Open Thread

Sorry I’ve been out! Been sick the past week. Much better now.

So, Stumbles McGramps can’t climb stairs. What’s the over/under before the Democrats push him out?

We were utterly humiliated by the Chinese in the Alaska meeting – this was the CCP telling Taiwan, India and Japan that, at least for the next four years, America is of no account in the world. We’ll see how the nations of Asia react to this – I suspect we’ll see even more arms buildup amongst them.

In the long term, I don’t mind that. As it turns out, it was a mistake for the United States to attempt to be the security guarantor for east Asia. It is the Pacific which is our concern as it is the moat for us – our concentration should always be on keeping the sea lanes open. Actually pushing back against China is the responsibility, primarily, of India and Japan. I do believe we should maintain our alliances, but we should make it clear to our allies that it is their responsibility to build sufficient military force to defend themselves. I actually urge Japan and Taiwan to build nuclear weapons.

As for us: I’ve become a peacenik quite a bit over the past few years – I’m tired of the American Empire. We gain no benefit from it and the cost in blood and treasure is high. But the worst long-term aspect of it is that the necessity of a National Security State has been turned against us – our police and intel agencies are now being used against domestic dissent. Abandon the Empire. Return the Army to its proper number and functions (and revive the State militia) and abolish the FBI, NSA and CIA.

Ron DeSantis continues to ride high – mostly because he was the first big State governor to buck the lockdowns. The Democrats are, of course, hitting him hard but the bottom line, no matter how you want to slice the data, is that Florida is no worse off (at least) than any other State as far as infections and deaths while their economy is booming. DeSantis has also learned how to push back against MSM lies nearly as much as Trump did. So, he’s got a leg up right now for 2024 (presuming he wins next year – which looks pretty certain).

Democrats in the House are working on annulling the results of the IA04 House race. I’m really a bit perplexed on this one. Sure, Democrats always grab whatever they can get away with – but it is just one seat. And the blowback they’ll get in Iowa and around the country if they seat the Democrat who lost could be horrific for them. I’m not sure if it is mere bloody mindedness, or they’ve got some internal polling showing that they could lose the House majority in special elections between now and 2022.

28 thoughts on “Open Thread

  1. Retired Spook March 20, 2021 / 4:33 pm

    We were utterly humiliated by the Chinese in the Alaska meeting

    At the end of the Obama era I recall someone, either Dick Cheney or Newt Gingrich, saying that, as a result of Obama’s foreign policy, our friends no longer respected us, and our enemies no longer feared us. Trump changed that, and in 2 short months “President Harris” has changed it back.

    • Amazona March 21, 2021 / 10:32 am

      There is a vague memory rattling around on the edges of my mind of a film of children playing store—they had a toy cash register and toy foods and they very seriously tried to imitate adults as they acted out their little imitation-of-grownups game.

      This is what this administration looks like to me. Oh, it has its sinister undertones of Leftist focus on remaking the nation, imposing its radical agendas on all of us and so on. But the impression of the White House and Democrat legislators is very much one of little kids playing grown-up. You would think that after all these years of obsessive focus on taking over the government they would have had a coherent plan for what to do if they succeeded. But they look surprised and confused by being faced with actually having to function. It’s as if all they had been thinking about was winning the election, with no plan in place for what they would do if they did. That is probably another example of TDS—-they were literally so obsessed with getting rid of Trump they never thought about what they would do if they succeeded.

      So they are fumbling and stumbling around obviously making it up as they go. The image of Uncle Gropey stumbling up the stairs is a perfect visual of the administration in general.

      I have no idea what the Republican legislators are thinking, if they are thinking at all. I couldn’t believe they confirmed Merrick Garland, after his bizarre confirmation hearing, unless they thought it was better to have an AG who is so befuddled and clueless he will be impotent rather than a hard-core ideologue like Eric Holder. The GOP looks kind of like it is willing to confirm incompetent place holders but hold the line on the truly dangerous. I hope they do have some kind of strategy in place—otherwise they are part of the problem.

  2. Retired Spook March 21, 2021 / 12:48 pm

    Biden’s stumbles up the steps to AF1 are spawning all sorts of hilarious videos.

