The sand dunes along the Silk Road

Dunhuang, China, is probably the most important city you’ve never heard of.

Tucked into a corner of Northwest China, Dunhuang [pronounced DONE-hwong] was a major outpost on the famous Silk Road trading route and has become a symbol of the current government’s attempt to rebuild the image and the use of the international connection.

Marco Polo traveled through Dunhuang in the 13th century and spent 17 years as an aide to Kublai Khan, the Mongol leader of the Yuan Dynasty in China and conquered an area from Asia to Europe in the 13th and 14th centuries.

But Dunhuang played a major role in building China’s role in the world long before that.

Buddhist monks arrived in China from India by the first century AD, and a sizable Buddhist community eventually developed in Dunhuang.

The caves carved out by the monks, originally used for meditation, developed into a place of worship and pilgrimage called the Mogao Caves.

One of the Mogao Caves near Dunhuang, China

During a recent trip to Dunhuang, I had the opportunity to see the caves. I actually went back for a second look because they are simply incredible! You only get to see eight to 10 of the more than 700 caves, but they are a breath-taking example of Buddhist art from 400 to 1200 A.D. The caves also kept a secret of thousands of hidden documents about culture and religion through the world—only discovered in the early 1900s when a monk found them hidden behind a wall. A number of Christian and Jewish artifacts have been discovered in the caves, including a Bible from Syria.For more information, see http://en.people.cn/english/200006/20/eng20000620_43468.html

From Dunhuang, you also get a sense of the extraordinary effort and will of the people, like Marco Polo, who traveled through the deserts of the world. The nearby Gobi Desert is the third largest in the world behind the Sahara and Arabian deserts. The Taklamakan Desert, which also sits nearby Dunhuang, is the 16th-largest in the world and is almost the size of Germany and exists almost entirely of sand dunes.

Today, the central government of China is trying to make Dunhuang a major tourist attraction, particularly the Mogao Caves. I hope the leadership succeeds in the effort because the caves are one of the most beautiful sites I’ve ever seen.

Some days, the “news” just wears me right out – and today is one of those days. Here are some animal stories, plucked fresh from teh interwebz for your enjoyment.

Something a little different from the usual Russia!Russia!Russia! stuff, but still Russian, a biker bear!

A bizarre video has emerged of a huge brown bear sitting in the sidecar of a motorbike – and he looks like a seasoned rider.

The clip – reportedly filmed in the city of Syktyvkar in Russia’s Komi Republic – shows the giant predator happily playing the role of pillion.
Eyewitnesses were reportedly left gobsmacked at the unusual sight, with many of posting footage of it on social media.

The bear even seems positively happy in the sidecar , which is attached to the Russian-made IMZ-Ural motorcycle.

Nicholas Pasynkov, who captured some footage explained he was “driving Saturday in Syktyvkar when he spotted the large bruin calmly riding in a motorcycle sidecar that had been designed to resemble the face of a wolf.”

It was later revealed to have been a charity PR stunt by local biker club, the Polar Wolves, and a visiting circus to raise money for a children’s psychoneurological clinic in the city.

The circus reportedly provided the 22-year-old bear, which was decided to have the ideal temperament for the role as it has spent its entire life performing.

Locals were happy about it, but animal rights advocates were not. Read more about it HERE.

Escaped pigs caused mayhem on a Japanese highway after escaping a truck bound for the slaughterhouse:

It was a case of little piggies not going to the market – at least on schedule – as 19 of the 37 creatures on board executed a daring breakout, according to local media.

Traffic was halted as the defiant pigs opted for a more scenic route to the slaughter house and frolicked on the side of the highway, oblivious to the commotion they were causing motorists.   MORE

No word in the article about whether any of those pigs got a reprieve.

A horse is a horse, of course of course, and what better name for a horse, of course, than Horsey McHorseface – and it’s a winner!

The unforgettably named Horsey McHorseface had its maiden win in at a race in Cessnock, Australia, on Monday, proving that yes, even things named after a joke can actually win events.    RTR

They are calling him “The People’s Horse”, and I think that’s pretty cool.

