By John Ruberry

Netflix binge watching just brought me to Scotland’s remote Shetland Islands for the BBC crime drama Shetland, a series that is based upon books by Ann Cleeves.

Stoic Director Inspector Jimmy Perez (Douglas Henshall), a Shetland native who moved back to the islands from Glasgow after the death of his wife, calmly investigates the archipelago’s murders–and as with many crime shows with a rural setting, such as Longmire, if added up the murder rate in Shetland would rival that of Baltimore. But who will tune in to watch a series about sheep rustling? Besides sheep rustlers, of course.

There have been three seasons so far–a fourth is currently under production. The first season, a two-episode entry entitled “Red Bones,” the series pilot, involves a World War II secret uncovered by an archeological dig, while Shetland’s annual winter celebration, the Nordic-inspired Up Helly Aa, takes place. “Red Bones” was released in 2013, amazingly there is a Donald Trump reference in it.

There are three two-episode storylines in Season 2. There are many, I suspect, in the Shetlands, so not surprisingly an eccentric hermit drives the action in “Raven Black.” The islands’ energy industry inflames tempers and worse in “Dead Water.” The final two-parter, “Blue Lightning,” set mostly on Perez’ boyhood home of Fair Isle, tells us that not even avian research centers are immune from homicide. This is the weakest effort in the series; the story seems stretched out, like a mediocre rock double album that would be a great one as a single disc release. And for much of “Blue Lightning” everyone on Fair Isle is stranded there because of a storm. Except viewers see no evidence of a storm. The BBC doesn’t have stock footage of crashing waves on rocks?

Fortunately Shetland bounces back for for a six-part episode for Season 3, its best. Just as I was wondering why the narcotics trade–a major blight in all European rural areas, particularly far-northern ones–was absent from the series, there it is. An incident on the Shetland ferry brings Henshall and his assistant, Detective Sergeant Alison ‘Tosh’ MacIntosh (Alison O’Donnell) to Glasgow–where much of Shetland is filmed–where they untangle a nine-year-old sexual assault that is linked to organized crime, obstruction of justice, and a senior citizens home.

Rounding out the cast is Steven Robertson as Police Constable Sandy Wilson, Erin Armstrong as Perez’ daughter, Mark Bonnar as her biological father, Anne Kidd as a forensic pathologist, and Julie Graham as Perez’ boss.

The accents are thick–so be prepared to use the rewind button on your remote or to switch on the closed captioning feature on your television while viewing Shetland. Unless of course you are Scottish.

Henshall is not just the lead actor but also the most accomplished one in Shetland. For his efforts he received the 2016 BAFTA award for best actor in television.

As expected, the cinematography is splendid, even though other parts of Scotland, those with treeless hills, often substitute for the Shetland Islands. Watching the series has me pining for a trip to Scotland and of course, the Shetlands.

But watching Season 4 will happen first for me.

In addition to Netflix, Shetland is also available on Amazon.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Lt. Seymour Head of the Court: You’ve heard Captain Vere’s account. Is it or is it not as he has said?
Billy Budd: Captain Vere speaks the truth. It’s just as Captain Vere says. But it is not as the master-at-arms said. I’ve eaten the king’s bread and I’m true to him.
Captain Vere: I believe you, boy.
Billy Budd:  God knows, I’m…Thank you, sir.
Lt. Seymour Head of the Court: Was there malice……between you and the master-at-arms?
Billy Budd: I bore no malice against the master-at-arms. I’m sorry that he’s dead. I did not mean to kill him. If I’d have found my tongue, I would not have struck him. [angry] But he lied foully to my face, and I had…Well, I had to say something. I could only say it with a blow.

Billy Budd 1962

If there has been one constant in the media’s coverage of Islamic Terror attacks, no matter how horrible or bloody, it’s been the “why do they hate us” meme. Over and over we have heard pundits, reports and those the media choose to elevate insist that while the individual act was wrong we must understand the underlying causes behind them, look at ourselves in the west and see how we have provoked these reactions and ask the question: “Why do they hate us”

This usually begins while the blood is still on the group and escalates from that point. It doesn’t matter how many die, how often it happens or even if kids are involved, the proper reaction is apparently to reach out to those who have wronged us and find out what we can do to make them like us better.

