We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Sunday, May 31. 2020
This morning, watching the news, I simply told my son "never join a mob." The police can't win in a situation like this. If they do nothing and people get hurt, businesses and homes are destroyed. If they do something, a video will call out the 'bad cops'.
There's nothing to be gained in a mob. You get to be part of a crowd, and sure that's 'fun'. You're in with the 'in crowd'. But when it all goes south, you stand a chance of getting arrested or worse.
I hope we can all agree what happened to George Floyd, and many others like him, was unnecessary and requires action. I hope we can all agree peaceful protests of this kind of thing are useful and necessary as part of our nation's traditions. I'm sure we can all agree riots and destruction are counterproductive and unnecessary. They do not represent a revolutionary movement.
I've seen many people making comparisons of the looting and riots to the Boston Tea Party. This is just nonsense. While it's true that John Hancock and Samuel Adams were happy to see the tea tossed because it kept prices on their smuggled tea high, many others opposed the Tea Party, with Washington and Franklin calling for restitution to the East India Company. So criticism of destruction also has a long history in our fine nation.
That said, the East India Company existed by mandate of the Crown, and was an arm of the government. While it was 'private' in construct, even Parliament recognized it was both a political and economic entity. Taxes were only part of the way the Crown benefited from the East India Company. So any attack on the tea was an attack on the government, by default. Burning or looting Target stores are not an attack on the US government or local governments. The looting had nothing to do with depriving the government of anything, nor is it a statement about government. It's just violence and destruction for the sake of violence and destruction.
Taking the comparison further, the Boston Tea Party was not an uncontrolled riot. It was, by most accounts, generally orderly. Armed British ships did not make a move to intervene. The participants went so far as to sweep the decks clean afterward. This was not mob behavior. This is the kind of protest one should feel comfortable joining.
After being cooped up for 2 and half months, any spark was likely to result in an overreaction. Criminal elements love a protest, particularly one they can turn into a riot. Protests require strong leaders, soft guidance, and respect for order. But none of this exists with the 'protesters' in our current situation. There is no Martin Luther King here.
George Floyd should not be dead. His murderers should be arrested. The reaction is still wrong and cannot be justified. Each is a separate crime in itself. The riots should not be linked to Floyd's death, they should be linked to violent thugs seeking to cause problems.
Don't join a mob.
12:9 Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good;
12:10 Love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor.
12:11 Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord.
12:12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer.
12:13 Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.
12:14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.
12:15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.
12:16 Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly;
Saturday, May 30. 2020
Video at Am. Digest
Mrs. BD notes that most of the mobs appear to be white in skin tone. This is no local "protest".
Another point I'd like to make - almost never mentioned - is the disinhibiting pleasure people can take in a no-rules situation. I do not see anger. I see mob disinhibition and excitement.
A new humanoid is discovered
The Incredible Story of the US Army's Earth-Shaking, Off-Road Land Trains
WHO recommends no routine mask use
Wait - what?
New England Journal Of Medicine On What Masks Can’t Do Regarding SARS-CoV-2
Fauci changes tune, now says second COVID-19 wave may never happen — and mask-wearing is symbolic
U.S. COVID-19 Death Toll Is Inflated
Pence: You did it, America
Minneapolis Police and National Guard DISAPPEAR — Allow Angry Leftist Rioters to Loot and Burn AGAIN Despite Curfew
MSNBC Reporter Describes Minneapolis “Protest” as “Not, Generally Speaking, Unruly” as He Stands in Front of Burning Building
At Hot Air:
'This is my big worry': Obama officials and other Democrats fear strong, post-coronavirus economic recovery
Friday, May 29. 2020
From Carefree. Carefree seems like a good remedy.
I am not sure what success is, except in specific goals like deadlifting. This piece from MTC is Who Succeeds, and Why?
It is puzzling to me that family environment has so little effect. That does not apply to me. Most of my life-long interests, tastes, and pursuits were nurtured at home but that might not be statistically normal.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 15:02 | Comments (4) | Trackbacks (0)
At Quillette: When I Was in Love with a Comparative Literature Student
Is Twitter engaging in unfair trade by holding itself out as a neutral platform for free expression and then engaging in viewpoint discrimination?
California's COVID-19 Shutdown Was Driven by Science. Until It Suddenly Wasn't.
New York’s rules on which stores can open make no sense — and inflict needless pain
Who Believes the Lockdowns Were About Science? Genuine epidemiologists questioned the economic interruptions from the beginning.
