Saturday, December 31, 2016

The Will to Win

This was received from an Air Force colleague, who had received it from a Marine friend. It's worth passing on.

Unless you are willing to be as unreasonable and as brutal, as your enemy, do not engage him in a conflict -- because he will win.
An old leatherneck says it better. Here's what the WWII veteran said right after overhearing someone say that "You can't bomb an ideology.":
The hell you can't, because we did it. These Muslims are no different than the [Imperial] Japanese. The Japs had their suicide bombers too. And we stopped them. What it takes is the resolve and will to use a level of brutality and violence that your generations can't stomach. And until you can, this shit won't stop. It took us on the beaches with bullets, clearing out caves with flame throwers, and men like LeMay burning down their cities, killing people by the tens of thousands. And then it took 2 atom bombs on top of it. Plus we had to bomb the shit out of German cities to get them to quit fighting. But, if that was what it took to win, we were willing to do it. Until you are willing to do the same...well I hope you enjoy this shit, because it ain't going to stop!
Back then, we had leadership, resolve, resources and determination. Today we're afraid to hurt people's feelings .... and worry about which bathroom to piss in!!!

On one thing, though, I must disagree. "These Muslims" ARE different from the Japanese of World War II. The Japanese fighters were soldiers — uniformed soldiers, with a code of conduct enforced by their superiors and their military structure. They acted as a military force. Compare that to "these Muslims" who lack honor, think committing rape is normal and acceptable behavior, and prefer to attack civilian non-combatant targets — right down to beheading a woman for the "crime" of going to the market by herself. In other words, this is what "these Muslims" are like.

This is the new reality, as we've all seen. We ignore it at our peril.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Just To Be Clear

It's being reported that 54% of Democrats believe the Russians interfered in the U.S. presidential election by hacking into and changing vote totals last November 8. That means they've fallen for some "fake news" 'bause that's never what the actual news reports said. The actual charge was that the Russians influenced the U.S. election by passing all those e-mails to Wikileaks. (But see this item.)

And what follows from that is this:

I would also say all the continuing crying, screaming, bellyaching, rioting, and abuse of process on the left demonstrates a HUGE amount of hypocrisy on their part. Just compare what they were saying before the election with what they've been saying since.

It won't make sense to the young and historically illiterate, but what all the Leftist bitching and moaning makes me think is this:

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The "Russian Hack"

The primary US media outlets have been spending a LOT of ink and air time talking about the Russians and their purported hacking of the US presidential election last month. These stories are disingenuous. In point of fact, the hacking that was done — by whomever — was, according to the detail behind the stories, of the Democratic National Committee (& maybe the Republican National Committee) and the Hillary Clinton campaign organization and the Hillary Clinton State Department. There have been no real reports of the hacking of any state's election voting processes. So the claims are really of using hacked material to influence voters to change who they voted for, no matter how the primary media outlets may wish to spin them.

Let's look at some of the issues surrounding these claims.

First is the difference between what is claimed in the stories and what has actually been reported by the stories' sources. That is pure deception. And the reality takes us from the realm of direct action to the realm of influence. In the latter realm, Russia would have a lot of company.

And what was Russia doing to influence the US presidential election? It was purportedly releasing through Wikileaks e-mails sent among members of the Hillary Clinton campaign showing it and she were disingenuous, deceptive, unethical, criminal, & etc. Meanwhile, as the hacked e-mailes showed, others were working to influence the election.

Second is motivation. As reported

"The CIA has concluded in a secret assessment that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump win the presidency, rather than just to undermine confidence in the U.S. electoral system, according to officials briefed on the matter," the Post reported on Friday.
The problem is that despite Vladimir Putin's reported dislike of Hillary Clinton, Russia could more easily have pushed the US around with her as president (just as with President Obama) than with Donald Trump in the Executive Office. A serious pragmatist like Vladimir Putin would — and has — go with what best serves his purposes regardless of his personal feelings.

Third is the question of why the Russians (or whoever) would have released data hacked from the Democrats but not the Republicans. There are two possible answers to this, both of which may be true.

(1) It may be that the Republicans' e-mails gave the Russians (or whoever) nothing juicy as the Democrats' did — nothing unethical or illegal to attach to the Republicans' candidate or his campaign like what whoever found in the e-mails of Hillary Clinton and her campaign, including her campaign manager.

(2) The hacker may not have gotten into the Republicans' e-mails. Perhaps no one at the Republican National Committee responded to a phishing e-mail and no one in the Donald Trump campaign did that or kept and used a completely unsecured server.

Fourth is was it really the Russians? The leaked e-mails came out through Wikileaks. And the Wikileaks folks insist they didn't come from the Russians — or anyone else foreign — but from a disgruntled Hillary Campaign individual frustrated and disgusted by the behaviors he saw running rampant in the campaign. Of course, the primary media outlets are ignoring what Wikileaks keeps saying — it doesn't fit their narrative.

Fifth is the question of what impact the leaked e-mails had. In a way, it doesn't matter:

  • If they had a major impact, it was because of what they revealed about the candidate and her campaign organization (see "third" (1), above). In such a case, the impact would be the same whether the e-mails came from a whistleblower, a hacker, or Woodward & Bernstein.
  • If they had no major impact, the whole premise of the media story collapses. In that event, it doesn't really matter who got the e-mails out. Aside from a desire for blame, of course.
In any case, it appears the likely answer is that the e-mails didn't have much impact. The reason I say that is that we kept seeing stories about how sparse the crowds were at Hillary Clinton events, while Donald Trump events were . . . well, like this:

The remaining question would be how well such crowds transfer into vote margins. This time, the rally crowds appear to have transferred just enough to make a real difference; last time (2012), not so much.

The bottom line of all this is that No, Democrats, Russia and Vladimir Putin didn't steal the presidential election for Donald Trump.

