Monday, November 20, 2017

Under True Socialism, You Don't Have To Eat Giraffes

... but if you don't get it just right, you may well find yourself using the local zoo as a buffet. While you're there, a quick search for toilet paper would be a good idea.

Almost-socialist Venezuela is in a world of hurt. Violence, starvation, crime and tyranny are all running riot. Through our progressive friends, we know that Venezuela isn't practicing true socialism. That's because true socialism creates a workers' paradise.

What gets me is that all of the countries that have tried their best to get to true socialism have ended up with pyramids of skulls decorating their street corners and public parks. You'd think that if socialism was the best, as you got closer to it, things would improve. Instead, it looks like the closer you get to true socialism, the worse things get until, I guess, you break through and achieve true socialism.

It's kind of like a high-wire act 20+ stories above a busy street. As long as you keep your balance, things are wonderful. The view is great and there's plenty of fresh air. Deviate even slightly and you end up a big splat on the pavement.

Even if true socialism is the best thing in the world, I don't want to try it. I don't think I could handle the constant fear that we'd go off course a couple of degrees and end up killing each other over the last zebra haunch.

Giraffe. It's what's for dinner!

Sunday, November 19, 2017

I Love This Country

We went to the wedding of two really good friends yesterday. She's Mexican, he's Northern European. My wife and I got to do the ropa de boda ceremony at Mass. It was lovely.

At the reception, I saw a Scottish guy in full kilt walking to get a beer while the dance floor was full with a couple of gay dudes and bunch of Hispanic and white women doing Texas line dancing to a country music song sung in Spanish.

'Murrica.

Darn straight, hombre.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

This Is How The Nazis Got Elected

I hadn't meant to start a series on how the progressives are Nazis without ambition, but once I got that mental model in my head, I see evidence of it everywhere and it's clarifying historical things for me.

To recap my analogy, if you change whites and "whiteness" into Jews and Judaism and you change people of color, women and LGBT into Germans, the analogy pops out.  Further, the economic policies of Obama/Hillary/Bernie and Mussolini/Hitler/Peron are nearly identical. For example, the Nazis called for universal health care and free education.

Where it falls apart is that the progressives lack the ambitions of the Nazis or the Italian fascists. They are quite content to simply beat down the opposition at home and leave other countries alone. Unlike the Nazis, they don't want to exterminate, they want to re-educate. Essentially, they want to obliterate the culture of "whiteness" and "patriarchy," whatever those are at the moment.

Here are three data points from the last couple of days, couched in terms of my analogy. Three out of about twenty that I saw.

1. A New York Times editorial asked, "Can my German children be friends with Jews?" The author answered the question in the negative.

2. A German woman was fired from a prestigious position for suggesting that Jews might differ between themselves in experience and outlook. She asserted that not all Jews are alike and you don't always have to hire Germans to achieve diversity.

3. The Commandant of the Luftwaffe Academy received an award for a now-famous speech in which he excoriated the Jews at the Academy for an incident where German cadets suffered racial insults. It turned out that one of the Germans staged the attack and the Jews were innocent of all charges. The Luftwaffe Commandant did not recant his speech and asserted, in essence, that the Jews still needed to hear it.

How The Nazis Gained Power. The German culture at the time was primed to accept the notion that the Jews were evil and caused all kinds of problems. It didn't matter that it was all nonsense, it only mattered that many people believed it to be true and anyone dissenting lost their jobs, were beaten up or imprisoned. News outlets didn't confront Nazi politicians with their atrocities and demand the Nazis account for them.

When the white supremacists, all couple hundred of them, marched in Charlottesville to protest the removal of a statue, any conservative not deemed sufficiently critical of them was branded a sympathizer and hounded incessantly. It went on for weeks and is still being used as an example of pervasive racism on the right.

As far as I can tell, no progressive politician has been confronted with these and asked to distance themselves from them. I don't see where anyone is even considering it. The whole notion of, say, the CBS Evening News, asking Elizabeth Warren if the Air Force dude was wrong to yell at the students is practically inconceivable.

These things go on every day. These aren't tiny bands of deranged extremists like we saw in Charlottesville, this is the New York Times, Apple and the Air Force Academy. These are large, mainstream organizations going full-progressive-Nazi with no repercussions from the media or the popular culture. That's because we've internalized the lessons of the progressives and these events are perfectly natural to us. And that's how Nazis win fair and free elections.

Poor Goebbels would never get hired these days. He'd be utterly redundant. Maybe he could make a living writing for academic journals.

Friday, November 17, 2017

I Love The Tax Reform Bill

... for one, simple reason.
(The bill would) cut the corporate rate ... in a year: Like the House bill, the Senate bill would cut the corporate tax rate to 20% from 35% today.
That's it. Everything else is window dressing to me. For me, it's all about jobs and lowering the corporate tax rate would encourage businesses who have left to come back home. No, the pennies-per-hour-labor-cost Levis factories in Cambodia won't come back, but others would. I saw one estimate that said cutting the corporate tax rate would increase household income by $3500 from the jobs that would pour back to America. I can believe that.

Clarity. Another benefit to cutting the corporate tax rate dramatically is that it would test the conservative principle that private businesses drive the economy, not the state. Is what we believe true? Well, with this bill, we'd see. It certainly makes sense to me. The government raises funds from profits, both corporate and personal. If you punish businesses with regulations and taxes, they will take their profits elsewhere.

Another component to the clarity would be to reveal whether or not the Republican Party believes what it's been peddling all these years. Lower taxes, lower regulations, those are the keys to prosperity. We discovered with the ObamaCare repeal that John McCain has no convictions and is only there for the cameras and adulation. How about the rest of them? Can we get 50 votes for this great experiment in conservative foundational principles?

Expert Opinion. Our tax accountant son loves the bill. He said he can't believe how good it is in simplifying things and getting rid of ridiculous rules. He's apolitical as far as I know, so his take on it is simply professional. He's a serious dude and I respect what he has to say.

Trump is a Conservative. I don't know where the Trump-haters on the right go after this. Mountains of originalist judges appointed, slashing regulations at every turn, a sincere attempt to end the catastrophe of ObamaCare and now this. What the heck do you want? So the guy has a mouth on him like a New York City barroom blowhard. Enough already, we get it. He is turning out to be the most conservative president since Reagan and still they carp and whine.

It will probably come down to McCain. Does he believe in his stated principles more than he loves the adulation of the press? We'll see.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Diving In Belize

I figured it might be nice to have an oasis on the web today, a place where you could see something beautiful and no one was yelling. This place is on my Bucket List. Enjoy.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The Red Pill And The Genius Of The Catholic Church

Yesterday, on the excellent Andrew Klavan Show, he interviewed Cassie Jaye, the filmmaker behind the movie The Red Pill.


