Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Illegal entry

The girl pictured above was charged with illegal entry when she got stuck in a chimney, trying to break into a house lived in by a man she met online. Her name is Genoveva Nunez-Figueroa, 28.
Rescue workers had to tear down part of the chimney with jackhammers and oil Nunez-Figueroa up with dish soap to get her out.
Read more here.

Who benefits from racial divisiveness?

Victor Davis Hanson points out that
In an ever more racially diverse society where intermarriage is routine and assimilation often rapid, we have no discernible rules for what determines one’s race.

The charlatan Ward Churchill, a noted activist, tried — and succeeded in — fabricating a Native American identity to land a job at the University of Colorado. Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren invented a Native American pedigree and so became Harvard Law School’s first recognized Native American professor. When other elites hyphenate their last names and accentuate first names, they remind us that without such IDs, one might not otherwise learn — or care about — their particular racial pedigree.

But even if some can prove ethnically pure heritages, who gets an edge in racially mixed-up America and who does not — and why?

Will the tens of thousands of Central American children who recently crossed illegally into America soon be eligible for affirmative action? If so, on what grounds? That America welcomed, fed, clothed, and schooled those who were all but driven out from their oppressive Central American governments?

Will these newcomers soon be eligible for special consideration in a way that Syrian refugees who are scheduled to arrive legally to the United States will not?

In truth, the criterion for affirmative action is not superficial appearance. (Syrians are perhaps as much non-white in appearance as Central Americans.) It is not past discrimination. (Central American dictators have been as unkind as Syrian dictators.) Nor is it present prejudice. (Both groups are new to the United States and not past victims of American discrimination.)

Why continue with divisive racial self-identification?

Too many of our ethnic aristocrats and politicians benefit from a fossilized system of a past century that is now largely irrelevant in 21st-century America.
Read more here.

The lobbyist-laden, crony-socialist Obama administration

Remember when Solyndra waited until the day after the 2010 midterm election to announce its layoff of employees? Guess who was the political fixer who arranged for that timing? Ron Klain, the man whom Obama just appointed to be the ebola czar. Andrew McCarthy has all the relevant details here.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Victim of the century

"Poor me. I was the first person to have her reputation destroyed world-wide via the internet. If only I could collect some royalties. The F.B.I. threatened me with 27 years in prison. Anxiety, depression, sense of failure, and shame: I came close to disintegrating. Every day in 1998 I felt like I was being punched hard in the gut. I was shattered. It's hard to wrap your mind around where the humiliation ends. There are no borders. It feels like the whole world is laughing at you. My mantra: I wanted to die.

I was also victimized when I was younger, when my brother read my diary, and my seventh grade crush shared the love letter I had written him with everyone he knew.

I cringed, I yelled, I sobbed, and the mantra continued. Submerged in shame and public humiliation.

Online we've got a compassion deficit, an empathy crisis. To mock at a soul in pain is a dreadful thing."

Monica Lewinsky speaks out.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Advanced stages of collapse

David Warren writes:
Pope Paul was dead right in Humanae Vitae; that if we did not draw the line at contraception, we would be on the “slippery slope” to real, murderous barbarism.

Moreover, every Christian denomination that has abandoned that front line — on sexual morality — is now in advanced stages of collapse, from one thing that led to another.
Read more here.

Hold off on the rockets for a while

Reuters is reporting that
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - A daughter of the leader of Hamas in Gaza was admitted to an Israeli hospital for emergency medical treatment this month after she suffered complications from a routine procedure, two sources familiar with the case said.

Israeli media has reported that one of Haniyeh's granddaughters was treated in an Israeli hospital last November, while his mother-in-law sought treatment in a Jerusalem hospital in June.
Read more here.

Implantable technologies

Mike Edelhart writes about the next big frontier in technology: implantable technology inside our bodies. Perhaps the most interesting one tome is smart dust.

Edelhart explains:
Perhaps the most startling of current implantable innovations is smart dust, arrays of full computers with antennas, each much smaller than a grain of sand, that can organize themselves inside the body into as-needed networks to power a whole range of complex internal processes.

Imagine swarms of these nano-devices, called motes, attacking early cancer or bringing pain relief to a wound or even storing critical personal information in a manner that is deeply encrypted and hard to hack.

With smart dust, doctors will be able to act inside your body without opening you up, and information could be stored inside you, deeply encrypted, until you unlocked it from your very personal nano network.

Go here to read and view the other technologies featured in Edelhart's article.

Accelerating the aging process

Do you want to accelerate the aging process?
Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco used a sample of 5300 healthy adults. Dr. Elissa Epel worked on the study for 5 years.

“We think we can get away with drinking lots of soda as long as we are not gaining weight, but this suggests that there is an invisible pathway that leads to accelerated aging, regardless of weight,” said Dr. Epel.

Epel’s team discovered that in people who drank more sugar-sweetened beverages, the ends of their chromosomes, known as telomeres, were shorter.

The shorter the telomere, the less a cell can regenerate thus aging the body, and raising the risk of disease and early death.

“This finding is alarming because it suggest that soda may be aging us, in ways we are not even aware of,” said Dr. Epel.

Researchers found no link in cell aging, however, when drinking diet sodas and fruit juices.
REad more here.

Number 509 for Peyton Manning

Peyton Manning made Denver Broncos fans very happy tonight, breaking Brett Favre's all time NFL passing record with his 509th touchdown pass here.

A five-year-old Monet or Renoir?

the artist who painted this is five years old. Read about her here.

Thanks to Ann Voskamp

Play ball!

Thanks to Ann Voskamp

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Who's killing whom?

Found here.

Man plays national anthem with his gun

Thanks to Dave Barry's blog.

Einstein's view of intelligent design

What was Albert Einstein's view of intelligent design?
Every one who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the Universe-a spirit vastly superior to that of man, and one in the face of which we with our modest powers must feel humble.

The scientists’ religious feeling takes the form of a rapturous amazement at the harmony of natural law, which reveals an intelligence of such superiority that, compared with it, all the systematic thinking and acting of human beings is an utterly insignificant reflection.

- Albert Einstein
As quoted in Real Science.

What was taught in the mosque attended by the Okahoma beheader

He names the two guys who went shooting with him. Won't they identify him?

Blame the victim

Joran van der Sloot to marry pregnant girlfriend in prison

Any ideas how to fix this?

What is your position on quarantine? Scott Alexander writes:
One day I woke up and they had politicized Ebola.
Which tribe do you belong to: the blue tribe, or the red tribe? Alexander reports that the red tribe has been supporting quarantine, while the blue tribe opposes it. Then he goes on to discus how the two political tribes reacted to recent news items: Ebola, ISIS, the Rotherham scandal, Ferguson, nude pictures of Jennifer Lawrence, and global warming.

The Rotherham scandal was an incident in an English town where criminal gangs had been grooming and blackmailing thousands of young girls, then using them as sex slaves. This had been going on for at least ten years with minimal intervention by the police. An investigation was duly launched, which discovered that the police had been keeping quiet about the problem because the gangs were mostly Pakistani and the victims mostly white, and the police didn’t want to seem racist by cracking down too heavily. Researchers and officials who demanded that the abuse should be publicized or fought more vigorously were ordered to attend “diversity training” to learn why their demands were offensive. The police department couldn’t keep it under wraps forever, and eventually it broke and was a huge scandal.

The Left then proceeded to totally ignore it, and the Right proceeded to never shut up about it for like an entire month, and every article about it had to include the “diversity training” aspect, so that if you type “rotherham d…” into Google, your two first options are “Rotherham Daily Mail” and “Rotherham diversity training”.

I don’t find this surprising at all. The Rotherham incident ties in perfectly to the Red Tribe narrative – scary foreigners trying to hurt us, politically correct traitors trying to prevent us from noticing. It doesn’t do anything for the Blue Tribe narrative, and indeed actively contradicts it at some points. So the Red Tribe wants to trumpet it to the world, and the Blue Tribe wants to stay quiet and distract.

John Durant did an interesting analysis of media coverage of the Rotherham scandal versus the “someone posted nude pictures of Jennifer Lawrence” scandal.

He found left-leaning news website Slate had one story on the Rotherham child exploitation scandal, but four stories on nude Jennifer Lawrence.

He also found that feminist website Jezebel had only one story on the Rotherham child exploitation scandal, but six stories on nude Jennifer Lawrence.

