Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Alabama

Expanded upon from elsewhere, because, as Tamara likes to say, why waste it at an away game?

I'm laughing at all the people acting like Roy Moore was the GOP-anointed candidate for Alabama's Senator.

They clearly paid no attention to this race until last week.

I have spent little time in Alabama, too little to parse these events from the POV of a resident of The Heart of Dixie, but I have some thoughts on what this means, (some supplied or inspired by others):

  • The US Senate is now 51 (R) 49 (D). 
    • Since Harry Reid introduced "The Nuclear Option", this means less than it might.
  • Long will be a two-year Senator. Alabama is still the reddest of states
  • The Ds cannot, now, accuse the Rs of harboring a pedophile. (Whether you believe those claims about Moore or not.) I expect Franken will be out in the coming days, not weeks.
  • Steve Bannon's influence is much diminished, if not completely eliminated. He owns this.
  • I've been seeing items to the effect that Mike Pence, not Donald Trump, is the head of the GOP. 
    • Normally, the sitting president is considered the head of the party, but Obama had little or no interest (or was an even bigger SCOAMF than we thought) and Trump has little or no influence over the GOP, being an outsider. (Arguably, being an outsider is what got him elected.) 
    • So the question is, can Mike Pence take the bull by the horns elephant by the tusks and force them into a coherent, effective strategy?
  • The Seventeenth Amendment to the United States Constitution should be repealed. 
    • Ironically, it was implemented in Alabama before it became national...
  • Any suggestion that the mainstream media is even remotely impartial and unbiased should be met with derision and howls of laughter, followed by "...oh, wait. You're serious. Maybe you should get that looked at." 
  • (Addendum)  Part of the objection to Roy Moore seems to be that he was removed from the bench for allowing his religious convictions to interfere with his judicial decisions.
    • If Judicial activism is wrong for Conservative Christians, it is wrong for Progressive... Progressives. 
    • Granted if it wasn't for double standards the left would have no standards at all.
    • Time for a revival of A Man For All Seasons, perhaps. (I prefer the Charlton Heston version, for esthetic reasons. The Scoville version is probably more likely to get a hearing these days, though...)
I have no great love for Trump, but he is still a vast improvement over either Sanders or (shudder!) Clinton.

I have even less love for Roy Moore. His emails go directly to my spam folder, where they belong.

I don't know if his personal politics go over well in Alabama these days, but I do know they do not play well on the national stage. (FWIW, I noted that while in Alabama this past September on my way to Florida for a date with Irma, I saw only one sign for Judge Moore, and that was handmade.)

I'm not sure the fact that he has (or had) a habit of dating women young enough to be his daughters matters; I note that the "evidence" of his one alleged relationship with an underage woman is, to say the least, dubious. (And is now admitted to have been altered. Anyone who actually used the term "pedophile" should probably be leery of lawsuits, just sayin'...)

I do know that this election in and of itself is not a great victory for the left, and hardly spells the death knell for the right. There are aspects of this election, however, that could be symptoms of just what is wrong with politics in the USA.

I am glad I live in a country where we can hash these things out in public without resorting to wholesale violence.

So far.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Chain Migration, an observation

The excellent Powerline blog has a piece up today entitled Port Authority Bombing Puts Spotlight on Chain Migration | Power Line.

The comments system there requires that one log in with Facebook, and I've pointed out before that I will not attempt to log into my Facebook account as long as Facebook insists that I send them scans of government issued ID, so here's my observation:
Hey, now, every Detroiter knows Greek chain migration gets you Coney Island stands and excellent family restaurants!
I would further point out that a hundred years ago chain migration of people from Mediterranean and Eastern European nations was a Concern, leading to, among other things, New York's Sullivan Act.

I don't actually know that chain migration, per se, is a significant factor in terrorist attacks that have occurred in America.

On the other hand, there have certainly been several terrorist attacks perpetrated by immigrants, so maybe someone ought to look into that...

...as I am sure they are. (Based on White House comments shared in that Powerline post.)

Really, evaluating someone for immigration  should rely on a bit more than just "My third cousin twice removed is living in Dearborn."

