I just wanted to remind everyone that, in order to rid the comment threads of abusive people, I’m still using Disqus to moderate comments. Once you pass through moderation, though, and I’ve identified you as a trusted user, you’re good, and you shouldn’t find your comments caught in limbo again.
The latest excellent video from Prager U features former Canadian PM, Stephen Harper, explaining why Israel deserves support, not condemnation.
Transcript: [Read more…]
I’ve been traveling on and off for the past few days and have been remiss about tracking commenting. In that time, several friends emailed me to say that PeePeeTape has become so obstreperous that he is making the site unpleasant for everyone.
Effective immediately, I have changed the settings requiring everyone to submit to pre-comment moderation before their comment will appear. But do not fear that you’ll forever be dependent on me before your comment can show. For those of you who are trusted regulars, after that first comment, I can identify you as a trusted commenter and you’ll be free to post comments after that without my go-ahead.
Also, here’s a helpful video so that you can screen out people who make your lives a misery. It works so well that they won’t even show up in your email feed:
UPDATE: I’ve got a little time while I wait for a phone call, so I’ll go through old comments and try to add as many regulars as possible to the trusted list immediately. That way, you might avoid Moderation purgatory.
I told you all that tonight I would blog about my trip, but I’m so gosh darn tired it’s just not going to happen. Tonight, after driving all day (and seeing wonderful things), I have just enough energy to write this apology for not writing. Tomorrow, though . . . well, that’s different and you can count on something from me.
The finest satire site on the web is The Babylon Bee.
While we wait for Bookworm to finish her legal research and turn her attention back to providing insightful and thought provoking posts on this blog . . . how about a laugh or two. I thought comedy dead with the rise of the proggie left and their countless victim-centric shibboleths. Fortunately, there is a wonderful site, the Babylon Bee, that you really should visit several times a week. It is a Christian based satire site that pokes clean fun at everyone and everything, very much including Christians. I’m tempted to say that the writers at that site have a wicked sense of humor, but somehow, that does not feel appropriate. Some examples:
Akhmed and the Atomic Matzo Balls is a delightfully funny novel that, though written some time ago, perfectly captures the craziness of 2019 in America.
For the sheer pleasure of it, I was reading a couple of travel short stories by my friend, author Gary Buslik. He really is an extraordinary writer. His short stories are complex without being confusing; his images are incredibly rich; and the emotion pulsing through the stories comes through clear and strong without ever overwhelming the narrative.
Gary is also very funny, as you can tell just from the title of his travel book, A Rotten Person Travels the Caribbean: A Grump in Paradise Discovers that Anyplace it’s Legal to Carry a Machete is Comedy Just Waiting to Happen. If you’re not up for a full-length travel book, but prefer anthologies, Gary’s essays are included in The Best Travel Writing 2011: True Stories from Around the World and the less elegantly titled Wake Up and Smell the Shit: Hilarious Travel Disasters, Monstrous Toilets, and a Demon Dildo.
What I really want to write about here, though, is Gary’s novel Akhmed and the Atomic Matzo Balls: A Novel of International Intrigue, Pork-Crazed Termites, and Motherhood, which is now selling for a nicely discounted $6.95. I think it deserves a re-read because, though written some time ago, it perfectly characterizes the florid craziness that is America — and, indeed, the entire Western hemisphere — at the dawn of 2019. When I first read the book several years ago, I was constantly laughing. Here’s the review I wrote at the time: [Read more…]
Women in combat isn’t bad only because of physical stamina and unit cohesion issues. The Three Ps (peeing, periods, and pregnancy) also militate against it.
Heather MacDonald, undoubtedly one of the most brilliant conservative writers and thinkers around, has written about the military’s decision, based upon Obama administration dictates, to water down physical standards to allow women to serve in combat units. The article is behind a pay wall at the Wall Street Journal, but you might be able to access it through Outline.*
MacDonald begins by reminding readers that the Marine Corps did a lengthy study in 2015 that eventually revealed what any sentient being already knows: women do not have the same abilities as men and, most specifically, they lack those physical abilities that serve best in combat situations:
The all-male teams greatly outperformed the integrated teams, whether on shooting, surmounting obstacles or evacuating casualties. Female Marines were injured at more than six times the rate of men during preliminary training—unsurprising, since men’s higher testosterone levels produce stronger bones and muscles. Even the fittest women (which the study participants were) must work at maximal physical capacity when carrying a 100-pound pack or repeatedly loading heavy shells into a cannon.
