I’m Speechless…

 

…well, not really.  This is me, after all.  But following along in the vein of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who made the same announcement during the worst of the debacle at Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport, and then followed it with several hundred more of their words, here–with the hope that I’m more on point, or at least more interesting, than their Royal Wokenesses–I go:

I just came back from getting a cortisone shot in my knee.  I’ve probably got a small tear in the meniscus, and I may need surgery at some point, but we’re taking it one step at a time.  Jen (the Physician’s Assistant) is very good** and it didn’t hurt much–very unlike the one I got a few months ago for trigger finger in my left hand.  That one was excruciating.  And it didn’t solve the problem long-term, as they assured me it does in about two-thirds of the cases.  So most definitely surgery in my future at some point for that one.  Deep joy.

Most of the trip home from the doctor’s office (about nine miles) is Interstate highway.  Once I get off the Interstate, I’m on narrow country roads which may, or may not, have road markings.  They’re not heavily traveled, and we don’t speed because of all the bends and the hills.

Seattle Homeless Story Too Good to Pass Up

 

In Seattle, there are a number of “homeless”, or, as the new phrase says “unhoused” people who have found the funds to acquire an old RV.  These “vehicles” are parked everywhere around the area, and have basically taken over parks all over Seattle and environs. The south end of Green Lake Park is saturated with the broken-down vehicles, and they are eyesores.

In Ballard, on the Northwest side of the city (where I lived for 17 years in a previous life), one RV-dweller has come up with a new wrinkle on the concept.  The “homeowner” has added a second story to his vehicle. Sorry I couldn’t provide a picture, but here’s a quote from the article at KOMO:

Killing Grandma in Florida (and Texas, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee and Other Red States….)

 

So, the federal government has a contract to buy and distribute all of Regeneron’s dual monoclonal antibody treatment for COVID. Biden was beginning to look like a fool due to Ron DeSantis’ effective measures to make the treatment widely available, and now has curtailed shipments of Regeneron treatment to Florida and other red states, in effect, attempting to harm the citizens of those states by restricting access to effective treatment for COVID. Biden will ship the medicine to blue states that haven’t been using it aggressively and withhold it from red states that are using it. A supply of 70,000 doses requested by Florida was reduced to about 30,000 doses by Biden. Clearly an effective medication for treating (and preventing) COVID is being used politically by the President to harm his constituents in states that oppose him politically. Medical care is being made available (or unavailable) based on politics. Unity?  Not.

And of course, Biden is trying to do exactly what Democrats always accuse Republicans of doing–killing Grandma. Particularly if she votes Republican. Apparently, this is what Biden meant when he said he was going to get those Republican governors out of the way of his policies. Either by damaging them so greatly politically for opposing his policies, or killing their constituents that voted against him. Democrats of course think that Americans are brain dead and don’t realize what’s going on, or they think the media will cover for them and bamboozle Americans on this issue as on all the others.

QOTD: “Pray for me”

 

I was never a Kanye West fan before his Jesus Is King album. Nothing personal; I don’t listen to much rap or hip-hop at all. However, when I heard that he had professed faith in Christ and put out a Christian album, I was excited and gave it a listen.

I loved it. I’ve listened to it multiple times, and particular songs many times. I’ve added Kanye to my prayer list, and I’m hoping that he will continue to grow in Christ and use his platform to glorify God and further His Kingdom.

Meanwhile, at Case Western

 

Since spring 2020, pro-life students at Cleveland’s Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) have tried to organize a chapter of Students for Life. Case Western is a university, a land of complimentary flavored condoms and helpful instructional pamphlets about proper masking procedures during sex, so the prospect of an anti-abortion organization receiving either official support or funding did not go over well. Not at all. After the student government approved the nascent group’s petition, the woke on campus complained, demanded a referendum, and voted the new pro-life club out of existence. Its members reorganized, renamed themselves Case for Life, and continued to seek recognition. To its partial credit, CWRU finally approved the group late this spring, albeit narrowly. And two weeks ago, irate student journalists took to the pages of The Observer, Case Western’s campus newspaper, to vent their spleens in a piece destined to become a classic in the annals of SJW-ist rhetoric. It begins:

Here we go again. The fight for reproductive rights and privacy happens consistently throughout the world, and it’s no different at Case Western Reserve University — even though institutions should not infringe upon people’s right to choose what to do with their bodies.