Judge Andrew Napolitano: Coronavirus shutdowns ordered by governors and mayors are unconstitutional
When it comes to reopening, it’s not health vs. wealth — it’s health vs. health
Hong Kong crackdown raises question: What does Xi Jinping fear?
Trump administration to expel Chinese graduate students linked to China’s military schools
Thursday, May 28. 2020
Mammoths are basically elephants. About Mammoths .
The final land of Mammoths seems to have been Wrangel Island off the Siberian coast. Remarkably, John Muir had been there on an adventure/
Speaking of John Muir, here's the link to his My First Summer in the Sierra
5 resilient plants anyone can keep alive
Workplace Wellness Programs Don't Do Anything Except Make Wellness Companies Wealthy
Greta Thunberg Or Naomi Seibt -- How They Enforce Official Orthodoxy
Why Are Democrats Fighting The Revival Of The US Nuclear Industry?
Twitter exec in charge of effort to fact-check Trump has history of anti-Trump posts, called McConnell a 'bag of farts'
Kimball: In praise of Kayleigh McEnany. She’s a patient but no-nonsense camp counselor in charge of the problem kids
"... one more pronouncement of our so-called "togetherness" may make me scream."
Leading UK Epidemiologist: "Pubs, Nightclubs, Restaurants Could Reopen Without Serious Risk"
Let the Sun Shine In. Florida has proven that a measured, evidence-based response to reopening works.
NYC Lockdown Continues Despite COVID-19 Hospitalizations Dropping To Just 63 On Monday
Tucker Carlson: CNN And MSNBC Peddling Panic, Not Science Or Data (VIDEO)
“To the extent Americans believe the media is going too far to downplay or to play up the coronavirus, they may see the media — in addition to elected leaders and public health officials — as responsible for making the crisis worse than it needed to be.”
Wednesday, May 27. 2020
He begins with Stella. Sheesh.
Click on the youtube connection.
The sound isn't bad for pop music. Bluetooth and all that.
Posted by The News Junkie in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 15:19 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
And what about recreational sports? Happily for me, our tennis league reopened this weekend.
Another Scheme to Justify Racial Preferences
University of California Dumps SAT for Diversity
Van Gordon Sauter, ex-CBS News president: ‘Liberal leaning’ media passes its tipping point
Kayleigh McEnany Calls Out Press Bias; Conservative Men Freak Out
The Price Of A Lockdown: Economic “Free Fall” In California
The COVID-19 shutdown will cost Americans millions of years of life
MASK AS I SAY, NOT AS I DO
The big debate: is lockdown wrong? Matt Labash and Toby Young debate the biggest question of the moment
One Size Does Not Fit the Virus. The Attempt to Protect Everyone Left the Most Vulnerable Nakedly Exposed
MSM reporting of US COVID-19 mortality rate: An exercise in 'How to Lie with Statistics'
Tuesday, May 26. 2020
More accurately from the German, "earworm." Anyway, the Quartermaster's Song was a WW1 Brit marching song which became a Brit Scouting campfire song, and later a US Scouting and ordinary campfire song. Also, a good car song. All with varied lyrics.
I have no doubt that the WW1 versions were bawdy. I heard "There was Hank, Hank, givin' himself a wank in the store...". The magic of a tune like this is that you just make up all the verses you can think of to keep it going.
The silly refrain about "My eyes are dim, I cannot see.." is great, but here are some of my favorite lines:
There was tea, tea, but none for you and me in the stores...
There were snakes, snakes, big as garden rakes in the stores...
There are eggs, eggs, eggs with hairy legs in the stores...
There is gravy gravy, enough to float the Navy in the stores...
There are rats, rats, big as bleedin' cats in the stores...
There are rats, rats, with bowler hats and spats...
The Shadows rocked this tune long ago. Really good.
Burl Ives' version
A kids' version from Cardiff - well, watch it on the youtube offered:
Image: I forget whence
Young Mathematician Solves Old, Famous Knot Problem in Barely a Week
John Muir's first summer in the Sierras (at Atlantic, costs $1)
Jimmy Cobb, 'Kind of Blue' drummer for Miles Davis, dies
Bipartisan Group of Lawmakers Propose Reforms to Skilled Non-Immigrant Visa Programs to Protect American Workers
Former Israeli Health Minister: The COVID-19 Response Has Been “Monstrous Hysteria” Reaching to the Irrational
CDC: Coronavirus fatality rate could be as low as 0.26%
Trump aims to cut red tape tying up doctors
REVISITING THE IHME MODEL: STILL USELESS?
