenstein

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 9:16 am

If I had ever been inclined to take these people seriously before (not that I recall that I ever was), that ship has sailed. Clowns. They should be honest and put on the makeup and big floppy shoes, because that’s all they are.

The Republican party is such a joke. And the only people who bother to stand up and declare what nonsense this all is? People who are retiring anyway.

Trump’s “Deal” with the EU: What Did It Actually Achieve?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 9:09 am

President Donald J. Trump on Twitter:

So: what was actually achieved here? Haley Byrd talked to free trade advocate Scott Lincicome, who says the answer is “not much”:

After a joint meeting on Wednesday, President Donald Trump and European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker announced that they had reached a deal. in order to pursue a deal.

In a broad statement, the two leaders said they hoped to advance a new phase of collaboration, friendship, and strong trade ties in the relationship between the United States and the European Union. The rest of the statement offered glimpses at a purported desire for free trade, but was vague and left many questions unanswered.

“On the bright side, there is a clear de-escalation of rhetoric and that’s good, but the devil will be in the details,” Scott Lincicome, a trade lawyer and adjunct scholar at the libertarian Cato Institute, says. “And this provides almost no details. Meanwhile, all the tariffs implemented so far remain in force.”

During a phone interview, Lincicome walked through the joint statement and laid out what—if anything—of substance had been achieved by the meeting.

Lincicome’s comments on the details (as summarized by Byrd) include phrases like “while appearing ambitious, is actually quite narrow” and “largely aspirational and lacking in detail.” Also included are phrases like “We already knew that” and “They’re just talking” and “That’s, again, things they’ve always wanted to do.”

It’s a good thing everything’s fixed! Just don’t tell GM, because they’re not convinced:

General Motors Co. has become the highest-profile American company to fall victim to Donald Trump’s trade wars by cutting its profit forecast for this year on surging prices for steel and aluminum.

Adjusted earnings will drop to about $6 a share, down from a previous projection for as much as $6.50 a share, the Detroit-based company said Wednesday. Raw material costs probably will be a $1 billion headwind — roughly double GM’s previous expectation. The carmaker’s shares are on course for their steepest one-day plunge in more than seven years.

The hit to GM’s profit underscores the risk that Donald Trump’s policies pose to automakers. While the U.S. president is moving to weaken fuel economy mandates, his tariffs on steel and aluminum — and potentially on imported cars — is undercutting what was shaping up to be a near-record year for an iconic American company that weeks ago was riding high on a $2.25 billion investment in its autonomous-driving unit.

How bad is it? The tariffs have more than outweighed the tax cut for GM and other American automakers:

As a friend says by email: “I can see the campaign ads in Michigan and the midwest now: ‘Barack Obama saved GM; Donald Trump is sabotaging it.'”

Your job, as a card-carrying member of the tribe, is to defend this idiocy with whatever pathetic argument you can scrape up. For God’s sake — whatever you do — don’t think for yourself.

P.S. Thank God all those national security concerns that ostensibly justified these tariffs have been resolved. What were they, again?


CNN Obtains Tape of Trump Talking to Cohen

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 9:14 am

It’s outrageous that Mueller would leak this!!!!1! Except 1) Mueller isn’t running this investigation and 2) CNN explicitly says it got the tape from Lanny Davis, Cohen’s lawyer.

Donald Trump complains on Twitter that the tape ends abruptly, which is typically dishonest of him as the sudden end is almost certainly for his protection (my educated guess is that attorney-client privileged materials immediately follow).

It’s not 100% clear what the tapes reveal. They seem to be discussing reimbursing “our friend David” (presumably David Pecker, the head of the National Enquirer), for his “catch and kill” hush money payment to Karen McDougal. The Big Dispute between Lanny Davis and Rudy Giuliani appears to be who was proposing that the sleazy payment be made in cash, with Davis saying Trump proposed that and Giuliani saying Cohen did. I can’t tell — and I can’t figure out why I am supposed to care. Here’s the audio so you can reach your own conclusions:

UPDATE: Interesting question raised by bobble in the comments: perhaps “our friend David” refers to David Dennison (an alias Trump used in these payoffs) rather than David Pecker.

Not impossible at all.

UPDATE x2: On second thought, the “maybe he gets hit by a truck” line seems more consistent with it being Pecker.


Trump Prepares $12 Billion Bailout of Farmers Hit by His Super-Easy and Great Trade War

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 9:08 am

The government is good at one thing. It knows how to break your legs, and then hand you a crutch and say, “See if it weren’t for the government, you wouldn’t be able to walk.”Harry Browne

Trump has broken farmers’ legs with his tariffs, and the crutch is going to cost $12 billion:

The U.S. Agriculture Department on Tuesday plans to announce a $12 billion package of emergency aid for farmers caught in the midst of President Trump’s escalating trade war, two people briefed on the plan said, the latest sign that growing tensions between the United States and other countries will not end soon.