Since the election, Leftists have used the purported Russian hack (as well as other reasons and no real reason at all) as excuses for demands that the election results be overturned. All of these excuses boil down to "It isn't fair! We didn't win!" A typical immature child's reaction.

But even an immiature child should understand that don't change the rules of the game after the game has started. And you especially don't change the rules of the game to change the winner after the game is over. That would be like changing the definition of Checkmate because you don't like the fact that you lost.

All of this still leaves at least one problem, one that is suggested by the issues above. With all these issues, why did the CIA (reportedly) give this story to press people but (apparently) not not to those in the normal reporting chain? And why, when asked, was the CIA unwilling to provide more information — and maybe even evidence — to appropriately cleared folks like Congressional intelligence committees (and unlike the press folks who lack security clearances)? This key question, put another way, is

[I]f it turns out people in the CIA were pushing a phony story to damage Trump's presidency, and that a credulous anti-Trump press eagerly spread these claims — they should be held accountable as well. Undermining the credibility of our Democratic system is a terrible offense, no matter who is behind it or why.
That same article provides a thought that can perhaps help lead us toward an answer.
Until some actual facts are known, however, everyone would be wise to keep in mind that everyone currently pushing the Russians-stole-our-election story has a reason to hope it was true.
I wonder if that would be "hope" or "wish". And what they would do to make their wish come true.

UPDATE: Even some of Hillary's friends on the Left can't swallow these claims. See this story, citing this one.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Reflections on Pearl Harbor

Today marks 75 years since the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, that brought the United States into World War II. That makes it a good time to reflect on that attack. And the best way to do that may be through some contemporary analysis reported in the 1985 book Reflections on Pearl Harbor by William H. Ewing, now out of print.

Admiral Chester W. Nimitz was appointed as Commander of the Pacific Fleet in the aftermath of the Pearl Harbor attack. The story I have read is that President Franklin Roosevelt reached him while he was attending a concert on the day of the attack, and appointed him that day to his new post.

Transportation, in particular, was not as rapid then as it is now. It apparently took more than two weeks for Admiral Nimitz to arrive at his new post. What happened very shortly after his arrival is described in an excerpt from Reflections On Pearl Harbor by William H. Ewing, reported online in 2011.

When Nimitz landed at Pearl Harbor on Christmas Eve, 1941, there was such a spirit of despair, dejection and defeat--you would have thought the Japanese had already won the war. On Christmas Day, 1941, Adm. Nimitz was given a boat tour of the destruction wrought on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese.

Afterwards, someone asked him, ‘Well Admiral, what do you think after seeing all this destruction?’ Admiral Nimitz's reply shocked everyone: ‘The Japanese made three of the biggest mistakes an attack force could ever make, or God was taking care of America.

Nimitz explained:

Mistake number one: The Japanese attacked on Sunday morning. Nine out of every ten crewmen of those ships were ashore on leave. If those same ships had been lured to sea and been sunk, we would have lost 38,000 men instead of 3,800.

Mistake number two: When the Japanese saw all those battleships lined in a row, they got so carried away sinking those battleships, they never once bombed our dry docks opposite those ships. If they had destroyed our dry docks, we would have had to tow every one of those ships to America to be repaired. As it is now, the ships are in shallow water and can be raised. One tug can pull them over to the dry docks, and we can have them repaired and at sea by the time we could have towed them to America. And I already have crews ashore anxious to man those ships.

Mistake number three: Every drop of fuel in the Pacific theater of war is on top of the ground in storage tanks five miles away over that hill. One attack plane could have strafed those tanks and destroyed our fuel supply.

That's why I say the Japanese made three of the biggest mistakes an attack force could make, or God was taking care of America.

I have read elsewhere that the Japanese chose to attack on a Sunday morning to insure the maximum number of capital ships would be in port and at anchor (see Mistake number one above) and that preparedness in their other attack locations would be similarly degraded. This may suggest the "double-edged sword" nature of so many decisions. It may also relate to the Pearl Harbor attack being a late addition (approved by Emperor Hirohita on November 5) as part of the broader attack that opened World War II's Pacific War.

There was also what might be called Mistake number four: Either through a failure of intelligence or the Japanese need to proceed with their overall attack as planned regardless of inopportune circumstances at a single location (especially that of a late addition to the plan), all the US aircraft carriers were at sea at the time of the attack. Thus the carriers, which had to be the number one target of Admiral Yamamoto's attack plan, were preserved and able to successfully prosecute the Pacific War. After all, the Japanese attack demonstrated (if a demonstration was needed) the effectiveness of aircraft carriers.

All this provides a different window on the Pearl Harbor attack, and should be food for thought on today's 75th anniversary of that attack.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Worth Passing On

Donald Trump & Carrier

President-elect Donald Trump called the head of Carrier Air Conditioning's parent company and had a "heart to heart" talk with him. With that and some additional serious negotiations, the Carrier plant in Indiana will remain open instead of moving to Mexico, saving 1,000 jobs.

If President-elect Donald Trump could do that without yet being in office, why couldn't President Barack Obama do anything like it?

Looks like it's because Donald Trump actually gives a damn.
He cares.

Not even in office yet, and he's saving jobs.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Reflections on the Election

Before Election Day, everything seemed so clear. Hillary Clinton would be elected president and Donald Trump would be exiled to the wastelands and never heard from again. But then Election Day came, and everyone's expectations were turned upside down.

That caused Shock. Consternation. Horror. The Hillary partisans in the blue cities reacted badly. And that brought about some immediate aftereffects.

Another quick side effect was in the financial markets, where the market futures took an immediate dive. The market gurus said the financial markets would be devastated and would never recover. But we know how that turned out.

There was one more thing that apparently passed unnoticed on election night. A glass ceiling was shattered — just not the one the Left expected. It was the one shattered by Kellyanne Conway.

Meanwhile, on the other side.

