Let’s Talk About Uma Thurman’s Abortion (Since She Is)

 

I live in Texas where obtaining an abortion after six weeks of gestation is problematic due to a new law that allows citizens to sue those individuals that facilitate an abortion. (Disclosure: I don’t know enough about the law to intelligently comment on it specifically, but I am pro-life so it seems fine to me. Also, I volunteer at and financially support my local crisis pregnancy center.)

Ms. Thurman wrote a piece in the Washington Post revealing her own teenage abortion while complaining that the Texas law creates a human rights crisis. Since Ms. Thurman has revealed such personal information, I have a few questions, comments, and rank speculations about it.

America Surrendered to the Left in Our Last Election. Germany Is Next.

 

The world is a mess right now.  More than usual, I mean.  China appears to have demographic and economic imbalances that would seem to lead to a catastrophic correction at some point.  Russia has social and economic problems that just can’t be sustainable.  America is doing it’s very best to destroy itself and its allies as rapidly and spectacularly as possible.  And then there’s the EU – a random collection of 27 nations united in one economy which is based on, really, nothing whatsoever.

Germany is the gorilla in the EU room, with a population that dwarfs the other 26 countries, and an economy that actually produces things.  Try to imagine the EU without Germany.  Why would earn the money to pay for everything?  Greece?  Italy?  Spain?  Portugal?  Estonia?  Romania?  Many countries in the EU are essentially insolvent, and are completely dependent on the support of the EU, meaning the support of Germany, to continue to pay the bills.  Which means those countries, and the rest of us, might take an interest in the upcoming election in Germany.

Angela Merkel’s 16-year reign of mush is coming to an end.  After this week’s election, it appears very likely that Germany will be ruled by a coalition of the Socialist Party, the Left Party (a direct descendant of the Marxist Leninist ruling party of the former East Germany), and the Greens.  According to Andreas Hellmann of National Review,

On Anti-Semitism: ‘Does Everybody Hate Jews?’

 

When I saw Bari Weiss’ latest substack essay in my inbox, I hesitated to read it; did I really need to write another piece for Ricochet about the increase of anti-Semitism in America? At the same time, I’m always curious to know about recent surveys or perspectives on this phenomenon, so I read the essay. And I was surprised to learn that not only did Weiss have some intriguing points to make, but she also stimulated new ideas for me on the topic of anti-Semitism in America.

The King of Stuff delivers his own State of the Union address covering Biden’s failed presidency. From the economy to foreign policy, and immigration to Covid, Biden is has made a mess of everything he’s touched. Jon also warns listeners to avoid late-night lectures and reveals the secret difference between reins and whips. Subscribe to the King of Stuff Spotify playlist featuring picks from the show. This week, Jon chooses “Two Fingers” by Sea Power.

The Beatles will go down in history as one of the most prolific music acts of all time. Their music is still played in our homes and around the world and has influenced pop culture on a global scale.

 

Biden’s Latest Firings Are Unjustified

 

On September 8, in his latest exercise of political muscle, President Joe Biden ordered Catherine Russell, the White House director for presidential personnel, to send letters to all incumbent presidential appointees on the visiting committees of West Point, the Naval Academy, and the Air Force Academy, each of whom had received commissions for three-year terms. Her message was short and to the point: either resign by the close of business today or you will be terminated by 6 p.m.—thank you. Among those individuals who were targeted on the West Point visiting committee was former president Donald Trump’s national security advisor and current Hoover senior fellow, H. R. McMaster, who had just been named the recipient of a distinguished graduate award for 2021 from West Point.

Press secretary Jennifer Psaki sought to supply the explanation left out of Russell’s demand letters:

The president’s objective is what any president’s objective is, which was to ensure that you have nominees and people serving on these boards who are qualified to serve on them and who are aligned with your values.

What Would Pop Think About Covid?

 

Pop died in 1976, but he was on the 2013 super bowl. You may remember seeing him. Dodge Trucks made a commercial about him. They played a recording of the late Paul Harvey delivering a section of an old speech of his. It was called “So God Made A Farmer”. Mr. Harvey may not have had Pop in mind when he gave that speech but, make no mistake, he was talking about Pop.

