It’s Mueller Time

For the last two years the Democratic Party has been engulfed in hysteria over charges that Trump’s shambolic campaign “colluded” with the Russian government to tilt the 2016 election in Donald Trump’s favor. Add to this some breathless reporting (by the New York Times, the Washington Post and CNN among others), that implied a “bombshell” was just around the corner that would establish once and for all that Trump, either wittingly or unwittingly, was a Russian “asset”. And if that were not enough, John Brennan, former CIA Chief under President Obama point blank accused Trump of treason. At the same time House Intelligence Committee Chair (then ranking member) Adam Schiff (D, CA) insisted that there was plenty of evidence of collusion, not available to the public, that he had seen in his role as a committee member. 

All that came crashing down this past Sunday when Attorney General William Barr summarized the findings of Robert Mueller’s investigation into the charges. AG Barr reported that Mueller’s investigation did not find sufficient evidence to support the charge that either Trump or his campaign colluded with the Russians. Quoting the Mueller report, Barr’s summary said “The investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”

In addition, AG Barr together with Assistant AG Rosenstein determined that there was insufficient evidence to charge the President or anyone in his orbit with obstruction of justice. This determination, which was made by Barr and not Mueller, is correct on the face of it. (It was altogether appropriate for Barr to make the decision because political accountability demanded it. In this case he showed courage, unlike Loretta Lynch in her handling of the Clinton e-mail affair). 

In the event it is instructive to look at the legal definition of obstruction to put all this in context. 18 U.S.C. § 1503 defines “obstruction of justice” as an act that “corruptly or by threats or force, or by any threatening letter or communication, influences, obstructs, or impedes, or endeavors to influence, obstruct, or impede, the due administration of justice.”

In point of fact, the Mueller report makes clear that the Trump administration never interfered with the investigation. Rod Rosenstein, who supervised the investigation, never refused a single request that Mueller made. Moreover, the White House turned over 20,000 pages of documents to Mueller; the Trump campaign turned in over 1.4 million pages; 20 people from the White House including 8 from the White House counsel’s office, and 11 other individuals were interviewed by Mueller’s team. So how, exactly, was the administration of justice impeded?

Partisans will be quick to note, correctly, that Trump fired James B. Comey, director of the FBI.  But that action was fully within the scope of Trump’s constitutional powers acting as President. A charge of  obstruction would have required the government to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the intent behind the firing was (1) corrupt and (2) designed to impede the administration of justice. That would be virtually impossible since (1) there was no underlying crime (2) predictably enough, firing of the FBI director accelerated the appointment of a special counsel, and  (3) the Trump administration provided all the evidence that the Mueller investigation demanded. That’s a pretty strange way to impede the administration of justice. 

Not that any of this will dissuade Democrats from their quest to delegitimize the Trump presidency, which is what all this has been  about from the very beginning. For better or worse, Trump won the 2016 election, and the Democrats still refuse to acknowledge it. 


Lotteries and Politics—Bad Reasoning and Bad Reasons

From The Patch–a Primer in Bad Reasoning

“You have a better chance of hitting the jackpot if you let the computer pick your numbers, according to the Multi-State Lottery Association, which operates the Powerball game and reports that about 75 percent of winning tickets have numbers chosen by a computer.” See The Patch.

This is a classic of bad statistical reasoning. Since the winning number is selected at random, and the distribution of chosen numbers is randomly distributed, the process by which a customer chooses a number selection is irrelevant. There are two possible exceptions. First the outcome is rigged so that the number chooser already knows the winning number. Second, the tens of millions of numbers chosen over time by various individuals are not randomly distributed; they have a non-Gaussian  distribution that makes them more likely to be selected. That possibility is highly unlikely, to say the least.  

Moreover it leaves out a piece of obviously important information: the percentage of tickets purchased where the number was generated by computer. Published estimates suggest it is between 70% and 80%, so naturally enough, the percentage of winners is about 75%, which is what a random distribution would suggest. 