I watched it last night and thought it was superb. Cassie was a documentarian of impeccable feminist and progressive credentials when she decided to investigate the men's rights movement. She went into the project thinking she'd find hate and misogyny and came out the other end having thrown away feminism. It's well-made movie that documents her journey as much as it does the subject.

The one thing that jumped out to me as a Catholic and an instructor in the Church's marriage preparation classes was the genius of the Church. We're not mentioned in any way in the movie and the film is not religious in the slightest. Instead, it's a description of the antagonistic relationship between men and women, feminists and men in particular. The problem arises when you see us as separate creatures rather than cooperative ones that complete each other.

In marriage, we say that the two become one. It is no longer me, but we. Feminists vs. men is nothing if not an atomization of that bond. Further, Saint John Paul II's Theology of the Body brilliantly lays out how men and women are complementary. It's not about individual rights, it's about how we serve each other in different ways, based on our sex. Yes, there are areas of overlap, but the key is how we meld into one to make a greater whole, not how we compete for the same things.

If that was what we were striving for as a culture instead of who gets which jobs and who gets paid what, we'd be a lot better off because we'd be working with nature instead of against it. Oh well.

Having said all that, the movie is still well-worth watching. It's available on Amazon and is free to Prime members.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Seriously, Stop Teasing The Lion

From my last post on this topic.
One thing we know about Trump is that he gets revenge when he feels wronged. Apparently, today's indictments from Mueller were against Paul Manafort for tax fraud and other odds and ends, but that's not the point. If Trump decides he's had enough and it's time to go nuclear on the Democrats, there is practically no limit to what a team of prosecutors can find to indict Hillary and her goons. It would be a fire that swept through the Clinton allies, the DNC and all their cronies to rival the one that scorched central California recently.
From today's WSJ.
Late Monday, the Justice Department told the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Robert Goodlatte (R., Va.), that Mr. Sessions had directed “senior federal prosecutors” to evaluate other Russia-related issues related to former Democratic presidential candidate Mrs. Clinton, which Rep. Goodlatte and other lawmakers had asked about. The letter said the prosecutors would make recommendations “as to whether any matters not currently under investigation should be opened.”
Like the Puppy Blender says, we've got the worst political class ever. These people are so stupid that they probably put on their shoes and socks in that order.
I tried to warn you.
Addendum: Hillary was never pardoned for any of the multitude of crimes associated with her email server. There was a decision not to prosecute, but that can be reversed. It's not just her. Here's what I wrote over a year ago about the emails.
So Hillary received a bunch of Secret and Top Secret emails on her Unclassified server. There's an air gap between the networks which means that someone had to deliberately, physically move data from one network to another to get it to Hillary's server. Intentionally moving data from a higher classification level to a lower one is a crime. Period.
A lot of people are in serious jeopardy here.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Roy Moore, George Takei, Powerful Men, Vulnerable Women

Men dominating women is what the recent swarm of sex scandals are all about. In the case of Kevin Spacey and Geore Takei, it's little boys. Whatever.

In the old days, we acknowledged this mismatch. For instance, we had separate dorms at college and a culture that supported marriage before sex. It was understood how men and women interacted and who had the advantage in which situation.

Once we threw that away, when we decided men and women were equal instead of complementary, vulnerable, insecure women became easy prey. They weren't supposed to be vulnerable and insecure, they were supposed to be strong and independent. If you weren't, you had to fake it because merely intimating you couldn't stand up to a man was an apostasy worthy of public ridicule.

In my experience, public ridicule is just about the worst thing in the world for most women.

So here we are, making political points out of a failure to acknowledge a simple equation. It's not that Roy Moore is a predatory, right-wing swine. He is. It's not that George Takei is a hypocritical, left-wing creep. He is. It's that we all decided to deny reality together and put women and little boys in this position, sneering at them as weaklings when they objected and said they couldn't be expected to stand up to the Weinsteins and Spaceys of the world.

It's perfectly normal for women to beat up men in close combat. Dealing with Harvey Weinstein should be no big deal.
When we are finally boxed in and we can't escape reality, we demand that millions of years of evolution be reversed. Men should stop being men - strong, decisive, aggressive and motivated by sex. Toxic masculinity is the problem and must be abolished! Good luck with that.

In the old days, we demanded that men channel their manhood into being gentlemen. Their strength, decisiveness, aggression and sexual instincts would be slightly redirected to the protection and veneration of women. That worked and could work again. This denial of biology is never going to work at all. You may stop some of the assaults, but you'll end up with emasculated wimps for men.

Whoops. We're already there. Protect and provide has changed into video games and porn.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Arizona Ziggurat

Driving back from Flagstaff yesterday, going down State Route 89A towards Sedona, we were fortunate enough to get caught in heavy traffic. I say fortunate, because the frequent stops allowed us to take photos with our point-and-shoot Nikon Coolpix of some lovely scenery.

All of the geological structures around here have names, but I can't place this one exactly and haven't taken the time to retrace just where it was. It looks to me like a South American ziggurat, only this one was carved in the layers and layers of Arizona sedimentary rock by wind and water. I looked through some geological history videos describing the process and found a good one that I included below.

I took a little time with this photo, cropping and retouching it to bring out the features. I left it really large, so I think it's worth a click. Enjoy!


Saturday, November 11, 2017

Navajo Art And Whiteness

We're on vacation in Sedona this weekend, mostly to view the magnificent Arizona scenery and shop the artists' colonies here. Yesterday, we stopped at an art fair and wandered the booths, chatting with people and dropping some coin for lovely pieces of jewelry, pottery and clothing.

First off, everyone was friendly. We all had a good time discussing the creations, where we were from, other places we visited and so forth. One booth was run by a guy from Chicago who had gone to the same high school as my wife, just 5 years ahead of her. The only tension was whether or not we were going to spring for a gorgeous, Navajo/Zuni necklace, this one sold by the Navajo artist. It was $650 and in the end, my wife decided against it. The two of them had a great conversation as my wife makes jewelry as well.

Yesterday morning, while drinking my coffee and surfing the web while my wife slept, I came across definitions of whiteness. There's a story behind the search, perhaps something for a future post. Here's a decent source and below is a descriptive tidbit.
(Whiteness is) a dominant cultural space with enormous political significance, with the purpose to keep others on the margin....white people are not required to explain to others how ‘white' culture works, because ‘white' culture is the dominant culture that sets the norms. Everybody else is then compared to that norm....In times of perceived threat, the normative group may well attempt to reassert its normativity by asserting elements of its cultural practice more explicitly and exclusively.
Translated: Whiteness is the aggregate culture created through competition. Whiteness is whatever is winning at the moment.