Do you remember that old man near the beginning of the Dodge commercial wearing the cowboy hat?  Pop wore a hat just like that. The image of him in that hat is seared in my little six-year-old mind. I loved that hat and I loved the man who wore it.  Pop had been a real cowboy and ranch foreman in west Texas and New Mexico during his early adult years. There are pictures of him as a young man in a cowboy hat and riding chaps, wearing a pistol on his hip. No words are adequate to describe the effect of those pictures on the imagination of a little boy who came to realize that his grandfather had lived a life of adventure.

Pop used to tell me stories of how, on Saturday nights, all the cowboys would ride into town and the goal was to ride the most ornery “buckin’ horse” you could find. More than one mishap and much hilarity ensued. Pop was always ready with a laugh, often at his own expense, as he told stories about those days.

A Brief Guide to the COVID-19 Disclosures

 

justice and COVID-19The Intercept’s September 9 article, “NEW DETAILS EMERGE ABOUT CORONAVIRUS RESEARCH AT CHINESE LAB,” has a series of links that point to the 900 pages of official government documents they sued the U.S. government to release. Readers should treat the Intercept article as a guide to these sources.

The Intercept is making the full documents available to the public.

This link points to the complaint, the legal document initiating the civil lawsuit against the NIH.

John U. Bacon was Jay’s guest on “Q&A” last summer—talking about some terribly serious issues in college sports. In this new episode, JUB talks about his new book: “Let Them Lead: Unexpected Lessons in Leadership from America’s Worst High-School Hockey Team.” That team was the Huron High School River Rats, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Before coaching at Huron, John went there. So did Jay. They are old friends and classmates. John turned the hockey team around in an extraordinary way. In this achievement are lessons for all of us. 

The Best and the Worst

 

When I got married, I knew I wanted to have children. It was just what you did, right? I came from a family of eight kids. My parents and grandparents all had children. The only people that I was aware of without children were a couple of my aunts who had never married.

We’d been married just over two years when our first child was born. We made a plan; we made a baby; we had the baby! It was amazing! He was adorable, sweet, calm, so awesome. We decided to have another baby. We made a plan; we made a baby; she was born! She cried relentlessly for the first three months of her life. She had terrible colic, and occasionally, I’d just have to hand her over to daddy and walk outside for a moment or two of calmness. It was soooo different from the first baby! In fact, her personality was nearly the opposite of our son.

My Chernobyl Adventure

 

I’ve been trying to visit Chernobyl for about six years. In the summer of 2015, while working in Saudi Arabia I arranged a quick four-day visit to Kyiv. When looking for things to do I came across a Chernobyl tour. It sounded fascinating, and I booked a tour. Unfortunately, I messed up my dates and thought it was on the second day after my arrival, and it was on the first. Due to the paperwork and permits with the Ukrainian government, I missed my chance. Fast forward to spring 2020. I again booked a trip to Kyiv and this time a two-day tour. And, Covid shut down all travel two weeks before my trip.

Finally, with an airline credit expiring, and travel relatively easy, I rebooked for September. This time I made it.

I order to visit Chernobyl you have to book a tour, and they submit your passport and information to the government who arrange your pass into the Exclusion Zone, the 30 km radius area around Chernobyl that was evacuated after the 1986 disaster. A second inner 10 km zone includes the most contaminated area. My two-day visit started out in Kyiv where I met my tour guide Serghyj and the other four members of the tour, two Dutch, an Aussie, and an Austrian.

The Justification for Forced Vaccination of Children

 

Who knew that the reason children should be forced to get the COVID vaccine is because of “bug-nut crazy right wingers, who are a bunch of idiots.”  That is what I was told when I replied to a Tweet about pending vaccine approval for 5-11 year olds.  After I fully agreed with said Tweet stating that parents should be allowed to choose whether their children get the COVID vaccine, I was called a dumbass that had to do mental gymnastics to come to my conclusion.  At first, I tried to politely point out that we shouldn’t force children, who are at significantly lower risk of getting COVID, much less a serious case of it, to get vaccinated to protect adults who choose not to. I was quickly told, yes they do, then insulted (see above).  Finally,  the “bug-nut crazy right winger” argument was made (no mental gymnastics there!) to justify the mandate. Yep, children should be forced to get COVID vaccines because crazy right wingers won’t.

For what it’s worth, the person I was arguing with cited an article supporting her claim that children are efficient spreaders, and I read both the article in Forbes and the paper the article reported on.  Unfortunately for my debate opponent (and even more unfortunate for me, because Twitter is not a forum conducive to a full analysis of the report) the report does not make her case.