Trump ordered Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to prepare a range of options several months ago, amid complaints from farmers that their products faced retaliatory tariffs from China and other countries. The new package of government assistance funds will be announced Tuesday and is expected to go into effect by Labor Day.

The aid package is expected to target soybean farmers, dairy farmers, and pork producers, among others. White House officials hope it will quiet some of the unease from farm groups, but the new plan could revive debates about taxpayer-funded bailouts and the degree to which Trump’s trade strategy is leading to unforeseen costs.

Farm groups have complained that moves by China and other countries in response to Trump’s protectionist trade stance could cost them billions of dollars, spooking Republicans who fear a political and economic blowback to Trump’s approach.

The White House has searched for months for a way to provide emergency assistance to farmers without backing down on Trump’s trade agenda, and the new program will extend roughly $12 billion through three mechanisms run by the Department of Agriculture.

Tariffs are taxes:

a tax or duty to be paid on a particular class of imports or exports.
synonyms: tax, duty, toll, excise, levy, charge, rate, fee, countervail; price list

What’s more, they represent the government telling you that you cannot voluntarily purchase goods from someone who voluntarily wants to sell them to you, at a price that you both voluntarily agree to.

Here’s how the Economic Genius in Chief feels about these taxes, that interfere with your freedom of choice:

Your choosing to spend money in the way that you choose is “robbery” according to this guy.

But hey. As long as we can bail out the victims, that’s better than just taking his tariff power away. Right? Just ask the Very Courageous Republicans in Congress and they will tell you exactly that, through their inaction.


Teen’s Hot Dog Stand Inspires Health Department To Help, Not Hinder

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 8:59 pm

[guest post by Dana]

During the dog days of summer, media reporting on all things Trump is at a rolling boil. Whether it’s about him throwing red meat to his base, his Putin man-crush come to a shameful head, his possible revocation of security clearances , or taking aim at the “Amazon Washington Post” and anything to do with the “Mueller Witch Hunt,” all the scribes from all the tribes are furiously shaping and molding the news so that the public knows what to think. Ugh. Let’s hit the pause button for a second, and cleanse the palate with some unexpected decency and generosity.

I don’t know about where you live, but in my neighborhood there are any number of front-yard lemonade stands serving up cold drinks to wilting neighbors. The young entrepreneurs are polite as they pour refreshments from plastic pitchers into little Dixie cups and happily collect their quarters as a hovering adult reminds them to say thank you. If possible, I stop at these stands because young people learning the basics of running a little business while earning some summer money is a win-win. With that, the Star Tribune ran a great story about an ambitious 13-year old running a hot dog stand, and what happened when the inevitable complaint was made and the Minneapolis Health Department got involved. Hold your assumption though, because things didn’t go the way they typically do when a regulatory authority is involved.

Jaequan Faulkner stood under a shady pop-up tent, shuffling dollar bills and tucking them into a pink cash register, his hazel eyes locked on the next customer.

The pop-up Mr. Faulkner’s Old Fashioned Hot Dogs goes far beyond the traditional neighborhood kid’s lemonade stand. It’s a business with a permit from the city of Minneapolis.

Faulkner’s venture, a tabletop of hot dogs, Polish sausages, chips, drinks and condiments, will travel around the North Side this summer, including stops at the Minneapolis Police Department’s Fourth Precinct, the Minneapolis Urban League and Sanctuary Covenant Church. Eventually he hopes to move into a food truck.

Jaequan Faulkner said he likes running his own business and that he likes how he shows people that young people can do anything.

And now about that complaint and the Minneapolis Health Department.

The city received a complaint about the teen’s stand, said Logan Ebeling, a Minneapolis health inspector.

But rather than shut the teen’s stand down, the city stepped up to help his business improve.

According to Ebeling, Faulkner did need to make some changes to his stand. He had to get a tent for overhead protection, a hand washing station and the city also gave him a thermometer to check the temperatures of his sausages and hot dogs.

Staff from the Minneapolis Health Department, the Minneapolis Promise Zone and the Northside Economic Opportunity Network (NEON) came together to help bring Faulkner’s hot dog stand up to code.

“We’ve been working with Jaequan on the business side of things, like basic business, finance, marketing, pricing… he’s really been excited about all of it,” said Ann Fix, program manager for the Northside Food Business Incubaor.

Staff from the city’s health department even chipped in to help pay for his $87 permit.

“Surprisingly, I’m like, dang the city’s not the bad guys in this situation. They’re actually the ones who are helping me,” Faulkner said. “It makes me feel kind of—not kind of—really proud that people know what I’m doing.”

