Withdrawal pains

There is no precedent that anybody can find for someone who has been charged with perjury just getting off scot-free.
-Barack Obama, on the withdrawal of the case against Michael Flynn

So much to unpack in a short sentence.

Of course there are many precedents for getting off (we’ll get to “scot-free” later) from being charged for perjury. Anybody can easily find them. For example, like Bill Clinton, you’re found innocent of the charge. He didn’t get off scot-free, though. He was disbarred and paid a $25K fine over Monica Lewinski, plus a $90K fine for false testimony and $850K in settlement in the Paula Jones case.

As to perjury, that wasn’t the charge laid on General Flynn. He was charged with lying to the FBI. This is simple enough that we can depend on Wikipedia:

“Perjury is the intentional act of swearing a false oath or falsifying an affirmation to tell the truth, whether spoken or in writing, concerning matters material to an official proceeding.”

Flynn was not only not under oath, he was led to believe the meeting engineered by the FBI was happenstance. An oath, in itself, would have provided notification that one was under investigation. Flynn received no such notification and was deliberately led to believe he was just having a chat. Bushwhacked is an appropriate term.

Perjury, if it were at issue, requires materiality. As does the actual charge against Flynn. Emphasis mine:

“Under federal law, a false statement made to investigators is actionable only if it is material to the matter under investigation. If there was no basis to believe Flynn had committed a crime, his counsel could have argued that any false statements allegedly made by Flynn when he was questioned in January 2017 were immaterial. Ergo, Ms. Powell contends that the withholding of this information violated the government’s duty to disclose exculpatory evidence.”

And don’t forget, the answer over which he was charged with lying regarded a telephone conversation with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. Flynn knew such conversations are routinely recorded by NSA, and that the FBI had almost certainly listened to the recording. You have to believe Lt. General Flynn to be extraordinarily stupid to believe that he lied about it.

The FBI interviewers didn’t believe it, even though newly released emails show an internal FBI debate about the purpose of the ambush:

“The documents turned over by the Justice Department late Wednesday include handwritten notes in which FBI officials openly indicated that their “goal” was “to get him [Flynn] to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired””

That was the basis of the ‘crime.’

“Getting off scot-free” is another curiosity of Mr. Obama’s thinking. Flynn’s reputation was destroyed, he was psychologically tortured, he’s been financially wrecked, and his family has been threatened. The prosecutors covered that last extortion up in collusion with Flynn’s first set of lawyers. An agreement not to prosecute his son was illegally excluded from the description of the plea deal supplied to the court. “[T]he government [is required] to disclose to the defense any promises made or benefits given in exchange for the testimony of a witness called by the prosecution.

Not satisfied with misstating the crime, insulting due process, excusing prosecutorial misconduct and FBI framing, and minimizing the burden imposed on General Flynn, our former organizer-in-chief went on to lament, “That’s the kind of stuff where you begin to get worried that basic — not just institutional norms — but our basic understanding of rule of law is at risk.

Well, yes, but not in the way he thinks.

More to come, I think, since we also just found out Mr. Obama was aware of this charade at the time.

Hmmm.

Flynn’s current lawyer, Sidney Powell, is another Dagny Taggart Award nominee.

Update, May 11, 1:20PM:


…and, while we’re at it:
Attorney General Barr’s Office Shreds NBC’s Chuck Todd For ‘Deceptive Editing’ Of Barr’s Comments Add a little collusion from the Maim Scream Media™.

Note, too, that the soon-to-be-infamous January 5th Oval Office meeting where Obama surprised Sally Yates with his knowledge of the Kislyak phone call preceded the bushwacking meeting (Jan 24th) with General Flynn by several weeks. Obama had been briefed on the call by James Clapper (according to Comey, during Congressional testimony), but Yates, at the DOJ, had not been briefed.

Also attending that meeting were James Comey, Joe Biden, John Brennan, James Clapper, and Susan Rice. Rice was later to write a CYA email to herself:

“President Obama said he wants to be sure that, as we engage with the incoming team, we are mindful to ascertain if there is any reason that we cannot share information fully as it relates to Russia,”

The very next day, Comey briefed incoming President Donald Trump on the Steele dossier, i.e., Russian disinformation paid for by the Clinton campaign, and already used to obtain a FISA warrant against Carter Page. Comey only discussed the salacious parts of the dossier, and neglected to tell Trump about the Kislyak phone call and Flynn. Comey lied by omission.