Leftists, of course, never allow facts to interfere with or, God forbid, override theory. That’s why Ash Carter, who was Obama’s Secretary of Defense (and who was a lifelong desk jockey who never served in the military), nevertheless went ahead and ordered that the U.S. military open combat roles to women.
Carter further mandated that the military create “gender neutral” standards for admission to combat units. The only way to do this, of course, was for the military to lower standards to ensure that some visible percentage of women could qualify for combat units.** For the Marines, that meant doing away with the requirement that combatants be able to carry their own equipment. MacDonald notes that “The weapons-company hike during the IOC is now ‘gender neutral,’ meaning that officers can hand their pack to a buddy if they get tired, rather than carrying it for the course’s full 10 miles.”
Trying to force women into combat units hasn’t just downgraded combat troops’ physical military readiness. Adding women to the mix has also interfered with discipline and morale:
A Marine commander who served in Afghanistan described to me how the arrival of an all-female team tasked with reaching out to local women affected discipline on his forward operating base. Until that point, rigorous discipline had been the norm. But when four women—three service members and a translator—arrived, the post’s atmosphere changed overnight from a “stern, businesslike place to that of an eighth-grade dance.” The officer walked into a common room one day to find the women clustered in the center. They were surrounded by eager male Marines, one of whom was doing a handstand.
Another Marine officer, who was stationed on a Navy ship after 9/11, told me that a female officer had regular trysts with an enlisted sailor in the engine room. Marine Cpl. Remedios Cruz, one of the first women to join the infantry, was discharged late last year after admitting to a sexual relationship with a male subordinate. Army Sgt. First Class Chase Usher was relieved of his leadership position for a consensual relationship with a female soldier that began almost immediately after she arrived at his newly gender-integrated unit in Fort Bragg, N.C.
After describing problems so obvious that any fifth grader could have predicted them, but that still managed to elude the best social justice warrior minds both in and out of the military, MacDonald chastises the Trump administration for not withdrawing from this misguided policy. She points out that, while Trump challenged the effort to put transgender individuals (who have a 40% suicide rate, both before and after medical intervention) into the military, he did so on the narrow ground that taxpayers shouldn’t be stuck with the cost of their sex mutilation surgeries. MacDonald argues that “those costs are minute compared with the future medical bills for women’s combat-battered bodies. And women pose a far greater challenge to combat-unit cohesion than do transgender troops, because of their numbers and the nature of sexual attraction.”
There’s more in MacDonald’s excellent article, but I have a few points of my own to make. These points refine on a post I wrote six years ago, when Leon Panetta greenlighted lifting the ban on women in combat. [Read more…]
The basis for claims of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming rest on the information derived from our historic temperature records — serially adjusted and then fed into computer programs. Those numbers are simply not trustworthy. The latest to weigh in on this travesty is Scott Adams, who finds no indicia of reliability in those numbers. It is well worth a listen. He starts on the topic at the 11:00 minute mark and speaks for about nine minutes on it:
Frances Marion, the father of our modern special ops units, was both one of the finest military commanders our nation has ever produced and a good man. The slander that he was a “savage” killer and rapist is the worst of calumny.
Three things no one should ever trust: a wooden nickel; our historic temperature record, and history as rewritten by left-wing British historians. So it is with the Daily Mail in their commentary yesterday on a 2000 film, The Patriot, which they cite for being one of the most historically inaccurate films ever made. According to the Mail:
The Patriot follows the life and times of an American colonist who fights in the American Revolutionary War against the British during the 18th century.
By his own admission, the scriptwriter was at pains to say that protagonist Benjamin Martin was a composite figure based on the life of four real-life figures from the war.
However that doesn’t stop the blockbuster movie, directed by Roland Emmerich, from being littered with historical inaccuracies, such as British forces being portrayed as evil and bloodthirsty psychopaths.
The most controversial scene sees said-British sadists rounding up a village of crying women and children and locking them in a church, which they then raze to the ground.
Martin is shown as a family man in the film, but one of the men his character is based on, Francis Marion, was a savage individual who killed Cherokee Indians for sport and raped his female slaves.
