Spot the “Maverick” Paul, Lee (but NOT Gabbard)

Over the last week the MSM has developed a great affection for a pair of Republican “Mavericks” Rand Paul (R-KY) & Mike Lee (R-UT).

Both had serious objections and had a very different opinion of the White House briefing on Iran than other senators and those differences of opinion were highlighted & Lionized by the MSM. Mike Lee in particular was highlighted on MSNBC , CNN, NBC News & CBS.

As you might guess the MSM loved it because nothing is more popular than a republican who is willing to publicly hit a republican, particularly if it’s Donald Trump.

Paul’s or Lee’s moves which incidentally are both consistent with their previous positions. Those positions are coincidentally shared by their position on the President’s recent decisions on Iran. However a month ago there was another act of a Maverick that took place, one even more significant than either.

Tulsi Gabbard a Democrat candidate for President, when the vote for impeachment came up, voted “Present” on both articles of impeachment, in defiance of both the house but of the base if the party that she is seeking the nominate.

However you might have noticed that while there were several different words used to describe her, the one which was not employed was “Maverick”.

That’s because during the time of John McCain the word “Maverick” was always given a positive connotation because any person who took the side of the Democrats on a key issue, must be lionized across the press. In fact during the presidential campaign that language was used to describe Lindsey Graham, until of course he started supporting Donald Trump.

However a Democrat refusing to support impeachment, the single cause most dear to the left/media, is, as far as the media is concerned, beyond the pale, and a Democrat candidate for president doing so is even worse and Maverick is now identified as a complement of honor.

To put it simply because of her vote on Impeachment, Tulsi Gabbard couldn’t get herself described as a Maverick by the MSM if she came into congress wearing black broadcloth and wielding a deck of cards

Hello Iran: When people stop believing government lies they stop believing in the government

Latvian Popular Front Leader Mavricks Vulfsons. Signs read “Freedom” and “1940–Year of Stalinist Occupation Regime”

By John Ruberry

Regular readers of my posts here and at Marathon Pundit know that my wife, Mrs. Marathon Pundit, was born in the Soviet Union–in the Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic. She emigrated to the United States in 1991.

Mrs. Marathon Pundit was lied to regularly–just as citizens of the Islamic Republic of Iran have been fed untruths since 1979.

As with other members of her generation, Mrs. MP believed the lies pumped out by the government, and that includes the schools, whoppers such as Soviet citizens enjoyed an advanced standard of living, even though Mrs. Marathon Pundit grew up in a farmhouse with no running water that was heated by birch logs. And Latvia was considered better off than most other Soviet Republics. She believed the falsehood that Latvia, along with Estonia and Lithuania, asked to join the USSR in 1940. The reality is that as a result of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact the Baltic States were occupied by the Red Army and promptly annexed; the leaders of Latvia and Estonia were exiled to remote corners of the Soviet Union. The fate of Estonian president Konstantin Päts was particularly sad, as he was tortured in psychiatric hospitals because of his “persistent claiming of being the president of Estonia.”

Mrs. Marathon Pundit’s parents knew better of course. They also knew it was best to keep quiet. They knew repercussions awaited those who talked about the wrong things. The silent survive. And while it was impossible to cover up the deportations to Siberia of the Joseph Stalin era, the extent of it was known only to a few.

There were big lies and little lies. Here’s one of the latter. Before swimming in one of the few public pools in Latvia, Mrs. Marathon Pundit and other bathers were warned that if they chose to urinate in the water, or if there was an accidental leak, the urine would be immediately turn red and the pee menace would be promptly identified and of course punished. Eventually–I don’t know how–she discovered the clear truth on urinating in swimming pools.

Then there were the omissions. My wife didn’t learn until I told her that the Red Army–two weeks after the Nazis invaded Poland in 1939–seized eastern Poland. The same goes with the Soviet invasion of Finland later that year.

The “Throne of Lies” in the USSR began to collapse after the Chernobyl disaster in 1986. Ordinary Soviet citizens eventually learned that the state-controlled media reported on the severity of the catastrophe only after western governments noticed the spike in radioactivity in their lands. “The nuclear meltdown at Chernobyl 20 years ago this month,” Mikhail Gorbachev wrote in 2006, “even more than my launch of perestroika, was perhaps the real cause of the collapse of the Soviet Union five years later.”

Those being lied to didn’t believe the lies any more.

A few years earlier the end of the junta era of Argentina came after the government had to admit their rosy reports on the Falklands War with Great Britain were wrong. It was the UK that was winning nearly every battle.

Now protests are breaking out across Iran after the mullahs were forced to admit that the crash of Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752, which took place on Wednesday shortly after Iran fired missiles at US troops in Iraq, was caused by a missile fired by the Iranian military, after first denying it. And there was a lie within the lie as the Iranians claimed that the passenger jet veered over a sensitive military area.

“They are lying that our enemy is America, our enemy is right here,” is one the chants heard in Tehran.

The people of Iran–or at least some of them–don’t believe the lies anymore.

Kimia Alizadeh, Iran’s only female Olympic medalist, defected last week. Yes, she did win a bronze in taekwando, that’s not a lie, but her state-created image was a sham. “Whatever they said, I wore,” Alizadeh wrote. “Every sentence they ordered, I repeated.”

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

The Ultimate Iranian Irony

There seems to be a lot of outrage over Iran’s admission that they accidentally shot down a Ukrainian airliner full of Iranians, Ukranians and Canadians during their “attack” on our bases.

The outrage seems to be coming from all over the world from Canada to Ukraine to within Iran itself to the point where, much to the shock of Michael Moore, they are even defacing posters of a certain late Iranian general.