 

I hope you enjoyed the break. Here is my dog Bellah, who thinks she is people, to leave you feeling warm and fuzzy:

*******

MJ Stevenson, AKA Zilla, is best known on the web as Zilla at MareZilla.com. She lives in a woodland shack near a creek, in one of those rural parts of New York State that nobody knows or cares about, with her family and a large pack of guardian companion animals. 

Instead of resolving the problems of the poor and thinking of how the world can be different, some can only propose a reduction in the birth rate. At times, developing countries face forms of international pressure which make economic assistance contingent on certain policies of “reproductive health”

Pope Francis Laudato Si

At a moment when the left, the media and supposedly Catholic pols are once again Invoking Laudato Si as a club to use against President Donald Trump it’s worth reiterating parts of this encyclical that the MSM didn’t report when it came out and ask them if they are equally zealous in attacking those who depart from what the Pontiff wrote in his environmental document?  (All emphasis mine)

Are these folks hitting Trump willing to condemn population control efforts as extreme?

60. Finally, we need to acknowledge that different approaches and lines of thought have emerged regarding this situation and its possible solutions. At one extreme, we find those who doggedly uphold the myth of progress and tell us that ecological problems will solve themselves simply with the application of new technology and without any need for ethical considerations or deep change. At the other extreme are those who view men and women and all their interventions as no more than a threat, jeopardizing the global ecosystem, and consequently the presence of human beings on the planet should be reduced and all forms of intervention prohibited. Viable future scenarios will have to be generated between these extremes, since there is no one path to a solution. This makes a variety of proposals possible, all capable of entering into dialogue with a view to developing comprehensive solutions.

Are they ready to embrace the value of a Human Embryo?

117. Neglecting to monitor the harm done to nature and the environmental impact of our decisions is only the most striking sign of a disregard for the message contained in the structures of nature itself. When we fail to acknowledge as part of reality the worth of a poor person, a human embryo, a person with disabilities – to offer just a few examples – it becomes difficult to hear the cry of nature itself; everything is connected.Once the human being declares independence from reality and behaves with absolute dominion, the very foundations of our life begin to crumble, for “instead of carrying out his role as a cooperator with God in the work of creation, man sets himself up in place of God and thus ends up provoking a rebellion on the part of nature”.[95]

Are they wiling to declare the dignity of the unborn:

120. Since everything is interrelated, concern for the protection of nature is also incompatible with the justification of abortion. How can we genuinely teach the importance of concern for other vulnerable beings, however troublesome or inconvenient they may be, if we fail to protect a human embryo, even when its presence is uncomfortable and creates difficulties? “If personal and social sensitivity towards the acceptance of the new life is lost, then other forms of acceptance that are valuable for society also wither away”.[97]

And condemn experimentation on them:

136. On the other hand, it is troubling that, when some ecological movements defend the integrity of the environment, rightly demanding that certain limits be imposed on scientific research, they sometimes fail to apply those same principles to human life. There is a tendency to justify transgressing all boundaries when experimentation is carried out on living human embryos. We forget that the inalienable worth of a human being transcends his or her degree of development. In the same way, when technology disregards the great ethical principles, it ends up considering any practice whatsoever as licit. As we have seen in this chapter, a technology severed from ethics will not easily be able to limit its own power.

and embrace the idea that we should accept who we are rather than all this transgender nonsense?

155. Human ecology also implies another profound reality: the relationship between human life and the moral law, which is inscribed in our nature and is necessary for the creation of a more dignified environment. Pope Benedict XVI spoke of an “ecology of man”, based on the fact that “man too has a nature that he must respect and that he cannot manipulate at will”.[120] It is enough to recognize that our body itself establishes us in a direct relationship with the environment and with other living beings. The acceptance of our bodies as God’s gift is vital for welcoming and accepting the entire world as a gift from the Father and our common home, whereas thinking that we enjoy absolute power over our own bodies turns, often subtly, into thinking that we enjoy absolute power over creation. Learning to accept our body, to care for it and to respect its fullest meaning, is an essential element of any genuine human ecology. Also, valuing one’s own body in its femininity or masculinity is necessary if I am going to be able to recognize myself in an encounter with someone who is different. In this way we can joyfully accept the specific gifts of another man or woman, the work of God the Creator, and find mutual enrichment. It is not a healthy attitude which would seek “to cancel out sexual difference because it no longer knows how to confront it”.[121]

If not then I guess they are as Nancy Pelosi put it “Dishonoring God”.