Choices

“Of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these, ‘It might have been.’”
― John Greenleaf Whittier

Michelle Obama: Having kids was a “concession” that cost “my aspirations and dreams.”

Her husband said:

“I’ve got two daughters. 9 years old and 6 years old. I am going to teach them first of all about values and morals. But if they make a mistake, I don’t want them punished with a baby.”

Having kids, then, should be a choice. And like every other choice, it means there’s something else you didn’t, or can’t, choose. Michelle apparently agrees with the punishment part of Barack’s teachings, if not the choice bit.

Sasha and Malia could not be reached for comment.

Nominee for the 2020 Dagny Taggart Award

An award which will be available to both sexes in future years. If you have a nominee, though, it’s appropriate the first winner be female.

Not All Heroes Wear Capes. Some Wield Scissors.

Ms. Luther didn’t nail the cease and desist order to the courthouse door, she ripped it up.

She has a GoFundMe page that’s doing quite nicely.

Planet Without Humans

My initial reaction to the release of Michael Moore’s Planet of the Humans was bemusement. Sure, it’s tittilating that some far left icon would point out the Green energy fraud. But, I was also conflicted. On one hand, some envirostatist heads are exploding. On the other, I expected an hour and forty minute exposure to an indictment of capitalism by a multi-millionaire who makes shit up.

Not exactly. Crony capitalism is the symptom here. The real problem is human beings.

If you’ve been paying attention to the windmill and solar panels flimflam, you won’t find very much new about the Green energy con men, though it is devastatingly presented, and many people won’t be aware of the details. The feature that has catastrophic global warming skeptics talking about the film is its condemnation of the corrupt public-pirate partnerships which Moore erroneously calls capitalism while eliding the fact that without the government’s “Green” subsidies this bullshit would stop immediately. Be careful about enjoying the ‘split’ on the Left. Because, while Green energy is a scam, that isn’t Mr. Moore’s end game.

The novelty of a far left critique of the Green energy cabal wears off fairly quickly. The film carefully sets up a no win ecological dilemma only to be solved by drastic reductions in human population and impoverishment of those who remain. Except for Extinction Rebellion leaders, of course, who will still be compelled to fly about in private jets making sure we conform.

Planet of the Humans is an extended public service announcement for Extinction Rebellion, whose goal is to reverse the industrial revolution. And, more broadly, drastically cut human population, “Corona is the cure, humans are the disease.

Now, ER has distanced themselves from this (bad PR), but it’s right in their wheelhouse, and isn’t a new or controversial idea. It’s simply an update of Malthus (1798), Paul Erhlich (1968), The Club of Rome (1972) and the Duke of Edinburgh:

“In the event that I am reincarnated, I would like to return as a deadly virus, to contribute something to solving overpopulation.”

-Prince Philip speaking to Deutsche Press Agentur in 1988.

The radical depopulation message is not expressed directly, but it is left lying face up on the table as our only hope. Yes, Michael, Big Green is a bunch of lying profiteers whose ruinous solutions to imaginary problems are magical thinking – which some of us have been telling you since forever – but that doesn’t mean we don’t already have a well developed technological solution for your CO2 concerns.

I’ve never seen a better argument for nuclear power plants. Nukes solve the CO2 ‘problem,’ create high paying jobs, provide secure energy, save destruction of wild places, strengthen the grid, are less expensive, cause less ancillary pollution than ‘green’ energy, and are an actually sustainable power source because we can recycle and reuse the fuel – even create it – as part of the energy cycle.

That nuclear power goes entirely unmentioned in a film calling out technological advancement as futile proves my oft stated point: It’s not about wildlife or CAGW. ER admits this. It’s about white supremacy, colonialism, patriarchy, racialism, Eurocentrism, hetero-sexism, and class hierarchy. Like every other Leftwing intersectionality cult: It’s about the power to dictate how, where and whether you live. Gretchen Whitmer is showing us the trailer here in Michigan.

