Sunday, March 31, 2024

A Question Answered

John Hinderaker of Power Line writes a longish column about polling showing Americans don't favor DEI programs in businesses. They also believe such programs make the firms' offerings worse.

Hinderaker concludes with this question:

Why do companies tie themselves up in knots pursuing pointless (at best) DEI goals, when the whole enterprise is unpopular, and customers are likely to think they are making their companies worse, not better?

I believe Glenn Reynolds, aka Instapundit, has already answered this question. The people at the top of large companies socialize together and their elite colleges have sold them the DEI bill of goods. 

Their peer group reinforces members who implement DEI activities hence they do so even when it injures the firms they lead because it enhances their personal esteem within their cohort. Plus, as they are wealthy, their ox isn't being gored by DEI-fostered prejudices.

Happy Easter

Have a Happy Easter, friends. It is the second most celebrated Christian holy day, and arguably should be the most celebrated.

Peculiarly, the date Easter happens depends on a conjunction between the calendar and the phases of the moon, so it wanders around between March and April. Why? Tradition, of course. 

The actual calendar date could be calculated but would then not fall on a Sunday every year, Christmas does not. Easter falling on Sunday is deemed essential, it appears.

Anyway, Easter is Christianity’s spring celebration, just as Christmas is its winter festival. This year Easter falls on the last day of the third month; tonight at midnight one quarter of 2024 will be in the history books.

Saturday, March 30, 2024

The Most Malign Influence

Power Line's John Hinderaker isn't ambivalent about teachers unions, see his opinion thereof.

In America, teachers’ unions are the most malign influence on our public life, and on our children. And they aren’t any better in Great Britain.

His column goes on to document the anti-Semitic, anti-Zionist, pro-Hamas stance taken by "the UK's largest teaching union" which has sought to "globalize the intifada." Hinderaker concludes that policy, if implemented,  would make "it impossible for Jews to live safely anywhere.

COTTonLINE agrees teachers (and professors) unions are a malign influence and should not be lawful. Most teachers and professors are civil servants, are therefore sufficiently sheltered by those statutes, and consequently do not need union protection.

Saturday Snark

Images courtesy of Power Line's The Week in Pictures
and its Comments section.

Friday, March 29, 2024

Friday Snark

Images courtesy of Politico's Nation's Cartoonists on the Week in Politics.

Favoring Criminals

PJ Media's Stephen Kruiser draws a particularly negative conclusion about today's Democrats. It is one with which I find myself ruefully agreeing.

As we've seen in recent years, it's not just that the left is anti-law enforcement, but that they're pro-criminal. Donald Trump and his supporters are the only people they want to see in jail, and the real bad guys get sent right back out to return to their criminal ways.
It's why our big cities are becoming free-fire zones as well as drug emporia and homeless encampments.

A Misreading

Byron York writes for the Washington Examiner and his latest deals with a Fox News poll which found large number of both Republicans and Democrats say "election integrity" is an important issue. It was almost the only issue of equal importance to both parties.

York concludes that means both parties will emphasize it and this will be "an election about elections." I think he misreads the data.

I believe "election integrity" means different things to Democrats and Republicans. To the GOP it means clean voter rolls, checking IDs, perhaps even paper ballots, and observers from both major parties present at vote counting places.

To Democrats, "election integrity" means not requiring IDs as this discriminates against POCs and illegal immigrants, it means leaving the current civil servant/Democrat vote count apparatus in place and operative, and not being too rigid about cleaning up voter rolls.

In truth, the parties are as far apart on "election integrity" as on other issues, except that somehow both use the same label for their view of the subject and on which set of rights they are intent on preserving.

Thursday, March 28, 2024

Malicious Subversion

Power Line's John Hinderaker considers the recent decision by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals banning the enforcement by Texas of its SB 4 law concerning illegal immigration. Perhaps you'll find his thoughts useful.

