It’s difficult to find anyone in Chengdu, a laidback city in central China known for its pandas and spicy food, who doesn’t know where they were at 2:28 p.m. on May 12, 2008.

That’s when a massive earthquake, one of the worst ever in China, left 87,000 people dead, 370,000 injured, and five million people homeless in the Sichuan Province around Chengdu.

DaTech3.jpg

The earthquake happened during the school day. Substandard construction of the buildings resulted in thousands of children dying in what become known as “tofu schools” because they were so unstable and toppled during the earthquake.

The mountains around Sichuan rise more than three miles above the neighboring plains and about 40 miles from Chengdu. They form a wrinkle in the earth’s crust caused by the Indian and Eurasian plates pushing against each other. They’re the same forces that formed the Himalayas.

The towns most affected by 2008’s magnitude-8 earthquake—such as Beichuan, Wenchuan, and Mianzhu—were built near the Longmenshan Fault, a tear in the earth’s crust and a hotspot for quakes. The 2008 event shook buildings nearby for nearly two minutes and was felt 800 miles away in Beijing.

The disaster happened just as China was ready to host the Summer Olympics, a sort of coming-out party for the country.

Over the past decade, China worked to rebuild the homes and lives of those affected. Shiny new roads and sturdy buildings replaced the rubble. Displaced families found new homes. Bereaved parents gave birth to thousands of so-called “replacement children.” Earthquake warning systems were put in place throughout the country.

A nationwide initiative was launched to ensure safe primary and middle schools, injecting about $60 billion toward the goal of making schools safe.

Nevertheless, critics say the Chinese government, which they believe should be held accountable for the inferior buildings, have rejected fair compensation for those affected by the tragedy.

The misuse of money also created a huge credibility problem for the government. At one point, a Chinese celebrity’s photos flaunting her lavish lifestyle on social media became the catalyst for exposing the Red Cross Society’s mismanagement of the Sichuan relief funds.

The woman claimed to be working for a Red Cross subsidiary even as she regularly shared pictures of herself posing with luxury cars at upscale resorts and restaurants. After angry online readers dug into her personal life, it emerged that her boyfriend was a shareholder of an investment-holding group affiliated with the Red Cross.

Ultimately, a variety of people were convicted of embezzling funds. As a result of this scandal and others, Chinese remain reluctant to donate funds to charities.

Ten years later, the memories of what happened still loom large. A government desire to declare “thanksgiving” for what happened after the earthquake created a stir on the internet. Many wanted the victims to be remembered rather than what the government did after the earthquake. See DaTimes at https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/10/world/asia/china-sichuan-earthquake-thanksgiving.html

For better and worse, the earthquake changed the region and the country and continues to do so even today.

Spock: It was far easier for you as civilized man to act as barbarians, than for them as barbarians to act like civilized men.

Star Trek Mirror,Mirror 1967

If you really want to see how far the left has gone take a look at the comments in the NYT article referenced by Twitchy yesterday but not the just comments the NYT Picks.  All the Emphasis is mine

The author is with us, really he is

As a liberal academic living in deep-red Indiana, I bear witness to the frustrations expressed by both sides. Hence my disappointment with the defensive comments here that miss the points that Alexander has raised. No, he is not saying that all liberals are arrogant; nor is he denying the intrinsic worth of liberal values (which I’m confident that he largely shares with us); and he’s certainly not denying that a great many Trump supporters are racist, stupid, ignorant and/or in the thrall of Fox “News” and other propagandists. But he’s right that there’s a huge bloc of voters – conservative libertarians, Hillary-haters, those alienated by our dysfunctional presidential system – who could be won over in ’20 if we showed them more respect.

See you don’t have to like them for real

Hey we’ve been nice to these conservative for too long

I am a true blue Democrat. And I have been turning the other cheek to conservatives and their name-calling and harmful policies since Reagan and his gang were in office.

I agree that it does no good to malign a group with broad brush strokes. But all that turning the other cheek and making nice just ended up here – with a crazy crook and his miscreants(R) in all the power positions of government.

Turning the other cheek doesn’t work when the other side is playing hardball. And with unlimited guns, no less.

Failing to call out the ugliness is a mistake. If you are going down, go down swinging.

I am not encouraging us Dems to be ugly but at least we need to take a stand and speak the truth. And racism is real and widespread in the republican party of 1980 to present.

There, I said it.

Nothing says “racist” like beating Democrats and in the 80’s is when it started happening.

And why SHOULD I be nice to these bastards anyways?

Tell me, as a gay Hispanic male of color why should I be respectful of homophobic, fascist, racist, classist views that this president embodies and promotes? If you vote for a person that represents those ideas you are okay with those ideas. Or at least they don’t bother you so much because they don’t affect you. We do not need to be polite to Trump supporters or even Trump voters. In fact, I think we should be like Michelle Wolf. If they are embarrassed it’s because deep inside they know that their ideals are wrong. If they vote out of spite it means that they hate people like me, that they hate women, and anyone who is not a white straight male. Or at the very least, they do not care about what happens to anyone who is not part of the majority in power. So no, I will not be “nice”. I for one am super tired of conservatives telling me how to feel about my oppression.

