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The Strength of Men and Women

 

A few weeks ago, @joepas posted about his friend who took great offense at the notion that men were stronger than women. I found this absolutely astounding, because it seems that abundant evidence of this fact is everywhere and easily experienced. But apparently, somehow, this basic truth has now been turned into an opinion in some quarters. I came across this today: Transgender track athlete wins CT state championship, debate ensues.

Apparently, two transgender men who identify as women just came home with a bunch of blue ribbons after competing in girls’ track and field. This predictable outcome is not the topic of this post, however. And, in truth, what more needs to be said?

But, here is some of the “debate” (italics mine)

You have some people who believe men are stronger and faster so I can understand if an athlete is born male but identifying as a female and compete as one, some females will feel a particular way about it,” Clinton Baker said.

“If she identifies as a girl then I think she should be able to run in the race because she can use the ladies room, she can wear a skirt, why not run and stay active,” Natasha Morgan said.

“The cream rises to the top,” Baker added. “Athletes now will tell you if you put UConn women on the court with men, UConn men might lose. It’s all in the spirit of competition, hard work and heart.”

I don’t know who this Clinton Baker is — I’m assuming he’s not the friend of @joepas — and if he isn’t, more than one person in the world thinks that males’ superior strength is merely a matter of opinion.

Where on earth is this coming from?

I first suspected that some gender studies professor somewhere was the culprit, and did some brief searches on the web for “women stronger than men.” Interestingly, the top search results all blared the headline that science has now proved that women are the stronger sex. But. of course, the study referred to from January 2018 did not refer to feats of physical strength but to the fact that women live longer and survive “extreme mortality hazards,” e.g., famine, better than men. I can believe that. I also find we are much more functional with head colds than men.

So, yes, depending on how you define strength, you could say that women are stronger than men. But unless there’s an extreme famine, I don’t think I’ll be seeing the UConn Women’s basketball team beating the UConn men anytime soon.

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Quote of the Day: Whittaker Chambers on Evil

 

“I did not know what had happened to me. I denied the very existence of a soul. But I said: ‘This is evil, absolute evil. Of this evil I am a part.'” — Whittaker Chambers

To paraphrase Jordan Peterson, it amazes me that modern intellectuals don’t believe in evil anymore. The 20th century made evil so bloody obvious. Dennis Prager also has a nice line about evil: “Those who don’t fight the greatest evils will fight lesser evils or make-believe evils.”

To take a rather visceral example, leftists have a hard time calling Muslim refugees who commit rape evil but they can call Jordan Peterson a sexist at the drop of a hat. Abuse of women is a great evil and Jordan Peterson’s sexism is a made-up evil.

Yet, I notice that they don’t call classical liberals/conservatives evil. They call them part of a rape culture or the patriarchy or whatever term of approbation is popular at the time; but they avoid the use of the word “evil” while calling them bigoted. This is significant because bigotry is the left’s equivalent of evil (and real bigotry actually is).

Think of all those videos of leftists crying after the election of President Trump. They became unhinged and started crying and shouting obscenities. I can’t recall them using the word evil. They were reduced to throwing a tantrum.

Much like Jordan Peterson, I found my answer in Nietzsche. Nietzsche said that the ubermensch must move beyond Christianity and good and evil in order to forge a new system of living. It gives me some ironic schadenfreude that Nietzsche’s thinking has been adopted by the heirs of a philosophy that he detested as much as Christianity.

After post-modernism did its best to destroy Western Civilization (it didn’t fully work but it was a solid try) it needed to make a new morality and give a new purpose to humanity. Sin was replaced with bigotry. “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to G-d the things that are G-d’s” was replaced with “render unto politics everything.”

It is no surprise that Whittaker Chambers, after realizing that he was part of an absolute evil, started to discuss G-d and credited his leaving of communism in part due to His intervention.

His story is a living refutation of Nietzsche’s rejection of good and evil.

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Dressing for Success: Wrong?

 

The post on tattoos got me thinking. What is the difference between the ways we choose to dress, the ways in which we personally groom, and even tattoos? After all, see how women dress differently before and after Third-Wave Feminism.

It seems to me quite appropriate that people, who are in our society free to choose how they present themselves, are inviting judgment based on those choices. If one dresses Goth, one chooses to fit in with Goths. Everything from long hair to the color of our fingernails to whether or not we shower … they are all ways in which we signal to ourselves, and others, how we view them.

I merely use the data that people supply. A woman who dresses cheaply is telling us how she views herself, and telling others the same thing — which helps everyone to prioritize how they invest their time. Someone who does not shower either lacks a sense of smell, friends who care about them, or any desire to attract people who don’t care for body odour.

Are my preferences really as @phenry labeled them: “Judgemental, closed minded, and full of a sense of superiority?”

