The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Catch You Later

As our family business grows, the time available for OnCenter posts constricts. The month of June has been especially busy for us, hence the long lag between posts.

During my hiatus, I've been watching domestic and world politics carefully, as I always do.

There have been some moderately surprising domestic developments—e.g., the sea change in public sentiment and acceptance (think: millions and millions of rainbow flags) of same-sex marriage in light of the Supreme court decision that affirms that right (a very good thing). The Supreme Court also decided not to insert itself into the Obamacare debate (a proper decision). The disaster that is Obamacare must be remedied by a change in leadership and legislative action, not a court ruling. The courage of GOP Governor Nikki Haley in removing an offensive confederate flag from the South Carolina state capital (a good decision). At the same time, the media predictably continues its largely biased coverage of GOP presidential candidates, playing gotcha at every opportunity while giving Hillary, along with socialist Bernie Sanders, softball questions or none at all. The continuing scandals of the Obama administration go unreported, even as more evidence mounts of serious—even criminal—wrongdoing.

There have also been many predictable and troubling developments overseas—e.g., (1) the collapse of the Greek socialist model (Predicted here on numerous occasions) and the chaos it will propagate in Europe and around the world; (2) the continuing capitulation and weakness of the Obama administration in the Iran talks (now delayed once again); (3) the growth and spread of radical Islam (ISIS) and the growing number of barbaric terrorist attacks throughout the Middle East and Europe (while this president and his Team of 2s, along with a largely complicit media try desperately to change the subject).

There's a lot to talk about, but little time (for me) to do so at the moment. I'll catch you later.

Sunday, June 07, 2015

Inequality of Another Kind

American Universities are bastions of progressive and often far-left thinking. Their faculties generally occupy the left end of the political spectrum. Their professors and student activists accuse others of "micro-aggressions" against people of color, and women, among others. They happily censor speakers who present a more (dare I say it) balanced or (heaven forbid, opposing) view of the world, they wear Hamas garb in solidarity with a vicious, genocidal, terrorist organization because, well, the Palestinians are "oppressed" after all. They shout down anyone with the temerity to suggest that climate change might require a bit more scientific validation before major policy changes ensue. They scream that "income inequality" is a scourge, to be corrected by a massive redistribution of income. Leading the pack of Universities that take these positions is the Ivy League.

Hmmm. Let's consider another form of inequality—endowment inequality. Turns out that the Ivy League along with a few other elite universities (dare we call them the 1 percent) controls the vast majority of all endowment money, while other colleges and universities scrounge for the remaining scraps of donations.

Kellie Woodhouse summarizes the situation:
Moody’s reported in April that of the 500 financially sound universities it rates, the 40 richest receive two-thirds of the donations. Prior to this most recent $400 million donation, Harvard received a $350 million donation to its public health college, which was renamed the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health.
Harvard has to have committed a "micro-aggression" of some kind, no? Or at the very least, Harvard and/or its donors committed an act that encourages "inequality," and we certainly can't have that. Where are the activists at Harvard? Why don't they demand that the money be redistributed among the 20 percent of smaller Universities with the lowest endowments? Where are the boycotts by future applicants? Where are the accusations of "oppression (of the smaller universities)? Where is the "fairness" that modern American universities demand of everyone with whom they disagree?

We'll keep looking until we find it, hidden behind a impenetrable pile of hypocrisy.

Saturday, June 06, 2015


CNN reports on a large cyberattack:
Washington (CNN)The massive hack that may have stolen the personal information of four million federal employees appears designed to build a vast database in what could be preparation for future attacks by China against the U.S., cybersecurity experts advising the government told CNN Friday afternoon.

Law enforcement officials also said Friday that the hack appears to have been carried out by the same Chinese hackers who attacked Anthem Insurance earlier this year, in which information on tens of millions of customers was stolen.

U.S. officials believe the breach, which was revealed Thursday and affected current and former federal workers from nearly every government agency, could be the biggest ever of the government's computer networks.

"The extent of personal data stolen makes this attack an order of magnitude greater than any we have seen of its kind in the past," said California Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee who was briefed on the attack.
It looks like government sponsored hackers can penetrate just about any system, secure or not.

But there's an interesting corollary to this event.

Recall that Hillary Clinton ran her own server to conduct government business and did so for all of her years as Secretary of State. Recall further, that by her own admission, she deleted 30,000 "personal" emails from that server and further refused to turn the server over to congress for a forensic analysis. And don't forget that there are many "coincidental" instances of "contributions" to the now infamous Clinton Foundation followed by government favors to those who had done the "donating" during her tenure as Secretary of State.

Congressional Republicans are anxious to learn what was in those 30,000 deleted emails. Now we know who to ask—the Chinese.

It is near certain that the Chinese hacked Ms. Clinton's weakly secured server (child's play for sophisticated hackers) and it's equally likely that copies of those 30,000 emails are now on a secure server somewhere in China.

What if?

What if the Chinese, through an intermediary, contacted the Clinton presidential campaign and threatened an anonymous Snowden-like document dump. What if they suggested that the dump could be avoided if Clinton committed to certain—uh—flexibility with Chinese policy if she becomes president. Cyber-blackmail at its best. How do you think the Clinton campaign would react—with defiance or with a wan smile as a prelude to amicable negotiations?

Of course, there's nothing to worry about if Clinton's "personal" emails were, as she claims, only about baby names and weddings.

But if you believe that, then I suppose there's really no point in being the least bit concerned. Is there?

Tuesday, June 02, 2015


Hillary Clinton continues her media avoidance tour, refusing the answer salient questions about the many scandalous activities that she has engaged in. At the same time, she never misses an opportunity to offer a video clip of herself "listening" closely to a carefully vetted group of artificially diverse citizens, nodding her head sagely, and showing mock concern. Her only pronouncements are of the typical class warfare variety, with candidate Bernie Sanders trumping her lurch to the left by suggesting a 90 percent income tax rate. He's beginning to become a political character straight out of Atlas Shrugged.

Bret Stevens creates an interesting analogy. He writes:
Ubiquitous but opaque. Powerful but unaccountable. Ostensibly public spirited but relentlessly mercenary. Often shamed but unshakably shameless. Let us count the ways in which the Clinton Foundation resembles the Fédération Internationale de Football Association, better known as FIFA.

Last week we learned that FIFA had made a donation to the Foundation in the range of $50,000 to $100,000. But for the Clintons that kind of money is hardly worth mentioning, so the suggestion of some sort of unseemly financial linkage between the two organizations is doubtful. You don’t get to roll with Bill, Hill or Chelsea for less than seven figures ...

The Qatar story [in which FIFA and the Clintons accepted political gifts (a.k.a. bribes)] is suggestive of the way in which both FIFA and the Clinton Foundation work. Both organizations serve as portals through which shadowy people find their way, for a given price, into the light: the light of social respectability, the best parties, the right connections. It works in the other direction, too. How better to get lucrative uranium mining concessions in Kazakhstan or roadwork contracts in Haiti than by going through the Clinton Foundation? How better to make a tidy fortune in media and marketing rights than by greasing the right palms at FIFA—assuming, that is, that the Justice Department’s indictment is to be believed?

Also, how better to avoid close scrutiny than by doing—or purporting to do—good works in scrubby jurisdictions where laws can be usefully vague and officials are frequently pliable?
Today, polls indicate that almost 60 percent of the electorate questions Hillary's honesty. Given the history of the last eight years, I suspect that all will be forgotten and forgiven and that Clinton's vast campaign chest and a compliant media (give them time) will initiate a PR campaign that will elevate her to "great leader" status. We'll see.