Getting Back to the Open Thread

I was working on a good, fantastic, fabulous open thread for Monday Morning – but as I’m on vacation, that didn’t work out…so, here it is, later in the day, and I have some more things I’ve been thinking about.

…The duelists had from their own point of view escaped or conquered the chief powers of the modern world. They had satisfied the magistrate, they had tied the tradesman neck and heels, and they had left the police behind. As far as their own feelings went they had melted into a monstrous sea; they were but the fare and driver of one of the million hansoms that fill London streets. But they had forgotten something; they had forgotten journalism. They had forgotten that there exists in the modern world, perhaps for the first time in history, a class of people whose interest is not that things should happen well or happen badly, should happen successfully or happen unsuccessfully, should happen to the advantage of this party or the advantage of that part, but whose interest simply is that things should happen.

It is the one great weakness of journalism as a picture of our modern existence, that it must be a picture made up entirely of exceptions. We announce on flaring posters that a man has fallen off a scaffolding. We do not announce on flaring posters that a man has not fallen off a scaffolding. Yet this latter fact is fundamentally more exciting, as indicating that that moving tower of terror and mystery, a man, is still abroad upon the earth. That the man has not fallen off a scaffolding is really more sensational; and it is also some thousand times more common. But journalism cannot reasonably be expected thus to insist upon the permanent miracles. Busy editors cannot be expected to put on their posters, “Mr. Wilkinson Still Safe,” or “Mr. Jones, of Worthing, Not Dead Yet.” They cannot announce the happiness of mankind at all. They cannot describe all the forks that are not stolen, or all the marriages that are not judiciously dissolved. Hence the complete picture they give of life is of necessity fallacious; they can only represent what is unusual. However democratic they may be, they are only concerned with the minority… G. K. Chesterton, The Ball and the Cross, Chapter IV.

Trigger Warning: the book was written more than 100 years ago and uses words and phrases which Precious Snowflakes Who Got Awards for Participation may find offensive. But, it is a good read for everyone else. And it pretty much in those two paragraphs demonstrates why paying attention to what the MSM wants you to see is not really wise.

The Chinese stock market crashed 8.5%! That is amazing for one trading day. It would be as if the U.S. stock market shed around 1,500 points in a day. I guess that even with injections of more funny money and the prospect of getting arrested if you sell hasn’t convinced China’s stock market to start going up.

Should Jonathan Pollard be released? Pollard has been in jail for decades. The article notes that Donald Rumsfeld doesn’t want him released – and a lot of people are on Rumsfeld’s side on this. To me, mercy triumphs over justice. Maybe it is time for Pollard to be released? Pollard becomes eligible for parole in November.

The Senate GOP leadership is, well, rather foolish. We know that they are in bed with big corporations and we know that they are largely Establishment drones who just want to go along to get alone (and, of course, so is the Senate Democrat leadership) – so, we know that they want to reauthorize that bit of corporate welfare known as the Export-Import Bank and they want their pork-laden highway bill. We in the base dig all that – and there’s no chance we’d ever actually like the GOP passing such things. But if they were to de-fund Planned Parenthood and take a big swipe at Obama’s Iran deal, we’d better deal with Ex-Im and the Iran deal actually happening. But, nothing doing – the GOP leadership by legislative hard-ball blocked conservative efforts to do both things…and then rammed through re-authorization of Ex-Im on the highway bill. Turns out, though, that the House GOP leadership (which is much more threatened by that tiresome, will-of-the-people thing), isn’t going to play along. Hey, Mitch – here’s a bit of advice: you have to play ball for things to get done. Just throw us a conservative bone once in a while…geesh!

Assad is hunkering down in his section of Syria and essentially writing off the parts controlled by the rebels. The reason for this? Fundamentally, because Syria isn’t a nation. Iraq isn’t a nation, either. Joe Biden caught a lot of flack when he suggested a post-war partition of Iraq, but it was about the only sensible thing he’s ever said. Syria and Iraq were drawn willy-nilly by Anglo-French imperialists in the post-WWI settlement. They are collections of different peoples with, often, very different ideas of what constitutes the good life. They were only held together – and held down – by imperial and dictatorial powers. Partition may be the only viable solution.