Whether or not the influx of millions of illegals across the southern border is an invasion in constitutional terms, it certainly is an invasion in common parlance. And for a border state like Texas, it is a comprehensive disaster. The people of Texas plainly have a right to defend themselves against this evil.

If being part of the Union makes it legally impossible to defend themselves, it is only right that they should consider whether they want to remain in the Union. This is doubly true if the problem arises from a malicious determination on the part of the federal government to abandon, indeed subvert, one of the basic responsibilities that Texas and other states have delegated to that government.

Of course, no state would secede over an issue of less than enormous importance. But for Texas and other border states–and perhaps for some non-border states as well–illegal immigration is an issue of unparalleled significance.

Might a state like Texas legitimately decide that the federal government has so abandoned its duties under the Constitution that it has no alternative but to remove itself from the Union, and vindicate its citizens’ rights itself? I think such a decision, given the enormity of the issue of illegal immigration, would indeed be legitimate.

Looks like the outline for an amicus brief, doesn't it? Texans remember that it was an independent nation that existed for almost 10 years, before deciding to join the union. I'd guess most Texans believe the decision to leave is likewise theirs to make, should the need arise. 

I recognize that Abraham Lincoln thought otherwise. Perhaps we can resolve this dilemma peacefully this November, by electing a government which takes border security seriously.

Decoding the Shanahan Choice

Nicole Shanahan is attractive, Asian in spite of the Irish name, wealthy, and from a disadvantaged background.  By selecting her as his vice presidential running mate, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has made clear the major party candidate from whom he anticipates stealing the most votes is Joe Biden. 

I don’t see many never-Trump Republicans voting for a ticket including her.  Her politics have more in common with Bernie Sanders than anyone else. To understand why I write this, reading Politico’s run-down on her should do the trick.

It will be interesting to see who Trump selects for his veep partner.

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Peacock Lays Egg

Borrowing wordplay a site I follow uses, just NBC the egg on that network's face. Hiring former RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel and then having to let her go four days later in the face of a meltdown by on-air "talent." 

God forbid NBC News should act like an actual news site interested in the views of the political spectrum represented by our two major parties. It is clear that kind of balance is not what their supposed "talent" signed on for, and they simply aren't having it.

In today's disastrously bad employment market for news types, NBC management should have given the cranky "talent" a choice. Either shut up and play nice, or quit and look for work.

Caving to the NBC staff echoes what happened when the New York Times ran an opinion piece by Sen, Tom Cotton (R-AR, no known relation). Their staff rebelled and an editor who approved it for publication lost his job.

In both cases, the organizations have revealed themselves to be unashamed propaganda apologists for the Democrat Party. Neither can be taken seriously for actual news that has political content.

Monday, March 25, 2024

Peer Pressure

Instapundit Glenn Reynolds also writes a weekly column for the New York Post. His topic this week is why elites keep going woke when they've seen it manifestly damages their organizations. He writes:

When a group of people, especially powerful people, does something that seems counterproductive, there are two possibilities. One is they’re just crazy. The other is they’re getting something out of a policy that seems, on the surface, destructive. Sometimes it’s both.

I believe our ruling class is kind of crazy. Where it used to be socially, ideologically and culturally diverse, now it’s a monoculture.

It’s overwhelmingly made up of people who went to the same schools, were indoctrinated with the same values and believe the same things. Worse yet, they care more about their standing with peers than they do about their actual jobs.

Thus, policies that get leaders plaudits for DEI (diversity, equity, inclusion), “climate awareness” or “antiracism” score them social points that improve their position, even as they damage the institutions they’re responsible for. It’s a conflict of interest, an abuse of power, but it’s very common and generally goes unpunished.

So ... let's start punishing wokeness. Perhaps the best punishment is to deemphasize the things their social set values, starting with DEI and climate hysteria.

Millions Move

Demographics tell the story, evidence of the Great Sort continues to pile up. Today we have an editorial from the good folks at Issues & Insights reporting a fine grained analysis of Census data of the 3,144 counties in the U.S. 

