Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Weather Drama Queens

When did we become so hysterical over every single storm? The class one hurricane (although all the wind speeds on land were less than 50 mph--not even close to hurricane winds) Sandy came ashore in south Jersey. I listened to the breathless coverage of what was happening in New York City on NPR on my way to work this morning. At one point the reporter said that mannequins in an Ann Taylor store that had lost it front windows were on the ground and wet.

Oh, the humanity.

Is global warming robbing us of our historical knowledge and perspective?


Sunday, October 28, 2012


Thought of the Day

It will be critical to watch the treatment that the media, especially network television news and widely-read organs like the Associated Press, give to Benghazi over the next week. What we already know about Benghazi is a scandal of the highest order: the ambassador asked for more security after a series of terrorist threats and attacks, but didn’t get it, even on the anniversary of September 11. The administration knew that four Americans had been killed in a successful terrorist attack by an al Qaeda affiliate, but lied about the event for weeks in hopes of minimizing political fallout. Extraordinarily courageous Americans fought a seven-hour gun battle against well-armed and well-organized terrorists who vastly outnumbered them before finally succumbing, during which time the Obama administration did nothing. And when the bodies of the dead Americans were returned to the United States, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton misappropriated the occasion to deliver politically-motivated lies, both to the victims’ survivors and to the American people. All of that we now know for sure. If, in addition, there is credible evidence that American soldiers, fighting desperately for their lives against our country’s most bitter enemies, called for help but were cynically left to perish in order to protect Barack Obama’s petty re-election campaign, Obama will not only lose the election but will be turned out of office in disgust by a clear majority of voters. Reporters and editors know this. It will be interesting to see how they respond during the coming days: will they do their jobs, or will they assist their candidate with his cover-up?

John Hinderaker

If the major news outlets won't cover the news, what good are they? I have already gone on to more reliable sources. You should consider doing the same.


Saturday, October 27, 2012


Predicting the Near Future

Here is the set up at Watts Up With That. My guess: Anthony Watt and backers are buying Current TV.

Just as long as he brings back Sergio's White Hot Top 5, I'm good with it.



Who is Kyle Clark?

And why is he asking normal questions of our President? Didn't someone tell him how the press handles Obama?

He's a local TV talking head here in Denver. I don't watch the news, so he was unknown to me.



Just so you know, it is tropical storm Sandy now, as it weakened some overnight so that it is no longer even a class 1 Hurricane. It is headed NNE at about 10 mph out into the Atlantic before it is supposed to make make a very uncharacteristic left turn at the Jersey Shore.

Don't get me wrong, it's a late season storm of some size but it's not the storm of the century or anything close to that, news hype notwithstanding.


Friday, October 26, 2012


The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

American forces on Cape Gloucester, New Britain in January, 1944. New Britain is between New Ireland and New Guinea in the South Pacific. Cape Gloucester is on the western end of the island and the by-passed Japanese fortress/base at Rabaul is on the eastern tip. The island was probably named New Britain because it rains there all the time. The soldier in the background has the M-1 carbine, an underpowered mini rifle I never cared for. The two soldiers in the middle man the M1917 Browning .30 machine gun (water cooled) which would fire at 500 to 600 rpm as long as the cloth belt lasted and the water jacket held some liquid. The nearest guy has the Thompson sub-machine gun in its military version, the M1928A1--blunt, utilitarian, but deadly, despite the pistol round it fired. I wouldn't want to bayonet charge this line. I don't think the Japanese did either.



Enemies Foreign and Domestic

Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler in 1943 inspects and chats with Swedish members of the Waffen SS (perhaps from the 5th SS Panzer Division Wiking but more likely from the 11th SS Panzergrenadier Division Nordland). There were about 25 SS Divisions made of volunteers from various, mainly occupied, countries, but Sweden was an exception. It was oficially neutral but more of a non-beligerant in my book (not that I'm any expert here). With a population then just over 6 million, Sweden had a relatively high per-capita Nazi volunteer rate.

The more you learn about its history during this time, the less you like Sweden, no matter how holier than thou enlightened they are now.

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Thursday, October 25, 2012


Thought of the Day

Oh, life is a glorious cycle of song,
A medley of extemporanea;
And love is a thing that can never go wrong;
And I am Marie of Romania.

Dorothy Parker


Tuesday, October 23, 2012


True That

Although it's been better lately. Carl is a stone Zombie/Ghoul killer and they got some supressors for their pistols (just as I suggested) and the show is bold enough to show that at least some of the survivors enjoy shooting the dead in the head. Next up, a visit to the nearest big box sports store for reloading equipment.



