I don’t know how many of you follow Mike Rowe on Facebook. If you don’t, consider adding him to your list. He’s wonderful. And just yesterday, he hit one out of the park. I’m embedding it here so that everyone can read it. It deserves that kind of attention:
As Adam said . . . . . . to his wife, several millennia less one day ago, “Hey, it’s Christmas, Eve.” What better way to celebrate than with Christmas songs?
Ms. BWR’s favorite, written in 1943, at the midpoint of WWII, with the war still in the balance and when many American soldiers did not know if they would ever be home again . . .
[UPDATE from Bookworm: Yes, I love “I’ll Be Home For Christmas,” but I never play it when I’m around others. Within five notes, I start leaking tears. By song’s end, I’m a blubbery mess. If I ever star in a movie and need to cry for a scene, just put this song on in the background and watch the waterworks.]
And from the Daily Caller, the 12 Days Of Trump . . .
The difference between Roy Moore’s situation and the Hollywood story, the unreliable accuser, and the WaPo’s manifest bias, means I currently believe Moore.
Sorry for the long silence, but it’s been an all family, all the time few days, interspersed with a quick-turnaround legal research project. I’ve been a bit insulated from the news, but have not missed the claim that Judge Roy Moore molested a 14-year-old in 1979. I find myself peculiarly unconvinced that he did something wrong.
The question is whether I’m being a hypocrite, because I was so ready to accept that the Hollywood types have done wrong, while I’m currently still willing to give Roy Moore the benefit of the doubt. Here’s my reasoning, so you can see what I think and tell me if there’s merit to my argument or if I’m lying to myself. First, here are the reasons I believe that some, although perhaps not all, of the allegations about Hollywood types are true:
1. Hollywood has had a reputation as a sinful fleshpot for 100 years.
2. We know with near certainty, based upon decades of memoirs, that the casting couch was a real thing.
3. We know from looking at the Hollywood product in the last couple of decades that Hollywood has no room for conventional middle-class morality.
4. In the case of Harvey Weinstein, he was caught on a wire admitting that he’d sexually assaulted a woman — only to have the case dropped when he donated a nice sum of money to the prosecutor’s campaign fund.
5. Hollywood circled the wagons around Roman Polanski, who had pleaded guilty to drugging and sodomizing a 13-year-old. [Read more…]
Did the Holocaust’s shadow give Progressive Jews such a fear of dying that they cling to a political ideology promising (but not delivering) peaceful death?
A theory that popped into my mind yesterday that may help explain the mystery of the Progressive Jew, a person who clings desperately to the Democrat party despite the party’s escalating hostility to Jews and Israel. I wonder if it’s all tied into the way in which the Holocaust weighs on Jews of my generation.
I got started on this line of thinking because an old, although not terribly close, friend of mine died yesterday. When I say “old,” I don’t mean chronologically old. He was my age — mid-50s — which I consider to be on the slightly younger side of middle-age. (Perhaps that’s wishful thinking.) His death was also not entirely unexpected, because it was a recurrence of a problem he’d had before and was fighting for years.
My friend is not the first of the increasingly frequent brushes with mortality that are intertwining with my life. The older generation — parents, relatives, colleagues, all in their 80s and 90s — are passing away with relentless frequency. That’s to be expected. What’s more disturbing for me is the number of people, such as my deceased friend, who are my age and succumbing to cancer, heart disease, the effects of substance abuse, and other ills that start chasing us as we age.
What I’ve noticed is that my religious friends face death differently than my non-religious friends. They’re not resigned, which indicates a lack of hope, but they’re philosophical and that philosophy melds with the hope, allowing them to focus on the treatment process without too much fear. They see themselves as part of a greater plan, with God as their partner. If this plan denies them recovery, Christians look to the promise of Heaven; Jews put their faith in the final resurrection.
In contrast, my atheist friends have nothing to hang on to. The Grim Reaper is threatening them without rhyme or reason and then, at the end, there’s nothing.
I think, though, that there’s an added twist for many contemporary secular Jews when they consider death. By the way, when I say “secular,” I’m including non-Orthodox Jews who follow the outward form of worship in reform and “lite” conservative synagogues. They belong to a Temple, they attend on the High Holy days, and they probably send their kids to Sunday school . . . but they don’t believe in God. For them, these are rituals that tie them to their childhood communities, that fulfill a long for tradition, and that are a strong part of their Jewish identity. [Read more…]
Just as food allergies create a sickness in the body, the NFL creates a sickness in the soul. Taking both out of your life will make you much happier.