I did learn one thing from the film; that radioactive waste from mining rare earth metals necessary for solar panels and windmills is simply spread over the desert, despoiling the ecosystem. So, even the nuclear waste argument from the anti-nukers fails.

I did laugh out loud at the company name the narrator used for the corporation formed by Al Gore and David Blood (Goldman Sachs’ Asset Management head), but this film is not a joke at the expense of the Left. It would be good if it resulted in the disappearance of the Green energy extortion industry, but Mr. Moore’s preferred policy replacement is far more draconian and portends a huge increase in human suffering.

Modeling models

Perhaps if transistors hadn’t been invented then running VisiCalc’s descendant, Excel, on a vacuum tube computer would show you the real meaning of global warming…

Let me back up. I want to talk about computer models, starting with some I was running in the early 1970s.

I worked for a company whose business was replacing the mainframe computers of its clients by renting time on much larger ones we ran for the clients. The clients used various forms of telephone connections, primitive by today’s standard. A 57 kilobit leased line would be a high speed example. No network, a point to point serial line.

Anyway, the modeling we did was to simulate what it would cost prospects to use our services. As input we were able to get quite precise data about the number of bytes read & written, lines printed, CPU cycles consumed, hard disk capacity, number of lines of code executed, etc., for all the computing done on the machine we were proposing to replace. We also did this for clients contemplating new applications.

We had a great deal of complexity to deal with, but it was well documented, well known and precisely accurate. We also had incentive to get it right because, profitability. We exhaustively tested each new IBM system software release against our model. We continually verified its assumptions across several different mainframe architectures.

Not only that, but the easy stuff was 80% of the model. Mostly this consisted in sorting things into different sequences required by the programs. With dependable database software, this aspect of computing has mostly faded away. Well, except for those still running 1970s software, like New Jersey. (The comments at that link are interesting, too.)

Sometimes, though, even given all our knowledge, we discovered there were things we didn’t know. Usually, not knowing these things turned out badly.

Like the cost of a CICS transaction… You don’t care what that means, I’ll spare you the details. Short version, one customer had creatively designed a system that made CICS use 5 times the expensive resources our exquisitely constructed model assumed.

Even in a nearly closed system, with highly accurate and detailed information about a mechanistic process, with monetary incentive – we could get the wrong answer. Because of human innovation.

Anyway, we used 80 column punch cards to construct the individual models and then fed them into the mainframe. Punching the wrong hole, or punching it in the wrong place had serious consequences in this tedious process. The output was checked meticulously. Tweaking a parameter meant changing the whole construct, not just one parameter, and another run on the mainframe. It was labor and compute intensive.

A little later, I purchased a personal computer, a TRS80 Model I. I also obtained a copy of one of the most important programs ever created for microcomputers. VisiCalc.

VisiCalc was intoxicating! I could change one cell and watch the effects ripple through the spreadsheet in seconds. The need to be meticulous didn’t go away, but errors were easily and quickly corrected. Assumptions were testable for reasonableness immediately.

What gradually did go away were constraints on believing the output. I watched this happen in a consulting career using such tools (Lotus, Excel) to advise my clients. Despite my decidedly cautionary advice about what we didn’t know we didn’t know, vanishingly few were appropriately skeptical.

“Yes, I am knowledgeable and trustworthy. Yes, that output reflects what you told me. But, neither of us even can know enough.”

This extended introduction brings us to two sets of models now being used to control our lives: Models of the CCP Pandemic (known to the politically correct as COVID-19) consequences and Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming (known, until the next terminology rehash, as “Climate Change”).

Differences between my 1970s models and those: I knew much more about vastly fewer model parameters and their limits; had devastatingly superior, proven data; dealt with a non-chaotic system; and had greater personal consequences for inaccuracy.

The main differences between the CCP and CAGW sets of models is that the CCP models are simpler and have a much shorter time scale.

The similarities for the CCP and CAGW sets of models is that they have been wildly wrong and are used to argue for massive government expenditures, limitations on freedoms, and citizen surveillance.

Some are even connecting the two. I can see why.