This doesn’t surprise me much. Yes, you would think that the systematic rape of thousands of women with police taking no action might be a feminist issue. Or that it might outrage some people on Tumblr, a site which has many flaws but which has never been accused of being slow to outrage. But the goal here isn’t to push some kind of Platonic ideal of what’s important, it’s to support a certain narrative that ties into the Blue Tribe narrative. Rotherham does the opposite of that. The Jennifer Lawrence nudes, which center around how hackers (read: creepy internet nerds) shared nude pictures of a beloved celebrity on Reddit (read: creepy internet nerds) and 4Chan (read: creepy internet nerds) – and #Gamergate which does the same – are exactly the narrative they want to push, so they become the Stories Of The Century.

The Red Tribe and Blue Tribe have different narratives, which they use to tie together everything that happens into reasons why their tribe is good and the other tribe is bad.

Sometimes this results in them seizing upon different sides of an apparently nonpolitical issue when these support their narrative; for example, Republicans generally supporting a quarantine against Ebola, Democrats generally opposing it. Other times it results in a side trying to gain publicity for stories that support their narrative while sinking their opponents’ preferred stories – Rotherham for some Reds; Ferguson for some Blues.

This can sort of be prevented by not turning everything into a referendum on how great your tribe is and how stupid the opposing tribe is, or by trying to frame an issue in a way that respects or appeals to an out-group’s narrative.

Daily Kos or someone has a little label saying “supports liberal ideas”, but actually their incentive is to make liberals want to click on their pages and ads. If the quickest way to do that is by writing story after satisfying story of how dumb Republicans are, and what wonderful taste they have for being members of the Blue Tribe instead of evil mutants, then they’ll do that even if the effect on the entire system is to make Republicans hate them and by extension everything they stand for.

I don’t know how to fix this.
Read more here.

Friday, October 17, 2014

"I can break these cuffs!"

Schooling the world's petrotyrants

IBD editorializes that:
the petrotyranny model of using oil as a weapon against smaller neighbors and the U.S. is effectively dead. Over the past decade, all of the states that have staked their futures on the power of oil have effectively burned their bridges to other models for building their economies.

The editorial shows how Iran, Russia, and Venezuela
share one thing in common: a strategy of high oil prices and low production, plus a willingness to interfere with markets to make them into power games.

But as it turns out, that strategy was another kind of dependency. And the Saudis, egged on by the shale revolution, have just ended it.

Market manipulation is peculiar. In 1998, the Saudis tried to cut output to keep crude prices from falling further. It didn't work. From that, they learned a valuable right lesson: Nothing is bigger than market forces.

Now, the world's remaining petrotyrants are about to be schooled as well.
Read more here.

How to restrain a woman

Thanks to Ace of Spades.

Overplaying their hand

Have the Democrats overplayed their hand on the "war on women?" Ellen Carmichael believes that in the Colorado Senate race they have. She writes:
we are learning there’s an expiration date on the “war on women.” Democrats are in real danger of overplaying this hand, and if the left-of-center Colorado press is berating Udall for his birth-control mania, imagine how the voters must see him. That doesn’t mean conservatives shouldn’t remain on guard, but they can take heart that perhaps the country has been all Lena Dunham’ed out and wants to talk about bigger issues. You know, like our $17 trillion national debt.
Read more here.

Will it all backfire?

One of my favorite blogs is Betsy's Page. Today she comments on
controversial decisions and actions that the Democrats have put off for after the election.
She mentions
Obamacare rate increases, Keystone Pipeline, immigration action, and the report on Bowe Bergdahl's desertion.

Then she links to a piece by Tom Bevan, entitled "Is Democrats' Kick-the-Can Strategy Backfiring?" Bevan writes:
The number of significant issues they have attempted to kick down the road and dodge until after the midterms is substantial -- and growing by the day.

The Keystone XL pipeline, having already been punted by the president in two previous elections, remains in limbo, buried deep within the bowels of the State Department.

In April, the Environmental Protection Agency announced it would delay issuing a regulation forcing new power plants to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions until after the midterm elections.

In September, President Obama, at the behest of vulnerable Senate Democrats -- and to the chagrin of many Latinos -- decided to delay taking executive action on immigration until after November.

This week we learned that Obama acquiesced to another request by Senate Democrats: to delay naming a new attorney general until after the election for fear that a “controversial nominee” might harm their 2014 midterm chances.
Read more of Betsy here.
Read more of Tom here.

Turned upside down

The other day from 9 a.m. to noon there were no less than four incidents in which four separate children went on non-stop screaming rampages in our store. Three of them were with moms, but one was with a big, muscular man.

Thomas K. Lindsay asks:
Why might today's parents fail to exercise the leadership necessary to enforce the discipline necessary to their children's maturation? How have the relations between the young and old been turned upside down, with the older, more experienced generation now fearing to offend the younger, less-experienced generation, rather than vice versa?

Are the benefits of our aimless "niceness" toward our children worth the price? If not, then for their sake, as well as ours, we adults might consider acting again like grown-ups.
Read more here.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Party of the rich

Which is the party of the rich? Timothy Carney says Republicans and Democrats are both the party of the rich. Nevertheless, seven of the ten richest Congressional districts are represented by Democrats. Read the whole thing here.


Kevin Williamson has an excellent piece at National Review about the differences in being a governor and of being a Senator in the party not in power. Read it here.

Infecting people at an exponential rate

Ace of Spades continues to have excellent analysis of the ebola crisis. He summarizes:
We have a serious public health crisis. We have known since March that ebola was back, and in subsequent months the disease infected people at an exponential rate. As full-blown epidemics do.

They suffered a 70% death rate for ebola infections in West Africa. (Here in the States, supposedly we will only have a 50% death rate-- but I'm not confident that the "experts" are right about that.)

Now, given the fact that ebola is raging across West Africa, killing thousands of people, would anyone who is serious about epidemic containment think, back in, say, June, "Well, we sent out a memo and posted an instructional video. Our work here is done."

No. Back in June, the CDC should have offered hospitals a major crash course in ebola containment. They should not have relied upon their previous memos. They should have actually checked and followed up with hospitals to ensure that people knew at least the basics of containment.

And when Duncan was diagnosed with ebola, they should have sent out a team of experts to oversee the hospital's handling of the matter or simply taken over treatment of Duncan themselves.

After disaster has already struck -- and after six months of the disease spreading exponentially -- the Commander in Golf Togs finally announces:

President Obama said that the U.S. would become more aggressive in coordinating the national response to Ebola, including sending a CDC team to any hospital with a confirmed Ebola case.

Congratulations on doing on October 15th what you should have done on March 25th.
Read much more here.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


From ABC:
West Africa could face up to 10,000 new Ebola cases a week within two months, the World Health Organization warned Tuesday, adding that the death rate in the current outbreak has risen to 70 percent.
Read more here.
Ace of Spades has lots of analysis on the ebola crisis.

"Swarm intelligence"

From the Smithsonian.com:
his August, on the James River in Virginia, the U.S. Navy staged the kind of scene you’d expect to see at the beginning of a James Bond movie. As a large ship moved through the water, a helicopter overhead spotted an unidentified boat approaching and sent a warning to a small fleet of escort boats. Some were armed with loudspeakers, others with flashing lights, another with a .50 caliber machine gun.

Once the fleet zeroed in on the threatening vessel with radar and infrared sensors, some of the escort boats broke away and quickly encircled it. They flashed lights and blasted warnings through loudspeakers. Threat resolved.

All of the escort boats were unmanned—and yet they moved together as a group, thanks to what’s known as “swarm intelligence.”
Read more here.

Who at CDC told her it would be okay to fly?

Ace of Spades has a late post tonight, telling us that CBS News is reporting that nurse Amber Vinson called the CDC several times to tell them she has a fever, and they still okayed her to fly from Dallas to Cleveland.

I am wondering: who at CDC gave her the okay?

It becomes most alive after being the most still

Ann Voskamp writes:
the world says you are what you do. But the Word says you are Whose you are. And what we do ultimately flows out of who & Whose we are.
So our Being must have precedence over our Doing — because it’s our Being that will ultimately express itself in our Doing.

But there’s this Present Christianity, simply being present to Christ, that makes our life unfold like a gift back — a gift that far surpasses any of the work willed out of Performance Christianity.