With that in mind, I looked through the art fair. The booths were pop-up tents made in England. Their legs were aluminum, probably from Caribbean bauxite mines. The jeans the people wore were probably made in Southeast Asia. The cars they drove were Japanese or built using Japanese methods as the American auto makers got schooled in the 1970s by the Japanese. The oil and gasoline that lubricated and fueled the cars likely came from Dixie - extracted in Texas and refined in Louisiana. We all spoke English, although some had distinct, Mexican accents.

That's what "whiteness" is. At least, that's what it is to me. As I don't watch movies or TV very much and my music consumption is almost all Christian Contemporary, I can't say what it is for everyone else, but to me, the culture is what I drive, where I shop, what I wear and what I cook. For the life of me, I can't figure out why I should be wound up about this.

Everyone was having a good time and the artists were making money so they could go back to their studios and do what turned them on - create more art. None of the progressive-Nazi screaming made any sense at all as we shopped at the art fair.

Sometimes, I think our universities are actually mental institutions.

Navajo/Zuni art, Cambodian blue jeans, British tents, Caribbean bauxite, Japanese cars and petroleum products from Dixie. Cultural appropriation at its worst. A sickening display of whiteness.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Gila Bend Enters The Space Age (Lodge)

We drove to Sedona for the weekend yesterday and, passing through Gila Bend, we saw this quirky motel.




The reviews on Google are excellent, so Best Western is doing a good job with the place. It's great to see a hotel chain with a sense of humor.

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Crazies Get To Swing First

The Sutherland Springs massacre has had me doing some pondering. I've never been able to put my finger on what was wrong with the background-check-prevents-mass murder logic before. I know a little about dealing with violent, mentally ill people and I started applying my experience to this event.

Crazy people have all day and all night to think up ways to hurt others. Their focus is on inflicting pain and suffering and some have genius or near-genius mental powers to devote to the task. They will use whatever is available. If they can't get guns, they will use poison, knives, cars, shovels or anything else that might do the trick.

Crazy people always get the first swing. We have laws against assault and the police frown upon you restraining another person with handcuffs or ropes. It's not going to end well if you lock another person in the basement and feed them once in a while. Crazy people are allowed to roam freely and you can't take preemptive action, no matter how dangerous you think they are. If the crazy person has a history of attacks where their weapons show escalation of danger, you can't do anything to them until it gets lethal or practically lethal.

When an attack gets underway, you can't always call the cops. Sometimes you're busy defending yourself and trying not to be killed or maimed. Sometimes you're hampered by a desire to not kill the crazy person attacking you. When defending yourself, it helps to have some weapons at hand or training in martial arts. I was always lucky enough to be able to use the latter and prevent things from getting completely out of hand.

Calling the cops isn't always the best idea, either. By the time they show up, it can be either too late or the scene will lack any evidence of who started it. I have a couple of friends who ended up in jail because they were defending themselves and the cops believed the crazy person.

This is an excerpt from the US legal code. I don't know what it does, but it's the kind of thing people think is going to stop crazy geniuses intent on committing mayhem.
(a) Sections 452 through 459 and section 462 of this chapter shall also apply to the United States Court of Federal Claims, to each court created by Act of Congress in a territory which is invested with any jurisdiction of a district court of the United States, and to the judges thereof.

(b) The official duty station of each judge referred to in subsection (a) which is not otherwise established by law shall be that place where the court holds regular sessions at or near which the judge performs a substantial portion of his judicial work, which is nearest the place where he maintains his actual abode in which he customarily lives.
Right.

Crazy people want to hurt, have time on their hands, are imaginative and get to attack first. Laws and cops are all well and good, but when things start going sideways, I want a weapon close at hand.

Personally, I want an AR-15 with the Harambayonet. ;-)

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

You Can't Swim And Film At The Same Time

... and do your filming any justice.

I picked up a couple of lessons learned from our recent scuba trip to the kelp beds off Point Loma. The first deals with safety.

We did two dives. Our first dive was our first one after over a year hiatus, so we were all rough. One of my sons said it took him 15 minutes to calm down, not from fear, but from unfamiliarity with the process. I took about 10 minutes. We kept in sight of each other and fell back into the rhythm of checking each other's status regularly pretty quickly until the very end.

When we decided to surface and go back to the boat, we didn't wait for each other. One went straight up and I followed. Looking back, I couldn't see the other as the water was a bit murky. The first made for the boat and I got caught in the middle, trying to make sure all three of us were safe. In the end, I decided I was too low on air to keep searching, so I went back to the boat as well. It ended well, thank God, but we all agreed to pick a leader before the next dive and keep in sight at all times.

On the second dive, I brought my camera, but we picked one of my sons as the leader. He had gone through his air the fastest on the first dive, so we figured it made sense to let him lead as he would probably be the first to need to return to the boat. That was fine for swimming around, but lousy for filming. When I found really cool scenes to shoot, I could only spend a few seconds on them before I had to swim to catch up to the others.

If someone is going to film, they need to lead. The others should resign themselves to hovering around the cameraman while he takes the time to get the shots he wants. That's not such a bad gig as there wasn't much difference in what you saw from place to place so swimming around wasn't that big of a deal.

Below is my favorite scene from the trip - a rocky outcropping with lots of fish. It also shows what it was like filming while trying to keep up with the squad. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Twitter Matters

... because, for the well-off, their bellies are full and they're safe.

We've got 3% growth, 4.1% unemployment and the stock market is going crazy. ISIS is getting blasted off the map and there aren't any serious existential threats out there. I think that's why the elites worry about trivia like who said what to whom on Twitter and whether or not Shakespeare is inflicting whiteness on wealthy, privileged college students.

Our political leaders, media talking heads, pundits and entertainers are behaving like a pack of catty, teenage girls because there really isn't anything seriously wrong in their lives. Since our society has split into two bubbles, as far as they're concerned, the Twitter Wars are important.

If they spent some time hanging out in less savory neighborhoods, they might talk about more than just feeding koi.

Monday, November 06, 2017

Kelp Forest Cruise

We went diving on Saturday. This time we did a boat dive off of Point Loma. The water was a bit murky, but I found a little bit of nice footage amongst what I shop and it's embedded below. This particular kelp forest looked like a Dr. Seuss forest - long stalks with a ball of leaves at the top. The fish weren't particularly plentiful, but it was still nice to be in the water.

It had been a while for all of us so the first of the two dives was really a re-orientation exercise. I didn't bring the camera on the first one, but instead concentrated on getting use to diving again. The second dive was a lot more relaxed and fun. I left the video hi-res, so hopefully it will be worthwhile. If not, it's not too long so it will be over before you know it. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 05, 2017

I'm Almost Sold On FuboTV

... because the ads are so great. These are two of my favorites.