Mann Files Suit

In the category: He's Stupider than I can Imagine, comes this news; Professor Michael Mann has filed suit apparently for defamation against NRO (apparently for Mark Steyn's post) and the Competitive Enterprise Institute (apparently for what Rand Simberg wrote). The news here comes from Mann's facebook tweet followed by a press release.

As a lawyer, I know the power of the discovery process. I'm led to believe Mann does not.

Older posting here.

UPDATE: Here and here are Forbes magazine on the subject.


Sunday, October 21, 2012


Running on Empty

This is the title of a pretty good song by woman hater Jackson Browne, as well as the title of a movie about a 60's fascist couple running from the law in the present with an emphasis on their teenage son played by the late River Phoenix. It's also an apt description of the President's re-election campaign. He can't run on his record, which is abysmal, and he can't talk about what he intends to do, as it is merely more of the same that made his record so abysmal. So we get name calling. Talk about lame. I have seen a lot of campaigns for President since I voted for the late Senator McGovern in '72. I think I am aware when an advantage becomes a sure thing. I was able to recognize that cross-over point in the last 5 elections. I've seen it here since Spring.

I've been desperately trying to get money into an account at Intrade Prediction Market so I can bet on Romney and nearly triple my investment. It irks me about the wait for the wire transfer to betting-on-anything friendly Ireland because every day robs me of vig, as even the herd at Intrade wises up to the fact that Obama has nothing and the odds change slowly, slowly in Romney's favor.

At the very least, I'll double what I  bet, assuming Romney wins, as I am sure he will.

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Saturday, October 20, 2012


Troubling Bible Story of the Month

Here is Exodus 4:24-26. Moses is on his way with his wife (wives?) and sons to Egypt to get the Jews out of bondage.

At a lodging place on the way the Lord met him and sought to put him to death. 25 Then Zipporah took a flint and cut off her son's foreskin and touched Moses'[a] feet with it and said, “Surely you are a bridegroom of blood to me!” 26 So he let him alone.

What? Why is God so cross with Moses that he wants to kill him? It's not explained. We'll get to the logical choice below.

Why does Zipporah immediately cut off her son's foreskin? It's a complete mystery. I'll note that no one knows what "touched Moses' (actually the pronoun 'his' in the text) feet" means in Hebrew. This is our best guess but it might have been she touched the bloody foreskin to Moses' genitals.

What the freak does "bridegroom of blood" mean? I really have no clue.

Why does the emergency circumcision of Moses' son placate God? And how did Zipporah know that it would? Or was she just cutting off foreskins willy nilly that day and it just happened to be the thing to cool God's apparent anger? This part is particularly disturbing.

There are nothing but questions about this passage. Most people leave it alone. In all the Masses and Protestant services I have attended in my life, I have never heard these verses read and certainly they were never part of any homily or sermon I have heard.

We do assume that the lack of circumcision of the son is the reason God is out to kill Moses (because after the circumcision He is no longer out to kill Moses). It is generally accepted that cutting off the foreskin is the sine qua non of the First Covenant (between God and the Jews) so it is Moses' negligence to keep the Covenant with his own children before he sets off to free God's children that has God all worked up. But God was talking to Moses every day. Why not a little warning to get his house in order before Moses sets off to do God's bidding? Of course, if God did tell him to do that, unrecorded, we can certainly understand the rage (at least the desire to kill) He feels when his chosen guy disobeys him. But isn't that attributing human foibles to God? Isn't rage a deadly sin?

Circumcision is back in the news, lately. German courts have ruled that it is a crime to circumcise a child. Nazis.

Aside from the fact that we have complete religious freedom here, we American non-Hispanic Christian males don't seem to think circumcision is a big deal, as we are routinely circumcised on day one of our lives, mainly for health reasons. Certainly we, unlike the Germans, have no problem with the Jews doing it, and throwing a party because of it even. There is a little bit of a trade off we make getting circumcised in that the exposed penis tip is supposedly less sensitive due to contact with clothes afterwards, and sex for the uncircumcised is apparently more intensely pleasurable. But countering that is the fact that to most Americans an uncircumcised penis looks slightly worse than a circumcised one, or at least that's what a majority of the American women who have discussed the topic with me have said. So to the final question.

What has God got against foreskins?

UPDATE:  Diomedes says that there are two types of Jewish law: 1) The laws that jive with logic and common sense; and, 2) The laws that absolutely make no sense (like most of Leviticus). Circumcision as the bedrock basis for the Frist Covenant is one of the laws that doesn't make sense. It's that you follow an absolutely senseless law in order to obey God which makes the law (and your decision to obey it) valuable, both for the fact that we cannot understand God, and for the fact that we love and honor God so much we'll do whatever He asks.

