That Such Men Lived

At the Doris Miller Memorial in Miller’s native Waco, Texas.

by baldilocks

Doris “Dorie” Miller has always been my favorite Pearl Harbor hero. Is it because he was black? Partially.

Simply, it’s impossible to separate his race from his heroism, considering that the US. Military was segregated back then, that black servicemen and women were mostly assigned to segregated units, and that most were tasked with servant and “menial” jobs. Miller, himself, was a cook — Messman Third Class and Ship’s Cook Third class — aboard the USS West Virginia. Way back when I was in kindergarten, he was the first war hero to enter into my consciousness.

Miller was the recipient of the Navy Cross – at that time, the third highest award behind the Medal of Honor and the Navy Distinguished Service Medal  — for the following:

When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, Miller was doing laundry below decks on the USS West Virginia. When the alarm called the ship’s crew to battle stations, Miller headed a gun  magazine amidships [sic]. A torpedo had damaged the magazine, so the physically strong Miller began carrying the wounded to safety. Among those he attended to was the ship’s commander, Capt. Mervyn Bennion, who was mortally wounded. Miller then manned a .50-calibre antiaircraft gun, for which he had no training, and continued firing on the enemy until he ran out of ammunition and received the order to abandon ship.

Admiral Chester Nimitz himself pinned the Navy Cross to the young man’s chest. Miller died in 1943 when his subsequent ship, the USS Liscome Bay, was sunk by the Japanese. He was 24.

There was a Navy destroyer escort/frigate named in Miller’s honor – the USS Miller, service date 1973 to 1991.

What I love about Doris Miller’s existence is that the man was here for only a short time and was merely playing the cards that life dealt him when he performed the action that will long outlive him. When the challenge came, he stepped to it and met it — something intrinsic in heroes and heroism.

And this may seem like a change of topic, but it isn’t. Back when Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV; ironically) passed away in 2010, I remembered writing — prior to his passing — about his actions during WWII:

Byrd refused to serve in World War Two due to blacks being a part of the force, even in their lowly status before the desegregation of the US Armed Forces in 1948.  I cited that here using Wiki, but the reference has been cleaned up.

If, by some chance Byrd got to go to Heaven, I hope he gets to be Dorie Miller’s butler.

Whoever Miller’s Heavenly Cook and Messman is, I’m sure he’s just happy to be there serving a great man and is doing so with a smile.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

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Investing in Active Shooter training

From Twitter

It’s been a bad week for the Navy. The bad news of two dead in a shooting in Pearl Harbor, HI, followed by three dead from a Saudi flight student in Pensacola is simply devastating. In a less publicized case, a Sailor died after a person ran a gate, traveling 81 miles per hour before he slammed into Petty Officer Oscar Temores’ car, killing him. This follows a string of other shootings in previous years, from the NOSC at Chattanooga, TN in 2015, to the USS Mahan (in Norfolk at the time) in 2014. These aren’t particularly dangerous areas of the country, so what, exactly, is going on?

First, some militarizes in the cases. Most don’t involve legal private firearms. They are either US Navy firearms (Pearl Harbor, Mahan) or illegally obtained weapons (Pensacola). And in all cases, its still illegal to have private firearms on a Navy installation.

Second, there were some warning signs that weren’t followed. The Pearl Harbor shooter was about to go to Mast (equivalent of a court hearing), but was issued a firearm for his watch station. The Virginia Beach gaterunner had multiple law violations before he ran the Little Creek Gate. I’m guessing we’ll find the Pensacola shooter had mental health issues as well.

Lastly, where were the Navy’s police (called Master at Arms)? In all cases, they responded pretty quickly. Nobody can respond instantly though. The Pearl Harbor shooting was over in less than 60 seconds. Police quickly engaged the Pensacola shooter, limiting his damage to 11 people, but if you’re in a big auditorium space with hundreds of people and no instant police, the sad reality is it will take time to lock down, time a shooter can use to murder more victims.