Now the election is over and we're done with all those political comercials filling all the radio and television broadcast time. And now we will see over the coming weeks the unfolding of a new era. We'll just have to see how different it is from the old one.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Veterans Day 2016

This is from a year ago, but I didn't see it till two months later. I thought this would be an appropriate date to bring it back up.

MAN WALKS INTO CHICK-FIL-A: Is Completely Blown Away When He Saw This for Veterans
By Bill Callen | Top Right News

Chick-fil-A, the same fast-food outlet has once again proved a positive to the world. This time it did so by unveiling an amazing Veterans Day tribute that left Georgia resident Eric Comfort in complete shock.

According to a Facebook post he published on Monday, when he walked into a local Chick-fil-A, Comfort discovered a "Missing Man Table" that contained a single rose, a Bible and a folded American flag, as well as a plaque within which was the following explanation: "This table is reserved to honor our missing comrades in arms. The tablecloth is white - symbolizing the purity of their motives when answering the call of duty. The single red rose, displayed in a vase, reminds us of the life of each of the missing and their loved ones and friends of these Americans who keep the faith, awaiting answers. The vase is tied with a red ribbon, symbol of our continued determination to account for our missing. A pinch of salt symbolizes the tears endured by those missing and their families who seek answers. The Bible represents the strength gained through faith to sustain those lost from our country, founded as one nation under God. The glass is inverted - to symbolize their inability to share this evening's toast. The chair is empty - they are missing."

After the story went viral, the store manager, Alex Korchan, explained to WSB that his team members had set up the table because they "wanted to honor veterans." Furthermore, he revealed that he planned to offer free meals to all veterans and their family members this Veterans Day between the hours of 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. Korchan also put up a poster so that customers could write in the names of loved ones who they have lost. "We've had a lot of people who have come in and seen it and been touched by it," Korchan continued. "It's been special to see."

PLEASE SHARE this article if you admire what Chick-Fil-A has done to honor our vets…

Happy Veterans Day

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Comey Sends Another Letter

After recently announcing the reopening of the Hillary Clinton e-mail investigation, FBI Director James Comey has now announced he atill won't recomment pressing criminal charges against Hillary Clinton et al. All this after having outlined Hillary's criminal behavior in his press conference in July.

I have been mystified since July over the discrepancy between the facts summarized and the recommendation made. Maybe this explains it:

These Speak For Themselves

This speaks for itself. And it shows who is guilty of rank hypocrisy.

This one speaks to the kinds of people who are for and against one of the presidential candidates.

It's also notable that the haters leave the area of any rally they have a complete trashy mess, while the supporters leave a clean field.

Do you really want to put the country in the hands of more people who are dishonest, act like kindergarden children, and can't even pick up after themselves? I'd rather vote for some actual legitimate human beings.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

The Best Reason . . .

Ruben Navarrette summarizes this year's presidential race rather succinctly in his column in today's Albuquerque Journal. He says

The best reason to vote for Clinton is not because you believe that she cares about you or will keep her promises; it's to stop Trump. And the best reason to vote for Trump is not because you believe that he'll change a system that made him rich and famous or will keep his promises; it's to defeat Clinton.

As for me, I remain "Never. Never." I've chosen this path because I see the truth in the meme I read recently that described Trump as representing "everything that is wrong with our culture" and Clinton as embodying "everything that is wrong with our government."

That about covers it.

Cartoonist Michael Ramirez sums up how Navarrette and a large part of the country's population feel.

This additional Ramirez cartoon puts the choice we face a little bit differently.

That-s pretty close to what Thomas Sowell said (quoted here):
Voting for an out of control egomaniac like Donald Trump would be like playing Russian roulette with the future of this country. Voting for someone with a track record like Hillary Clinton's is like putting a shotgun to your head and pulling the trigger. And not voting at all is just giving up.
As Sowell also says, "Nobody said that being a good citizen would be easy."

Consider carefully. After all, one of these two people will end up living in the White House next year. Are you going to vote for a chance at life or for a guaranteed disaster?

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Time to Grow Up

As Margaret Thatcher once said "The problem with socialism is that sooner or later you run out of other people's money."

Also, related, Winston Churchill said (paraphrased, I suspect)

  • If you are 20 and not a Liberal, you have no heart.
  • If you are 40 and not a Conservative, you have no brain.
It's definitely time for folks to grow up.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Progressives vs. Conservatives

The state of the nation seems very much like this:

The labels on this cartoon say Mondernism and Tradition, but they really are Progressives and Conservatives. The Progressives really don't comprehend the strength and stability Conservatives provide — strength and stability the Progressives really rely on.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

How to Balance the Federal Budget

This might well do it.

Of course, the remaining federal employees will be overworked — at least until other changes are made.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Willful Blindness

Just one of the areas where President Barack Obama and his administration deliberately close their eyes to reality. I wish we had an adult in the Oval Office.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Wells Fargo, A Criminal Organization

This is part of a firmly established pattern, so no further comment is necessary.

UPDATE: This is important, and oh so true!

Monday, September 19, 2016

The Media Surrender

Subtitle: Media For Hillary

Last week, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump confirmed his belief that President Barack Obama was born in the United States, and noted that the original story had come from the 2008 Hillary Clinton presidential campaign.

The major media outlets — including the AP, Reuters, the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, ABC, NBC, and CBS — quickly produced their agreed view on the issue. (The Wall Street Journal cites here the varying wordings of that agreed viewpoint by the AP, Reuters, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and CNN. I heard the reporting by ABC, NBC, and CBS myself, and read the AP account in the Albuquerque Journal.) The way the agreed media story was put in the Albuquerque Journal is this:

WASHINGTON – After five years as a promoter of a lie about Barack Obama’s birthplace, Donald Trump abruptly reversed course Friday and acknowledged the fact that the president was born in America. He then immediately peddled another false conspiracy.

“President Barack Obama was born in the United States, period,” Trump declared, enunciating each word in a brief statement at the end of a campaign appearance. “Now we all want to get back to making America strong and great again.”