And that brings us to the special Election in Montana.

When I initially heard of the “bodyslaming” story in Montana I found myself rather suspicious of the story because of the lack (unlike the assault by a sitting Democrat congressman on a student reporter that didn’t generate any outrage at all in the press) of video These days there are trackers following candidates anywhere and in a race like this I presumed if there had been an assault of some type somebody anyone with a smart phone would have had it running.

And of course there was the obvious question as Ann Althouse noted of setup and changing stories of a witness.

But my gut, and the reaction I got from people at a Trump rally when wearing my press badge, told me that the media was so despised and distrusted these days that despite newspapers and members of the GOP running for the hills this story would help rather than hurt the candidate and sure enough:

Even Chuck Todd was not buying the excuses of the DNC as Hotair noted.

But more interesting than any of this at least to me is the contrast to the media’s Islamic Terror Mantra

Think about it, the media is so hated by a group of voters, apparently a majority, that a physical assault on one of them draws cheers and wins elections.

Did pundits, reporters and those the media consider this a “lone wolf” attacks?
Did they refuse to blame an entire party or president for actions they did not know or support?
Did pundits and press state while the individual act was wrong we must understand the underlying causes behind them?
Did they suggest they should look at themselves and see if anything was done to provoke these feelings?
Did they consider asking the question “Why do they hate us” even once?

Nope, no introspection, no soul searching,  this is a republican, and therefore the only possible reaction to this is outrage, outrage outrage 

Now to be fair unless the reporter said something about his mother or grandmother (which is the only situation where I gave my sons permission to swing first in school) assaulting someone, even a reporter is wrong and unjustified and it’s proper that he both show contrition (which he has) and be charged (which he was).

But having stated that for the record perhaps the members of the old media can explain to us in the new why violent and even fatal attacks on people and property require the group targeted for attack to look at themselves and ask “why do they hate us” while the only proper response by the media to Montana is exactly the opposite?

I suggest not holding one’s breath for an answer.

Exit Question:  Given that the left’s standard concerning justifying political violence:

  1.  Nazi’s should always be punched
  2. Our opponents are Nazis
  3. We are justified punching them possible.

Might now be used by the right, how long will it take for said standard to be no longer acceptable or justifiable by the same press that until now has had a nuanced approach to this on the subject?

And remember the standard isn’t if someone is an actual Nazi, the standard is does the person throwing the punch  consider them one.



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Olimometer 2.52

If you are not in the position to kick in your funds we’ll always accept your prayers.

Vietnam acknowledged Ho Chi Minh’s birthday in an oddly low-key way during my visit even in his boyhood home in Hue.

The media myths surrounding the Vietnam War continue to shape U.S. policy in Asia and throughout the world.

As I recently wandered through Vietnam, particularly the area near the DMZ, or the demilitarized zone that separated North and South Vietnam, I couldn’t help but think how media narratives had changed the course of the war and Vietnam’s history. Here are some important facts that must be understood.

First, the 1968 Tet Offensive was a huge military defeat for the Communists.

Second, CBS anchor Walter Cronkite had little to do with the decisions to wind down U.S. involvement in Vietnam.

Third, the “napalm girl”—a memorable photograph during the war–had nothing to do with U.S. forces.

Finally, after more than 40 years of Communist rule, the people of Vietnam are not better off.

Vietnam veteran James Willbanks, a noted military historian, provides an interesting analysis of the Tet Offensive, particularly in Hue, the former royal capital of Vietnam.