It doesn’t help that the Navy is struggling to recruit young MAs (see the low 2019 numbers here), most of whom are doing the day-to-day “beat” jobs. Less young MAs in cars and at gates, less police presence, and increased police response time. MA jobs have decent promotion chances compared to other ratings, but part of this is likely due to a lack of candidates.

The Navy is spending a lot of effort in conducting active shooter exercises. They’ve become more frequent and more realistic. However, they are always focused on training the police force. But past experience shows a shooting might not last very long, and most people are injured or killed in the initial seconds to minutes. In that case, the quick response by bystanders makes or breaks the encounter. Attacking the shooter in those critical first few seconds may mean the difference between a mass shooting and a few injuries.

Shootings will continue to happen, and given the number of weapons on a base, we can’t stop them. But we can out-think shooters. They’ll expect passive victims that don’t fight back. We shouldn’t give them that.

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.

Saudis in Florida or Palestinians in Israel It’s the same Inconvenient Reality

“But,” said Moses to God, “when I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ if they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what am I to tell them?”

God replied, “I am who am.” Then he added, “This is what you shall tell the Israelites: I AM sent me to you.

Exodus 3:13-14

It doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are. If it doesn’t agree with experiment, it’s wrong.

Richard P. Feynman

One of the most profound things about God is his name, which is I AM. God gives his name not as a conventional name but as a statement of fact. Some might deny that I exist, but I AM. This is why when Christ uses the term both to the crowds and at the time of his arrest it is so profound, you may not know what you are doing but I AM.

In a non-theological context it’s an excellent statement of how reality actually works, it doesn’t matter how much you spin, it doesn’t matter how much you pretend, it doesn’t matter even if you change the way people behave in the face of a reality, reality IS.

There is no better example of this then how the left reacts to Islamic terror in general and Palestinian Terror in particular.

I had a long discussion on the subject on twitter yesterday with folk dedicated to the proposition that Israel is an oppressor of the poor Palestinians who simply want peace this exchange was typical:

And then there is this:

The denial here is familiar to anyone who lived thorough the cold war. It rather ironically sounds like the East Germans who publicly declared how wonderful their nation while putting up a wall to keep people in and shooting those who try to cross it.

That’s the double irony of course, because since Israel built their wall in the west bank terror attacks from that direction dropped like a rock. Or hat once Israel withdrew from Gaza it immediately went from a greenhouse of plants to a base for terror.

The innocence of the Palestinians is a safe thing to claim if you are a leftwing jew in congress or in the Labor party, but Jews living in Israel don’t have the luxury of such a pretense as it can be fatal.

And that of course brings us the terror attack in Florida:

Four people are dead including the suspect after an active shooting incident at a naval base in Pensacola, Florida, police said.

The shooter was identified as Mohammed Alshamrani, a Saudi national [oops, I guessed wrong — RSM] and member of the country’s air force who was in the U.S. for flight training, law enforcement officials familiar with the investigation told ABC News. Investigators are trying to determine whether the shooting was terror-related, the officials said.

Authorities responded to reports of a shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola at 6:51 a.m. on Friday, officials said. ATF and FBI also responded to the scene.

emphasis via RSM

All the emphasis via RSM who says the following:

Y’know, if this shooter had been some kind of white nationalist alt-right extremist, CNN would be 24/7 on this story all weekend, and every liberal blog would be blaming Trump for this terrorist act. Instead what you will see is that the mainstream media and liberal bloggers will quickly bury this story, except perhaps to call out “right-wingers” as “racists” for daring to suggest that some Muslims might be dangerous.

The fact that six Saudi’s were arrested including three that filmed the attack doesn’t matter. As far as the press is concerned this is a one off incident, a one day story and says nothing about Islam.

However the victims of this attack are no less dead and no amount of pretense will keep the next set of Americans alive.

I’ll close with two more tweets that illustrate this reality:

Legal Scholars Bubble Life

One of the advantages of living in an incredibly blue state while being an actual mass going practicing Catholic (as opposed to whatever Nancy ‘Don’t say I hate that coward Trump because I’m a Catholic oh and btw abortion is WAY cool‘ Pelosi is) is that it’s almost impossible to live in a bubble. You are constantly surrounded with people who don’t share your opinions or faith. This also means that you can spot someone in a bubble really quick.