I still think this suggestion from 2015 of mine on the subject remains evergreen

Any Candidate who is asked about Laudato Si’ should say instantly say that if they are elected they would immediately finance research on Global warming by diverting funds earmarked for Planned Parenthood, Research using Human Embryos and any international family planning program that the government is funding

Given Francis’ words about accepting ourselves as we are they could throw in defunding and removing Transgender regulations as well.

After all you don’t want to be anti-Francis or anti God do you?

I was going to be done with the Griffin story but Scott Adams, a friend of hers, makes an important point worth repeating

The takeaway here should not be so much about Griffin. The takeaway is that a room full of people involved in the photoshoot did not see this as a huge problem from the start. They were living a different movie. If you judge this situation to be an error of taste, judgement, intelligence, or morality, you are missing the bigger picture. The bigger picture is that the country is living two movies at the same time, and Griffin was acting “normal” in one of them.

Persuasion-wise, Griffin’s photo was so over-the-line that I assume it ruined the movie for a lot of people following the anti-Trump script. The audience in Griffin’s movie just had a mirror held up to them. If they liked what they saw, they will stay in their seats. If they don’t like being the villains in their own movie, they might change the channel.

that’s the thing, for most of the left this was a big deal, it showed those on the left who actually have a conscience what they’ve become and gave away the game the others are playing to everyone else.  Unlike Scott I think it’s the second that bothers the left more than the first.

I also think he’s right about this.

History might record this as the beginning of Trump’s rise in popularity. I have been predicting you will see the rise in the polls by year end.

Personally I think we have to go with Ace, we have to play this card the same way the left would and shove it down their throats, because until they start feeling the costs of the standards they’ve set, they will remain the norm.  As he put it

They are never made to suffer themselves.

Thus, they have absolutely no incentive whatsoever to ever stop.

Bingo!

Update:  Apparently someone who wants to win in GA6 is reads the blog

The Congressional Leadership Fund, a super pac allied with House Speaker Paul Ryan, released a new TV ad today in the district simply titled “Kathy.” The ad does not mention her by name, but refers to Griffin as a “celebrity Jon Ossoff supporter” and includes images and video of the bizarre photo shoot.

It’s nice when people follow you advice.

One last thing about the Kathy Griffin story.

You might notice that it didn’t take very long for the left to completely unite in banishing and condemning her for what she did.

This is actually understandable because to them she has committed the ultimate sin, not by depicting president Trump in the way she did, no to the left her crime is much worse.

She has changed the subject from their unrelenting attacks on the president and his administration

She has created sympathy for him and his family

She has illustrated quite clearly to the American people what the left is.

And to the MSM and deep state, those crimes are beyond the pale.

Keep that in mind as you watch them beat their breasts over this story

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT — On this Memorial Day 2017, I am re-posting my traditional Memorial Day post about a local family that lost three sons in World War II.   The story of the Kelley family always gives me pause and causes me to be thankful for the freedoms and blessings we have today.  They were truly The Greatest Generation.  I started researching this family years ago when my husband and I began visiting a local veterans cemetery — one of the oldest cemeteries in Shreveport, and we saw these two brothers buried side by side, one of whom died on D-Day. Their graves are always tended with fresh flowers (well, artificial but never faded and always in time with the season). I became curious about them and about the person who was still paying honor to their graves.  I found a couple of family members, one in particular, who was very generous about sharing their story.

