Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Year's Eve events in Brussels, Paris called off due to terror threats

From the article: 
Due to threats of terrorist attacks, authorities in Paris and Brussels have decided against holding their annual large-scale New Year's Eve celebrations as usual.

So, terrorism works.  The "JV" team wins.  We modify our behavior to capitulate to their demands.  Doesn't this kind of suicidal behavior begin to become apparent?  "They" now run our lives.  In the false guise of diversity and inclusion and tolerance, we allowed this to happen.  We allowed them access.  Now they they threaten us from within and we shut down our society, which is exactly what they want.  THEY WIN!!!!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Most Top Politicians are Psychopaths « The Thinking Housewife

From the article: 
MIKE KING at The Anti-New York Times theorizes that at least 80 percent of top political figures meet the clinical definition of the psychopath

I have been saying this for a long time.  

Misleading and Using Blacks | Human Events

From the article: 
Black people cannot afford to have our youngsters turned into failures in order to support the agendas of diversity race hustlers and to lessen the guilt of white liberals.

Scalia says the truth out loud and is attacked by those who want to further the victimhood meme.  Walter Williams, a black man is a smart guy and he gets it.  He sees through the facade and understands these folks really have their own selfish agenda.  He calls them "diversity race hustlers" and "guilty, white liberals".  This makes it very difficult to have a rational discussion that might actually lead to some beneficial changes.  These, so called "leaders" and "representatives" of the "victims"  do not truly represent them but use them and mislead them for their own personal gain.  

Sunday, December 27, 2015

“What Divides Us Destroys Us” | Gates of Vienna

From the article - Egypt's President Al Sisi: 
What he is calling for is, in effect, the rewriting of the basis of Islamic law. And his words are being spoken in the heart of Islamic scholarship and jurisprudence. It's a remarkable moment:

Whoa, did Hell freeze over?  The times they are a changin'.  Let's hope this is for real.  

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Coalition: Air Force B-1 bombers being used in Ramadi offensive | TheHill

From the article: 
The U.S. military will use B-1 bombers — not A-10s — to provide Iraqi security forces with close air support as they make their final push into Ramadi from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), a military spokesman said Thursday.

This is pretty interesting.  I wonder why it took so long to figure out.  I wonder what the cost is.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Feminist trouble

This might be a rare topic for our forum but I think it's very appropriate to talk about how it has influenced our culture and also in the context of women in the Army today.  I have liked Paglia for a long time.  I think she is a straight shooter.  I'd also suggest that her reference to feminism and it's use of victimhood is very similar to many of the other "minority" groups who claim victimhood status.  This uses of the victimhood status is not just used by feminism but is a favorite tactic by many groups to further their agenda and manipulate the situation and influence popular opinion.

From the article: 
Above all, Paglia, who some have called the anti-feminist feminist, has remained a staunch defender of individual freedom. She has argued against laws prohibiting pornography, drugs and abortion. And, when political correctness was cutting a swathe through a host of institutions during the 1990s, she stood firmly on the side of free speech. So, what does she make of the political and cultural state of feminism today? What does she think of the revival of anti-sex sentiment among young feminists, their obsession with policing language, and their wholehearted embrace of victimhood?

Paglia:  I am continually shocked and dismayed by the nearly Victorian notions promulgated by today's feminists about the fragility of women and their naïve helplessness in asserting control over their own dating lives. Female undergraduates incapable of negotiating the oafish pleasures and perils of campus fraternity parties are hardly prepared to win leadership positions in business or government in the future.

It’s Not Just About Israel. BDS Threatens Us All

Those that believe this is just an issue for Israel or the Jewish community are sorely mistaken. These developments endanger the future of America. Like a wildfire spreading out of control, BDS is a menace that must be contained today, before it alters our society's moral compass and threatens the values and freedoms at the heart of our very way of life.

Politicians Without Borders | Human Events

From the article: 
Individual freedom, and limited government, is better.

Immorality and Contempt for Liberty | Human Events

From the article: 
I personally believe in helping one's fellow man in need. Doing so by reaching into one's own pockets is laudable and praiseworthy. Doing so by reaching into another's pockets is evil and worthy of condemnation.

Walter Williams is a pretty smart guy.  