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Happy Birthday and HooWah! 243

 

Greetings! Just wanted to say: Happy 243rd Birthday to all my active, reserve, retired, and vet Army peeps here on Ricochet: Thank you! “Hoc Defendam ” and HooWah, Everyone!

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Swamp Creatures Assemble!

 

In Gotham, the villainous Master Disrupter Donald Trump descended the escalator from the dark and frightening past. Long thought to be forever vanquished on the day the oceans’ rise began to slow, the McDonalds-fueled old white male of too-much girth and too-long ties sent the Washington Establishment scrambling for a plan to vanquish their great nemesis.

Pressing the button beneath desk in the Oval Office, President Obama illuminated the night sky with the Deep State Signal depicting a haloed James Comey clenching a FISA warrant in his raised fist and the words “Quae sunt circa quam est hic” (“The Way Things Are Done Around Here”).

Meanwhile, on the campaign trail, Hillary Clinton responded to a question from a reporter with an ultrasonic cackle heard only by the administrative state which was understood by all to mean “Swamp Creatures assemble!”

At that moment in Moscow, Carter Page was being told by an unidentified Russian — is there any other kind? — that Hillary Clinton will “literally say anything that appears on her teleprompter.” One week later, Clinton distinguished herself by becoming the only presidential nominee of a major political party to attack her opponent’s supporters: “…you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? They’re racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic — Islamophobic — you name it.”

Clinton would later apologize for leaving out “intolerant.”

To the Swamp Creatures, the stakes were clear. A Trump presidency — no matter how remote the possibility — represented much more than a disruption to Washington’s bipartisan war on self-governance. If Trump were to somehow win Washington’s favorite toy, the city and all it represented would be turned upside down. The Beltway owed it to the people — that is, Leviathan — to employ all the superpowers at their disposal to save Washington and, if possible, the more leafy suburbs of Maryland and Virginia.

One thing was clear: if Trump were to somehow become president, Washington as we know it would become unrecognizable. Lying to Congress could cost you your job. Corn might cease to exist in our gasoline and start turning up in our corn flakes. Florists could not be compelled to bake cakes for gay photographers. Worst of all, individuals would be permitted to choose their doctor and their lightbulb. 

On the cultural front, The State would be set back a generation. America would become a dystopia in which individuals would have to make the brutal choice of identifying as either a yellow-scaled wingless dragon kin or an expansive ornate building. Florists could not be compelled to bake cakes for gay photographers. On immigration, the United States would no longer be seen as a kind of timeshare for Central Americans.

The impact of a Trump presidency on the FBI would be particularly devastating. In response to congressional oversight, the Bureau would have to become its own uncooperative witness. It would have to carry out its duties without first consulting the polls. It would be virtually impossible to dispense with long-cherished norms such as redacting information to buy time to get its story straight rather than for legitimate national security concerns.

Perhaps most frightening, subpoenas from Congress would actually have to be responded to rather than directing Congress to simply read leaks published in the Washington Post like everybody else does.

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The Fiercely Independent Irish and Their Dependence on the EU

 

Our vacation in Ireland has been great so far. This afternoon, we did a hiking tour of a Knights Templar church and its cemetery, which was built in 1210 near Cork. Our tour guide was great. His explanation was that the Vatican did not want Ireland to descend into Protestantism the way the English had, so they sent the Knights Templar up to introduce Catholicism to the pagans in Ireland.

Our tour guide was enthusiastic, informative, and was a walking encyclopedia of Irish history. He had a strong Irish accent and a stronger hatred of the English, which is not entirely unusual in these parts. He said that it would be impossible for the Irish to ever cooperate with the English, because of the long history of conflict between them. I pointed out that the US became a country only after it defeated England in a brutal war, and that England is now our closest ally. That led him into a discussion of his views on the modern political scene, including Brexit. I found his perspective fascinating.

Remember that this guy is 50 years old, extremely intelligent, and has given these matters a lot of thought. So I found these statements to be jarring. He made all of these statements within a two-minute monologue:

  • The reason the Irish ran the English off their lands 100 years ago is that Irishmen don’t like being told what to do. The Irish are fiercely independent.
  • The English are fools to leave the EU – “We’ll see how they like being all alone on the world stage!” I pointed out that this would not be the first time that England was an independent country – he just shrugged his shoulders and continued his speech.
  • He is furious that when the Irish government sets their budget for the following year, that they cannot vote on their new budget until it is approved by the EU in Brussels. “We should be able to choose our own budget! To Hell with the politicians in Brussels!”
  • The Irish would be fools to leave the EU.

I would have loved to discuss this with him, but I didn’t know how. I didn’t understand his thinking well enough to debate it.

