Monthly Archives: January 2013
Hattip to Jim Treacher. CNN talking head Piers Morgan, desperately trying to hold on to any shreds of credibility after his shellacking by Ben Shapiro, emitted this email:
Where to begin?
First, it is unlikely that even the most mad US President would decide to use nukes to put down a rebellion in these United States. Too many of his own supporters would be killed and the overall reaction would likely be for the rebellion to grow as a result of his action.
Second, a wide spread rebellion in the United States would likely have the sympathy of factions within the US military, if not their active support. The order to nuke Americans might lead to an active revolt by the military.
Third, in the event of a widespread rebellion, the rebels would probably quickly have nukes of their own. In the case of Obama, most ICBMs and tactical nukes are located on bases in Red states. Continue reading
And there was Simon Girty, the renegade, who saw white men burned at the stake and whooped with the Indians to see them burn. His eyes were green, like a catamount’s, and the stains on his hunting shirt did not come from the blood of the deer.
Stephen Vincent Benet, The Devil and Daniel Webster
In his short story The Devil and Daniel Webster, Benet has Satan conjure up the damned souls of 12 villains from American history to serve as a jury in the case of Satan v. Jabez Stone. Only seven of these entities are named. This is beginning of a series to give short biographies on each of these figures.
Born in 1741 on the Pennsylvania frontier, Girty’s life took a sharp turn when he and his brothers were captured by the Seneca and adopted by them. It would be seven years before Girty was able to return to his family. By that time Girty was a Seneca in all but skin color. At the outset of the American Revolution Girty supported the patriots, but eventually became a loyalist. Frontier patriots regarded him as a turncoat and renegade. Continue reading
Film, at its best, can convey a hint of the overwhelming impact of religious faith on those who believe. For me, the best example of this is Jesus of Nazareth (1977), as amply demonstrated I think in the video clip above. When we read about Jesus in the Gospels it requires a leap of imagination to conjure up the scenes depicted. Some people are better at doing this than others. A good film can provide us with the emotional impact of the Gospels without the necessity of our providing the imagination to bring the event alive for us. The Church has long understood this. Hymn singing can also accomplish this, as do Passion Plays, as does the Rosary. God appeals to our souls, our hearts and our minds, and we make a mistake if we ever forget this.
The History Channel in March will have a miniseries that dramatizes portions of the Bible. Below is a trailer.
The District of Columbia, one of the worst governed jurisdictions in the United States, has a law on the books, placed there for political purposes by the uber liberals who run it, banning “high-capacity” ammo clips, of the type waved around by NBC
unpaid Obama press flack reporter David Gregory in the above clip. He did it in DC. No intent is needed for the criminal prosecution. It is a strict liability offense. For the past few weeks the question has been whether Gregory would be prosecuted. Not a chance I thought, and I was proved correct when Irvin Nathan, the attorney general for DC, released a pompous letter yesterday explaining why Gregory would not be prosecuted The letter runs to three turgid pages, but I won’t inflict all of that on you. Instead, here is the money quote: Continue reading
Something for the weekend. With all the recent furor over the Second Amendment, I thought the theme from one of the my favorite childhood friends, The Rifleman, was appropriate. Broadcast from 1958 to 1963 The Rifleman featured Chuck Connors as Lucas McCain, the eponymous star of the show, and his son Mark McCain, portrayed by Johnny Crawford. Unlike almost all westerns of the time, the title character, Lucas McCain, was not a sheriff or gunfighter, but rather a widowed farmer raising his son near the town of Northfork. Each of the shows was a skillfully done morality play focusing on the human condition. Many of the episodes had plots drawn from the Bible and placed in a western setting. McCain’s modified Winchester 73 almost always came into play, but simple gun play and violence was not the focus of the series. Continue reading
My friend Jay Anderson linked to this excellent piece from a Fox affiliate in Cincinnati addressing crime statistics in Great Britain and the United States.
As Jay remarked, it’s sad that it takes a small affiliate news station to do the sort of fact checking that major news networks are incapable of, 0r, more likely, unwilling to do.
As for Piers Morgan, watch what happens when he is forced to interview someone actually tethered to reality.
I think “your little book” is going to be an instant classic.
One of the more popular illusions of the past half century is that sin can be redefined and that we can engage in conduct formerly regarded as sinful free of consequence. Alas, inconvenient reality keeps creeping back into the picture:
Workers at a Canadian clinic have discovered that almost 7 percent of their patients with gonorrhea had a strain of the bacteria against which all oral antibiotics are useless. This alarming report suggests gonorrhea may become an untreatable disease, warn public health experts.
Antibiotic-resistant strains of gonorrhea have been reported in outbreaks throughout Europe and Japan, according to US News, but the Canadian study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, marks the first time the strain has been seen in a large North American population.
“We’ve been very concerned about the threat of potentially untreatable gonorrhea,” Dr. Gail Bolan of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) told Fox News. “We feel it’s only a matter of time until resistance will occur in the United States. Continue reading
Theodore Roosevelt throughout his life eagerly embraced new technology, and so it was no surprise that during the 1912 election he recorded some of his speeches. Go here for links to the sound recordings of these speeches. I wish there was a sound recording made of many of the nuggets of wisdom dispensed by Roosevelt. I especially have always been fond of these two: Continue reading
From the Deadliest Warrior television series. I have always enjoyed absurd alternate history speculations a la “What if Napoleon had a B-52 at Waterloo?”