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Rape Culture: The Real Thing | Power Line

The first question to be asked about any proposed group of immigrants is, why do we need them? It would seem that, given our hypersensitivity to "rape culture," those who require training to understand that "women have value" and that a smile does not represent consent to rape should receive low priority.

Guns vs. Cars (and Drugs) | RealClearPolicy

Pretty interesting stats here.  So, it seems that gun deaths have been pretty steady for a while, yet many of our "elite leaders" want to ban guns. While any gun death is not a good thing, maybe this is not the crisis some want us to believe it is.  And, drug overdoses continue to soar.  Drugs are already banned.  How is that working out for us?

I wonder if this idea of banning things is really a good solution?  How did that work out for prohibition?  

Friday, December 18, 2015

A New Era of Health-Care Innovation by Joseph Jimenez - Project Syndicate

From the article: 
Today's transformational advances in health care owe much to new genomics information, to the availability of big data to influence decisions in real time, to more targeted and individualized therapies, and to smarter, more connected delivery systems. But they are just the beginning. Further breakthroughs, enabled by the convergence of science and technology, can be expected, especially as unconventional players enter the health-care sector. In this process, partnerships between health-care and technology companies will become increasingly important.
It is an exciting time for health care, with many disruptive innovations on the horizon. For patients and providers alike, this is very good news.

A bit of good news here.  We hear so much about the cost of health care rising.  If we could just get the regulatory agencies out of the way and let the market and technology work.

Roland Fryer’s Outstanding Seminar

From the article: 
I had long been aware of Fryer's academic work but I had not realized how much he and his team at the Harvard EdLabs have actually done on the ground to remake dozens of schools in Houston, Denver and elsewhere in the process showing that the best practices of the best charter schools can be scaled to the entire nation. Remarkable.

Amazing what happens when folks stop acting like victims and actually try to solve the problem.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Pat Caddell: Country Closer to Revolution Than Ever - Breitbart

From the article: 
Veteran pollster Pat Caddell says he agrees with the premise that America today is closer to another revolution than at any time in recent history, adding, "The strength of this country comes from its people and it has a political system that is run, now, to the exclusion of its people … you have three quarters of the American people saying the government in Washington does not rule with the consent of the governed."

What think you?  Are "we" really fed up enough? What kind of revolution?  

Mass civil disturbance?  Man the barricades a la the French Revolution?  

Military coup?  I hear rumours of the latter sometimes but I don't put much credence in it and don't usually pass it along.  

Electoral revolution?  We keep electing people who simply refuse to govern appropriately.

I wonder what kind of revolution he thinks is in the offing?

Afghanistan: Not Worth Fighting For

From the article: 
The fundamental problem for Afghanistan is the endemic corruption. This makes it very difficult to run the country effectively when any law or regulation can be bypassed with a large enough bribe. This makes it possible for the drug gangs to produce and export most of the world supply of heroin. The Taliban sustains itself by providing security for drug gang operations as well as extorting and stealing cash and goods at every opportunity. The corruption stems from the tribalism which fell out of use in the West, China and elsewhere centuries ago. But in Afghanistan is persists and it is an inefficient and, for the people involved, expensive and deadly historical artifact to live with.

This is really the fundamental question for Western Civilization.  I have been struggling with this for several years.  I was very supportive of George W's choice to go into Iraq.  I was very supportive of the ideas of promoting freedom as expressed by folks like Natan Sharansky.  In retrospect, I am less supportive of this.  We have spent blood and treasure to try and make a difference and it seems to be an endless pit.  

I am becoming more convinced that there is little we can do to change this barbarian, tribal culture. Having said that, I wonder what am I supposed to do?  Do I just get entirely out of these lands and let them fester and multiply and only get stronger to create problems for Western culture in the future?  That doesn't sit well with me, yet what we are doing now isn't working either.    

What to do?

Procurement: Smart Bombs For Iran

From the article: 
The F-15E remains a potent air-superiority fighter, making it an exceptional combat aircraft. This success prompted Israel, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, and Singapore to buy it, paying about $100 million per aircraft. In the U.S. Air Force the F-15E is one of the most popular aircraft for combat pilots to fly, even more so than the new F-22.

The lead of this article is the suggestion that the Saudis are accumulating weapons to use against Iran.  This may be true and is very interesting.  However, what struck me was this last part that I quoted.  There have been a fair amount of articles recently talking about the cost benefits of upgrading the F15s, 16,s 18s.  It seems we could be a bit enamored of ultra high tech and not making good trade offs.  In the end, high tech is just another tool.  More is not always better.  