So today, I’m remembering the Kelley brothers:

It’s probably safe to say that Saving Private Ryan is all over your television menu this Memorial Day weekend.   It’s difficult to escape the endless rebroadcasts of the moving story of Private First Class James Francis Ryan lost behind enemy lines after the Normandy D-Day invasion and the ensuing quest to save him.

The film is fiction but there is a real life version of this story right here in Shreveport.  In fact, this sort of scenario existed across the nation for multiple families during that turbulent time.  As we observe Memorial Day today, let me share with you the story of the Kelley family who lost three sons in less than two years.

Like all of America, Shreveport watched the unfolding events at Pearl Harbor in 1941 with horror.  In February 1942, William G. Kelley (his friends and family called him “Bob”) felt the call to service and enlisted in the Army Air Corps.  He had graduated from the local high school, attended Louisiana College, and was attending seminary.  He was ordained at the First Baptist Church in Shreveport by Dr. M. E. Dodd.  When he enlisted, Bob was preaching at the Evangeline Mission, a new church in town that he helped build with the assistance of the Queensborough Baptist Church.

William
William “Bob” Kelley

Bob Kelley went to officers’ school and became a bombardier; he went with the Eighth Air Force to England.  Lt. Kelley had been overseas only six weeks when his plane crashed near Fontainebleau, France and claimed his life on November 10, 1944.  He was twenty-four years old.

The Evangeline Mission, where Bob was a preacher, was renamed for him as Kelley Memorial Baptist Church.

A second Kelley son, Bose, Jr., died in the D-Day invasion.  Al McIntosh, writing for the Rock County Star Herald, wrote on June 8, 1944, after learning that the expected invasion of France had finally taken place:

“This is no time for any premature rejoicing or cockiness because the coming weeks are going to bring grim news.  This struggle is far from over – it has only started – and if anyone thinks that a gain of ten miles means that the next three hundred are going to go as fast or easy he is only an ostrich.”

He was correct:  the grim news was only beginning.

bose
Bose F. Kelley, Jr.

Bose Kelly, Jr. enlisted in May 1942.  Bose graduated from Fair Park High School in Shreveport.  He was married to Betty Miller and working as a mechanic at Central Motor Company, a car dealership.  Bose volunteered for the Army Airborne, went to jump school and became a paratrooper.  Bose was part of the 507 PIR which became attached to the 82ndAirborne in 1943. The 507 PIR was activated at Fort Benning, Georgia on July 20, 1942 and trained there and in Alliance, Nebraska.  In 1943, the 507th PIR shipped out to Northern Ireland, then England, and it was in Nottingham where they prepared for the coming Allied invasion of France.  They studied sand tables, drop zones, and were given Hershey’s chocolates and a carton of cigarettes.

Bose was on a C-47, number 13 in his stick, as the plane lumbered through the fog banks toward Drop Zone T, near the west bank of the Merderet River.  Because of the fog and the incoming German flak, the C-47s flew faster and higher than anticipated which caused almost all of the paratroopers to miss the drop zone.  They were scattered over a 15 mile area.  The 507th was the last regiment to jump and by the time Bose Kelley’s C-47 was over the Cotentin peninsula the entire area was stirred up with flak coming from every direction. There were sixteen men in Bose Kelley’s stick and at least eight of them were killed that night.  The Germans had flooded the valley as a defensive tactic and some paratroopers, weighted down by equipment and unable to swim, drowned.  Bose Kelley was killed by a direct hit from an artillery shell.

Major General Paul F. Smith wrote in his Foreword to Dominique Francois’s history of the 507th,

“This regiment unquestionably received the worst drop of the six US parachute regiments dropped that night.”

Howard Huebner, who was number 3 in Bose’s stick, survived that drop.  He wrote:

I am a Paratrooper! I was 21 yrs old when we jumped into Normandy.

We knew the area where we were supposed to land, because we had studied it on sand tables, and then had to draw it on paper by memory, but that all faded as our regiment was the last to jump, and things had changed on the ground. Most of us missed our drop zone by miles.  As we were over our drop zone there was a downed burning plane. Later I found out it was one of ours. The flack was hitting our plane and everything from the ground coming our way looked like the Fourth of July.

