Quote of the Day: Momentum


“How did you go bankrupt?”
“Two ways. Gradually and then suddenly.”
— Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises

“Same-sex marriage…was the trigger for not only woke capitalism, but the radicalism of today’s left. It was the success that they had in achieving gay marriage that gave them momentum, made them think that nothing would ever arise within American society to stop them, and has led to a kind of acceleration of all these cultural issues. It wasn’t a week after Obergefell was decided that the cake baking episode happened, and then transgenderism became an issue, where all these same groups began accelerating their attacks on the traditional ideas that there are men and women. So I think same-sex marriage was a real accelerant in the decline of marriage from all of the perspectives, but also an accelerant in the collapse of America’s regime.”
— Dr. Scott Yenor, The American Mind podcast, July 19, 2021

The general public may be finally noticing the leftward lurch happening in universities and in K-12, public and private, but the culture has been shifting for decades. It started in the 1960s with a variety of changes in social norms, like the elimination of strict dress codes and curfews for women at the large public university my mother attended. Her first year, in 1962, the female students had a 10 p.m. curfew. The next year, those rules were scrapped. By the time I got to college, we no longer had female-only dorms. The closest to that you could come was an all-female floor. I have yet to embark on college tours for my own daughter, but what I have read suggests that it will be difficult to find such a sex-segregated living situation. Even in the 1990s, some colleges had embraced co-ed dorms to the extent that even the bathrooms were co-ed. A friend who attended one of these institutions told me about the discomfort of that living situation and the efforts she would make to find a single stall bathroom in another building when she really needed privacy.

Disney to Unveil Animatronic Biden at ‘Hall of Presidents’


Either this picture is of President Biden visiting the Disney Hall of Presidents, or Disney’s version of Biden will be the most similar to the living man of any of the presidents in their display. Perhaps President Biden’s hair and makeup team could take some tips from the Disney artists, to make the real President Biden look more lifelike…

How Much are You Willing to Sacrifice, or Where is Your Red Line?


Several months ago, I wrote about a profound blessing I experienced: I chose a Hebrew name, since I couldn’t remember the Hebrew name I was given as a child. (This method is acceptable under Jewish law.) At the suggestion of a friend, I chose the name of a woman I admired, Ruth, from the Bible, who was a convert to Judaism, and through circumstances, left the land of Moab to accompany her mother-in-law back to the land of Judah. I’ve always been in awe of her generosity and commitment, and am honored to carry her name.

But today I realized that Ruth also demonstrated a willingness to make sacrifices, too. When she traveled with Naomi back to Judah, both women were widows and they would be two women traveling alone. But Ruth was also leaving Moab, the land of her birth. When she left, she knew she was leaving her sister and her family behind. In those days, she likely realized that she would never see them again. She would also be leaving the familiarity of her environs, and would be going to a foreign land. In those days, even though they would probably be connecting to Naomi’s relatives, they were two women alone without plans. Ruth’s choice was indeed honorable: to choose to be with her mother-in-law and to practice her new faith, regardless of what might lie ahead.

She was also sacrificing much.

When Is It Considered Negligence?


On July 4, lightning started a small blaze in the forest near Markleeville, CA. Markleeville is the county seat for Alpine County, thankfully still the least populated county in California. At the time of the initial fire, the US Forest Service decided to let the fire burn itself out when it had consumed about an acre more than a week ago. Unfortunately, given the dry conditions, the fire is now raging some two weeks after the initial lightning strike and, at last count, has consumed some 21,000 acres with 0% containment. At least three structures have burned down to their foundations, more are likely to burn if containment cannot be achieved. The small towns of Woodfords and Markleeville are in the crosshairs. The prevailing winds blow from west to east through the Carson Canyon which because of its high cliffs and ridges on the canyon’s north and south side act more or less can act as a wind tunnel, so there is a possibility that if the flames reach up to the Woodfords area, the winds will push the fire further eastward, possibly down into the flatter grasslands and pastures just south of Gardnerville and Minden, NV.

BRCC False Flag Operation: I Thought So


When the uproar started about Black Rifle Coffee Company’s CEO supposedly badmouthing conservatives, I thought it smelled like a typical false flag operation designed to tear down a conservative company or institution. Now it seems that the NY Times interview of CEO Evan Hafer was selectively edited to change the context of his words…surprise, surprise.

The interviewer got Hafer talking about when he was personally attacked for having a Jewish-sounding last name, and then used his words to make it seem Hafer was talking about conservatives in general.