I've got a Cursillo buddy who is from Naples and has been trying to get me to follow Napoli in the Italian League for years. With FuboTV, I could watch their games and share that with him.

Hmm.

Saturday, November 04, 2017

Ritual Denunciations Of Hallucinations

... is what I'm seeing a lot these days.

I'm becoming more and more convinced that progressives are Nazis without ambition. When I read the news or Twitter rants from the left and I substitute "Jews" for "Whites" and "Germans" for "people of color," including all of the different variations of each, it looks just like something out of Der Sturmer.

The analogy breaks down in one important area. In the 1930s, there really were Jews in positions of power in Germany. In 2017, there aren't any white supremacists even in positions of moderate power in America. Outside of a couple hundred nuts who get more play than a really funny cat video, I can't think of any white supremacists anywhere. Can you?

Find me a white supremacist who is a publisher, bank CEO, corporate CFO, Hollywood studio executive, published academic, beloved sports figure, prominent politician or well-known artist. Find me someone who gets any serious air time at all where any journalist interviews them with respect and real interest in what they have to say. I can't think of one.

Meanwhile, we have the progressives screaming that whiteness is a threat to the planet and white supremacists are everywhere. On the right, every time the topic comes up, the conservative pundit or politician engages in ritual denunciations of white supremacists as their very first utterances. There is not an ounce of public support for them from anyone, anywhere.

What's going on? I would suggest that this is frantic, desperate, wishful thinking on the left. Without the boogieman of white supremacy, their entire cultural ideology collapses. They own almost every media organ in the country from the news sites to Hollywood to academia. With those trumpeting their message of the gigantic threat from white supremacists, they have achieved what the Nazis could only achieve through murder and imprisonment.
The Nazi Party’s overarching policy was described by the term Gleichschaltung, denoting the effort to bring all German culture, religious practice, politics, and even daily life into strict conformity with Nazi ideology. It was a policy of total control of thought, belief, and practice and entailed the systematic eradication of all anti-Nazi elements in the country.
But it's all nonsense, even more nonsense than what the Nazis decried. There's no one out there to round up and imprison. You can't have a Kristallnacht because there's no one to attack. How long can you maintain a national movement against wraiths?

Make no mistake, I am completely against wraiths and their nauseating ideology.

Update: The wraiths are taking it on the chin at Reed College.
An anti-racism student group at one of America's most liberal colleges entered the 12th day of an administrative building occupation Friday...

“We believe that the first lesson that freshmen should learn about Hum 110 is that it perpetuates white supremacy — by centering ‘whiteness’ as the only required class at Reed,” reads a RAR (Reedies Against Racism) declaration delivered to all new students, the Atlantic reported.

Friday, November 03, 2017

Another Data Point In Favor Of Marriage

From this very thorough article by Glenn Stanton.
Even among households with similar incomes, and comparable demographic and educational characteristics, the following statistics demonstrate that, over the past year, married households are at least half as likely to have difficulty meeting their basic monthly living expenses and bills. This was most pronounced for black families.

And that's among households with similar incomes. It's almost like commitment carries over across elements in your life. Crazy, man.

Thursday, November 02, 2017

Too Creepy To Continue

I've had a blog post, perhaps a theme for several, percolating in my mind for a while, so this morning I started doing some research. I found a translated issue of Der Sturmer and then was going to go from there to modern university professors who are race-obsessed and very vocal when I pulled up short. It was just too weird, too sickening to keep going. I'll leave it at this.

It doesn't take much effort to see strong parallels between Jules Streicher's paranoid, Nazi rag which claimed the International Jewish Conspiracy was oppressing Germans when it wasn't killing them outright and the university profs who claim that whites are oppressing people of color when they aren't killing them outright. I could see where I could lift whole paragraphs from Der Sturmer, change the races and pass it off as modern, SJW prose. Seeing how easy it was sent shivers down my spine.

I'm done with that. As a palate cleanser, here's a chihuahua with some flowers. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Casey Stengel, Robert Mueller And The NFL

"Can't anybody here play this game?" - Casey Stengel talking about his dreadful 1962 Mets team.

Mueller and the Democrats


All of the K-Street, lobbyist insiders knew that Manafort was a crook. They knew it because they were crooks right along with him. The Podestas, probably the most connected family in Washington not named Clinton were in bed with the guy, getting Russian money to bribe Hillary and Obama so the Russians could pick up Uranium One. Why didn't they squash the whole Trump-Russia frenzy? "Ixnay on the Ussiaray!" was all they needed to whisper in the right political and media ears, but they didn't, they joined the mob calling for more and more hearings which were practically guaranteed to lead right back to them.

Can't anybody here play this game?

The NFL


Good Lord, is it so hard to keep out of things that don't relate to your business? The sport is on the decline so you decide to call the core of your customer base racists? All they had to do was apply their existing rules and put an end to the politics on the field, but no, they had to take a "principled" stand, one they didn't take for the murdered Dallas cops. Now their ratings are much lower.

Can't anybody here play this game?

I had one more example - madness from academia, but that's almost cliche now.

What strikes me about all of these cases isn't the partisanship, but the professional incompetence. They can't execute the simplest tasks of their jobs. Lobbyist insiders shouldn't be running around, begging for investigations into themselves. A sports league shouldn't get into politics. These are basic things, not Bill-Belichickian acts of brilliant subterfuge and subtlety.

Is simple competence too much to ask?

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

The Guards

... are always good for a busy day blog. I got these two shots yesterday. Enjoy!

I always love these group photos that look like album covers. This is a substantial crop of a photo that was pretty overexposed. I was able to use some Photoshop filters to make the Guards pop out a bit more. Still, it's the pose that works for me. They're a power trio!
The Guards, sacked out after maneuvers in the local park. The weather has broken, so it's cool enough for them to run about in the canyons and have a good time. The cooler weather has the rattlers snoozing, so it's safer for them as well.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Don't Tease The Lion

One thing we know about Trump is that he gets revenge when he feels wronged. Apparently, today's indictments from Mueller were against Paul Manafort for tax fraud and other odds and ends, but that's not the point. If Trump decides he's had enough and it's time to go nuclear on the Democrats, there is practically no limit to what a team of prosecutors can find to indict Hillary and her goons. It would be a fire that swept through the Clinton allies, the DNC and all their cronies to rival the one that scorched central California recently.