Who is Worse, Mark Milley or Benedict Arnold?

 

General Mark Milley’s January 2021 actions, as published by Bob Woodward and confirmed by Milley’s non-denial, were far more damaging to American national security than Brigadier General Benedict Arnold’s attempted betrayal of the American Revolution. General Milley reportedly subverted our national security on two levels, both leading fellow officers to collude in subverting the Constitution, and directly conspiring with a nuclear adversary to remove our first strike capability and give Communist China the time to launch missiles at our cities first. In comparison, Benedict Arnold informed British commanders of Continental Army planning for a possible invasion of Canada and attempted to communicate an offer to hand over the fortifications at West Point, if he was placed in command of defenses including West Point, in return for cash and some status under British rule. Mark Milley is worse than Benedict Arnold. Gen. Mark Milley did more damage to our national defense than Gen. Benedict Arnold.

Brigadier General Benedict Arnold was a hero of the American Revolution, until he was not.

Early in May [1779] he made secret overtures to British headquarters, and a year later he informed the British of a proposed American invasion of Canada. He later revealed that he expected to obtain the command of West Point, New York, and asked the British for £20,000 for betraying this post. When his British contact, Maj. John André, was captured by the Americans, Arnold escaped on a British ship, leaving André to be hanged as a spy. The sacrifice of André made Arnold odious to loyalists, and his reputation was further tarnished among his former neighbours when he led a raid on New London, Connecticut, in September 1781.

There’s a Hole in My Bucket (List)

 

‘Twas Burns that said of mice and men,
Two hundred years ago
The best-laid schemes gang aft agley, a
Truth so wretch’d, bless’d be
To twist the tack of life we plow!

Truth be told, I don’t have a bucket list. It’s not that I don’t believe in having goals or aspirations or hopes for certain experiences. It’s just that over time (and reinforced by those annoying disruptions and intrusions of “real life”), I’ve learned that life has a way of upsetting “the best laid plans o’ mice and men.” The more detailed the plan, the more likely events conspire to undermine the effort. My mantra, if I have one, is to find ways to adapt, to keep moving and avoid the trap that leads to paralysis when life takes a hard unexpected turn. It’s a difficult trap to avoid for those of us who don’t get along with the idea of “change.”

What Can You Do?

 

A few years ago I was doing an annual physical on ‘Marie,’ a very pleasant 80-year-old woman who was born and raised in Montreal.  Her father had died of colon cancer in his early 60s, but she hadn’t had a colonoscopy for several years.  They had always been fine, and she was getting older, and she just hadn’t done one for a while.  I suggested we recheck, she said she was too old and not in the mood, so we compromised with a Cologuard (a home stool sample that is moderately good at picking up colon cancer).  It came back positive.

I immediately referred her to GI, who said they could see her in three weeks.  I said that wasn’t good enough, explained the situation, and they scoped her the following Monday.  They found colon cancer, I called a surgeon, and had the cancer removed (along with eight inches of her colon) later that week.  Total time from stool sample results to cancer surgery:  Eight days.  Pretty good, but still, one of the 12 lymph nodes they biopsied was positive for cancer.  Crap.  Metastatic cancer in an 80-year-old woman.  What can you do?

Well, in this day and age, you can do a lot.  So she undergoes four rounds of chemo.  Modern chemo has come a long way, and she didn’t feel sick at all.  Although she got tired of driving back and forth to the infusion center 20 minutes away.  It resulted in clean scans and apparent resolution of her cancer.  That was three years ago.  She turns 84 next month.  She feels great, and all subsequent testing has shown no evidence of recurrence.  All cancer patients are not so fortunate.  But sometimes modern medicine really can work miracles.  Yahoo!  Except.

The Movie “Mr. Jones” Shows the Results of Communism

 

An orange is the only color in the scene. On a train bound for the hinterlands of the Ukraine, Gareth Jones sits among starving peasants. Stirrings of hunger prompt Mr. Jones to reach in his satchel for an orange. Every eye in the train car focuses on that piece of fruit. Mr. Jones, at this point in his journey, is unaware of the starvation being imposed on Ukrainians by Joseph Stalin. One orange, images a story Mr. Jones must tell. One courageous man. One cadre of self-serving Western journalists, covering the truth by silencing their pens. One megalomaniac dictator. One nation on the brink of starvation. One movie that will smash vapid idealistic visions of communism. If you want to know why history matters in the present, please watch Mr. Jones.