Some moviegoers also pointed out the film’s general ignorance of slavery, which was a prominent part of American life during the period, with the black slaves featured in the movie shown as happy-go-lucky individuals.
Black filmmaker Spike Lee said of the film: ‘For three hours The Patriot dodged around, skirted about or completely ignored slavery. The Patriot is pure, blatant American Hollywood propaganda.’
Let’s try to unpack this scurrilous and grossly inaccurate little blurb from the Mail.
As a new year dawns, I just want to take a minute to thank everyone who made blogging such a pleasure for me, not just this year, but for the past 14 years.
I was trying to write something profound, witty, or insightful, but failed miserably. Instead, I’ll simply wish you all the very best for 2019. I hope that the new year proves to be a happy and healthy one for each one of you, as well as for your families and your friends.
As for me, I continue to be grateful every time you visit my blog. I also greatly appreciate those of you who take the time to enliven the blog with your comments. I learn so much from reading what you write. Thank you!
For those of you who like following my Twitter feed but don’t like Twitter, I’ll leave this pinned to the top of my blog. (For complicated reasons, I can’t put it in the sidebar.)
This Thanksgiving, as is the case every Thanksgiving, I was endlessly grateful for the many blessings in my life.
I make it a habit every day to count my blessings. As far as I’m concerned, that’s the surest road to happiness. However, Thanksgiving makes me think longer and harder about the blessings in my life, so I’ll share with you my many thanks. I didn’t get a chance to write this before or during Thanksgiving, but being a day late doesn’t change my sentiments.
I am thankful for. . .
President Trump. Our president fights for the things in which he believes and he’s proven over the past two years that he believes in the idea of America and he believes in the American people, regardless of race, color, creed, sexual orientation, or country of national origin. If you value America and the Constitution, he and I value you.
Borders. Without borders, there is no nation, there is just chaos. And with regard to that, I’m reading Steven Pinker’s The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined, which strongly reminds me that one of the key ingredients for low levels of violence is a stable nation-state with strong borders, a reliable legal system. Add in our American constitutional notions of due process of law and individual liberty, and you’ve got the best possible living situation if you wish to be free of violence.
Rain. The rain finally came to Northern California yesterday, quenching the fires and cleaning the air. I am so grateful.
Being an American. If you want to know what real privilege is, it’s not about being born white or male or whatever other mantra Proggies are now claiming. It’s about being born American. A constitutional America is the greatest place in the world in which to live. [Read more…]
The 2018 midterms are in the history books. Republicans will pick up somewhere between +2 and +4 Senate Seats while Democrats are expected to pick up approx. 33 seats in the House. To put this into perspective, “since 1862, the president’s party has lost an average of 32 House seats during the midterms.” Obama’s first midterm resulted in a Democrat loss of 6 Senate seats and 63 House seats. So this is bad, but it could have been worse.
In about 24 hours from now, the first polls will close in the midterm elections. About four to five hours after that, we will know whether there was the predicted blue wave, a barely noticeable whitecap, or a surprise red wave. Time for you to prognosticate.
There is an old joke: In heaven, the government is British, the French are the cooks, the Germans are the mechanics, and the Italians are the police. In hell, the British are the cooks, the French run the government, the Italians are the mechanics and the Germans are the police. I’ll put an American spin on that. Hell is where Crazy Nancy Pelosi is the Speaker of the House, Low IQ Maxine Waters runs the Financial Services Committee, and Adam Schiff for Brains runs the Intelligence Committee. Unfortunately for our country, that is a real possibility, not a punch line.
All other things being equal, the history of midterm elections is that whichever party holds the Presidency will lose seats. As it stands today:
Current: Republicans hold a 4 seat majority, 52 to 48.
To Change the Majority: Dem’s will need a net pick up of 3 seats.
Elections this cycle: There are 26 Democratic seats and 9 Republican seats up for election in 2018. The map is horrid for Democrats as 10 of the Dems up for reelection are in states won by Trump in 2016.
Current: Republicans hold 235 seats to 193 for Democrats. 218 seats are need for a majority.
To Change the Majority: Democrats will need a net pick up of 25 seats.
Elections the cycle: Every two years, all 435 voting seats are up for election.