Dr. Fauci NOW SAYS Staying Closed Too Long Could Cause “Irreparable Damage” — AFTER USING JUNK MODEL TO DESTROY ECONOMY!
Minnesota: CORONAVIRUS IN ONE STATE
Monday, May 25. 2020
Millions of cicadas are expected to emerge after 17 years underground
A big cicada year? Great. So much fun to watch the birds chase them. Some bird whispered to me that they are delicious.
Canada v US: Loon stabs eagle through heart
The Party’s Over — No More Guest(worker)s
Judge Sullivan Hires High-Powered D.C. Attorney To Defend His Actions In Flynn Case
Beaches flooded with people
Doing their part for herd immunity
Don't Buy the Misleading Figures. Here's the Real Story About How the U.S. Matches Up on Coronavirus Deaths
5th grade math
‘A Year’s Worth of Suicide Attempts in the Last Four Weeks’: California Doctor Calls for End to Lockdown
500 Doctors Tell Trump To End COVID-19 Shutdown, Warn It Will Cause More Deaths
The CDC Provides Draconian Guidelines for Reopening Schools Without Reading Its Own Research
Ignoring The Science
Does This CDC Study Deliver the Knockout Blow in the COVID Lockdown Debate?
The Media Wants America to Stay Closed Forever. It has Americans right where it wants them: trapped in front of the TV.
D.C.'s So-Called Reopen Plan Is a Suicide Pact for the Restaurant Industry. It's full of ill-conceived and contradictory guidance.
Europe Is Firmly Committed To Economic Suicide
One can hardly conceive of the enormous grief held quietly within General Kelly as he spoke.
On Nov 13, 2010, Lt. General John Kelly, USMC, gave a speech to the Semper Fi Society of St. Louis, MO. This was four days after his son, Lt Robert Kelly, USMC, was killed by an IED while on his 3rd Combat tour. During his speech, General Kelly spoke about the dedication and valor of our young men and women who step forward each and every day to protect us.
During the speech, he never mentioned the loss of his own son. He closed the speech with the moving account of the last six seconds in the lives of two young Marines who died with rifles blazing to protect their brother Marines.
"I will leave you with a story about the kind of people they are, about the quality of the steel in their backs, about the kind of dedication they bring to our country while they serve in uniform and forever after as veterans.
Two years ago when I was the Commander of all U.S. and Iraqi forces, in fact, the 22 ND of April 2008, two Marine infantry battalions, 1/9 "The Walking Dead," and 2/8 were switching out in Ramadi. One battalion in the closing days of their deployment going home very soon, the other just starting its seven-month combat tour.
Two Marines, Corporal Jonathan Yale and Lance Corporal Jordan Haerter, 22 and 20 years old respectively, one from each battalion, were assuming the watch together at the entrance gate of an outpost that contained a makeshift barracks housing 50 Marines. The same broken down ramshackle building was also home to 100 Iraqi police, also my men and our allies in the fight against the terrorists in Ramadi, a city until recently the most dangerous city on earth and owned by Al Qaeda.
Yale was a dirt poor mixed-race kid from Virginia with a wife and daughter, and a mother and sister who lived with him and whom he supported as well. He did this on a yearly salary of less than $23,000.
Haerter, on the other hand, was a middle class white kid from Long Island. They were from two completely different worlds. Had they not joined the Marines they would never have met each other, or understood that multiple America's exist simultaneously depending on one's race, education level, economic status, and where you might have been born.
But they were Marines, combat Marines, forged in the same crucible of Marine training, and because of this bond they were brothers as close, or closer, than if they were born of the same woman.
The mission orders they received from the sergeant squad leader I am sure went something like, "Okay you two clowns, stand this post and let no unauthorized personnel or vehicles pass. You clear?"
I am also sure Yale and Haerter then rolled their eyes and said in unison something like, "Yes Sergeant," with just enough attitude that made the point without saying the words, "No kidding ‘sweetheart’, we know what we're doing."
They then relieved two other Marines on watch and took up their post at the entry control point of Joint Security Station Nasser, in the Sophia section of Ramadi, Al Anbar, Iraq.
A few minutes later a large blue truck turned down the alley way - perhaps 60-70 yards in length, and sped its way through the serpentine of concrete jersey walls. The truck stopped just short of where the two were posted and detonated, killing them both catastrophically. Twenty-four brick masonry houses were damaged or destroyed. A mosque 100 yards away collapsed. The truck's engine came to rest two hundred yards away knocking most of a house down before it stopped.