Tet, the lunar New Year began on Jan. 31, 1968, when Communist forces attacked multiple locales, including Hue, which was geographically situated in South Vietnam but close to the border with North Vietnam. By the time the battle of Hue ended a month later, more than 40 percent of the buildings were damaged and more than 100,000 people were homeless. More important, the North Vietnamese had lost the battle but had executed nearly 3,000 people with ties to the South Vietnamese government. For more background, see http://www.historynet.com/tet-what-really-happened-at-hue.htm

All told, the Tet Offensive was a massive failure for the Communists. The change from guerrilla tactics to frontal assaults against the U.S. and South Vietnamese military, resulted in only minimal gains. Moreover, the Communists lost nearly a quarter of its battle-ready troops.

What happened, however, was an onslaught of news reports and photos that showed, among other things, the U.S. embassy in Saigon under assault. It made little difference that the Marines had successfully fought back, and the U.S. military recaptured all the territory and more.

The Communists were described as despondent because of the failure of Tet. But the PR started to roll in that the Communists had effectively taken the battle to the Americans and the South Vietnamese Army. Then the so-called “Cronkite moment” happened. CBS anchor Cronkite said during a news broadcast on February 27, 1968, that “we have been too often disappointed by the optimism of the American leaders, both in Vietnam and Washington, to have faith any longer in the silver linings they find in the darkest clouds.” He added, “We are mired in a stalemate that could only be ended by negotiation, not victory.”

As my friend and colleague, W. Joseph Campbell, notes in his excellent book, “Getting It Wrong,” Cronkite had little influence on Johnson’s thinking. “In the days and weeks after the Cronkite program, Johnson was adamant in defending his Vietnam policy. On multiple occasions during that time, the president in effect brushed aside Cronkite’s downbeat assessment and sought to rally support for the war effort. At a time when Cronkite’s views should have been most potent, the president remained openly and tenaciously hawkish on the war.” For more, see https://mediamythalert.wordpress.com/2017/02/23/after-cronkite-moment-lbj-doubled-down-on-viet-policy/

But the Communists had won the PR battle–often based on media myths–as Americans turned against the war, and LBJ’s confidantes followed the public’s view.

Campbell also makes short shrift of the claim that the U.S. military was responsible for the “napalm girl” attack. Associated Press photographer Nick Ut took one of the most memorable photographs of the Vietnam War — the image of a 9-year-old girl screaming in terror as she fled from a misdirected napalm attack. The AP said the famous photo, taken June 8, 1972, “communicated the horrors of the Vietnam War in a way words could never describe, helping to end one of the most divisive wars in American history.”

The famous “napalm girl” photo did not involve the U.S. military.

But the plane was from the South Vietnam military and flown by a South Vietnamese pilot.

By referring to “American planes” in an article, The New York Times insinuated that U.S. forces were responsible for the napalm attack that preceded Ut’s photograph, Campbell writes. He tried to get DaTimes to correct the information but got nowhere. For more, see https://mediamythalert.wordpress.com/2012/06/03/40-years-on-the-napalm-girl-photo-and-its-associated-errors/

Some excellent reporting occurred during the Vietnam War, but what seems to stick in the American psyche about Tet, Cronkite and the napalm photo are mostly wrong—media myths like many we see today.

Finally, Vietnam is a mess. When your currency is valued at 22,000 dong to the dollar, you’ve got problems. People openly complain about the lack of full-time jobs except in the government. In 2011, Nguyen Phu Trong was appointed secretary general of the Communist Party. He served as the party’s chief ideologue before. That doesn’t bode well for solving the problems of the country.

A personal note: As the only American on board a trip to the DMZ, I tried to counter the propaganda of the guide, a committed Communist, about the information she was providing. But the other members of the tour–Brits, Canadians, French and Vietnamese–had already embraced the myths even though most of them were in their 20s and 30s.

Moreover, I had a wonderful time seeing the historic sites of Hue and Hoi An, a lovely town south of Danang, in central Vietnam. I met many courteous and friendly people during my visit. The attitude toward me as an American was mostly curiosity and certainly not condemnation. I stopped by a Catholic church—the religion that remains that of an estimated 20 percent of the population–and the members greeted me with enthusiasm. I wish the people, not the government, well.

There’s no hole on Earth deep enough for me to hide from the shame my former profession has brought me.