Can anyone explain this to me? I’m not being snarky here — I really do want to understand how he can hold all those views at the same time. I’m not accusing him of stupidity or ignorance (quite the contrary) — I’m openly admitting that I don’t understand. Can anyone help me out?

Just for fun, I’ll attach some pictures of the Knights Templar church…

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The President Has Blown It With the Summit

 

The President has done something very foolish and dangerous. He agreed to meet the leader of a nation that imprisons its opponents, daily commits human rights atrocities and one who’s leaders often boast about wiping American cities from the map. And he did this all without preconditions. After the summit conservative commentators are beside themselves. […]

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He Still Fights

 

A couple of weeks ago after having lunch with my friend Evan Sayet I meant to repost his incredibly prescient and well-circulated article from Townhall.com: “He Fights”. Time got away from me, but after seeing the head-spinning events this week in Singapore, I wanted to share as it’s worthwhile re-reading a year later. Whether you’re still a […]

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In Polk County, We Take Care of Our Own

 

While some school districts are struggling with the politics of protecting their kids from shooters in schools, Florida has taken action. Here in Polk County, the Sheriff’s Department and other law enforcement agencies will be hiring citizens to be part of the Guardians Program. When they put the call out, 400 people applied for the 90 positions.

The program was enacted in response to the Parkland school shooting. Applicants will be put through a rigorous screening process, including psychological testing. These employees will be hired in addition to the school resource officers in place. Here is a partial job description:

Guardians won’t have the power to make arrests, but they will be in uniform and carry guns while protecting elementary schools. Training, which lasts approximately three weeks, includes 80 hours of basic firearms training, 16 hours of precision pistol training, eight hours of defensive tactics and 12 hours of legal issues.

School safety guardians will be School District employees with the same benefits as other employees. Starting annual pay is $30,000 for 10 months of work and two months off for the summer. The total benefit package is valued at $40,000.

People from all ages and walks of life have applied. The Rev. Stephen Bolden, 43, believes he will have time to run his church and serve the District. Another applicant, Alexandra Ramos, who will enter Florida Southern College as a junior in the fall, is a retired Marine and can handle an M16 rifle.

I’m proud to live in a state that makes the safety of our children a priority.

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And Time Keeps Rolling Along…

 

I’m currently on vacation in Ireland with my family. My oldest daughter has six weeks off before she has to go back to college to start basketball practice for the coming season. My middle daughter moves away to college this fall. My youngest will be a junior in high school and travels a lot with sports, so she’s not around as much as I would like. For years, my girls were rarely apart, now they’re rarely together, and that makes me so sad. Of course, the whole point of raising kids is to create independent, self-sufficient adults, so I guess this is exactly what we’ve been trying to accomplish for the past 20 years. So, good for us. But this hurts. Especially because when I think of my girls, this is what I see:

A few weeks ago, we decided to recreate that picture – have everybody sit in the same order, in the same pose, with the same facial expressions, and so on. I knew it would be a bit different, but I still found it startling:

The pictures are 16 years apart. My girls were so tiny before, and now they’re 6’4”, 5’10”, and 6’3”. You can hardly even see my 6’1″ wife in the second picture, which strikes me as symbolic.

And time keeps rolling along.

We’re happiest when we dream of better tomorrows, and we’re sad when we realize that the past is gone, and it’s not coming back. So, it’s all good. This is how things are supposed to go. I’m not complaining.

Well, I guess I am. But I shouldn’t be.

We’re having a great time touring around – Ireland really is beautiful. Although to me, the really beautiful part is getting my little girls together, even for a brief time. At times like this, everything is right in the universe.

Well, everything except the pain felt by an old man, as he curses the passage of time.

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Harvard Stands Up for the “R” Word

 

As many are aware, Harvard is being sued for discriminating against Asians, who apparently have to have an SAT score 140 points higher than other minorities to gain acceptance. All of this is very confusing, but Dr. Faust, President of Harvard, makes a Faustian bargain to explain the veritas:

This email letter is addressed to Alumni (of which I am one) and Friends (of which I am probably no longer, and let’s face it, I may also soon no longer be one of the former). I cannot abide by this kind of immoral behavior. Or is it moral? Which one is it? How can we really know the truth? Answer: matriculate Harvard. They hold all the truth. They are so truthful, they can change “R” to “D.”

Monitum: They alone bestow the truth upon those who they decide are qualifiedly diverse. Well, I certainly ain’t that. So there goes the alumni, and the neighborhood.

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Kay of MT: Settling in After Move

 

A quick update on Kay, since I don’t know how long it will take before she’s back on here. She and her daughter just moved to a new location. I spoke to her this morning, and they are still settling in, plus have issues with the water heater. She is without her computer for now, […]

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Group Writing: Living in the Shadows

 

He’d had a long, productive life. On reflection, he said he had no complaints. He took care of himself, ate right, and took regular exercise. He’d raised an independent brood, all who eventually went on to make their own way in the world. He tried to talk them into staying close by, but they were determined to forge their own paths. And now he’d outlived them all.