    • Amazona March 21, 2021 / 7:53 pm

  3. dbschmidt March 21, 2021 / 1:12 pm

    Read an article the other day that was somewhat ominous but stuck in reality at the same time. I believe Hillary didn’t win last time because they didn’t cheat hard enough. Not that they didn’t but were surprised by the landslide of Pres. Trump hence all of the glitches this time around. With that said–a little from the article.

    The Progressives’ Fatal Conceit by Tyler O’Neil

    In part, starting back with Pres. Woodrow Wilson “The Progressive movement sought to apply the scientific method to politics and the administration of human beings.”

    “This class of administrative experts would govern more effectively than the people through their elected representatives, Progressives argued. While the people could vote for presidents and Congresses to direct the goals of the administration, the vast bureaucracy would tell the people what was good for them.”

    • Amazona March 21, 2021 / 1:17 pm

      In a very similar vein I recommend this. I’ve never read Thomas Carlyle but after running across this I think I will check out his writings. We have romanticized the French Revolution so much it is important to see it through a less giddy, less Leftist, perspective. This is an excellent article: The Gospel of Jean-Jacques

      Sentimental visions of utopia lead to atrocity and horror. So has it been in subsequent revolutions arising from utopianism in Russia, China, Cambodia, and other lands. So might it be in our own land if recent trajectories prevail.

  4. dbschmidt March 21, 2021 / 2:03 pm

    Blatantly stolen from another site:

    “I really think it is time to take the warning labels off of everything and let stupidity work itself out of the gene pool.”

    and while I am ~~stealing~~ acquiring things:

    “Only a ~~white man~~ the American Government would cut two inches from the top of a blanket, sew it on to the bottom, and think he now has a longer blanket.”

    • Amazona March 21, 2021 / 7:57 pm

      Change that to “…only a Democrat…” and you have nailed it.

    • Amazona March 22, 2021 / 10:51 am

      I’ve been saying for years that we need to stop meddling with Darwinism and let the gene pool flush itself instead of protecting those who really shouldn’t be contributing to future generations.

  5. Amazona March 23, 2021 / 11:57 am

    I don’t expect a big media storm about the tragic shooting in Boulder yesterday. For a while it held promise for the Agenda Media vultures, but as facts started to come out it started to lose its value to the Left. For one thing, the shooting took place in the least gun-friendly place in Colorado. Boulder is located near a geological formation known as the Flatirons, and as far back as the 60s it was known as “Berkeley by the Flatirons”. Then it came out that the shooter was not using a pistol, but a “long gun”. Rats. They haven’t been lobbying to restrict long guns. Unless, of course, the long gun was equipped with the kind of attachments that would make it far more lethal, dangerous and terrifying, such as an open stock or (gasp!) muzzle break, which is well known to add to the lethality of a rifle. There is always the possibility that the long gun in question WAS the threat to all mankind, the deadly AR-15, which would give the media hyenas something to chew on.

    And we still haven’t had a chance to find out if the shooter had invested in large-capacity magazines. I say “invested” because some Colorado legislator (Possibly Diana DeGette) has helpfully explained that a magazine can only be used once, so owning a few can be expensive. Fortunately Biden still hasn’t been able to push through one of his pet agendas, that of forcing American gun owners to register their ‘high capacity’ magazines under the National Firearms Act, as well. This means that, as it stands, American gun owners would ALSO have to pay $200 per high-capacity magazine they own.

    But the real deal breaker is the identity of the shooter—–Ahmad Alyssa, Doesn’t sound hopeful. If only he had been wearing a MAGA hat…..

  6. Amazona March 23, 2021 / 12:22 pm

    What’s the over/under before the Democrats push him out?

    I’m starting to think the Dems don’t want to push him out. They scored their SJW points by getting a female woman of color in as VP but that doesn’t mean they want her to be president. Especially now that she is proving to be such a disaster in this role. Her ineptness at answering even softball questions and her go-to response of that fingernail-on-the-blackboard cackle are really undermining any enthusiasm for her taking over the top spot. Even a candidate for high school class president would have been able to answer the question “Are you going to visit the border?” with a resolute “Absolutely. This is important and I will be looking into it personally.” But not Kammy, whose shrill laughter is already being ridiculed a mere three months into this administration.

