In court Open Thread

All the past weeks’ of work culminate today, with the trial about to begin. I’ll try to blog later today….

Two thoughts apropos Obama, Iran, and Israel:

When I read the Obama’s administration had removed Shia terrorism from the official list, all I could think was “We have always been at war with Eastasia.”

Also, regarding Obama’s threat to punish Israel quite terribly — possibly to the point of its destruction — for having the temerity to vote for a leader of whom Obama disapproved, I asked myself this: “Would Obama have acted any differently if he were a member of the Muslim Brotherhood?” The answer of course is “No, he would not.” Regardless of whether Obama is Muslim or an MB member, it’s enough to know that they approve everything he’s doing now that the American people granted him four more years of greater “flexibility.”

The Bookworm Beat 3-17-15 — St. Patrick’s Day edition and open thread

St. Patrick's day woman writingToday is showing signs of being every bit as challenging as yesterday was (work ended in the wee hours of the morning), so this will be a round-up marked by brevity. Still, there are things I’ve saved that haven’t become stale, old yesterday’s news and that I very much want to share with you.

America’s Sergeant Major has a new home

One of my favorite milbloggers is America’s Sergeant Major, whom I first met when I discovered his post about Tabata drills. Having done Tabata drills myself, it resonated. I also just loved the sense of humor and sense of responsibility that infuse his writing:

Simply thrashing a group of Marines into the ground is pretty easy and not a method of instruction I prefer. If they are simply getting their doors blown off without learning anything then I figure I’ve passed up a great training opportunity.

I like to ask Marines why we PT at all. Their answers are inevitably: “To be in shape.” “Be fit.” My personal favorite is: “To look good naked 1stSgt!” I appreciate the honesty.

The bottom line is we conduct PT in order to make our bodies harder to kill. Never mind the idea of being fitter and stronger than your enemy. Fit, healthy bodies tend to survive being shot, blown up, infected, and other rough treatment. It’s only natural the Corps would develop a culture of physical fitness within its ranks.

The Tabata quotation is from an older post, but you’ll find that America’s Sergeant Major hasn’t lost his edge. The only thing that’s changed is that he’s got himself a shiny new site. It’s really gorgeous. Please check it out.

California’s drought

I can’t remember if I’ve fulminated here about California’s drought. My shtick, which I’ll share with anyone who’s listening, is that California’s horrible drought was foreseeable and preventable.

No, it’s not climate change. It’s a completely predictable cyclical drought that comes along like clockwork every few decades.

“Ah,” says the wise climate changista, “but it’s worse now because global warming.” No! It’s worse now because of insanely stupid water management practices, including minimal reservoir upgrade and increase, despite the fact that California’s population has more than doubled since 1961.  And of course that the enviromentalists in California government have the bright idea, in the middle of a massive drought, to flush away millions of gallons of water to protect that little Delta Smelt.

Anyway, don’t take my word for it; take Victor Davis Hanson’s.

Fact-checking Obama

Over at Power Line last week, John Hinderaker ask plaintively “Does anyone fact-check the president?” The short answer is “no.” Hinderaker provides the latest example of the long answer.

Incidentally, I want to know what the word is for tyranny by media, because that’s what we’ve got. The media tyranny explains why we have people in government so grossly dishonest — intellectually, historically, politically — with nary a word allowed to be said against them in the outlets that control most of America’s air time.

Are we suffering under a “media-archy”?

The bad decisions of the effete

Effete is not a word one hears often any more. It’s a good word, though, and one that well describes huge swaths of 21st century America:

1. lacking in wholesome vigor; degenerate; decadent: an effete, overrefined society.
2. exhausted of vigor or energy; worn out: an effete political force.
3. unable to produce; sterile.

Scott Locklin builds a whole political argument around difference between those who engage with real life and todays effete, enervated Americans: Never trust anyone who hasn’t been punched in the face — and he means really punched, not just metaphorically punched.

I’ll just note the historic truism that Rome fell when its prosperity left people unwilling and unable to defend themselves. (I’ve also heard that they got that way from drinking their wine from cups made of lead, which may be true too, but they were drinking that way long before the empire’s slow, dismal decline.)

Who has abortions? Men do, that’s who!

No, that title is not a joke. Thanks to our brave new world of fluid genders, Katha Pollitt argues vigorously that we’re being sexist in denying that men have abortions:

Who has abortions? For most of human history, the answer was obvious: women have abortions. Girls have abortions. Not any more. People have abortions. Patients have abortions. Men have abortions. “We must acknowledge and come to terms with the implicit cissexism in assuming that only women have abortions,” wrote feminist activist Lauren Rankin in July 2013 in truthout.com. She went on to criticize as exclusionary slogans like “the War on Women” and “Stand with Texas Women.”

Apparently Katha needs a little biology lesson: Abortions require pregnancies; pregnancies require a uterus; and a uterus is by definition female. You can take a woman, stuff her full of hormones so she gets good and hairy on her face and chest, and has a nice deep voice; slice off her breasts; and create a fancy new dangling dongle for her, but at the end of the day, that’s all cosmetic. When she gets pregnant, it’s because under the cosmetics, she’s still a woman with a uterus and the accompanying hormones.