Because Present Christianity is fuelled by giving Love — and Performance Christianity is fuelled by getting accepted.

I once told that boy of ours: Any dead fish can go with the flow — you have to be intentionally alive to swim against the current.

After that flicker bird at the top of the oldest apple tree in the orchard sits still for what seems like hours…

… after we eat the last of the pie crumbs, and watch from the window, watch the flicker rest amongst the yellowing leaves, you can see it —

how, when it’s time, the flicker flashes and unfolds and unfurls and takes to the sky—

how it becomes the most alive only after being the most still.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The right to be left alone

Depressed? Exercise!

A new research study helps explain why exercise helps to protect our brains from depression. Read about it here.

A lot of pies

This photo by Rebecca Rosenberg is of a 2058 pound pumpkin. I don't know who picked it up and put it on the scale. Not very orange, is it?

Found here.

The miracle of 3-D printing

There is a really interesting story over at Wired about the use of 3-D printing to make body parts.

It wasn't easy

What happened to Christ's Apostles? Go here to find out how each one died, and where their remains are today.


David Feith explains how the number 689 has huge significance in the popular political upheaval happening in Hong Kong. Read about it here.

Build the base!

Ramesh Ponnuru writes:
The Republican party has a distinctive problem with female voters, but it is one that it cannot and does not need to solve.

Polling has for many years consistently found that women are more supportive than men of social-welfare spending, economic regulation, and gun control, and less supportive of military action. In August, for example, an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll found that the gender gap on raising the minimum wage was in the double digits, with women more supportive. These issues provide an alternative explanation of why the gender gap opened up around 1980: The parties became more divided on size-of-government questions then, too.

The Colorado Senate race between Udall and Gardner, where contraception has become one of the top issues, could be the most important one this fall. It will be a test of whether the Republican party can compete in states that went twice for Obama. (Most of the competitive Senate races this year are in states that reliably vote for Republican presidential candidates.) Its rising Hispanic population makes it an important sign about the future, too. And if Republicans win there after renewed Democratic accusations that they are waging a “war on women,” perhaps they will be a little less spooked by the gender gap — and more focused on doing what it takes to build their baseline level of support among men and women alike.
Read more here.

Coming for your pastor

Houston has a new non-discrimination ordinance that passed in June. It allows men to use women's bathrooms and women to use men's bathrooms. Some pastors have been speaking out against this ordinance. The mayor and city council have issued subpoenas requesting copies of sermons.

Todd Starnes reports:
The city of Houston has issued subpoenas demanding a group of pastors turn over any sermons dealing with homosexuality, gender identity or Annise Parker, the city’s first openly lesbian mayor. And those ministers who fail to comply could be held in contempt of court.

The Houston Chronicle reported opponents of the ordinance launched a petition drive that generated more than 50,000 signatures – far more than the 17,269 needed to put a referendum on the ballot.

However, the city threw out the petition in August over alleged irregularities.

After opponents of the bathroom bill filed a lawsuit the city’s attorneys responded by issuing the subpoenas against the pastors.

The pastors were not part of the lawsuit. However, they were part of a coalition of some 400 Houston-area churches that opposed the ordinance. The churches represent a number of faith groups – from Southern Baptist to non-denominational.
Read more here.

"Thank you for coming down here and explaining the unconstitutional policies on campus"

From Campus Reform:University officials threatened to call the police and disciplinary action against students who were passing out copies of the U.S. Constitution at Southern Oregon University (SOU) last week.

A group of four students at SOU handed out copies of the Constitution on campus Tuesday while collecting signatures to end the university’s restrictive speech policies, which limit free speech to an area that totals less than one percent of campus. While doing so, the students were approached multiple times by school administrators and campus police who all asked the students to move to a different area of campus.

How's that workin' out for ya?

Have you figured out on what Obama's Middle East strategy is based? Neither have I, but Victor Davis Hanson has:
Obama’s unfortunate Middle East legacy was predicated on six flawed assumptions:

(1) a special relationship with Turkey;

(2) distancing the U.S. from Israel;

(3) empathy for Islamist governments as exemplified by the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt;

(4) a sort of non-aggression agreement with Iran;

(5) expecting his own multicultural fides to resonate in the region;

(6) pulling out of Iraq and Afghanistan.

So, how did that work out?
Obama’s special relationship with Recep Erdogan proved disastrous from the get-go, as Erdogan immediately began to provoke Israel and promote Islamist revolutionaries.

Israel has nothing to do with the slaughter in Libya or Syria or Iraq, but it is a constant reminder that the United States is indifferent to its friends while it courts its enemies. As Obama’s new policy against ISIS is shaping up, Iran is emerging as more of an ally in his eyes than is Israel.

Our once-close relationship with Egypt is ruined.

Obama kept quiet when a million Iranian protesters hit the streets in 2009 to show their disgust with theocratic corruption.

Ending the tough sanctions has brought nothing but delight to the ayatollahs. In the view of Iraq and Syria, somehow the U.S. has become a de facto ally of the greatest enemy to peace in the region.

There were no Americans dying in Iraq when Barack Obama pulled the remaining troops out in order to win a reelection talking point. Iraq was a functioning state, saved by the successful U.S. surge.

We should forget the “peace process” and recognize that Hamas is an existential enemy of America and almost all our friends, and instead encourage an alignment of Egypt, the Kurds, Jordan, Israel, and a few of the saner Gulf States against both ISIS and the new and soon-to-be-nuclear Iranian Axis.
Read more here.

The importance of winning over women

Doing Hillary's dirty work

Dick Morris has released a video in which he charges that Leon Panetta, a Clinton loyalist, is doing Hillary's dirty work for her. Hillary is trying to distance herself from Obama's foreign policy mistakes, and Panetta is critical of Obama's foreign policy, but does not even mention Hillary in connection to Benghazi. Watch the video here.

Time for a registry?

Found here, where CH says it is time for a False Rape Accuser Registry.

Monday, October 13, 2014


Here is David Warren's take on Canadian Thanksgiving:
Farmers: God love them. There was once a time when four in five of our Canadian workforce were farmers or fishermen; now they are perhaps one in fifty. Those still in the trade grow older; the median age of farmers in Canada is now fifty-six, and so retirements are accelerating. There are far fewer farms than a century ago; but much, much larger. The industrialization of agriculture, and the persistent growth of government regulation, has changed the nature of farming; and methods of distribution have been centralized to the point where I know country people who drive into the big city, specifically to buy fresher food. The transfer of population from rural to urban locations likewise changes consumer attitudes, including those towards politics. City folk tend to have no clew what is involved in food production; contemporary “environmentalism” depends upon this profound ignorance. We think there are “solutions,” that can be legislated.

The farmer had time to read, and make his own music; to enjoy his family, and make real friends; to attend to the requirements of God, and of his neighbour. He could afford to be “idle” in this way. Paradoxically, our sloth now dictates that we participate in a rat race, mostly on terms resembling those of old-fashioned indentured labour. It is not that we work as hard as old farmers; but our exhaustion, at the end of the day, is a spiritual exhaustion, that leaves room only for passive entertainment. It blights the lives of employees and employers, alike.

Notwithstanding, the sense of gratitude, for life and the means of sustaining it, seems innate. Even in the heart of the city, we want to thank someone. We live, necessarily, in a state of confusion. And yet the clock still hasn’t run out on us. If only we knew Whom to thank.
Read more here.

Online courtships versus in the flesh

Online courting? No, Chateau Heartiste prefers
meeting and seducing women in the flesh, where the pleasant discomfort of the moment can’t be escaped, our stats can’t be aridly collated and perused, my probing hands can’t be evaded, my warm smirk can’t be missed, my wordless entendres can’t be mistaken. The incitement and sustenance of a woman’s romantic attraction demands a… personal touch.
Read more here.

Thanksgiving in Canada

They are celebrating Thanksgiving up in Canada at Ann Voskamp's house.
When thanksgiving is your default — the enemy gets his defeat.

You defeat your dark when thanksgiving is your default.

“Praise is the beauty of a Christian.

What wings are to a bird, what fruit is to the tree, what the rose is to the thorn, that is praise to a child of God.”

~ Spurgeon

Unlimited well of creativity

Immediate payback.

Thanks to April Kellman

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Settled Science

found here.

He's got a point

found here.