When I hit the ground in Normandy, I looked at my watch.  It was 2:32 AM, June 6, 1944. I cut myself out of my chute, and the first thing I heard was shooting and some Germans hollering in German, “mucksnell toot sweet Americanos”.

We the 507th, was supposed to land fifteen miles inland, but I landed three or four miles from Utah Beach by the little town of Pouppeville. I wound up about 1000 yards from a French farm house that the Germans were using for a barracks, and about 200 feet from a river, an area that the Germans had flooded. If I would have landed in the water, I may not be here today as I can’t swim. A lot of paratroopers drowned because of the flooded area.

Local writer Gary Hines spoke to Bose’s widow, Betty, for an article he wrote for the August 2000 issue of SB Magazine.  She told him, “He was going to win the war and come back home.”  Betty was married at 18 and a widow at 20.  She told Mr. Hines “We were both young enough to feel that he was coming home.  He wasn’t going to be one of the ones who was lost.”

edgarrew
Edgar Rew Kelley

A third Kelley son, Edgar Rew, was drafted into the Army in 1943.  He was sent to Camp McCain in Mississippi where he died five weeks later from an outbreak of spinal meningitis.  He never made it out of basic training.  He was 27 years old; he left behind a wife of five years.

The remaining Kelley brother was Jack.  Jack Richard Kelley was serving in the medical corps in Washington at Fort Lewis.  His father, Bose Kelley, Sr., wrote to U.S. Representative Overton Brooks and pleaded with him to prevent his oldest son from going overseas.   It is reminiscent of the scene in Saving Private Ryanwhere General Marshall reads the Bixby letter to his officers.  In this case, in a letter dated December 8, 1944, Mr. Kelley received word that his son Jack would remain stateside for the duration of the war.  Jack Kelley died in 1998.

kelleys
Sunday, May 18, 2014

The bodies of Bose Kelley, Jr. and his brother William (Bob) were buried in separate military funerals in France but were returned to the United States in September 1948.  Bose and his brother now rest side by side in the veterans section of Greenwood Cemetery in Shreveport.  Their brother, Edgar Rew Kelley, is in a civilian cemetery across town, the Jewella Cemetery on Greenwood Road.  Their father, who pleaded for his fourth son to be spared, died just one month after Bose and William’s bodies were buried in Greenwood Cemetery.  It’s as if he was just waiting for them to come home.

For sixty-five years their sister, Ruby, tended the graves of her brothers.  There has never been a time that I visited the graves that there was not a crisp American flag flying over each and flowers.  Ruby died last year and the graves are now tended by Ruby’s daughter.  I visited the graves of Bose and William last week and sure enough, there were two new flags and flowers steadfastly in place.

As we observe Memorial Day today, we remember the sacrifices of young men like the Kelleys all across the country. Their name belongs alongside the Sullivan brothers, the Borgstrum brothers, the Niland brothers, and the Wright brothers.  It is their heroism and their sacrifice, along with that of so many others, that we remember and honor each Memorial Day.

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport.

Puppeteer by Calipsoo

by baldilocks

Right now, I’m reading Nancy Isenberg’s White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America. (Actually, I’m listening to it, via an audiobook copy checked out from the Los Angeles Public Library. As I’ve said many times before, audiobooks allow multitasking—driving, riding, working out, cleaning the house, etc.) Since I’m only at the end of Chapter One, this won’t be a review, but I can’t help but put down a few thoughts. These initial observations may read as critique against capitalism or Western Civilization, but that’s not my intention. All civilizations have flaws–most much worse than ours.

Isenberg outlines the British concept of “trash people”–meaning the poor—and how the British upper crust desired to use that population for its own ends with respect to the colonies. Of course, we all know that class divisions have existed and still exist in Western civilizations, but reading about the planning and the implementation of these endeavors bids comparison to how the present-day American “upper crust” uses the poor and the not-so-poor. Back then, control of the poor to the end of making profit, was far more overt than it is today, which makes today’s efforts far more effective—as is so for all hidden agendas.