But as the GOP presidential nominee sought to put that false conspiracy theory to rest, he stoked another, claiming that the “birther movement” was begun by his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton. There is no evidence that that is true.

“Hillary Clinton and her campaign of 2008 started the birther controversy. I finished it,” Trump said.

While the question of Obama’s birthplace was pushed by some bloggers who backed Clinton’s primary campaign against him eight years ago, Clinton has long denounced it as a “racist lie.”

If memory serves, Hillary started denouncing it as false about the time she was named to be Obama's Secretary of State.

Note that this agreed media story on the issue appeared in the media's news stories, not just in their editorials.

This writer suspects that Trump picked up legitimate discussions of and questions about Obama's birth that were running around the country (no, not just "some bloggers") in 2008. Some questions continued for a time even after the White House finally released a copy of the original long-form birth certificate because of perceived discrepancies in it.

But, frankly, that's not of concern. What is of concern is that the media have agreed on a single viewpoint, across news and editorial departments and across organizations, that is at odds with the verifiable facts — both as stated currently and as can surely be verified in news reports from 2008. Multiple members of Hillary's 2008 campaign, including her senior advisor and close confidant Sidney Blumenthal, are the ones who took this story to various reporters — a story that was supported by Obama's own statement in a collegiate biography that he was born in Kenya. Indeed, Blumenthal's deep involvement in spreading this story may be the reason President Obama absolutely forbade the hiring of Blumenthal in the State Department by Secretary Clinton, and order Hillary followed in its letter but not in its intent as he was clearly still working for her at the time of the Benghazi Attack.

But I'm reasonably sure of this:

It's not a conspiracy. It's worse. It's a consensus.

Perhaps the actual issue for this presidential campaign is that Donald Trump was gullible enough to really believe what he read in the media in 2008.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

What is Hillary Really Like?

Hillary Rodham Clinton showed her true colors early in the Administration of President William Jefferson Clinton. (She had done so back in Arkansas as well, but not nearly so publicly or on the national public record.) This former First Lady, former New York Senator, and former Secretary of State engineered what would become known as Travelgate:

It was the first big case in which she showed poor judgment, a cool willingness to mislead, and a level of political aggression that gave even those around her pause. It was after this mess that her critics said she’d revealed the soul of an East German border guard.

The Clinton White House was internally a dramatic one, as George Stephanopoulos later recounted in “All Too Human,” his sharply observed, and in retrospect somewhat harrowing, memoir of his time as Mr. Clinton’s communications director and senior adviser. He reported staffers and officials yelling, crying, shouting swear words and verbally threatening each other. It was a real hothouse. There was a sense the gargoyles had taken over the cathedral. But that wouldn’t become apparent until later.

What showed up in Hillary's Travelgate actions? She took vindictive actions that were intended in part to funnel government funds to her friends and associates. Those actions included, in that case, not only the dismissal of all the members of the White House Travel Office, who had worked for a series of presidents both Democrats and Republicans, and having criminal charges lodged against them which she knew to be fabricated and false. She made a long series of false statements, attempting to hide her mendacity behind a long series of changing stories. And she misused and subverted a whole series of government files and departments.

All of which could have been ripped from this year's current headlines. It just goes to show that absolutely nothing has changed.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

An Interesting Coincidence — Or Is It?

Bataan survivor Dwight Cable, formerly a Sergeantt in the 515th Coast Artillery (Anti-Air) of the New Mexico National Guard, died last month as previously noted. But there is a coincidence that's not noted in the Albuquerque Journal article about Dwight, or in his obituary — one that makes one wonder if there are ever really any coincidences.

Dwight was born at home, in an apartment at 5622 S Ellis Avenue in Chicago IL on December 16, 1916. (Babies were normally born at home, not in hospitals, in those years.) That apartment was right across the street from the west stands of the University of Chicago's Stagg Field, home of one of the founding members of the Big Ten Conference. (The Chicago Maroons dominated that conference until the University dropped its football team after the 1939 season.) That apartment building has long since been torn down.

The Nuclear Energy sculpture at the University of Chicago
The importance of the Stagg Field Stands in Dwight's story is that a squash court in the space under them was the location of the first man-made self-sustaining controlled nuclear reaction — the first operational nuclear reactor, which went "critical" on December 2, 1942. Henry Moore’s “Nuclear Energy” sculpture now stands on the exact spot. (This article provides more information.) Producing that self-sustaining nuclear reaction was a key step in the development of the atomic bombs which were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6th & 9th of 1945, respectively.

The Prisoner of War camp commandants in Japan had standing orders that, when the Allied invasion of the home islands began, they were to kill all the prisoners. The atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, ending World War II, avoided the need for an invasion and thus saved the lives of Dwight and the other POWs being held in Japan. So the research carried out across the street from Dwight's birthplace came to be used "across the street" from his internment camp — a use that saved his life.

Another coincidence. The apartments where Dwight was born were eventually torn down and replaced by a University of Chicago laboratory building, the Enrico Fermi Institute for Nuclear Studies. A laboratory in that building was used by one of Dwight's nephews. As best as that nephew could determine, the location of his laboratory was at the very location (though in the basement) of the apartment where Dwight was born. It really is a small world.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Peter Lindberg, MD

New Mexico has lost a brilliant, talented, and exceptionally experienced oncologist, Dr Peter Lindberg. He graduated from medical school in 1965 and continued practicing through the early part of this year (2016) when he began treatment for his own esophageal cancer. He and his wife Mary enjoyed life together for 56 years. Dr Lindberg died very early yesterday, September 13, 2016.

A memorial page is available online on the website of the Prostate Cancer Support Association of New Mexico providing a lot of information about Dr Lindberg's life. The Peanuts cartoon described in the memorial page can be seen here.

Dr Lindberg will be greatly missed.