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Presidents Shouldn't be Wonks

From the article: 
I saw most of the debates. No one won. But Trump looks better; he has learned self control. One tends to forget that he's not been in politics and this is his first political debate. Carly Fiorina came across as perhaps the best prepared, and she certainly seems to know what she's talking about. Trump was pounded for not being specific, but that's nuts: Presidents shouldn't be wonks, they should know what they want. We know Trump can get very complex jobs like building resorts, office buildings, and casinos constructed and opened up; one presumes he knows how to listen to advisors, else he's never have made the money to finance his campaign, And no, this is not an endorsement; merely an observation.

I think this is a pretty astute observation.  Some of you may know Pournelle as a famous Scifi writer.  He is also a very smart guy and has great commentary about culture and politics.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Thomas Sowell: Affirmative Action Is No Favor To Minorities -

From the article: 
Much research over the years has confirmed Justice Scalia's concern that admitting black students to institutions for which their academic preparation is not sufficient can be making them worse off instead of better off.

Media Effusively Praises Global Warming Deal That Does Nothing -

From the article: 
Media Bias: Reading the fawning coverage of the "Paris Agreement," you'd have thought western civilization had won the war on terror or scientists had discovered a cure for cancer. Sorry. Didn't happen.
The climate change deal has been almost universally hailed by the press as "landmark" (New York Times), a "historic" victory (Washington Post), Obama's "huge win" (Bloomberg) and "a remarkable achievement on behalf of humanity" (USA Today).

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Kerry: Public Shaming is ‘Most Powerful Weapon in Many Ways’ to Enforce World Climate Agreement

From the article: 
Secretary of State John Kerry said on Sunday that international shame and condemnation is "the most powerful weapon in many ways" to ensure countries comply with the newly-signed climate change accord reached in Paris, which is meant to lower greenhouse gas emissions around the world.

So when the science and logical argument fail, "they" resort to emotional manipulation on an international scale.  There is really something deeply and seriously wrong with this kind of thinking.

Zulu King: South Africa Was Better Off Under Apartheid

From the article: 
They were handed a prosperous first-world country. Now look at it.

Anybody know if this is true or an exaggeration?  If true, is this a natural result of socialist policies?

What Happens When A Country Prioritizes Refugees Over Citizens | The Federalist Papers

For years, the Swedish government prioritized the well-being of refugees and migrants over that of its own citizens, and now, not surprisingly, the nation has become a socialist hellhole.

Writing for the Gatestone Institute, Swedish journalist and author Ingrid Carlqvist explained that decades of refugee-centric social welfare have led to a failing social safety net that pays less money to seniors who worked all their lives than it does to refugees.
Moreover, refugees also receive free healthcare and dental care, "while the destitute Swedish senior citizen must choose between paying 100,000 kronor ($12,000) to get new teeth or living toothless."
These sorts of backwards policies by the Swedish Social Democratic Party have led to a dismal state of affairs in Sweden, a nation currently beset by housing shortages, unemployment, poverty, desperation and even violence.
But the violence isn't being perpetrated by Sweden's suffering citizens, but rather by its spoiled and indignant refugees.

While I have some empathy for folks who need help, and I think being charitable and gracious is usually a good thing, I also think some healthy skepticism and a healthy sense of self preservation is not necessarily a bad thing.

Mike Roark

Saturday, December 12, 2015

The 500-mile front against Isis - The Unz Review

From the article: 
Isis is being squeezed by growing military pressure from its many adversaries, but these remain disunited and hostile to each other so, for the moment, the overall stalemate continues.

One of the better, fact filled articles I have read of what is going on, on the ground.  

Maybe the best thing to do is shut these places « Samizdata

From the article: 
It is indeed interesting, and worrying, that students are so sensitive and censorious today. But I have a question for the hand-wringers, the media people, academics and liberal thinkers who are so disturbed by what they're calling the 'Yale snowflakes': what did you think would happen? When you watched, or even presided over, the creation over the past 40 years of a vast system of laws and speech codes to punish insulting or damaging words, and the construction of a vast machine of therapeutic intervention into everyday life, what did you think the end result would be? A generation that was liberal and tough? Come off it. It's those trends, those longstanding trends of censorship and therapy, that created today's creepy campus intolerance; it's you who made these monsters.
Brendan O'Neill.