I've seen those Tom Steyer ads running in prime time, agitating for impeachment and they seem as tone-deaf and ill-considered as the NFL protests. Trump runs the Justice Department and all its prosecutorial powers. The Democrats are up to their fascist, little necks in massive crimes including bribery, racketeering, voter fraud and improper handling of classified materials. Trying to indict the Trump team seems like jumping head-first into the lion's den. I'd have a good time watching the Democrats get incinerated, but I can't understand why they'd keep trying to trigger it.

My other thought is how sad this all is. From Trump himself on down, it's like we've got a particularly catty pack of high-school, popular kids running the government. The only thing getting done is Jimmy pointing at Susie and blaming her for Jeremy dating Alisha who was two-timing Rashad who was sleeping with Maria. Tax reform and repairing the ObamaCare mess is nowhere to be seen.

Meanwhile, the normals are getting up and going to work and doing a great job of it. Dig the economic growth, employment and business confidence numbers. Imagine what we could have if the teenagers in DC would just shut up and do their jobs.

Oh yeah, this is going to end well.
Update: Well, that didn't take long to blow up in everyone's faces. Here are more details from CNN, who are not known for their pro-Trump stance.
Federal investigators' interest in Manafort and Gates goes back well before the special counsel was appointed. For about a decade, Manafort worked for Yanukovych and his Russia-friendly Party of Regions. Manafort's work spurred a separate federal investigation in 2014, which examined whether he and other Washington-based lobbying firms failed to register as foreign agents for the Yanukovych regime.

Gates joined Manafort's lobbying firm in the mid-2000s and handled projects in Eastern Europe, which later included work for Yanukovych.

Yanukovych was ousted amid street protests in 2014, and his pro-Russian Party of Regions was accused of corruption and laundering millions of dollars out of Ukraine. The FBI sought to learn whether those who worked for Yanukovych — Manafort's firm, as well as Washington lobbying firms Mercury LLC and the Podesta Group — played a role. The Podesta Group is headed by Tony Podesta, the brother of John Podesta, the former chief of staff of the Obama White House.
Emphasis mine.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Kids Or Race?

I got into it briefly on Twitter earlier this week with some progressive who was ranting about whiteness or white supremacy or something similar. It was pretty standard stuff. I just posted the illegitimacy rate graph and was accused of hiding racism or masking whiteness or having my SS uniform dry cleaned.

I'm still trying to figure out what "whiteness" is and why I should care. The conversation was so surreal that it made me step back and wonder just what it was we were discussing in practical terms.

If I had to name the one thing that motivates me, it's that I want life to be better for children. I want more of them to have opportunities to have fun in sports, do well in school and have less stress in their lives. When I coached Little League, for example, I would take the fatherless boys to professional hitting and pitching lessons. Almost all of them were terrible players who became good players after a lesson or two. The difference it made in their self-worth was huge. Unhappy became happy.

If that's your goal, more success-fed happiness for kids, where does whiteness come in? In all my years doing this, I never saw any traces of racism anywhere, but I saw a lot of fatherless children in pain.

Population statistics are by their nature crude measures of what it's like to be a member of one of the bars in a histogram, but I would argue that they will work as a rough proxy when looking for causes. Dig this graphic from BlackDemographics.com.


I'm sorry, but after looking at this, I still don't get the whole whiteness and white supremacy panic. Kids growing up with a single mom are hosed and after that, I really don't care and don't understand why I should. From that table, it looks to me like traditional families have the disposable income and probably the spare time to help their kids succeed.

Pardon the descent into Godwin territory, but the whole thing has a strong Nazi feel to it. Instead of Jews, it's whiteness as the mysterious, all-powerful force oppressing der Volk. The only difference I can detect is that the modern, race-obsessed progressives don't have any real ambition. Instead of wanting to militarily crush whiteness, they just want to scream it into submission. It's a difference of degree, not kind.

Feel free to take me to task in the comments for that analogy. It's been leaping out at me more and more as I read about whiteness paranoia freakouts in our universities. When I start thinking about the practical aspects of the thing, it really seems Nazi. If I was an 8-year-old boy and I woke up every day in a world permeated by "whiteness," I don't think I'd be affected nearly as much as if I woke up every day in a household without my dad. When you care more about race than children, I think there is something dreadfully wrong.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Dallas From 10,000 Feet

I shot this during one of my flights last night and rather liked it. I think it might be worth a click. Enjoy!

Friday, October 27, 2017

Ice Cubes

I'm back on the East Coast, giving talks and pontificating in an annoying manner. The crew and I call it "playing concerts" and I like to go with the Van Halen motif. My brains are a bit scrambled today, too much so for a real blog, so I'll leave you with this quote from my wannabe-professional-alter-ego. Enjoy.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Advertising

I'm on Untappd. I like to try new beers, particularly IPAs. Untappd connects with your Twitter account. Every 5 beers of a particular style, it gives you a trophy or medal or something like that and posts it to your Twitter account, if you let it. I let it.

Recently, I crossed the Level 70 mark on IPAs. IPAs are my passion. That means I've tried more than 350 different IPAs.

Restaurants have started asking me for beer recommendations on Twitter.

It makes me wonder what might have happened if I had focused the topics on this blog 12+ years ago. Oh well.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

A Forest Through The Clouds

Flying back to the East Coast today, I got this shot. I like the effect, but sadly, I don't think you can see some of the leaves changing color below like I could in person. Oh well. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Tough Guys Read Fairy Tales

... and delicate snowflakes read dystopian fiction.
The past few decades have seen a profusion of “young adult” fiction—books written for a teenage audience—which seem to have a peculiar obsession with future dystopias.

There’s the one where everything is controlled by the Capitol and teenagers are forced to fight to the death for a televised audience. There’s the one where teens are locked into a narrow career path for life based on their apparent aptitudes, which seems like a perfect way to capitalize on the anxieties of college-bound kids in the later stages of the higher education bubble. There’s the one where emotions have been outlawed, the one where teenagers are forced to run through a giant maze for some reason, and so on.
I would argue that the reason for the glamorization of zombies, criminal violence and apocalypses is that our bellies are full, there are roofs over our heads and we don't really have any existential threats. Heck, you can stay on your parents' health insurance until age 26. Back in the day, lots of folks didn't have health insurance at all. When life is dystopian, you don't read dystopian.

P. J. O'Rourke said it well in his essay about Somalia in All the Trouble in the World. In the snippet below, a bunch of reporters are sitting around, drinking on a New Year's Eve in Mogadishu.
Still, we thought, this wasn't the worst New Year's Eve we'd ever spent. We had a couple more drinks. We certainly weren't worried about ecological ruin, shrinking white-collar job market, or fear of intimacy. All that "modern era anomie" disappears with a dose of Somalia. Fear cures anxiety. The genuinely alien banishes alienation. It's hard for existential despair to flourish where actual existence is being snuffed out at every tum. Real Schmerz trumps Weltschmerz.
When I was a young pup just out of school, I had an elderly office mate who had grown up on a dry-dirt farm in Kansas in the 1930s. He certainly didn't wallow in Death Metal music, Grand Theft Auto video games and stories about violent mutants in an eco-catastrophe future.

