Captain Bligh, We Have a Problem

 

So it has come to this. Our mutinous military has thrown down the gauntlet in anticipation of a Trump candidacy and possible second term. As reported in a CNN article (where else?) the Joint Chiefs discussed what to do following last year’s election should Donald Trump stage a coup. Take heed America, our military is prepared to overthrow the government to save the country. How many times has that scenario been played out in two-bi, third-rate banana republics? Now we are to be reduced to this?

Let me be clear. I did not vote for Trump in 2016. This was largely because I found it difficult to get a clear picture of his policies or intentions. Most of the punditocracy, both left and right, was of no help. Obsessed with their various narratives, they failed to see the real Donald Trump and most of them do not see him but through those faulty lenses to this day. As the lamentable W put it so succinctly, he was “misunderestimated.”

Trump was variously determined to be an ignorant amateur, a disinterested dilettante, or worse, an egomaniac intent on making himself president for life. Four years on, it is clear that none of these narratives have any merit. Only the most obtuse observer could fail to see that Trump had very specific intentions and was able to carry out most of it with great consequence. From undoing the cozy and deluded China relationship or the Iran nuclear bribery deal and shifting our policy to focus on China as the real coming threat, to the move of our embassy to Jerusalem and the astonishing Abraham Accords, we have greatly benefitted. In my lifetime, the two perpetual crises have been the Cold War with the Soviet Union, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I never thought I would live to see the end of the Soviet Union and I have. Now the possibility of an end to the Palestinian dilemma is at hand. Another box checked.

“And That’s The Way It Is” or Not……

 

I remember as a little kid, Walter Cronkite signing off his news with that sentiment, “And that’s the way it is.” My folks got their news from the evening editions on television, the morning newspaper, and radio. I was more interested in my friends, outdoor games, catching fireflies, and cookouts. Walter probably reported on maybe the Vietnam war, economic news, crime, and so forth. Life went on, we gathered together for dinner, and when the street lights came on, I knew I better get home to eat.

So we watched the “evening news” yet again tonight and it’s the same every single night.  Let’s explore the latest:

The Delta Variant, a spin-off of Covid, is the headline, with special emphasis on the states that seem to be “lagging behind” on vaccines. They cite Florida as an example. I check the COVID cases daily, as I have from last late spring, and they are at zero with no new deaths. The total deaths for our county is 89. There seems to be a spike in new cases about every seven days. We are a tourist area, so this is not surprising, especially around a holiday. What I don’t understand is, the states that showed the most cases initially, are still showing the greatest rise in this new variant – New York, California, etc. The push to vaccinate was heavy in the larger cities, so how did this happen?  The rise in Delta cases is also heavy in Israel – so several states and countries are having to impose indoor masks and travel restrictions once again. What’s going on?

The ‘Undimmed Danger’

 

Holy Moly!  I read a piece on a website (I don’t even know where or how I ended up there) and I’m still wondering why it was written. The title references Trump’s “….undimmed danger” and the point being made: “It’s the extreme danger that the US system of government, Constitution and cherished freedoms would face if an ex-President even now trying to revive his demagogic political career ever gets anywhere near the Oval Office again.”

Why is Trump such a scary bad guy to these people? Is it because he came into office and simply bypassed the press? Is it because he didn’t pay enough attention to the “consensus of the interagency?”  Is it because he beat The Hillary so well in that election where she was supposed to be the First Woman President?

A Life Entangled with NASA

 

Back to the Army again, sergeant,
Back to the Army again.
Out o’ the cold an’ the rain, sergeant,
Out o’ the cold an’ the rain.
‘Oo’s there?

A man that’s too good to be lost you,
A man that is ‘andled an’ made –
A man that will pay what ‘e cost you
In learnin’ the others their trade – parade!
You’re droppin’ the pick o’ the Army
Because you don’t ‘elp ’em remain,
But drives ’em to cheat to get out o’ the street
An’ back to the Army again!