The trio is back in action this week, and after a few weeks off, Rob is in full force! We’ve got Senator Tom Cotton to keep our attention  (R- AR) where it should be: on Afghanistan. He then takes us through what was yesterday’s Wuhan lab conspiracy theory but which has since become today’s news. Cotton also breaks some news about Nancy Pelosi’s future ambitions – you don’t want to miss this!

Our hosts scrap a bit about the California recall but enjoy nothing but unity on Norm Macdonald and comedy, even in our politicized and polarized society™.

Disapproving Home Improvement: A Man’s Tale

 

About a year ago we had a minor flood.  The line feeding hot water to a jacuzzi tub in my master bath decided to leak.  The tub, made of cultured marble, had once been repaired and the repair failed.  Cultured marble, we found out, is difficult if not impossible, to repair.  We had plans to replace the tub, but contemplating a new tub led to thoughts of replacing our aged shower, then redoing our entire master bath, and quickly, the project became so complex and painful, the tub became a place to put a presorted laundry hamper and we forgot about it.  Then, ten years later, the leak.

I never liked that tub.

The leak was just a pin hole, but overnight, it made up for its size with amazing persistence.  The insurance company rushed in with a remediation team and within a few days, the shower, tub, surrounding drywall and flooring, and the ceiling below, were demolished and the debris hauled off.  For weeks, blowers roared behind flapping plastic partitions.  A technician made daily inspections, testing the sills and subfloor for wetness and mold.  One by one, the blowers were removed until they were gone.  The insurance company sent us a settlement.  I pointed out that they had factored our deductible into their figures twice.  They sent a correction, and perhaps as a matter of procedure or out of guilt, added significantly to the original settlement even though we’d not complained.

Treason: The Only Crime Spelled Out in the Constitution.

 

The first words I want to write before inadvertently appearing to pre-judge this situation regarding the revelations in a book about General Milley are these: As the co-author of the book in which these astonishing assertions were made is one Bob Woodward and considering the fact that I would trust that scurrilous purveyor of lies about as far as I could throw my car, everything I say here must be understood to be based on the all-important qualifier: “if proven to be true.”

If the allegations are true, under my reading of the Constitution, the applicable laws and provisions of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, it is clear that the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is at least arguably guilty of Treason and it is even more clear that he could be charged and successfully prosecuted for Mutiny and Sedition against the United States of America.

Antony Blinken’s 10 Words

 

Secretary of State Antony Blinken spent two days testifying before Congress and the most important takeaway is summarized in just ten words he spoke.  When asked by Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) what plans for a future Afghanistan evacuation had been passed along to the administration from its predecessor, Blinken replied:

“We inherited a deadline, we did not inherit a plan.”

NRO Warns Against Taking the Red Pill

 

Jack Butler at NRO wants everyone to know that “Red-Pilled” is synonymous with “Kook Who Believes in Cuckoo-Nuts Whackadoodle Conspiracy Theories” and Jonah Goldberg nods his chins in eager wholehearted agreement.  0-+Butler takes out his four-lane-wide brush to  paint those who question what we are supposed to believe about politics as deluded social outcasts who reside “in digital worlds of their own creation.” He chastises them for rejecting “superior forms of conservatism, ones that appeal to reason and to more reliable forms of knowledge and authority.” Butler goes on to say, “The redpilled also tend to have a contempt for politics as it is practiced in the real world,” to which I reply, “What rational person wouldn’t?”

The “superior forms of conservatism” Butler refers to can only mean, given where he is writing, those that have accomplished no conservative policy in this century other than tax cuts for the donor class.  Butler derides Red-Pilled skeptics as conspiracy nuts, without ever addressing their beliefs, or how they arrive at them. Let’s break down some of it, won’t you?

The Importance of Protecting Our Constitution

 

These are fraught days for Americans. History is said to be cyclical but there is widespread concern that we are in inexorable decline. Our leadership role in the world which seemed secure three decades ago is under serious threat. Polls show that confidence and love of country are in decline, especially among the young. Traditional American values like freedom of speech, free-market economics, and responsible fiscal policy are openly attacked.

Meanwhile, e pluribus unum is facing replacement by a culture obsessed with racial identity. MLK’s dream of a society where skin color doesn’t determine our judgments of each other is now itself deemed racist.