Isn’t it funny how so many other hispanics are trying so hard to get into or stay in this supposedly racist, facist, classist, homophobic country that Trump runs?

And you prove you’re evil by just supporting Trump 

Straw men. “Some liberals” this, and “some liberals” that. Some conservatives are active, aggressive members of neo-Nazi organizations. Are they driving away some liberals who might otherwise vote for Trump? The problem is that Mr. Alexander almost suggests that really, there are two equally valid polarities in U.S. politics and those who love Mr. Trump should be regarded as equally respectable with those who support the Democrats. But they are not equal: one side likes a leader who often sounds like a childish, immature, bullying blow-hard. The other side does not. If Trump is your leader, and you admire him and his party, you are not reasonably entitled to respect for your political views. This is not like the difference between those who are pro-free trade and those who are against. It’s the difference between the politics of hate and exclusion and the politics of mutual respect and inclusion.

Why not just say “As a blasphemer you should be stoned to death.” and be done with it

The fun part, the piece they were commenting, in my opinion, didn’t run in the Times because the Times like Trump or Trump voters, I suspect it ran in the times because they understand that unless Democrats change they will lose in 2018, 2020 and beyond.

I think Iowahawk has them pegged

Liberalism is their religion not their political belief and they do not tolerate heretics

I can’t wait for election day.

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT — “What was the last book you read outside of school — something you read just for fun?  And if you don’t like to read, why not?”

That was my First Five for my grade 10 ELA students one day last week.

I’ve been doing a lot of reading and research this past year on literacy, curriculum, and how reading affects test scores.  It’s no secret that Louisiana has consistently placed near the very bottom of the list when it comes to reading scores as compared on a national level.

There are a lot of factors that go into those national scores, such as NAEP scores, and it’s not really accurate to say that all students in Louisiana are poor readers.  That is far from the case. But for clarity, in this post, I’m looking at those poor readers. Many of them come from low income families who don’t have books in the home or are products of families where nobody has had time to read aloud to the children very often.

As a parent of two avid readers, I was reading to both of my kids before they were even born.  As infants they were read to every single day.  They’ve never seen me not reading at least one book and our house has always been filled with books and magazines.  It’s just who I am.

But that’s not the case for many of my students.

Compounding the problem for these struggling readers is the Common Core curriculum in which students no longer read entire novels.  Common Core, at least as far as ELA courses, is terrible.  It’s killing the love of reading.  I’ve written about that rather extensively herehere, and here.  As teachers, in my district we have been told that if a student wants to read the entirety of a novel from which we are only teaching certain chapters, “they can read it on their own.”

Well, that’s okay for a strong reader, but I know a lot of struggling readers who will not be able to take on the elements in The Scarlet Letter without some help, nor would it be a book they would willingly pull off the library shelf.

Additionally, there is a difference between academic reading for class and simply reading for the pure fun of it.

What I want to be able to do is to create lifelong readers; I want my students to leave my class having read several books of their own choosing, about topics that they are interested in, and that they are excited about reading.

And since my official mandate is that they “can read on their own,” I’m going to start a classroom library.  Oh yes, we have a school library and it’s wonderful.  We have a librarian who orders books kids like to read and she listens to their requests and suggestions.  But I also think that a classroom library can supplement that. And a student that might not make an effort to go to the school library might just access a classroom library.

Having a library in the classroom sends a message of literacy and encourages reading to students.  If that library is filled with nice, interesting books, just waiting to be read, even better. I want my classroom library to be filled with books that my kids want to read and that are geared toward their interests and their lives.

In response to my First Five question above, about the last book you read, I got answers like this:

“I can’t remember the last book I read.  I hate staring at thousands of words and sitting still that long.  I hate reading!”

and this:

“I don’t know. I think it was a Goosebump book.  I don’t have time to read.”

and this:

“I love to read books and I used to read all the time.  I don’t really know why I don’t read any more.  You can learn so much when you read.”

That student is right.  Reading can drastically increase a child’s vocabulary.  That in itself will increase test scores, but this isn’t about test scores for me.

A lot of the responses indicated that they liked reading in lower grades but somehow just quit doing it.

I don’t want one more child to leave my room not having read a book.

So, I have a plan.  I’ve assembled an Amazon Wish List to start a classroom library and as this school year draws to a close, I am planning new things for next year.  If I can’t teach books in class, I’ll do it out of class; I’m a rebel like that sometimes.  I have plans to encourage students to read from my classroom library and to share what they’ve read with others.  If I need to use incentives to get this started, I will.  (A kid will read almost anything for a honey bun!)  I have shelving and I have a corner space ready to go. I’ve ordered book pockets and cards so I can check the books out to my kids.  It will be attractive and inviting.

I want this to be a fun experience; not like the old Accelerated Reader program where you had to read a book “on your level” with the proper color sticker on it and then take a ridiculous test on it to step your way up to a quota.  Research shows that this program is useless.  Kids that like to read will read anyway and kids that have to read to get an AR grade just learn to hate reading more.