Thorough analysis of current events

Tom Maguire has been doing yeoman's work reporting on the Islamic State, Turkey, Syrian Kurds, Ebola, and the EnterovirusD68 here.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

The alphabet soup of scandals

Victor Davis Hanson writes:
The lasting legacy of Obama will be that he has largely discredited the idea of big government, of which he was so passionate an advocate. Almost every major agency of the federal government, many of them with a hallowed tradition of bipartisan competence, have now been rendered either dysfunctional or politicized — or both — largely because of politically driven appointments of unqualified people, or ideological agendas that were incompatible with the agency’s mission.

He notes that the Border Patrol
is now the Border-Crossing Enabling Service, whose chief task is facilitating the illegal entry of thousands from Latin America and Mexico, largely to further the political agenda of the Obama administration, contrary to the law, the will of Congress, and the wishes of the majority of the American people.

Consider the policy of restricting flights to and from foreign countries because of national-security concerns. During the controversial Gaza War, the FAA ordered U.S. airlines to suspend flights to Ben Gurion Airport — the best protected airport in the world — supposedly because of a rocket that exploded in the general proximity of the facility. Hamas claimed the step as a psychological victory and proof of the efficacy of its strategy of targeting Israeli civilian centers, and as further evidence of growing U.S. anger at Israeli war conduct. In contrast, the FAA has not shut down flights to and from African countries in which Ebola has reached pandemic status. Which threat — a deadly virus or a stray rocket — posed the greatest danger to the American public? Perhaps if infected Liberian nationals send their child to Sidwell Friends, radical changes in FAA policy will follow; or, in contrast, if Israel had been gripped by an Ebola pandemic, then Americans might have been allowed to fly in and out of Ben Gurion.

The agency that relies on voluntary tax compliance now holds taxpayers to standards of transparency, record-keeping, and honesty that it cannot itself meet. That too will be a lasting legacy of the Obama administration.

Eric Holder has politicized the Justice Department in a way not seen since the scandals of Nixon appointee John Mitchell.

The Secret Service used to be unimpeachable. Not now. Agents have been caught patronizing prostitutes while on assignment in Latin America. They have allowed an armed former felon to enter an elevator with the president. They had no clue that gunshots may well have hit the White House. They allowed an unhinged and armed intruder to not just enter the White House grounds, but make his way into the White House itself — and the agency then tried to cover up its laxity. Its reputation is now in shreds. One day a confused White House expresses full confidence in the Secret Service’s incompetent director, and the next gladly accepts her resignation.

VDH goes on and on through the "alphabet soup of scandals:" the V.A., GSA junketeering, Obama's scapegoating the intelligence agencies, Janet Napolitano's Homeland Security absurdities, the tarnishing of the State Department because of Benghazi, Labor, EPA, NASA, Obamacare, Energy, and he finishes with this conclusion:
Obama has set the standard that the purpose of government is to facilitate his version of social change, regardless of protocols, laws, or traditions. And the result is a scandal-ridden administration that exceeds that of Warren G. Harding — one that has now convinced the public that their government agencies are not lawful, competent, or to be trusted.
Read the whole thing here.

Obama: master of political expediency

In his weekly newletter, The G File, Jonah Goldberg comments on a variety of items in the news. For example, he notes that Jimmy Carter is turning on Obama. Here is the headline from Time Magazine:
Jimmy Carter: Obama Dropped the Ball on ISIS Threat
Jonah then offers this humorous analogy:
First of all, having Jimmy Carter out-hawk you is like having Joe Biden attack you for being verbally undisciplined.

Jonah has
no confidence that Obama will stick with his war on the Islamic State one minute longer than the polls and political expediency require.

I liked this quote from Jonah:
But at the end of the day, division is what democracy is about. It’s about disagreement not agreement. Arguments are democratic. Unity for its own sake is fascistic.

And this one:
For decades, the best working definition of an evil wedge issue was any issue that is politically disadvantageous for Democrats to talk about. It’s of a piece with the mindset that exalted the phrase “dissent is the highest form of patriotism” under Bush and immediately downgraded dissent to the lowest form of racism under Obama.

Obama’s whole approach to politics has been to whip up issues — real and fake — that divide the American people.
Read more here.

Benghazi hearing

I am glad to see that Andrew McCarthy is raising questions about the Benghazi hearings. McCarthy credited Chairman Gowdy, who
pointed out that security for high-threat facilities was supposed to be personally approved by the secretary of state, not a subordinate — a problem given that, under Secretary Clinton, security in Benghazi was decreased despite attacks, threats, and expert assessments that clearly signaled an intensifying threat.

In the midst of Libya’s civil war, the United States government decided to switch sides — we went from support for the Qaddafi regime that had been regarded as a key counterterrorism ally to support for “rebels” who very much included the anti-American jihadists Qaddafi had been helping us track. That was not just an Obama-administration policy preference; it had strong support from prominent senior Republicans in Congress. The toppling of Qaddafi that resulted enabled jihadists to raid the regime’s arsenal. That has greatly benefitted both al-Qaeda and the Islamic State terrorists currently rampaging in Iraq, Syria, Libya, and much of northern Africa.

Meanwhile, the Obama administration, again with significant Republican support, decided to aid and abet Syrian “rebels” who, as in Libya, very much included anti-American jihadists. There is colorable suspicion that this assistance included the gathering up of arms in Libya for shipment to Syrian “rebels.” Abdelhakim Belhadj, the al-Qaeda operative who was Ambassador Stevens’s “rebel” point-man in Benghazi, was clearly involved in at least one major shipment of weapons that went to Syrian “rebels” — including to some of the jihadist groups the United States is now bombing. That shipment was coordinated by Turkey, a country with which Ambassador Stevens, Secretary Clinton, and President Obama worked closely — a country whose ambassador was the last diplomat Stevens met with in Benghazi before being killed.

There will be no accountability for the Benghazi massacre absent a full public airing of what the United States government was doing in that most dangerous of places: Setting up shop among anti-American jihadists and staying there like sitting ducks even as other countries and international organizations pulled out. What was the benefit? Trying to limit the damage caused by switching sides in Libya? Fueling a new jihadist threat in Syria and Iraq — the very one we are now struggling to quell?

In Washington, there seem to be a lot of people resistant to a full public airing of the policy. They may not all be Democrats.
Read more here.

Announcing we are at war, then going fundraising

Xharles Krauthammer notes that like Stalin at Warsaw,
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey is offering a determined echo by ordering Turkish tanks massed on the Syrian border, within sight of the besieged Syrian town of Kobani, to sit and do nothing.

For almost a month, Kobani Kurds have been trying to hold off Islamic State fighters. Outgunned, outmanned, and surrounded on three sides, the defending Kurds have begged Turkey to allow weapons and reinforcements through the border. Erdogan has refused even that, let alone intervening directly. Infuriated Kurds have launched demonstrations throughout Turkey protesting Erdogan’s deadly callousness. At least 21 demonstrators have been killed.

Moreover, Erdogan entertains a larger vision: making Turkey the hegemonic power over the Sunni Arabs, as in Ottoman times. The Islamic State is too radical and uncontrollable to be an ally in that mission. But it is Sunni. And it fights Shiites, Alawites, and Kurds. Erdogan’s main regional adversary is the Shiite-dominated rule of Syria’s Bashar Assad. Erdogan demands that the U.S. take the fight to Assad before Turkey will join the fight against the Islamic State.

On the day after the Islamic State entered Kobani, we launched five airstrikes. Result? We hit three vehicles, one artillery piece, and one military “unit.” And damaged a tank. This, against perhaps 9,000 heavily armed Islamic State fighters. If this were not so tragic, it would be farcical.

Obama has committed the U.S. to war on the Islamic State. To then allow within a month an allied enclave to be overrun — and perhaps annihilated — would be a major blow.

The indecisiveness and ambivalence so devastatingly described by both of Obama’s previous secretaries of defense, Leon Panetta and Bob Gates, are already beginning to characterize the Syria campaign.

The Iraqis can see it. The Kurds can feel it. The jihadists are counting on it.

Cell phone and tobacco addictions

Dr. Helen Smith wonders if cell phones are the new cigarettes. Yes, people do seem addicted to them, but tobacco addictions do not seem to be subsiding. My observation is that more women than men seem to be addicted to their cell phones, at least as many women as men seem to be purchasing cigarettes, but chewing tobacco seems to be almost exclusively a male addiction.