UPDATE (Sept. 23): Dr Lindberg's obituary has been published in the Los Alamos Daily Post. It is also being printed on September 25th in the Los Alamos Monitor and can be seen (with poor formatting) on

UPDATE (Sept. 27): Dr Lindberg's obituary was published today in the Albuquerque Journal. We all are still greatly distressed that he is gone.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

9/11/2001 -- Never Forget!

Our own generation's "day which will live in infamy."

It's the day we were attacked by uncivilized barbarians. We saw some of what they caused.
Their successors are even less civilized than they were. We hadn't thought that possible.

No, we must never forget!

And we must especially think on these things today, on the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 Attack.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

The Bagpiper

Time is like a river. You cannot touch the water twice, because the flow that has passed will never pass again. Enjoy every moment of life. As a bagpiper, I play many gigs. Recently I was asked by a funeral director to play at a graveside service for a homeless man. He had no family or friends, so the service was to be at a pauper's cemetery in the Nova Scotia back country. As I was not familiar with the backwoods, I got lost and, being a typical man, I didn't stop for directions.

I finally arrived an hour late and saw the funeral guy had evidently gone and the hearse was nowhere in sight. There were only the diggers and crew left and they were eating lunch. I felt badly and apologized to the men for being late.

I went to the side of the grave and looked down and the vault lid was already in place. I didn't know what else to do, so I started to play.

The workers put down their lunches and began to gather around. I played out my heart and soul for this man with no family and friends. I played like I've never played before for this homeless man. And as I played "Amazing Grace", the workers began to weep. They wept, I wept, we all wept together. When I finished, I packed up my bagpipes and started for my car. Though my head was hung low, my heart was full.

As I opened the door to my car, I heard one of the workers say, "I never seen anything like that before, and I've been putting in septic tanks for twenty years."

Apparently, I'm still lost... it's a man thing.

Monday, September 5, 2016

The Choice We Face

"Voting for an out of control egomaniac like Donald Trump would be like playing Russian roulette with the future of this country. Voting for someone with a track record like Hillary Clinton's is like putting a shotgun to your head and pulling the trigger. And not voting at all is just giving up." As Sowell also says, "Nobody said that being a good citizen would be easy."
        — Thomas Sowell


Zozobra is Old Man Gloom. For more than ninety years, he has been a key feature right around the Santa Fe Fiesta and Labor Day.

The tradition is that people write down their troubles and worries, which are placed in the giant (over 50 feet tall) marionette of Old Man Gloom raised each year in Fort Marcy Park in Santa Fe. Crowds (more than 50,000 people) gather there in the evening at the start of the Fiesta to watch Zozobra — and all their cares & worries — go up in flames. Like they did last Friday night.

And this year we all have a LOT of worries and anxieties to send up in the flames.
Yes, Trever hits it out of the park once again. (from the Albuquerque Journal on Sunday, September 4, 2016)

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Another Bataan Survivor Has Died

New Mexico honors its Bataan survivors. It always has, ever since they were rescued at the end of World War II. Here is the latest example, a story printed in the Albuquerque Journal yesterday (Friday, August 26).

Bataan Death March survivor dies in Oregon
By Charles D. Brunt / Journal Staff Writer
Thursday, August 25th, 2016 at 11:44pm

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Dwight Raymond Cable, a Bataan Death March survivor who joined the New Mexico National Guard’s 200th Coast Artillery Regiment while stationed here as a research scientist with the Soil Conservation Service in April 1941, died in his sleep Aug. 12 in Eugene, Ore., his nephew, Gary Cable of Peralta, said Wednesday. Dwight Cable was 99.

The Chicago native grew up in Tucson and attended the University of Arizona before graduating from the University of Idaho and going to work for the Soil Conservation Service, now known as the federal Natural Resources Conservation Service. Eight months before Japan’s sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, which triggered America’s direct involvement in World War II, Cable joined the New Mexico National Guard and soon shipped out to the Philippines.

In April 1942, Japanese captors marched about 78,000 prisoners of war – 12,000 Americans and 66,000 Filipinos – for six days on the Bataan Peninsula on the Philippine island of Luzon to a prisoner-of-war camp known as Camp O’Donnell. Many were denied food, water or medical care, and some were stabbed or bayoneted along the 65-mile route.

Dwight Raymond Cable, who was in New Mexico National Guard’s 200th Coast Artillery Regiment, is shown in 2002. He died Aug. 12. (Courtesy of Gary Cable)Dwight Raymond Cable, a sergeant during World War II, is shown in 1941 shortly after joining the Army. Cable died Aug. 12 in Eugene, Ore., at age 99. (Courtesy of Gary Cable)

Among the American defenders of Bataan were Cable and some 1,800 soldiers from New Mexico, many with the 200th and 515th Coast Artillery Regiments. About half of them did not survive the war.

Cable, who was a company clerk with C Battery of the 515th Coast Artillery Regiment when captured, was sent on a “hell ship” to a POW prison camp near Shinjuku, Japan, where more than 2,300 other American POWs were held. His capture was first reported to the International Committee of the Red Cross on May 7, 1942, and the last report was made on Oct. 15, 1945. Based on those reports, he was imprisoned for at least 3½ years before being liberated by U.S. forces.

Gary Cable said his uncle’s only comment on his POW experience was: “You had to keep your sense of humor. Those that didn’t, didn’t make it.”

“What I remember most about Dwight was his dry sense of humor,” Gary Cable said. “He was once hiking with my parents in the mountains near Ouray, Colo. My mother was interested in learning about the plants they saw, and asked Dwight to identify them for her – including by scientific name. It took her a while to realize he was giving her the same scientific name for every plant she pointed to.”

Dwight Cable’s younger brother, Lowell Dean Cable, went into Normandy via Omaha Beach on the day after D-Day. His older brother, Donovan Chambers Cable, tried to join the military as well but was medically disqualified from contributing to the war effort.

