Parenting whilst having dead parents is one of the most treacherous emotional minefields in the human experience. To be a parent after having lost one’s parents is, in hopefully the most healthy way possible, the only way that lost relationship can be regained, albeit in reverse.
My relationship with my daughter is identical to the one I had with my mother. We are too alike; we fight, we snuggle, and we fight again, in a cycle.More
Former National Security Advisor H.R, McMaster and former Afghan Ambassador to China Janan Mosazai analyze the state of affairs in Afghanistan today. They discuss the role that terrorist groups Al Qaeda and the Taliban have had in the formation of the country, the United States’ military action in the country, and where Afghanistan is headed.More
For decades, the Phoenix Veterans’ Day parade dominated the state, and certainly the Valley of the Sun. While Mesa has always hosted a parade, it has been much smaller, and less spectacular. This year’s East Valley Veterans Parade was bigger, better, and showed signs of truly being the East Valley Veterans Parade, hosted by Mesa.
Mesa Mayor John Giles and the city council participated, as always, but this year they were joined by Mayor Jenn Daniels and the town council of Gilbert. As the Mesa Police Department led the parade, with a line of motorcycle officers, and a marching unit, the Gilbert Police Department countered with a restomodded heavy Chevy.More
Listening to Mark Levin on the radio yesterday I heard his analysis of the results of the election: immigration. Now, this has multiple dimensions. The most obvious one involves external immigration that no longer promotes assimilation, thus appeals to tribalism and government entitlements attracts votes of this late-20th to 21st-century phenomena. More and more new voters in this country simply do not share values that drove our politics before 1970.
The less obvious, but potent, is internal immigration: People leaving failed progressive strongholds but voting in the new place just like they voted in the old place. The change of address is not accompanied by a change in attitude for the internal immigrant any more than it is for the external immigrant.More
The most extreme examples of climate change were the ice ages and they were really a catastrophe for life in many parts of the world. And we don’t understand them.
We just don’t know why they started or why they come and go in a more or less periodic fashion. It’s all a big mystery. And if we don’t understand ice ages we don’t understand climate. – Freeman Dyson
Occasionally, you read something so strong, so close to you, so transformative, that it stays with you forever. You find yourself referring back to it time and again as you warm to its truth, passing it along to others with a growing sense of urgency as the years go by.
Thirty odd years ago, while living in northern California, I picked up a San Francisco Chronicle one day and stumbled upon Herb Caen (as in candy cane). Herb Caen wrote a gossipy, but never snarky, daily column (for fifty-eight years!) that was a conglomeration of everything going on, especially in San Francisco but also in the world at large, together with observations, sprinkled liberally throughout, on the passing political and cultural scene. Among Caen’s claims to fame were the introduction of “beatnik” into the lexicon and a Pulitzer Prize. Caen had a goofy sense of humor and you never knew when it might make its presence felt, often by separating completely unrelated items solely by means of three dot ellipses.More
In the 1950 and 60s the Imperial War Museum and the BBC recorded oral histories of ordinary Tommies and their experiences in the Great War from 1914-18. From enlistment to training, to the horrors of the mud, the blood, the gas, the stench and the filth of the trenches, and the somewhat hollow homecoming, their stories are both riveting and revolting.
To bring these these stories to life, New Zealand filmmaker Peter Jackson combines their voices with film from the IWM vaults, much of it never seen before. His techniques are both a marvel and at times questionable. When much of the footage was originally shot the frame rate of hand-cranked film was somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 to 16 frames per second instead of the now standard 24 FPS. To compensate, computer software was utilized to create interpolated frames. It smooths out the action and removes the herky-jerky style we have come to expect of motion pictures from the silent era but it means that for every minute of real film on screen there are about 20 seconds of computer created imagery. To top that off all of the film shot in France has been colorized and for theater audiences, some of it stereoscoped into 3D. I viewed the film as it was presented on the BBC on Armistice Day and the re-translation back to 2D is unsettling at times.More
I finally enrolled in the VA having discovered almost a year ago that that was necessary because, you know, the Department of Defense can’t electronically transfer records to the VA so the vet must do it himself.
When I went to enroll today I was first told that they needed a hard copy of my DD 214 (discharge/ retirement papers from the USMC) but of course that meant a trip to the public library because (imagine my surprise?!?) there was nowhere in the VA hospital for me to get online and print it out for them.More
Babies aren’t stupid. They look stupid, but they aren’t. They can start manipulating people around them when only a few days old. The problem babies have is that the world simply produces far too much data, and it takes a person years to figure out how to filter out enough stimulus to be able to accurately use our senses.
As we grow, we keep advancing this skillset. Most highly-productive adults manage precisely because we have trained their minds to ignore or otherwise block out the vast majority of data that our bodies is capable of receiving. Otherwise, we would be as paralyzed as a newborn.More
“Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promises permanency; but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”
Thus wrote Benjamin Franklin, 229 years ago today, on November 13, 1789. The recipient of his musings was one Jean-Baptiste Leroy, an eighteenth-century physicist and regular correspondent with Franklin. Like Franklin, he was fascinated by the science of electricity, and in 1749, he was a co-constructer of the electrometer, a device for detecting and measuring electrical charges and voltages. Thank you M. Leroy. I sing your praises every time I flip the circuit breaker, but then stick the little prongs of the pocket version of your invention into the outlet, or into the box, just to make absolutely sure I’m not going to send myself to kingdom come when I touch the bare wires. (I do loathe electrical projects. Messing with something I can’t see, which has the shocking power to send me instantly into the next world, fussels my boogie immensely.)More
The National Rifle Association (NRA) is never one to back down from a fight, even during emotional times following mass shootings. Last week, however, they clearly stumbled, in response to a recently published paper recommending numerous gun regulations.