Governor Bruce Rauner (R-IL) is locked in a battle with the State’s government unions – who, of course, control the State Democrat party. This is a re-do of the battle in Wisconsin, but Rauner lacks a legislative majority as Walker had. The fundamental situation is the same – a bankrupt State government faces out of control spending forced through by government unions and their willing minions in elective office. It is either reform, or collapse – but the unions don’t care and insist the only way to go is more taxes and more spending. But Rauner isn’t backing down – and I’m certain that the Democrats/Unions will pull out all the stops. They have to. It was bad enough they were crushed in Wisconsin where the whole government was in Republican hands – but if they get crushed in Illinois where the Democrats control the Legislature, then it is game over for the government unions, and thus the whole idea of Big Government at the State level. Keep and eye on this one – and if Rauner pulls it off, pencil him in for 2024 (if the GOP wins next year) or 2020 (if it loses).

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14 thoughts on “Getting Back to the Open Thread

  1. Cluster July 28, 2015 / 10:27 am

    I too am on vacation in the mountains but still need to feed my political curiosity every now and then. I noticed this from far leftist Sally Kohn today in regards to the Louisiana shooting:

    Houser was steeped and stewing in right-wing xenophobic, homophobic, misogynist and racist hate. He was obviously crazy. It’s generally safe to assume everyone who commits mass murder is. But Houser was crazy and held some beliefs that were variations of more mainstream conservative beliefs. The roots of some of Houser’s political views are hard to distinguish from ideas espoused by many, if not most, of the candidates running for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination.

    So I say again, why do we even bother having a conversation with these people? Why would we consider even compromising with people like this? This woman, and this ideology needs to be shamed from public discourse.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2015/07/28/we-blame-minority-groups-for-individual-crimes-why-do-white-conservatives-get-a-pass/

  2. Amazona July 28, 2015 / 11:00 am

    Cluster, and everyone else, too—you need to read the new book by Kristen Powers, “The Silencing”. She has evolved into a pretty reasonable Liberal, and this book inclines me to consider her a liberal more than a Liberal. She is brutal in her analysis of the Left’s attacks on free speech and its demonization of anyone not in complete lockstep with hard-core Leftist ideology. I am reading it on a Nook and have been bookmarking pages, and I will have to learn how to go back to bookmarks, because I have several so far.

    She is very precise in her analysis of how the Left tries to delegitimize any dissent, engaging in character assassination and the kind of wild-eyed accusations made in your reference, above.

    As for your comment “This woman, and this ideology needs to be shamed from public discourse “—-this is an impossibility for a movement which literally has no shame. This is a movement which routinely engages in overt misogyny, racial hatred and epithets, and blatant lies. They literally have no capacity for shame. They glory in their hatreds, they strive to outdo each other in expressing their hatreds, they take pride in being the most outrageous and despicable in their accounts of the invented Other they depend on for their very identities.

    I suggest that the best approach to them is ridicule. After all, this overheated spewing of nonsense begs for a response that points out its utter ridiculousness.

    • M. Noonan July 28, 2015 / 9:22 pm

      Saw it coming in the 80’s with the first wave of political correctness – which is nothing more than a new phrase for “party line”. We’re only allowed to discuss things in terms approved by the left. If we want to remain free (or, indeed, become free, again) we have to break those chains. Charlie Hebdo is now refusing to draw Mohammed – because a lot of them got killed for doing it and no one stood up for them (marching in a demonstration doesn’t do the trick – you actually have to do something).

    • Cluster July 29, 2015 / 8:44 am

      I am not a big fan of Powers but plan on reading the book. Powers is a good example of a liberal Democrat who is finally realizing the dangers of the militant left. We need more of them to come around. And what is happening at planned parenthood is morally repugnant and possibly criminal. As a conservative I think we should focus on, and expose the aborted black babies and the harvesting of their organs and see just how much blacklivesmatter.

      • Retired Spook July 29, 2015 / 9:06 am

        Salon.com’s hysterical reaction not-withstanding, Sarah Palin had it right the other day:

      • M. Noonan July 29, 2015 / 11:36 am

        Does Salon ever not have an hysterical reaction? But, Sarah Palin is right…

      • Amazona July 29, 2015 / 11:12 am

        Cluster, read the book. I think you will be surprised. I think Powers is the kind of Dem we need to work on, someone whose inherent integrity will override her emotion-based allegiance to an emotion-based movement. She is open about believing in, and arguing for, abortion “rights” and Obamacare, but she is very very tough on Obama and his administration, on Liberal academics and the attacks on free speech in colleges, etc. Very tough. She doesn’t just list these things, she gives a very strong opinion on them.