But don’t listen to me; listen to Monty Python:

Any surprise that he’s a former Marine?

Meet retired Marine Corps. Sergeant Patrick Maxwell, who’s off with the Kurds fighting against ISIS:

“I’m very libertarian in my beliefs and I don’t think we need to be committing U.S. boots to the ground to do another long war like that, ” he says. “But myself as a private citizen – if I want to go take a vacation and shoot some terrorists in the process, that should be my own business.”

It would be different, of course, if Maxwell wanted to join up with terrorists to shoot Americans. But as long as he’s not harming American interests, while it’s not my idea of a vacation, I sure can’t quarrel with him.

If you’ve been wondering who supports Jeb Bush….

The GOP establishment’s love affair with Jeb Bush is mystifying, because he can’t win. Barring a handful of RINO bazillionaires, nobody, and I mean nobody, wants a third Bush in the White House.  He’s too Bush-like for Democrats, and too Bill Clinton-like for conservatives.

Wait. I take that back. Garth Kant has an idea about what might be driving this Jeb furor.

A coda to the off-duty cop murdered in Philadelphia

It’s been a couple of weeks since two brothers murdered Officer Robert Wilson III in Philadelphia. I have three comments to make based upon an article about Wilson’s last moments and about his killers.

First, Wilson died incredibly bravely. Second, take a look at the picture of his murders. Look closely. Notice anything interesting about their foreheads? (The forehead thing is supposition, by the way, so I’ll be interested in seeing if it’s true or someone just had a very large zit that popped in a visible spot.) Third, please note how the brothers have different last names, suggesting a dysfunction in their home life going back to their births.

Two things you should read about Eric Holder’s “disparate impact” crusade

The Obama government has told America’s school districts that they need to stop punishing black kids more than they do white kids. In Democrat-led cities, that’s exactly what the schools have been doing, with entirely predictable results:

Convinced traditional discipline is racist because blacks are suspended at higher rates than whites, New York City’s Department of Education has in all but the most serious and dangerous offenses replaced out-of-school suspensions with a touchy-feely alternative punishment called “restorative justice,” which isn’t really punishment at all. It’s therapy.

“Every reasonable effort must be made to correct student behavior through…restorative practices,” advises the city’s new 32-page discipline code.

Except everywhere it’s been tried, this softer approach has backfired.

[snip]

What’s more, the movement — which is driven by new race-based anti-discipline guidelines issued by the Obama administration — is creating friction between teachers unions and the liberal mayors they otherwise support.

That last paragraph I quoted is a reminder that revolutions always eat their own.

Anyway, it’s a long, good article and you should read the whole thing. Then, when you’re done, go here, to Stately McDaniel Manor to read how Eric Holder wants to bring to crime fighting the exactly same “disparate impact” logic that’s turning America’s public schools into “Lord of the Flies” environments.

And now, back to work….

Trial prep open thread

We are coming down to the last few hours of trial preparation. From here on out it’s just a stamina game. I hope to be home around 8 o’clock my time, at which point I can write some more. If not, this is the open thread for the rest of the day.

Struggling to make a comeback Open Thread

hit-a-wallSee that lovely picture to the left? That’s me. Between work and insomnia, I’ve been burning the candle at both ends and, Edna St. Vincent Millay to the contrary, I am not making a lovely light. I’m making a tired, bedraggled dim little smudge of of an almost-burnt-out bulb kind of light.

The major filings are all behind me, though, and there are only a few more still to come — and none, thankfully, as urgent. When I was in my 20s, I had a lot more stamina for this type of thing. It wasn’t just that I was some (mumble, mumble) years younger, it was also that I had no other demands on me. No teenagers, no exchange students, no husbands, no aged Moms, no darling dogs. It was all about me, me, me — and my work.

I miss those selfish days a great deal, but I don’t regret them. Tired and grumpy as I am now, I’m a much nicer person than I was then. Back then, after a childhood of being odd-man out (just making an observation, not trying to be yet another in the parade of needy victims PC victims), I was all sharp angles and attacking blades. Verbally, I was the maven of “I’ll insult you before you can insult me.”

Now, except when I vent against political, religious, or media figures who I believe are endangering my children’s future, I’m a very nice person. When I’m sarcastic, I make sure it’s broad and not mean. I’m not embarrassed by my own unkindness.  Thus, much as I miss the luxury of selfishness, I don’t miss being selfish.

But back to my original point:  If I manage to peel myself off the wall tonight, I’ll write something, and if I don’t, I’ll write tomorrow. (What’s making me crazy is that yesterday afternoon I composed a wonderful post in my head — and now I can’t remember a darn thing about it! Feh!)

Busy morning Open Thread

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I’m still buried under a bit of legal work.  Today is the final deadline for most of it, though, so I anticipate getting my life back around 3:00 this afternoon.  Until then, please enjoy this Open Thread.

A big filing tomorrow open thread

There is a big filing due tomorrow in the case on which I am working. We all thought we were prepared but, as is always the case, there’s more work than one thinks. I’ve had to put everything aside today, except for taking my mom to the doctor, in order to get things done on time. I will be back blogging as soon as possible – either tonight or tomorrow.

Until then, please amuse yourself with this open thread.