Friday, December 11, 2015

So, Who is the Fascist?

From Melanie Phillips: 
So, let's see. Isis are said to be fascists. Le Pen and Trump, who want to fight Isis and their ilk, are also fascists. Ah, so they're anti-fascist fascists, then. Hello?

Monday, December 7, 2015

Carly Fiorina: Bring Back 'Warrior Class' Generals Petraeus, Flynn, Keane and Mattis - Breitbart

GOP presidential candidate Carly Fiorina says if she's elected President of the United States, she would bring back "the warrior class" of generals, such as General Petraeus, General Flynn, General Keane and General Mattis.
"They're pretty smart guys. I'd like to bring them back, by the way," Fiorina told Breitbart News Daily host Stephen K. Bannon. "These are generals that understand what is going down on the ground."
"The warrior class…who understand these enemies," she stated. "They've all been sidelined because they gave Obama messages he didn't want to hear."

Does this necessarily imply that the current generals are not "warrior class"?

Shocking Numbers for Benedict Option

This is quite an article.  I have been reading Rod Dreher for several years.  Preserving traditional Christianity is important.  Although my gut reaction is to me more assertive and influence society, this approach has many things going for it.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Foul disgusting liberal equates San Bernardino terror VICTIM to his ISIS KILLER because he was CONSERVATIVE

From the article: 
This is really actually quite alarming. If people out there believe this, then they're actually a danger to their fellow Americans.

Yes, there are some Liberals who are dangerous to their fellow Americans.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

The CAIR Effect: See Something, Do Nothing

From the article: 
Little wonder, then, that in this politically correct climate of intimidation, a neighbor of the San Bernardino jihadists told local media this week that he had "noticed a half-dozen Middle Eastern men in the area in recent weeks, but decided not to report anything since he did not wish to racially profile those people."
That's the CAIR effect: See something, do nothing. Silence is complicity.

Do not underestimate this enemy.  They have sized up Western societal weaknesses and have implemented a strategy that uses our misplaced moral decency to hobble us.  They see this more clearly than we do in our denial.  They have been working on this for decades and the tree is bearing fruit.  They watch us create a PC dominated culture that is slowly losing it's ability to defend itself.  They laugh at this weakness and take every advantage of our own suicidal behavior.  

A Sickness Reason Cannot Cure | The Z Blog

From the article: 
There's no reasoning with them. No amount of carnage will shake them of this disease that has driven them mad.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

But it’s hard to think of any as ugly, vindictive and packed with prejudice as the Israel-bashing BDS movement.

Samizdata quote of the day:

There are many weird and angry political movements in the 21st-century West. But it’s hard to think of any as ugly, vindictive and packed with prejudice as the Israel-bashing BDS movement.”

Brendan O’Neill.

About Safe Places

From the article:
7. Quote of the Day: Daycare
"This past week, I actually had a student come forward after a university chapel service and complain because he felt 'victimized' by a sermon on the topic of 1 Corinthians 13. It appears that this young scholar felt offended because a homily on love made him feel bad for not showing love. In his mind, the speaker was wrong for making him, and his peers, feel uncomfortable.
I'm not making this up. Our culture has actually taught our kids to be this self-absorbed and narcissistic. Any time their feelings are hurt, they are the victims. Anyone who dares challenge them and, thus, makes them 'feel bad' about themselves, is a 'hater,' a 'bigot,' an 'oppressor,' and a 'victimizer.' [...]
Oklahoma Wesleyan is not a 'safe place', but rather, a place to learn: to learn that life isn't about you, but about others; that the bad feeling you have while listening to a sermon is called guilt; that the way to address it is to repent of everything that's wrong with you rather than blame others for everything that's wrong with them. This is a place where you will quickly learn that you need to grow up.
This is not a day care. This is a university!"
—Dr. Everett Piper, President, Oklahoma Wesleyan University

This is a quote I lifted.  I do not have a link to the original article but it has been in the news for a few days.  You can google for it if you want to see more.

It seems that someone is actually standing up the crazy doublespeak we have allowed to infest our society.   I hope we see more of this.

Freedom is not free. Free men are not equal. Equal men are not free.
(borrowed from Jerry Pournelle)

Safwch yn gadarn. "Stand firm."  From the Welsh New Testament