How to choose a good wine — the political edition

Wine-pour-into-pot_2935I’m a teetotaler.  I don’t like the way alcohol tastes and I like even less the way it makes me feel.  I do, however, consider a good red wine an essential ingredient when I’m cooking.  I seldom need to buy cooking wine because the occasional gift is enough to replenish my supply.  Last week, however, I ran out of my wine supply and there wasn’t a gift bottle in sight.

Girding my loins, I headed off to the wine aisle in Safeway.  (In Marin County, Safeway wine aisles are marvels of sophistication and choice.  We are, after all, just one county away from Napa and Sonoma.)  My approach to buying wine is simple:  pick a price range, identify the highest rated wine in that range, and then buy the one with the best looking label.  Using that algorithm, I came home with this wine:

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Moron Watch 10-23-15 — the textbook edition *UPDATED*

Dunce capLately, I keep finding the word “moron” on my lips. I know I’m not the smartest person out there but it seems that, with ever greater frequency, I find myself swimming in a sea of other people’s stupidity.

Unsurprisingly given my ideological bent, I’m more aware of the stupidity on the Left — but it’s out there everywhere. Being a moron is not the same as supporting what I consider to be a bad ideology. Instead, being a moron means that people get their facts wrong, their conclusions wrong, or their methodology wrong, no matter what ideology drives them.

Today’s example of moron thinking comes from a New York Times op-ed shrilly accusing Texas textbooks of advancing a racist narrative at the behest of evil Texas conservatives. The Left has been in high dudgeon about the fact that the Texas history book states that despite their horrible circumstances Africans enslaved in America were able to find joy in their lives and create a rich culture, often connected with their adopting Christianity.  This is true, of course, and speaks will of the indomitable human spirit.

The problem for the Left is that these facts run counter to the Leftist narrative that America wasn’t just a nation in the grip of bad ideas at certain time, but was and is irredeemably evil and must therefore be destroyed. Teaching that blacks triumphed over adversity doesn’t advance that narrative as well as having them painted as anguished, weak victims who could do nothing to alleviate their circumstances.

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A rebuttal to those who accuse America of imperial arrogance (I’m talking to you Mr. Obama)

American Cemetery at Meuse-Argonne

American Cemetery at Meuse-Argonne

I have been to several American military cemeteries in Western Europe. They are deeply moving places, because they shelter the bones of Americans who died far from home, defending the freedoms of people other than themselves. The following email therefore resonated very strongly with me:

In alphabetical order

1. The American Cemetery at Aisne-Marne, France… A total of 2289

2. The American Cemetery at Ardennes, Belgium… A total of 5329

3. The American Cemetery at Brittany, France… A total of 4410

4. Brookwood, England – American Cemetery… A total of 468

5. Cambridge, England… A total of 3812

6. Epinal, France – American Cemetery… A total of 5525

7. Flanders Field, Belgium… A total of 368

8. Florence, Italy… A total of 4402

9. Henri-Chapelle, Belgium… A total of 7992

10. Lorraine , France… A total of 10,489

11 . Luxembourg, Luxembourg… A total of 5076

12. Meuse-Argonne… A total of 14246

13 . Netherlands, Netherlands… A total of 8301

14. Normandy, France… A total of 9387

15. Oise-Aisne, France… A total of 6012

16. Rhone, France… A total of 861

17. Sicily, Italy… A total of 7861

18. Somme, France… A total of 1844

19. St. Mihiel, France… A total of 4153

20. Suresnes, France… A total of 1541

Apologize to no one.

Remind those of our sacrifice and don’t confuse arrogance with leadership.

The count is 104,366 dead, brave Americans.

And we have to watch an American elected leader who apologizes to Europe and the Middle East that our country is “arrogant”!



Americans, forward it!

Non-patriotic, delete it!

Most of the protected don’t understand it.


A few thoughts about my delightful introduction to the American South

imageBefore this summer’s trip, my exposure to the American South had been extremely limited. I’d been to Washington, D.C., and I’d visited Florida and lived in Texas — both of which are technically a part of the Confederacy but are, because of their unique cultures, are rather sui generis when compared to the core Southern states.

This most recent trip, however, really gave me a chance to drop below the Mason-Dixon line. We traveled almost entirely in Virginia, that core Southern state that sent so many early presidents to the White House, with small detours into Maryland. I came away with a few impressions that I’d like to share with you:

It seems as if every inch of Southern soil has historic significance. No matter where we were, there were connections to American history, whether the settlement in Jamestown, the Colonial era in Williamsburg, or the Civil War in Fredericksburg and Manassas, just to name a few examples.

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If you would like a quick primer on July 4th’s significance….

imageMy friend Wolf Howling, who is probably one of the best educated people in America about the American Revolution, has put together a marvelously lean and informative post about the colonists’s decision to part ways with Britain, including an annotated Declaration of Independence explaining the particular grievances to which the Declaration refers.

