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Sunday, May 6, 2018

California and Chappaquiddick

Just back from my week-long foray behind enemy lines in the formerly Great State of California. Managed to get in and out before the enemy knew I was there.

While there, the "news" came out that California had climbed back to its number five position on the world GDP scale. The West Coast Progs were celebrating having put the UK in the rear-view mirror as some sort of vindication for years of progressive misrule in that once Great State of California. We have an economy bigger than the UK's! Nonsense, of course. First of all they're picking on the once Great United Kingdom, a victim of even more decades of progressive misrule and rot than even California. That's akin to the Mexicans celebrating defeating the French on Cinco de Mayo--a low bar to clear. I told one proggy acquaintance, who argued that this proved that the once Great State of California could go it alone, to try the numbers without the Federal spending in that once Great State, and try it with sufficient revenue raised just in California to pay for all those great things in that once Great State, e.g., essentially free and unlimited schooling and medical care for millions of illegal aliens, whacky environmental policies, etc. The numbers don't add up, at least not positively.

Anyhow, on to something more "pleasant." By that, of course, I mean thanking Australia, once again.

I have previously thanked the Aussies for Sir John Monash, Errol Flynn, Rupert Murdoch, Robert Taylor, John Howard, Tony Abbott, the redesigned Chevy Camaro, and Banjo Paterson, now I must thank that Great Country for Jason Clarke. While in that once Great State of California, I sneaked off to a nearly empty movie theater to watch "Chappaquiddick." If you don't know because you've recently arrived on earth from the moon, and the moon plays an important though uncredited role in "Chappaquiddick," this is the sorry tale of how Senator Ted Kennedy got away in 1969 with killing a young woman, Mary Jo Kopechne--another in a long line of women who ran afoul of the Kennedy crime family.

Jason Clarke was born and raised in Australia, but he was destined to play Ted Kennedy. In more innocent times, I would have said he deserves the Oscar for his performance, but given the cesspool that the Academy has revealed itself to be, nobody short of a pedophile or serial rapist should want that body's recognition and praise. Let's just say that Clarke nails it. He is Ted Kennedy. Not only does he have the physical appearance, mannerisms, and the Boston accent down, he manages the empty look of a man out of his depth and living a life he has not chosen. He puts on a stand-out performance as this very shallow, callow man who could not escape the shadows of his elder bothers, the fear for his horrific father, and the ever-present gang of family advisors and fix-it men, and who kinda, sorta "wanted" to be President but didn't really know why except that it was expected of him.

The film relies on straight-up story telling. Nothing fancy or convoluted. It leaves some aspects vague, e.g., whether Kennedy was having an affair with Kopechne. The scenes when Kennedy's Oldsmobile flips off the bridge, and into the water prove harrowing, to say the least. The film rightly notes that contrary to most press reporting of the time, Kopechne did not drown: she suffocated, probably living at least twenty minutes after the accident thanks to an air pocket in the rear of the car. Her death was excruciating, and had Kennedy or his advisers promptly reported the accident, possibly avoidable. The film does an admirable job of laying out the empty, soulless world of the Kennedy clan, and how it destroys lives. A terrific film, and an indictment of the sort of politics we all had hoped lay in the past, but . . .

OK, back to the Russian collusion nonsense. . .

50 comments:

  1. Political dynasties can be trouble.

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  2. I've always taken the view that whatever the Kennedys said happened must have been less awful than what actually happened. (Because they always lied.) I still reckon that he might well have murdered her. He said "do" and she said "no".

    How could anyone know? The police and the whole state apparat customarily did the Kennedys' bidding.

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  3. As to beating the French not being a high bar to clear, let's remember that the Battle of Puebla happened when France was still a pretty big deal--I think Mexico was the only one of their 19th-century colonial ventures that didn't work out for them.

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    Replies
    1. Haiti would be another example.

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    2. Although it took rather a long time, Viet Nam didn't end at all well for them, either...

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    3. C'mon. Louis Napoleon's empire was a tinsel one from the get-go. Maybe the Mexicans beating them gave Bismarck an idea or two.

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  4. WKPD: "Kopechne reportedly left the party with Kennedy at 11:15 p.m. ... She did not tell her close friends at the party that she was leaving, and she left her purse and keys behind." Going to catch a ferry? Ha!