In the last three years the counties which voted for Biden net lost 3,670,516 citizens who moved to counties which voted for Trump. In round numbers call it 3.7 million. That is approximately 1% of the U.S. population.

  • Of the 555 counties that voted for Biden, 343 (or 62%) lost population since 2020. Of the 2,589 counties that voted for Trump, 1,726 (or 67%) gained population.
  • The 11 counties that had the biggest population declines over the past three years all voted for Biden. They lost a net total of 2 million people.
  • Of the 11 counties with the biggest gains in population, eight voted for Trump in 2020.  
That is darned amazing. As Biden famously said in another context, it’s “a big effing deal.”

Sunday, March 24, 2024

Didn't Earn It

A new and massively ironic deconstruction of the oh, so woke acronym DEI. 

Didn't.  Earn.  It.

 Man, oh, man, that's nailed it.

Gun Control ⇨ More Crime

Controlling guns will limit crime, yes? In Canada the answer has proven to be "no." The Washington Times has the story.  Hat tip to RealClearPolitics for the link.

How so? By encouraging what are called "hot burglaries" where burglars break into occupied homes, not fearing being shot by the homeowner. Curiously, the criminals much prefer jurisdictions where the victims are unarmed.

A disarmed Canadian populace is leading to a prevalence of “hot burglaries,” i.e., those that occur while the residents are home. Other countries that have strict gun control laws, such the United Kingdom, have similar problems. In fact, a study by the University of Chicago Law School found that half of the burglaries in Canada and the U.K. meet the definition of a “hot burglary,” while only 13% of burglaries in the United States can be defined that way.

Can anyone really be surprised by this gross discrepancy?

Innocent "civilians" are more likely to be injured or killed where hot burglaries are common.

Royally Flushed

Do you want to read a conservative lady's take on the British royals, today much in the news? How about the longer term prospects therefor, too? 

I offer you a link to Peachy Keenan's latest column at Substack. I read it and enjoyed it as both humorous and accurate, although her negative prognostication about the kingdom's longer term future, is a downer.

Note, the text is interrupted several times with pitches for her blog, skip these and keep reading until, at the end, she signs off sarcastically as Queen Peachy. Hat tip to RealClearPolitics for the link.

Carville on the Mom Party

Here's a not bad quote from Dem political maven James Carville, aka "the Ragin' Cajun." He's talking to Maureen Dowd and her NYT column is (probably) pirated by the site The topic, what's wrong with his party.

"A suspicion of mine is that there are too many preachy females” dominating the culture of his party. "‘Don’t drink beer. Don’t watch football. Don’t eat hamburgers. This is not good for you.’ The message is too feminine: ‘Everything you’re doing is destroying the planet. You’ve got to eat your peas.’"

And about the Biden age issue, he adds:

"Don’t tell me that Biden has more energy or cognition than Trump because it’s evident that, yeah, Trump’s got word salads, but he projects energy,” Carville said. “He’s insane. He’s a criminal of the first order. But he does have a little timing and a little sense of humor and knows how to move from one story to the other.”

It's more than "a little," Sunny Jim. Big Don has a ton of platform skills. A few of which are skills Pedo Joe remembers having, but lost somewhere along the way.

Saturday, March 23, 2024

Saturday Snark

Extra points for a one-handed undo.

Images courtesy of Power Line's The Week in Pictures
and its Comments section.

Understanding Today's Russia

For The American Mind, Katya Sedgwick - a Soviet emigre - writes a very interesting appraisal of current conditions in Russia as Putin wins another election by 80+ percent. She has the advantage of an insiders' understanding of the Russian psyche.

Her judgment: Russians are relatively pleased with Putin's rule, and have neither experience with, nor desire for true representative government. While she admits the recent election was largely a sham, she believes Putin could easily win an actual, fair election.

I don't have her insight into the Russian mindset, but what she writes rings true to me. I recommend her column to you.