This just occurred to me: Wouldn't it be cool if they made a movie where the inhabitants of a post-apocalyptic world re-embraced the legends of King Arthur and fairy tales? It would be a lot closer to reality, I think.

When the world is tough, tough guys spend their lives thriving in the midst of big obstacles, they don't seek out fiction that echoes what they see all around them.

Yeah, I'm reading Arthur Rackham's Red Fairy Book. You got a problem with that?

Monday, October 23, 2017

When The Levee Breaks

... the flood waters come in. Dig this article from a former NPR CEO wherein he describes a year spent among the normals, far away from his liberal bubble. One tidbit will suffice for this discussion.
I spent many Sundays in evangelical churches and hung out with 15,000 evangelical youth at the Urbana conference. I wasn’t sure what to expect among thousands of college-age evangelicals, but I certainly didn’t expect the intense discussion of racial equity and refugee issues — how to help them, not how to keep them out — but that is what I got.
Like everyone else in the US, I've spent my life marinating in progressive lectures from the media, entertainment and academia. Recently, I've taken to following second-string progressive thinkers and politicians on Twitter, just to get of sense of how they think, what is important to them and to make sure I'm not living in a bubble.

The progressives all see me as evil. I'm racist, sexist and homophobic. I hate immigrants and Muslims. They are fighting against a massive tide of hate, at least in their minds. That's where the quote above is so destructive. Once you realize the normals aren't full of hate, what do you have left? Debt? Social pathologies? Crime? Mountains of dead babies outside of the Planned Parenthood abortion mills?

Blue states like Illinois are in serious financial trouble because they followed blue policies. The workers' paradise of Venezuela is in full meltdown. The actresses who lectured us on Trump's misogyny were covering up for Weinstein's worse misogyny all along. Obamacare is in its death-throes and it's hard to find defenders of the previous administration's foreign policy outside of the Ivy League idiots who constructed the mess. Black America is an ultra-blue, self-inflicted train wreck of violence, failure and suffering.

Oh sure, the hard results of the progressives' work have been less than ideal, but you have to realize that all this time, they were fighting against the forces of hate.
I certainly didn’t expect the intense discussion of racial equity and refugee issues — how to help them, not how to keep them out — but that is what I got
If the normals are motivated by love and concern instead of hate, then what do you really have left?

It's best just to flip them off and seal up the levee as best you can. Otherwise the whole construction of the progressive world view will dissolve in the flood.

Here we see progressives fleeing for safer locations such as universities and late-night indoctrination talk shows.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

A Rule Of Thumb About Rallies

If there are weddings with more guests the same weekend in the same town as the number of people at your rally, then you're not a big player on the national scene and don't deserve news media attention.

Well, that is unless you reinforce one of their pet narratives. Then you'll get wall-to-wall coverage even if you can only bring 80 people to your event.

The annual March for Life is massive, numbering in the hundreds of thousands, but it gets nowhere near the media attention as a couple of dozen white supremacists.
The news media needs the white supremacists. It's a wonder they don't hire people to go to their rallies to juice the numbers.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

It's Going To Be A Good Weekend

... because the Toon won.

I swear, when my teams win, the weekends are sunny, warm and fun. When they lose, the skies are grey and the wind whips cold air that knifes through my clothes.

Yes, I'm crazy, but in a good way.

Smile on, lad. You've captured the way I feel right now.
This is what sports are supposed to be. It's too bad the NFL has decided to scream at me instead of bring me joy.

Friday, October 20, 2017

A Crisis Of Faith

This little tidbit goes a long way towards explaining the unhinged rage of the left these days.
A University of Connecticut professor is calling for a “more expansive inclusion of feminism” by colleges to help female students recognize the oppression they face.

Cristina Mogro-Wilson, who teaches social work at UConn, surveyed 118 students pursuing a Masters in Social Work (MSW) degree and found that the overwhelming majority of respondents—94 percent of whom were women—do not believe that “discrimination and subordination” are “salient issues in women’s lives.”
The women who said that the patriarchy and its oppression weren't a big deal had gone through 5-6 years of indoctrination in a field, many of whose courses were designed for no other purpose than to instill in them the catechism of social justice which is predicated on belief in this oppression.

This is a bigger religious collapse than anything American Catholics are experiencing. At least most of our fallen-away members still believe in God. They just don't come to Mass any more.

As the faithful fall away, the remaining zealots become more zealous and seal off their worlds from heresies to prevent further erosion. That's why we have late-night talk show hosts flipping off Trump voters or saying they don't see a need to talk to them. That's why the NFL players are allowed to kneel, but the Dallas Cowboys couldn't put stickers on their helmets to honor fallen cops. Everything is collapsing in the real world, so the preaching has to become more strident and less tolerant to make up for it.

Well, that's my thinking at least.

Jimmy Kimmel reading from Ta-Nehisi Coates as his opening monologue about 6 months from now.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Applauding Intolerance

I had a couple of longer posts in mind dealing with this issue, but this one will provide kind of a meta-take on what I'm seeing. I'm in a hurry and don't have links for these, but they are all Googleable.
  • Jimmy Kimmel recently said "riddance" to Trump supporters and said he really didn't want to have a conversation with them.
  • Seth Meyers flipped off Trump supporters on air.
  • The Princeton newspaper posted an editorial that said, in essence, that conservatives shouldn't be granted free speech because their ideas are horrible.
I could go on, but it's worth noting that the first two were met with applause and approval. These are the very definition of closed-mindedness and that from the progressives who pride themselves on being open-minded.

Obviously, that's rubbish. 

What amazes me about this is that you can't convert people without talking to them. If you won't converse with them and not just preach, you can't change minds. The MC Escher attitude of the left would make more sense if they were coming from a position of power, but they're not. I don't think Republicans have ever been this powerful in terms of elected positions held.

So the left is historically weak and is determined to lock themselves in a tiny room with only themselves. I can't make heads or tails of it. The only thing I can think is something I've said here before - they've become a suicide cult.

There's no way out if you won't talk to people who think differently.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

In Which I Destroy And Annihilate The Pro-Choice Argument

So a sci-fi writer I've never heard of has utterly destroyed and annihilated and smushed under his boots the pro-life argument. Here's the conundrum he used to zap us hypocritical pro-lifers:
There's a fire and you have the choice of saving a 5-year-old or 1000 viable embryos. Which do you choose?
Of course, all the lying, scumbag, misogynist religious fanatics pick the kid instead of the embryos, proving beyond the shadow of a doubt that they don't really see the embryos as human. Or something like that.