Unfortunately, life changed in these parts. He had always felt free and independent, keeping his own schedule and company. He explored whenever he felt like it, relaxed when he could and pretty much lived a life of leisure. He’d always been a night owl; the silence and safety of darkness never stopped having its appeal.

But he no longer felt appreciated here. There were ominous signs that the welcome mat was being withdrawn, that he had overstayed his welcome and that he needed to reconsider his options.

Making that kind of change just seemed so difficult. Where would he go? At his age, making such a radical change might be too much for him to contemplate. Maybe he’d simply lived too long and it was time to enter the next world. . . but suddenly he screamed, wait, no not that, no, let me be, I’m not ready to go yet, can’t someone help me…?

In his last moments . . .

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Rosenstein Threatened to Subpoena Phone Records for Congress?

 

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/06/12/rosenstein-threatened-to-subpoena-gop-led-committee-in-chilling-clash-over-records-emails-show.html This sounds too over the top to be true to me. If it is, the man needs to be fired. How dare he threaten Congress for doing its oversight.  Far past time for Trump to declassify everything and order it all given to Congress as requested forthwith.

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When Will This Fad End?

 

This topic has been bouncing around my head for a while, but I’ve never gotten around to writing it. Someone on Ricochet will mention something, Jay Nordlinger months ago on a podcast complained about tattoos or a user whose name I forget recently said he was up for a good tattoo rant. Other times I see someone and think why?

I noticed markings on Dana Loesch’s arm in a Parkland CNN screenshot or a cross on a pastor’s back at a church swim party. Tattoos seem to be everywhere and there is no demographic that is exempt. This will come across as a get-off-my-lawn rant, but here we go.

I guess I’m a Generation X person. I still remember that about the only people who had tattoos were military veterans or criminals and they might only have one or two, no sleeves or multiple ones covering a lot of the body. Others might have had them, but they were in a private location. Maybe it was just where I grew up.

Some point along the way, tattoos became more mainstream. In the ’90s a lot of girls were getting lower back tattoos, but they were derided as “tramp stamps”. Then it seemed as though they exploded on the scene and everyone had one. Yes it’s me, but I have yet to see a tattoo that improves a woman’s appearance. As G. Gordon Liddy used to say, putting a tattoo on a woman is like putting a bumper sticker on a BMW. I will be glad when I don’t see ink everywhere I look.

Maybe things are changing. I saw this on Twitter. I don’t know what drove it, but we might be on the downward side of the trend. I can hope.

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Quote of the Day: Responsibility

 

“Responsibility is a unique concept… You may share it with others, but your portion is not diminished. You may delegate it, but it is still with you… If responsibility is rightfully yours, no evasion, or ignorance or passing the blame can shift the burden to someone else. Unless you can point your finger at the man who is responsible when something goes wrong, then you have never had anyone really responsible.” ― Hyman G. Rickover

Rickover was always a controversial figure. Yet this quote gets to the heart of much what is wrong in today’s society. No one is held responsible, and the higher your position the more responsibility is avoided. The only ones held responsible are low-level suckers too low on the totem pole to avoid holding the bag of responsibility. Worse still? A society where position and prestige shields one from the responsibility which goes with that position is fundamentally corrupt.

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Korea, Whuz Up?

 
Dennis Rodman, great NBA Legend and Kim Jong Un, potential DPRK Legend

Trump and Kim had a deal negotiated long before Singapore. Despite a few speed bumps, that deal got done.

This is what happened: The US and Kim agreed to “Talk.” That is all. Yes, it is true the US agreed to cancel military exercises on the Korean Peninsula (this drains the North’s treasury when they feel compelled to place their military on high alert), and the North agreed to no more missile or nuclear weapons tests — not written, but implied. Other things (MIA’s/POW data, etc.) were also agreed to, but we will not know about these for months or years. As for military exercises, the South wanted to give these up years ago to get peace.

The Talk: Going forward this will be a two-way dialogue between the US and North Korea, with China, S. Korea, and Japan in the wings. Trump left Singapore for the US, Pompeo headed to Seoul and then Beijing to brief them and lay out the next steps. This is the best possible thing that can or could happen at this stage. Well done.