This analysis leaves out the definition of win, which ranges the gamut from a few thousand dollars to hundreds of millions. From a probability standpoint the important question concerns the likelihood of purchasing a winning ticket, the expected earnings of a winning number, which includes splitting the winnings with other people with the same number, and the cost of purchasing a ticket. 

Enough. Now for the News.

CNN Reports

“…the latest ideas emerging in the 2020 campaign target the underpinnings of the US federal system of government itself.” See CNN Reports.

A Republic, Not a Democracy

For some reason or other the proponents of these changes seem to be congenitally unable to understand that we do not, and never have, lived in an unmediated democracy—and for good reason. An unmediated democracy is tantamount to mob rule that would quickly extinguish minority rights. Rights which the U.S. Constitution was designed to protect. 

In fact, the entire structure of the U.S. Constitution is designed to resist the passionate demands of the majority in favor of protecting individual rights.

CNN lists four changes to the structure of American governance proposed by leading Democrats, all of which would grievously undermine the protection of minority rights. (As an aside, proponents of majoritarianism should ask themselves how minorities fared under Jim Crow or the internment of Japanese Americans during WWII and German Americans during WWI.) 

Leaving that aside, the common thread that runs through the proposals is rank partisanship. All of them would have the effect of bestowing more political power on today’s Democratic constituencies. And all of them would undermine liberty.

Here is a list of proposed structural changes. 

Abandon the Electoral College

This perennial is being touted by Elizabeth Warren. While in Mississippi she said that doing so would “make every vote count”. Actually, eliminating the Electoral College would diminish voting power in places like Mississippi and enhance it in places like New York City, LA, San Francisco, Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia and so on. 

Which is to say that the new—actually actually very old—proposals seek to make the system more “democratic”.  

Presidential elections would be decided by densely populated urban areas, which surprisingly enough, represent the core constituencies of the national Democratic Party. 

There are good reasons why we have an Electoral College. Rather than repeat them I refer to an excellent article written by Kevin Williamson of National Review on the larger subject of the Progressive attack on our governing institutional arrangements. One of those institutions is the Electoral College. Here is a link to the article.  

Expand the Supreme Court.

This is becoming more and more popular among progressives as a way to perhaps re-create a progressive majority on the Court, and to at least intimidate the current conservative Justices the way FDR did in the 1930s. 

Create a New State by shrinking DC to encompass the National Mall and using the remaining area to form a New state. Coincidentally, this would create a solidly Democratic State. 

Lower the Voting Age to 16

Just in case you thought that politics couldn’t get even more juvenile than it is today. 

So there you have it. The crowd that professes to be aghast at Donald Trump’s routine trampling of political norms is one upping him by trying to alter the structure of our institutions that are meant to constrain people like—Donald Trump. Perhaps because they anticipate being able to wield executive power in the near future.


Are They or Aren’t They?

Donald Trump insists that the Democrats are embracing socialism. Senior Democrats running for the Party’s presidential nomination call themselves socialists. We would seem to have a rare moment of bipartisan agreement.  But…Chris Edelson, an assistant professor of Government at American University writes in Market Watch that Trump’s references to the Democrats embrace of socialism is a “smear”. 

How So?

The term socialism, says Edelson can have many meanings and interpretations. If so, one is led to wonder how using the term socialist as a descriptor constitutes a smear. In this respect Professor Edelson helpfully notes that Stalin was a communist, not a socialist. (Note that the Professor seems to have forgotten Bernie Sanders’ love affair with the USSR, whose initials stood for the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, which we are supposed to believe was not socialist.) 

What Professor Edelson is apparently trying to do is to separate “good socialism” from “bad socialism”. It is a hopeless task; there is no such thing as good socialism. Its adoption (or imposition) inevitably leads to one of two outcomes. The first is that the people throw off the shackles in time to revert to a market economy with property rights and the rule of law. The second is more typical and follows the path of Venezuela or Greece. 