But for Jaequan Faulkner, he has another goal than just making money:

Next year, Faulkner hopes to put 25 cents from every hot dog sale toward raising awareness about youth suicide and depression, something he’s struggled with personally.

Jaequan said that he was bullied when he was younger. As such, having the stand and having to to go to work helps him not to dwell on what happened. The business has given him a purpose and hope. I figure if a self-run hot dog stand has substantially built up the self-confidence of a struggling young person, then everyone in the vicinity of Mr. Faulkner’s Old Fashioned Hot Dogs is obliged to go buy a dog from him.

Obviously, coming to Jaequan’s aid didn’t require a massive amount of time or money on the part of the Minneapolis Health Department. What it required was a willingness to help in real time, and in a very tangible way. If we have to have such a regulatory agency, then this seems more in line with how they should function. And the immediate question should be: How can we help in a tangible way and in real time? Because now that the Minneapolis Health Department set a precedent by coming to the aid of the young entrepreneur in such a beneficial way, what happens when other entrepreneurs like Jaequan face similar complaints? While the staff was generous to pay the permit costs, what about the other necessary items that the agency itself supplied? How far does the regulatory arm of generosity extend, and what is the criteria one must meet to be the recipient of such a gift?

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


Tough Talk from Donald Trump

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 10:15 am

Background here and here.

UPDATE: Alex Griswold beat me to it. GMTA and sometimes mine does too.


Sunday Music: Bach Cantata BWV 13

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 12:01 am

It is the ninth Sunday after Pentecost. The title of today’s Bach cantata is “Meine Seufzer, meine Tränen” (My sighs, my tears):

Today’s Gospel reading is Mark 6:30-34, 53-56.

The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”

So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place. But many who saw them leaving recognized them and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.

. . . .

When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret and anchored there. As soon as they got out of the boat, people recognized Jesus. They ran throughout that whole region and carried the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was. And wherever he went—into villages, towns or countryside—they placed the sick in the marketplaces. They begged him to let them touch even the edge of his cloak, and all who touched it were healed.

The prescribed reading skips over the miracles of Jesus feeding the five thousand and walking on the water, as contained in Mark 6:35-52. In the Revised Common Lectionary, we will hear those stories next week from the Gospel according to John. I have included the Gospel of these miracles according to Mark on a separate page, here — so that if you wish, you can see what is omitted by the ellipsis in the quoted passage above.

The text of today’s piece is available here. The text reflects the misery and pain that people can feel, as did the masses who came to see Jesus … and the comfort that one can feel from trusting in God.

My sighs, my tears
can not be counted.
When one daily encounters despair
and the anguish does not fade,
Ah! Then this pain must already
be building the road to death for us.

. . . .

My turmoil seizes
and robs me of all rest,
my vessel of sorrow is completely
filled up with tears,
and this anguish will not be stilled,
and makes me numb and emotionless.

. . . .

Aching and pitiful weeping
does not help the sickness of care;
yet he who looks towards heaven
and concerns himself there for comfort,
for him a light of joy can easily
illuminate the sorrowful breast.

Therefore take hold of yourself, my soul,
and trust only in Him
who has created you;
Let it go how it goes;
your Father in the heights
knows the wisdom of all matters.

The final chorale (“Therefore take hold…), which can be heard at 18:55, uses a melody that reappears in the St. Matthew Passion, here:

and here:

Happy listening!


The Carter Page FISA Applications Have Been Released

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 5:33 pm

You can read them here. Don’t forget to thank the #FAKENEWSMEDIA for getting them for you.

A footnote at page 16 has this information:

Footnote re Hillary

A quick read suggests: 1) the much-ballyhooed “refusal to name Hillary Clinton” appears totally consistent with the phraseology of the rest of the document; and 2) the information from the Steele dossier does not appear to be the only information used against Page. Both are as I always suspected.

The New York Times also says:

The renewal applications from 2017 told the court in boldface print that the F.B.I. had severed its relationship with Mr. Steele because he had shared some of his claims with a news organization in October 2016, contrary to the F.B.I.’s “admonishment” to speak only to law enforcement officials about the matter. But they said the bureau continued to assess his prior reporting as “reliable.”

Let the partisan spinning begin. Me, I’m not surprised by any of it. Not one bit.

Have You Ever Heard of Plato, Aristotle, Socrates? Morons!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 9:37 am

President Donald J. “Vizzini” Trump weighs in on the news, obviously leaked by his team, that the feds have a recording of him and Michael Cohen discussing a hush money payment to Karen McDougal:

He keeps using that word. Etc.

Always remember and never forget: “We have no knowledge of any of this.”

And Thomas Jefferson did lots of things wrong.

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