The history geek in me wants to make a Leon Czolgosz (or maybe Vito Corleone) joke, but the fact that Czolgosz was native born kind of ruins it. (The rest of the family was born in Poland.)

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Free To Choose...

Friedman would be laughing his ass off, or taking up arms, one or the other...
I mean, I get that progressives are too invested in their ideology to even acknowledge the question.*

And socialists of all stripes would probably say that asking the question is racist, classist, sexist, and a dozen other "ists" I can't even think of right now.

But the fact remains that no one has proposed banning health insurance, nor even  repealing the law that makes it a crime to refuse someone emergency care because they can't afford to pay for it.

They're just proposing that the government cease forcing people to spend money on something they don't want.

Remember, ultimately, any government requirement is backed up by someone with a gun.

BTW, if Obamacare was so great,
  • Why does anyone have to be forced to buy it?
  • Why do I know so many people with serious medical conditions and no health care?


* Ignoring the obvious question, how many of them are smart enough to even recognize the logical fallacy?

Monday, November 13, 2017

Read The Label

So, did you hear the one about the two women who set sail from Hawaii on a three hour week trip to Tahiti, and got rescued of Japan five months later?

Two women rescued after 5 months adrift in the Pacific - CNN

This being the 21st Century, the story started unraveling rather quickly.
Questions raised about sailors' story after months stranded at sea

The best analysis is found here: 19 REASONS THIS “SURVIVAL” STORY SMELLS FISHY – UNREASONABLY DANGEROUS ONION RINGS (h/t Insty.)

Aside from the fact that I may have to start reading the Unreasonable Dangerous Onion Rings blog just for the name, this is essentially a detailed fisking of the entire story. In this case, go ahead and read the comments. (Note: If you're going to click through to the Daily Mail's coverage, you might want to warn your spouse lest she look over your shoulder when you reach the part about how one of the principles in this story led a "Shades of Grey" lifestyle. AMHIK.)

Anyway.

What brought me here was that, out of curiosity, I looked up de-salinators on Amazon, because, 5 months at sea you'd obviously have to have one.

The search returned 29 hits, most of which are filters or purifiers, not de-salinators.

Removing bugs and contaminants from salt water doesn't do you much good if you still can't drink the water...

Anyway, two rules:
  1. Always read the product description. 
  2. Never read the comments. 
Exception to 2. above:
  • Unless you still have questions about the product description.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Everyone (British) Remembered

Just came across this:

Every One Remembered - Home
The Royal British Legion, as the UK’s national custodian of Remembrance. is working with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission to keep alive the memory of those who died in the First World War. By the end of the Centenary in 2018, our objective is to ensure every fallen hero from across the Commonwealth is remembered individually by those living today. This is your chance to take part in a truly historic and incredibly significant act of Remembrance.
 Entering my (real, legal) surname returned 87 hits, from British, Canadian, Australian, and New Zealand force, Mostly army, but a few RAF, and quite a few Navy or Merchant Marine.

I found it striking how many came from the south of England, Devon and Dorset particularly.

There also seem to have been a high proportion of Light Infantrymen, plus a few Royal Marines.

November 11th

And on the Eleventh Hour of the Eleventh Day of the Eleventh Month, the guns fell silent...

...Alas, all too temporarily.

In America, it's Veteran's Day, a day to remember all who served.

In Canada and elsewhere in Commonwealth nations,  it's Remembrance Day.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Ahead of my time

Seen at Says Uncle: SayUncle » USA Today beclowns themselves

Heh®. The Cluemeter: Mocking chainsaw bayonets before mocking chainsaw bayonets was cool!
The Clue Meter: Safety First!
Not sure, but that was probably my first "Derp" post.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

The Second Amendment Dichotomy

It seems to me that the tragic events over the weekend in Sutherland, Texas, bring the two sides of the gun control "debate" into stark relief.

The gun controllers would have everyone believe that all gun owners everywhere are just like the murderous scumbag.

Pro-gun folks hold up the likes of Stephen Willeford and Johnnie Langendorff as role models and ideals.

(We'd like to believe they're typical of gun owners, but I prefer to go with "role models and ideals".)

The evidence shows we're closer to the truth than the gun banners.