I’ve started an Amazon Wish List and if you would like to help, you can go here, and order whatever you like and have it shipped straight to my classroom. Most selections are under ten dollars. I’ve already started assembling books on my own through thrift stores and through the library book sales and the college book fair.  What I need now are nice, new books that pull my kids into a love of reading!

The list is here.  It’s long and I’m constantly adding to it.  I posted it on my own blog a few days ago and already I’ve received thirty-one books!  It reaffirms for me not just the good in people but that people really do believe in kids and believe in education.  The notes that are coming with the books indicate that people are choosing books that meant something to them or their own children as readers.

I’m collecting these books all summer and when we go back to school in August, I hope to be able to offer a well-stocked classroom library full of engaging books of all levels and subject matter to my students.

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport. She is the author of the upcoming Cane River Bohemia: Cammie Henry and her Circle at Melrose Plantation (LSU Press/Oct.’18).  Follow her on Instagram @patbecker25.

Today Donald Trump does something that presidents have promised for decades but have never done. today the US embassy in Israel moves to Jerusalem and the Jerusalem Post notes the day shouldn’t be as big a deal as it is:

It shouldn’t have had to be so bold. Every country ought to have the right to choose its own capital. But that basic political rule applies to each nation on earth, save one.

Think about it. The other 192 United Nations member states pick the site for their capital and it’s no one else’s business.

No doubt, diplomats assigned to Australia would prefer to be situated in Melbourne or Sydney, but the political choice was Canberra and that was that.

Nor did anyone utter a peep when Germany, following reunification, moved its capital from Bonn to Berlin, compelling governments around the world to spend a fortune to find new premises in Berlin.

The same goes for Kazakhstan, which decided to move its capital from Almaty to Astana in 1998, again disrupting the lives of every country that had a diplomatic post in the Central Asian nation.

Or take Nigeria, which chose to leave Lagos and create a new capital city, in distant Abudja, in 1991.

But Israel, and Israel alone, has found itself in the unique position of having its self-declared capital in Jerusalem, while other nations insist it’s in Tel Aviv, where they locate their embassies and residences.

But it IS  a big deal and it’s a big deal because Donald Trump had the courage to keep his word, and because he had that courage others are finding it as well:

Viktor Orbán’s Hungary, supported by the Czech Republic and Romania, blocked an EU motion condemning President Donald Trump’s decision to move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, according to Israeli news anchor Barak Ravid.

Apparently not everyone in the EU have been cowered by Islamists:

“The Hungarians didn’t want to poke Trump in the eye and the Czechs and the Romanians are considering to move their embassies to Jerusalem against the EU position,” a source told the Israeli.

EU officials frustrated by Trump’s actions are proving just as impotent as the media which is also deriding Trump’s move completely unable to cope with a man willing to stand by his word against the crowd.

If the Palestinians are smart they will take notice and make a deal now while they can, because I suspect that the best offer they will get from Trump will be his first, because if in 18 months Korea, Syria and Iran have all played against Trump and lost how much less likely are the Palestinians going to do better.

It will be a lot of fun to watch Democrats campaign against the idea of Jerusalem being Jewish, particularly after the fiasco of 2012  but the irony is I suspect they would have been looking for such an excuse anyway pretty soon.

Update:  for those who have forgotten this story:  Democrats put God & Jerusalem back in the platform…kicking and screaming an excerpt:

Did I actually see the Democrats need three tries to add “God” & “Jerusalem” back to their platform?

Did I actually see the Democrats lose their voice vote three times to change their platform and only pass their amendment due to a tin ear.

Did I actually see CNN focus on Arab Democrats very Angry?

Did I actually hear the hall BOO THE INSERTION OB GOD BACK IN THE PLATFORM ON INTERNATIONAL TV?

I’m sorry as the 11th Doctor said when first meeting the Vampire Ladies in Vampires of Venice “It’s Christmas”

Whatever is worth doing at all, is worth doing well.
– Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield

I hate the term “working mom” because it implies that moms who are not employed do not “work.” My wife is a stay-at-home mom and she works plenty hard. More importantly, she works hard at things that matter. And the fact that she is not spending 40+ hours of her week focusing on not being a mom means that she is able to do things for our family that a “working mom” simply can’t. There simply aren’t enough hours in the day.

On Mothers Day, I salute all mothers who put their families first, especially my wife. When our son was born, she left the business world to be a full-time mom and wife. Our two children (and I) have benefited in countless ways from this decision, which she and I made together even before we were married. She has always been there, from playing with my son when he was an infant to being there when my daughter comes home from high school and needs advice or just someone to talk to.

Our parish bulletin contained a page of quotes about Motherhood today. One that particularly stood out is:

“Motherhood is not a hobby, it is a calling.
It is not something to do if you can squeeze the time in.
It is what God gave you time for.”

This perfectly sums up my wife’s calling to be a mother. Today let us reflect on the fact that many of the ills facing our society today could be solved if more women felt the same calling.

Lang’s Skokie office in 2006

Illinois cannot cope with the present, let alone with the future, so it’s fighting a symbolic battle from the past.

Here’s a little history lesson: In 1972 Congress submitted the Equal Rights Amendment to the state legislatures, which read:

Section 1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.
Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.
Section 3. This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification.