Friday, March 22, 2024


I was thinking about how Trump has caused the Democrats to cross their own red lines, politicize the legal system, corrupt the vote counting system, and act a more than a little crazy. What characteristics did Trump have that, for instance George Bush did not? 

I had a possible insight which I'd share with you. The answer could be showmanship. The last time the Dems acted this way was during the Reagan presidency. Showmanship is a talent Reagan and Trump share, although they manifest it in quite different stylistic ways.

When the GOP has a candidate with showmanship and the Dems do not, they compensate by going off the rails in various ways. Anyway, that was my insight, what do you think?

Friday Snark

Images courtesy of Politico's Nation's Cartoonists on the Week in Politics.

Thursday, March 21, 2024

Lagging Teacher Pay

On Monday I wrote about which college majors pay well and poorly, and noted pay for teachers hasn’t kept up with inflation. Further rumination about that shortfall inspired the following possible insight. 

Birthrates are dropping and increasing numbers of children are from one-parent families. While these households are sometimes affluent, mostly they are not particularly well off. 

For a combination of reasons substantially fewer children of the middle class are attending public schools. That equals fewer middle class parent-advocates for public school funding. Those sending children to public schools are in so many cases not those who would have the time or the mindset to be politically active.

Funding for public education is a political issue and the most politically active have the fewest children in public schools. Ergo a lack of “political attention” paid to public ed. 

I have no data demonstrating whether this hypothesis is likely, but the reasoning seems linear and sensible.

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Death Spiral Recipe

Power Line's John Hinderaker posts a quote from his colleague at American Experiment Bill Glahn. The subject is the great sort that our nation has experienced over the past few years. After noting the large losses experienced by the "blue" counties of Los Angeles, Cook (Illinois), and the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens, Glahn adds.

Of the 10 counties in America with the largest net domestic inflows, nine were in “red” states (Florida, South Carolina, and Texas).

Compounding the problem is who is moving and who is not: the productive who earn and pay taxes are moving, those who rely on public assistance not so much. Convince me that is not a death spiral recipe for blue cities.

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Welcoming Spring

Today is the spring equinox, when throughout the globe each day has exactly 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness. Another way of thinking about it is that today the north and south poles are equidistant from the sun.

Officially, in the Northern Hemisphere the season known as spring begins today, a bit earlier than normal which would be tomorrow, the 21st. Likewise, in the Southern Hemisphere, autumn begins today.

Each season lasts three months, per meteorological officialdom. The local reality may very well differ. For example, here on the eastern edge of the Mojave Desert, we began experiencing spring maybe a month ago, and it is well and truly upon us by now. Someday soon we'll switch the HVAC system from heat to cooling.

Similarly, at our residence-of-record in the western Wyoming Rockies, there is still a bunch of snow on the ground (today's photo below) and anything recognizable as spring is probably a month away. With any luck we should be relocated there in early May.

The Young, Hurting

Steve Cortes writes some tough words about the current plight of the young.

Young people have also endured an education system that focuses on indoctrination rather than teaching usable skills. Specifically, they were subjected to curricula and a pop culture that impart lessons of collective guilt and shame, rather than patriotism and pride.

Nonetheless, young Americans were encouraged to take on mountains of personal debt to fund these toxic educational experiences. Upon leaving school, far too many of them discovered that they were prepared for little besides unhealthy self-loathing.

Sounds like a recipe for disaster to me. 

Monday, March 18, 2024

CA on Trump's Naughty List

Doyle McManus has been writing for the LA Times since 1978. Today he writes about Trump's post-election plans for California.

California richly deserves the sort of ramrodding Trump promises. Even if he only gets 50% of it done, it will be a yuuuge improvement. 

Along the way McManus shares a new Trump nickname for its Governor: "Gavin NewScum." Of course true-blue McManus is horrified at the prospect of Trump's threatened CA policies, which I view as a delightful bonus.