Other than a short stint in public relations, I spent 34 years as a newspaper reporter and editor. For the last 25 years of my career, I worked at a mid-size daily, where we did an admirable job covering the stories of the day: the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion, the fall of Communism, the start of the Gulf War, Bill Clinton’s Balkan conflicts and the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

On Sept. 11, 2001, we published our first edition, as usual, at 9 a.m. By 3:30 p.m. — hours after our shift normally ended — we put out our 11th and last edition of the day. Knowing that our readers depended on us for deeper coverage than TV or the young Internet could supply, we updated the paper constantly as developments occurred. I was as gut-punched as any other American after the towers fell, but it was the proudest day in my career.

That’s why I got into journalism. Not to “educate” readers. Not to push an angle. Not to weave a narrative. My goal was to tell people what was happening in their community, their state, the country and the world.

Unfortunately, I soon found out not all of my peers shared my intentions.

As far back as high school, my dream was to work for a newspaper. Well, I actually dreamed of becoming a bestselling author, but I realized early that I’d never be a productive writer unless I faced a hard deadline. And no deadlines are more rigid than at a newspaper, where the consequences are drastic if the presses don’t start on time.

I was already a journalism major when the Watergate break-in occurred in 1972 and was working at my hometown weekly when the burglary grew into the scandal that destroyed Richard Nixon’s presidency. Like most of my friends, I despised Nixon, but my loathing was based on reasons very different than theirs.

The Left had been after Nixon since the late 1940s, when he led the charge to take down Alger Hiss, the Democrats’ favorite Soviet spy. (Read your history, kids.) Meanwhile I was disgusted by Nixon’s first term, when he expanded Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society program instead of dismantling it, and dismayed that the uproar over the stupid break-in was tarring the conservative cause.

In any case, Watergate was a turning point in American journalism. Reporters traditionally have been left of center, but now the media was credited with tossing a president out of the White House. Such power! It’s no wonder lefties of all stripes descended on journalism schools like flies on a pile of manure.

Ever since, j-schools have been churning out a stream of Ahabs hoping to harpoon every Great White Republican Male Whale that crosses their paths. In collaboration with their Democrat allies, the mainstream media have devoted a good portion of their attention to undermining GOP leaders.

While it seemed like the media went off the rails when reporters, editors and TV news personalities became afflicted with Bush Derangement Syndrome in W’s second term, we hadn’t seen or heard anything yet.

Now comes Donald Trump. On a scale of 1 to 10, the media have been operating at 15 since the start of the presidential campaign when it comes to Trump. Since his surprise victory, reporters have trashed the principles they claim to hold dear in order in order to smear and pound a man they consider unfit for office.

All the so-called “news” stories based on unnamed sources, speculation and innuendo embarrass me to no end. Instead of destroying Trump, the media are acting like suicide bombers. Their credibility in the minds of half the nation’s people has been in shreds for years; now it’s on its way to the compost heap.

I know you hate the media, but this is bad for everyone. Without fair and honest reporting, the public will wallow in ignorance and rely on rumors and half-truths for information. Even worse is the political polarization that will only increase when conservatives and progressive depend on entirely separate news sources.

It’s hard to believe — and I have my own doubts — but the media crisis could be corrected. I operated in the belly of the beast for most of my career and emerged unscathed. As an editor, I made sure unbalanced and unfair stories were fixed before they appeared in print.

And I wasn’t alone. Believe it or not, other conservatives were in the newsroom, and even liberal editors would throw up their hands over articles that tilted too far to the left. Then again, we weren’t the New York Times or Washington Post; we were just a bunch of simple Midwesterners serving a working-class readership. Maybe the elite operations are beyond redemption.

In any case, if you still have a hometown paper, give it as much support as you can. If it’s on the wrong track editorially, gather some friends, meet with the boss and share your concerns. If you get a cold reception, the paper might be a lost cause and deserve your wrath. But you might be pleasantly surprised.