There are those who cite Norway, Sweden and Denmark as countries with socialist economies that “work”. They have not been paying attention. Perhaps they should consult the World Population Review of Walnut, CA, which publishes a rank-ordered list of capitalist countries. Hong Kong is at the top of the list. The U.S. is #18. Denmark is #12, Sweden is #15 and Norway is #23, two steps ahead of Germany at #25. 

Freedom House publishes a similar rank-ordered list of economic freedom. Once again, Hong Kong is at the top. Singapore is #2 and New Zealand is #3. The United States is #12, behind Canada which is #8. Denmark is #14, Sweden is #19, Finland is #20, Norway is #26, just behind Germany at #24. Russia clocks in at #98, China at #100 and Greece at #106. Venezuela at #179 falls just behind Cuba at #178, and edges out North Korea which comes in dead last at #180.   

Perhaps sensing the danger of labeling themselves as socialists, Democratic politicians and their cheerleaders are starting to backpedal a bit. But not too much because the energy in the Party’s base is decidedly with lefty radicals who actually mean what they say. So we will have to wait and see if any of them pivot toward sanity after the primaries and before the general election. The smart money isn’t on it, though. 

Socialism, along with its cousins communism and fascism, is the greatest killer the world has ever known. It has an unbroken record of failure and has produced famine, war and human suffering on an unimaginable scale. Liberalism, which encompasses individual freedom, property rights, the rule of law, liberal institutions of governance and subsidiarity, has created conditions in which human beings can flourish. And they have done so, using their talents to create unparalleled prosperity and well-being.  

There is a reason why the path taken by immigrants leads toward, and not away from, Liberal democracies. Maybe socialist apologists ought to think about that for a minute. 


Here They Go Again

Bernie Sanders at Campaign Rally ABC News

There is ignorance, and then there is invincible ignorance.  So far Progressives are putting on a remarkable display of the latter. How else are we supposed to interpret the behavior not only of progressive backbenchers, but also the political positioning of the major Presidential nomination contenders and their cultural cheerleaders?

Consider one of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s latest pronouncements at the SXSW festival, namely that “Capitalism is irredeemable”. Remember that Cortez, at least for the moment, is setting the agenda for the Democratic Party, a significant chunk of which has demonstrated its unwillingness to condemn anti-Semitism among the Party’s ranks. It seems that the Party does not object to racism per se; its concern is with the object of bigotry. 

And then there is Actress Deborah Messing, a prominent member of #the Resistance. Just the other day, in celebration of International Women’s Day, she reposted an Instagram photo of cupcakes, the tops of which were sculpted with replicas of women’s vulvas. Messing apparently decided that reducing women to their genitals was an act of liberation, pretty much like every 15 year old boy. She quickly issued a self-abasing apology once the social justice warriors pounced. Not, mind you, because of the idiocy of the post. She apologized for insulting trans people, her “sisters” with penises. 

Lest we be tempted to think that these are just fringe elements of the progressive movement, let’s consider the broad outlines of what the Presidential contenders have actually endorsed in one form or another. 

“Free” college for all. Medicare for all. The Green New Deal (GND)…

By the way, here below is how the GND is described by its proponents.

“To promote justice and equity by stopping current, preventing future, and repairing historic oppression of indigenous peoples, communities of color, migrant communities, deindustrialized communities, depopulated rural communities, the poor, low-income workers, women, the elderly, the unhoused, people with disabilities, and youth (referred to in this resolution as “frontline and vulnerable communities”);”

Throw in the abolition of private health insurance, the requirement that doctors register with the government in order to be legally allowed to provide medical services and be  compensated by the government (the “single payer”). In the recently introduced health care plan there is a proviso that doctors may accept no private payments for services rendered if said doctor wishes to provide any state compensated services. Add to that a broad assault on free speech (in the name of campaign finance reform), an attack on religious liberty and freedom of association (in the name of equality) an encroachment on the right to self-defense (by attempts to weaken or abolish the right to bear arms). 