The Coming False Confessions


I am currently reading (actually listening to) the abridged version of the Gulag Archipelago. What inspired me to do so? Frankly, it was to fill in some much-needed knowledge about what we could be facing in this country if one-party rule is realized. Does this sound alarmist? It does, including to me. I don’t want it to be true, I don’t want to think that people who occupy this country in the same way I have, natural-born and public educated, will become the oppressors of their fell0w-citizens. Can I even say “citizen” anymore? Is it an approved designation? After all, words (and thus thoughts) are in flux.

As I have contemplated the description by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn of Stalin’s gulags, I have been particularly struck by how “crimes” were assigned and “confessions” were obtained. Solzhenitsyn offers a detailed tutorial of how everyone is broken — no matter how strong and resistant, no matter how righteous your thoughts and actions, no matter how innocent your behavior. Gulag is an unremitting story of a society completely corrupted and in which no one is safe.

Future Ben & Jerry’s Flavors?


Ben & Jerry's Palestinian sundaeWhat do you think the next Ben & Jerry’s flavor will be? Might it be Arbeit Macht Frei Almond, or River to the Sea Salted Caramel? Ben & Jerry’s went full anti-Semitic this week, joining the BDS movement with a corporate announcement. Their UK-based parent organization, Unilever, distanced itself but did not disavow the New England leftists’ anti-semitism.

Ben & Jerry’s Will End Sales of Our Ice Cream in the Occupied Palestinian Territory

July 19, 2021

The Deep Thinkers of the Left


LeBron James is the most prominent athlete in the NBA – a multi-national organization that generates billions in revenue.  The NBA entertains sports fans all over the world, and is a powerful force in the world of entertainment and sports.  Mr. James is widely considered to be one of the best players of all time.  He has also become very outspoken in the realms of politics, social justice, economic equity, and so on.  Some have questioned why his ability to play basketball would lead him to view himself as qualified to speak on other matters that have nothing to do with sports.  Mr. James responds to his critics, “I will not just shut up and dribble … I get to sit up here and talk about what’s really important.”

While it may be true that basketball is not as important as the topics of worldly significance that he often speaks on, this does not mean that he has any particular expertise in these fields.  But he continues to share his views on the matters of the day.  He clearly views himself as above his occupation (playing basketball), and above the organization that made him famous (the NBA).  He apparently believes that his brilliance on the basketball court translates into brilliance in many and varied other unrelated fields.

Prince Harry is one of the most prominent members of the British Royal Family – an organization of enormous historical significance that is closely followed by millions of people all over the world.  He has been world-famous since the day he was born, and his membership in this exclusive club, due simply to his birth, has given him opportunities that most people could only dream of.  He has also become very outspoken in the realms of politics, social justice, economic equity, and so on.  Some have questioned why his royal birth would lead him to view himself as qualified to speak on other matters that have nothing to do with, um, with his area of expertise.  Whatever that is.  Prince Harry recently announced that he is writing his memoirs, which may seem odd for a 36-year-old who has done little in his life other than be rich and privileged.  But he explains:

The Priceless Value of Empathy


Empathy, “the capacity to place oneself in another’s position,” is one of the hardest things for anyone to achieve. It is almost impossible to change someone’s mind unless you first understand how they think, what makes them tick.

One of the hardest things in the world to do is to set our own perspective aside, and see things from someone else’s point of view. A true friend is someone who listens. A great salesman is someone who knows what you want – even need – to hear. A writer can be great if they can truly get inside the mind of the reader, and pre-emptively understand how their words will be read.

Total (Culture) War in the 21st Century


One of my favorite quotes by Andrew Breitbart is that politics are downstream of culture. By the time a political battle starts, we’ve already lost because we lost the culture.

In the end, conservatives never realized the extent that the Left was going to in their fight to change America. They are fighting an all-out culture war and always have. One can make a list of bedrock issues that our nation and culture are founded upon and then see how each one is being attacked by the left, not politically, but culturally. Of course, it helps that they dominate Hollywood, and higher education, and lower-level education, and the list goes on and on. The latest area of conquest has been corporate culture (most as an outgrowth of their ownership of education). We all know how in the past few years corporations have gone from an appearance of neutrality to endorsement of the woke left (sometimes just out of a desire to make money, but it does change the DNA of a company).  Now we see another front in this total war.

Socialist Birds of a Feather [with a new postscript]


BLM supports cop killerThe people’s protests against the socialist regime running Cuba prompted American socialists to flock to the defense of the Cuban Commies. Among these were the Black Lives Matter Foundation, the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), DSA’s superstar AOC, and Bernie Sanders. In so doing, they carried on the disgraceful precedent of the Congressional Black [except for Republicans] Caucus.