From what I can tell, there has always been a set-apart group in European countries and their colonies: an indentured/enslaved caste—whether the bondage is formal or not. Sometimes, it’s the natives of a conquered land. Other times, it’s a forcibly imported group, such as African slaves, the British underclass, or the Irish. Today–in America at least–it’s primarily those of Mexican descent.

The interesting thing about this history is that it proves the axiom that there’s nothing new under the sun. And, though the tactics have changed, the goal remains the same: control.

But, back in the heyday of the British Empire, the elite just wanted to control your body and couldn’t care less about your mind…

More to come.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel tentatively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done one day soon! Follow her on Twitter and on Gab.ai.

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism!


Can you name the Vice President of the United States? How about the two U.S. Senators in your state? All members of Congress (or at least your own district’s representative)? Governor? If you’re reading this, chances are good that you can easily answer these questions because you’re at least a little interested in politics.

How about your Mayor? Any or all city council members? School board members? County Auditor? Unfortunately, this is where many Americans start to fail the test. Admittedly, I would have failed the test a couple of years ago. Like many Americans, I voted for local elections based upon name recognition, party affiliation, or whether or not I’d received a flyer or received a knock on my door. I spoke to a woman the other day who said she voted for whoever had a sign in her next-door neighbor’s yard because “that lady keeps up with this stuff.”

Every American should keep up with this stuff. It’s THAT important.

When I started flirting with the idea of leaving the GOP last year, I explored several third parties. I sat on conference calls with leaders of one party, had an audience with the chair of another, and spoke directly to three third-party Presidential candidates. Invariably, the discussions were discouraging. It wasn’t that they didn’t have good ideas. It was that only one party could answer an important question: “What are you guys doing to win local elections?”

They were all sinking time, money, and energy into getting their Presidential candidate on ballots, but only one party was actively running in local elections. They made it clear that they weren’t actually giving much support to local candidates, but at least a few people were willing to use their party’s name a registration to run for office. I tracked back to see how many elections they’d won over the years. 13, including two in 2016. How could a party that was sinking all of their resources into a futile Presidential race think it was okay to put next to zero effort into local elections?

This is why I helped form the Federalist Party.

Local elections ARE important. They don’t get the press coverage. The people who win these offices can’t bomb Syria or impose tariffs on Canada. On the other hand, they make decisions that directly affect our lives. They choose the way many of our children receive their education. They set guidelines to either encourage or discourage business growth. Some bring communities together. Others divide communities further apart. It’s imperative that we all start paying closer attention to the races and leaders that live next door. That’s not to say the people in DC are not important, but they receive too much emphasis compared to the politicians in our own backyards.

As a party, we intend to focus on local elections from two perspectives. First, we want to identify principled candidates and win local races. Then, we want to localize decision-making as much as possible for the nation. There is currently way too much influence coming from DC in areas they’re simply not qualified or empowered to addressed.

There are areas in which the federal government should hold the power. These have been clearly enumerated. It’s time to return the rest of the power of government where it belongs: states, counties, cities, communities, and most importantly to individual Americans.

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.

As of the moment I’m writing this post not knowing the final resolution to my situation with DaWife and Southwest Airlines is up in the air. After our 3rd (4th if you count Saturday’s abortive attempt) call and a bunch of tweets and IMs and the changing goalposts my left the house vowing that she would never fly with them again.

Tomorrow is her day off and I suggested her to wait to see if Southwest airlines calls her to get things settled by 10 AM EST (they should have our number from my DM’s) If they don’t call, them my instruction is to book our trip if she can, if she can’t do the whole thing do just the flights using whatever credits she can.

As for me I’ll go to work and punch in at 10:30 PM. When this post goes up at 6 AM I’ll still be working but will leave at 7 AM go from there to the 8 AM mass and then get home around 9 AM and intend after being up 24 hours to crash. and when I wake up tomorrow afternoon she can tell me If there is a long post coming recommending an alternative choice to my readers or not.