By John Ruberry

I hate to interrupt your day by veering away from such issues, well, issues to some, such as the Donald Trump campaign’s alleged collusion with Russia or that nation’s reputed hacking of the 2016 presidential election, but there is something more important that the mainstream media is only nibbling at the edges of: the Great American Pension Swindle.

What is it?

Underfunded pension plans in blue states, well mostly blue states.

Here are some media headlines from just this month:

I could go on and on.

As for that last one, many bond firms rate Chicago Public Schools’ bonds as junk. The collateral for its latest loan, and that’s a generous use of the term, is money owed to CPS by the state of Illinois, the Puerto Rico of the Midwest. Illinois’ public-worker pension plans are just 29 percent funded. Chicago’s pensions are worse–at 25 percent funded, the worst among 15 large cities surveyed.

I don’t have Schadenfreude over this situation. On a personal level the spouse of a friend of mine and one of my cousins are collecting Illinois State Police pensions. They were promised these retirement plans and they didn’t pay into Social Security when they worked for the state. There was no opt-out option for them in regards to these pensions. And their union, unlike AFSCME, wasn’t showering Illinois politicians, mostly Democrats, with copious campaign contributions while the state was shortchanging and even skipping payments into pension funds.

Now what?

John “Lee” Ruberry of Da Tech Guy’s Magnificent Seven

I suspect bankruptcies in all but name, which I wrote about earlier this month in this space, are coming to Illinois and other states who see pensions as a reward system for political sponsors such as AFSCME. Here’s another possibility: run-of-the-mill taxpayers, many of whom are just getting by financially and have no pensions of their own, nor the ability to retire in their 50s, will have to cough up even more in taxes to bail out public worker retirement funds.

This tragedy is not the fault of the Russians. Vladimir Putin didn’t hack the pension funds.  But too bad that’s not what happened. Then perhaps MSNBC, CNN, the Washington Post, and the New York Times might devote more time to the Great American Pension Swindle.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

The Child: [Invading the Doctor’s Mind] What is this ?  What Trick is this. All these places? You call them Seas, Oceans, Planets, Stars, Galaxies.  Am I God of all this? How can I be the God of all this?
6th Doctor: It’s the Universe
The Child: Nonsense this Castle is the Universe there is no other and I am God of it all!

Big Finish Doctor Who: The Holy Terror 2000

One of my favorite Big finish Doctor Who episodes is titled The Holy Terror (my post on back when I had time to review Big Finish Audios regularly is here) where the TARDIS lands in a closed universe run by a rather odd theocracy where the ruler is God to be worshiped and everyone follows the established order without question.

As I watch what is happening in Washington these days I can’t help but think I’m seeing the same thing.

For years upon end the left elites, both elected and media ruled the roost in support of their deep state.  The media while feigning to be apart from the elites acted as the support structure for the deep state in general and the Democrat left in particular.

One of the rules of these arrangement is that it didn’t matter to what office you were elected to, by how big a margin or even what the laws actually said or what people actually did.  If the media/left elite said something wasn’t a scandal (Fast and furious and the IRS) then it was something unworthy to be ignored and if something didn’t fit the narrative it didn’t matter.

Two of the masters of this system are (and were) Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.  The fact that Nancy Pelosi as minority leader in the house has very little power, if any to stop acts by the majority doesn’t matter, the media treats her as if she had power and expected the GOP majority to bend to it.

The media acted in a similar but opposite tack during Harry Reid’s time as Senate Majority leader.  It didn’t matter if  the House GOP house passed bill after bill Reid ignored them, never bringing them up and even ignoring the laws concerning budgets when it didn’t suit him.  The protestations of the GOP to this meant nothing, the reality was Reid knew what the rules are and the Media supported him in his power, ignoring or attacking any attempt of the GOP to challenge it, and then, when Reid was in the Minority, tacking again to amply and support the powers of the minority inherent in the Senate that he wielded.

And because they worked in the bubble the GOP always went along, only occasionally standing up when the cry of the people who elected them (despite all efforts of the media to divert or twist it) threatened their positions by exercising the power of the ballot.