        I expected a freak-out over the Palin post, which by the way I thought was brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.

  3. Retired Spook July 29, 2015 / 8:03 am

    In the wake of the attack on a recruiting center and Navy/Marine Corps Reserve Center in Chattanooga, TN, on July 16th, that left 4 marines and a sailor dead, a nationwide call went out from the President of Oath Keepers, as well as other veterans groups, asking for volunteers to protect facilities that have neither security nor the authorization to protect themselves. For the last week I’ve been part of a group of Veterans, mostly Oath Keepers, standing guard at the [Un] Armed Forces Recruiting Center in Glenbrook Commons Shopping Center in Fort Wayne, Indiana. We’ve had over a dozen guys who rotate in and out between 9AM and about 7PM as their daily schedules permit, and the local response has been extremely positive, from the recruiters themselves to enlistees and their families to ordinary citizens who have stopped to thank us for what we’re doing. Strangers have come up and donated water, food, money, and one family even donated a portable sun shelter, which was greatly appreciated by those who got sunburned on the first day.

    Every day there have been calls from someone in the Defense Dept. asking us to step down, but, since we’re stationed in the parking lot and have the permission and blessing of the property manager and all the store owners and overwhelming support of the public, the only way they’re going to get us to leave is to show a little honor and either defend the people who are serving or allow them to defend themselves. The fact that they’re unwilling to do either shows just how little the lives of those who defend our liberty mean to both their military and civilian bosses.

    • Amazona July 29, 2015 / 11:18 am

      I’m still in a state of disbelief that the military will not allow its members to be armed. It flies in the face of reason. It is more bizarre than Orwell might have contemplated, more like something Lewis Carrol might have dreamed up in an opium haze. We screen applicants for the military, choose the best and the brightest, train them extensively in the use of weaponry (including safety) and then we pick the best and the brightest OF the best and the brightest to represent our armed forces in recruitment centers—and then advertise to our enemies that these fine men and women are unarmed, are sitting ducks for any America-hater to come shoot down.

      If this was presented as a screenplay twenty or thirty years ago it would be thrown out as too unbelievable even for Hollywood. Yet it is reality in Obama’s America.

    • M. Noonan July 29, 2015 / 11:35 am

      I don’t think its even a matter so much of whether or not the troops can defend themselves, or be defended – the problem is that this was an act of Islamist terrorism workplace violence…and you know we don’t have that problem any more, right? Obama has responsibly ended the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, al-Qaeda is decimated and ISIS is just the jay-vee team. To arm the troops would demonstrate absolutely that we are in war time situation…it would require action, especially action in the Middle East…and that would upset our new Partners for Peace in Tehran…

    • dbschmidt July 29, 2015 / 8:57 pm

      It must be something new in this now PC world because when I was on recruiting duty (1983-84) the senior person was armed by the armory and everyone else carried. These were normally kept in the desk drawers or vehicles during breaks but we did not have an issue with being unarmed.

      Now, apparently, with greater threats–some \ high up and protected thought it would be better to disarm our recruiters in the name of PC.

      May God save our souls.

      • Retired Spook July 29, 2015 / 10:03 pm

        DB, I think it’s more than just PC. To allow recruiters or reservists, or even active duty personnel on a military base to be armed is to admit that there’s a threat, and to admit there’s a threat is to admit that their policies have failed. I don’t want to paint everyone with a broad brush, but I also think there are people in high places in our government who place very little value on human life, and particularly on those in the military who they think of as stupid and beneath them.

  4. Retired Spook July 30, 2015 / 7:56 am

    I’m sure Hillary is hoping that, by the time the primaries roll around in January, Benghazi will be long forgotten. Guess not.

  5. Cluster July 30, 2015 / 8:22 am

    “Not even a smidgen of corruption”

    Judicial Watch released the first batch believed to be newly recovered emails of Lerner. The new documents show that Lerner and other top officials in the IRS, including soon-to-be Acting IRS Commissioner Steve Miller, closely monitored and approved the controversial handling of tax-exempt applications by Tea Party organizations. The documents also show that at least one group received an inquiry from the IRS in order to buy time and keep the organization from contacting Congress.

    http://www.judicialwatch.org/press-room/press-releases/federal-judge-threatens-to-hold-irs-commissioner-doj-lawyers-in-contempt-of-court-over-lerner/

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