There was a rush of states falling over year other to ratify would have been the 27th Amendment before the seven-year deadline for passage, which in an unprecedented move, was extended by Congress for an additional three years. Thirty-five states–nearly all of them did so in the first year after congressional passage–ratified the ERA. Then opposition, led by conservative firebrand Phyliss Schlafly, who ironically lived in Illinois at the time, focused on such concerns that in an ERA America, women would be eligible for a military draft and gender-specific bathrooms would be abolished.

Blogger with Schlafly in 2006

Illinois did not ratify the ERA.

Three states, in a move never tested in a federal court, later rescinded their ratifications. No states ratified the ERA during the extension period and the Equal Rights Amendment died in 1982, three states–or six–short of what was needed to be enacted.

Or did the ERA really die?

Last year, thirty-five years after the deadline expired, Nevada ratified the ERA. And last month the Illinois state Senate voted to do the same. In the House, Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie), who nominally represents me in the lower chamber, is the sponsor for the ERA there. It’s a pet cause of Lang, a consummate left-wing political hack. He’s the House deputy majority leader, in reality, he’s the head waiter for House Speaker for Life Michael Madigan (D-Chicago), who Reuters says is “the man behind the fiscal fiasco in Illinois.” Where is Lang’s pension fix? Illinois has one of the worst-funded public-worker pension systems of the fifty states. Its credit rating is the lowest of any state ever. Why? Pensions of course. And those generous retirement plans are in reality deferred compensation in exchange for public-sector union support of the Democratic Party. Yes, a couple of Republican governors, Jim Thompson and Jim Edgar, are also partly culpable. Illinois’ pension bomb, both at the state and local level, and the tax hikes to attempt to pay down that debt, are a millstone for the state and the reason the Prairie State is suffering from declining population.

Other than more tax increases, Lang has no solution to solve the pension crisis. And yes, he’s definitely part of the problem as Lang has been a state legislator since 1987.

What to do?

If you’re Lang, you create a distraction with a nostalgic, for the left that is, flavor. Ratify the ERA. The Democratic nominee for governor, JB Pritzker, is on board.

Of course Congress could vote to pass, with identical wording, a new Equal Rights Amendment. Lang can just call his pal US Rep. Jan Schakowsky, his (and yes, my) representative in the US House. She’s an even bigger leftist than he is. Then the states can have another go-around. That’s what the our nation’s founders would want.

On the other hand, passing an constitutional amendment is very difficult to do. In 229 years it’s only been accomplished 27 times. But the US Constitution has in reality been amended thousands of times–by the courts. Same-sex marriage was legalized in such a manner, as was abortion.

Other than making women eligible for a military draft, what would the ERA do?

Ruins of a LaSalle, Illinois bridge

But that’s not the point. Liberals are obsessed with symbolism.

After the 9/11 attacks author Tom Clancy expressed this notion better, telling Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly, “The political left is, you know, they deal in symbols rather than reality.”

The ERA is a symbol.

“The general difference between conservatives and liberals is liberals like pretty pictures and conservatives like to build bridges that people can drive across,” Clancy continued. “And conservatives are indeed conservative because if the bridge falls down, people die. Where as the liberals figure, oh, we can always build a nice memorial to them and make people forget it happened and it was our fault. They’re very good at making people forget it was their fault, all right.”

The ultimate blame for Illinois’ pension debacle and the resulting people-drain lies with the left.

And Illinois is a collapsed bridge.

Will passing the ERA make Illinoisans feel better?

John Ruberry is a fifth-generation Illinoisan, who, with a 401(k) plan, is funding his own retirement. He regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Below you will find a piece I wrote while on jury duty back in 2010.  It came to mind when I heard reports that McCain noted in his book that he regretted picking Sarah Palin as his running mate in 2008.  Palin has stated McCain has told her otherwise but I tend to believe the charge specifically for the reasons listed in this post.

4 Americans Two Campaigns Bainbridge Stewart Limbaugh Palin

In June of 1812 the United States of America declared War on Great Briton over a variety of causes not the least of which was the impressment of sailors from American merchant ships into the British Navy (which was at the time involved in a life and death struggle with Napoleon and France). Four months before war was officially declared President Madison decided that the 16 American warships’ that composed the US navy best use were as shore batteries defending harbors. Being that England had 600 ships this was seemingly a rational and logical decision.

On Election Day 2008, Barack H. Obama won the presidency winning states such as North Carolina and Virginia which Democrats had not taken in years and retaining democratic strongholds such as Massachusetts and New Jersey; while in congress Democrats made solid gains winning a large congressional majority in the house and a super-majority in the Senate.

On every major network Pundits proclaimed it the start of a new democratic Era. Books poured out about the president, T-Shirts were selling briskly, a massive crowd turned up for the inauguration, and off in England Russell T. Davies was writing a script for the final episode of David Tennant’s run as the 10th Doctor Who’s with the climatic event of the first part was to take place as the world awaited a plan by President Obama to solve the world wide economic crisis. Pundits a plenty reasoned that the era of Reagan was over. Republicans such as Chris Buckley and David Brooks talked about the power of Obama and David Frum began his Frum Forum determined to take the Republican Party away from what they considered the conservative extreme and back to the middle where it could one day triumph.