Those who have developed food allergies know what it feels like. You have some food you particularly like, and have been enjoying for years. Lately, though, you’ve been noticing that, while that food makes your mouth happy, it makes the rest of you unhappy.
For a while, you’re in denial. “I probably had a stomach flu.” “It was just a bad batch.” “It’s a coincidence.” Those of you with allergies know precisely what I mean.
Then one day, it dawns on you that every single time you eat that food, you feel horribly sick. The pleasure in your mouth is completely overwhelmed by the sheer misery that follows. So, finally, you stop.
Having stopped, you miss the food you once enjoyed but — oh Lord! — it’s wonderful not to be ill all the time. It’s great to be in control of your life again.
And you know what? Eventually, when you see that food on your plate, rather than experiencing longing, you feel revulsion. It may look good, and you have good memories, but that food is so gosh darn bad for you it’s a relief not to have it in your life anymore. That’s the moment you truly stop missing the food and realize that your life is much, much better without it.
For those of you who have been lifelong football fans, I bet you’re experiencing the same thing. You’ve put up the game for years as commercials got longer, Super Bowl half times got more vulgar, players got traded like slaves in a gilded marketplace, salaries escalated, and the criminal convictions ratcheted up. [Read more…]
The English we hear when watching a Shakespeare play is not how Shakespeare spoke. Watch this video and be amazed how familiar he would have sounded.
One of the fascinating things linguists do is trace accents back through history to try to find the “root” accent. I’ve long known that people in Appalachia, Australia, and New Zealand probably speak an English closer to 16th-18th century English than any other English speakers in the world. That’s because they left England during those eras and, being sparsely populated and without a lot of population movement, preserved the English that they brought with them from the “Mother Country.”
Knowing that, though, and actually hearing it are two different things. Here is a short, delightful disquisition about Shakespeare’s English versus the modern “received” version. Incidentally, if you’re anything like me, you’ll find the Shakespearean version easier to understand. Perhaps that’s because I have an American ear for language:
Oh, one more thing — about that semi-literate post title: That’s my own little joke when it comes to the English language. One of the funniest books ever published was an 18th century Portuguese guide to the English language. Its author was Pedro Carolino, who reputedly spoke no English. Instead, he put the guide together using a Portuguese-French dictionary and a French-English dictionary. Google Translate he was not. [Read more…]
We are either a melting pot wherein “all men are created equal” – the ideal of our Founders for which we have long striven . . . – or we are to become a multicultural nation of pigeon-holed special interests. We are to become a nation where groups are encouraged to remain apart, defining themselves by their victim class before defining themselves as Americans. . . .
It is inevitable that . . . a melting pot of equals or a multicultural morass of victim groups . . . will gain ascendance in America. I have long felt that we are at a crossroads in our nation for precisely this reason, and that the ramifications of how we decide this issue will be existential.
Wolf Howling, Standing at the Crossroads; Identity Politics, Multiculturalism & the Melting Pot, 8 Sept 2008
Like a broken clock, I am right twice a day. Three days short of nine years ago, I pointed out in the post quoted above that a vote for Obama would inevitably mean that identity politics would come to fully dominate the progressive left. That was and still is an existential issue because we are the single most diverse nation on this earth. There is probably not a single nationality, race, or religion on this earth that is not represented in the United States. If we are not a melting pot, all with equal veneration for the ideals of liberty, freedom property rights and equal justice before the law that drove our founding, then we will inevitably become balkanized and our nation fall to ruin. Period.
But our progressive left is in fact trying to balkanize us for their own political gain. That is short sided indeed, for a victory of identity politics in this country would mean the death, not the ascendance, of today’s progressive left. And it would certainly be the end of the lily white prog leadership of the movement, from Liewatha to Bernie to Chuckie and Crazy Nancy.
Put simply, the progressive movement is the Western variant of the socialist / communist movement. In this country, however, the progressive movement has deviated from orthodox communism as articulated by the movement’s most notable philosopher, Karl Marx. Marx divided the world into two – and only two – camps, the oppressed and the oppressors as defined by their relative socio-economic status. Marx believed that a final conflict between the two camps was inevitable and that the oppressed would emerge victorious. When that happened, there would be no more socio-economic class, as all would be equal, and thus a communist nation would achieve national unity.