Go back to 2009, early in President Obama’s first term. The Congressional Black Caucus took a fact-finding junket to Cuba, where they not only fawned on Fidel but also ignored, covered up by their silence, the plight of black Afro-Cuban prisoners, jailed and abused by the much lighter-skinned regime leaders of European ancestry. The Congressional Black Caucus helped the racist Castro regime with their positive video appearances and quotes.

[T]he Stalinist regime that jailed and tortured the longest suffering black political prisoner in modern history (Eusebio Penalver) rolled out the red carpet for six gullible  members of the U.S. Congressional Black Caucus. All of these U.S. legislators met with “President” Raul Castro while a lucky three secured back-stage passes to meet Fidel himself.

Quote of the Day: Waging War on our Schools


“If the state-operated schools are now waging war on the nation’s moral, historical, philosophical, and religious foundations, then they would seem to have forfeited their legitimacy as the proper vehicle to carry out the mission with which the American People have charged them.”  — Former U.S. Attorney General William Barr

At first glance, we might not be willing to blame the state school administrators and unions for hijacking our schools so drastically and at so many levels. But, in fact, they have armed themselves with Leftist rhetoric, distortions of history, substituted an American philosophy with a racist ideology and regularly denigrated and undermined religion in multiple ways.

We tend to focus on the latest hot topic of school abuse: at the moment, Critical Race Theory is at the forefront. For many years this topic was taught without the parents or general public even knowing what children were being taught. Then some parents learned what was happening, most recently in Loudoun County in Virginia, and began protesting the brainwashing of their children with this propaganda. At first, the Left tried to explain what they were “actually” teaching; their explanations only inflamed parents. Then they denied they were teaching what parents insisted they were teaching. Now, they are trying to make believe that there’s nothing untoward going on; they are silent as protests continue. But their silence only validates their anti-American intentions.

Land Reform and Farm Murders in South Africa: The Story of the Boers and the ANC


South African farm murders have long been a niche cause on the Internet, and the country has made headlines again due to a South African government plan to seize the land of white farmers under the guise of “South African land reform.”

News of these farm murders and land seizures have gained steam with the release of Lauren Southern’s documentary Farmlands. And United States President Donald Trump has brought even more attention to the plight of Afrikaners with his tweet that he would be looking into the South African land and farm seizure.

Most people don’t know much about the history of South Africa beyond the simplistic propaganda of the 1980s – white South Africans bad, ANC good. The history and current situation of South Africa, however, is much more complex.

Is It Really Politics?


Maybe your friends don’t share your views on Donald Trump. They call him the grossest person in the world. Maybe your friends don’t share your views on BLM. They think whites are due a comeuppance for systemic racism. Maybe your friends don’t share your views on LGBTQ-ism. They think we must tolerate, even celebrate, the whole rainbow of gender and sexuality. 

So then, do you tell them you voted for Trump? That you think racism is not in the DNA of the American character? That traditional family structure is the most moral aspiration? 

Men, Women, and Workplaces


June 1949. The American Medical Association’s annual convention was held in Atlantic City, filling the run-down seaside town’s parking lots with out-of-state Cadillacs. One of the main events of the weekend was demonstrating a new tool for training doctors, medical color television, a futuristic-seeming replacement for the tiers of ringed seats of the traditional operating room surgical amphitheater. But TV was too poor a teaching substitute until color came along. After an elaborate luncheon was over, a spokesman for the manufacturer, Smith, Kline, and French, strongly suggested that the doctors’ wives leave the hall, as the live images would be very graphic.

To his surprise, most of the ladies stayed and watched, most of them impassively sipping coffee and smoking cigarettes. (I mentioned it was 1949, right?) Someone explained to the SKF man that the women were, or had been nurses, and had seen far worse. “They met their husbands on the job”. In 1949, that was as common a fact of women’s lives as hats, white gloves, and handbags. For women, getting ahead in life generally involved marriage, with the goal of marrying “up”. It had always been the way of the world.

Please Get Vaccinated


We are in the middle of another COVID spike in Texas, in much of the rest of the country and the world.  In Texas new infections are up by 300 to 400%.

Fear-mongering comes in the news in the form of Greek letters these days, but the fear-mongering has a kernel of truth to it.  Unvaccinated people are at increased risk of getting infected; as an adult, if you get infected you have a 10% chance of getting severe disease.  Leaving aside the chance of death, if you get severe disease you have a 30% chance of having long-term problems, like dementia, which in popular accounts is described as “brain fog”.  And the brain fog for those who get it is not going away.