I don’t know if Ann Althouse is a practicing Catholic but she can recognize the bubble when she sees it:

That’s a well-crafted joke, I said out loud when I watched it. But, oh, what a mistake! I don’t know if she wrote that joke all on her own or if she tested it on others, like a stand-up comedian. But I bet if she tested it, she tested it within a cocoon. I think you can tell by her demeanor that she believes it is a killer joke, and it would kill in the law-school, academic context.

And because the joke was created within the bubble the idea that it might not play well outside of it.

Let me finish up here by saying that I agree that the outrage is fake, but just about everything in the discussion of Trump is fake, and the pro-Trump side should fight hard. Karlan intended a hurtful slam, a winged zinger that would have the whole world laughing contemptuously. Watch that clip again. She believes she’s got something. But it was too good of a line. Everyone noticed. And now, it’s almost the only thing that was noticed in all that tangle of law/”law” that the professors strewed before us yesterday.

So it was a big fail for the anti-Trump lawprofs. The look of it from a distance was that they hate Trump and they were called by politicians who hate Trump to express hate for Trump.

emphasis mine

Think about it for a second. In a situation where you are trying to convince the voting public or at least reinforce the idea to your members that Impeachment is a good idea you manage to make the most memorable and quoted moment is a lame joke about a 13 year old kid that got a response from the 1st Lady and made their profession in general and those folks in particular look like a bunch of asses.

I suspect that’s why Nancy Pelosi immediately did this:

“Sadly, but with confidence and humility, with allegiance to our founders, and a heart full of love for America, today I am asking our chairman to proceed with articles of impeachment.” Thus spake Nancy Pelosi from the Speaker’s Balcony in the Capitol on Thursday.

Let me rephrase this in a way that reflects the reality

“Sadly yesterday was a complete disaster so let’s change the subject and get this damn impeachment business over with before we get any more defections or create any more ads for the GOP in 2020”

Nancy is old enough to have lived outside of the current bubble world when what is now considered conservative culture by the left was America’s culture. She knows how all this is playing which is why she tried to fend it off as long as she could within her caucus.

As I’ve said before it’s a losing hand but Nancy is playing it out as best as she can.

Angela Merkel vs. Rob Schneider on free speech

Angela Merkel and Rob Schneider both made a big splash on the internet recently with comments regarding freedom of speech.  One demonstrated a remarkable understanding of the concept, the other proved not to understand the concept at all. 

You’d expect the Chancellor of Germany to be the individual who understands freedom of speech, however, this Breitbart article ‘Freedom of Expression Has Its Limits!’ – Merkel Rails Against Free Speech proves she holds some dangerous misconceptions.

Chancellor Angela Merkel railed against free speech in the German parliament, declaring that freedom of expression which offends “the dignity of other people” must be censored to secure a truly free society.

“We have freedom of expression,” the migrant crisis architect began dubiously, in a speech to the German federal parliament, or Bundestag, uploaded to social media by state broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW).

“For all those who claim that they can no longer express their opinion, I say this to them: If you express a pronounced opinion, you must live with the fact that you will be contradicted. Expressing an opinion does not come at zero cost!” she warned ominously, to applause from the assembled politicians.

“But freedom of expression has its limits. Those limits begin where hatred is spread. They begin where the dignity of other people is violated!” she continued, gesticulating wildly.

“This house will and must oppose extreme speech. Otherwise our society will no longer be the free society that it was,” she concluded, somewhat contradictorily.

This Tweet from Rob Schneider had me cheering because he posses an understanding of freedom of speech that is comparable to that of the founding fathers of the United States and the framers of the First Amendment.

Angela Merkel should carefully study this Ben Franklin quote, and so should progressive college professors and their badly misinformed snowflake students.

Freedom of speech is a principal pillar of a free government; when this support is taken away, the constitution of a free society is dissolved, and tyranny is erected on its ruins. Republics and limited monarchies derive their strength and vigor from a popular examination into the action of the magistrates.