In February 1812 two American Captains in Washington on separate errands heard of the decision of the President and naval department; Captain William Bainbridge and Captain Charles Stewart went in before Naval Secretary Hamilton and made their case, they were so persuasive that he arranged a meeting with President James Madison.

Shortly after the election Rush Limbaugh, unapologetic defender of conservatism and the single most popular person on Radio declared that it was not the time to stop fighting. He maintained that the election was not a mandate against conservatism, indeed it was only the inclusion of Conservative Republican Sarah Palin that gave the campaign any energy and accounted for the only brief lead in the polls the campaign enjoyed. As Governor Sarah Palin returned to Alaska where Democrats, mindful of the energy she brought to the Republican side; unleashed a string of frivolous ethics complaints determined to neutralize her once and for all, Rush declared publicly on his radio show about President Obama: “I hope he fails”. In February he was scheduled to be the keynote and final speaker at CPAC where he would face a crowd of conservative activists at their lowest ebb of their political lives.…

In their meeting with the president Captains Stewart and Bainbridge made their case, insisting that 8 times out of 10 in an equal fight American seamanship, discipline, technical innovations and the quality of our ships would win the day:

“We may be captured and probably shall be…because their numbers are much greater than ours, But the American flag will never be dishonored, seldom, if ever, struck to equal force.”


“You’ll give us victories then, you think?”
asked President Madison.

“We do, and not upon irrational premises.” answered Stewart. Madison decided to bring the matter the very next day to the full cabinet.

On another February day 197 years later and just a few miles away from where Stewart and Bainbridge made their case Rush Limbaugh stood at the podium at CPAC to make his case. Fox News knowing Limbaugh’s popularity with their viewers and CNN knowing he was a ratings magnet both decided to cover the speech live. Limbaugh’s “First public address to the American People” was a scheduled 40 minute speech but went nearly 90 covering conservative ground, explaining why he believed the Liberal Obama agenda would be disastrous to America. The liberal media roundly condemned his speech and the White House was delighted at the opportunity to make Limbaugh the face of the Republican Party confident that the quality and charisma of Barack Obama was more than a match for him.

Two centuries earlier Bainbridge and Stewart both were getting push-back of a similar nature. The very next day a meeting of the cabinet took place and the case was made that it was useless to resist the British Navy. Not only were numbers involved but England’s maritime power had been tested in battle over and over again. Over the previous twenty years the record of British victories was long and distinguished while the number of defeats in anything resembling an equal fight could be counted on the fingers of one hand…without the thumb. Madison was persuaded again. The previous decision was upheld. The ships were to be laid up.

Three thousand miles away in a territory that in the days of the captains was a Russian Possession on July 3rd 2009 Sarah Palin called a news conference and shocked the world by announcing she was resigning as Governor of Alaska. She maintained that the constant barrage of frivolous complaints was costing the state money and time. Pundits around the country added “quitter” to their less printable pejoratives and pronounced her power and influence at an end. Rush Limbaugh didn’t think so. He believed that this freed her from the constraints of office and allowed her to advance the conservative cause nationwide. Limbaugh’s ratings had increased as his visibility as the president’s chief opponent emerged and thousands of people who had never listened to his show before tuned in to see what he had to say, but the media and pundits dismissed this saying it was good for Limbaugh’s pocketbook but meant nothing in terms of the election or in terms of the power of the Nobel winning president.

Like Limbaugh and Palin, Bainbridge and Stewart were people of action, the very evening of the decision they drew up a letter of protest that was considered so intemperate that they were asked to re-write it before it was presented to the President. They refused making their case directly to the president in terms that he could not dismiss, ignore or misunderstand.

Unlike the letter which burned in the torching of Washington two years later. Sarah Palin’s Facebook page attacking the president’s priority, the healthcare bill, is still available online but it was no less blunt decrying the government role in rationing care as “death panels”. It produced more consternation by the MSM, but she would not yield an inch. Message after message would be penned by Palin that would reach millions of readers through her Facebook page and her Book. Rush Limbaugh trumpeted her methods and her embrace of the Tea Party movement. He had her as a guest to promote her book which would sell millions of copies totally bypassing the media that held her and them to such scorn while MSM. ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and MSNBC continued to deride him as an entertainer, her as politically irrelevant and the tea party as racists.

After the Stewart/Bainbridge letter the president for the first time since his election overruled his cabinet, the ships would be allowed out for a single cruise, as an experiment to see if the Captain’s pronouncements would hold true.

On September 12, 2009 hundreds of thousands of tea party activists gathered on the mall at the Capital protesting the Obama administration. Conservative leaders spoke to the largely blue collar crowd to proclaim that they were going to take their county back. The media took note but scoffed, the numbers were astroturf and the Nobel winning president still held vast majorities in both houses. Elections were two months away in Virginia and New Jersey for Governor, a special election in New York’s 23th district saw the republican party embrace a liberal candidate named Dede Scozzafava and in January a special election would be held to replace the late Ted Kennedy who had held the seat since 1962. Let’s see what would happen THEN.

