Whether to ask the question invites an answer

The Justice Department and the Census Bureau are engaged in a kerfuffle over the 2020 Census.  It’s all about a question of citizenship: “What country are you a citizen of?”  With the inevitable congressional reapportionment that occurs based on the Census, this is a question that many states really don’t want to know the answer to.

My take:  the Census Bureau has been crying poor for years now.  The Trump Administration should jawbone Congress into increasing the Bureau’s funding, but only if they ASK THE QUESTION (and report the answers).

Update:  Now folks should really be worried.  Combine citizenship data with Google location data (“we have ways to make you opt in”), and some dedicated data miners could find every Android-using illegal alien in the country.

Tips from the Instapundit, where the signal-to-noise ratio seems to be increasing lately.

Update:  It has come to my attention that at least one other branch of the federal government already ASKS THE QUESTION, to wit, the Justice Department’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives* E-Form 4473, Firearms Transaction Record has Questions 12 and 13:

ATFE4473_AskTheQuestion

In other words, you cannot exercise your 2nd Amendment right to own a firearm unless you ANSWER THE QUESTION.

* Or what I call a Redneck Hedge Fund.

Advertisements

The Feds are not your friends

Writing in the New York Times Magazine, Jennifer Percy describes Fear of the Federal Government in the Ranchlands of Oregon.  Try though she might, her east coast acculturation won’t let her quite get into the heads of the folks in towns where she spent her childhood.

They visited Yellowstone Nation Park and saw, they said, two million acres of natural resources gone to waste. “At least one day a year,” Robin said, “we ought to be able to go in and take advantage.”

Emily thought the trees were too close together. “Didn’t look healthy,” she said, “because they don’t log.”

“And look at all those buffalo,” Robin said. “Can’t some of them be used for meat?”

“You wanted to eat them?” I said.

Why not Jennifer?  American Indians do.

I tried to suggest a lack of understanding between rural and urban people, but Robin stopped me. “No,” she said. “We just want different things.” The statement was cold and clear.  It suggested the end of reconciliation. “We don’t want you breathing down our back,” she said.  “Bottom line is we don’t trust you.  We don’t trust you to look out for our best interests.  An in truth we don’t even know that you know how to.  A lot of people were saying this was about saving the bunnies and butterflies, but that’s not what is is about.”

Robin sat over her empty plate.  “It’s about getting people off the land,” she said. “It’s dark.”

Environmentalists with national influence have never been interested in reconciliation, but poor Jennifer won’t admit it.

Private Charity? No way!

Michael Tanner, writing for National Review online, attempts to answer the question “Why Is There So Much Government Hostility to Private Charity?”  The answer is simple, once you understand this guy’s fundamental message

mussolini

“Everything within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.”

Tip from Bird Dog at Maggie’s Farm.

 

 

Bad Choice, Pop

Spurs coach Greg Popovich continues to lecture us about President Trump’s shortcomings.  Nice try, Pop, but you’re getting tuned out with all the other pro sports and Hollywood folks who’ve squandered what little moral authority they ever had.

Victor Davis Hanson recent wrote

Pollsters, pundits, and the media have vastly underestimated how many in America loathe multimillionaire celebrities, pampered athletes, and triangulating politicians—the usual targets of Trump’s invective.

And Christian Toto nails Hollywood:

For a while one message rang out from Team Hollywood in the Age of Trump. The industry didn’t want you as a customer if you wear a red MAGA hat.

Oh, celebrities didn’t actually mouth those words. Instead, they embedded their disgust for both President Donald Trump and his admirers in nearly everything they did.

It’s either Trump … or us might be the next “resistance” meme for celebrities. Only stars might not like the results. Nor will their accountants.

Tip from Stephen Green at the Instapundit.

ICAN gets Nobel Peace Prize. BFD.

The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, another international gang of virtue signallers, has just received the Nobel Peace Prize.  So far, they have motivated fewer than 50 pipsqueak countries to sign a UN treaty banning nuclear weapons (122 have “adopted” it, but signing off?  Don’t hold your breath) .  BUT, they do have Yoko Ono onboard.  So far, North Korea is not impressed.

Somehow, I don’t think these folks rise to the standard set by Norm Borlaug.

Update (October 26): Jay Nordlinger reminds us of someone else who wanted to abolish nuclear weapons.

ronald-reagan-everett

Stanford Invents AI Gaydar, Flubs Write-Up

Yilun Wang and Michal Kosinsksi, researchers at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, have developed a neural-net classifier that purportedly detects sexual orientation (in caucasians).
FacialRecognition
The authors report an avalanche of experimental results, and claim the classifier can “correctly distinguish between gay and straight men 81% of the time, and 74% for women.”  OK, that’s the sensitivity of the gadget.  What about specificity, i.e. how well does it correctly distinguish folks who are not-so-gay?  Without that second number (as well as an estimate of prevalance), it’s not possible to estimate the false positive and false negative rates for this thing.  Very important, if some of the more Orwellian applications mentioned by the authors come to pass.
I give the authors a “C,” for incomplete work.
Update: Dan Simmons, writing at the Andrew Gelman blog, writes a rambling, fascinating takedown of this “research,” from both the scientific and MSM points of view.  Based on just the statistical problems, I’m changing the grade to a “D-.”