By no means should we ignore the Progressive enthusiasm for abortion up until the moment of birth, not to mention refusing medical care for infants born alive after a botched abortion attempt. This is of a piece with “assisted suicide” which, as in Amsterdam, will quickly morph into “involuntary euthanasia”. Which effectively means that Progressives have already adopted infanticide, likely to be followed by other forms of killing, as a means of population control, in the true spirit of the Eugenics movement. In Progressive circles, depravity has apparently displaced what were formerly unalienable rights to life, liberty and happiness,  endowed by the Creator. 

Let’s not ignore the administrative side. There is, for example, the strengthening of the confiscatory state through civil asset forfeiture that doesn’t even require a criminal charge, much less a conviction. (To be fair this has been a bipartisan atrocity). It represents another example of the weakening of due process protections to ease the way for the state to seize private property. That is what you would expect when “independent” agencies act as judge and jury in cases where the agency is a beneficiary. 

On top of that we have a proposal for asset taxes, the implementation of which would require citizens to turn over to government agencies a periodic and detailed accounting of everything they own. Capping that off are proposals for marginal tax rates as high as 70%. And those who don’t feel like working will still be subsidized by the state, compliments of the GND. 

Inevitably the question of how “we” will pay for all this arises. Progressives have come up with two solutions for that problem. Solution 1: The “rich” will be “asked” to “contribute” a little more. When confronted with the fact that we are talking about scores of trillions of dollars that “the rich” simply do not happen to have lying around waiting to be taxed, they roll out Solution 2. That solution is: “Modern Monetary Theory” which despite the name is as old as the hills. It is to run the printing presses. That was the solution adopted by the pre-Nazi Weimar Republic, Mozambique, modern Venezuela and so on. 

We have seen variations of all this before. There was the relatively minor disaster of the 1970s in the U.S. with wage and price controls, oil market regulation and a politically subservient Fed. Those disasters were quarterbacked by Richard Nixon and Jimmy Carter. Then we have the big examples of North Korea, Cuba, the former Soviet Union, and every other socialist paradise in human history. And yet, our Progressive saviors who are still in denial about those abject failures, still can not find a way to utter a word of criticism of Venezuela’s  Maduro, and before him, Chavez. 

Socialism, along with its cousins communism and fascism, has an unbroken track record for the production of human misery and suffering—for all but the leaders of the revolution.  There are a few examples of countries (e.g—the nordic countries) that have been able to turn back and reverse course before it was too late. But that is the exception, not the rule. 

Republican strategists are laughing up their sleeves as they watch the Democratic Party head toward what Republicans predict will a Democratic electoral disaster similar to George McGovern’s in 1972.  But before they laugh too hard they ought to remember that Democrats were universally gleeful when the Republicans ran an unelectable extremist candidate in 1980. Ronald Reagan carried 44 states with 489 electoral votes. He won 51% of the popular vote beating incumbent Jimmy Carter by 10 points. 

Be careful what you wish for.


Progressive Anti-Semitism: The Triumph of Evil?

Representative Omar
Photo by Johnathan Ernst / Reuters

Representative Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) is at it again. The latest uproar was sparked by her use of a standard anti-semitic slur in which she complained about the supposed “dual loyalty” of American Jews. Previously, she alleged that American supporters of Israel were bought off. “It’s all about the Benjamins” she said. Representative Rashida Tlaib has said much the same thing. 