On August 19th 1812 Captain Issac Hull was cruising the North Atlantic in the Frigate U.S.S. Constitution where he encountered the frigate H.M.S. Guerriere that had been part of a fleet he had escaped from mere weeks before. Hull had sailed out of port without orders and a reprimand releaving him of command was even then on its way to Boston but within two hours he would transform that reprimand into a promotion by transforming the Guerriere into kindling at the cost of only 14 casualties in a battle that would shock the world. Two months later Jacob Jones in Brig U.S.S. Wasp would defeat the H.M.S. Frolic causing a 9-1 ratio in casualties before they would both be captured by a 74 gun British Battleship two hours later. A week later Stephen Decatur in the Frigate U.S.S. United States would defeat and capture the H.M.S. Macedonian that would shortly become the U.S.S. Macedonian

On Election Night the news astounded the nation. In Virginia Republicans had retaken the governorship previously held by the DNC Chairman Tim Kaine by a wide margin, In New York 23 Sarah Palin followed shortly by Rush Limbaugh endorsed the Conservative party Candidate Doug Hoffman over Dede Scocafava who eventually dropped out of the race a week before the election, the victory was Pyrrhic as she, despite tens of thousands of dollars of support by the NRCC, threw her support to the democrat Bob Owens who would edge Hoffman in a squeaker. In New Jersey Chris Christie would shock the political world by winning the Governorship of the state a shock that would be exceeded on January 19th 2009 when Scott Brown down 15 points according to the Boston Globe would defeat Martha Coakley in a race that would energize the entire Republican Party nationwide.

The results of these battles were explosive, Congress suddenly voted for 6 more frigates of the Constitution Class and four battleships of the line when the country had none before. Fleets were being built to contest the British on Lake Ontario, Lake Erie and Lake Champlain, privateers were fitted out in ports around the nation to raid British Commerce and England found itself forced to divert significant resources from vital areas in Europe to deal with the upstart American fleet.

The results of the election were explosive although Obamacare passed with the help of democrats such as Bart Stupak he and others such as Chris Dodd and Bill Delahunt decided that this was the year to retire. Rush continued to push for conservatism and Sarah Palin campaigned tirelessly for Republican candidates all over the country targeting 20 specific democrats for defeat and raising money to help support others. The effect was electric in states such as Massachusetts, where uncontested seats were a fact of life, suddenly found almost every race contested from 9 of the 10 congressional seats all the way down to auditor. Candidates like John Olver, Richard Neal and Barney Frank who had spent previous elections campaigning and donating to fellow democrats all over the country found themselves spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to defend seats that had never been at issue before. Nervous Democrats opened the spigots, funding 3rd party candidates to siphon off voters that might otherwise go to republican challengers. Media decried republican funding sources even as Democrats outspent their GOP counterparts, some like Jim McGovern by ratios as high as 30-1.

Likewise the American victories at sea produced outrage among the British Public After a second British Frigate the H.M.S. Java was taken by the U.S.S. Constitution (commanded by Bainbridge himself) England dispatched additional ships to blockade the American coast. British Frigates were forbidden to engage American Frigates except in pairs and fleets were built up on the lakes to keep the American bottled up and contained. One newspaper commented anyone predicting such results previously would be considered a madman or a traitor.

The Expectations game had shifted for 2010 as well. The conventional wisdom went from a 30 seat pickup for the GOP to a 40 and then from 40 to fifty and before Election Day came, some pundits were predicting as many as 75 seats for the GOP. Likewise in the senate the conventional wisdom went from small gains to larger gains to even the chance of picking up the full nine seats needed to flip the Senate. Pundits who had previously declared Rush Limbaugh a blowhard and Sarah Palin irrelevant and ineffective how were reduced to stating openly that if the candidates they supported in deep blue states such as California and Delaware failed to win, they would be considered failures no matter how many seats were won elsewhere.

The disasters were not done for the British Navy. On Lake Erie Oliver Hazard Perry took an entire British Fleet for the first time in centuries and later that same year Thomas MacDonough duplicated the feat taking a British Fleet that outgunned him heavily on Lake Champlain on September 11, 1814 stopping a British invasion force dead in its tracks. Meanwhile upwards of 500+ merchants fell to American privateers on the high seas. Smaller ship actions such as U.S.S. Enterprise vs H.M.S. Boxer, U.S.S Hornet taking H.M.S. Penguin and U.S.S. Wasp defeating H.M.S. Reindeer continued to shock the world. The British consoled themselves with the H.M.S Shannon capture of the U.S.S. Chesapeake, and two actions first where the U.S.S. Essex was taken by a pair of warships after wiping out the British Whaling industry in the Pacific and second where the U.S.S. President was captured by a fleet as it tried to run a blockade smashing the H.M.S. Endymion to near uselessness in the process.