Mr. Jones displays exactly what happens when dictators subjugate a people and the journalists who are supposed to cover the story, silence their pens. Over one hundred million people died in the 20th century at the hands of despots. Many of these tyrants began their beliefs and practices based on atheism. To understand the 20th century, one must begin with naturalism, materialism, and yes, atheism. YouTube abounds with testimonies about the horrors. There are stories of some who hid others from discovery by jackbooted thugs, and some were spared bloodshed by Providence. Pick a dictator: Mao Zedong, Stalin, Pol Pot, Idi Amin, Castro, they are all cut from the same cloth.

When We Allow Life to Change Us

 

No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.  —Heraclitus

Anyone who thinks that life is too routine and that hardly anything changes has gotten himself into a rut. We can allow ourselves to be numbed by our daily routines, bored with the predictability of our days, and dwell on the many things we don’t have or we’d like to have.

Instead, though, we can notice the richness of each day as we move through it. For me, there are a great many things that pique my attention or give me joy. When I get up early in the morning, I will notice the stillness that rests in the house; somehow that day’s silence has its own soothing quality. Or on my walk, I’ll notice a new blossom on my lemon tree; a walker who has an English mastiff who’s decided to stop and greet me; or an armadillo that scampers blindly to find his breakfast.

Enfold Me, Morpheus, in Thine Drowsy Arms

 

I’m a lifelong insomniac. Over the years, I’ve tried most everything: coffee abstinence, naps, no naps, Dramamine, going to bed early, going to bed late, melatonin, sleep aids with an antihistamine, exercise, and the ingestion of cannabis. mainly through vaping, though I’ve tried gummy bears, and smoking as well.

Everything but sleeping pills.  I’m leery of them and many doctors, including my doc at the Veteran’s Hospital, are so down on them that they won’t prescribe them because of adverse side effects like confusion, dependence, and memory problems.

Unhappily, my insomnia has grown worse as I’ve aged.  These last few years, I’ve been getting, on my bad nights, only an hour or two of sleep.  On my good nights, I get four or so hours. That lack of sleep has started to interfere with my quality of life.

Senate’s Parliamentarian Back Under the Klieg Lights

 

Klieg lights, Wikipedia tells us, were intensely bright “carbon arc” lights used in filmmaking. They were so bright that they allowed Hollywood directors to film daytime scenes at night. They were also so bright as to cause inflammation of the eye, known as “Klieg eye.”

Let’s hope the Senate’s Parliamentarian, Elizabeth McDonough suffers no such injury. Or worse. Few people like the spotlight less than the Senate’s Parliamentarian, a senior staff member and legal expert who reports to the Secretary of the Senate, the chamber’s senior officer. And now, she has won a new Twitter hashtag, #FireTheParliamentarian.

The Loss of a Brilliant Man

 

Powerline reportsTerrible news out this morning of the death of Angelo Codevilla, at age 78, reportedly the victim of a drunk driver.

If you haven’t read his stuff, you should.  I learn something every time I read him.  This is a great loss, to all of us.  Rest in peace, my friend…

A Revisit to the Village

 

“The simple message of It Takes a Village is as relevant as ever: We are all in this together.”- HRC, It Takes a Village

That is, until the going gets tough. Then you’re on your own.

Mike Pompeo began the Trump era as an opponent of the future 45th president. But by the time Donald Trump exited the White House in January 2021, the former CIA director and former Secretary of State had emerged as perhaps his most trusted Cabinet official.

In this episode, Pompeo talks Afghanistan; discusses his experience in the Trump administration, sounds off on the former president’s impact on the Republican Party; and addresses the question of how Trump’s plans for a 2024 bid might impact his own presidential ambitions.

Russell Moore’s Evangelical Imaginarium

 

I posted what follows on my own blog site. It won’t be everyone’s cup of tea as it relates primarily to the growing cultural and theological fault lines within American evangelicalism. I’m pretty sure the fracturing that is currently taking place there is not confined to evangelicalism per se, so maybe this will have some interest to a few outside the evangelical sphere.

Dr. Russell Moore gave a talk at a Plough Magazine event. The transcript is posted here. I take exception to Dr. Moore’s remarks. In part because he puts his thumb on the scales in support of progressivism. But, more importantly, he does so in a way that lacks forthrightness and transparency. I’ve seen his kind of movie before, and I find it both oily and uncompelling.