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    1. And she wasn't wearing underpants ...

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    2. WKPD doesn't mention that, though it does mention that the bridge where he killed her wasn't on the route to the ferry that purportedly they were driving to catch.

      All events doubtless have loose ends but this was (in my guess) quite possibly a murder.

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    3. No autopsy so the rumors she was pregnant will never be checked.

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  5. When you eventually come and visit Australia, I can point out some great locations that you will enjoy.

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  6. Off Topic, but I've been wondering, especially with the recent news of the Russians helping the Iranians building a dual-use reactor, why the Russians seem so determined to help the Iranians get The Bomb? The Iranian government is like a rabid dog, likely to bite the hand of those who help them. And it's not like the Russians don't have experience with Islamic Terrorism. Granted, it's Sunni-based Islamocfacists in the AQ/IS mold instead of the Iranian Shia-based variety, but it the end both will kill you with a smile. So given all this, what is in it for Russia that warrants the risks of getting nuked at some future point by the people they are helping today?

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    1. My guess: it keeps Iranians buying Russian, and keeps a thorn in the side of the USA. Putin needs money and fears America. I agree with your assessment, but Putin has certainly thought that through. It's an acceptable risk to him.

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    2. I think Russia is relying on their status as a serious actor in international politics to protect them. Make themselves "not the easiest target". We probably have a similar level of protection under Trump, but Trump isn't going to be in office for more than 6 more years. When iran tests its bomb, there's a good job the next Obama will be in the white house, and Iran will see there's little to lose by nuclear attacks that aren't directly targeted against the US or Russia.

      - reader #1482

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  7. Speaking of the antipodes, guess who was in the neighborhood today. I will give you a hint - I managed to avoid allocating the 595 dollars (local currency) required to attend the lecture tonight about the people at fault (not her of course) for her losing the 2016 election. :)

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  8. Connecting your two dots ... the Ly'n of the Senate was responsible for the 1986 immigration act that opened our (and California's) doors to the rest of the immigrant world. Thank Allah he was never president -- Mary Joe's parting gift.

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  9. Hello Diplomad, Thank you for this blog that you run, and your support for, arguably the greatest Australian who has ever lived, General Sir John Monash.

    His record of service, both during the Great War, and afterwards in civilian life is unsurpassed. As a Graduate of Monash University, and as a former Australian Army Reserve Infantry Lieutenant who served at Monash University Regiment, his achievements were well known by all who attended the University and served in the Army.

    If you ever make it down to Melbourne please contact me as I will take you to the MCG, where in the MCC members there is a plaque, presented to the MCC by US Marine MOH awardee Col Mitchell Paige, acknowledging and thanking the people of Melbourne for their hospitality during WW2 when the 1st Marine Division was billeted at the MCG after Guadalcanal. The MCC members also has on display a US Marine Corp flag in recognition of the above.

    http://www.mcg.org.au/the-stadium/mcg-history/second-world-war

    Recognition of those who came before us is an important part of our culture and forms part of who we are.

    Regards,


    Bush in Oz


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  10. I told one proggy acquaintance, who argued that this proved that the once Great State of California could go it alone, to try the numbers without the Federal spending in that once Great State, and try it with sufficient revenue raised just in California to pay for all those great things in that once Great State, e.g., essentially free and unlimited schooling and medical care for millions of illegal aliens, whacky environmental policies, etc. The numbers don't add up, at least not positively.

    California is actually one of the 14-15 "donor" states, that pay more in federal taxes than they receive in federal benefits. They are also much lower in reliance on federal spending than either of the Carolinas, which are "receiver" states.

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    1. CA has the highest poverty level in the US and the migration out of the state is growing. I guess it's a success.

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    2. And San Fran is the fecal capital of the world ...

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    3. I suppose if California could keep some of the money that is being used support states like the Carolinas, they could do more to alleviate poverty.

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    4. California's real problem is not only that they're welcoming poorly educated, unskilled illegals by the truck load, they're offering welfare benefits and sufficient to draw (American) vagrants from across the nation. Most of California is not sharing in the monetary success of Silicon Valley and Hollywood. Far from it. Nor is most of the middle class sharing in it. Far from it, they're being driven into the hinterlands by punitive taxes and highly restrictive zoning policies that price them out of home ownership. So you have a tech oligarchy, a struggling, shrinking middle class (including those tech workers who should be middle class, but are living out of cars and vans to make ends meet), and an ever-expanding lower class. Techno-feudalism, here we come!