Quote of the Day: A Time to Talk

 

When a friend calls to me from the road
And slows his horse to a meaning walk,
I don’t stand still and look around
On all the hills I haven’t hoed,
And shout from where I am, What is it?
No, not as there is a time to talk.
I thrust my hoe in the mellow ground,
Blade-end up and five feet tall,
And plod: I go up to the stone wall
For a friendly visit.–Robert Frost

Our lives are punctuated, sometimes sweetly, all too often rudely or cruelly, with reminders of how precious others are to us.

Massive Flooding in Germany, Belgium

 

You may or may not have heard or read of this by now -I see some U.S. sources are covering it- but there has been massive, record-breaking flooding in Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium in the last 36 hours or so. As of this writing, 101 are confirmed dead and 1,300 missing. Part of the A1 Autobahn has been destroyed and the damages to roads, bridges and buildings is going to be measured in the tens of billions of Euros by the time everything is done.

For those who read German, here are two pieces, one from Die Welt online (which has video); the other from Die Süddeutsche Zeitung online:

Pope Francis Drops a Bomb on the Church

 

Friday, Pope Francis issued an Apostolic Letter “Motu Proprio” entitled, Traditionis Custodes.(TC)

This letter severely restricts the use of the traditional Latin Mass (TLM), effectively throwing Benedict XVI and his issuance of Summorum Pontificum (SP), under the bus. Pope Benedict XVI issued SP in order to help those faithful who “continued to be attached with such love and affection to the earlier liturgical forms which had deeply shaped their culture and spirit.” Apparently, Pope Francis doesn’t think that’s necessary anymore.

Inellectual Clarity

 

The first days of this month have brought several things which led me to focus on those two words at the top of the page, not the least of which has been marking a birthday for the statement of our founding purpose and Thomas Sowell turning 91. If any one person could be used as a figurehead for intellectual clarity, Dr. Sowell would have to be a prime candidate. The Declaration of Independence was not necessarily an original document but a brief clarification of principles gleaned from the troubled history of mankind.

Having observed some of the more recent examples of hot air and unprincipled mutterings, I have for a few moments left my dugout to add some of my cluttered thoughts to the mix.

Addiction Problem in Los Angeles

 

LA has reimposed an indoor mask mandate starting tomorrow.

If I told you that because COVID cases are few but increasing, that you should continue to stand on one foot while eating pizza you would likely point out that such a gesture has no impact on the spread of COVID.  Exactly right. In fact, none of the NPIs done by any government at any level anywhere in the world has had any significant or even measurable effect on the spread of COVID. We now know with statistical certainty that the lockdowns and closures had little or no effect other than economic, medical, and social injury, that school closures were scientifically ill-advised and harmed kids more than COVID and that general mask mandates had no measurable impact on any country or local jurisdiction that imposed them.  COVID was always gonna COVID and the numbers went up and down on COVID’s own terms. Other than vaccines, we have no effective tools but we continue to pretend that we do.

Overdose Deaths Are Up – Way Up

 

Overdose deaths last year were up over the previous year, way up. The new government numbers are out and they are alarming. It is like a 9/11 every other week. From AP:

Overdose deaths soared to a record 93,000 last year in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. government reported Wednesday.

That estimate far eclipses the high of about 72,000 drug overdose deaths reached the previous year and amounts to a 29% increase.

Ayaan speaks with Helen Joyce about her new book, Trans: When Ideology Meets Reality. They discuss the rapid rise of gender-identity ideology, the differences between the US and UK, and much more.

Helen Joyce is The Economist’s Britain editor. She joined the paper in 2005 as an education correspondent, and between 2010 and 2013 was the Brazil correspondent, based in São Paulo. Since then she has edited the paper’s International section and Finance and Economics sections.

Reflections on an Unwanted Cat

 

I am Bean, I am smol, and I am fearless.

Everybody, this is Bean, short for Tiabeanie. She calls herself Yao Mao, which is Chinese for “The Wanting Cat.” She showed up on our doorstep on a rainy day about a month ago. I had a suspicion about her at the time that was validated over the next few weeks as her belly grew round and full. Last week the vet confirmed it. We’re going to have Beanie Babies.