After the war, Cable went back to work for the Soil Conservation Service and later for the U.S. Forest Service. He wrote more than 100 peer-reviewed research papers and articles on native desert grasses and other plants. He was an avid hiker, outdoorsman and nature photographer.

Even after he retired and moved to Eugene, Ore., his family sent him a “care package” every year for his birthday, filled with items like biscochitos and a bag of red chile pods.

A memorial service will be held in Eugene on Dec. 16, which would have been Cable’s 100th birthday, his nephew said.

With Cable’s passing, only 13 former members of the New Mexico National Guard’s 200th and 515th Coast Artillery Regiments who survived the Bataan Death March are still living, according to the Bataan-Corregidor Memorial Foundation of New Mexico. Seven of them reside in New Mexico.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Police Retraining

There's no guidance or discipline in the home. The family situation is so unstable, 'Junior' doesn't even know where to send a Father's Day card. Junior gets dumped into the education system where he is socially promoted because the overwhelmed school district can't deal with the undisciplined whelp. Junior's major formative influences are 'gangsta' rap videos and a corresponding peer group of gangsta wannabes.

At age 18, Junior is turned loose on society carrying a bad attitude, a broken compass and no respect for authority. Junior gets himself in big trouble with the law because he is illiterate, unskilled, unemployable and his only source of income other than Government assistance is illegal and meets dire consequences. Then, the situation diagnosis is that the police need more training, compassion, sensitivity and understanding?

Pardon me for asking, but do you really believe this B.S.?

The conditions described here have taken decades to fully develop, and to result in the kind of unrest we see today. Fixing these conditions will not be easy or quick. It will take even longer if we don't get started.

We know what must be accomplished — teaching individual responsibility and accountability, as well as self-discipline, as well as providing an education that prepares young people for success in life without having to lean on gangs and illegal activities. We can only hope we can come to some agreement on how to get there.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Boss of the Sky

This came from a gentleman who runs a 2,000-acre corn farm up around Barron, WI, not far from Oshkosh and not far from the Twin Cities. He used to fly F-4Es and F-16s for the Air National Guard and participated in the first Gulf War.

His story:

I went out to plant corn for a bit, to finish a field before tomorrow morning and witnessed 'The Great Battle'. A golden eagle — big, with about a six-foot wingspan — flew right in front of the tractor. It was being chased by three crows that were continually dive-bombing it & pecking at it. The crows do this because the eagles rob their nests when they find them.

At any rate, the eagle banked hard right in one evasive maneuver, then landed in the field about 100 feet from the tractor. This eagle stood about 3 feet tall. The crows all landed too and took up positions around the eagle at 120 degrees apart, but kept their distance at about 20 feet from the big bird. The eagle would take a couple steps towards one of the crows and they'd hop backwards & forward to keep their distance. Then the reinforcement showed up.

I happened to spot the eagle's mate hurtling down out of the sky at what appeared to be approximately Mach 1.5. Just before impact, the eagle on the ground took flight, (obviously a coordinated tactic, probably pre-briefed) and the three crows that were watching the grounded eagle also took flight — thinking they were going to get in some more pecking on the big bird....

The first crow being targeted by the diving eagle never stood a snowball's chance in hell. There was a mid-air explosion of black feathers, and that crow was done.

The diving eagle then banked hard left in what had to be a 9G climbing turn, using the energy it had accumulated in the dive, and hit crow #2 less than two seconds later ... another crow dead.

The grounded eagle, which was now airborne and had an altitude advantage on the remaining crow that was streaking eastward in full burner, made a short dive, then banked hard right when the escaping crow tried to evade the hit. It didn't work — crow #3 bit the dust at about 20 feet AGL. This aerial battle was better than any air show I've been to, including the War Birds show at Oshkosh.

The two eagles ripped the crows apart, and ate them on the ground; and, as I got closer and closer working my way across the field, I passed within 20 feet of one of them as it ate its catch. It stopped and looked at me as I went by, and you could see in the look of that bird that it knew who's Boss of the Sky.

What a beautiful bird!

One of the best Fighter Pilot stories I've seen in a long time.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

A Little Bit of Politics

Last week, President Barack Obama jumped into the presidential race. Supporting Hillary Clinton, he asserted that Donald Trump is "unqualified to be president" unfit to be president, lacking the necessary temperament and preparation for the office. His statement hit the news, as they say, big time — even though he's been saying the same thing for a long time, including in an interview reported in May.

My reaction on hearing Obama's latest outburst was this:

We know what the last 7½ years have done to us. We know what Hillary has done in every area she has touched, and what kind of disaster she has been in those areas. Trump doesn't have that kind of record — or any government record. That's why Obama is calling him unqualified; he doesn't have his government "union card". Translated, that means we know how bad Hillary would be, but Trump is an unknown and we're left with guesswork.

Thomas Sowell may be right when he asks, "How did we get into the predicament where our choices for President are narrowed to a candidate who inspires distrust versus a candidate who inspires disgust — and where both are dangerous?"

In an earlier column, Sowell says "Voting for an out of control egomaniac like Donald Trump would be like playing Russian roulette with the future of this country. Voting for someone with a track record like Hillary Clinton's is like putting a shotgun to your head and pulling the trigger. And not voting at all is just giving up." As Sowell also says, "Nobody said that being a good citizen would be easy."

Sunday, August 7, 2016

The Hillary Railroad

It's on the wrong track, naturally. (What would you expect?) Following the track well-established for her by her party and her (she hopes) predecessor.

Once again, Trever hits it out of the park!

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Hiroshima — It Had To Be Done

Seventy-one years ago today, an atomic bomb nicknamed "Little Boy" was dropped on Hiroshima. That was the day World War II in the Pacific began to end.

In late May, just a little over two months ago, President Barack Obama visited Hiroshima — the first U.S. president to do so. That visit reopened some of the discussion over whether the atomic bombs should have been dropped on Hiroshima and, three days later, Nagasaki.