Here is a George Washington quote that should be spread far and wide on college campuses.

For if Men are to be precluded from offering their Sentiments on a matter, which may involve the most serious and alarming consequences, that can invite the consideration of Mankind, reason is of no use to us; the freedom of Speech may be taken away, and, dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep, to the Slaughter.

Since students have been brainwashed by multiculturalism into not respecting white males, here is a Fredrick Douglass quote they should take note of.

Liberty is meaningless where the right to utter one’s thoughts and opinions has ceased to exist. That, of all rights, is the dread of tyrants. It is the right which they first of all strike down. They know its power. Thrones, dominions, principalities, and powers, founded in injustice and wrong, are sure to tremble, if men are allowed to reason of righteousness, temperance, and of a judgment to come in their presence. Slavery cannot tolerate free speech.

Democrats Weaponize the 1st Lady Against Them

Can’t anybody play this game?

Casey Stengel

All Democrats had to do was not be crazy

Glenn Reynolds

OK so you’re the Democrats and you have a panel of law professors to start your impeachment panel in the house. You’re looking to create a few sound bites that you can spread to bolster the argument for impeachment legally or at the very least generate a few memorable lines.

What is it that you’re not looking to do? Weaponize the 1st Lady against you by bringing her 13 year old son into your hits on the President.

That’s going to play so well to the suburban moms that supposedly are not fans of Trump isn’t it?

That’s the Problem with being a Democrat Professor Living in a Liberal Bubble once you step out of that bubble you find that there is a real world that doesn’t play by your rules.

And frankly a snide apology might bring smiles to the left Twitter reverse iceberg but it’s not going to help their cause.

I want to apologize for what I said earlier about the president’s son. It was wrong of me to do that. I wish the president would apologize, obviously, for the things that he’s done that’s wrong, but I do regret having said that.

Amazing, simply amazing.

DaTechGuy Quick Thoughts, Ignoring Impeachment Fiction, NBA Dunks Replay, Trans Gynecology, A CW flashback and the left as they are.

Almost 50 years ago I would come home and be glued to the TV set watching the Nixon hearings. During the Clinton impeachment I watched every bit of the testimony I could. Despite being laid up an unable to work with an awful lot of time on my hands I’ve not watched five minutes of the political theater that the Democrats are putting on, nor do I intend to. I’m no Christy Mathewson but I know the difference between a real game and a fixed one. If I want fiction I can watch Maverick.


Looking at the James Harden Dunk that wasn’t allowed. Isn’t the whole point of replay to get calls right that are wrong?


I know this person is Canadian and not American but if I’m Trump I link the left to the whole Transgender demands a Gynecologist business.


Did you know it was less than a year ago that the Conventional Wisdom was that the the 2020 Democrat nomination for president was Kamala Harris’ to lose? Well she managed to lose it before the 1st vote was cast.


Finally Last week a reporter from Legal Insurrection who had previously been credentialed for a American Muslims for Palestine conference was ejected because they were afraid of negative coverage from her.

That’s why this video was leaked by someone rather than simply reported on.

Nothing is more frightening to the left that to be shown unfiltered as they are.


They Can’t Hide Stuff Anymore

No theories in these conspiracies

by baldilocks

Good stuff from Sarah Hoyt:

Look, yeah, the first amendment still protects our speech. And yes, I know the first amendment only protects our speech from the government.  But in the year of our Lord 2019 we also know for sure that if you say the wrong thing you could find yourself fired, your reputation destroyed, your family threatened, your career a thing of the past. It’s not exactly by the government — though remember that poor schmo dragged in for the movie The Innocence of Muslims whom no one had watched and which Obama decided to blame for the 9/11/12 [Benghazi] Embassy attack? — but by the Marxist Hydra which encompasses various power structures: the government bureaucracy, the media, entertainment, a lot of rich people and what’s known as the “movers and shakers.”

This btw has happened for a long time, at least in my field, (and in a lot of others). But it was impossible to get word out, and anyone who managed it was disbelieved.