On Election day the results were in and they were a slaughter, not since 1920 had so many seats fallen into republican hands and not since 1932 had either party managed to Capture the 63 seats that republicans did. 18 of the 20 democrats targeted by Sarah Palin were defeated and 6 Senate seats were taken by the Grand old party. In consolation Blue states such as Massachusetts and California remained blue Massachusetts after millions upon millions of dollars were spent and Union Activists given the day off by the state manned every polling place to insure that every possible democrat voted. Close calls were dodged by in districts such as ny-22 and Va-11 but only two seats La-2 and on in Hawaii formally held by republicans fell to the Democratic Party.

The British after final victory over Napoleon had initially proposed draconian peace terms on America; suddenly they were willing to talk about easier terms and after consulting with Lord Wellington. the man who humbled Napoleon at Waterloo, who bluntly told negotiators that they had no basis for any claims based upon the war record, agreed to what amounted to practically a cease-fire. This outraged London Papers until news of the Battle of New Orleans combined with a victory by Captain Stewart commanding U.S.S. Constitution on February 20th 1815 taking both H.M.S. Cyane and H.M.S. Levant in a single battle. England got the hint and never again would the British fight or provoke a war against the United States.

On November 3rd President Obama talked about learning the lessons of the election and spoke of compromise and working with the newly elected Republican house. Thursday November 4th 2010 on MSNBC’s Morning Joe Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough scoffed at Sarah Palin’s victory proclamation pointing out that candidates she backed failed to win in Delaware (held by democrats since 1973) Nevada (held by democrats since 1987 ) and California (Where a republican had not held the senate seat since the Johnson Administration) Politico derided her saying that less than half of her candidates (regardless of strength) won election, ignoring significant victories by Palin supported candidates in North Carolina, Florida and New Hampshire, all states that had voted for Barack Obama just two years before.

Even before the war was over the leadership of the United States understood who deserved credit for their good fortune at sea. On December 28th 1812 a Gala ball hosted to Honor Captain Issac Hull. The guests ate, drank and danced as the battle flag Hull took from the H.M.S Guerriere hung on the wall. At midnight a young midshipman entered the room bringing the first news of the capture of the H.M.S Macedonian by the U.S.S. United States and laid the captured flag at Dolly Madison’s feet. Secretary Hamilton called for the attention of the room and perhaps remembering his shock at the brusque words written 10 month before made an announcement to the assembled crowd: “Never forget that it is to Captains Bainbridge and Stewart that you really owe these victories”

Not all fell for MSNBC and Politico’s spin. CBS news pointed out Sarah Palin endorsed 43 house candidates of which 30 won while winning 7 of 12 Senate endorsed candidates. Senator Jim Demitt said “she’s done a lot of good for the Republican Party, and for our country.” And Rush Limbaugh, having none of the spin of the majority of the Mainstream media on the 4th said: “If anybody is an obvious winner here, aside, of course, from me, it would be Palin.”

So to conservatives who are basking in the joy of a historic question I say to you : “Never forget that it is to Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin that you really owe these victories.”

This essay owes a debt of Gratitude to Fletcher Pratt and his 1950 Volume Preble’s Boys

Without Sarah Palin you don’t get the people engaged, and the tea party movement which stopped Barack Obama, Held the GOP accountable elected Donald Trump and even today challenges the deep state doesn’t get off the ground.

That’s why so many in the GOP establishment, even when their owe their seats and chairmanships to these events, will never forgive John McCain for picking Sarah Palin and why he will never forgive himself for it, because this move continues to challenge the status quo in Washington.

Ironically this is why I believe, with the possible exception of  pushing the surge in Iraq, history will show the selection of Sarah Palin as his VP was the greatest service that John McCain did for his country

by baldilocks

One might say that Starbucks is defecating on its own market share, but I hate going for the easy poop joke. Yes, I’m lying.

Seriously, it’s sad to watch as a thriving business dies, even when it Deserves to Die.TM Even when it is committing suicide.

Monica Showalter:

The ever well meaning Starbucks chairman, Howie Schultz, more terrified of bad publicity and claims of racism than anything in the world, has just announced a rather customer-unfriendly policy of opening Starbucks bathrooms (as well as table space) to all comers, including people who won’t spring for a $4 cup of coffee.  Speaking to the Atlantic Council, according to the Washington Post, Schultz said:

“We don’t want to become a public bathroom, but we’re going to make the right decision a hundred percent of the time and give people the key,” Schultz said, “because we don’t want anyone at Starbucks to feel as if we are not giving access to you to the bathroom because you are less than.” (…)

For those of us who do buy Starbucks coffee, we know what this policy change means: an open invitation to the homeless to bring in hepatitis, trash, used syringes, solicitations for spare change, and all the other detritus of their uncured condition to Starbucks bathrooms.  The fact that Starbucks will be the only business with such a policy means that all of the homeless will concentrate in these outlets.  Rival store-owners and social service agencies will actually direct the homeless to Starbucks outlets for the free services.  Large groups will congregate, and tents will go up.

I have been guilty of using Starbucks’ free WiFi to check my email, but one usually doesn’t have to enter the business for that. Now I suspect that it will be difficult and unappealing to even get that close to any Starbucks.

But Monica thinks Schultz has a plan.

