Monday, May 30, 2016

Wife Finds Combat Disabled Husband In Tears At What Stranger Left… | Weasel Zippers

I know Memorial Day is for those who have gone before us, but this is a wonderful story about someone honoring a soldier.  

Remember those who gave all .........

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Family of Kate Steinle files lawsuit against San Francisco for ‘Sanctuary City’ policies » The Right Scoop -

Family of Kate Steinle files lawsuit against San Francisco for ‘Sanctuary City’ policies » The Right Scoop -: "I really hope they win and San Francisco feels the heat for harboring illegal aliens."
I wonder if this kind of push-back will start to shift the behavior back toward common sense?

Friday, May 27, 2016

How Tenderness Leads to the Gas Chamber

From the article: 
The problem with this is that without the Christian faith there is soon no Christian morals. Why should a person be good if there is no God? As Dostoevsky said, "If there is no God everything is possible."

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

‘Tribe’ Diagnoses America’s PTSD Problem — War Is Boring

Very interesting article.  What he is talking about here is a connectedness we experience while in military service that we don't find in civilian society.  Band of Brothers stuff.  

Sunday, May 22, 2016

The High Price of Security Theater -

From the article: 
The Price of Fear
Since 2002, people in the United States have been 100 times more likely to be gunned down by local, state, and federal law enforcement agents than to be killed by Muslim terrorists.
Ohio State's Mueller has been wielding the weapon of cost-benefit analyses for more than a decade in his own personal war on the war on terror. He points out that the feds spend roughly $150 billion annually on terrorism, compared to just $2 billion on the most frequent cause of death in the U.S., heart disease, and $300 million on strokes, the third most common killer. "We spend $500 million for every death from terrorism and only $2,000 for every death resulting from strokes," Mueller laments. "That means we spend 250,000 times more per death on terrorism." Though federal authorities have poured more than $4 trillion into fighting terrorism since 9/11, "these extraordinary expenditures have utterly failed to make people feel safer," he says. The percentage of Americans who expected another major attack was as high or higher in 2014 as it was in 2002, immediately following the worst terrorism incident in American history.
What does the U.S. have to show for its astonishing levels of anti-terror spending? "I firmly believe that those huge budget increases have not significantly contributed to our post-9/11 security," says Michael Sheehan, a former New York City deputy commissioner for counterterrorism. What these activities have been is an unmitigated victory for America's politicians, who take advantage of pervasive fear to engorge their own powers.
Americans are being asked to pay for the privilege of having their rights and liberties shredded by Washington. And with just a few months until the 2016 presidential election, there's little sign they've even noticed.

Pretty interesting article.  I pretty much agree that we have over-reacted out of fear and spent a lot of money on things that were of little use.  I don't agree with everything in this article.  I'm not sure the cost of the wars can be counted as theater but Reason authors take a much more dim view of our use of power in the world than I do.  I do think much of the TSA and DHS is pretty useless.  I do think we need to consider the costs of war when we spend the kind of money we do to fight a war where we don't get dirty.  Like some kind of video game.  It's all hi-tec and very expensive.  Johnny Brooks pointed out to me one time that we use $100k missiles to take out their $20k Toyota trucks.  Eventually, that won't work.  Bin Laden said something to the effect that "we will bleed you to death".  I don't think that's the exact quote, but the meaning is correct.  Seems like that is happening.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Army Adds 84mm Recoil-less Rifle to Platoon Arsenal – Kit Up!

From the article: 
U.S. Army infantry platoons will soon have the 84mm Carl Gustaf recoil-less rifle, a devastating anti-armor system, as a permanently assigned weapon.

This sounds like good news.  Some of you may know more about this.  I have been reading complaints about the Javelin for years.  Why so slow to incorporate this seemingly very good solution?  It's lighter and cheaper and the ammunition cost less?  It's been in use in Afghanistan for several years and gets good reports and takes how many years for the Army to bring it into the inventory?  Egad!!!!

Squids and the Inner Light of Being | Fred On Everything

From the article - sarcasm warning: 
A woman commanded the SEALs, who had been disarmed to prevent violence. The new main battle tanks had changing tables, and urinals had been outlawed throughout the services or converted to flower pots to preclude uncomfortable spaces. The warriors of social justice needed a Cause.

A really fine bit of sarcasm.  Fred assails this modern notion that we can be whoever or whatever we "feel" we are.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

In patience to abide : Essays in Idleness

In time America, too, will be buried with the other empires. But the funeral has not yet come, and while she lives and breathes, she retains her duties. She must, for the world's sake, stop licking her wounds, and whining; must keep up our quarrel with the foe.
The world, in all its imperfection, will have empires of one kind or another. Not one will always be a force for good. But there is better and worse, and if we are sane, we will allow that in our time the American power has been a blessing.