Are you suffering from microaggressions?

Hamas on Campus

ISIS terrorists at our southern border

Did you know that within the last week four ISIS terrorists have been captured after coming across the southern U.S. border from Mexico? Did you know that
Islamic terrorist groups are operating in the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez and planning to attack the United States with car bombs or other vehicle borne improvised explosive devices (VBIED).
Once again it is Judicial Watch providing the information.

It matters

Seth Godin offers some encouraging words for those us us who like to write:
Do the word

It's possible to bend language to your will, to invest extraordinary amounts of effort and care to make words do what you want them to do.

Our culture celebrates athletes that shape their bodies, and chieftains who build organizations. Lesser known, but more available, is the ability to work on our words until they succeed in transmitting our ideas and causing action.

Here's the thing: you may not have the resources or the physique or the connections that people who do other sorts of work have. But you do have precisely the same keyboard as everyone else. It's the most level playing field we've got.

The first step is to say it poorly. And then say it again and again and again until you're able to edit your words into something that works.

But mostly, you need to decide that it matters.

Sacrificing the American population on the altar of political correctness.

How long will it be before trains of illegal aliens carry people infected with Ebola? Read more here.

Cream of the crop?

Moonbattery asks:
Did anyone think Guatemala is sending the cream of the crop to sneak into our country illegally? Wrong. It is sending people like this:

Police say the two Guatemalans, 16 and 17, escaped a facility in Des Plaines around 6 this morning, hijacking a car there and making their way to Moline and Walmart.

Officers say that’s where they ordered a 91-year-old veteran out of his car and took off in it, ramming another car on the way out of the parking lot.

Iowa officers initiated a short pursuit this afternoon, deploying stop sticks on Interstate 80 near Iowa City, arresting the teens.
Read more here.

Lego surrenders to Greenpeace

From Fox News:
Danish toy maker Lego says it won't renew a deal allowing Shell to hand out Lego sets at gas stations in some 30 countries, following a viral campaign protesting Arctic drilling.

In July, Greenpeace launched a video showing an Arctic landscape with a Shell drilling platform made of Lego bricks covered in oil.
Read more here.
Thanks to Moonbattery

A game of dodge

Making rape victims pay for their own forensic exams

Did you know that in states all across the country
rape victims are forced to shoulder the cost of their own forensic exams?
Read more here.
Thanks to Instapundit

Which one is "America's biggest hypocrite?"

What to do about China?

General Wesley Clark writes:
As China presses its territorial claims on the South China Sea and East China Sea more forcefully — including even a claim, in some quarters, of jurisdiction over Okinawa, where American forces are based — the United States is being drawn into regional controversies. In the past few years we have found ourselves courted by Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, the Philippines and other countries in the region, which are anxious for reassurance and support against China’s new assertiveness, but also wary of provoking it. It will be in China’s interest to force us progressively to choose, on issue after issue, between China and the interests of our allies in the region.

If we are to retain our global leadership, and be a constructive, countervailing force as China rises, America needs a long-term strategic vision of our own: a strong, growing economy built on a foundation of energy independence; a vibrant, effective democracy; assertive, patient diplomacy backed by supportive allies; and a military capable of standing toe to toe with China in a crisis. With these pieces in place, we can succeed in helping China assume its rightful place as a global leader, and perhaps an equal of the United States, in a manner that promotes global prosperity and stability. Perhaps then China’s leaders will feel secure enough to grant real democracy to its people. But it will be a long journey.
Read more here.

It's the vibration

Nobody knows what they are, but they will probably vote in Colorado this fall for an amendment to require GMA labels on all foods, because, "you know, they're bad."

"I'm sure reality used to be great."

Have you chosen your gender identity yet?

Let's be who He made us to be

Do you know people who apologize a lot? People who feel they are never enough? Can we thank God for how he created us? Can we trust that what we have to offer is good? Kimberley D. Henderson writes:
Let’s be who He made us to be.

With joy.

With celebration.

With purpose.

And without apology.
Read more here.
Thanks to Ann Voskamp

Relying on each other

Thanks to Ann Voskamp

Benefits of walking

Ferris Jabr asks:
What is it about walking, in particular, that makes it so amenable to thinking and writing? The answer begins with changes to our chemistry. When we go for a walk, the heart pumps faster, circulating more blood and oxygen not just to the muscles but to all the organs—including the brain. Many experiments have shown that after or during exercise, even very mild exertion, people perform better on tests of memory and attention. Walking on a regular basis also promotes new connections between brain cells, staves off the usual withering of brain tissue that comes with age, increases the volume of the hippocampus (a brain region crucial for memory), and elevates levels of molecules that both stimulate the growth of new neurons and transmit messages between them.
Read everything you ever wanted to know about the advantages of walking here.
Thanks to Ann Voskamp

Yesterday my car would not start, so I walked to work. It was such a good experience that I am thinking of doing it regularly. It helped my mood for the rest of the day. It had rained throughout the night, and I have no garage. It was cold. Those are the conditions my car does not react well to. Is it time to trade it in, spend lots of money on finding what the problem is, or just take advantage of the opportunity to walk to work?

Running down back roads for prodigals

Are you the only mom who has ever lost it with her kid? Does your anger ambush you? Are we time bombs that must be defused with regular rest, food, and space? Lisa-Jo Baker has written "10 Things to Do Differently *Before* You Lose Your Temper" here.

“By God’s marvelous design, few life experiences humble us quite as effectively as parenting. …This tiny tyrant is providentially placed in our house with one grand program: to mold his or her parents into the image of our Lord. The way up spiritually, is by looking down physically.”~Gary Thomas, Devotions for Sacred Parenting.
Thanks to Ann Voskamp

You go, brother!

Thanks to Ann Voskamp


FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston
Thanks to Ann Voskamp

The place to go for political junkies

Open Blogger has written two of the most comprehensive posts I have seen yet on the potential GOP candidates for president in 2016 here.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Gender pandering

Betsy Newmark points out that
Republicans don’t have near as big a woman problem as Democrats have a man problem.

As for that GOP problem, it is more complex than Democrats would concede. A late-August generic battleground poll from George Washington University had Republicans winning married women by 16 points; white, married women by 23 points. They were losing white, single women (most susceptible to the Democratic theme) by just two points.

The GOP’s overall woman deficit is caused primarily by minority women—losing by 85 points among black women and 57 points among Hispanic women. The GOP’s task in changing those numbers likely has far less to do with reproductive rights as it does immigration reform and outreach.

Democrats are too invested in this strategy to let up now. But if they lose the Senate in November, it will be in part because voters—men and women alike—expect more from a party than gender pandering.
Read more here.

We have a choice

I like this post by Seth Godin:
Make two lists

One list highlights the lucky breaks, the advantages, the good feedback, your trusted network. It talks about the accident of being born in the right time and the right place, your health, your freedom. It features your education, your connection to the marketplace and just about every nice thing someone has said about you in the last week or month.

The other list is the flipside. It contains the obstacles you've got to deal with regularly, the defects in your family situation, the criticisms your work has received lately. It is a list of people who have better luck than you and moments you've been shafted and misunderstood.

The thing is, at every juncture, during every crisis, in every moment of doubt, you have a choice. You will pull out one (virtual) list or the other. You'll read and reread it, and rely on it to decide how to proceed.

Up to you.
Found here.

Where are the jobs?

The oil and gas industry is big in Colorado. Mark Jaffe reports that
The 31,900 direct industry jobs support 61,600 secondary jobs around the state.
You probably think most of the jobs are in rural counties where most of the production is occurring. Nope, Jaffe reports that
The biggest concentration of oil industry jobs in Colorado isn't in the Front Range or Western Slope oil and gas fields. It is in the office towers of downtown Denver.
Read more here.

Caving in to Islamist threats

David Foster reports:
The Dutch government has told its soldiers to refrain from wearing the uniform in their own country. The reason? A series of tweets from a single jihadist, who warns of forthcoming attacks against Dutch soldiers in revenge for Holland’s participation in the military operations against ISIS.

It should be obvious that this policy of caving in to a threat will lead directly to more and escalated threats in the future.
Read more here.

Friends of Obama. Friends of America

Is Turkey's Erdogan following in Stalin's footsteps? And, is Obama enabling the mass slaughter of Kurds?
Read more here.