Veterans of the war were pretty clear about that. One said, “I was there. I saw firsthand what kind of fortifications the Japanese had. We would probably still be there fighting if we hadn’t dropped the bomb. I don’t regret that decision for one minute.” The comment from another was “It had to be done; otherwise, that war would have gone on and on. Those bombs, they stopped the war.”

The bottom line is this: This was the day the war finally began to end. Hiroshima was bombed on August 6th. Nagasaki was bombed on August 9th. The Japanese empeeror announced his country's surrender on August 15th. And then the war was over.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

The Non-Indictment of Hillary

Of course it's not quite that simple. The prosecutors that will review the information developed by the FBI could still choose to bring indictments against Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton for her illegal activities as Secretary of State.

Of course, FBI Director James Comey said that "no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case." That caused me to wonder just what he meant. Did he mean that the evidence didn't support criminal charges — the impression Comey worked terribly hard to convey? Or did he mean that no "reasonable prosecutor" would proceed with such a case because they would know they would be cashiered by DOJ political appointees if they did?

Actually, Comey said more. He said that

To warrant a criminal charge, Mr. Comey said, there had to be evidence that Mrs. Clinton intentionally transmitted or willfully mishandled classified information. The F.B.I. found neither, and as a result, he said, “our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case.”
This is wrong in multiple respects. Here are two:
  1. There are two statutes that apply to the mishandling of classified information as occurred in this case. One of them requires intent, either intentionally transmission or willfully mishandling of classified information. The other just requires the perpetrator be "extremely careless" — i.e., negligent or reckless — in the handling of classified information. And Comey demonstrated that Hillary had been "extremely careless" (his words).
  2. Reasonable prosecutors have brought such charges in the past, including the charges against a former director of the CIA who was indicted for having classified material on his home computer, and was only spared a trial by being pardoned by President Bill Clinton in 2001. And just last year the Obama Administration prosecuted and convicted a naval reservist who downloaded some classified to a personal electronic device but never made it available to anyone else.
There's also the fact that Hillary deliberately had her private server set up, in part to avoid the State Department's security systems.

So Hillary talks about how reckless Donald Trump might be, while she is the one who has demonstrated her recklessness — either deliberate intent or gross negligence — in handling national security information, as shown by FBI Director Comey.

And of course General Petraeus was cashiered for far lesser transgressions.

There are a couple of "take-aways" from this situation. One is part of what else the FBI director said.

After announcing his no-charge recommendation, Comey added:
To be clear, this is not to suggest that in similar circumstances, a person who engaged in this activity would face no consequences. To the contrary, those individuals are often subject to security or administrative sanctions. But that is not what we are deciding now.
In other words, laws are for little people.
Another likely inference is this:
which translates roughly as "the fix is in."

Clearly "All men are created equal", but some are more equal than others.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Independence Day!

How often have you heard it said "Freedom isn't free!"? Here's something of a meditation on the Fourth of July and the Declaration of Independence, from the late Paul Harvey, that gives additional meaning to this phrase. Early on, he notes that "All others of the world's revolutions, before and since, were initiated by men who had nothing to lose. ... Our founders had everything to lose, and nothing to gain. Except one thing." The video is at Paul Harvey: Our Lives, Our Fortunes, Our Sacred Honor. It's ten minutes long, but that's a really worthwhile ten minutes. Go spend the time. You'll be glad you did.

Happy Fourth of July!
Happy Independence Day!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Reflections on the Brexit Vote

Since the Brexit vote, in which voters in the high-turnout UK referendum, voted to leave the European Union, I've seen a lot of words from a number of commentators. The most laughable to me (somewhat paraphrased) was

The only reason I can think of for people to vote against their economic self-interest is racism.
There are several things wrong with this. The two biggest are these:
  • It's a huge assumption to say voting to leave the European Union is against the economic interests of the UK. This is what the "Remain" partisans claimed, but I don't see that should be given a lot more weight than the claims by the "Leave" partisans that Brexit would be better for the UK economically. Indeed, I would say leaving the European Union would be more likely to be in the UK's economic interests (see below).
  • "Racism"? Really? Racism of Europeans against Europeans? How dumb is that? Europeans are all pretty much the same stock — just ask
Other commentators have said
the votes to leave the European Union came from those who feel they haven't shared in the economic benefits of EU membership.
Essentially, they are saying the Brexit vote result was a matter of "sour grapes." But the statistics don't bear this out. Poll results just before the vote show the difference in voters was between the young who favored "Remain" and the older voters who favored "Leave". Or as one correspondent put it,
Millenial socialists who don’t understand vs. older folks who remember what Britain was.
As if to hammer the point home, here's a picture of one of London's young Millenials.

Aside from the voters who don't think of themselves as British, it seems to me a primary motivation was probably a lot simpler: They simply got tired of the overregulation and stupid regulation coming out of the unelected bureaucrats in Brussels. Little things like orders that a series of popular products could no longer be sold. Little things like a bureaucratic decree that drinking water is ineffective against dehydration. Little things like labor regulations Britain never had (or needed) till they were imposed by the EU to match those in other parts of Europe. A lot of those objectionable regulations are economic, and getting rid of them may well free the UK economy to grow at a faster rate. But it's also true that some of the recent (and projected soon to come) directives are in the "hot button" area of immigration and EU demands that eath country in the Union take their "fair share" of "Syrian" migrants.

In other words, a key issue area — regulatory overreach and objectionable regulations — is the same there and here. But with the Brexit vote there's an additional factor:

Immigrants, Then & Now

This was written by Rosemary LaBonte to the editors of a California newspaper in response to an article written by Ernie Lujan who suggests we should tear down the Statue of Liberty because the immigrants of today aren’t being treated the same as those who passed through Ellis Island and other ports of entry in past decades. The paper never printed this response, so her husband sent it out via the internet.

Here it is as I received it by e-mail.

