An interesting mix this week (and sometimes with just TOO much information) as James and Toby discuss whether 2022 saw higher-than average mortality in Britain and elsewhere and, if it did, whether the mRNA vaccines are responsible; Charles III’s forthcoming coronation (which the King intends to dedicate to refugees and NHS workers); the prostitution boom in Davos; and most disturbingly, what James would do if faced with a choice between having sex with Klaus Schwab or getting vaccinated.

Finally, Toby takes up the Free Speech Union’s petition to save Jeremy Clarkson, which currently has over 40,000 signatures.

Should We Be Providing ‘Charity’ to Ukraine?

 

In a recent speech, Rand Paul gave a powerful presentation regarding the millions of dollars we are giving to Ukraine. He likened our situation to a conundrum that Davy Crockett faced when he served in Congress. (Most of us perceive Crockett as an iconic symbol of the West, but he also served in Congress from 1827 to 1835.) And Paul told a story that speaks to our continual donation of funds and military equipment to Ukraine and how it extends a long, expensive, and debilitating process of trying to be generous to other countries under the guise of national security.

Although Crockett’s original speech was not transcribed, his ideas were captured in an 1867 article written by Edward Ellis and published in Harper’s Magazine, called, “Not yours to Give.” And the conclusions that Crockett reached challenged Congress’ intention to donate charity to the widow of a distinguished naval officer. He took his position from an encounter with a citizen who called him out for a similar funding decision that Crockett made in another devastating occurrence. Crockett was credited with the following description of the situation:

Several years ago, I was one evening standing on the steps of the Capitol with some other members of Congress when our attention was attracted by a great light over in Georgetown. It was evidently a large fire. We jumped into a hack and drove over as fast we could. In spite of all that could be done, many houses were burned and many families made houseless, and besides, some of them had lost all but the clothes they had on. The weather was very cold, and when I saw so many women and children suffering, I felt that something ought to be done for them. The next morning a bill was introduced appropriating $20,000 for their relief. We put aside all other business and rushed it through as soon as it could be done.

The GOP Is a Worthless Entity, Part 4,356,422

 

https://freebeacon.com/latest-news/woke-agenda-survives-these-house-republicans-are-sticking-with-diversity-and-inclusion/

At what point can we be done with this party? As if the diversity, equity, and inclusion crowd hasn’t done enough damage to the cohesiveness and competency of this country, the GOP then decides to allow six committees to push it as their focus. That’s what we need from the party of “freedom.” More ways to figure out how to get objectively unworthy people forced advantages against those that earned them.

So There We Were….

 

We had a President under attack and a VP with lots of questions about their ability to serve. We were fighting what some called a proxy war against a large competitor on the grounds of a county that many couldn’t have found on a map before the conflict. Gas prices were going up, and we were about to be held hostage by gas-producing countries. This was causing an economic and employment crisis, and there were political riots in the country.

That was 51 years ago today.

The Smoke

 

There was a prayer rally Thursday at the site of a scheduled Satanic meeting for young children in a K-2 primary school on the southeastern corner of Virginia. A schedule of meetings was arranged under a “tenant” lease used to allow for meetings outside of the familiar teacher-sponsored club arrangements that most people have experienced. No teachers were sponsoring Satan in this instance.

That Day Is Today

 

“A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him, saying, ‘You are mad; you are not like us.'”

Those words were spoken 1,700 years ago by St. Anthony the Great. And I was reminded of them while reading this article at Crisis by Regis Nicoll:

I’m Proud of the Everett, WA, Police

 

There is a local website that publishes news stories pertinent to the residents of Everett, WA.  Today, there is a story about a police “emphasis patrol” which took place this last Thursday.  For four hours in the late morning and early afternoon, a large team consisting of police officers, evidence managers, social workers, local crime stoppers, and Public Works staff made a dozen arrests and cleaned up many blocks of Evergreen Way, a major thoroughfare.  Here is a quote from the article:

For a time, late Thursday morning there was a backup at the booking area of the Snohomish County Jail due to the number of people being brought in by Everett Police.

Perhaps We’re Supposed to Find It Hard to Communicate

 

Common culture, friends, and advice columns keep reminding us to “communicate.” But communication is much harder than it seems. After all, much of interpersonal communication is not even specifically in words themselves. Instead, when we talk to someone, we rely on a lifetime’s accumulated and internalized knowledge of facial expressions, rhythms, pauses, body language, and musical elements of speech. Even when using the same language and words, people from different cultures do not communicate easily – and certainly not as fully as if they shared the same culture.

In a similar vein, central planners have often bemoaned the fact that ants work together to create amazing things – while people are much harder to organize and manage. Besides, people can be … resistant to being commanded about by those same central planners.