More Senate Filibuster Silliness


Lefty Law Professors Want VP Harris to Declare the Filibuster “Unconstitutional”

Give the Left its due. They are relentless. Not just progressive election “reformers,” or “critical theory” proponents. But law professors and legislative strategists are on a never-ending quest to eliminate the single biggest barrier to their legislative utopia – the United States Senate’s filibuster rule.

You Only Die Twice


John Payne knows what is to be done the next time he dies. A little more than 20 years ago, he purchased the land where he was born in downtown Shidler, Oklahoma. There is no longer a small doctor’s office there, that was torn down long ago. But Payne has put a large wire basket corner post filled with rocks to mark the spot. It is topped off by a large metal cross with the metallic sentiment of “didn’t get a lot done, but sure had a lotta fun”. Payne figures the second time around he will do a better job of burning himself up by being cremated and the ashes can reside among the rocks of the corner post. There is also an old metal rim of a wagon wheel that will symbolize the complete journey made. “I started here and ended up here after being around the world”. He would have never made it around the world if he hadn’t died the first time.

Payne and his four brothers were raised in a ranching family outside of Shidler in the grass and brush of the Osage oil patch. It was here that the early 20th century surprised so many tribal members with sudden wealth. The young John Payne couldn’t see himself being anything be a cowboy.

‘Socialism Destroys’: The Tenth Commandment


“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.” — The Tenth Commandment

“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” — John Adams

“Socialism is the philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy.” — Winston Churchill

15 Obstacles to Working from Home (and 7 Ways to Overcome Them)


I’ve worked out of a home office for the last fifteen years, so I’m familiar with what can happen to prevent you from getting the day’s hours done . . .

1.) Sitting at the computer contemplating graphs triggers a brain-dead feeling.  So you find something else to do that will prod your brain cells back to life.

2.) With your love of civil yet energetic discussion, you inadvertently befriend the Jehovah’s Witnesses who come to your door, ensuring regular visits even though you live way out of town.

Rob considers a mid-life career change, inspired by a couple of pilots that didn’t go forward and fridge full of exotic meats gone bad.

Sharing Our Love of Good Food, Good Bourbon, and Peter Robinson-Inspired Fashion


So Stad calls me and says that he’s getting some friends together, and they’d love to have me join them.  I just roll my eyes, figuring this is going to be just another intervention. But it turned out to be a lovely, relaxing evening. Bryan and Chris hoped to come, but were apparently insufficiently inspired by my “Tell them Boss sent you” piece — they were busy, and they took rainchecks. Stad and Neutral Observer were wonderful hosts for Phil and me at their beautiful home, Stad made delicious fajitas, and I brought (surprise!) bourbon to share. My daughter Julia even came down from Clemson for a few hours. Of course, we all toasted Boss Mongo.

Neutral Observer, Dr. Bastiat, Phil Turmel, and Stad doing their Peter Robinson imitations.

Boys and Girls


I raised five sons, and two things I tried to convey to them as they grew up were that it’s easier to destroy than to create, and that it’s easier to be great than to be good.

The first point is pretty obvious. Boys want to have an impact on the world. More than girls, boys feel a need to impose their will on nature, on the environment, and on the people around them. In young men, that’s expressed as a desire to build things, break things, dam up streams, and cut down trees. As they grow older, that desire to affect the world becomes a wish to scrawl graffiti over it, knock it down, shoot it, or otherwise bend it to their will.

Democrats and Hyperbole


def. Hyperbole – Exaggerated statements or claims not meant to be taken literally.

I genuinely believe that Joe Biden’s speech in Philadelphia (last Tuesday) was one of the most demagogic speeches ever given by an American President.  Although there was much in the speech that was truly revolting, one paragraph did stick out in my mind.

A Long Way to the Indian Ocean…


Navy/Marine Corps Pilot Wings

Typically in the 1980s, a student Naval Aviator could earn his Wings, learn to fly his assigned aircraft, and join a squadron in about 2-2½ years. (18 months to earn Wings; 6 to 8 months learning to fly assigned aircraft). Ideally, he’d report to a squadron that had just returned from deployment, replacing pilots who were leaving. The “nugget” would be in the squadron when it began training for the next deployment and by the time the carrier deployed for parts unknown, they’d be fully up to speed.

My path from student aviator to A-7 squadron pilot was longer. It included an extra 15 months as a flight instructor. I wasn’t unique. At the time I was earning my wings, many Navy pilots were leaving after completing their initial commitment to the Navy to become airline pilots. That created an instructor shortage in the Training Command where student aviators earned their wings.