Nor to be out done, Alexandria Ortega-Cortez has been communing with Jeremy Corbyn, Britain’s labor leader. Corbyn, who makes Bernie Sanders look like a moderate, has long been associated with anti-Semitic groups. Among his more odious associations was membership in a facebook group called “Palestine Live” that trafficked in Holocaust denial; charges that the 9/11 attacks on the U.S. were the work of Israel; conspiracy theories about the Rothschild family and Jews controlling the banks.  Britain’s “Telegraph” reports that Corbyn has “…hosted, promoted and vigorously defended vicious anti-Semites and racists.” Not to put too fine a point on it, he has received funding for trips to the Mid-East from Hamas, the terror group. For her part, Corbyn’s fellow traveling friend Alexandria Ortega-Cortez continues to insist that she is just showing solidarity with the Palestinian people. 

At this stage of the game, why don’t we just call this what it is—anti-Semitism—and stop inventing euphemisms to pretend it’s something else. 

There are a couple of reasons (actually excuses) offered for this, so let’s consider some of the more common ones. 

First, denial, denial denial. The argument is that anti-Zionism is not the same as anti-Semitism. But nobody this side of sanity says that Israel is, or should be immune from criticism. That is just knocking down a straw man. The fact is anti-Semites use anti-Zionism as slightly veiled code for anti-Semitism. That this is the case should be obvious when you consider that the various critiques lobbed in Israel’s direction never seem to apply to Hamas, Iran or “Palestine”. Note that Palestine is in quotes because it is not, and never has been, a nation-state, despite all the propaganda. 

Second, the Democratic Leadership has to soft-pedal its concern with the anti-Semitic remarks routinely made by back-benchers for the sake of party unity. That was a pretty nauseating argument back when when the Southern Democratic Party of Jim Crow had to be accommodated for the sake of party unity. It’s hard to understand why it’s OK now—unless you agree with the back-benchers. And therein lies the rub.

The evidence suggests that a substantial portion of the Progressive base does harbor anti-Semitic biases, which are being exploited by the die-hard anti-Semites who mean to move the agenda forward. The technique is well-worn. Step one is to throw out some outrageous comment, and then walk it back—kind of—with a non-apology apology. The speaker didn’t realize the implications of what she was saying, the remark was taken out of context etc. etc. Slowly but surely the outrageous gets normalized.  Donald Trump isn’t the only one who plays this game. 

Once we start down this road, the small exception becomes the rule, sometimes with amazing rapidity.  For example: Remember when abortion was going to be “safe, legal and rare” ? So where are we now? In some states, we have abortion on demand, up to the moment of birth, and sometimes after. Which is to say, infanticide. Remember when welfare was supposed to be “a helping hand, not a handout”? Alexandria Ortega-Cortez wants to subsidize people who say they don’t want to work. Remember “Don’t ask, don’t tell”? Now we have a court mandated liberty right to same-sex marriage. And just today, the Democratic House voted to support state and local governments whose policies support voting in federal elections by illegal aliens. The list goes on. 

So we must ask: why is it that a freshman backbencher is treated with kid gloves while she continues to broadcast vile and vicious slurs? For the credulous, for lefty ideologues, for believers in identity politics, and for intersectionality naifs, Omar speaks with moral authority. Truthfulness does not matter; what matters is “her truth”.  Because she is a woman of color and a Muslim she is to accorded deference, even when, especially when, she goes on the attack. Because she has achieved—and achieved is the right word—victim status. In the minds of progressives, that status lends her credence as a voice representing the oppressed as they confront their oppressors. In that category, Jews and the state of Israel, are at the top of the list.  

And let us pay special attention to her status as a Muslim. Why is it that being a Muslim gives her special credibility? It is precisely because Omar is Muslim in name only. How long would she be in the Democratic caucus if she opposed abortion rights, as does Islam. How about if she opposed the LGBT agenda? Last I checked gays were being tossed off roofs in Saudi Arabia simply because they are (or were) gay. Her self-identification as Muslim works as a political symbol of oppression. It has little or nothing to do with the particulars of the Islamic faith. (In fairness, the same might be said of prominent Catholic politicians who support abortion rights, assisted suicide and same sex marriage.)  Religious identification most likely serves a political purpose. As long as politicians are busy undermining traditional religious values they are just fine with the social justice warriors. 