This is one of the better discussions I have seen in a long time about the US's burden to be the global policeman.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

WATCH: This Syrian Tank Gets LIT UP Like A CHRISTMAS Tree ⋆ Doug Giles ⋆ #ClashDaily

From the article: 
This is one of the reasons Arabs are scared to death of the Israelis. What you are about to watch is an actual event. The Israeli Armed Forces filmed this in real time. What you'll see is a fully armored Syrian tank being hit by an Israeli laser-guided, steel-penetrating, phosphorous-filled "hand held" rocket. The rocket is small, very portable and is a tightly controlled weapon.

Damn this is good.  Go watch the video.  The IDF kicks some butt.  "Steel penetrating and phosphorus filled".  I'd like to know more about that.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Vox Popoli: A terrible peace

Is it possible that too many generations of peace and pleasure have proven to be little more than an enervating cancer on our culture? Is it possible that peace is more terrible than war?

If these are the fruits of peace, then peace is a dreadful thing. If this is truly the best that peace has to offer, then for the sake of Man and Western civilization, let there be war.

I find this discussion quite interesting.  I have had a sense for a long time that when life gets too easy we tend to not learn to make tough decisions.  We choose the easier, softer way.  Or we choose the easier wrong instead of the harder right.  There are reasons why those old sayings endure - they tend to be true.  

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

When Excess Is A Virtue - Forbes

THE MENTAL INFECTION known as "political correctness" is one of the most dangerous intellectual afflictions ever to attack mankind. The fact that we began by laughing at it–and to some extent, still do–doesn't diminish its venom one bit.

"one of the most dangerous intellectual afflictions ever to attack mankind".  Some of us have been saying this for years but it continues to flourish.  

Paul Johnson is an interesting guy.  While associated with the left in his early career, he is now a conservative popular historian.  I am reminded of an old saying - 'If you're not a liberal when you're 25, you have no heart.  If you're not a conservative by the time you're 35, you have no brain.'

The article then talks about Trump as a force against PC.  Johnson suggests Trump is the antidote for the poison in spite of his side effects.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Middle Eastern Leaders Talking to Putin, Not Obama - POLITICO Magazine

From the article: 
Why is this happening, and why on my trips to the region am I hearing that Arabs and Israelis have pretty much given up on President Barack Obama? Because perceptions matter more than mere power: The Russians are seen as willing to use power to affect the balance of power in the region, and we are not.

Another old truth about human behavior we fail to understand.  "Follow the strong horse".

The Basic Rules of Spending

This seems pretty consistent with my understanding.  It has been true for human behavior for a long, long time.  Why to we then insist on forming institutions and organizations that behave in quadrant 4?

The article is also very good.
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

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Next Big Future: General atomics railgun has successful tests will lead to army truck based railgun system

From the article: 
GA-EMS' Blitzer railgun is a test asset designed and manufactured by GA-EMS to advance technology development toward multi-mission railgun weapon systems. Railguns launch projectiles using electromagnetic forces instead of chemical propellants and can deliver muzzle velocities greater than twice those of conventional guns. Blitzer railgun technology, when integrated into a weapon system that includes the launcher, high density capacitor driven pulsed power and weapon fire control system, can launch multi-mission projectiles with shorter time-to-target and greater effectiveness at longer range.

Pretty interesting weapons of the future.  This claims to reduce the ammunitition logistical train and increase the ability to respond to new enemy weapons threats.  However, it still needs quite a host of Fire Control and electrical generation and radar systems to make this work.  I suspect the size of the hardware will shrink over time.  Some kind of fuel has to power the generators.  Stll fascinating though.

Of Taco Bowls and Presidents | Joel D. Hirst's Blog

From the article: 
My point, I promise, and I'll be done: is it possible that we have lost our way? When those who are said to know better entertain the possibility that a "girls" sign hung on a door is somehow discriminatory – a hate crime; maybe that's the moment for a reality check. And isn't that where the people are leading us, this of all weeks? And is that such a bad thing? We have always been a country that must listen and learn from those who have built her. And those who build are, well – hungry for a taco bowl with a side of reality.

He wanders a bit but finally gets to his point in the last paragraph which I have quoted above.  Have we lost our way?  Is populism a good thing or a bad thing?  Double edged sword I suspect.  Like many things in life, intentions matter.  Is this a selfish populism we are seeing today or a populism leading us back to reality and our founding?

Friday, May 6, 2016

The Men Who Would Be King | PJ Media

From the article: 
Weston was at the bottom of a big hole. Modern Western civilization is inside of a big transgender bathroom. The fundamental mistake of the policy establishment (which Ben Rhodes derisively calls "the blob") was to take the Obama administration seriously, to think that terms like "grand bargain" and regional realignments were serious concepts and to spend hours pondering their meaning. Instead we now know they were just phrases that Obama and his inner circle made up as they went along.  Thus a White House that should have been instantly destroyed by contempt was instead preserved by the wariness of those who thought they were facing a Professor Moriarty rather Bluto from Animal House.
Perhaps the only person who guessed the truth -- besides Clint Eastwood -- was Vladimir Putin.  Some instinct told the Russian that inside the suit there was nothing. He's treated Obama accordingly and that's been the secret to his success ever since.  Malice or incompetence? Moriarty or Bonhoeffer's empty stupid? The reason the Washington policy establishment likes to believe Obama is some cunning schemer is that otherwise they'll never live it down.