Wife beater patriotism

Tattered American flagWhen I moved to Marin County almost two decades ago, one of the things that charmed me was its small town approach to the 4th of July.  Each community had (and still has) a 4th of July parade showcasing local organizations, there’s a big county fair with fireworks, and people festoon their houses with flags.

In this, the 7th year of the reign of Barack Obama, I have to admit that I’m no longer charmed.  I am, instead, jaded and disgusted.  Uber-Progressive Marinites (75% of whom voted for Obama in 2012) love their country in precisely the same way a wife beater loves his wife:  They profess their love for her, even as they criticize everything that makes her unique, and are happy to use brute force to turn her into anything but the person (or nation) they profess to love.

In the wife beater, this pattern shows up as “Yeah, I love my wife.  I only tell her she’s fat and letting herself go so that she can improve herself.  None of her dirt bag friends have the courage to tell her that.”  “I didn’t mean to hit her.  It’s just that I love her so much, when she told me I wasn’t there for her, I got really mad and, like, you know, I just got really mad and that’s how she ended up with the black eye and broken jaw.  It was her fault, you know, ’cause she knows how much I love her.”

Is that wife-beater thinking really any different from the person who flies the flag on the 4th and marches proudly in the parade (as my neighbors do), all the while saying America is racist and holds to evil, hate-filled Judeo-Christian values?  Or from the same people saying, “Our country’s so great we should no longer have any border at all so every immigrant, felon, and terrorist can come here”?  And how about “America is all about greed.  We consume too much.  We need to do away with fossil fuels” (never mind that this kind of thinking hits poor people hardest).

In Marin, it’s really rotten to that last one, because a lot of the 99% and anti-capitalist talk comes from the 1% and even the .0001% of wealth.  They’re not just haters, they’re stupid, suicidal haters — or, at the very least, they’re craven appeasers, hoping desperately that the Marxist alligators with which they’re aligning themselves will eat them last.

So pardon me for being cynical this 4th.  I simply don’t have the stomach to feel celebratory knowing that 75% of my flag-waving neighbors actually hate and want to destroy the country represented by the same flags they’re waving.

And, as is so often the case, I’ve got a song:

[VIDEO] An Australian’s view about what makes America unique and wonderful

Somehow it seems appropriate to note here that 10,000 people in Madison, Wisconsin, turned out to hear Bernie Sanders speak. Please remind me why Americans, who have voted for Obama twice, aren’t stupid enough now to sweep Sanders into office. Otherwise I fear I’ll go all Victorian and fall into a decline just thinking about the possibility of an openly socialist, creepy old man President in the White House.

I understand Obama’s “love” for America

Obama and the mirrorHey, all!  I’m back . . . finally.  Our trip was great, and I’ll have more to say about it (or at least one part of it) later.  Because I have legal work awaiting my attention, though, I can’t really write at length.  I therefore just wanted to say something briefly about Obama’s “love” for country.  To do so, I have to take a quick side trip to my adolescence.

I think that, objectively speaking, both my sister and I were fairly pretty when we were young.  We certainly weren’t ugly, and we had all the nice middle class attributes of straight teeth, contact lenses, fairly good skin, etc., not to mention the ultimate physical attribute — youth. Both of us, however, have now and have always had incredibly low self-esteem when it comes too looks.  I’ve sometimes wondered about this, because I do remember my mother always saying “I love you.  You’re so beautiful.”

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Weird little things that make it feel as if we’re traveling back in time

Old style telephoneThis is not meant to be a whiny post (except when it comes to the bag bans, which still make me see red every time I go shopping).  It’s just meant to be an observation about declines in life quality over the course of my middle-aged life.

When I grew up, our phones had stable connections.  Now, thanks to the miracle of cell phones, my phone hangs up on me about as often as that fancy 1910 phone once hung up on my grandparents.

When I grew up, we kept our house at 72 degrees during the winter.  With the 1974 oil embargo, we lowered it to a chilly 68 degrees.  Nowadays, with utilities more expensive than ever, we keep our house at a frigid 62 degrees.  Of course, when I say “we,” I’m not including Obama.  Thanks to taxpayers, he’s always at a toasty 75 during the winter.

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Funny: Dinesh D’Souza “interviews” Obama

As part of the promotion for his new movie, America, D’Souza did a little cut-and-paste on the interview that Barack Obama did with Zach Galifinakis. It’s fairly amusing. What interested me more was the very last part of the video, which has a preview of America. I have to say that the cuts of America’s contributions to the world gave me chills, so I was primed for the import of the movie’s premise: What if America never existed? It’s a shame that these movies don’t make it to Marin.