But now the MSM is in a situation that they haven’t seen during the time of their power.  Not only are their enemies of the GOP in control of all the levers of government but the president is a person outside of the deep state who is not dependent on the media for his power or reputation.

This has been a source of absolute panic for the left and media who have reacted by continually proclaiming crisis and scandal and insisting that the GOP majority bow to their demands, acknowledge said scandals and operate and do their bidding, to wit:

and stories like this:

Exhausted Republicans Are Getting Fed Up With The Chaos Coming From The White House

And if this was 30 years ago when there were limited sources of both news and amusement it might be understandable if the GOP, despite having the power to do otherwise, gave into these demands.

But all of this is happening at a time when media power is more diluted than ever with many news organizations bleeding cash and employees. It’s happening at a time when the average american has literally hundreds of sources of news online and on air to choose from and furthermore has tens of thousands of TV channels and web sites for them to pay attention to rather than listening to the jibber jabber of either press or media.

Or put simply the GOP doesn’t have to rely on a media that hates them to advance themselves, there is a world outside of the bubble that doesn’t give a damn what the media says and it is that world that elected them.

The Democrats can scream all the like and the media can run one breathless story after the other about the Trump administration and how the GOP MUST oppose him for the sake of the country. If the republicans keep their nerve and look outside of the media bubble and the astroturf of the left will put before them, they will not only survive but thrive.

To be sure the Media and the left will not like it, the will react much like the child in the Doctor Who story when his absolute power is questioned screams:

No! It’s a lie, a dirty lie! You’re a dirty liar, the castle is the universe!

But if the GOP can keep it’s nerve and just press forward the press and the left will end up eating themselves while the majority that continues to live and work and function will carry on with the knowledge that all the rants and raves the left can produce can’t neither make up for the power they don’t have or will restore said power back to them.

Of course if the GOP chooses to ignore this advice, then they will neither retain the power they have nor will they deserve to and will be shocked to discover himself discarded by the left and media like in the true spirit of totalitarian discard useful idiots as soon as their use is done.

If the person involved was a 27 year old Trump supporter named “Bob” CNN would be running the story hourly breathlessly telling you of the police’s discovery of a private arsenal:

Minneapolis police uncovered an arsenal of guns and bomb-making devices during a routine arrest last week.

According to police, a man walked by a parked car in north Minneapolis about 5 p.m. Thursday and confronted the people inside after they threw food wrappers on the ground. They ignored him until he paused to get the car license number. The men then got out of the car and indicated they had guns, according to a criminal complaint filed Monday.

The man flagged down officers, the complaint says, but the men from inside car continued to yell at him and resisted the officers’ attempts to control the situation. The men were insistent they needed to be near the car because a drone was coming to deliver a package, the complaint said. Because of the suspicious circumstances and fear for the man’s safety, the men were placed in the squad while officers searched their car.

Inside, the officers found a hand grenade, handgun, assault rifles and magazines and a large quantity of ammunition, the complaint said. They also found cellphones, computers and electronics equipment, including drone parts.

But because this story  is about a “Minneapolis” man named Abdullah N. Alrifahe you won’t find the story on NBC, CBS, ABC or CNN.  It will be considered a local story not worthy of any attention from the National Press who would much rather report the latest breathless story from from unnamed sources that will supposedly bring down Donald Trump.

Unexpectedly!


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Olimometer 2.52

If you are not in the position to kick in your funds we’ll always accept your prayers.

One of the most important events of the year happened last weekend in Beijing, but few U.S. news organizations gave much notice.

President Xi Jinping and representatives of more than 100 other countries, including Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, got together to hash out how to spend nearly $1 trillion—that’s TRILLION—of China’s money. The United States’ delegation got an upgrade in the growing bromance between President Trump and Xi.

The project, now called “Belt and Road,” is arguably the most extensive and expensive rebuilding program since the Marshall Plan after World War II.