This is a stunning article.  Some of us others also guessed the truth about Obama.

And then, try this article by Thomas Sowell.  He suggests the military may need to step in to bring the country back to Constitutional authority.  

Have we really degenerated to this point?  

Glenn Reynolds: How to make the U.S. collapse-proof

From the article: 
Decentralizing institutions and limiting special-interest influence could soften a societal fall.

Pretty straightforward look at how complexity and government control leads to decline and a reminder that the founders wrote the Constitution with this in mind and attempted to prevent it.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

It's Time to Return to the Principles of War | The National Interest

New thinking, however, has not made war any easier.
It is time to reverse course. Let's stop clinging to the notion that the new generation of thinkers is, axiomatically, smarter than those who preceded them.
At its heart, armed conflict remains a dynamic competition between adversaries; each conflict is tinged by the unique circumstances under which it is fought. Why waste time trying to develop complex intellectual tools that, in the end, deliver no better insights than simple, timeless constructs?
There is a case to be made for going simple. For that, the principles might serve well enough.

Sometimes we really do fool ourselves into thinking we are so much smarter today.  Usually, this is not true.  What did Patton say? 
"No dumb bastard ever won a war by going out and dying for his country. He won it by making some other dumb bastard die for his country." 
― George S. Patton Jr.

Pretty simple, actually. 

Medical Errors Cause a Third of Deaths

From the article: 
Medical error is the third largest cause of death in the United States, according to an analysis published Wednesday in the medical journal BMJ.
In 2013, at least 250,000 people died not from the illnesses or injuries that prompted them to seek hospital care but from preventable mistakes, according to the study.
That number exceeds deaths from strokes and Alzheimer's combined, and is topped only by heart disease and cancer, which each claim about 600,000 lives per year.
The death toll from medical mishaps would be even higher if nursing homes and out-patient care were included, the researchers found.

Is this for real?  I have known for a few years that the error rates in hospitals are higher than we want to own up to, but "third largest cause of death"?  At some point, you begin to wonder if you really want to go to the hospital or take your chances at home.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Jesus: Intolerant Bigot

From the article: 
Indeed, by today's secular-progressive standards – and, more vexing yet, by the standards of lukewarm Christians and ministries that, under the intense thaw of postmodern paganism, fall away from the berg like vast chunks of ice – Christ Jesus Himself would, like so many of his followers today, be slandered as an "intolerant bigot" and crucified all over again.
To be sure, under the contemporary misconception of "tolerance," which supposes that one must not only tolerate sin of every stripe, but refuse to call it even that, Christ was (and is) intolerant indeed. Rather than admonishing the adulterous woman to, "Go now and leave your life of sin" (see John 8:11), postmodernism, to include the moral relativist yeast that leavens the body of Christ, demands, at once, that our never-changing Lord change the unchangeable: "Go now and continue your life of sin."

Here's a bit of theology to ponder.  WWJD - What would Jesus do?  This author suggests that Christ would be seen as a bigot for not tolerating sinful behavior.  

And then this:
"The Gospel of Christ doesn't care about 'tolerance.' It cares about truth."   Truth is a higher good than tolerance?  I'm liking that.  Who knows much about the concept of tough love?  Tough love is when the truth is said in love, even when it's uncomfortable and not popular.  Kinda goes agains the notion of "everyone gets a trophy".  A lie we perpetuate because we don't want to appear intolerant.  

How to fix the TSA and make air travel fun again | New York Post

From the article: 
There is a ready solution to the TSA's problems: Replace the agency. In large airports with multiple security checkpoints, airlines should be required to hire their own screeners and set their own procedures, bypassing the TSA.
Competition among the airlines would help set the proper balance between safety and efficiency, based on passenger preference and demand. This same competitive process would also weed out unnecessary procedures that add little to safety while increasing delays.

So, the solution seems to be to eliminate government intervention and allow private competition to set the price for the service provided.  

Climate change is real, but Paris treaty won't fix it:

From the article: 
The reality is that we need to respond to the real problem of climate change, but this well-intentioned treaty is a hugely expensive way of doing very little.
The Paris accord talks a big game. It doesn't just commit to capping the global temperature increase at 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. The text goes even further and says the world's leaders commit to keeping the increase "well below 2 degrees Celsius" and will try to cap it at 1.5 degrees Celsius.
But this is just rhetoric. My own research and the only peer-reviewed published assessment of the Paris agreement used the United Nation's favorite climate model to measure the impact of every nation fulfilling every major carbon-cutting promise in the treaty between now and 2030. I found that the total temperature reduction will be just 0.086 degrees Fahrenheit by 2100.
Even if these promises were extended for 70 more years, then all the promises would reduce temperature rises by 0.3 degrees Fahrenheit by 2100. This is similar to a finding by scientists at MIT. It's feeble.

A scam so huge it is difficult to wrap one's mind around it.