Prostitution scandal

If you are a member of the U.S. Secret Service, you will not be treated as well as a White House staffer who is the son of a rich donor. Read about it here.

Another day, another fundraiser

Gwyneth Paltrow, who makes $16 million dollars per movie, hosted President Obama in a fund raiser today out in California. Gweneth is the Hollywood star who said in an interview with E Magazine it was more difficult being an actress and a working mother than it is to be a 9 to 5 working mother in an office job. Today she urged her guests (who paid $32,400 per person) to give President Obama all the power he wishes, gushing to him "You're so handsome I can't speak properly." Well, the last part was true. I'm sure Michelle won't mind Gwyneth's gushing.

Liberal Denver Post endorses Republican Cory Gardner for Senate

The Denver Post made news today. They came out with an editorial endorsing Republican Cory Gardner over incumbent Democrat Senator Mark Udall.

Apparently the Post was not impressed by Udall's war on women script:
Rather than run on his record, Udall's campaign has devoted a shocking amount of energy and money trying to convince voters that Gardner seeks to outlaw birth control despite the congressman's call for over-the-counter sales of contraceptives. Udall is trying to frighten voters rather than inspire them with a hopeful vision. His obnoxious one-issue campaign is an insult to those he seeks to convince.
Read the entire editorial here.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Let's all be gender inclusive

You don't think people are pushing insane ideas? Think again. Katherine Timpf writes:
A Nebraska school district has instructed its teachers to stop referring to students by “gendered expressions” such as “boys and girls,” and use “gender inclusive” ones such as “purple penguins” instead.

“Don’t use phrases such as ‘boys and girls,’ ‘you guys,’ ‘ladies and gentlemen,’ and similarly gendered expressions to get kids’ attention,” instructs a training document given to middle-school teachers at the Lincoln Public Schools.

“Create classroom names and then ask all of the ‘purple penguins’ to meet on the rug,” it advises.
Read more here.

Show those unfashionable and backward Republicans what a 21st century metrosexual looks like.

Manhattan Infidel has another scoop:
As his presidency winds down and looking to the future, President Obama signed a long-term endorsement deal with clothing and accessories retailer Banana Republic. Glenn K. Murphy, Chairman of the Board of The Gap, owners of Banana Republic, announced the deal at a press conference today.

“When one thinks of a Banana Republic one thinks of political instability, the rule of one man and massive corruption” said Murphy.

And who better to represent our brand name than the man who has done more to turn the United States into a Banana Republic than Barack Obama himself. Banana Republic and Barack Obama are a perfect fit. We feature stylish and witty clothing with a hint of third world exoticism. Barack Obama is from Chicago, a third world city filled with violent crime. Banana Republic is a progressive clothing line. Barack Obama is a community organizer. May he organize our wardrobes stylishly and with third world flair.
Read more here.

Not enough data?

Cully Stimson reports:
A definitive study published this week by the Journal of Addiction by Professor Wayne Hall of Kings College London, shows that marijuana is highly addictive, causes mental health problems and is a gateway drug to other illegal dangerous drugs.

Hall’s research, conducted over the past 20 years, confirms what other studies have shown: that regular adolescent marijuana users have lower educational attainment than non-using peers, that they are more likely to use other illegal drugs, that adolescent use produces intellectual impairment, doubles the risk of being diagnosed with schizophrenia and that, not surprisingly, increases the risk of heart attacks in middle-aged adults.
Read more here.

What do women find attractive in men?

Dr. Joy Bliss takes a stab at it:
The traits I find quickly appealing and charming in men are courage, honor, manliness, humor, shyness, but a confident attitude towards life and an easy, relaxed deportment which says that they are comfortable in their skin. They like to play sports and to play with power tools, books, and guns. Those things are instantly appealing to women like me, chemically. You do not have to mate with them, but I can just like it the way you like that chocolate dessert that you do not need and will not eat. We are not animals, but we do enjoy some people more than others. Decent men are the same way with the charming women they meet and enjoy. Normal guys who are out in the world develop instant crushes several times daily just from a chemical reaction.
Read more here.

Counting blessings

Ann Voskamp returns to her favorite theme today:
The life that counts blessings discovers its yielding more than it seems.

Why don’t I want to know that even though it doesn’t seem like there’s been enough rain, He reigns and He is enough and the bounty is greater than it appears?

That the thin places might be the places closest to God and the skinny places might be fuller than they seem and who isn’t full with Christ?

After 1970: The dividing line

Chateau Heartiste writes:
1970 appears to be the foremost dividing line between “good, functional, beautiful America” and “bad, dysfunctional, ugly America”.
So many social ills explode with a ferocity sometime around 1970, and continue exploding right to the present day. Count them out.

Single momhood.
Male unemployment.
Divorce. (Appears to have plateaued recently, thanks in part to fewer marriages.)
Total marriage rate.
Alternative mating arrangements.
Low White fertility.
Astronomical debt.
Crime. (Though crime began a long decline in the 1990s, thanks in part to mass incarceration and internet porn.)
PC neoPuritanism.
Anti-white and anti-free association Acts.
Slut parades.
Fat acceptors.
Bryan Caplan.
$22 trillion wasted in malign “war on disparate outcomes”.
Hijacking of every major public institution by the Left.
Diversity graft.
Welfare replacing workfare.
Parasite shamelessness.
Surveillance nation.
White population displacement.
It all seems to have started around 1970. Read more here.

What hope is there for the rest of us?

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke says,
“I recently tried to refinance my mortgage and I was unsuccessful in doing so.”
Read more here.

I am glad he didn't sneeze

Did you know that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was stabbed by a black woman while he was signing copies of his first book in a Harlem bookstore in 1958? He mentioned it in his Mountaintop speech in Memphis the night before he was assassinated in April, 1968. Read about it here.

Clear and present danger

Daniel Henninger writes:
Ebola’s spread in West Africa was predicted. Government agencies responded late. Now it’s here. The Secret Service is so disorganized it can’t protect, of all things, the White House. Veterans died waiting for admission to VA hospitals. The CDC lost track of anthrax, smallpox and H5N1 bird-flu samples. At the State Department, no one seems to quite know why a U.S. ambassador died in Benghazi. The 9/11 Commission explained in detail how the attackers evaded the bureaucracies. Add to this list the Internal Revenue Service, an agency of extraordinary power that has forfeited the public’s trust.

It is past time to start thinking about how much could be going wrong at so many federal agencies. Watchful waiting isn’t the cure for the next bureaucratic meltdown.

Suddenly, the federal bureaucracies look like a clear and present danger to the American people. Even progressive defenders of the administrative state must be getting nervous at the disarray in the response to Ebola.
Read more here.

Big time changes in China

Lorraine Luk and Chun Han Wong at the Wall Street Journal believe
the closing of the world’s cheap labor frontier is at hand.

Chongqing (China) may be far away and hard to pronounce. But the workers striking there are actually marking a crucial inflection point. It is one that denotes the world’s central banks have painted themselves into a corner and that the global economic and financial game of the last two decades is about to change. Big time.
Read more here.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014


Who knew that one of the wonders of the world is the mosquito? Really!

"Checking a box"

Paul Mirengoff is concerned that
Obama’s “war” against ISIS may represent no more than an unserious attempt to “check a box” for political purposes before the upcoming election. In any event, Obama’s decision not to deploy ground troops makes his “war” on ISIS problematic enough. If, in addition, his air campaign is to be half-hearted, the effort becomes a bad joke
Read more here.

O'Reilly: State Department is an acute embarassment to America

Video here.

Mid-term elections

Bloomberg has a really interesting series of graphics here showing the eight states whose election results will determine which party controls the US Senate.


Chateau Heartiste shares with us some demographic information one of his readers shared with him.
Racial Breakdown of Major Parties
1976 vs 2012
Based on Presidential Preference

Democrat Republican
1976 2012 1976 2012
85 56 White 94 88
15 24 Black 3 2
2 14 Hispanic 1 6
N/A 4 Asian N/A 2
N/A 2 Other N/A 2

Source: Roper



PS: Demographic breakdown of voters then and now (in percent):

1976 2012
White 89 72
Black 9 13
Hispanic 1 10
Asian N/A 3
Other N/A 2

He then goes on to make some doomsday predictions here.


Please read more here.
Thanks to Ann Voskamp

Climb up the stack!

Seth Godin's latest:
The full stack keeps getting taller

The bottom of the stack is essential, but it always gets easier to take for granted.