Now, of course we know we’re not alone. We also know the limits to our speech.  And we’re of course told things like “free speech doesn’t cover hate speech” which is what is technically known as bullsh*t, since no one ever needed a right to free speech to say that butterflies are pretty and ice cream tastes delicious.  Or for that matter to echo the things the controllers of media and social media want you to say.

On the Jeffrey Epstein saga:

Back in the early two thousands I heard of Bill Clinton and flights in the Lolita Express leaving out of Mena airport in Arkansas. Dark mutterings of young girls and drug traffic. And all the time, all the time I thought “Right-wing fever swamps. I guess we have nutters too. Because if that were happening, involving someone who later became president, there’s no way it wouldn’t have come out. Everyone would know.”

Well, dear fever swamps, I want to apologize to you. You were right, I was wrong. It turns out the Lolita Express was flying and Bill Clinton was part of the party and no one NO ONE, not one man jack in the main stream media thought this news worthy? NOT ONE. The Omerta held it as silent as they held Obama’s grades or what courses he actually took in college, or how he got to be president of Harvard Law Review without ever publishing a single thing.

Now, how do you expect me to laugh when someone says all leftist politicians are lizard-beings from Ganymede? (…)

[W]e’ve seen things that just ten years ago I’d have thought were insane.

Much more great writing and great ideas at the link.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

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A Greek getaway and Trump

By Christopher Harper

At a lecture at Aristotle University in Thessaloniki, Greece, I sketched out why Donald Trump won in 2016 and was likely to do so again in 2020.

The group—mostly students and professors—get much of their information from the American and Greek media. Therefore, much of what they read and hear is wrong.

At the outset, I explained that I came from flyover country, the backbone of Trump’s support. The West and East coasts may dominate the entertainment and media industries, but the places in between determine who becomes president.

Second, I pointed out how poorly the American media had performed in 2016, failing to recognize that Trump’s support was stronger than they thought, and Clinton’s following was much weaker. As a result, the media are likely to get the 2020 campaign wrong, too, and should not be a significant source of information for those who want to know what’s happening in the election. Also, I examined how bad Clinton was as a candidate and how out of touch the Democrat candidates were this year.

Third, I outlined what I believe is central to Trump’s foreign policy. To Trump, economics is central to his policies. For example, he sees illegal immigration as creating economic issues from employment to government costs, including health care and schools.

Immigration is a topic that hits home for Greeks, who have faced a growing problem of their own. In fact, the government has instituted a crackdown on immigration over the past few weeks because of the growing cost of illegal immigrants.

One Greek journalist asked me about Trump’s tweets, arguing that they undermined his credibility. Not so, I replied. His tweets send his opponents reeling while his supporters find them funny. His constant social media presence allows Trump to go over the heads of the media and his detractors—much the same way Ronald Reagan used television.

I don’t know how many of the 40 or so people I convinced that Trump would be reelected. But at least I had the opportunity to provide them with an unfiltered view of what I saw as the importance of Trump’s election.

At another stop during my Greek trip, I encountered two sisters—both in their seventies—from Houston. Both supported Trump without hesitation. It was a refreshing conversation—one I almost never have in Philadelphia, a bastion of Trump haters. It’s rather sad to have to travel 5,000 miles to find fellow travelers.

Impeachment is Happening Here’s how it will likely go

[Watching French Calvary deploy in front of them] Goodyear: What about it John Henry?

John Henry Thomas: Looks like we ourselves got mixed up in somebody’s else’s war.

Christian: Yeah Sure does.

Short Grub: What are we going to do now?

John Henry Thomas: Well that’s already been decided.

The Undefeated 1969

Because of the falling polls and the Wile-E-Coyote nature of impeachment there has been some speculation concerning if Democrats will in fact hold an impeachment vote and instead settle for censure.

Don’t count on it.

To be sure they will give it their best shot, in fact I suspect that the purpose of the scholarly witnesses that are going to be called before the judiciary committee’s primary job is not to justify impeachment but to provide the cover necessary for the Democrat votes against it.