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    5. One Brow, The whole country has been subsidizing CA's high tax rates. People in CA can write them off against their Federal taxes. Looks like that will be much more limited as of this year.

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    6. DiploMad,

      So, you are saying that despite California paying more in federal taxes than it receives in federal benefits, the set-up has been unfair to the rest of the country, and that California should pay even more in federal taxes while receiving even less in benefits?

      California has been subsidizing states like the Carolinas, not the other way around.

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    7. One Brow

      What sources are you using for the claims you are making?

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    8. One Brow, no, he's saying that the deduction of state income tax against federal gross income has the effect of obscuring that calculation. In the extrema analysis, if California's state income tax went to 100%, Californians would not pay any federal income tax. Robbing peter to pay paul.

      Instead, it's a portion, and it doesn't really matter where the tax spending goes, that diatribe has been *very* common in our socialist neighbor, Canada, where certain provinces declare that they are burdened because they don't get back from the federal government what they claim to put into it. It's not that simple, of course. Projects throughout the country support and enable our coast-to-coast empire.

      That said, we've seen this in California before. There've been ups and downs as the silicon valley goes from boom to bust. It's *many* years between the impulse and response of specific policies for California... we're likely just barely starting to see the response to the collective insanity that seems to have gripped the region while I was away for five years!

      Trump and the GOP really turned up the heat on the rich tech dorks in this last tax bill. Massive reduction in the mortgage interest deduction for .. well.. SF Bay Area real estate and pretty much only SF Bay Area real estate. They might as well have drawn a ring around it and said "these guys! those making $500k+.. no mortgage interest deduction for you!" *AND* they took away the state taxes deduction (mostly)... it was a one-two punch and counter-punch sequence.
      It looks likely to have backfired in some respects, note our dear blogger's twitter account was revoked, facebook has accepted responsibility for Trump's victor (wwwhhhaaa???) and etc... All of Big Tek is ready for the electoral college war of 2020. They're probably hoping Hillary will pass on so they can get her corpse re-animated as a zombie in hopes of making her a more sympathetic persona for another run... yes... zombies come across to me as more genuine and honest.. :)

      - reader #1482

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    9. One would think that One Brow would be proud of the fact that fancifully egalitarian California, with the nation’s ninth-highest median income in 2015 (according to Wikipedia, $64,500) would be proud to subsidize the less-fortunate states in the union.

      Meanwhile, while I can’t find statistics, I suspect that California runs a significant trade surplus with most states thanks to the billions raked in by Facebook, Apple and Hollywood.

      If that’s true, then California feeds off the other states and then complains that those states don’t hand over to California enough of their taxes as well.

      Left Coast logic at work.

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    10. Susan,

      There are a few links in this article:
      http://www.politifact.com/california/article/2017/feb/14/does-california-give-more-it-gets-dc/

      Delete
    11. One Brow, no, he's saying that the deduction of state income tax against federal gross income has the effect of obscuring that calculation. In the extrema analysis, if California's state income tax went to 100%, Californians would not pay any federal income tax. Robbing peter to pay paul.

      Instead, it's a portion, and it doesn't really matter where the tax spending goes, that diatribe has been *very* common in our socialist neighbor, Canada, where certain provinces declare that they are burdened because they don't get back from the federal government what they claim to put into it. It's not that simple, of course. Projects throughout the country support and enable our coast-to-coast empire.


      Right. So, even after their federal taxes are comparatively reduced that way, they still put more into the federal coffers than they take out.

      I don't see any Californians complaining about it, at least not many. But, it's untrue that Californians would be at a disadvantage without the federal government. Again, the specific point I'm addressing was: I told one proggy acquaintance, who argued that this proved that the once Great State of California could go it alone, to try the numbers without the Federal spending in that once Great State, and try it with sufficient revenue raised just in California to pay for all those great things in that once Great State, e.g., essentially free and unlimited schooling and medical care for millions of illegal aliens, whacky environmental policies, etc. The numbers don't add up, at least not positively.

      The numbers here add up in California's favor.

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    12. HarryBro,

      If that’s true, then California feeds off the other states and then complains that those states don’t hand over to California enough of their taxes as well.