She is the third stray cat that has found its way to us. Our first, we found in a dumpster. The second, in a parking lot. But Bean decided on her own that this was the place she wanted to be. It made me wonder if mother cats have some instinct to look for a safe place for their babies. And in the manner of strays, she is obsessed with food, but has quickly gone from a kind of cautious gratitude for anything that was put in front of her to a feline pickiness. Sniff, turn up your nose, look at the provider as if to say, “Do you expect me to eat this?” and then grudgingly eat the food on offer.

‘They Knew’

 

In the lead-up to the 2016 election an essay by Michael Anton, titled “The Flight 93 Election,” was published, warning in stark terms of the unspeakably dire consequences to follow should “Hillary!” be permitted to occupy the Oval Office. Rush (RIP) read most, if not all, of the essay on his show and it immediately developed something akin to a cult following for very good and sound reasons, as a re-reading of it under today’s “dire circumstances” readily remind one.

It is my considered opinion that we may be seeing the emergence of a Flight 93 Election essay for our time, one which was read, in large part, by Tucker Carlson on his July 9, 2021, show and mentioned prominently by President Trump in his speech over the weekend at CPAC.

Tell Them Boss Sent You

 

I was looking back through some of my emails with Boss Mongo.  A couple years ago, we once again nearly had the chance to get together for a bourbon or three.  But then he had some problems with his house, and he was having some health problems, and he had to cancel.  This was part of his email, explaining that he couldn’t make it:

We’ve had a couple medical issues (serious stuff, not imaginary), we’ve had some housing issues (getting evicted after H. Irma so my landlord could his hands on some of that sweet, sweet FEMA money.  But, still.  I’m amazed at how much effort it takes to get through the day, when I thought I’d get to downshift into “cruise” at this point.  Still, absotively posolutely I would leap at the chance to sit down and have a dynamic conversation with you and your pops.

Just saying: I am not currently a man of leisure.  But someday I will be.  Yes I will.

Collusion Writ Large

 

If you had any doubt that big tech has been colluding with the federal government, the feds have confirmed their attack on the first amendment without any apologies.

US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy has jumped into the fray of overplaying government power by publicly calling for all media outlets to edit out or refuse to publish what he calls “misinformation”; this term is a substitute for “information we don’t like or don’t agree with.” His behavior is an attack on the Constitution, an insult to our citizenry, and a demonstration that the federal government will use any tactics, legal or illegal, to achieve its agenda. He issued a 22-page document trying to justify his actions. It said, in part:

Misinformation tends to spread quickly on these platforms for several reasons. First, misinformation is often framed in a sensational and emotional manner that can connect viscerally, distort memory, align with cognitive biases, and heighten psychological responses such as anxiety. People can feel a sense of urgency to react to and share emotionally charged misinformation with others, enabling it to spread quickly and go “viral.” In recent years, the rapidly changing information environment has made it easier for misinformation to spread at unprecedented speed and scale.

The Founders™ are on their own this week, but even on a James-less week, the show must go on! First up, Rob and Peter discuss the tumult in Cuba, along with their personal attachments to our tragic seaside neighbor. Then, journalist David Adler joins as their guest to make his case on the particular triumph of Operation Warp Speed.  His article for American Affairs Journal is a deep dive on the details of the effort is –as they say in the business– a must read!

They also say their goodbyes to Boss Mongo. (Be sure to stop by dajoho’s post to add your own.)

Not the Babylon Bee

 

I’m never surprised at the stupid things the left comes up with. I’m also never surprised at how they try to outdo one another when it comes to absurd ideas. Now, they’re playing with sharks.

Here’s the main quote from the article: “Marine experts and advocates in Australia are urging the public to refrain from using the word ‘attack’ in reference to sharks, declaring that the majestic predatory fish has been unfairly stigmatized as a deliberate killer.”

On the Matter of Elections

 

Outside of the old leftist stand-by of racism, I doubt there has been any subject more on the collective tongue than voting for the last few months. The noise has come from all political directions but little of it has processed much clarity, intellectual or otherwise.