Biden: Search For Classified Documents May Turn Up More Homes

 

President Biden conceded on Friday that the search for mishandled classified documents may turn up additional homes. After searches of his homes in both Wilmington and Rehoboth Beach, Delaware as well as his offices at the Penn Biden Center in Washington, Biden stated that he “can’t rule out the possibility” that more homes will be found.

When pressed by Fox News reporter Peter Doocy, Biden appeared to enter a fugue-like state, saying “Let’s see, there’s the mansion in Greenville I bought from the DuPonts – no joke… we called it The Station. Anyway, sources and methods pertaining to the Taliban might just turn up there… then we flipped The Station and bought the place in Wilmington, which has been searched top to bottom by my fixers, er, I mean officials from Justice Department… ditto my bachelor pad in Rehoboth…”

The President then appeared to nod off again before acknowledging that classified documents may in fact turn up at the five-bedroom property they rented in McClean, Virginia, where former first lady Jackie Kennedy grew up.

Quote of the Day: Beer and Books

 

“Beer is to dumb guys what books are to smart ones — Just having a lot of them makes you feel a whole lot smarter.” — Stephen Pastis

There is a lot of truth in both ends of that quote.  Drink enough beer and you do feel smarter.  You may not be smarter and you may not act smarter, but sure enough you feel a whole lot smarter.  It doesn’t matter if you are a dumb guy or a smart guy, either – at least not in my experience.

Poor Harry, Poor Me

 

I admit that I am not a close follower of the British royals or anything, but I cannot help but hear about them whenever they make news. That being said, I am open to correction on anything I get wrong since I am not interested enough to do a lot of homework on it.

The latest kerfuffle has been caused by Prince Harry in his memoir, Spare. The term “spare” refers to the ancient practice of making sure the king had at least two male heirs who could become king when the king himself died. Until recently, life was much more uncertain than it is now and children frequently died. So it was prudent for a king to produce more than one possible heir to the throne, hence the term “heir and a spare.” As we are all well aware, Harry is the ‘spare’ and his brother William is the ‘heir.’

Masking in Japan in 2023

 

I went to Japan over the holidays, where I felt at times like I’d been thrust back into the bowels of 2020, a place I feel no one should ever want to go, but I admit that I should not have been as surprised as I was.

Japan has tighter requirements for entry for foreigners than many other countries in Asia.  The government maintained a restrictive Visa requirement into October 2022.  This is gone now, but for entry in 2023, one must still show either proof of “full vaccination,” which includes at least one booster (three shots), or a PCR test within 72 hours of one’s arrival in the country.

Horror at an English Country Manor

 

Ishmael Jones hunts monsters. He solves mysteries and uncovers dark secrets. He works for Britain’s Organization, which does not officially exist within government. He feels like he is doing some good there, and working for the Organization allows him to maintain his anonymity.

“The Dark Side of the Road”, a science fiction novel by Simon R. Green introduces Ishmael Jones. Jones is a man apart; someone who respects only the Colonel, the Organization’s chief. Jones has worked with the Colonel on numerous field assignments. Two days before Christmas the Colonel contacts Jones requesting Jones join the Colonel for Christmas at the Colonel’s family home.

It is the first time the Colonel has invited Jones to meet his family. It must be important. The Colonel asks as a personal favor and says he will discuss the reason why Jones is needed when Jones arrives. Jones leaves London that night in a rented car for the drive to Belcourt Manor in rural Cornwall. Despite a vicious blizzard that has the roads shut down.

A Democrat Governor Did a Good Thing

 

To be honest, I don’t follow the shenanigans of most US governors. Living in Washington state, I am sadly aware of the work of Gov. Jay Inslee to further and further restrict our freedom. And the MSM doesn’t let me forget the ongoing idiocy of the governors of California and New York and, for some inexplicable reason, Michigan. I do take pleasure in the adventures of the honorable governor of Florida and his never-ending battle with woke stupidity.

I am usually content to stay ignorant of what the other governors are up to — for good or ill. But I happened upon a piece of good news from the Keystone State. Democratic Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro, on his first full day in office, in his first executive order, removed the requirement of a four-year degree for tens of thousands of state government jobs. This is a good thing.

The $15 Dinner Party

 

Times are tough with the ever-increasing cost of food. This makes the potluck dinner social event even more important. I believe you can host a dinner for six with an investment of about 10 or 15 dollars. Invite two other couples to share the meal. Ask one couple to bring a simple dessert for six and ask the other to bring an appetizer to munch on as the evening starts. Tell everyone to bring what they want to drink for the gathering. Discounting the cost of booze, everyone is on somewhat equal footing.

The main entree is chicken and dumplings with a green vegetable on the side. That may not sound elegant, but it is comfort food at its best. Purchase a roasted chicken from Costco for $4.99. Deconstruct the chicken by separating the skin, the meat, and the remaining carcass. Set the meat aside, but put the skin, bones, and some celery and carrots in a pot to make chicken stock. After you strain, the solid material from the stock you want about two cups of rich broth. Make sure you included the drippings that were in the plastic container that held the chicken.

