Open Thread

I’m seriously thinking that President Trump should clear out every single staffer he inherited from previous Administrations and replace them with people who have either never worked in government, or at least haven’t worked in it for some time. Trump has made some great picks for the commanding heights of the Administration, but down lower we’ve still got a bunch of Obama-bots undermining his policy choices. The President can’t just fire people thanks to various civil service laws, but we can transfer them to the sticks and bring in a whole raft of new people. I offer my services as a foreign and military policy staffer. Sure, I don’t have any credentials…but I’ve read and studied a lot and I certainly couldn’t do any worse than the clowns we’ve got in there. Might do better – and, most importantly, a new set of staffers brought in from outside wouldn’t be leaking and undermining. Additionally, a completely fresh look at the situation from people not wedded to conventional wisdom would likely come up with some good solutions.

If you do a good job as a Venezuelan soldier, you get your reward: toilet paper.

Trump gave a speech to the Boy Scouts and now the Progressives and Never Trump are attacking the Scouts. Trump will be re-elected in a landslide.

Rumors abound of an impending change in the Attorney General’s slot…I doubt it. I think Trump is putting pressure on Sessions, but it is all part of a program to eventually shut this whole Russia nonsense down. We’ll see, of course.

That Minnesota police officer who shot the Australian woman was fast-tracked on to the police force. Official word is he went through the normal hiring process…but if you fast track someone, you are by definition not doing through the normal hiring process. I’d be entirely unsurprised to learn that in an eagerness to obtain “diversity”, corners were cut.

Smug, condescending Progressive advises Progressives to not be so smug and condescending as they lead us benighted bigots into GoodThink.

Feds have seized DWS’s smashed hard drives. A bit of real news which might have some astonishing consequences.

Open Thread

An otherwise good review of the movie Dunkirk has this bit:

…the fact that there are only a couple of women and no lead actors of color may rub some the wrong way…

And, he’s right about that – it is sure to do so. But only because all too many people haven’t a clue of what happened further back than last week. What is your best guess on the number of Americans who can identify the significance of the word “Dunkirk”? I’m betting it’s less than 1 in 10. Brits would probably have a higher number, but I’ll additionally bet that its somewhat less than a majority of the population. And that gets me thinking – Americans might be vaguely familiar with such WWII battles as Okinawa and the Battle of the Bulge, but I’ll bet not one in a thousand knows of Tarawa or Anzio. We’re just not teaching history – or much of anything else, as this shows:

Algebra is one of the biggest hurdles to getting a high school or college degree — particularly for students of color and first-generation undergrads.

It is also the single most failed course in community colleges across the country. So if you’re not a STEM major (science, technology, engineering, math), why even study algebra?

The article goes on to give all sorts of arguments about why algebra isn’t needed – but you know what the real bottom line is: the kids are having trouble with it and it is vastly easier to just excuse them from it than it is to teach them the knowledge. Used to be, getting into college was hard and only the intellectual elite (and those with daddy’s who could buy their way in) got to go. But then colleges figured out that more butts in seats = more money for the college. This is just another method whereby Big Education proposes to keep the diploma mill grinding.

Word is that Trump will terminate aid to the “moderate” Syrian rebels. Some are upset about this – including some on the right. I can’t see why. There is zero chance those rebels will ever get atop Assad as long as Russia is backing him unless we go to war directly with Assad, and thus risk a war with Russia. And even if we decide the risk is worth it, what real assurance do we have that the successor regime to Assad would be any better? Sure, they are called “moderate”, but what does that really mean? Moderate compared to what? For my money, I say we go with the Kurds – help them form an independent nation with territory carved out of, initially, Iraq and Syria. I’ve never heard of Kurds organizing a beheading party, nor stoning people for minor moral failings. As for Assad, we have vastly more rebuild money than Russia or Iran does, so maybe we can wean him away from his allies? Look, it’s a lousy situation in Syria – Obama really screwed up the best US policy options when he was President. We might not be able to get anything good out of there…and keeping up support for rebels who can’t win only means the killing goes on longer. I’m not on board with that.

Mueller apparently is widening his investigation of all things Trump. I really do hope that Trump just fires him. The firestorm would be over in a week or so. There’s nothing to investigate except paranoid, Democrat/NeverTrump delusions. End it.