    They sent her out to talk to national leaders and I have a feeling the reports on how well that went were not good. At least they haven’t been doing that lately. In the meantime Joe is failing faster than they thought he would, Jill is a terrible First Lady, and the poor Dems are stuck with one of the worst decisions they have ever made. Not that they had much of a choice.

    I just saw someone on TV saying that on Inauguration Day he saw ads for a law firm “employing” Frank Biden advertising their connection to the president. At some point the Hunter Biden thing has got to come up, and with it the Joe Biden involvement. His bungling of relations with Russia and his sucking up to China are not only more and more obvious, there is more and more concern about the utter stupidity of setting up a relationship between those two nations, with a weakened United States on the other side.

    Buyer’s Remorse is setting in fast and hard, just about Joe, and I don’t think the Dems are too thrilled about replacing him with someone even less competent and more distasteful. If I were writing a screenplay about this it would not involve killing the president but getting rid of the VP so a better person could be named, making it possible to depose the pres. I think right now, long-term, Harris poses a bigger threat to the Dems than Biden does. The only thing propping up Biden and Harris is the spectacle of the third person in line for the presidency, and nothing could be worse than a President Pelosi.

    • Retired Spook March 23, 2021 / 12:40 pm

      In the meantime Joe is failing faster than they thought he would

      Literally and figuratively. You may recall that my wife fell bringing Christmas decorations up from the basement in 2017. She fell backwards only 3 or 4 steps from the bottom — broke her collar bone and her thumb. Unlike the stairs to AF1 and the tarmac, our stairs and floor are carpeted. Can you imagine if Joe had fallen backward instead of forward? We’d be addressing Kamala as Madam President.

  7. Amazona March 25, 2021 / 8:13 am

    A great tweet in a thread responding to Ted Cruz’s great comment to the squishie reporter who said it would make him “feel better” if Ted were to wear a mask”

    The list of things accomplished by mask wearing:
    Making a certain segment of the population FEEL better. That’s it. That’s the whole list.

  8. Amazona March 25, 2021 / 8:51 am

    Mandy Connell has a talk show on KOA radio in Denver, and she also has a blog. This is from her blog from Wednesday, March 24:

    A SHORT ESSAY ON MASS SHOOTINGS, COGNITIVE DISSONANCE AND DOING SOMETHING One of my favorite emailers sent me this yesterday and he told me I could share it. It’s a short note by Joe:

    Cognitive dissonance and gun control

    Why is the immediate response to many tragic shooting incidents an immediate cry (and proposals) for “More Gun Controls” even when the data shows that none of what is being called for/proposed would have prevented the tragedy? The answer lies in what psychologists call “Cognitive dissonance”

    Evolution and nature have trained us to make a safe environment for ourselves and our families. That is why we lock our doors at night and put new batteries in our smoke detectors once a year. Those members of our species that didn’t follow this instinct fell prey to various threats over the past millennium. Cognitive dissonance (psychological stress) occurs when new information is received that challenges or conflicts with existing beliefs or values. When that occurs, the human instinct is to minimize the conflict. A smoker who knows smoking is bad for you suffers from cognitive dissonance every time they buy a pack of cigarettes or lights up a cigarette. They try and minimize the conflict by telling themselves that “not everybody who smokes gets cancer” or by buying the ultra-light version, believing that those cigarettes are not as harmful as regular cigarettes. So now we come to mass murders of innocent kids in school or strangers in public places. The fact that you, your kids or your entire family could be killed in less than minute, with no warning, by a total stranger in a public place sets up a cognitive dissonance event that conflicts with your beliefs that you have created a safe environment for your family and/or that the government should be able to keep you safe and that you should be able to live your life without the fear of harm by others. Just like the smoker who buys ultra-light cigarettes, the need to reduce the level of cognitive dissonance results in the natural instinct to do something, anything, regardless of the ultimate effectiveness of that action. Those governed by emotion will fixate on the tool (the gun) and not deal with the fact that a crazy or evil person can always find a way to commit mass murder, even without a gun. The terrorist who drove a truck into the Bastille Day crowd in Nice France in 2016 killed 86 and injured another 458. Why fixate on the gun? Trying to control the access to the type and quantity of the tool provides the person ruled by emotion with a tangible course of action, which, if achieved, will reduce the level of cognitive dissonance associated with the perceived threat to him and his family, even if achieving that goal hasn’t actually reduced the threat. Those ruled by rational thought and a broad knowledge of the many ways to create mass casualties without a gun understand that further restricting access to various types of guns won’t meaningfully reduce the threat to ourselves and our families because the threat is not the gun, the threat is the evil/crazy person.