Our explosive experts reckoned the blast was made of 2,000 pounds of explosives. Two died, and because these two young infantrymen didn't have it in their DNA to run from danger, they saved 150 of their Iraqi and American brothers-in-arms.
When I read the situation report about the incident a few hours after it happened I called the regimental commander for details as something about this struck me as different.
Marines dying or being seriously wounded is commonplace in combat. We expect Marines regardless of rank or MOS to stand their ground and do their duty, and even die in the process, if that is what the mission takes. But this just seemed different.
The regimental commander had just returned from the site and he agreed, but reported that there were no American witnesses to the event - just Iraqi police. I figured if there was any chance of finding out what actually happened and then to decorate the two Marines to acknowledge their bravery, I'd have to do it as a combat award that requires two eye-witnesses and we figured the bureaucrats back in Washington would never buy Iraqi statements. If it had any chance at all, it had to come under the signature of a general officer.
I traveled to Ramadi the next day and spoke individually to a half-dozen Iraqi police all of whom told the same story. The blue truck turned down into the alley and immediately sped up as it made its way through the serpentine. They all said, "We knew immediately what was going on as soon as the two Marines began firing."
The Iraqi police then related that some of them also fired, and then to a man, ran for safety just prior to the explosion. All survived. Many were injured, some seriously. One of the Iraqis elaborated and with tears welling up said, "They'd run like any normal man would to save his life." "What he didn't know until then," he said, "And what he learned that very instant, was that Marines are not normal."
Choking past the emotion he said, "Sir, in the name of God no sane man would have stood there and done what they did." "No sane man." "They saved us all."
What we didn't know at the time, and only learned a couple of days later after I wrote a summary and submitted both Yale and Haerter for posthumous Navy Crosses, was that one of our security cameras, damaged initially in the blast, recorded some of the suicide attack. It happened exactly as the Iraqis had described it. It took exactly six seconds from when the truck entered the alley until it detonated.
You can watch the last six seconds of their young lives. Putting myself in their heads I supposed it took about a second for the two Marines to separately come to the same conclusion about what was going on once the truck came into their view at the far end of the alley. Exactly no time to talk it over, or call the sergeant to ask what they should do. Only enough time to take half an instant and think about what the sergeant told them to do only a few minutes before, "Let no unauthorized personnel or vehicles pass." The two Marines had about five seconds left to live.
It took maybe another two seconds for them to present their weapons, take aim, and open up. By this time the truck was half-way through the barriers and gaining speed the whole time. Here, the recording shows a number of Iraqi police, some of whom had fired their AKs, now scattering like the normal and rational men they were - some running right past the Marines. They had three seconds left to live.
For about two seconds more, the recording shows the Marines' weapons firing non-stop the truck's windshield exploding into shards of glass as their rounds take it apart and tore in to the body of the (I deleted) who is trying to get past them to kill their brothers - American and Iraqi-bedded down in the barracks totally unaware of the fact that their lives at that moment depended entirely on two Marines standing their ground.
If they had been aware, they would have known they were safe because two Marines stood between them and a crazed suicide bomber. The recording shows the truck careening to a stop immediately in front of the two Marines. In all of the instantaneous violence Yale and Haerter never hesitated. By all reports and by the recording, they never stepped back. They never even started to step aside. They never even shifted their weight. With their feet spread shoulder width apart, they leaned into the danger, firing as fast as they could work their weapons. They had only one second left to live.
The truck explodes. The camera goes blank. Two young men go to their God. Six seconds. Not enough time to think about their families, their country, their flag, or about their lives or their deaths, but more than enough time for two very brave young men to do their duty into eternity. That is the kind of people who are on watch all over the world tonight - for you.
We Marines believe that God gave America the greatest gift he could bestow to man while he lived on this earth - freedom. We also believe he gave us another gift nearly as precious - our soldiers, sailors, airmen, U S Customs and Border Patrol, Coast Guardsmen, and Marines - to safeguard that gift and guarantee no force on this earth can ever steal it away.
It has been my distinct honor to have been with you here today. Rest assured our America, this experiment in democracy started over two centuries ago, will forever remain the "land of the free and home of the brave" so long as we never run out of tough young Americans who are willing to look beyond their own self-interest and comfortable lives, and go into the darkest and most dangerous places on earth to hunt down, and kill, those who would do us harm.
God Bless America, and SEMPER FIDELIS !"
Sunday, May 24. 2020
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