You might care about whether or not someone is forced to bake the cake, but you will be made to care.

If you want to look into a real political scandal, then the unmasking scandal of the Obama Administration is a good place to start.

Really Busy This Week Open Thread

We’re going to bury Joe on the 17th – he’ll have the honor guard there to fold the flag. We’ll be placing him with his wife – and hard by where my folks are buried. Can’t say this enough – take the time to talk to your old folks; you may never get another chance. And, also, look after them…there are pitfalls aplenty for a man or woman when they get into advanced years.

The latest Trump-Russia kerfuffle doesn’t remotely impress me. That an agent of Team Trump would meet with someone who claims to have oppo dirt on the other candidate seems pretty much Politics 101. At all events, I’m not about to be lectured on what patriotism and treason are from a side which was ok with Fonda posing on an NVA anti-aircraft gun, and which lionized Ted Kennedy, who actually sought Russian help to defeat Reagan in 1984.

Republicans have an increasingly negative attitude towards higher education – given that we are routinely condemned in the institutions of higher education, this just stands to reason. Also, however, there isn’t much education actually going on in such places. To be sure, a large part of the problem is the Progressive orthodoxy which is prevalent, but the real problem is that most institutions of higher education are loyal to the Almighty Dollar. They dumb down the curriculum and allow the kids to act like jerks because tough curriculum and tight discipline means fewer students, and that means fewer dollars. Cut off federal funds – of all types – from any institution which doesn’t adhere to high standards and keep tight discipline and the problem pretty much solves itself…the kids won’t be allowed to be dumb jerks, and the professors and administrators who allowed such nonsense will be given the boot.

A reporter discovered that gay Jews were excluded from a recent Pride parade…and now that reporter is working the sales desk.

This won’t end well: judge releases a man described as mentally ill, after he was accused of assaulting a police officer.

Body Slam of an Open Thread

Israel and India draw closer together – for the Israelis, it is a great opportunity for trade and nice to have a powerful nation in addition to us in their corner. For the Indians, it is great to have access to high quality military equipment as well as Israeli assistance in such areas as water management and farming expertise (making a desert bloom makes you real good at farming – and India’s burgeoning population needs that). I hope that President Trump is paying attention – we also need a tight alliance with India.

CNN got mad about a GIF of Trump bodyslamming CNN…and, so, the natural result: a zillion additional GIFs tweaking CNN. It is like they have no clue how the New Media works…

All this Trump tweaking of the MSM and Democrats is Battle Space Preparation, guys. Trump is getting things ready for 2018 and 2020…making sure the MSM continues to be held in utter contempt and keeping them and their Democrats distracted over nothing while he builds a record of accomplishment he can run on. I’m really expecting the Democrats to be wiped out both years. Maybe by 2022 they’ll be able to come back a bit…

As for CNN’s threat to Dox the guy who made the original, offending GIF…plain and simple fascism. Our Progressive friends don’t see it, of course, but the reality is that most people will crumble under the threat of having their lives raked over the coals by a major news outfit. Everyone has got things they’d rather not have in the public square…so, do that to one guy and 10,000 others decide they’ll find something else to do besides attack a powerful news corporation.

Dun Surber notes that the MSM is mostly worried that we’re catching on.

A Conservative buy-out of Time?

Democrats and MSMers created the violent left – and now some of them are getting threats from their own creation.

9-0 At SCOTUS and CNN is Fake News Open Thread

I don’t know about you, but since Trump has taken office, a lot of things which a President Hillary would have buried have come to light:

The Office of U.S. Special Counsel, the government’s main whistleblower agency, is investigating whether FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s activities supporting his wife Jill’s Democratic campaign for Virginia state senate in 2015 violated the Hatch Act’s prohibition against FBI agents campaigning in partisan races…

There’s also this – McCabe’s wife got $700,000.00 from Governor McAuliffe (D-VA) for her campaign…and it seems this was just around the time that McAuliffe (a long time Clinton crony) was under investigation by the FBI. This is the sort of thing which went on all through the Obama Administration – and which would have continued under a Hillary Administration. With Trump in there and some new people calling the shots, this sort of thing is coming out…and I bet there’s a whole bunch more. Clearly, a lot of housecleaning is needed in all Executive Branch agencies.