Following the old trading routes of the infamous Silk Road, the projects stretch across 65 countries in Asia, Africa and Europe via land and sea in a mixture of financial investments and foreign policy. Here is just a taste of some of the plans:

–China is financing more than a third of the $23.7 billion cost of the Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant on the Somerset coast of southwest England. The project, in a major western economy, was added to the Belt and Road plan to give added prestige.

–China financed most of the $4 billion cost of Africa’s first transnational electric railway, which opened this year and runs for 466 miles from Djibouti to Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia.

–A deepwater port at Gwadar on the Arabian Sea will be linked by new roads and rail to western China’s Xinjiang region, creating a shortcut for trade with Europe. The port is part of $46 billion China says it is spending on infrastructure and power plants in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

–China is leading a $6 billion investment to build a 260-mile rail line from northern Laos to the capital, Vientiane. Mountainous terrain means bridges and tunnels will account for more than 60 percent of the line, and construction is further complicated by the need to clear unexploded land mines left from American bombing of the country during the Vietnam War.

This map shows the extent of the Chinese initiative in more than 60 countries.

Although most of the work will be done by Chinese companies, U.S. businesses like GE and Caterpillar are vying for some of the action.

The plan is not without its critics. India, for example, failed to show up for the weekend meeting because its leaders are not happy about a project that goes through Kashmir, land claimed by both India and Pakistan.

Whatever the case, the initiative will be the signature dish of President Xi—one that is likely to gain more than a few friends throughout the world.

Note: The Wall Street Journal has a funny piece about the PR campaigns for the plan at https://www.wsj.com/articles/coffee-classical-music-and-wrestling-celebrate-chinese-infrastructure-1494862432

Thus says the LORD: ‘I will bring evil upon you out of your own house. I will take your wives while you live to see it, and will give them to your neighbor. He shall lie with your wives in broad daylight.  You have done this deed in secret, but I will bring it about in the presence of all Israel, and with the sun looking down.'”

2 Samuel 12:11-12

One of my favorite stories about my late mother comes from the days of my youth.  It was near the end of the school year, May early June when I was in 4th grade at St. Anthony’s School.   School was out and I was waiting on the steps for my mom to pick me up. This was in the days when nuns just started to ditch the habit and there was a young and very pretty nun who had done so at the school.

She was coming down the stairs near where I was sitting just as my mother was pulling up to get me, but ahead of my mother came by a guy in a convertible with the top down who seeing a very pretty girl coming down the stairs pulled over and said something to her.  I didn’t hear what he said and it’s likely my nine year old, pre-internet/cable TV era ears might not have understood it at the time,  but I remember sister getting very visibly angry as the man pulled away and my mother pulled up.  I didn’t say goodbye to sister as I normally would  (even out of uniform we kids knew enough to keep out of the way when one of the nuns was mad) so I just headed for the passenger seat of mom’s car, when the nun,  still steaming  walked over to my mother to vent her outrage at about that guy trying to pick her, a nun, up,  Till my dying day I’ll never forget mom’s answer delivered in a tone that was reserved for my and my brothers when being scolded:

Don’t go blaming that man, if you want to be treated with the respect of a nun, DRESS LIKE ONE! 

The shock on sister’s face (and my own since I’d never seen anyone talk to a nun like that) was complete and had not gone away when I had gone.  I went to a public school built practically next door to my house for the next two years and didn’t come back to St. Anthony’s till 7th grade but to my memory from that day on either in school or at church at St. Anthony’s  I never saw that nun without at least her nun’s coif (the headscarf) on again.

The lesson I learned that day was this:  While my mother was a woman of discretion, you would never hear her make a negative public or even private comment about anyone even an enemy,  but if you invited her opinion you had better be ready to hear it because it would be blunt and merciless.

And that brings me to Morning Joe and their attack on Kellyanne Conway

Until I started doing daily mass and working overnights, Morning Joe a staple of my day.  It was practically the only outlet for conservative opinion on MSNBC and I liked the fact that Mika didn’t pretend to be “objective” as many liberal members of the media do.