America, though, is the longest-running liberal democracy in history for a reason: our Constitution. Our great freedom document connects us to our roots, the sources of our strength. It can direct us away from hyperpartisanship toward mutual respect and agreement on shared principles – if we respect its authority.

Filming the Recent Past: Images

 

Many years ago, I was watching a taxicab scene in It’s Always Fair Weather, a great 1955 film, when I noticed something strange, almost Twilight Zone-ish going on: the traffic seen out of the back window of the cab, which rolls on for minutes, is something I’ve seen before. Where? I realized that it was an extended driving scene of a not exactly obscure 1972 film, The Godfather. How did they do that?

That scene in Godfather takes place in 1945-’46 when mafia lieutenant Peter Clemenza and his “boys” take a ride into Manhattan to buy deloused mattresses for an extended stay in a hideout during a gang war. They get into a shiny dark Lincoln on a suburban street in south Queens and drive into the busy streets of the city, all beautifully filmed in nostalgic color, before having to abandon that great car because a traitor’s blood (“Paulie sold out the Old Man!”) gets all over the windshield. The car is so authentic to the period that we briefly notice it still has a war rationing sticker.

President Bush’s Mistaken 9/11 Speech

 

Bush Granted Moral Equivalence of 9/11 Perpetrators With the Wrong “Domestic Terrorists.” It Should Go To “May 19” and Their Successors, Not January 6th.

Many of us, I suspect, are relieved that the 20th Anniversary of September 11, 2001, is over. Most have moved on, back to work, to the continuing crisis in Afghanistan, an election in California, and other issues at home. It was not fun to relive the horror of that day, the loss of life, and the anger it rekindled. But it was necessary.

Thoughts on the Recall Result or Why is This Man Smiling?

 

Newsom won by running from his record

It shouldn’t be forgotten that Gavin Newsom and the Democrat Party never addressed the problems of rampant crime, an enormous homeless population, some of poorest performing schools in the nation, the highest taxes in the nation, unscientific and inconsistent lockdown policies that resulted in thousands of small businesses closing, and poor forest management resulting in hundreds of square miles of the state going up in flames (yet dishonestly blaming the fires on global warming).

Newsom and the Democrats ran from his record and instead painted front-runner Larry Elder as a clone of Donald Trump, thus putting Trump on the ballot to raise the hackles of low-information Democrat voters, as in: “Hey, ignorant and gullible fellow Democrats, don’t look at my dismal record as governor which is essentially a sequel to my dismal record as mayor of San Francisco, instead vote against ‘Trump’ because he’s really wearing blackface and calling himself Larry Elder.”

Encouraging and Caring for Public University Students

 

There was a line of students to see me after my “Reading, Writing & Inquiry” class had ended. I had been commending the class’s written assignments and half a dozen college students wanted further comment on their work. The group had been given an assignment to discuss their favorite book, writing, or activity. One young man had contributed a tremendous piece on race car design. Showering encouragement on his work, I suggested that his input demonstrated a care for human life. Some students wrote about overcoming trauma. Others wrote about their deepest care for others.

One young woman wanted a bit more of my time. She asked to see me after class. We found a table outside the classroom.

Sitting across from me, she gushed, “I just have so many ideas for the next assignment, I just don’t know which one to pick! Would you help me?!”

Milley’s Betrayal Will End in Fire

 

Saw this article today on MSN: “U.S. top general secretly called China over fears Trump could spark war – report

According to the new book by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, General Milley twice called his counterpart in the PLA to let him know that the US was not going to launch a war against China and, if we were, he would call him and let him know.  He called him twice.  Once before the election, and again on January 8 after this exchange with Speaker Pelosi:

Who Am I and Who Are You?

 

If I am I because I am I, and you are you because you are you, then I am I and you are you. But if I am I because you are you, and you are you because I am I, then I am not I and you are not you! —Rabbi Menahem Mendel of Kotzk

The first time I read this quotation, my eyes crossed! In fact, I read it a couple of times to understand what the good rabbi was trying to say. (I must assume that he wrote it with some amusement.)

But the actual meaning that I deduce from his words is powerful and a reminder that no matter how we try to isolate ourselves and our connection with others, deep or superficial, long-term or recent, they touch our hearts, minds, and souls in a way that is impossible to measure.