‘You Can’t See the Flies’

 

Mrs Rodin’s late mother did a fair amount of international travel in her lifetime. One trip was to the Holy Land and to the pyramids in Egypt. She remarked about some of the photos taken in Egypt during the trip that “you can’t see the flies.” Apparently, there was an abundance of flies, but they simply are not caught in the images.

I was reminded of this when contemplating how much I like period pieces in cinema and television. Part of my Prime subscription includes ACORN, Britbox, and the like. The Brits do period pieces like no other. No doubt it is because, unlike their more youthful American cousins, they actually have places that are period pieces. And so it is that one can imagine being transported back to a place and time, say, the 1890s to 1910s, when there were just enough conveniences but before the mass carnages, when you might live your most ideal life.

‘You Are My Lily of Laguna, You Are My Lily and My Rose!’

 

It’s always a risk to go sailing down rabbit holes, because you never know what you might turn up when you hit bottom. Thus, after a recent conversation with a family member about the previous paternal generation of “She” and its love of the early-20th-century music-hall oeuvre.

My father and his siblings were veritable treasure troves of archaic hits.  You can see a bit of it here, recorded only a couple of months before Dad died, in a conversation with his younger sister Pat:

‘Q,’ Little Cable Cars, and the Degradation of the City by the Bay

 

How long before a critical mass of citizens finally say Enough is Enough? Then…?

It would take more adjectives than I know to describe our love for what we, and so many others around the world, regard as one of the most beautiful cities in the world, the very epitome of culture, civilization, culture, natural setting, and a place where My Lady and I have had some of the best times of our life with some of the dearest friends we have ever had. In saying that, I hope to dispel any idea that I feel a sense of schadenfreude in recording the most recent outrage against all The City by the Bay stands for in the minds of so many of us in whose lives it played such a major role and whose memory we hold dear and precious.

On this episode of Take Back Our Schools, Andrew and Beth welcome teacher and author, Daniel Buck. Daniel talks about his new book, What is Wrong with Our Schools, and shares his own experiences as a student in the progressive echo chamber of education schools and as a teacher. Daniel describes his journey away from progressive education and towards knowledge-based traditional education, especially classical literature. We discuss the importance of student behavior in the classroom and the deleterious impact of restorative justice programs. Daniel also interprets and criticizes progressive buzzwords such as “critical thinking” and “child-centered learning.”

Daniel Buck is a middle-school English teacher, having taught at both public and private schools He is also senior visiting fellow at the Fordham Institute, and his writing has been featured in many publications including The Wall Street Journal and National Review.

The faculty lounge has reopened for 2023 and Professors Richard Epstein and John Yoo are ringing in the new year in style. On the docket: What’s the potential fallout from President Biden’s mishandling of classified information? And how does it compare to former President Trump’s? What happens if the Supreme Court never gets to the bottom of the leak of the Dobbs opinion? Is there a sudden epidemic of incivility on the Court? And — the analysis you’re all really here for — will Alec Baldwin be convicted for his role in an accidental shooting on a New Mexico film set? All that plus Yoo reviews movies, Epstein takes a left turn into the JFK assassination, and we review some of the sickest burns in Supreme Court history.

From My Cold, Dead, but Still Shaking Hands

 

“Belief” in “climate change” is a signifier of a vast raft of opinions and stances. Those who “deny” are guilty of ecocide, the primary sin of our time. It supersedes all other sins, because it is existential murder of the broadest sense.

The issue at hand is a Canadian study – of course – advising that people should drink less coffee to combat climate change. 

Canadian researchers analyzed coffee’s “contribution to climate change” in a piece published in early January and suggested people moderate their consumption of the popular drink as a part of the solution.

Lies? What Lies?

 

Nobody expects the US to keep its promises anymore. After all, the world has changed drastically, woke agendas must be pursued and commitments to others that don’t directly support that agenda are a waste of time. We’ve lost so much credibility on the world stage that few countries probably believe we can be trusted anymore. Trying to maintain truth, integrity, and honor are just foolish aspirations.

So when we left Afghanistan in August 2021, promises we had made to the Afghan translators simply became inconvenient. Joe Biden didn’t care about the promises we’d made to the translators to ensure that they would get passage to the United States; all he cared about was getting out, regardless of the lives lost and those at risk. Even losing 13 American Marines was barely acknowledged. As a result, a pathetic effort was made to get Afghans out with no effort to make sure that the Afghan translators were at the top of the list. Although a small number of Afghans and their families managed to escape on the designated military plane, or due to their own efforts and those of NGOs, such as No One Left Behind, many were killed by the Taliban; many still remain in hiding in fear for their lives.  James Miervaldis tells the story: