The last open thread

Two more hours and I’m airborne, my Las Vegas trip just another memory. Vegas is an interesting place, both quintessentially American in it’s hustle and abundance, and very foreign in it’s complete and total focus on sybaritism. My kids, bless their hearts, were impressed by the former and put off by the latter.

I’ve been vaguely aware of the world around me while on vacation. The volcano made it presence known when I met a British couple at my hotel who were frantically trying to figure out how to get home. Their flight had been delayed 19 days.

I also know about Obama’s increasingly aggressive turn against Israel. This is no surprise — we here at Bookworm Room were predicting it during the election. The only real news is that, in microscopic increments, American Jews are figuring out that something is wrong. Whether their voices matter anymore is, of course, open to question.

I want to thank all of you who continued to visit here even tho’ my posting was scant to nonexistent. I really enjoyed following all your comments.

Tomorrow will be a catch-up day for me. With luck, I’ll get a little blogging in too. Monday, happily, will see real life resume. Yay!!

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  • Deana

    It will be very interesting to see how American Jews (and non-Jewish Americans) begin to expres their doubts about Obama when all along, in spite of all warnings, they were pedal-to-the-medal for him.
    My mother told me that her co-worker’s friend recently made the statement that he wished he had not voted for Obama.  I was shocked to here that someone would actually admit it.  So far, all I’ve heard from people who voted for him and who now, I suspect, have doubts are statements like, “Well, he had to do it because Bush messed so much up” or “Well, you know, President X did the same thing so . . . ”
    Not exactly a full-throated defense.

  • Ymarsakar

    This reminds me of how Jews were pedal to the max for the Communists, up until the Nazis openly broadcasted their alliance with Russia with that handshake.
    It wasn’t until Pearl Harbor that the Court/Communist Jews came back into the fold, under the justification of “Pro-war America”.

  • Ymarsakar

    <B>“Well, he had to do it because Bush messed so much up” or “Well, you know, President X did the same thing so . . . ”</b>
    That is just stuff people tell themselves because they don’t want to deal with the pain of reality, Deana. Eventually, however, even the hyper most of hypochondriacs must accede to reality. Or die. Whichever comes first.

  • Charles

    Book said: “Vegas is an interesting place, both quintessentially American in it’s hustle and abundance . . .”

    While I have not been to Vegas, I remember thinking something similar several years ago when, on a business trip, I was eating sushi in an air-conditioned shopping mall in Phoenix, AZ.  I thought, “gosh, what other country in history has allowed ordinary people (not just the well-to-do) to dine on fresh, raw, fish in the middle of a desert in cool comfort.” 

    That’s one thing I love about this country!

  • jj

    I find it interesting that Las Vegas continues to thrive to the extent that it does.  It’s an “old” place, within the confines of a specific meaning to the word “old,” and I would have thought it would have become passe long since.  (Well, it has become to a great extent passe, I think – but has also repackaged itself to some degree and – though not doing well – survive.)  Playground of a certain segment of previous generations.  Not really making it either – or so I read – as a “fun-for-the-whole-family” spin-off of Disneyland, and going back, or planning to go back, to marketing itself more traditionally.  (i.e. – land of tawdry vice?)
    Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Joey Bishop, Bob Hope, Jerry Lewis – those guys, and the generation who thought they were cool, all thought “Vegas” was the coolest, hippest, rooty-tootest place on the planet.   It was a specific segment of a population that is now either gone altogether, or is totteringly ancient.  It was also not, let’s face it, a particularly admirable or classy segment of the population, either.  (Gracious as he was, Ronald Reagan was perfectly willing to go listen to Sinatra perform, even invite him to perform at the White House – but he never invited him into his home, or hung out with him.  I don’t think Reagan found Sinatra cool and hip, I think he found him a junior-league Mafiosi slob who could sing.)
    Palm Springs is sort of the same way.  Hope, Lawford, Sinatra, Jilly Rizzo et al are all gone – who is there any more who thinks Palm Springs is a neat place to be?  (I personally find it perhaps the second most boring place in North America.)
    NBC used to have three or four big conventions every year, that involved TV people and affiliates from around the country.  By the mid-eighties the network had stopped holding them in Las Vegas and Palm Springs: nobody wanted to go to those old-folks resorts.  Even people who’d never been weren’t interested.  No one had any desire to go there.
    All that new stuff north of I-15 in Las Vegas is all retirees, too.  My father-in-law lives there, right off 215, about a block away from the Red Rock.  In the years of its existence he’s never spent a dollar gambling, never seen a show – never will.  He’s a member of the club there, and twice a day he walks right through the main floor without looking to left or right, past all the slots, to the buffet, where every day he eats two meals.  His entire neighborhood, which is the casino’s neighborhood, is retired residential, and they all use the Red Rock to eat – period.  He and his pals can – and often do – sit there  in the buffet from about nine in the morning until four in the afternoon.  The casino is so un-busy it’s happy to let them park there all day.  (They do, one hears, get busier at night.  One has never bothered to find out.)
    Las Vegas and Palm Springs seem to be exemplars of what a segment of previous generations thought was hip.  The folks from “Jersey Shore” probably still think so, but I wonder how many other people do.

  • Deana

    I think you are absolutely correct, Y.
    As for Las Vegas, I remember several years ago, the attorney I worked for had a client who was from Iran.  I was on the phone helping him with the legal work we were doing for him and he mentioned his parents, who still lived in Iran, were coming to America for the first time.  The first place he was taking them?  Las Vegas.
    I thought, “Oh my gosh – the den of iniquity.”  But really, it IS such an American city, full of anything you want.  It shocks and surprises lots of Americans – I can’t imagine what foreigners must think.