Feed the Soul; Steel the Spine

 

If you will allow me to brag a little, I will tell you that despite my clumsy parental performance I have a pretty wise daughter. The other day she was knee-deep in an intense conversation with her young son. Without going into the problem at hand it will be enough to say that the youngster was angry and upset. At that point, Daughter #2 told him, “Right now you go and saddle Gunny and ride for about an hour and come back and we will talk this out”. Then after using a rail on a fence to mount the most dependable roping horse/kid horse on the place, the boy rode off for an hour in the pastures and among the cedars.

After a return the matter was settled, or at least discussed and agreed upon. As she told me about such times in her earlier life, “I could ride Brandy (a Sugar Bar breed mare who could turn on a dime) off for an hour by myself and the whole world felt different”.

We all have things that feed and quiet our souls. They are gifts from a divine hand that created us to be much more than busy creatures hurried by survival. Oh, survival and passion and purpose are meant to be very much a part of our life. In fact, purposeful effort is one of those gifts. Because of those gifts, we don’t just feel hurt and pleasure. Our most meaningful feelings as not physical. They are much deeper than that, much more lasting.

It’s Time to Fight

 

We now face real subjugation or real resistance to true domestic enemies of our constitutional republic. It is still a cold civil war (see Kesler 2018, Klingenstein 2021) but keeping it cool requires real and effective resistance now. Thankfully, the left and their useful idiots or pilot fish GOPe enablers have lost their inhibitions and started saying the quiet part out loud. The rank hypocrisy of the new American upper class is not hidden away like the old aristocracy’s excesses. We can all see them in the social media public square.

In “Stay Home, Peons!” John Hinderacker quotes the truly fascist left’s proclamations about those who dare resist the lab coat left’s lies about COVID-19 and their vaccine/mask/social control claims.

AOC on Caterers: Make Them Wear Masks

 

According to sources familiar with the matter, the 2021 Met Gala’s controversial “hybrid masking policy” represented an attempt by event planners to simultaneously protect invited guests from the coronavirus while reminding The Help that they are there not to speak but to be spoken to.

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) expressed enthusiastic support for the masking compromise over an appetizer of foie gras entier: “It was either them or us. On the one hand, there’s the exigencies of the political class, celebrities, and contributors to The Atlantic who have verified Twitter accounts; on the other hand, there are these hopelessly unconnected kulaks on the catering team who don’t even live in Manhattan.” AOC then added, “Let them wear masks.”

The two-term representative then rang a bell while demanding a lobster toast with avocado and Espelette pepper.

Why Did the Jews Complain?

 

Remember the story of the Exodus, of the Jews’ leaving Egypt? From the beginning of their journey, when they encountered the Reed Sea, they complained; they saw the Egyptians pursuing them in chariots, and they were certain they would die. It didn’t occur to them that they would be rescued by G-d. When they were saved, the Torah says that “they had faith in G-d and his servant Moses.”

But did they?

When they left Egypt so quickly, they were unable to bring much food or drinkable water. So, they complained again. Moses asked G-d what they could drink, and G-d showed Moses a way to make the bitter water sweet. So, their faith in G-d was restored. Right?

Tech issues attacked The King of Stuff, scrapping the planned interview, so Jon flies solo, talking about Gen. Milley’s backchannel talks with the Chinese military, DC’s failed Covid response, and gives tribute to his favorite comedian, Norm Macdonald. Instead of recommending a song this week, Jon recommends the comic’s brilliant memoir-cum-novel, Based on a True Story.

‘You Can’t Land Here!’

 

Douglas C-54 Skymaster.

Captain John “Jack” Rayca couldn’t believe his ears. The war in Europe was nearly over. He’d been flying various multi-engine planes throughout the war including the twin-engine C-46 Commando, the twin C-47 Skytrain, and now later in the war, the big C-54 Douglas Skymaster with its four Pratt & Whitney R-2000-9 Twin Wasp 14-cylinder radial engines that put out 1,100 hp each. The Skymasters were long haulers and heavy lifters for their day, able to go 4,000 miles with 28,000 lbs. of payload. Their maximum takeoff weight was an impressive 36.5 tons.

Captain Rayca and his crew flew new replacement bombers and cargo to Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and even India. On their return trips to the states they often carried wounded servicemen. Today was one of those flights. He and his crew had a load of wounded and war weary pilots and yet the Army Major in charge of the airport’s military operations had just said “…you can’t land here”.