Sarah Palin is suing the New York Times for defamation. It is pretty clear to me that they did, indeed, defame her – essentially holding her responsible for a mass shooting incident. Whether a court will agree remains to be seen. I hope she wins.

Since our Amazona brought this up a little while back:

Even in advanced medical settings, sepsis is still very dangerous and accounts for over 400,000 deaths annually in the US alone. While new drugs are in development, a group of researchers has determined that a combination of intravenous vitamin C, corticosteroids (a steroid), and thiamine (vitamin B) may be effective in preventing progressive organ dysfunction and reducing the number of deaths from severe sepsis and septic shock.

Until Amazona brought it up, I had never heard of the condition (it isn’t what I had, as it turned out). Pretty serious stuff – and I’m glad people are working on it.

As we already knew – CNN guy admits that the Russia story is all nonsense.

Pelosi thinks the GOP health care bill dishonors God – which is an arguable point, but the thing to ask her, next is: “ok, what about abortion, then?”.

ICE inquiries about some employees – and, mysteriously, 30 of them disappear.

Major 2016 Presidential candidate under investigation?

Robert Stacy McCain continues to plumb the depths of Progressive lunacy, so you don’t have to.

Maybe we have a reason the Deep State went after Flynn?

The FBI launched a criminal probe against former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn two years after the retired Army general roiled the bureau’s leadership by intervening on behalf of a decorated counterterrorism agent who accused now-Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe and other top officials of sexual discrimination, according to documents and interviews…

That McCabe guy seems to have some problems to be looked in to – but it would be a good thing if a lot of the Deep State was ultimately brought down because they decided to punish a decorated soldier for being a gentleman.

What are we up against? Hillaire Belloc laid it out in The Great Heresies – here’s a crucial quote:

Being Atheist, it is characteristic of the advancing wave that it repudiates the human reason. Such an attitude would seem again to be a contradiction in terms; for if you deny the value of human reason, if you say that we cannot through our reason arrive at any truth, then not even the affirmation so made can be true. Nothing can be true, and nothing is worth saying. But that great Modern Attack (which is more than a heresy) is indifferent to self-contradiction. It merely affirms. It advances like an animal, counting on strength alone. Indeed, it may be remarked in passing that this may well be the cause of its final defeat; for hitherto reason has always overcome its opponents; and man is the master of the beast through reason.

Anyhow, there you have the Modern Attack in its main character, materialist, and atheist; and, being atheist, it is necessarily indifferent to truth. For God is Truth.

Isn’t that exactly it? We beat our heads against our Progressive friends and it is all pointless – they won’t listen to reason. They just keep asserting their views, even if they are contradictory, against ours…and just keep at it and at it and at it; hoping eventually to wear everyone down. And it has worked quite well, hasn’t it? Most Progressive victories have been of the nature of people just giving up when the 10,000th attack is launched out of sheer weariness.

Out and About on a Monday

Got 1,500 words done on the novel last night – now closing in on 32,000 words. My big problem, now, is that I’m liking the sidekick and his romantic interest best of all the characters.

Pakistan may extend naval facilities to China. Pakistan would do this because they don’t trust us (we don’t trust them, either – and why we’re still giving them foreign aid is really beyond me; but that’s for another time) and because both Pakistan and China wish to thwart Indian power. This is real world stuff, folks – and the Chinese navy having a base on the Indian ocean would complicate a lot of things for us and for India. And this is why I’ve never gone on the warpath against Putin’s Russia. First off, because it is absurd – Russia is no threat to the United States. Secondly, because we might find Russia a friend in time of need…like if we ever had to tangle with China. Right now, China is moving into the South China Sea; it is making friends with Russia, Pakistan and Iran; it is putting huge resources into eastern Africa; it is refusing to make any real effort to curb North Korea. In short, China is making the military, diplomatic and economic moves it would have to make to prepare for war with the United States. This doesn’t mean they’ll start one with us, but it does mean they are getting ready for one…and we’d better get ready, too. And that means strengthening our relations with India, Japan…and Russia.

