The First Law of Sausages


There are a lot of people freaking out over the Obamacare repeal follies taking place in Washington DC today. My advice is to chill out. It’s not like we can do anything about it anyway. Besides, it is still early in the process. Even if one side gets everything it wants now it is not gonna stay that way.

“Laws are like sausages, it is better not to see them being made.” – Otto von Bismarck

Whatever bill passes the House will not be the same as the one that passes the Senate. Then there will be some kind of a compromise bill that both houses will vote on. Then Trump can either sign it or veto it.

If and when a final bill passes we can decide whether to celebrate or grab or torches and pitchforks. Until then, enjoy this nice Spring weather we are having.


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Princess Lily Open Thread


I’m driving Miss Daisy today.


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Occam’s Razor


LAist:

Sexual Assault Reporting In L.A.’s Latino Community Down 25% Amid Fears Of Immigration Enforcement

On Tuesday, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said reporting of sexual assault and domestic violence by members of L.A.’s Latino community had dropped significantly during the first months of 2017, compared to last year.

According to Beck, sexual assault reporting by the Latino community is down 25% this year to date, a figure that “far exceeds the reductions of any other demographic group.” Beck also said that Latino reporting of domestic violence was down by 10% this year to date, a reduction that also outpaces any other demographic group. The drops are widely attributed to fear of immigration enforcement, with Beck calling them “an outlier, in that no other demographic group has been affected by this.”

“This is not a minor issue; this is the safety of the city,” Beck said.

“Imagine a young woman—imagine your daughter, sister, mother, your friend—not reporting a sexual assault because they are afraid that their family will be torn apart,” the police chief said, standing with Mayor Eric Garcetti at a press conference where Garcetti signed an executive directive barring L.A. police and civil servants from taking part in federal immigration enforcement activities. “That’s not what L.A. is about. That is certainly not what this mayor is about. And it’s not what the Los Angeles Police Department is about.”

“Today, hardworking, law-abiding immigrants are fearful for their safety and anxious about being targeted and having their families torn apart, and we understand why,” Garcetti said Tuesday. “Under this new administration, we are all seeing policies, executive orders and rhetoric that are divisive, mean-spirited and often unconstitutional. And we see this impact all across our city,” the mayor said, adding that the Lincoln Heights youth center where the press conference was held had itself seen a 34% drop in enrollment so far that year.

“We’re seeing similar declines at art centers, at parks, libraries, and senior centers around the city. We’re seeing less people reporting crimes. And we believe that many local families are keeping their kids home, and are backing off of engaging with our law enforcement officials and our public safety officials because they are afraid of what they believe could happen,” the mayor continued. “I want to be very clear on this, that is unacceptable in our Los Angeles.”

The greater Los Angeles area is home to an estimated 1 million undocumented individuals. Fears have certainly been heightened since November 9, and last month’s ICE sweeps, along with instances of ICE identifying themselves as police officers in Los Angeles, have not helped.

According to Garcetti, nearly two out of every three Angelenos are either immigrants, or the children of immigrants, and 1.5 million residents of the city are foreign born. “Immigrants make us proud, win victories, start businesses, graduate, and make our city strong,” Garcetti said. “And yet for too many of our sisters and brothers in immigrant communities today, this is a time of great trepidation.”

Chief Beck explained that community policing is based on two things: partnership with the community, and a relationship with the people of the community. “Those things,” Beck said, “are not sustained when a police department knocks on a front door to get witness information or to talk to a victim and people run out the back door. And that is what we fear the most is happening in the city.”


Back in the 14th Century a Franciscan friar named William of Ockham gave us this principle of logic:

Occam’s razor (or Ockham’s razor) is a principle from philosophy. Suppose there exist two explanations for an occurrence. In this case, the simpler one is usually better. Another way of saying it is that the more assumptions you have to make, the more unlikely an explanation is. Occam’s razor applies especially in the philosophy of science, but also more generally.


According to Occam’s Razor, a drop in crime reporting is most likely due to a drop in crime.

This is not the same as proof. But proof requires evidence. If you read that article carefully you will not see one scintilla of evidence presented to support the theory that Latino crime victims are not reporting sexual assaults because they are afraid of deportation. You are presented with a single fact – that reporting of sexual assaults in the Latino community is down 25%. Apparently it is down in all demographic groups.

This story is #fakenews.


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Swamp Rats Are Worried That Trump Is Gonna Drain The Swamp

Federal Staffers


Pathetico:

Federal staffers panicked by conservative media attacks

Conservative news outlets, including one with links to a top White House official, are singling out individual career government employees for criticism, suggesting in articles that certain staffers will not be sufficiently loyal to President Donald Trump by virtue of their work under former President Barack Obama.

The articles — which have appeared in Breitbart News, the Conservative Review, and other outlets — have alarmed veteran officials in both parties as well as current executive branch staffers. They say the stories are adding to tensions between career staffers and political appointees as they begin to implement Trump’s agenda, and they worry that the stories could inspire Trump to try purging federal agencies of perceived enemies.

[…]

Washington veterans say they can’t recall similar targeting of government employees, who are required to stay apolitical and generally shun the spotlight.

“It’s deeply unfair to single people out and question their loyalty,” said William Burns, president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and a former longtime diplomat, “It’s demoralizing for institutions. It’s demoralizing for professionals, and it’s offensive.”


When did working for the government become an entitlement?

One of the reforms of the old Progressive Era was the concept of a professional civil service that was independent of politics. Under the old patronage or “spoils” system every government job was filled by party loyalists from the winner’s party. The patronage system came to be viewed as inherently corrupt.

Thanks to public employee unions, the civil service has come to be dominated by Democrats. It has also become the unofficial fourth branch of government.

It’s time to drain that swamp.


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Springtime in the Trailer Park


Apparently I missed the Vernal Equinox. So Happy Third Day of Spring!

This is an open thread to hold you until I find something I feel like writing about.


“This is my homemade wave runner”

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Gorsuch Demonstrates A Rhetorical Dick-Punch


This guy is gonna be an awesome SCOTUS justice.

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Tinfoil Hat Tuesday Open Thread


Wuzzup?


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