      Again, no complaining, just pointing out a false assertion. California is the one forking over taxes to other states, rather than vice versa.

      Delete
    13. Considered fully the numbers don't add up in California's favor. California workers pay their social security and medicare taxes in California. Once retired a great many of them move out of state and collect their social security and medicare benefits there. Same thing on the east coast; New Yorkers pay their taxes in New York and collect their benefits in Florida.

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    14. OldActuary,

      So, you are saying that, if instead of paying social security and Medicare taxes to the federal government, California spent that money on senior Californians, somehow they have less money out of the deal?

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    15. One last time. If you read what I wrote I said Federal SPENDING, not aid. The Feds spend a huge amount of money on CA which would not be there if CA were to go it alone. Look at the huge military bases, for example, the giant Federal centers in major cities, etc.

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    16. DiploMad,

      I agree, there is a huge amount of Federal spending in California. You also implied that California would suffer without it. My only point has been that, since California pays more in taxes that it receives in spending, it would not suffer from being severed.

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  11. By the way, did you see my suggestion of Breaking In? I know you wanted to see more movies about parents defending their children.

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    Replies
    1. That was a thread about showing families in a positive light in all of their roles, mother, father, children. This is about a single mom? Might certainly be a good flick.

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    2. Single moms don't deserve to be shown in a positive light?

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    3. wasn't the issue at hand

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  12. Larry,

    Many of the problems you describe are not unique to California. I live across the river from St. Louis, and also see the struggling, shrinking middle class on both sides of the river, from the most conservative parts to the most liberal parts. The main difference is land is cheap, because we have fewer people-per-acre around.

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    Replies
    1. Wonderful place.. Barnes-Jewish/St. Louis Children's is just a fantastic umbrella organization doing incredible work. And Steak and Shake too!

      - reader #1482

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    2. I'm actually part of a joint BJC/WUStL team.

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    3. you guys are doing great stuff... real jewel! yeah.. those joint groups in particular

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  13. A few years ago I took to referring to Slick Willie as the Chappaqua dick. Nobody seemed to see the allusion. Serves me right for commenting on American blogs, I suppose.

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    Replies
    1. I like it and will steal it without giving you any credit . . .

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  14. I think it's wonderful!,, Except, of course, that it's true.

    MFA

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  15. FWIW, good sir, a particular email from your Huma DoS era, receiving unwanted notice:

    https://twitter.com/BackChannel17/status/993509368644669441

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    Replies
    1. I am banned from Twitter; can't get on it.

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    2. I'm not on Twitter at all, but I can still see tweets. Apparently, you joked Huma, Cheryl Mills, and HRC about sacrificing animals to Moloch in some email. Nothing too interesting.

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    3. Apparently chicken is code for baby too according to the commentators. Man, you got alot of mileage out of that joke!

      Saw "you where never really here'. It was really good. Maybe as good as taxi driver!

      Just caught Bolton on the Ingram show. He looks giddy with happiness. Given his dour persona; it was almost disconcerting.

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  16. paul_vincent_zecchinoMay 13, 2018 at 5:14 PM

    My wife pointed out something interesting, enlightening. We've been reading Howie Carr's "Kennedy Babylon" which reveals the press to be more revolting than la famiglia Kennedy. The marxstream pressniks not only covered the Kennedy family foibles, they continue to do so by singing pious hymns of praise about them.


    Reading about Chappaquiddick the other day, my wife pointed out on the article map, Senahtaw Ted was driving in the direction opposite the ferry. Having been on the Vineyard many times in years past, she noted that Ted was driving east, toward the eastern tip of the island, and away from the ferry.

    There's also that eyewitness report which stated that Ted's Olds stopped fifty or so yards short of the bridge, then lit the wicks and took off at high rate of speed.

    Might that suggest he wasn't even in the car? That he stopped it, got out, and then jammed the accelerator full throttle? Just asking, something the pressniks never bothered to do.

    This was no accident. This was a hit, something not at all uncommon in that family.

    On a side note, a friend now deceased, lovely lady from Greenwich, CT who well knew the area and its players, long said that Michael 'Brutus Blotus' Skaekel was legendary for bragging that yes, he killed Martha Moxley, but no one would arrest him because 'I'm a Kennedy.' Which he isn't, of course, by blood. But in his style, certainly.

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