“One wonders if what Howie is really saying is that he intends to close outlets – in places where the homeless are concentrated.  Is it that? It’s already well known that a Starbucks outlet’s presence correlates with rising real estate values.  Perhaps Schultz means to concentrate that trend and will now keep his establishments in only rich areas with no social service outlets that draw the homeless.  Maybe he knows something about a coming housing bust and its effect on real estate values.

If he’s going to do that, I bet wasn’t the original plan, but the fix after the disaster. And it’s a good plan, though I doubt that Schultz conjured it.

There’s a Starbucks within walking distance in my blue/white-collar multi-ethnic LA neighborhood . But Dunkin Donuts is closer, has WiFi, coffee, tastier doughnuts than Starbucks (duh), no homeless hanging out and seems to have a smarter CEO — or at least a less white- and rich-guilt plagued one.

And, before I walk to DDs, I use the bathroom facilities in my apartment. I know the janitorial crew for that one.

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.

Hit Da Tech Guy Blog’s Tip Jar for his new not-GoDaddy host!

Or hit Juliette’s!

Two KRUSTY nuclear reactors power a settlement on Mars. From CNET.com.

Nuclear power is not doing well. The cheap fracking of natural gas and oil, while it is putting a crimp on our enemies, is also hurting the nuclear industry. Already racked with the high cost of regulation (we’re talking millions per plant), no compensation for carbon emission and a lack of public understanding about what nuclear power actually is, the nuclear industry is failing. Plants are closing around the US, and the workforce is not attracting the best and brightest. As the workforce ages and less plants are available, we have the risk that US nuclear power is going to go extinct. Except for the United States Navy and China, nuclear power seems on the way out the door.

And yet…
Continue reading “Is KRUSTY the future for nuclear engineers?”

radical feminists protested against pornography for many years until — with stealth funding from the pornography industry, including Hugh Hefner’s Playboy Foundation — there emerged in the 1980s what is now known as “pro-sex feminism,” sometimes called liberal feminism to distinguish from (the original) radical feminism. That the women’s movement was co-opted by the porn industry is a fact that Women’s Studies majors usually don’t learn until their sophomore or junior year, if they learn it at all, because this is one of the shameful secrets that the feminist cult doesn’t like to mention, and radical (anti-pornography) feminists have been marginalized within their own movement.

Robert Stacy McCain Special Snowflake™ @Belle_Knox and Make-Believe Feminist ‘Empowerment’ 2-27-14

Very shortly I will be old enough to qualify for senior citizen discounts all over the nation and I’ve been thinking about my life as I hit its seventh inning stretch when I saw this tweet (via instapundit) by Ben Shapirio

This brought to mind an old post on the Sexual revolution:

In days past a man who wanted a women was expected to be a good provider, to be able to support not only a wife but an entire family through the sweat of his brow. He was expected to call on a woman, likely with a chaperone to keep an eye on him to offer self-control and to slowly but surely win approval of both the woman and the family to some degree before advancing to the next step.

And if he advanced prematurely or attempted to attain a conquest otherwise he was subject to the disapproval of culture or a shotgun to the back to make sure he did the right thing. The right thing being marriage, and if you finally secured a wife after meeting all these requirements divorce was not considered proper or acceptable culturally.

The reason why this combination of restraints and incentives was effective is due to a simple truth that has never changed:

Men want sex and want it badly and as much as men want sex teenage boys & men want it obsessively to the point where they were willing to allow themselves to be pushed toward responsibility, hard work and respectability for the chance to get it.

Thanks however to the sexual revolution, none of this is necessary anymore.

When I was a kid you had to hide a “dirty magazine” (a friend of mine kept a stash in a trash bag in the woods near his house) today you would be hard pressed to find a boy who had not seen hard core porn online by the age of 12 and thanks to the sexual revolution girls are not only taught at a young age that virtues like modesty or chastity are not only prehistoric but a form of oppression but we have a society that actually teaches that one who critiques having sex on camera for the masturbatory pleasure of men to pay for college is worthy of contempt.

In short men all the sexual desires that once motivated men  from nudity, to sex without commitment are now available without the effort of self improvement and the idea of women and girls engaging in this conduct that provides this to men in high school, college and even before is not only considered “empowering” but the failure of a young women to do so makes one odd.

All of this has happened in the space of two generations and by a not odd coincidence in my opinion, coincides with the growth of “woman’s studies” programs in universities all over the nation.

So as I near the date of my senior citizen discount and look back at this change I have a question for all the woman’s studies programs out there and the women in them:

How has the normalization and mainstreaming of promiscuity among young women and the removing of the sexual incentive system restraining men over the last 40 years empowered women and brought them better, more fulfilling lives?

I submit and suggest that it has not.

Update: If I had emailed Ed Driscoll of Instapundit and asked him to put up a post to prove my point today I couldn’t have done better than this:

DISPATCHES FROM THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE: Male Student Accuses Female Student of Sexual Assault. She Says He Wanted Revenge.

Doe woke up, realized they had engaged in sexual activity while they were both drunk, and feared that she would file a complaint against him, as she had done to his friend. Panic-stricken, he felt he had no choice but to beat her to the punch.

How’s all that empowerment working out for ya?