Of course electricity comes out of the little hole in the wall when you plug something in.

Of course the email engine works every day.

Of course the chipset returns the right calculations.

Of course the webpage loads quickly.

Of course the car starts the first time.

Of course the fax machine always works with other brands.

Of course you can call someone across the world for ten cents...

All of these things used to be really hard, random in their reliability, precious when they worked. Today, for most of us, they're a given (but still important).

Value is created as you work your way up to the newer, harder, scarcer parts of the value creation process. And then we'll figure those out and the stack will get taller still.

When the stack catches up, when the work you do is work that's taken for granted, climb up the stack.

Half-truths, innuendo, falsehoods, intentional omissions and pure ignorance

My friend Col. Curt Dale was recently asked to speak at the Colorado Board of Education meeting on the AP History curriculum. Here reproduced are his remarks:
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I was invited to come as a Veteran of 27 years in the Air Force and opine on the Advanced Placement College Board History curriculum. Holding a BS, Masters and PhD, all in the field of Education, wasn’t a factor. But that background helped me evaluate this flawed effort. I’m insulted, disappointed, even infuriated at this attempt at what I’ll call “ADVOCACY HISTORY.” Advocacy Journalism is when supposedly unbiased, balanced, and evenhanded in reporting, instead, become advocates of personal agendas. This AP History Curriculum is a perfect parallel to Advocacy Journalism. It is bias against America, finding fault and ignoring its best. It finds American Exceptionalism repulsive.

When I found the efforts of millions of comrades to arms in the Korean War, and my Brothers in the Vietnam War reduced to ONE SENTENCE in the curriculum, I was insulted. I am no hero. But I flew 153 Combat Missions in the course of 3 Combat Tours in the Vietnam War. Further, I helped fight the Cold War those 27 years We won it? Is that in this curriculum? Hardly! That would be unseemly, given the faultfinding in the curriculum.

Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I have a Dream Speech” is omitted, as is Abraham Lincoln’s “Gettysburg Address.” In City Park we have a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Monument. There’s a Martin Luther King Blvd. What would be the hue and cry if we just removed that monument and those signs? The “I have a Dream Speech” is one of the greatest speeches ever given in America? That speech should be timeless to Americans. These historians tore it down. The monument may fade and crumble. If not taught the essential reason Dr. King is admired in his fight for justice and freedom, these inept histories will have robbed Dr. King and the youth.

Do we want the importance of the American soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen of World War I and WWII to fall by the wayside? Do we want to teach that Washington did NOT cross the Delaware? This reduces the battles, ultimate sacrifices and victories of our wars to just reasons to find fault with America?

It ignores the Founding Fathers. But it praises inane figures who contributed nothing to make it and keep America secure and safe. Recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor are ignored. I’ve had the great honor of meeting Medal of Honor Recipients General James Doolittle, Corporal “Woody” Williams, and Colonel “Bernie” Fisher and others, including a squadron mate, Captain Gerald O. Young. Yet, their bravery and willingness to give all to preserve this Republic aren’t even worthy grist for this curriculum.

I say, scrap this feeble effort at revisionist history. It’s unworthy for our brightest students. They deserve knowing what really happened in building this great nation, of its wars, and the real heroes and heroines. This collection of half-truths, innuendo, falsehoods, intentional omissions and pure ignorance does not pass muster. It is advocacy history for political correctness. Thank you!

Who is Curt Dale?
Curtis D. Dale is retired in Parker Colorado, has been married to Pat for over 57 years, has 7 children (3 homemade and 4 adopted), 8 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren. He is a Colonel, USAF, Retired. He holds a BS in Education from West Virginia University, a Masters Degree in Education from Pepperdine University, and a PhD in Educational Management from Angeles University. He is a graduate of the Air Ward College (twice: correspondence and in residence) and Command and Staff College. He served 3 Combat Tours in the Vietnam War, two of them in reconnaissance flying B-47s and one flying electronic warfare in EC-47s. He served on tour as a Crew Commander in Atlas D and Atlas E ICBMs. He was Commander of Task Force Alpha in Panama, flying RB-57Fs on the edge of space, above 70,000 feet altitude, a spacesuit operation. He also commanded both the BMEWS site at Clear, Alaska, and the PAVE PAWS site at Beale AFB, California, both in Space and Missile Warning and Space Track operations. His final command tour was as Commander AAFES Philippines and Thailand. His last tour was working with the Space Shuttle. Upon retirement from the USAF, he was an Astronautic Planner for Martin Marietta in the Titan IV Space Launch System. Adopting children later in life kept him active in their schooling. He served on the Douglas County, CO, Accountability Committee as member, chair elect, chairman, past chairman and again as member. He taught as a substitute teacher in the school for 2 years. He voluntarily spent months preparing a comparison of Dr. Bill Spady’s Outcomes Based Education and Standards Based Education and was asked for his recommendation. His recommendation was Standards Based. He subsequently sat with Governor Roy Romer and two others for an entire Sunday afternoon, presenting that comparison and discussing the reasoning. Colorado adopted Standards Based Education shortly therafter. He then worked with DCSD in developing Standards, then with Senator John Evans and ultimately the Colorado Department of Education in developing standards.

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Ban airline passengers from West Africa!

Epidemiologist Dr. David Dousey urges the United States to stop all flights to America from the countries impacted by the Ebola virus:
Bodily fluids including vomit spread Ebola, and Duncan — who presented himself to a Dallas hospital only to be misdiagnosed and sent home — vomited on the sidewalk outside of his home. It took days before a properly trained Hazmat crew was sent to the apartment to clean it. The human errors in this single case highlight why it is urgent that we ban all commercial flights from the impacted countries to all non-affected countries until the outbreak is contained.

The incubation period for Ebola is up to 21 days, so a person could get on a plane the day he or she is exposed and spend three weeks in the United States or elsewhere before exhibiting symptoms. Then he or she could potentially infect any number of people here before the disease is properly diagnosed, and they are isolated or quarantined.

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has been compared to a war zone. The disease is now being viewed as a national security threat on par with nuclear weapons. The United States has committed nearly 4,000 troops to impacted countries. It’s time to take security precautions that align with the gravity of the threat. That means doing whatever it takes to keep infected people from coming here.
Read more here.

Project Veritas report number two

You're kind of a big deal

Tens of trillions of cells in your body.

I found this at American Digest, where Gerard recommends you view it full screen.

Times have changed

Women students are now in a distinct majority on college campuses. However, Chateau Heartiste writes:
today’s paper pushing woman with a communications degree was yesterday’s equally competent secretary with a high school degree, and perhaps even yesteryear’s farmhand mother with sharp instincts for survival.
He also points out that women are marrying later and later in life, late 20s to early 30s.
it’s no coincidence that charismatic jerkboy game rose to prominence at the same time female college attendance and credentialism skyrocketed.
Read more here.

Missionaries of unhappiness

Daniel Greenfield believes that
Leftists are missionaries of unhappiness.

The simple joy of others turns out to be only a cover for monstrous abuses that they are determined to make everyone else see. If it’s an object, it was made by oppressed workers. If it’s a social group, it’s discriminatory. If it’s food, it makes you sick. If it’s a sport, it’s abusive. If it’s art, then it’s escapism from the misery the left creates.

To be of the left is to confuse perpetual outrage with righteousness. The professional leftist believes that the path to utopia on earth lies in constantly denouncing thought criminals until they have all been unthought so that only their kind of ethical and empathetic people walk the earth.
Does that remind you of the Ben Affleck video posted below?

The perpetually aggrieved deeply resent those who are oblivious to their anger. It is the theme that dominates the literature, the music and the political writings of an infuriated left throwing its anger at a mindless mass that is perfectly happy collecting paychecks, living in the suburbs and watching television. It is not their prosperity that the left hates, but their uncomplicated happiness.

The left’s greatest vulnerability is its meanness of spirit. It has suffered its worst defeats at the hands of the happy warriors of the right. Its defeat comes when its malaise is contrasted with happiness, when its deep suspicion of humanity is met with patriotic optimism and when its alarmism is met with laughter.
Read more here.

Need a free lunch today? Try Costco!

Paul Sakuma/AP
Joe Pinsker writes:
Families often go to Costco warehouses for a cheap lunch, and sometimes don’t do any shopping.
Read more here.