The Statue of Liberty

Maybe we should turn to our history books and point out to people like Mr. Lujan why today's American is not willing to accept this new kind of immigrant any longer. Back in 1900 when there was a rush from all areas of Europe to come to the United States, people had to get off a ship and stand in a long line in New York and be documented.

Some would even get down on their hands and knees and kiss the ground. They made a pledge to uphold the laws and support their new country in good and bad times. They made learning English a primary rule in their new American households and some even changed their names to blend in with their new home.

They had waved goodbye to their birth place to give their children a new life and did everything in their power to help their children assimilate into one culture. Nothing was handed to them. No free lunches, no welfare, no labor laws to protect them. All they had were the skills and craftsmanship they had brought with them to trade for a future of prosperity.

Most of their children came of age when World War II broke out. My father fought alongside men whose parents had come straight over from Germany, Italy, France and Japan. None of these 1st generation Americans ever gave any thought about what country their parents had come from. They were Americans fighting Hitler, Mussolini and the Emperor of Japan. They were defending the United States of America as one people.

When we liberated France, no one in those villages were looking for the French American, the German American or the Irish American. The people of France saw only Americans. And we carried one flag that represented one country. Not one of those immigrant sons would have thought about picking up another country's flag and waving it to represent who they were. It would have been a disgrace to their parents who had sacrificed so much to be here. These immigrants truly knew what it meant to be an American. They stirred the melting pot into one red, white and blue bowl.

And here we are with a new kind of immigrant who wants the same rights and privileges. Only they want to achieve it by playing with a different set of rules, one that includes the entitlement card and a guarantee of being faithful to their mother country.

I'm sorry, that's not what being an American is all about. I believe that the immigrants who landed on Ellis Island in the early 1900's deserve better than that for all the toil, hard work and sacrifice in raising future generations to create a land that has become a beacon for those legally searching for a better life. I think they would be appalled that they are being used as an example by those waving foreign country flags.

And for that suggestion about taking down the Statue of Liberty, it happens to mean a lot to the citizens who are voting on the immigration bill. I wouldn't start talking about dismantling the United States just yet.

And that's a good explanation of why previous generations of immigrants were welcomed, to one degree or other, while some of the current immigrants — especially the illegal aliens — are not.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Your Democrat Congressmen in Action

In Washington DC today

Total truth. No comment is necessary, but I'll add a comment anyway:

It's very sad to see an icon of the civil rights movemeent attempting to deprive people of their civil rights and leading a demonstration in support of that attempt. He and his fellow demonstrators should be ashamed of themselves.

Update: Having gotten a lot of publicity, having promised to stay till they get a vote (on a bill that couldn't even pass in its first committee), and having engorged themselves on a banquet of food brought in,

these House Democrats have now declared their demonstration over.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

If We Were Violent ...

Total truth. No comment necessary.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Do Background Checks Work?

No they don't and yes they do! Both!! Both answers come from the same speech by President Barack Obama:

This just about sums it up. And yes, this is what he said.

And do you notice? The background checks he says won't work are based on information from our own country, and the background checks he claims will work are based entirely on information from places with no functioning government to collect and report it. I guess President Obama et al. put their faith in Middle East "information" but not in our own country & system and the data they produce.

Friday, June 17, 2016

An Improved Background Check

Liberals and the Left have been insisting we need an improved background check to prevent incidents like happened in San Bernardino and Orlando. Here's one man's suggestion.

A No-Brainer of a Question

This should be a no-brainer of a question, including for all the anti-gun folks and gun-grabbing socialists/liberals/communists. But somehow it isn't.

Is that stupidity or hypocrisy?

Friday, May 20, 2016

Obama Transgender Decree

The Obama White House, along with President Barack Obama's puppet "Justice" and "Education" Departments, has issued a decree that all schools must allow anyone to use the bathroom and locker room of whatever gender they self-identify with on a given day.

This is simply stupid — as everyone with even half a brain knows. One part of this is that "self-identification" — "transgender" or otherwise — is subject to huge amounts of abuse. Here's a small example

But there's more. One piece is the role of political correctness in enabling mental illness and fraud.

So this guy walks into an OB/GYN clinic and demands a gynecological exam. The doctor, a woman, takes one look at him and says, "That won't work. You're a man." The man, however, "self identifies" as a woman and blasts the doctor for being a bigot. "I self identify as a woman," he says. "And I demand to be treated as a woman, or I'll call my civil rights lawyer."

The doctor, not wanting to be called a bigot, proceeds to give the man a fake gynecological exam, playing into his delusional distortions about his own biology and arguably worsening his mental disconnect with his physical self.

This is what transgenderism and "biological subjectivism" has come to in America today... a politically correct demand that everyone agree to participate in the mental distortions of a few individuals who suffer from a psychological disconnect from their biological realities. Such ideologies stand in complete contradiction to the known science on biology and physical reality, and sadly, this mental distortion is now being thrust onto children as part of a sick, demented political agenda to appease the most lunatic fringe elements of the political spectrum. [emphasis in the original}

But it's even worse than that. Let's start with the fact that news stories have cited "transgender" students as young as 3 years old. To think that kids that young have any thoughts at all about sex or gender is just dumb. The only way they would is if those thoughts come from their parents. And that looks like child abuse, causing mental illness in children.

It's not just me saying so. The American College of Pediatricians has reached the same conclusion. Their key findings:

  1. Sex is immutable.
  2. Gender is a social construct.
  3. One's belief they are something they are not is, at best, confused thinking.
  4. Nearly all "transgenders" return to their biological sex. Therefore,
  5. "Conditioning children into believing that a lifetime of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex is normal and healthful is child abuse."
This means the White House, the Department of Justice, and the Department of Education — through their order to all schools from kindergartens through colleges — are objectively promoting child abuse and fraud, all in support of their left-wing extremist ideology.

It's time for a major change. The nation needs to get rid of these ideologues. Now.

UPDATE: This (below) is an excellent addition to this discussion.