I also had a good relationship with both Joe and Mika.  Joe hit DaTipJar at least once and in my early days it got back to me that he had good things to say about the site.  I admired (and still do) their commitment to their fans who made the show and still believe Mika’s willingness to discuss putting on a few pounds was an important cultural symbol and a positive message to women who think they have to starve themselves to look good.  Both, Joe & Mika have been interviewed by me and despite their current Trump Derangement Syndrome, this show is, based on content, chemistry and sanity the best choice of viewing on MSNBC and it’s not even close.

I have written a lot about the show itself but have been  silent on their personal lives.  I heard plenty of rumors over the years but ignored them because first of all you don’t know whose saying things for the sake of an agenda and second of all it wasn’t my business.  When those rumors eventually turned into a public engagement I still said nothing since it was no more my business when it’s now a matter of public record and planned to have no comment on it on the grounds of decorum.

However now that I see this on youtube:

and all over the net, and read this  at HotAir:

Assume it’s all true, though. Why are Joe and Mika telling tales out of school like this? Whatever Conway said to them about her reluctance to flack for Trump was doubtless said in confidence. They’re breaching that confidence and seemingly doing it in hopes that Trump will hear this, get pissed off, and fire her. If you’re one of the eight thousand establishment political/media people who frequent this show as guests, why would you ever say another candid thing in Scarborough’s or Brzezinski’s presence? Obviously they’ll try to use it to destroy you, publicly, on their own show, if you end up on their sh*t list. Sheesh.

I found the sheer brazen hypocrisy in a public forum for political and ratings gain is so offensive that it becomes necessary to say the obvious rejoinder aloud:

Did I actually just wake up and see that Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski who, newly engaged after divorcing their respective spouses during the run of their show, excoriate Kellyanne Conway in public for doing her job of defending her boss in public even if some of his past actions displeased her, rather than abandoning him to help the much worse Hillary Clinton?

Do Joe and Mika really think it’s a good idea to public suggest KellyAnne Conway is two faced over a campaign when they apparently spent years keeping up a pretence, saying one thing on air and making one pose in public, while doing something completely different when the cameras are off and not only doing so but asking others to go along with this masquerade?

Not only is their attack on Kellyanne Conway dishonorable, but it boggles the mind that Trump derangement Syndrome has driven them to say this given their own efforts to hide their relationship from the public as long as possible.  It terms of stupidity, that move is so remarkable, so incredible and so clueless that I’m shocked that they would resort to it.

This act, at least to me was so incorgroutious that, like my mother listening to that young Nun’s rant, it’s worth the likely fallout and the burning of bridges to call them out on it.

Simply Amazing.


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Olimometer 2.52

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There is a breathless headline from an NBC Poll just out:

NBC/WSJ Poll: Just 29 Percent Approve of Trump’s Firing of James Comey

Now reading that headline you would think that 71 percent disapprove, and I’m sure that’s what NBC wants you to think, however if you actually read the story you find out…

Just 29 percent of Americans say they approve of President Donald Trump’s decision to fire FBI Director James Comey, while 38 percent disapprove, according to results from a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. Another 32 percent of respondents don’t have enough to say on the matter.

Don’t know enough to say?  Actually the poll says “No opinion” in the graphic but it’s another attempt to make the Comey firing a problem when it isn’t, particularly when you discover that the 38 percent that is angry is driven by Democrats (2 of 3 polled) who are likely outraged about Trump getting that 2nd scoop of Ice cream.

So in the interest of showing what media spin is I’ve taken the liberty of rephrasing the headline to reflect the actual reality which is this:

The US public doesn’t give a damn that Trump fired Comey, but the media wants them to.

Exit question, if after a week of pushing this story the united and concerted MSM media efforts can’t even get 40% of the public riled up about Comey what does that say about their power to actually influence the public these days?

That’s the real story here.

Update:  powerline discovers another headline to rephrase


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And of course if you want to give a one shot hit (and help pay DaWife’s medical bills) you can hit DaTipJar




Olimometer 2.52

If you are not in the position to kick in your funds we’ll always accept your prayers.