Constitutionally Impeachment is a political process, not a judicial one and “high crimes and misdemeanors” are not defined so, it doesn’t matter if the best the Democrats can do is prove that Donald Trump had a nose bleed on the White House carpet, under the rules the Democrats have the right to impeach him for that if they they want.

Nancy Pelosi knows and understands this which is why she tried so hard to avoid open impeachment, particularly after the Mueller goose egg. But once the process had begun she understands that there is no turning back politically. The question is only the best way to do it.

If the Schiff hearings had moved public opinion it would be easy. She might have grabbed a republican vote or two and presented it , with the media’s help, this as a solemn decision to remove a corrupt leader.

But without limited public support, a booming economy, polls showing that minorities that are vital to the Democrat election plans moving toward Trump she is down to playing the best hand she has in the hopes that the GOP in general or the President in particular make a mistake.

Her best hand is to make the best possible case for “censure” and pol test it among Democrat activists. If somehow after the hearings this week poll results tell them they’ve convinced enough democrat fire-eaters that censure is a valid alternative to impeachment (very unlikely) she will go full bore on a cencure vote with every Democrat and perhaps even a stray republican will take place and the left will declare victory.

This would be the 2nd best case for the Democrats and the 2nd least likely which is to say it ain’t gonna happen because while it’s the party’s smartest move it requires woke activists in the party to see reason and reality.

Good luck there.

Of course there is always the remote possibility that the Democrats actually find something that IS impeachable enough to convince the public it’s worth doing or that the White House does something so egregious as to change the polling on impeachment. That’s the best case scenario for the left and the least likely for the reasons.

  1. If the Democrat/Left/Deep State HAD something of this nature, they would have produced it, or leaked it over the last three years
  2. All the evidence so far suggests that the only impeachable acts that have taken place were the previous administrations attempts to corrupt this election, too much deep state digging might uncover this fact.
  3. President Trump has demonstrated that however the left might paint him, he’s much too savvy to make that kind of mistake.

With God all things are of course possible and if this miracle falls into Nancy Pelosi’s lap she will happily accept it but she’s smart enough to not count on it.

Finally there is the chance that enough Democrats will rebel to force her to abandon impeachment although rather than risk a vote that fails. This isn’t going to happen either. It would be the most destructive result for the left and would practically invite primary opponents or at worst 3rd party challengers on an “Impeach Now!” platform. The Damage to the left from such a result would be worse than anything else.

So what WILL happen? Here is the sequence:

  1. Dems make their best case for censure backed up by their report and the scholars who give them cover for it.
  2. Swing state Dems argue strongly for censure saying that this is where the evidence has taken them.
  3. Pelosi after confirming that the fire-eaters will not settle for censure holds the impeachment vote and passes it with 219 Democrats, not a single one from a swing district. Said vote is delayed as long as feasible to discourage primaries from the left on Swing democrats voting “No”.
  4. Democrats do their best to beg borrow or steal enough votes to keep Election 2020 from becoming an electoral disaster and/or hope some event (say Ginsberg’s death) takes place that galvanizes Democrats to the point where they can pull it off.

This is how I see it happening, it’s basically their 2012 Obamacare strategy which was able to work because:

  1. Black votes couldn’t bear the thought of the 1st black president failing to be re-elected
  2. Race trumped faith among Black Christians
  3. The GOP managed to nominate the weakest candidate in their field one that not had pushed for a state version of Obamacare (that I’m still living under) but was unwilling or unable to fight back against anyone but his own base.

Alas for them this time they have a candidate that not only has a strong economy and has proactively reached out to minority Democrat voters but one that is willing to fight back relentlessly.

Bottom line, the Democrats have dealt themselves a bad hand but will play it out the best they can and hope they get lucky. That’s the smartest political move they have left and whatever else you might say about Nancy Pelosi, you can count on her to play the best hand she has, with the media’s help of course.

Update: After Wednesday’s clown car weaponizing the 1st Lady Pelosi has apparently decided to fast track this to minimize the chance of her team providing any more ad material for the GOP in the hearings.

She wants this over and done.