By the time Lawrence of Arabia arrived on the scene TR was getting fairly long in the tooth and was in ill health, however, I would not have bet against him. He used knives for killing fairly frequently. This letter to his kids in 1901 is typical:
Keystone Ranch, Colo., Jan. 14th, 1901 –
Soon we saw the lion in a treetop, with two of the dogs so high up among the branches that he was striking at them. He was more afraid of us than of the dogs, and as soon as he saw us he took a great flying leap and was off, the pack close behind. In a few hundred yards they had him up another tree. This time, after a couple of hundred yards, the dogs caught him, and a great fight followed. They could have killed him by themselves, but he bit or clawed four of them, and for fear he might kill one I ran in and stabbed him behind the shoulder, thrusting the knife right into his heart. I have always wished to kill a cougar as I did this one, with dogs and the knife. Continue reading
The amendment, like most other provisions in the Constitution, has a history. It was adopted with some modification and enlargement from the English Bill of Rights of 1688, where it stood as a protest against arbitrary action of the overturned dynasty in disarming the people, and as a pledge of the new rulers that this tyrannical action should cease. The right declared was meant to be a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers, and as a necessary and efficient means of regaining rights when temporarily overturned by usurpation.
Thomas Cooley, Principles of Constitutional Law (1898)
And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family?
Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?
After all, you knew ahead of time that those bluecaps were out at night for no good purpose. And you could be sure ahead of time that you’d be cracking the skull of a cutthroat. Or what about the Black Maria [Government limo] sitting out there on the street with one lonely chauffeur — what if it had been driven off or its tires spiked.
The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin’s thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt!
–Alexander Solzhenitsyn, The GULAG Archipelago
Former president Bill Clinton can add Father of the Year to the many awards he’s garnered in his decades of public service.
The National Father’s Day Council, which has been giving out such an honor for 72 years, has named Clinton one of its recipients for 2013.
“With the profound generosity, leadership and tireless dedication to both his public office and many philanthropic organizations, President Clinton exemplifies the attributes that we celebrate through the Father of the Year award,” said Dan Orwig, chairman of the National Father’s Day Committee. Continue reading
“While Leonidas was preparing to make his stand, a Persian envoy arrived. The envoy explained to Leonidas the futility of trying to resist the advance of the Great King’s army and demanded that the Greeks lay down their arms and submit to the might of Persia. Leonidas laconically told Xerxes, “Come and get them.(Molon labe).”
Vice President Joe Biden revealed that President Barack Obama might use an executive order to deal with guns.
“The president is going to act,” said Biden, giving some comments to the press before a meeting with victims of gun violence. “There are executives orders, there’s executive action that can be taken. We haven’t decided what that is yet. But we’re compiling it all with the help of the attorney general and the rest of the cabinet members as well as legislative action that we believe is required.”
Biden said that this is a moral issue and that “it’s critically important that we act.”
You know, if we have domestic unrest during the second term of this administration, I wouldn’t be surprised if it starts from Joe Biden shooting off his mouth and giving us glaring insight into how Obama would proceed if he thought he could get away with it. Obama has nothing but contempt for American liberties and Biden merely idiotically repeats what he has heard. Continue reading
Daniel Sarewitz has a post at Nature in which he decries the trend among many scientists of acting as shrill Democrat partisans:
The US scientific community must decide if it wants to be a Democratic interest group or if it wants to reassert its value as an independent national asset. If scientists want to claim that their recommendations are independent of their political beliefs, they ought to be able to show that those recommendations have the support of scientists with conflicting beliefs. Expert panels advising the government on politically divisive issues could strengthen their authority by demonstrating political diversity. The National Academies, as well as many government agencies, already try to balance representation from the academic, non-governmental and private sectors on many science advisory panels; it would be only a small step to be equally explicit about ideological or political diversity. Such information could be given voluntarily.
To connect scientific advice to bipartisanship would benefit political debate. Volatile issues, such as the regulation of environmental and public-health risks, often lead to accusations of ‘junk science’ from opposing sides. Politicians would find it more difficult to attack science endorsed by avowedly bipartisan groups of scientists, and more difficult to justify their policy preferences by scientific claims that were contradicted by bipartisan panels.
Andrew Klavan writes a column and notes reasons for optimism in our winter of discontent:
1. Fracking. As I’ve said before, Obama and the EPA will ultimately be splatter on the windshield of this progress. There’s energy in them thar hills and eventually we’re going to get at it, whether these luddite environmental knuckleheads like it or not. That means wealth, energy independence, jobs, power and a reboot of Dallas. Obama may be choosing decline, but the rest of the country may well choose prosperity and growth in spite of him.
2. Federalism. Around the country, conservative governors are taking action that could galvanize reform nationwide. Right-to-work laws, state budget cuts, reduced property taxes and creative approaches to education. As prosperity follows these practices — and abandons California and Illinois and other lagging states — they will gain credence with the general population and make political stars of the governors who supported them.
3. Reality is on our side. When I call Obama a reactionary, what I mean is that he adheres to a grievance-based socialist ideology he learned in college from professors who were probably old even then. As these academics die and go to hell for all eternity, up-and-comers may begin to notice that the poor suffer under left-wing programs and rise under the free market, that education improves under conservative guidance and gets worse under liberals, and that big business actually gets more entrenched and powerful under the left while the right helps the little guy thrive. That, after all, will be the off-beat, radical position, and academics love to be off-beat and radical as long as everyone around them is being off-beat and radical too. A new generation is already on the rise that understands entitlements are unsustainable and that freedom works. It won’t be long at all before we begin to hear their voices in the mainstream. I hope. Continue reading