    We have reduced our cognitive dissonance not by lobbying for more gun controls but by altering our beliefs and accepting the fact that there is no way to create and live in an environment that is 100% safe for ourselves and our families and that we can’t control the actions of those who evil/crazy people who wish to do us harm.

    So lobbying for more gun controls is a coping mechanism used by those ruled by emotion in an effort to reduce their cognitive dissonance with regard to how dangerous the world is vs. how they believe it should be. The alternative would be for them to acknowledge that the world is a dangerous place and that you can’t protect yourself or your family from the random acts of evil or crazy people. Getting people to discard their belief systems is not an easy thing to do, hence the 50 year (and never ending) cry for more gun controls.

    He’s not wrong.

    Trying to control the access to the type and quantity of the tool provides the person ruled by emotion with a tangible course of action, which, if achieved, will reduce the level of cognitive dissonance associated with the perceived threat to him and his family, even if achieving that goal hasn’t actually reduced the threat.

    • Amazona March 25, 2021 / 10:21 am

      In other words, it makes him FEEL better, and like mask-wearing, it’s all about the emotion and indifferent to fact.

  9. Amazona March 25, 2021 / 12:07 pm

    You all might be interested in following the New Civil Liberties Alliance at

    This is a non-profit group focused on fighting overregulation.

    Administrative power deprives Americans of their freedom to govern themselves through laws made solely by legislators of their own choosing. It denies them their freedom to be tried only in courts, by judges who exercise independent judgment. It undermines almost all the Constitution’s procedural rights, including jury rights and the due process of law. And it facilitates the suppression of substantive rights, such as those of speech and religion.

  10. Amazona March 25, 2021 / 12:20 pm

    As much as I hate to promote anything to do with Colbert, my Dana Carvey fandom won out. And this is great.

    • Retired Spook March 25, 2021 / 1:09 pm

      Very funny. I’m surprised Colbert was laughing.

  11. Retired Spook March 25, 2021 / 2:15 pm

    I’m not sure what they’ve done with the real Joe Biden, but the one giving the press conference is someone we haven’t seen or heard in at least 5 years. I’m not going to be shocked if we find out that all the questions were pre-arranged, and Joe has spent the last two weeks memorizing the answers or having someone feed them to him through an earpiece. Some one with the cognitive problems that he’s displayed in the last couple of years doesn’t all of the sudden fully recover.

    • Amazona March 25, 2021 / 3:00 pm

      Trump once commented something I had already thought of—–that there are times it looks like Biden is on some kind of stimulant. That kind of thing can only work sometimes. Add that to rehearsal and practice and coaching as he goes along and I can see how he might come across as at least marginally competent.

      Consider this—is there any reason at all to fake the bewilderment, confusion and general appearance of being mentally impaired if it is not true? Is there any long term strategy for encouraging us to think he is cognitively disabled?

      I can’t think of one. But if there IS one, then Joe Biden is a brilliantly skilled actor. He makes Dustin Hoffman’s Rain Man seem like Einstein by comparison.

    • Amazona March 25, 2021 / 3:23 pm

      RedState didn’t seem to think this was an improved Biden. Two of their headlines for accompanying videos and comments:

      Biden Presser Was Such a Disaster, There Was One Moment That Showed What Elder Abuse It Was

      Joe Biden Immediately Gives His Handlers Nightmares After Appearing Confused at Times During First Presser

      I simply can’t believe the man will ever say anything I think is important enough to watch so I just ignore him. I follow up with videos and articles when and if it seems interesting but mostly I’m just counting off the days.