The geopolitical reality is:

1. China uses North Korea for its advantage and as a club to beat the propaganda drum against the US military presence. China wants the US to be seen as a bad guy and provocation to gain influence and shape its image as peace-maker. But China is also annoyed with this dependent pest. It disapproves of North Korean nuclear testing, irresponsibility, and poverty that might lead to domestic problems for China.
2. Seeing opportunity, Putin plays a small hand in this too.
3. China has penetrated North Korean leadership. This is why Kim and company purge top military leaders often to ensure the survivors remain weaker, off-balance, and fearful. At the same time, Kim is dependent upon China (and to a lesser extent Russia) for vital materials, trade, and currency.
4. Kim sees China as a frenemy. He sees Russia as an opportunist and no more. There are eons of enmity between all three. China is vital to his survival, but not to be trusted. Russia can be used by Kim but is not always that useful.

No doubt, real estate magnate Trump delivered this message to Kim:

1. You threaten, I clobber. You respect, I will show you respect. You sound bellicose, I walk away (see what I did two weeks ago). Stay the course; this will accrue to your legacy.
2. We both need this. Every country that cooperates with the US, wins. See Europe and Japan. See China. Mess with us, you remain weak. Work with us, you are strong. See what I did at the G-7. I hold friends accountable, I destroy adversaries. Roar! Run with me and you can be seen as my equal or even better, as a Dennis Rodman.
3. Look around you, every Cold War socialist state is modern (except Cuba and they defy the US). Do you want to be that guy who lives like the last Stalinist hermit? Move on.
4. The technology is available today to allow an authoritarian socialist regime (e.g., China) to control its people, imprison its enemies and still have burgeoning, open, free markets. You can do the same. Free markets are what will make you free and independent of other states as their patsy and allow you to dominate at home. Taking this step with us will show you to be a stronger leader than your predecessors.

The solution to the geopolitical situation in North Korea is the same solution Kim’s grandfather and father sought back in the 1950s, ’60s, ’70s, … , merger with S. Korea under the leadership of the Kims. If the US agrees not to interfere with any rapprochement so long as it is done peacefully, Kim might move. But he must be free to negotiate the terms for merger, alliance or cooperation with S. Korea. If he can do that, he will gain enough strength to deal with China, and Russia on a more even-handed basis.

So Trump has no doubt suggested to Mr. Kim, that he and his family, can rewrite Korean history by achieving cooperation on his own terms with the South. However, if he merged with S. Korea today, he would disappear in two weeks. So first he must build economic power in the North – as he chooses. That means entering the modern world to get access to free trade accords. The US can make that happen overnight. Think about it; for Kim, this bends the arc of history, and more importantly, Kim makes history.

What Trump is offering is a Plan B to the Cold War Plan A that Kim’s grandfather and father followed:

1. Transition the propaganda slowly to become a friend with the US – or at least portray the US as weak and flexible and crumbling before his might. He can say whatever he likes, but he needs to turn off the threats, stop the missile flights, and end the nuclear testing.
2. Work to find a way to bring his people around to the idea that the imperialist US is falling under his great leadership while retaining power.
3. Take his time, but he has about two years to get rid of the nukes and sign a peace treaty with the US.
4. If between now and then he misbehaves, we will pull out and finish him off. Not a threat. We just need to wrap this up (there is other business to take care of, see below). We prefer to work with Kim. But time has run out. He is a threat to Alaska and Seattle. We will not allow that.
5. Kim can make up any story he wishes to explain all of this back home. But he needs to understand this is a one time offer. He can win the Nobel Peace Prize (heck Obama and Gore won one, and they did nothing for peace). So Mr. Kim, let’s show the world what a great man you are.

Here is a bonus that we might offer to Mr. Kim. The peace treaty might have a clause, if he wishes, providing that the US will protect the territorial integrity of Korea (no North, no South). Kim and the South Korean leadership can decide what this means and what assurances or military support is required individually or together. With an American assurance of territorial integrity for both (individually and combined) backed by a security agreement, he will no longer need to look to or fear China or Russia. This treaty would require Congressional approval (vote against that Democrats). Kim can chart a course that is more free from dependence upon China, and to a lesser degree Russia. These bordering countries are North Korea’s real long-term geopolitical problem, not the US.

Any security agreement should have a termination date (10, 20 years). At some point, the Korean Peninsula needs to stand on its own. This will be part of a larger solution, and should not be seen as a permanent basing of American forces or a challenge to China (or Russia), but a transitional accommodation.

The end result of a Trumpian or Kimian Deal could be the final closure of the Cold War in Asia and a reconstruction of the geopolitical balance. Russia is still capable of stirring up trouble, but Russia is the 11th largest country in the world – though #1 in terms of natural wealth – its Pacific forces are weak while China’s power grows. Kim’s leverage in dealing with both going forward could be immense if he is holding a security agreement from the US and the potential for a long-term mutual understanding with the South. He could use this to play an invaluable role for the South Koreans – assuring his and their survival – and greater power for both Koreas.