The article, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, was ostensibly a position paper for the American College of Physicians (ACP). The authors certainly do make numerous recommendations…some scientific and evidence based, while others were not. Among the various recommendations they make is banning all semiautomatic weapons, waiting periods for gun purchases, banning of bump stocks, and other restrictions.More
Macron at least had the decency not to give his Nationalism speech at an American Military Cemetery in France. Merkel who I’m sure agreed with Macron should have the decency to keep her comments to herself.
Their European values whatever they may be this week cannot be defended either militarily, nor can be they defended logically. They have subjected their own citizens to an invasion that has placed their own sovereignty at risk.More
Three Veterans’ Days ago, I attended the East Valley Veterans Parade in Mesa, AZ. After the parade, I walked over to a restaurant for a bite to eat. In walked a spry elderly gentleman, who sat down across the bar from me. He had a small lapel pin, a twin blade propellor, telling me he was an aviator. So I asked. He had flown from England, as he had for many years, to honor his fallen mates from pilot training.
For obvious reasons, Britain was not a safe place, to learn to fly, during most of World War II. So, the United States agreed to set up three airfields, with support facilities, for the RAF. That is how Mesa got Falcon Field, which is very much in use today.More
The reminder for this post came from this comment, although the idea’s been an idle dream for at least a couple years now, and with the election, now seems an appropriate time to bring it up. For those who don’t want to click the link, the plan is that given the power to redraw state borders, Chicago, Madison, and Milwaukee and the surrounding area would become a state, and Wisconsin would take the Upper Peninsula from Michigan.* There are a couple variants on that plan, but that’s the basic idea. As far as names go, I’m thinking that the new state would be known as Superior, or that it would stay Wisconsin and that the C-M-M combination would come to be known as Megacity One.
That got me thinking: I know about the movement to break up California into several states, in some cases with the addition of land from Oregon, but I’m sure that there must be other proposals that I haven’t heard about, or that people in different areas might have thoughts on how they would like to get rid of annoying parts of their state.More
When pushed into a corner you can either cowardly recoil or stand up straight and come out fighting. My city of Thousand Oaks will always choose the latter.
Wednesday night, just at that moment where dreams drape over the day’s consciousness, through my bedroom sliding door the sound of sirens grew louder. Jolted out of the light sleep, the cacophony was alarming. This area, the cozy confines of one of Americas perennially safest small cities (FBI), the din of sirens and helicopters are a rarity.More
From Jason Lewis in The Wall Street Journal:
McCain’s last-minute decision prompted a “green wave” of liberal special-interest money, which was used to propagate false claims that the House plan “gutted coverage for people with pre-existing conditions.” That line was the Democrats’ most potent attack in the midterms.
Outsiders think of Arizona as one of the reddest states. From Barry Goldwater to anti-immigration hawks like Sheriff Joe Arpaio, our most famous politicians tend to be Republicans. But traditionally, Arizona is rather purple and regularly features tight statewide elections.
In the past 45 years, Democrats have held the governorship as often as the Republicans. But in the last decade, the GOP consolidated their hold on power due to the unprecedented organization of the Tea Party and the Left’s hyperbolic anti-Arizona rhetoric in the wake of the illegal immigration debates. (“Vote for us, you dumb racists!” wasn’t the winning message Democrats expected.) Last Tuesday, the pendulum finally swung back to the center.More
Rep. Martha McSally (R) has conceded the US Senate race in Arizona to Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D). Shortly before the concession, the Associated Press projected that Sinema would emerge victorious.
McSally had lead the vote count throughout Election Day, but lost that lead as mail-in ballots were counted in the days after. The updated vote counts were posted at 5 PM local time, showing that Sinema had further expanded her lead to a nearly insurmountable 1.72 percent.More
It is commonly said that the next presidential campaign begins the day after the midterm elections are over. If that is so, then Donald Trump, true to style, has gotten off to a disastrous start with his opening gambit for the 2020 campaign. First, he fires—excuse me, requests the resignation of—Attorney General Jeff Sessions, whom Trump could not abide because of Sessions’ decision to recuse himself from oversight of Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible Russian interference in the 2016 election. Trump then compounded his own misery by announcing his appointment of Matthew Whitaker, Sessions’ Chief of Staff at the Department of Justice and alleged Trump “loyalist,” as Acting Attorney General until a permanent replacement for Sessions is confirmed by the Senate.
In one of the finer ironies of a most unsubtle age, progressive forces have come out in force to protest the removal of Sessions and to deplore the appointment of Whitaker. The past few days have witnessed mass protests to keep Mueller in place; 18 state AGs calling for Whitaker to recuse himself from the Mueller investigation; an open letter from members of the legal profession condemning “Trump’s outrageous attempt to undermine the investigation into possible wrongdoing” in the 2016 election; and Trump’s toe-to-toe press conference confrontation with CNN reporter Jim Acosta—only for Trump to revoke Acosta’s press credentials, with a promise of more to come. The entire episode has not been lost on the electorate. The lackluster 2018 showing of the Republicans in a strong economy bodes ill for the president. Trump remains his own worst enemy, and for what?More