Mueller needs to quit – and I agree. I just want an end to this whole Trump-Russia farce. There’s nothing there. Bring me some stand-up-in-court evidence, or let it go.

It is too late to save the day in Afghanistan? I might be. I’m not sure if I’m on board with a renewed US effort…but its either clear out right away, or go full blast. One or the other.

Turns out, even if there is such a thing as “hate speech” it is protected under the Constitution. This is a bit of amazingly good news – because, remember, to some on the left, merely not saying leftist things is “hate speech”.

Democrats are upset that the GOP isn’t letting them in on the ObamaCare replacement details. I’ll pause while all of you cry them a river.

Some bad news for the Global Warming alarmists. I think for most of us, this is getting to be a bore…and now that Trump doesn’t seem interested in providing massive government funding, it is becoming a bit of a non-issue. Warming or cooling or staying the same – we and the rest of life on Earth will adapt. If life can survive massive meteor strikes, it can survive SUVs.

Not too worried about those Russian threats about US planes in Syria – the Russian air force probably doesn’t want to tangle with the USAF.

Weekend Open Thread

On the grounds that Indy authors simply must help each other, I recommend New River (Images of America) by Marcy J. Miller – a great and kind lady who lives in Arizona. I’ve interacted with her on Twitter for quite some time and she’s just a wonderful person who lives out “back of beyond” in some beautiful Arizona countryside. I admit to being insanely jealous when she posts pictures of sunsets and desert thunderstorms…and of her horseback rides. Check it out – you won’t be disappointed.

As for my book, I’m past 30,000 words, now – I’ve got my characters in a bit of a jam, but a friend of mine suggested a way out, so I’m going to give it a shot. It’s really a rip-roaring story, or at least I think so. Hope people like it!

So, PM May’s gamble on a snap election came up snake eyes. I admit to not paying too much attention to the British election as it unfolded. Most polls, right up to the end, showed the Tories making substantial gains against Labour run by a completely out-there leftwing kook. But, didn’t work out that way – the Tories still gained the most votes and seats, but lost their majority and will now have to work with the Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland for a working majority. And, man oh man, the DUP is quite the Conservative party! I can see why the Tories would prefer to stay a mile away from them. I’m naturally suspicious of the DUP given its anti-Catholic roots, but the anti-Catholicism seems to have moderated over the past couple decades. Main thing, they are very socially Conservative and Euro-skeptic. This means Brexit is still very much on track – but I suspect the Brits will have another election in a year or two to sort things out. A better Tory program more pitched to middle and working class people, I think, would do the trick…a great deal of UKIP votes slipped over to Labour (when everyone expected it all to go Tory) because Corbyn was at least smart enough to offer them some goodies. Tories will have to do that, as well, to bring them back.

That leaker who got arrested – main question: how in heck did she get a security clearance? Robert Stacy McCain boils down her background and it is pretty much a compendium of every lunatic position imaginable.

The House has passed a repeal of the misbegotten Dodd-Frank law, but it’s future in the Senate is murky. John Hindraker says that this is a good time to get rid of the Senate filibuster completely – it may be the only way we really get reform done. I realize that we Conservatives are naturally unwilling to tamper with something like the filibuster…but we don’t live in a world where political compromise is possible. Maybe some day in the future we shall, but for now we have to exercise every ounce of legal power we have to get our way.

Our little Progs were all eagerly watching the Comey hearings…and somebody caught their crestfallen looks on camera. Its not quite a fun as their election night meltdown, but its pretty good.

Bernie Sanders glided really close to demanding a religious test for public office – something banned by the Constitution. The man’s offense? He pointed out (in something entirely unrelated to the job he’s being appointed to) that in Christian dogma, you have to believe in Christ. Horror of horrors! Sanders seems to think that holding such a view is disqualifying…that it is bigotry against all non-Christians. But that would be as if I were to say that a Jewish guy can’t be my Senator because he doesn’t accept Christ as savior. Balderdash. I fully expect my Congresscritters to uphold the laws of our nation, regardless of their personal faith. I don’t expect them to tell me that their faith is false in order to make me feel good.

American oil exports continue to grow. This is the key to America’s industrial resurgence. In addition to that, it also cuts at the financial power of a great number of nations which wish us ill.