Other points to consider: If the US can disrupt the geopolitical balance on the Korean Peninsula and neutralize Kim as a threat, it will no doubt affect the trade in missiles, nukes, WMD’s and other illicit arms deals (and other criminal activities) around the world (see North Korean trade with Iran, Pakistan, Yemen, Hezbollah). Further, a success with North Korea will leverage US prestige and power to stand firm with Iran (which it is now undertaking). And it will weaken Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua and the other rogues, punks, and miscreants. Even an obstreperous Turkey and the Europeans (still pretending they are not living as American dependents) might see things differently. America ascendant.

The Cold War really is over. We need a different strategy and that begins by seeing the world in more realistic terms. It is not so linear or equally offsetting as it was during the Cold War with two (1.5?) Super Powers. We cannot allow the cockamamie UN, the EU, or other international agreements to define, resolve, or paste over American interests. We will cooperate with those who cooperate fairly. And, we should not be afraid to express intolerance, engage, and confront those who do not to assure freedom of the seas and protection of vital American interests (including trade balances), if necessary. A few rounds of straight talk and things will get back to the post-Soviet stability and balance. And America’s power will grow, eliminating the need to call upon it as often. Right now, we are somewhere in between chaos and order, a dangerous time.

A return to the apologist, feckless Obama approach will return the world to the pre-Trump chaos which frittered away the last sinews of American resolve during the national vacillation over Iraq. If all this sounds like Nixon to Beijing in the aftermath of LBJ and in the midst of the malaise of winding down Vietnam, it is. With a North Korean deal, Trump is positioning the US so it can focus on knocking-back Iran, and simultaneously send strong messages to Putin and Xi to watch their step. Ironically, this would be a restoration of the liberal world order the liberals and foreign policy establishment frittered away after the Soviet fall.

Kim is no apprentice. His position is much weaker and tenuous than we realize. He has nukes, words, and not much else. He has a way forward to live a long life (maybe with an apartment in New York?). China and Russia are using him and he realizes this is the real threat. He is attracted to bizarre celebrities (see Dennis Rodman). Trump may be just the right cocktail of celebrity and flash for his taste – lots of gold plated faucets, luxury and gaudiness. And now because Trump showed him respect, Kim is beginning to show the world he knows the art of the deal.

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Okay … This Is Just Funny

 

Enjoy.

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Beauty and Success Are Bourgeois Values and Must Be Crushed

 

Exhibit 1. The Miss America pageant is eliminating beauty as a standard for deciding who will win its contests. In other words, the entire competition comes down to who gives the best “I will work for world peace and uphold the values of the Miss America pageant” speech.

The competition would focus more on the contestants’ talents, intelligence and ideas. “We are not going to judge you on your outward appearance,” [Chairwoman Gretchen] Carlson, who was Miss America in 1989, said on ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Tuesday. “We are moving it forward and evolving it in this cultural revolution.”

Interesting choice of words, “Cultural Revolution.” The last “Cultural Revolution,” the Maoist one, was also purging individuals who didn’t fit it with a leftist’s ideal society. And the death toll was in the millions. But as the left says, “If you make an omelet, you need to break some eggs.” (The eggs are human lives, the omelet is socialist utopia, in case that wasn’t obvious.)

Exhibit 2. The German Government, or at least, it’s left-wing, is considering using taxpayer funding to create pornography for feminists. The key part of their plan is that porn should feature ugly people and lectures about gender role. I am not making this up.

A group of German legislators who are aligned with the majority government, are pushing a law that would require the German people to fund the creation of anti-sexist pornography that features “fat, skinny, young and old people.”

Germany’s state run television networks ARD and ZDF would then broadcast the adult films to fight sexism on the ground.

Germany’s younger legislators believe that “mainstream porn generally shows sexist and racial stereotypes in which consent is not a theme and certain ‘optimal’ body types are made as standard.” Mainstream porn also fails to show responsible use of contraception, they argue, and fails to model adequate communications strategies between the two (or, really, several) partners.

So, just like sports in America have become a conduit to deliver social justice lectures, German pornography must now also service the cause of social indoctrination. And the indoctrinated message must be “

Beyond those two examples, the idea that no one should be special is pervading the entertainment media. Star Wars: The Last Jedi made this clear with its whole “Anybody can be a Jedi” theme.

There are shades of Harrison Bergeron … the classic Vonnegut short story in which the “Handicapper General” hobbles the able-bodied, masks the beautiful, and blares loud radios at the intelligent to keep them from thinking…. so that no one can be stronger, better-looking, or more intelligent than anyone else. That is how they achieve the ideal Utopian “fairness” that the cultural left claim as their Holy Grail. In the real world, they don’t need to use weights or masks, just constant attacks on achievement and celebrations of mediocrity.