Reminds me of dialogue in the movie Pork Chop Hill. The American brass, seeking to figure out why the ChiComs will waste so many men on a worthless objective, finally see the light and say that the hill's value is that it has no value. I can follow the logic, but it still sounds stupid to me. Sorry, D.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012


Thought of The Day

Affluent people with elitist pretensions often have a strong distaste for the wealthy, especially those, like Romney, who earned their riches by being successful in business. If you want to find bitterness against "the 1%," don't look at "the 99%." Instead, focus in on the 98th percentile.

James Taranto


Monday, October 15, 2012


Why The New York Times Continues to Fail

Here is an editorial from the NYT about the so-called politicization of the attack nearly 5 weeks ago on the Benghazi consulate and the murder there of Ambassador Stevens and three other Americans by al Qaeda in Lybia. Here is a transcript and video of Obama Senior Campaign Manager David Axelrod on the Fox Sunday show.

If I were to quote selectively from each, it would be impossible to tell what was supposedly from disinterested journalists and what was pure Obama campaign rhetoric.

Chris Wallace provided sufficient coverage of what Axelrod was failing to do (Shut up, Axelrod explained), so let's look at the NYT piece which is titled, ironically, No Shame (and caries the internal  title Republicans have no shame).  It starts:

There are many unanswered questions about the vicious assault in Benghazi last month that killed four Americans, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens.

No, there are only a few. The one that leaps out at many Americans, since we know that the State Department had a live video feed on the attack and drone surveillance of the attack, "On what did the Obama administration base its no longer operative supposition that the attack and murders were a spontaneous demonstration caused by the supposed movie critical of Mohammad?"

Neither the live feed nor the drone tape showed any protest at all. That's a very inconvenient fact to the administration who had UN Ambassador Susan Rice lie about the attack on 5 different Sunday talking head shows 4 days later. Moving on.

But Republican lawmakers leading the charge on Capitol Hill seem more interested in attacking President Obama than in formulating an effective response.

And what "effective response" is being formulated? Drone attacks on the leadership of al Qaeda in Lybia, or attempting to have the FBI arrest a few of the many attackers? Are we at war with al Qaeda or are they just a criminal organization like the Somali pirates or the Mafia? It seems to me that the President doesn't know the answer to that question.

Then the NYT trots out the straw man of budget cuts. It calls the Republican outrage at the incompetence of the administration in failing to protect Ambassador and other Americans in Benghazi hypocrisy because the Republicans have allegedly voted to cut the security budget of the State Department. I call this a straw man because the budget for security had nothing at all to do with lack of security in Benghazi. We somehow had enough money for a Marine security team in Barbados.

And has the State Department's security budget been cut? Is the alleged "cut" of $500 Million to the State Department's security accounts an actual cut (that is, less money spent than last fiscal year) or is it, as is usual with Democrats, merely code for giving the government department less of an increase in spending than it asked for? Anyone want to bet it's the former?

And the House budget with its supposed "cut" to the security accounts, that has been approved by the Senate in its budget and signed by the President, right? Oh, I forgot, the Senate hasn't passed a budget in nearly three years. So there is no actual budget and no actual cuts. Straw man within a straw man.

And the draconian budgets proposed by Mitt Romney’s running mate, Representative Paul Ryan, would cut foreign affairs spending by 10 percent in 2013 and even more in 2016.

The so called "draconian" budget of Rep. Ryan allows deficit spending to continue for at least a decade, but, and I hate to be the bearer of bad news here, we are actually going to have to spend less on the federal level. We are actually going to have to cut the bloated federal budget. We cannot continue to run up $Trillion plus deficits, as we have each and every year that Obama has been president.

The NYT says there is a lot to learn about the attack. I think we have sufficient facts now. Then the NYT says this:

The former security chief at the embassy in Tripoli has been critical of the administration and said he had requested more security from State Department officials.  [...]  (In the last debate, Vice President Joseph Biden Jr. said of the consulate in Benghazi, “we did not know they wanted more security.”)
So who is not telling the truth, the security chief at the embassy in Tripoli or VP Biden? On that relevant question, the NYT is silent.