      • Retired Spook March 25, 2021 / 4:41 pm

        I was listening on the radio and, admittedly, not paying attention 100%, but what I heard sounded pretty good. He was asked some complicated/multi-faceted questions, and gave some very good answers.

      • Retired Spook March 25, 2021 / 6:22 pm

        Apparently, it looked a whole lot worse than it sounded. Even Chris Wallace is ridiculing Joe. The important thing is that he tried.//sarc

      • Amazona March 26, 2021 / 10:24 am

        On one of the internet news feeds—maybe RedState—there were photos of Biden’s crib sheets. He had a page of reporter names and faces (I started to write “journalists” but my computer froze up and wouldn’t let me) with some names circled to let him know who to call on, and how to recognize him or her. He also evidently read some answers verbatim, not even looking up from his notes to pretend that he was speaking his own thoughts instead of reading.

      • Retired Spook March 26, 2021 / 10:32 am

        He also evidently read some answers verbatim, not even looking up from his notes to pretend that he was speaking his own thoughts instead of reading.

        And that was very obvious when you saw the video. On the radio, particularly since I wasn’t paying close attention, it sounded like he was actually pretty coherent.

      • Amazona March 26, 2021 / 5:01 pm

        Just had lunch with a friend who is pretty highly placed in political circles who doesn’t think Biden will last another three months.

  12. jdge1 March 26, 2021 / 12:04 pm

    ”The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Wednesday that Hawaii could deny Americans the right to carry guns in public, the Washington Times reported.

    In a 7-4 ruling, the notoriously left-leaning court decided that Hawaii’s open carry ban is lawful.
    The majority decision was written by Judge Jay Bybee, who was appointed by former president George W. Bush.

    “The government may regulate, and even prohibit, in public places—including government buildings, churches, schools, and markets—the open carrying of small arms capable of being concealed, whether they are carried concealed or openly,” Bybee wrote.

    “We can find no general right to carry arms into the public square for self-defense,” he added, arguing that the Second Amendment applies only to the “defense of hearth and home.”

    Hawaii currently requires that citizens complete an application, proving that they have both “urgency” and “need” before they are permitted to carry a gun outside of the home.

    However, the state denied all private citizens who applied for carry licenses in 2020, claiming that they failed to meet its subjective standard.”

    I missed where in the US constitution it’s written, mentioned or even alluded to – “hearth and home”. I do distinctly see where it says – “shall not be infringed”. The left will push the restrictions of private arms as far as they can, even to the point of mandating executive orders. Even if the Supreme Court ultimately kicks these order and unconstitutional laws to the curb, it will take lots of money and time. Hawaii’s law is similar to NY’s and is being challenged in court. Given that the law is highly subjective and depends a great deal on whim of local judges or law enforcement agencies (where I live in NY local judges get to decide if you have “proper cause”. Being a business owner and carrying large amounts of money and a spot free record is apparently NOT reason enough to issue a CCW permit), I believe the Supreme Court will (should) rule that these type laws are not valid, in a much as they cannot by their nature be administered evenly to all citizens. Still, the NY law has been in place for some time. The fact that Hawaii has denied ALL applications for CCW in 2020 is reason enough to see the governing body who controls CCW permits has no intention of finding ANYONE with valid “urgency” and “need”.

    Amazona’s post about “Cognitive dissonance” on full display here.

    • dbschmidt March 26, 2021 / 4:24 pm

      Right now I am more worried as a “legal means” they are going to tax ammunition out of reach. Added & adding more for my non-existent guns while I can afford it. Really sorry I sold off my Dillion press.

      That and I bought myself some new problems–got a new for me car I have wanted for a while but need to figure out how to get it out of “snowflake” mode. That and I haven’t dared to drive past stores with bumper stickers to avoid that as well. As much as I like the “new” Subaru–it has a few drawbacks.

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