  • Charles Martel

    I think jj’s take covers Vegas pretty well.

    I’ve always thought of Vegas as the capital of white-bread naughtiness, a place that pretends to more raunchiness and sin than it can ever deliver. If you know where to look in any big American city, like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago or San Francisco, you can find better entertainment and much dirtier, more daring vice. Vegas is like a thrill ride at Disneyland—a pale imitation of the real thing.

  • Danny Lemieux

    I am amazed at how well Las Vegas was able to survive the explosion in Indian Casino and and riverboat casino gambling. It is still one of my favorite towns and I don’t gamble.
    We have casinos going up all around the Chicago area and demand has yet to be quenched.  So, kudos to Vegas but not so much so to a gambling-addicted population. I have to wonder how many people will be wiped out and making additional demands on my income by the time they retire.
    Then again, it does explain a lot about where we are as a nation today, doesn’t it?

  • Ymarsakar

    Don’t Indian Casinos get some kind of special tax break, thus causing them to be making more money than the competition?

  • Ymarsakar

    “It is deeply ironic that Democrats are trying to sell the idea that Republicans are somehow violent and unAmerican, when in fact, every actual violent incident is perpetrated by liberals, usually union thugs, against Republicans. It happened again in New Orleans following a fundraiser for the Louisiana Republican Party. Governor Bobby Jindal’s chief fundraiser, Allee Bautsch, left the event with her boyfriend, Joe Brown. They were attacked by a gang that reportedly prefaced their assault with racial and political insults. The attack was extraordinarily vicious.”
    This is a rather above average success for the Left. Not only do they create Reichstag fire/ Nero’s burning of Rome moments, but they completely eliminate the functionality of a lead Republican fundraiser for 3 months, not counting the effect of psychological scarring on her performance afterwards.
    If God didn’t exist, violence would be the next best thing to me. It is one of my definitive passions. Cause it works. You can rely upon it. There’s not much in this messed up world that you can rely upon.

  • Ymarsakar

    Being attacked will render those unfamiliar with violence, both shocked, traumatized, and vulnerable.
    The effect of violence is not just the death or incapacity of a human being. It is a permanent influence upon the thinking of human beings. It is far more effective than social negotiations or bluffs.
    It is a sad thing, however, to me. No matter how strong I am or will become, I cannot be everywhere. I cannot protect everyone that deserves it. It is the basic limitation of centralized power. The central government cannot protect everyone within that government. Thus there is no legitimacy for absolute loyalty and sacrifice of the individuals at the bottom. Because absolute protection cannot be the reward, absolute obedience is not a justifiable offering.

    De-centralized power is what takes care of these types of attacks. We saw the same in Iraq, where the mighty US military could defeat any and all terrorists, yet could not protect the weak and vulnerable Iraqi civilians. Thus the US military began to lose the war because they were losing territory de facto. No matter how powerful you are, your power is meaningless if you cannot apply it to the target. Can’t find the target? Don’t know who the target should be? Your power might as well be a tums.

    Besides, criminals don’t target people like me. I wouldn’t pass their interview. This is another matter of import. Something the Left can’t tell you because they were never taught it to begin with. There are specific stages to a crime. There are 3 things a criminal needs for a crime to happen. Without anyone of those 3 things, there can be no crime because it just wouldn’t be possible.

    For example, if I was with the couple at that partner intersection, assuming everything else had happened, the criminals would have lacked the ability to overpower us. 5 isn’t really a problem, unless one of them hangs out at long range with a ranged weapon. 10 might be stretching it, but should the leader fall and their morale broken, it is the same as fighting 1 or 3.
    Opportunity. Being on the corner of a street, between your hotel and a public restaurant, generates opportunity. Because the criminal perceives that he has a Chance to do what he wants in the time gap before reinforcements can come to interfere.
    Intent. This involves the interview process. If you fail the interview process, the criminal will not have the intent to commit a crime against you. Why? because he thinks in his head that he won’t succeed. That you will fight back. That problems will ensue.
    If any of the 3 sides of this triangle is absent, crime does not happen. Crime, thus, is the triangle. It doesn’t matter if two sides are long and one side short, so long as all 3 exist, the triangle exists. If only two sides exist, there is no triangle, thus no crime.
    The victims in question wanted to get to the hotel. They thought this was safe. They didn’t realize that by heading to the hotel, they put themselves into a place where a criminal opportunity was a given. At the same time, both the two passed the interview. The criminals asked them if they were the right targets to be attacked, and the two responded with “yes, we are”. Given the outcome of the attack, the criminals also demonstrated the ability to successfully attack the two. So their interview was Not Wrong.

    The practical aspect of not passing an interview given to you by a criminal is to demonstrate that you know exactly where the threat is and how to handle it. This differs depending on the threat and situation. What doesn’t differ is one’s inherent capability. You can’t bluff this out. If you attempt to bluff your way past the interview, the criminals will pick it up. If you know what is going on and are handling it, the criminals should see it.
    Now criminals may be stupid, and that’s why some of them actually attack people like me. Or even just people who don’t train in the use of violence, yet nonetheless will fight to defend themselves or their property. But statistically, most criminals, because they are successful and not dead, know to avoid certain targets. Because they aren’t targets but traps.

  • Ymarsakar
    An oldie but a good recap on the history of violence.

  • Danny Lemieux

    Ymar…I don’t believe casinos on tribal land pay State and Federal taxes at the same rate as non-tribal casinos. The Indian tribes make their own individual “revenue-sharing” deals with state governments because of the state governments’ limited authority on tribal lands.

  • Ymarsakar

    Another example of how giving people more of what they make, encourages them to do more things to make more.
    Maybe Reid does this for his own state, but everybody else can fry in hell in his opinion.