It ends this horrible exercise in misdirection with this thought:

More spending on security improvements will certainly help, but there will still be threats and risks. America’s diplomats must be protected, but they cannot do their jobs and interact with the world if they operate only behind fortress walls. There will always have to be a balance. Ambassador Stevens knew that.
 He knew the job was dangerous when he took it. His and the others' deaths were not the result of incompetent bureaucrats cutting the security at Benghazi and then steadfastly refusing to respond to repeated requests to restore them, in light of the intelligence that an attack was coming. It was merely the unavoidable result of the risks all Ambassadors take. Nothing to do with the Obama administration at all, if you really think about it.

The NYT continues to lose readers and money because most Americans are well enough informed from other sources to know this is partisan tripe, pure Obama campaign propaganda rather than an honest opinion piece.


Friday, October 12, 2012


Protest Songs Never Sung

I'm A'fixin'-to-die Rag 2005


And it's 1, 2, 3, what are we fighting for?
Don't ask me, I don't give a frak,
Next stop is in Iraq;
And it's 5, 6, 7, open up the Pearly Gates;
Well, there ain't no time to wonder why,
Whoopee, just a few will die.


Thursday, October 11, 2012


Lies and the Lying Liars...

Obama reelection efforts spokesperson Stephanie Cutter went on two interviews today. The videos are here and here. She has the unenviable job of defending the indefensible. And she does it poorly.

First Lie: Brook Baldwin mentions the Benghazi scandal is a "circus" but asks Cutter how do you explain the mixed messages coming from the administration?

Cutter replies that the administration has been open and honest from day one...

Right. Which is why they peddled a false narrative for a week and a half.

Second lie: Baldwin plays a montage of the administration saying different things even weeks after the al Qaeda attack and murders.

Cutter says the administration is focusing on capturing and prosecuting those responsible for the attack and murders.

Right. We're expecting arrests in a city the feds are too chicken to enter any day now.

Then she says one of the stupidest thing I've heard from her (and I've heard a lot of stupid things from her these past weeks): "...but the entire reason that this has become the, the political topic it is is because of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. It is a big part of their stump speeches and it's reckless and irresponsible..."

It is a political topic because four Americans including an ambassador have been murdered by al Qaeda (supposedly no longer a player in the middle east), because of this Administration's fecklessness and then its members peddled a false narrative for a week and a half.

Third Lie: When Brett Baier played her the clip that I have just quoted from. Stephanie then said: "I was asked why it became such a political circus..."

No, Baldwin mentioned it was a circus but asked why were there "mixed messages" coming from the administration. She even played the montage. Stephanie offered the lie about why the false narrative and the murdered Americans were the subject of political discussion entirely because of the reckless and irresponsible politicization  by the Romney team in a dodge of that question not because she was asked it.

Perhaps the Obama campaign should cut its losses and furlough the incredibly ineffectual Ms. Cutter. If she told me that the sun was shining at noon, I'd look out the window and check.

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Saturday, October 06, 2012


True That

This really has nothing to do with my college experience, more's the pity, but the captions is congruent with my experiences.



Left Coast

I'm in Palo Alto for our yearly freshman dorm reunion. Little did we know that our next President lived in our dorm (Rinconada) the only year he attended Stanford. He was on my floor but not in my room. We didn't really discuss politics for fear, I think, of causing some bad feelings. I have to admit that I like being the dumbest guy in the room rather than the other way around. I got a real hug from our dorm faculty resident, true genius John Chowning, who's 78 and going very strong. Our host, Steve B, was perfect as usual but we could have used a drop by from a few more of our women dorm mates than the two who showed up. It felt weird to be all male for hours at a time. We'll see what happens next year before talking about making any changes.


Friday, October 05, 2012


Thought of the Day

The president was as unprepared for the debate as he was for the presidency.

Hugh Hewitt


Wednesday, October 03, 2012


Second Thought of the Day

That wasn't a debate so much as Mitt Romney just took Obama for a cross country drive strapped to the roof of his car.

Mark Hemingway



Thought of the Day

I never found a companion that was so companionable as solitude.

Henry David Thoreau

What a weirdo misanthrope. Who was he seeking when he returned home for dinner and fresh laundry each day he spent on Walden Pond then? I suspect some disengenuousness here.


Monday, October 01, 2012


Happy New (Fiscal) Year!

The federal government is scheduled to spend about $1.3 Trillion more than it takes in, again. The money guys in the government are not able to fund adequately this new debt with T-Bill sales, so they print a lot more money which action dilutes the dollar's purchasing power nearly instantaneously and threatens through inflation to further dergade it in the near future. All the while the signs of a second recession are looming ever more ominously; and since our leadership completely sucks, we're continuing to do the opposite of what we need to do to get the economy growing at even the average rate, much less the average recovery rate.

Maybe it's not so happy after all.


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