The social left is obsessed idea that nobody should feel bad about themselves for being less attractive or less capable than anyone else. Funny thing, that idea is pretty central to the Judeo-Christian ethic that the social left professes to despise. And Judeo-Christianity was doing a pretty good job of teaching it without taxpayer funding or Government imposing mediocrity by Bureaucratic Fiat.

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Who The Hell Are YOU?!?

 

Last night John Ekdahl, once an Ace of Spades blogger and co-founder of Decision Desk HQ, tweeted out, “Sigh. I’ve actively avoided asking this for months, but you a**holes and your retweets have finally broken me. I give up. Who the f*** is Charlie Kirk?” Kirk is a young man (24) and the founder of […]

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Quote of the Day: Perennial Gardens

 

Designers of perennial gardens often tell gardeners to “buy the foliage, not the flower.” It’s certainly good advice for some perennial gardens. Most perennials are in beautiful bloom for only about two weeks out of their 52-week yearly life. As they are coming and going from this peak, we can add two weeks on either side of that peak where the plant is pretty to look at in a garden. But in general, we are looking at a sea of foliage for most of the growing season. That unbroken expanse of green is the reason most perennial gardens have some annuals tucked into them as a way to give them some color when the perennial blooms are fading.

I am not a gardener–just a weekend hobbyist who passes her daydreaming time designing gardens. I’ve set up a few perennial gardens, both for me and my neighborhood’s garden. In doing so, I’ve experimented with lots of different plant collections. I’ve tried to choose plants for a single garden that will all be in bloom at the same time to create a flower bouquet effect. And other times I’ve tried to choose plants to create small groups within the larger garden as a whole such that the small groups of flowers will bloom in sequence so that one part of the garden will light up with flowers for a couple of weeks, then quiet down, while another part of the garden lights up with color.

Doing these things has focused my attention on garden design. The look of the garden and the bloom sequence are shaped by the designer’s purpose. If the gardener is running a school garden and the school has a graduation program and then shuts down for the summer, a spring-flowering garden would be best. If the designer is working on a bed-and-breakfast inn that is at its busiest over the summer, then he or she will skip the spring bulbs and go straight to a garden filled with summer-blooming colorful bee balm and day lily plants.

Of course, the list of challenges for garden designers is long: drainage, slope, soil, shade and sun, air circulation, plot size, slugs, rabbits, and deer, to name a few. In my yard, my greatest challenge is the rabbit population. And even though I start thinking about flowering plants by looking the list of plants rabbits usually avoid, hungry baby rabbits, as adorable as they are, will eat or sample just about everything. Sometimes I think they simply play with tall flower stalks, although I’m quite sure I would be told by the experts that rabbits lack the capacity to actually play.

Everyone probably knows this, but I get a kick out of it: if the cut in the plant (the leaf or stem) is clean, it’s a rabbit. If it’s jagged, it’s a deer. No surprise. Rabbits are calm. They really aren’t as skittish as the deer are. For obvious reasons. Deer are much bigger animals and much easier to prey upon. They keep moving! They tend to grab and go when it comes to the greenery they eat. Rabbits can hide in the grass or garden and take their time munching.

Given the assortment of challenges and goals gardeners have, I don’t think the “buy the foliage” advice is always the definitive last word on perennial garden design. However, I have a little garden that seems to prove the worth of the advice for a lot of situations.

I built this little garden just outside the back door of my garden shed. It was a spot in the yard that was getting a good hit three times a week of water from the sprinkler system. The weeds loved the water and were the healthiest in the state of Massachusetts. So about ten years ago, I dug out the weeds, and I dug down a foot or so and removed the worn-out dirt that was there. I threw in a couple of bags of garden soil. I found some plants around the yard and plopped them into this little garden. I put some mulch on top. No more unsightly weeds. And then I forgot about it.

The three hosta plants I put in and the maroon heuchera did pretty well the first year. I added a little white geranium, and the silly little garden shed garden that no one but me ever sees started to do very well and be very pretty. The Fire and Ice hosta is a favorite of the rabbits, but I can spray the garden with the rabbit repellent because the garden shed is next to it. Sometimes they get the leaves, and occasionally a flower stalk, but there are enough leaves and flowers left to make a pretty display. And I don’t mind sharing once in a while.

The next year I added more soil and some white astilbe. From my kitchen window, I can see the tall white astilbe blooms and pink heuchera blooms, which come out at the same time. It is pretty.

Over the years, I have added a little miniature stone wall in front of the garden–it has been a great place to collect the stones I dig out of the other gardens.

I started fertilizing the little garden and adding more bags of garden soil. I put a small blue hydrangea at the far end. I added more seasonal annuals such as impatiens in the summer and mums in the fall. This year I’ve put in some dark salmon geraniums.