Which, in part, is why Speaker Pelosi and the House Democratic Leadership are so easily cowed by Omar, Ortega-Cortez and Tlaib. They are afraid that Omar and Co will bring the social justice warriors down on their heads. The leadership needs the votes of the hard left of the caucus to accomplish anything, especially the ultimate goal of taking down Donald Trump. So with that goal in mind, given the political dynamics, the Democratic leadership will accommodate their caucus radicals and anti-Semites. Speaker Pelosi, for instance, has already asserted (against a mountain of evidence to the contrary) that Omar’s “dual loyalty” charge was “not intentionally anti-Semitic”. 

Not only that, the House leadership watered down a resolution condemning Omar’s remarks to a general (and meaningless) resolution against a long list of the usual “isms” thereby allowing Omar to achieve a legislative victory of sorts, even though she started off as the focus of the atrocious behavior. The most charitable thing you can say about the Democratic House leadership is that they themselves are not anti-Semites; they are merely cowards. “Some of my best friends…”.

Which brings to mind Edmund Burke, who said “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing”. 

He was right then. It is still true today. Speaker Pelosi, take note.


The Authoritarians of the Left

“If you cannot convince a Fascist, acquaint his head with the pavement.” ~ Leon Trotsky

“In a stark video showing what appeared to be an assault, a man was shoved and punched in the face at UC Berkeley this week while advertising for a conservative cause at a table on the main campus plaza, police said Wednesday.” SF Chronicle February/21/2019.

“There is a disturbing silence from leaders of the Democratic Party over those gangs of black-masked leftist thugs shutting down free speech and beating people to the ground with clubs at Berkeley.” John Kass — Chicago Tribune August 29, 2017.  


As the Democratic Party continues its beeline to the left, Progressives have increasingly adopted the use of force and intimidation rather than persuasion to accomplish their goals. This should come as no surprise given that they have increasingly embraced socialism. As a practical matter Socialism means using the police power, not to protect rights, but to bend the citizenry to the will of the State. 

We can turn again to Leon Trotsky who put it bluntly, as usual: “In a country where the sole employer is the State, opposition means death by slow starvation. The old principle: who does not work shall not eat, has been replaced by a new one: who does not obey shall not eat.”

For socialists or progressives (the terms are now virtually interchangeable) individuals do not much matter. Progressives have bigger fish to fry: they are busy constructing a new society and a new man. In this brave new world, to give but one example, biology does not matter because human nature is infinitely elastic. It is so elastic that the term human nature is virtually meaningless. Gender, for instance, is merely a question of preference because there is no natural order of things. In such a world, the strong are justified in exercising their power over the weak to promote what they consider to be the greater social good.

That is always and everywhere the creed of socialists. They may start out talking about individual autonomy and the worth of the individual, but it doesn’t take long for the mask to slip away. Consider the recent de facto legalization of infanticide in some states. Or the near unanimous vote by Democratic Senators, including all the declaBen Sassered Democratic Presidential candidates, against Senator Ben Sasse’s Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. As reported by the Washington Post, the bill would have required health-care practitioners to “ exercise the same degree of professional skill, care, and diligence to preserve the life and health of the child” as he or she would to  “any other child born alive at the same gestational age.”


Remember, these are already-born, living, babies. The bill would not require medical professionals to take extraordinary measures for babies born alive after a botched abortion.  (Apparently there have been more than a few—see here). It would have simply required them to take the same action they would take for any other baby born at the same gestational age. 

In the event, all the Democratic Senators going for the Party’s presidential nomination voted “No”. Here is Senator Kamala Harris attempting to justify her “No” vote, as reported by National Review. 