A Kentucky Democrat explains to James O'Keefe's undercover journalists: "Politics is a game. You do what you have to do. It's a lying game, unfortunately." Truer words were never spoken, were they?

Hollywood crybaby

Ben Affleck likes to interrupt people. He also doesn't like the fact that our government has fought wars against Islamists. Watch his temper tantrums as people tell the truth about Islam. Nicholas Kristof defends Affleck.

Hillary: I'm not a replay of Obama

Jonah Goldberg writes:
The idea that all the answers to all our problems can be solved with enough data is deeply seductive and wildly popular among journalists and intellectuals.

In line with that, Hillary Clinton has come up with a new slogan: "Evidence-based optimism."
Read more here.

Let's hope jihadists don't get creative

Jonah Goldberg hopes al-Qaeda doesn't get creative:
If I were in charge of overseas contingency operations at the Islamic State or al-Qaeda, I would send as many suicide-bomber types back to America (and France and Britain) with a new weapon: Ebola. Airport scanners don’t pick it up. The incubation period is long enough to get the human biological weapons past screeners without detection. I’d tell them: Take as many connections as you can on the flight home. Help people with their luggage whenever possible. Leave a mess in the plane bathroom and a paper trail of your travels that will foment panic when ultimately revealed.

And, if you do get stopped by security officials en route, so be it. There’s lots of gloveless manhandling of suspected jihadis, which brings ample opportunities to infect interrogators, guards, FBI agents, etc. And every one of those infected Americans or Westerners furthers the cause.

But assuming you make it to Cleveland or Spokane or Washington, D.C., the only order of the day is: Have fun for as long as you can and maybe share your spit, sweat, and other stuff in as many creative ways as you can. See a show. Go to a water park and just hang out in the lazy river all day. Eat at a nice restaurant, leave a messy napkin. Don’t bother to wash your hands — and never flush (or if you do, make sure the toilet overflows!). Why, we’ll even give you all the fatwas and cash you need to hit the strip clubs and see a hooker or two. It’s all for the greater good. And when, alas, you start to feel really, really sick and you are at your most infectious, it’d be great if you could blow yourself up at a mall, or at least pass out at a McDonald’s or maybe in the middle of the F-train. If you opt for blowing yourself up, great. If not, try to tell the EMS team that you have something other than Ebola. The aim here is to keep the responders from treating you and the scene as a biohazard for as long as possible. And if you blow yourself up, don’t worry too much about killing a lot of bystanders, just make sure it’s really messy and there’s a lot of splatter.
Read more here.

"I don't want her in my house!"

The left's jihad against home-schooling

Kevin Williamson tells us that Connecticut Governor
Malloy’s committee on the Newtown shootings is recommending that Connecticut require home-schooling families to present their children to the local authorities periodically for inspection, to see to it that their psychological and social growth is proceeding in the desired direction.

The implicit rationale for the heavy regulation of home-schooling — that your children are yours only at the sufferance of the state — is creepy enough; in fact, it is unambiguously totalitarian and reduces children to the status of chattel. That this is now being framed in mental-health terms, under the theory that Lanza might not have committed his crimes if he had had the benefit of the tender attentions of his local school authorities, is yet another reminder of the Left’s long and grotesque history of using corrupt psychiatry as a tool of politics.

If people discover that they can live without overseers in the matter of education, who knows in which other of life’s endeavors they might be inclined to go their own way?

The Left’s war on school choice is mostly about money, but its jihad against home-schooling is about power.

Home-schooling isn’t for everybody, but every home-school student, like every firearm in private hands, is a quiet little declaration of independence. It’s no accident that the people who want to seize your guns are also the ones who want to seize your children. Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s desire to imprison people who hold the wrong views on climate change and Harry Reid’s plot to gut the Bill of Rights are not aberrations in an otherwise genuinely liberal agenda; the Left desires to put every aspect of every human life under political discipline, from which history books your children read to what kind of cheese you eat.
Read more here.

Needed: priority shift

Are you failing to prepare your kids for the impending robot takeover? Sam Chaltain writes:
now, in the shadow of the technological singularity, there are a slew of movies about humankind’s desire to transcend the biological limits of body and brain.

Singularity is that moment when the whole game board changes, when artificial intelligence pulls even with, and then rapidly exceeds (or merges with), human intelligence.

Chaltain recommends that we should
Start focusing less on what we want kids to know and more on who we want them to become. And the good news is that lots of communities are already doing this — not by designing futuristic curricula or teaching kids how to build a better robot, but by recognizing that content is merely the means by which young people develop new skills and habits to carry them successfully through life and to equip them to solve problems we can’t even conceive of.

At the Mission Hill School in Boston, educators have decided four characteristics matter more than anything else: forethought, perseverance, production and reflection. At the MC2 School in New Hampshire, there are 18 habits to work toward, from critical thinking to self-direction. At the Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia there are five — inquiry, research, collaboration, presentation and reflection; and at Indianapolis’s Spring Mill Elementary, it’s a set of 12, which includes traits such as empathy, integrity and cooperation. These qualities are timeless, as critical in an era of computerized knowledge as they are now. These schools demonstrate that our education system doesn’t need to aspire to a single, universal set of facts to impart. Instead, every school needs to decide for itself that, of all the characteristics the ideal graduates could embody, which ones must they hold to be successful in the world, no matter the decade?

The latest research about how people learn affirms the value of this priority shift. As Paul Tough writes in “How Children Succeed,” “What matters most in a child’s development is not how much information we can stuff into her brain in the first few years. What matters, instead, is whether we are able to help her develop a very different set of qualities, a list that includes persistence, self-control, curiosity, conscientiousness, grit, and self-confidence.” California State University’s Arthur Costa makes a similar point in “Learning and Leading with Habits of Mind.” “We are interested in enhancing the ways students produce knowledge rather than how they merely reproduce it,” he writes. “The critical attribute of intelligent human beings is not only having information, but also knowing how to act on it.”
Read more here.

Aspen's 1 inch rule

Aspen, Colorado is the beautiful Colorado mountain town where the beautiful people ski and party. Except the kids. Kids at the Aspen Elementary School must abide by a 1 inch rule when on their lunch break. Rick Carroll reports:
Parents have even said that children have been told to whisper by using the “1-inch voice” rule, meaning they can only open their mouth 1 inch and use a very clear voice.

One parent, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said she occasionally eats lunch at the cafeteria. She said it’s much different this school year than last, and expressed concern that children can’t speak openly after being in class all morning.

“Lunch is one of their only downtimes in the day,” she said. “You have to sit still in class and be good in class, and lunch is a social time. It’s a whisper-only policy, and they’re very clear about that.”
Read more here.
My kids play tackle football without pads during lunch hour.

What would Dwight Eisenhower think about this?

Sgt. Joe Friday comments on a discussion about what would George Washington think if he were to come to America today:

George Washington? Hell, imagine Dwight Eisenhower surveying the scene only 53 years after he left office:

Then: Operation Wetback.
Now: Repeated amnesties for illegal Mexican border-jumpers.

Then: The Gemini project, first manned spaceflight.
Now: Paying the Russians to put our stuff into orbit.

Then: Single motherhood strongly stigmatized, low rate of illegitimacy.
Now: Single mother a sort of secular saint, high rate of illegitimacy and climbing.

Then: Blue collar manufacturing jobs plentiful and well paid.
Now: Manufacturing jobs shrinking.

Then: Homosexuality considered abnormal.
Now: “You’re a homophobe.”

Then: Immigrants expected to make an effort to assimilate, learn English.
Now: “You’re a racist and a xenophobe.”

Then: Own a small business and you’re a respected member of the community.
Now: “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that! Somebody else made that happen!”

Then: Traditional gender roles the norm, most believe men and women have different, biologically hard-wired natures.
Now: Women can do anything men can do, and do it more capably.

Then: High levels of trust between unrelated strangers, low rate of crime.
Now: Declining levels of trust more common, crime rate brought down through a combination of fudging the statistics, high rates of incarceration, and the rise of a “surveillance society.”

Then: Being in need of government assistance a source of embarrassment and shame.
Now: Gimmedat.

Then: Virginity or at least a minimal number of sex partners the ideal for women. Low threshold for being considered “damaged goods.”
Now: Promiscuity is praiseworthy; the idea of “damaged goods: is antiquated and misogynistic.

You get the idea.
Found here.