So now that we've done that, let me utterly destroy and annihilate and smush under my boots the pro-choice argument.
You're a time traveler in 1904 Germany. A woman is pregnant with a child who you know will kill Hitler in 1936. She insists of getting an abortion. Do you prevent it and force her to take the baby to term? No one else can kill Hitler because of the time-space continuum or Boyle's Law or the thermocoupler on the warp drive has gone into singularity. Her baby is your only hope.
Or maybe this one, made specially for a sci-fi dude:
You're on a spaceship carrying the last survivors of Earth to a new home planet. All of the women are pregnant, but each can only carry this baby to term and never have another. All of the ones pregnant with girls want abortions. Do you force them to give birth?
Or how about this:
You're on an undiscovered island in the Pacific where there are dinosaurs. There's a balloon on the north side of the island and a life raft on the south side. You only have enough battery left in your phone to make it to one before you can no longer play Bubble Blast. On the balloon is a new battery, in the life raft there's an inverter and power supply, but only enough fuel for an hour of charging. You're carrying corn and a fox and there's a duck nearby. A wizard shows up out of nowhere, riding a Kodiak bear and demands your shoes. Do you try drawing to the inside straight or do you bluff and not ask for any new cards?
Oh yeah, I forgot, you were playing poker with someone and they're going to do something horrible if you lose and then the world will burst into flames or you'll die of boredom or get scabies, I can't remember which.
And that's how you destroy and annihilate and smush an argument. You're welcome.

Remember, as you're playing poker, you're surrounded by dinosaurs. That's just like what happens when a woman is prevented from getting an abortion.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Monday, October 16, 2017

SDSU Gear Is Offensive To Me

I was thinking about the support for "Merry Christmas!" from The Donald that I posted yesterday. I came up with an analogy for the people who object to calling those decorated pines "Christmas Trees" and the rest of that nonsense.

As a wannabe Southern boy, I'm a big LSU fan. I live in San Diego. I am a distinct minority. On college game days, I see lots and lots of people in SDSU gear. If I got offended at that, I'd go see a therapist, I wouldn't demand everyone else change to be more "inclusive." This whole objection to Christmas is idiocy.

Counter argument 1: Religion is different! Think of how the atheists feel.

Rebuttal: The atheists think it's all fairy tales anyway. The thought that I'd object to fairy tales is similarly stupid.

Counter argument 2: Religion is different! Think of how the Jews or Muslims feel!

Rebuttal: A college football game lasts 3 hours, not including tailgating. A religious service is typically an hour or so. Most people don't even go to their services every week. I'd say college football is a bigger deal than religion. Further, it's not uncommon to see drunken fights in the stands at a game. That's pretty uncommon in church. It looks like college football engenders more passion than religion.

Conclusion

SDSU gear needs to be restricted to college-football-free-speech-zones. After this weekend's loss to Boise State, I might find a lot of support for that idea.



Sunday, October 15, 2017

So. Much. Winning.


Winning the culture war for us normals is YUGE.

Wiping out ISIS is good, too. "Kill them all" turns out to have been a better strategy than whatever it was we were doing before. "ISIS facing imminent collapse in Syria's Raqqa" is a good headline to read.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Sleepy

Sometimes you need to see a picture of a Chihuahua mix snuggled up in bed.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Aw, Shucks, I Love You, Too

I saw this in traffic the other day and was touched.

Wait, they were thinking of me, right?

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Free Speech For Nazis

On Twitter, I recently started following an NPR guy who specializes in racial issues. By specializes, I mean he is utterly obsessed with der Volk. In this case, his Volk. Reading his Twitter feed is a trip through the looking glass. Everything makes sense locally, but when referenced against wider reality, it's almost all deliberate distortions.

Recently he mentioned by retweet that "Detroit is 80% Black. And 33% of the city’s 230,000+ jobs are held by Black Detroiters" and linked to the Detroit Free Press article from which the statistic came.

I followed the article link and then read its predecessor. At the NPR dude's local level, it looks like whoever is doing the hiring is racist. However, there are no demographics given on the people doing the hiring, so it's impossible to verify the implicit charge of racism. Furthermore, in the article is this tidbit.
Why those jobs, those company relocations or expansions, haven't resulted in more widespread employment for Detroiters -- it's complicated. Twenty-two percent of Detroiters lack a high school diploma; 33% have a high school diploma or a GED. Just 7% have an associate's degree, and 13% have bachelor's degree or higher, according to the Detroit Future City report.

Companies hired to build the new hockey arena say they can't find sufficient Detroit residents with experience in the skilled trades to meet city-mandated hiring quotas for the project's construction.
As there are no direct quotes from the employers it's hard to figure out what's happening. After all, it's not the applicants decision process that's being questioned here, it's the employers'.

Following the link to the previous story in the series, you get this tidbit.
Contractors building Little Caesars Arena have paid some $2.9 million to workforce training funds as required by being unable to find enough Detroit residents to work on the mammoth construction project.
That directly contradicts the implications of the tweet and therein lies the problem. The facts appear to be these: black Detroiters lack skills, work needs to be done, the employers hire as many Detroiters as they can and then pay fines to provide training for the unskilled. It's kind of hard to find racism in all of that. It sounds pretty benign to me.

Mein Kampf is a racial screed of epic proportions. It's filled with generalizations without data, cherry-picked anecdotes and opinion masquerading as fact. The more I read the NPR dude's Twitter feed, the more parallels I see. The only thing lacking is international ambitions. Mr. NPR doesn't seem to have a goal outside of getting his audience worked up with racial paranoia.

And this is why we need to let the Nazis have their rallies. If we don't, NPR may find itself without a platform from which they can howl at the rest of us.

I think this is an NPR board meeting. I could be wrong.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Biology Wins

Biology always wins. Catalyzed by the Harvey Weinstein revelations, lots of skeletons are starting to come out of closets in Hollywood and elsewhere.

Dig these tweets from a successful writer who was sexually and emotionally abused by an unscrupulous, powerful man. It's part of a series of tweets which is well worth your time. They describe her experiences and how other men in the industry didn't stand up for her and why she couldn't do it for herself.
Where did chivalry go, Carina? Where were those knights in shining armor ready, willing and able to do battle for a lady? Why are you facing powerful men all on your own?