After all everyone screws up sometime, that’s life, it’s how you handle a screwup or an upset customer that determines if one should take their custom elsewhere.


Speaking of Screwups those insisting on selling the line that the president to stumble all over himself and embarrass our nation in Saudi Arabia are having a very bad day as reality is getting in the way of that narrative:

If anyone was waiting for President Trump to trip over his own tongue and damage our international relationships they probably came away disappointed. While he came on stronger than his predecessor by a wide margin and took a few chances, this speech probably opened the door to more cooperation against radical Islamic terror right in their own back yard. (Whether anyone actually wants to walk through that door in any significant way is another question, but at least he made the invitation.)

I’m old enough to remember when the media uniformly predicted that President Donald Trump’s hard line against Islamic Terror was going to make diplomacy in the Arab world difficult if not impossible


It’s also worth noticing the tone of the speech, cue Obama Voter Ann Althouse:

3 things there that will recur throughout the speech: 1. He’s not going to tell them what to do, 2. We all have children and our children are the future, and 3. He knows something of what God thinks.

But here is the real Killer Analysis:

 

That seems like another implicit refutation of Idea #1, but it’s followed by this very strong statement of Idea #1:

America is prepared to stand with you — in pursuit of shared interests and common security. But the nations of the Middle East cannot wait for American power to crush this enemy for them. The nations of the Middle East will have to decide what kind of future they want for themselves, for their countries, and for their children. It is a choice between two futures — and it is a choice America CANNOT make for you.

That sets up the strongest part of the speech, which sounds as though he’s yelling what to do at them:
A better future is only possible if your nations drive out the terrorists and extremists. Drive. Them. Out.

DRIVE THEM OUT of your places of worship.
DRIVE THEM OUT of your communities.
DRIVE THEM OUT of your holy land, and
DRIVE THEM OUT OF THIS EARTH.

“Drive them out” is an imperative, repeated, with brutal Trumpian emphasis, 5 times. And yet, it’s technically a choice: There’s that “if”: “A better future is only possible if…”

Trump gives a name to his approach: “Principled Realism”:

acknowledging the reality of Islamic Terror is not something the left is in favor of.



While the President’s speech is getting a lot of headlines there is another thing worth noting here that Don Surber has picked up on:

From Arab News:

US President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka has taken Saudi Arabia by storm ever since she disembarked from Air Force One in Riyadh Saturday morning.

The hashtag #Trump’s_daughter, in Arabic, is the top trending hashtag in the country as Twitter fans heaped praise on the first daughter.

Ivanka, who is set to take part in roundtable discussions during the president’s first official visit abroad, wore a long navy dress as she arrived in Saudi Arabia as part of the US delegation.

Why is this a big deal?  Well both she and her husband are Jews

Rest assured they know her religion. And her participation in the talks gets noticed by Saudi women, as the official press (as well as Arab News) went all-in on praising Trump’s visit.

The respect given both President Trump’s daughter and his wife (not to mention President Trump himself) make the job of the MSM in destroying him all that much harder.



Incidentally take a look at this public gathering of Democrats with Nancy Pelosi

California – The classless Democrats gathered in Sacramento for a state convention on Saturday. CA Dem Chairman, John Burton held up his middle fingers while encouraging the crowd to scream ‘F*** Donald Trump!’ while House Minority leader, Nancy Pelosi laughed in the background.

And ask yourself if a gathering of Republicans including the highest ranking Republican in the House, ended with a crowd chanting “F*** Obama” and holding up their middle fingers if

1. There would be any other story in the news
2. The media would not be asking every single Republican member of congress to denounce the event and said leader
3. They would be united in calling for said leaders resignation after an abject apology.

The question by the way answers itself.


The media will not cover that story for the same reason why the Democrats won’t tell their base the truth about the accusations on Trump, because they’re too invested in a myth:

Key Democratic officials are clearly worried about the expectations that have been purposely stoked and are now trying to tamp them down. Many of them have tried to signal that the beliefs the base has been led to adopt have no basis in reason or evidence.