Our modern progressives have largely eschewed the socio-economic foundation of communism and have instead grafted Marx’s oppressed-oppressor matrix over-top of permanent genetic traits (in addition to religions). Once the progs achieve ascendance here, it will by definition be the end to national unity. The individual victim groups will inevitably seek to separate themselves from society on one hand, while on the other hand, attempt to dominate all other oppressed groups to the extent they attempt to participate in a common society at all. We can see both happening in real time with radicalized blacks in particular, including their use of “intersectionality” to claim the victim’s sweepstakes.
I was surprised to see my thoughts largely echoed the other day in an article in Salon, Time To Give Up On Identity Politics: It’s Dragging the Progressive Agenda Down, by Anis Shavani. Interestingly, Shavini comes at his critique of modern progressive politics from the standpoint of a person who has embraced classical Marxism. [Read more…]
North Korea is a dictatorship, a Stalinist cult of personality overlaid with dynastic rule by the Kim family. North Korea, ruled first by Kim Il Sung starting in 1948, then his son, Kim Jong Il, and now by his grandson, the portly Kim Jong Un, has been, for sixty nine years, the most repressive nation on earth. And yesterday, the North Korean regime became a truly nuclear power with its sixth test of a nuclear weapon, this one successful and believed to be a fusion weapon approximately six times the strength of the bomb dropped on Nagasaki (the ironically named “Fat Man.”) The North Korean regime claims the ability to place its nuclear warheads on ICBM’s capable of reaching the U.S.
Anyone who knows anything at all about modern strategic warfare knows that the greatest threat to the U.S. is, at the moment, a nuclear device exploded well over a hundred miles above ground, causing an EMP (electro-magnetic pulse) (see here if you can get around the WSJ paywall; see here if you cannot) that would send all or a good portion of America back into the stone age for years. It would be catastrophic, causing the deaths of millions through disease and starvation. It would spell our end as a super power, and may well end our national experiment, given the fractures evident today in our nation. The threat is existential — and ever increasingly, as we allow the Kim regime to continue in existence — real: [Read more…]
It’s Indian Summer here in the Bay Area, with an outdoor temperature of around 109 degrees. And of course, because we only get this weather once or twice a year, we have no air conditioning. My office, which is at the top of the house, is easily 100 degrees. It’s too hot to blog.
(Sorry for the horrible video quality. It’s the best there is on YouTube.)
It seems there’s a market for sex fantasies about Justin Trudeau — and I know this because there’s a book catering to people with just that fantasy.
Politically, Trudeau is a white Obama: A man who’s never met a Leftist cause that hasn’t resonated with him. Here’s a short list of his agenda-driven behavior and positions:
- Completely pro-Abortion and wants to close the “Liberal” party to anyone who disagrees.
- Loudly extends an open invitation to refugees (only to back off quietly when there are “issues”).
- Wears Ramadan-themed socks to Canada’s LGBTQ& pride parade.
- Supports legislation to protect transgenders from hate speech and discrimination
- Proudly identifies as a “feminist,” who wants to dive in and correct wrong-thinking anti-feminist culture.
Not only does Trudeau meet all of the Progressive virtue-signalling metrics, Progressives also consider him to be incredibly attractive, just as they did with Obama. Indeed, he’s better than Obama because Trudeau does yoga, boxes, and plays rugby! Frankly, even I can’t deny Trudeau’s fitness quotient.