Because we asked for that. We approved of that. We didn't want all of the restrictions, restraints and self-denial that is required from both sexes to civilize men. We don't civilize ourselves naturally. Women and religion civilize us. Left to our own devices, we become Harvey Weinsteins or pusillanimous weasels who allow the Harveys to dominate women. It's pretty hard to find a primitive or pagan society where women were much more than property*.

If you want the freedoms of the court of Caligula, don't expect any Lancelots.

'How Sir Lancelot slew the knight Sir Peris de Forest Savage that did distress ladies, damosels and gentlewoman.' from 'The Romance of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table', illustration by Arthur Rackham (1867-1939).
* - So much for Indigenous Peoples Day, eh, Carina?

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

A Day Late And A Wampum Short

So yesterday was Indigenous Peoples Day when we celebrate the diversity that comes from digging for tubers in the dirt with sticks. Or something like that. A typical celebrant posted to Twitter an image of a gorgeous Indian Princess flipping the camera the bird with a predictable message directed at Christopher Columbus. The Native Babe was wearing makeup, had her eyebrows perfectly sculpted, delicate silver jewelry and elegant clothes made in a factory. Her teeth were perfect and white.

That's exactly the image you think of when you think of the pre-Columbus American Indians, isn't it?

I made a snarky reply, but upon further reflection, I could have come back with a two-word response.

Kumeyaay orthodontia.

Oh yeah, I'll bet dentistry with rocks as surgical implements was a big hit with the locals here in San Diego, circa 1490 AD. If that isn't a thing of great pride to throw in the face of the descendants of the Euro-invaders, nothing is.

Welcome to the office of Dr. Mokopa. Please be seated, the doctor will be with you soon.

Monday, October 09, 2017

Bump Stocks And Motives

A few thoughts on the reactions to the Las Vegas Massacre.

Bump Stocks


I didn't know what a bump stock was until a week ago. Now, right-wing pundits I respect are telling me that they're the only things keeping Barack Obama from invading my house and eating our dogs. Meanwhile, a gun expert says the things are a novelty at best as they make the gun terribly inaccurate. The only real way to use them is to spray bullets into crowds.

Why are they legal?

Motives and Evil


Andrew Klavan, whom I adore, penned a very unusual piece of idiocy on the matter of Las Vegas and gun control.
Mollie Hemingway said something on the Special Report panel that was so compassionate and illuminating, it cooled my outrage. "We're pretending we're having a debate about gun control," Mollie said, "but we're really having a debate about the nature of evil and whether a big enough government can contain it." It was an observation so womanly wise that a mere news discussion couldn't address it. The rest of the panel ignored her and the talk immediately turned to the utterly meaningless effort to ban bump stocks.

But of course, she was right: that's exactly what we're really talking about. The left sneers at conservatives for "doing nothing," but conservatism understands the tragedy of the fallen world: we can only choose between freedom with evil and slavery with evil, because no government is large enough to make evil go away.
One part is right, a government large enough to prevent all evil turns us into slaves. The other part is wrong and stupid. Bump stocks should be banned and taking them away isn't going to lead to progressive overseers whipping us.

Motives and Guns


Mark Steyn, another pundit I love, went full nut job on the topic of the motives of the killer. He approvingly quoted someone who said that the lack of a manifesto or a past history of extremism meant that the guns themselves were the message. The guy had a pile of guns, all bought legally. His massacre was a deliberate gift to the gun control crowd.

So a man who is that much against gun violence killed 50+ and wounded hundreds to prevent gun violence? Are you insane?

My explanation: He shot the people and kept quiet about it because that's what the voices in his head told him to do.

Gun Control


Finally, we come to the left. I won't bother to quote all the hate-filled screeds and cries for Second Amendment advocates to die, die, die. Instead, the message I hear is that the same people who want to prevent Ben Shapiro and Charles Murray from speaking on college campuses promise that they won't go full tyranny on us if we just disarm peacefully.

Right. We'll get back to you on that.

Conservatives reply to Las Vegas: You can have my Hummel 150mm schwere Panzerhaubitze auf Gesch├╝tzwagen III when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers.

Sunday, October 08, 2017

I'm Not Sure About Uber

... not because the rides were bad or late, but because of what it allowed me to do.

I went to a bachelor party last night where we hit a pair of craft beer bars. The gang went on to a third and maybe more, but I bailed after two. Drinks were bought, the conversation was interesting and fun was had. Too much fun. Because I had taken Uber instead of driving, there was effectively no limit to what I could consume other than biochemistry. While I enjoyed the company, I didn't enjoy having too much to drink. I would have had a better time if I'd stopped at two pints.

Therein lies the trouble with Uber. It removes the guard rails completely. It's not just Uber, of course, it's taxis, Lyft and all the other ways of getting home without driving. A designated driver changes the equation because it means at least one member of the crew is stone cold sober and can act as a friendly conscience and try to prevent you from imbibing too freely. After all, it's his car that's going to get trashed if everyone is completely blotto.

While I love craft beer and having a good time with the lads, this just isn't my scene. The last time  I did something like this was about 30 years ago. I'm thinking another 30-year hiatus would be a good idea.

Saturday, October 07, 2017

Bachelor Party Tonight

.. and I'm going to Uber it for the first time. Old dogs, new tricks.

We know the couple very well and love them both. We laughingly call the bride-to-be our daughter and she calls us mom and dad. They're both a lot of fun.

So anyways, the guy calls me up while I'm shampooing the carpets in the middle of a Santa Ana. He tells me we're going beer-bar-hopping. I replied, "It's about a hundred degrees here and I'm cleaning the carpets because my wife asked me to do it. It's not too late! Save yourself! Don't make the same mistake I did!"

"She's right here in the room and can hear what you're saying."

Pause.

"Make the same mistake I did!"

:-)

Tomorrow: Hangover blogging!

Friday, October 06, 2017

Let's All Yell At Each Other!

This is a follow-up to yesterday's post and kind of an endorsement for libertarianism.

Social media after a tragedy like Las Vegas: Someone you don't know does something horrible to someone else you don't know and you start yelling orders at other people you don't know, demanding they take action or change their opinions about something.

Really?

How about if we just try to help if we can and do as little yelling at each other as possible.

(Says the guy with the blog and Twitter account that routinely yells demands at people he doesn't know.)

Thursday, October 05, 2017

The Mass Shooting In Las Vegas

... is not a time to whip out our favorite political hobby horses. It is a time for falling into the arms of the Eternal Love.

If you think this finally makes your point about laws and regulations or illustrates the need for liberty and rights, get over it. It doesn't. It shows the need for love, forgiveness and understanding.


And if some crazy blogger who uses his deceased cat as a pen name isn't enough, here's St. Teresa of Calcutta accepting the Nobel Peace Prize. If that's not a mic drop, nothing is.