Last fall from another garden where it wasn’t doing very well, I moved into this little spot a pretty and delicate variegated Jacob’s ladder plant (also sometimes called the “stairway to heaven plant”). This plant gets its name partly because of the way the leaves are arranged on its stems–two leaves arise oppositely from every single node along the stem, which produces a ladder effect. Jacob’s ladder is admired for the tiny blue flowers that appear in May and June. But mostly the variegated version of this plant contributes bright foliage throughout the growing season.

I like this plant because of its history. I read this story years ago, but the New England Wild Flower Society (NEWFS) no longer tells this story on their website. So you’ll have to trust me on this too. One year, one of the NEWFS interns (or perhaps it was one of their very young new employees) was carrying a tray of Jacob’s ladder plants across the yard. He looked down and noticed a variegated plant in the tray. So, on his own, he started to propagate it to see if he could. He was successful. Variegation–white and green leaves instead of all-green leaves–is usually caused by a random genetic mutation. The variegation comes and goes and is hard to stabilize. That’s why if you have a variegated plant, growers will say to cut off any all-green leaves and stems. Otherwise, you’ll lose the variegation. It’s also hard to propagate a variegated plant–the laws of genetics and nature are working against the effort.

The New England Wild Flower Society started to sell the new plants at their spring fundraisers. It was admired by the visitors to the center, including some of the major plant growers in the country. They wanted to propagate it and sell it too, and they made an offer that the society accepted: every time someone buys a variegated Jacob’s ladder, some small royalty goes to support the Garden in the Woods, a public garden built and maintained by the NEWFS for the purpose of preserving New England’s native woodland plants.

So here is a picture of my little garden this year. The Jacob’s ladder’s delicate blue blossoms are going by now, but its foliage will remain pretty most of the summer. This is a small garden in which the foliage takes center stage.

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Excellent and Creative Writing by Sharyl Attkisson: “The FBI’s Fractured Fairytale”

 

Sharyl Attkisson has written one of the most creative pieces I have seen in a very long time, published this morning under the title “The FBI’s Fractured Fairytale”; it graphically, and in the process hilariously, illustrates the utter contempt in which we deplorables are held by the reptilian denizens of the Deep State (Yes, Virginia, there is such a thing as the Deep State) in that they actually believe we are so irredeemably (love that word!) stupid that we will actually believe a word spoken by such bottom feeders as Brennan and Clapper.

Lucianne.com has deemed this the “read of the day”; I fully concur and cannot recommend it too highly.

Enjoy!

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A Meet-Up on the Way from One Important Place to Another

 

While on the way from one place to another, @stad and @neutralobserver happened to be passing through beautiful downtown Troy, Michigan, so we got together for lunch. It’s a nice way to have a meet-up. It’s a chance to just talk and get to know people. I learned several things:

  1. Stad writes under a pseudonym. It is not a masculine name, which led to my questioning if he were writing romance novels.
  2. He’s about to start writing romance novels, but no, had not in the past. (I never got around to admitting that I have one of those started, too, because why not?)
  3. He’s much taller than he looks in his avatar.
  4. Neutral Observer makes the worlds best burritos. I have Stad’s assurance of this. He even started detailing the process at one point, but I doubt I’ll get them to put the recipe in the You Will Need Group.
  5. “Cell phone photos are today’s equivalent of relatives carrying around a carousel of slides from the old days.”
  6. Once you retire, you have no time to fool around anymore, because there is just too much to do with life.
  7. Neutral Observer has picked up a soft, Southern dialect from living in the South, but no, she’s from out west.

I’m sure the huge, mega-meet-ups are a lot of fun, but I’ll take the opportunity to talk with you one-on-one(ish), if you happen to be in town.

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Quote of the Day: Reformers, Right and Wrong

 

“The reformer is always right about what is wrong. He is generally wrong about what is right.” — G. K. Chesterton, Illustrated London News 10-28-1922 ¹

I’m unclear in what context Chesterton wrote this. This quote mugged my attention, and sticks to the roof of my brain like peanut butter. I don’t believe this is always true, but, I’ve found it to be sufficiently reasonable, as a rubric of sort. It forces my mind to rethink a criticism, usually one that rubs against my confirmation bias, to force me to see my critic’s point of view.

For the reformer Rousseau, institutions can be “corrupting,” but, he was grotesquely wrong on whether man is innately good or whether we, in our “natural state,” were at our most content. Marx correctly ascribes the importance and value of one’s vocation, both individually and communally, but offers murderous madness as remedy.

The bookend-quote to this is Chesterton’s quote on progress;

“Progress [the goal of reform] should mean that we are always walking towards the New Jerusalem. It does mean that the New Jerusalem is always walking away from us. We are not altering the real to suit the ideal. We are altering the ideal: it is easier.” — G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

Progress for the sake of progress alone is hubris, leading to folly.

¹ If you know of a source that provides better light on this quote, please let me know.