The latest official to throw cold water on the MSNBC-led circus is President Obama’s former acting CIA chief Michael Morell. What makes him particularly notable in this context is that Morell was one of Clinton’s most vocal CIA surrogates. In August, he not only endorsed Clinton in the pages of the New York Times but also became the first high official to explicitly accuse Trump of disloyalty, claiming, “In the intelligence business, we would say that Mr. Putin had recruited Mr. Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation.”

But on Wednesday night, Morell appeared at an intelligence community forum to “cast doubt” on “allegations that members of the Trump campaign colluded with Russia.” “On the question of the Trump campaign conspiring with the Russians here, there is smoke, but there is no fire at all,” he said, adding, “There’s no little campfire, there’s no little candle, there’s no spark. And there’s a lot of people looking for it.”

The problem is selling this myth is a source of short term profit and as long as that is true it will continue to go on


I found this plea from Chris Cillizza of at CNN comical

Weiner’s plea agreement brings a close to the latest chapter in his increasingly appalling conduct in the years since he was forced to resign from Congress in June 2011 after a series of sexually explicit texts with women not his wife — at the time top Hillary Clinton official Huma Abedin — were discovered.
Over the intervening six years, Weiner attempted a political comeback by seeking the Democratic nomination in the New York mayor’s race in 2013 but was, again, brought low by his increasingly cavalier decisions to share explicit photos of himself with women he met via social media sites. In January 2016, Weiner began one such exchange with a 15-year-old girl. Which brings us to his plea deal Friday.

Those are the facts. Now, can we please agree to just stop talking about Weiner?Hey, it makes sense.  If I was totally invested in all Trump Hate all the time I wouldn’t want anyone talking about former leading Democrat and Clinton insider married to a Hillary Clinton’s closest aide who had classified material on his laptop making plays for minor children either.

I understand.  Hey if I was part of a media in general and a network in particular fully invested in the Trump evil , GOP evil meme the last thing I’d want to remind the public is that the Husband of Hillary Clinton’s closest aide who had classified material on his computer was using it to make sexual advances toward underage girls.

And unlike the Trump stuff there is actual evidence of it.


When Barack Obama spoke at Notre Dame faithful Catholics were rightly outraged at the idea of a man so diametrically opposed to the faith (and who would end up actively persecuting it as President,see Little Sisters of the Poor Lawsuit) but they did not disrupt his speech or student’s graduation ceremony.

When faced with Vice President Mike Pence, a devout Christian who embraces faith,  leftists in the student body did not have the same degree of class

A group of Notre Dame students walked out at the start of Vice President Pence’s commencement speech Sunday. The protest had been planned in advance so the walkout was not a surprise. What may have been a surprise was how few students actually decided to join the walkout. 

I’d say I pity these special snowflakes when they reach the real world, but that would be a lie.


I’m not a big basketball guy (loved to play it in my youth but never enjoyed watching it as much) but I found myself watching Cleveland destroy the Celtics in game one and was amazed at how bad they made the #1 seed in the East look and they made them look even worse in game two.

That brought to mind a pair of thoughts: This must be what it was like in the 50’s in Baseball and in the 60’s in Basketball when everybody knew it was just a question of who the Yankees or Celtics would face and if either would be lucky enough to beat them.

It also confirmed what I’ve said before, the regular season means very little as long as you make the playoffs. If Cleveland wanted to they could have started their scrubs for the last two weeks to make their bench stronger and rest their stars and I still think they’d be 10-0 as of this writing.


In a season that has been the worst send off I’ve seen for a Doctor since the Sylvester McCoy (who likely didn’t know the series was done) This week’s Doctor Who was a gem and a half that you should not miss and ironically the most memorable moment had nothing to do with the welcome return of Michelle Gomez, but eitehr way you should watch it. Incidentally punctuated by one of the funniest moments I’ve ever seen on the show. The clip follows but you have to hit more to see it as it has Major spoilers Continue reading “Ten Thoughts Under My Fedora: Southwest & DaWife, Trump in Saudi Arabia and a Pope in the TARDIS”