By contrast, here is the ultimate reminder of Obama’s fitness failures. By the way, I don’t know how I missed the following video the first time around, because it’s absolutely hysterical, from first minute to last. Watch and share: [Read more…]
The Closet Conservative Critic
Dunkirk was one of the summers big anticipated, much hyped movies. Big budget, big director, and big scope of the theme it tackled. By now it has been reviewed by all the critics around the country, and the grand majority have given it a thumbs up. The 5-10% who did not like it on the Rotten Tomatoes web site were 100% correct in their criticisms. Count me as one of the 10% who did not consider it a “good” movie. It was certainly a well-made movie, and well crafted. Yet, for the nature of the theme, and the historical importance to World War 2, it’s a movie that missed its mark. Aside from the qualms I had, which I’ll point out below, it was also rather boring. This is hard for me to say, for I’m a big admirer of the director/writer Christopher Nolan. (Who made one of my all time favorite movies, Memento. He was also the director of three of the best Batman movies, all who featured Christian Bale, in the staring role)
Unlike the invasion of Normandy, or Sicily, or Okinawa, this World War Two event, became significant in its historical impact for its escape, not its attack. There by lays a great deal of critical information that is left OUT of the movie, that minimizes the impact. A great deal of the movies criticisms come from the fact that the movie gives little information to the lead up of the Battle of Dunkirk. And in the final run, the battle was more of a survival battle than a battle to gain ground. Some at the time looked at the escape as a moment of shame for the Brits, for they had suffered huge casualties in Europe, and were now heading back home. In reality, it was a strategic escape of “they live to fight another day.”. The soldiers were heroes for their fighting to that point, and then heroes for surviving, as were the hundreds and hundreds of civilians, in their watercraft, who came to the rescue. THIS part of the story was touched on in one of the three plots, but its scale is quite small from the hundreds of others who risked their lives to do the same thing – cross the English channel, and rescue hundreds and thousands of soldiers who were being cornered in by the Germans.
Then this brings up the other big beef – the war was being waged by an evil dictator, who had hundreds and thousands of subordinates and soldiers who supported the Germans fight to control Europe as the master race. (While in the meantime, murdering millions of Jews) There was NO mention of this precursor, and nearly no mention that they were being slaughtered by the thousands, by the “Germans”. They were a faceless and nameless enemy and by downplaying that, the events that occurred on the beaches of Dunkirk just did not seem important or real. Little or no tension, and little or no emotional investment. Without historical context, we may have well beeen watching a fictional movie, about a fictional country and a fictional war.
Skip Dunkirk and be sure to see Hacksaw Ridge.
When transgender people enforce their unhinged reality on us, society as a whole suffers. But this madness also claims another victim: Intelligible grammar!
If you haven’t yet heard about the allegedly “gender unknown” baby in Canada, here’s the quick version, based upon actual facts and using comprehensible grammar: A Canadian woman named Kori Doty, who sports a mustache and claims not to be any gender, miraculously carried an infant to term and, eight months ago, gave birth to a baby that has a vagina (and no penis), but that Doty nevertheless claims has no identifiable gender.
Because baby Searyl Atli Doty emerged via a private home birth, a hospital did not issue a birth certificate. When it came time to get this little girl a birth certificate so she could take advantage of Canada’s social services, Doty insisted that, in the space reserved for identifying the baby’s sex, the Canadian government write in the word “unknown.” Faced with this demand, Canadian authorities had an attack of common sense and were loath to acquiesce in Doty’s insane demand that a baby that is female in all biological respects nevertheless rejoice under a designation that she is “gender unknown.” [Read more…]
On this day, 241 years ago, fifty-six delegates from thirteen of Britain’s North American colonies huddled in the sweltering heat of Pennsylvania’s State House in Philadelphia. Calling themselves the Second Continental Congress, they were, on that day, still a voluntary association of thirteen separate British colonies.
The day before, on July 2, the delegates had voted unanimously but provisionally to commit treason against their King and declare their colonies independent. As Ben Franklin quipped after the vote, “we must, indeed, all hang together, or, most assuredly, we will all hang separately.”
On 3 July, the delegates edited Thomas Jefferson’s draft of the Declaration of Independence. The next day, they would approve the edited version, officially declare the thirteen colonies independent of Britain, and then send the edited version of the Declaration of Independence to the print shop. Congress directed that two hundred copies be printed. which they sent out on horseback and by ship to the thirteen colonies, to the Continental Army, and to all of the capitals of Europe.
How did these men come to be together in Philadelphia on this July 3 of long ago? Rather than give a dry, academic explanation, let me instead give several chapters of a work of historical fiction that perhaps may explain it in more interesting fashion. The first two chapters occur in Charleston, SC in 1773. My understanding is that all of the people named in the work below are actual historical figures but for the York family and a British officer, Alfred Smith.
It sounds very strange when the head of the security services writes down a conversation with the commander-in-chief and then leaks it to the media through his friend … How, in that case, does he differ from [Edward] Snowden? That means he is not the leader of the security services, but a human rights defender. And if he faces pressure, then we are happy to offer him political asylum, too.
— Vladimir Putin, 14 June 2017
A good question actually.