“I think it’s up to a woman to make that decision, and I will always stand by that,” Harris told the Daily Caller on Wednesday, when asked if she believes abortion is immoral. “I think she needs to make that decision with her doctor, with her priest, with her spouse. I would leave that decision up to them.”
Kamala Harris

Where to begin. How about with this. First: Why are we pretending this is still about abortion? The baby has already been born. Moreover, Harris—a lawyer and former DA—just glides by the fact that the views of the woman’s priest and spouse (whom she assumes to be the father) have no legal standing whatsoever. It is the woman’s choice, and her’s alone according to Harris, even though the baby is already born and living. If the woman orders the doctor not to care for the baby, the child will simply be left to die. There will be no legal consequences. 

That is what Harris and her fellow Democratic Senators voted for. It is, quite simply, grotesque.

The raison d’être of Liberal, as opposed to Authoritarian, Government is to protect rights, especially the rights of the most vulnerable. That is why government, in a Liberal system, has a legal monopoly on the use of violence. It is to protect. But here we have Kamala Harris and her colleagues voting to privatize the legal use of violence to kill newborn infants. In so doing, she commits not only a grave injustice against those children who will be left to die; she attacks the very foundation of ordered liberty which necessarily depends on unalienable rights and the rule of law. 


The Washington Post began to print its slogan “Democracy Dies in Darkness” at the top of every page in February of 2017. They may have it wrong. Liberal democracy is dying with the lights turned on at full power. 


Adam Schiff, Chief Constable of the Speech Police

“Congress shall pass no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people to peaceably assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Apparently Congressman Adam Schiff skipped that bit  in law school. The Congressman has sent Amazon CEO (and owner of the Washington Post) Jeff Bezos, a letter to “express concerns” about anti-vaccination content that lives on Amazon’s website. Among other things, Amazon sells books that inveigh against vaccinations. So in his letter, Congressman Schiff asked Bezos what Amazon was doing to combat the spread of misinformation.

Mr. Bezos might consider telling Mr. Schiff that he has decided never to cover the Congressman’s speeches again since said speeches routinely contain substantial amounts of misinformation. Mr. Schiff, for instance, can not help going on about how raising the minimum wage to $15 is going to help low wage workers, a risible assertion easily dismissed by anyone who has passed freshman economics. 

Notwithstanding Congressman Schiff’s willingness to trample on the First Amendment (incidentally not for the first time), there is a problem with people refusing to have their children vaccinated. And the phenomenon is a potential public health problem. For instance there has been a troubling outbreak of the occurrence of measles, at least partly attributable to people not being vaccinated. (See this note from the CDC).

A solution to the problem does not require trashing the Constitution. It would be far better for States that haven’t already done so to require children to be vaccinated before they are allowed to attend a public school.  Private schools are quite capable of creating their own rules. But it isn’t sufficient to adopt this rule and leave it at that. The rule must also be enforced. That is crucial. 

Enforcement is crucial for a number of reasons. First, a non-enforced rule is the same as no rule at all. Second, refusal to enforce existing laws, rules and regulations means that they are arbitrary and subject to selective and prejudicial use. Third, it is a habit of progressives to continually engage in symbolic acts like passing laws (actually aspirational statements) that they have no intention of enforcing and do no good. This practice should end.

For example there are constant cries for more gun control laws (despite their dubious Constitutionality) when existing gun control laws are not enforced. And irony of ironies, the furious resistance that progressives have launched against President Trump’s immigration policies is aimed to prevent him from enforcing existing immigration laws passed by Congress. 

The ongoing campaign against vaccination is the result of profound ignorance; it should be countered by persuasion. That can be a difficult task, all the more so because government and government officials lack credibility. They lack credibility for a reason: they routinely lie.

Nevertheless there is a potential public health problem here that needs to be addressed. Accordingly, behavior (the definition of which does not include speech) that threatens public health should be managed by enforceable (and enforced) law and regulation with respect to that behavior. Stomping out even wildly uninformed speech is no solution. And a government campaign to try to require private companies to only publish “correct” information is an affront to the First Amendment, the rule of law and the American way of life.