A secure and valid vote is one of those necessary, vital elements if we are to practice, maintain and grow the liberty intended when our republic was founded. The Founders/Framers were wise enough not to create a strict democracy. They knew enough history not to make that mistake. They also realized that the path to that hard-to-define term “will of the people” was always an ongoing process requiring actual input from us peons in a variety of ways.

Animal Control Officers, Episode 9: ‘A Dancing Dodo? Seriously?’

 

Our morning started with a call to extract a pint-sized pachyderm from a local homeowner’s basement. It had interrupted the homeowner’s 10-year-old’s birthday party to the great delight of the attending young boys. We successfully reunited it with its owner, a nearby zoo where someone had left the gate open.

I’m Animal Control Officer Sargent Joe Tuesday and this is my partner Bill Cannon. We get interesting calls here in Minnesota, where the suburban meets the wild– uninvited wild animals in un-wild places, or pets creating mayhem and mischief. Those are routine. But every once in a while we get a real head-scratcher. We were back at the office completing the paperwork on the elephant in the basement when the phone rang.

The Best of the Boss

 

I had an idea about a tribute to our friend Boss Mongo, which I hope will be fitting.  I doubt that I’m the right person to do this, but I want to do something.

I did not know the Boss personally.  We never met, and never spoke, as far as I recall.  I appreciated his posts and comments here at Ricochet — his fierce patriotism, his irreverent humor, his practical wisdom, his unique combination of toughness and kindness.

Diminished President, Undiminished Ineptitude: The Biden Presidency in 4 Words

 

“Probe with bayonets. If you encounter steel, withdraw. If you encounter mush, continue.” — Attributed to Vladimir Lenin

Trepidation often occurs when a new US administration takes office. Nefarious totalitarian and authoritarian regimes, such as Iran, North Korea, and of course Communist China and Russia – often prod for weakness. But sometimes, crises take the form of opportunities.

Pseudoscience Test vs. Global Warming

 

Is everything a pseudoscience?

Based on the list below, can Global Warming be considered a pseudoscience?

  1. Falsifiable – it’s a theory so large that designing an experiment to test it is nearly impossible.
  2. The plural of anecdote is not data. We all have memories of how the climate (weather) used to be — snowy Halloweens of the ’70s, brown Christmases of the ’80s, etc. But is it anthropomorphous or just the dynamic systems of the earth adjusting?
  3. Data Cherry Picking – Yes.
  4. Technobabble – Yes.
  5. Plausible Mechanism – So much of the relationship between the atmosphere and the ocean is unknown that we can’t model a system we have little to no understanding of.
  6. Unchanging – Yes. Global warming causes every single extreme weather event – except in areas where it doesn’t. Flood? Drought?
  7. Exaggerated Claims – The world will end in 12 years! No wonder Greta is not in school – If I were convinced that the world was going to end I would not want to spend my days in a classroom. I regret how little convincing it took for me to leave school when I should’ve been there. Hopefully someday, Greta also comes to regret how little time she’s spending in school.
  8. Certainty – Nobody is more certain of any fact than when they’re wrong.
  9. Logical Fallacies – Post hoc ergo propter hoc, “After this, therefore because of this.” The earth’s atmosphere is literally a global system – it’s impossible to observe all possible inputs into the atmosphere that could be causing larger reactions across the system. Without the certainty of what we’re observing, how can we be certain of the theory to explain the observation?
  10. Peer Review – Global warming peer reviewers are a small community reviewing each other’s works. A few dozen people determine what is the acceptable science and what is not. Not just with global warming but many other scientific disciplines as well. As much as half of the scientific papers published are deeply flawed, wrong, or outright fraudulent. Academic science has become a battleground of ideological careerists in pursuit of their own agendas outside of scientific fields.
  11. Conspiracy to suppress? It’s not a crazed theory if it’s demonstrably true. The media has its own agenda and acceptable narrative — anything that challenges that agenda or questions the narrative is suppressed. Look at Covid and how the media acted like a flock of starlings; as the narrative changed they all instantly moved with the new story in tightly choreographed flights of fantasy. This is not a conspiracy, this is observable fact.

Is there any scientific or technical discussion taking place in the media that is not overrun with pseudoscience or outright falsehoods? Put your favorite scientific political debate to the test.