Pay and College Major, an Update

Regular COTTonLINE readers know one of the themes followed in this blog is the importance of occcupational choice/college major in life outcomes. Today’s “brick in the wall” comes from CNBC, the business arm of NBC, its topic: which college majors pay worst and best both at graduation and in mid-career.

Taking the booby prize for worst pay, both immediately and later, is early childhood education. Others not doing at all well include History, Psychology, Recreation, Nutrition, Fine Arts, Social Services, Theology and Education. Who does especially well: engineers, both immediately and later.

Education majors tend to be paid less, as well. While teachers have good job security, summers off and pensions, they’re usually paid by state governments, which have lagged in keeping wages commensurate with inflation. In recent years, the “teacher pay penalty” has gotten worse, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

Unfortunately for teachers, they don’t fare much better later in their careers. When looking at “mid-career” graduates — those ages 35 to 45 — education majors are the worst paid among all majors.

I was happy not to see B-school majors listed among the poorly paid. While it is always best to see a clear path between degree major and meaningful career employment, this nostrum isn’t helping education majors in today’s market.

Political Ridicule

Writer Michael Kruse doesn't much like Trump and he writes for Politico which holds a similar view of Trump. In spite of the setting and the author's bias, Kruse writes perceptively about Donald J. Trump's highly successful manner of connecting with audiences.

“Donald Trump has an ability to bring you in with his humor,” former Trump White House principal deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley told me, “and it really is kind of one of his best characteristics. It humanizes him in a way that I think a lot of politicians are scared of, wouldn’t do, or can’t do.”

It explains why Trump can get away with saying off the wall things like he'd invite Russia to invade any NATO country which failed to spend its promised share on defense. His supporters read it, accurately, as exaggeration to make a point. 

The excellent Salena Zito summarized it as his followers taking him "seriously but not literally," which is exactly how you'd react to someone doing political humor. No wonder he can fill stadiums, he is an excellent entertainer. Stylistically, Trump's delivery is a mixture of Bob Hope, Don Rickles and Mort Sahl.

I date myself with that comparison. I'm sure there are modern equivalents but I stopped watching standup perhaps three decades back. I changed, they stopped being funny, or quite possibly both.

Sunday, March 17, 2024

POC Vote Up for Grabs

The above chart I sourced from Nate Silver's Silver Bulletin, although it has appeared elsewhere. It shows what the polls have been telling us, that more and more POC voters are seeing their future lies with the GOP.

It turns out that a party which demonstrates concern for the economics of working class life can lure many voters from their former home with the Democrats, who can't stop talking about abortion and the civil rights of violent felons.

Saturday, March 16, 2024

Doing Dune Justice

Denis Villeneuve's Dune: Part Two hit the theaters a couple of weeks ago. I haven't seen it yet, but probably will eventually. I just read a review that appeared in Tablet, following a link from RealClearPolitics

Reviewer Liel Leibovitz wasn't impressed with the Villeneuve treatment of the second half. He liked the first half by Villeneuve, after not much liking the David Lynch version from 1984. 

I found Villeneuve's treatment of the first half inferior to the David Lynch version, and am prepared to be disappointed by the second half when I see it. 

There are those who believe it is impossible to do justice to the Frank Herbert book in film, and in some senses they are probably correct. Understanding much had to be left out, I still find the Lynch version does a good job of putting pictures to the story if you've read the book

Leibovitz doesn't even mention the made-for-TV version (2000, 2003) that's available on CD. It has some strong performances but lacks English subtitles and is thus difficult for those of us with age-impaired hearing.

The TV version has Ian McNeice playing Baron Harkonnen in a more nuanced-but-evil way than the diseased sicko of Lynch's film. You know McNeice from PBS's Doc Martin where he played Bert Large. Alec Newman played Paul Atreides in the TV mini series.

The spice must flow.

Saturday Snark

I keep telling you this.

I want one of these.

Images courtesy of Power Line's The Week in Pictures
and its Comments section.