I’ll readily concede that people have a reason to be outraged. A lot of innocent people were killed, and this accident might have been preventable if Iran had grounded flights during their attack, or informed those manning batteries that the plane was going up, or had better trained their battery peole etc etc etc and the fact that this was an accident doesn’t make the people involved any less dead.

But the irony of the situation really hits me.

Since the Islamic Revolution Iran has been the #1 or #2 exporter of terror in the world (behind the soviets for a while) there are literally thousands if not tens or perhaps even hundreds of thousands of people who are dead because of the action of the Iranian Mullahs and their proxies, not to mention the millions who have suffered because of it. Their actions have deliberate, methodical and calculated but most importantly Iran’s actions have been an open secret known worldwide from Krakow to Khartoum.

Despite this knowledge the world had to be dragged kicking and screaming to get even weak sanctions applied to them to Iran. Diplomats were happy to look the other way as Iran did what it did.

Forty years of deliberate murder and the world didn’t bat an eye, but now Iran finds itself isolated not because of all those decades killing people on purpose, but for the one batch of people whose deaths they didn’t intend.

The world is a very strange place.

Protests in Iran & Trump’s Response Hitting Democrat Narratives Hard

This is Incredible

And then there’s this

Michael Moore would be horrified by this but even more by this:

here is the translation:

To the brave and suffering Iranian people: I have stood with you since the beginning of my presidency and my government will continue to stand with you. We are following your protests closely. Your courage is inspiring.

Two reasons why this is important.

Lefties constantly call Donald Trump a dictator, however the only thing that people protesting against him risk is an invite on CNN or the other MSM outlets, particularly if you are republican, and the only thing a celeb risks by protesting Donald Trump is having too many job offers.

By contrast every single one of those Iranians protesting is risking their life

That’s what living under an “actual” dictator is like vs defining yourself as doing so.

2nd Point.

I’d like to remind everyone that early during Barack Obama’s presidency there were large scale protests against the regime. He could have sent a tweet like Donald Trump did.

He didn’t Barack Obama didn’t say a word, didn’t lift a finger instead he let the regime crush the protests and later sent them cash by the pallet.

Why you might think that he was not anti-war but just on the other side or something?

Closing thought. Let the record show that Pam Geller saw this and was willing to say this 10 years before anyone else dared.

Preserving freedom of reviews

There is a lot of debate on controlling free speech on the internet, specifically when that speech is hateful or controversial, and not surprisingly when it relates to a Presidential election. But free speech is also under assault when it comes to business, specifically bad business. The internet is increasingly where we research, conduct and review business, and when that business isn’t good, our bad reviews can carry significant weight. In the past, if a business wronged you, unless you were willing to file a lawsuit, the most you could do was tell your friends not to go there. The internet, and specifically reviews left on Google, Yelp, the BBB, and other websites, has changed that.

Because reviews have a lot of power, they can do a decent job changing behavior. This summer I hired a contractor to level out a low area of our property and cut up a bunch of trees. He came out, leveled the area, and finished about half of the tree work. Because he had another pressing job, and because I was not rushed on the trees, I said he could come back the next week to finish the job, and I paid him in full. Big mistake. I came back from a short underway five weeks later and the job still wasn’t done.

After trying to get him to respond via email and phone, I left a sharp, 1 star review on Yelp. I got a call the next day, we setup a time to finish the project, and I changed the review to 4 stars once the job was complete. Lesson learned: reviews are a good tool, and never pay in full for uncompleted work.

I just solved another dispute that took 2 months. I made a reservation for military travel, but a week before I had to change due to a change in our mission. I called the hotel to cancel, and was told they would give me a credit, as in, I could come back and visit them in the future. I asked for them to reimburse the government credit card instead, because I didn’t know when I would travel there. The gentleman on the phone said he would try.

Three weeks later, and no reimbursement. Calling them again, they said they would try. No change. I called the government credit card company, who called them asking for a refund. Still nothing. I paid the bill (government cards are linked to your personal credit, so you owe regardless) and filed a dispute with the card company. Still nothing.

Online it is then! First a 1-star review on Google. Then Yelp. Then filing a grievance with the BBB. After they ignored the BBB, the BBB rating plummeted from A+ to C-. Yay for me, but I was still out 100 dollars. Then, last night, an email appeared from the manager, apologizing for the issue and refunding my money. I’ll write him back tonight and update the reviews.

This is how reviews should be: opening a dialog to solve a customer grievance. It forces business to improve customer support, and if they ignore it, it warns others to avoid them at all cost. Amazon understands this, and the review system on Amazon is one of the huge drivers behind its now almost ubiquitous use in America. This free speech is under assault by businesses seeking to squelch reviews, in most cases with lawsuits. As there is an awful lot of trolls and others that leave negative reviews for no good reason, this is understandable.

I would offer a different take. Negative reviews are an opportunity for good customer service. They give business a chance to evaluate themselves against an exterior standard. Any reader of Peter Drucker knows that business must use external standards to evaluate their performance, and a negative review, even if unjustified in the business’s eyes, is that external standard. Rather than trying to squelch it via the justice system (something that will become increasingly harder with current legislation), businesses should relish the opportunity to turn an angry customer into a happy one.

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

Mr Prager’s Faulty premise

Today in my spare time every thing that I was about to tweet out (except for lame elephant jokes) are going to be posts instead

Just saw this from Prager U on twitter

I took the time to watch the video as all Prager U videos are generally worthwhile. Its argument that people don’t want to confront evil because it’s too painful to see is pretty good as is the comparison between the Iran Deal with the Munich Pact.

That being said it has a fatal flaw. I have to disagree with the premise of the That the Iran deal was one of the worst deals in history. This makes an assumption, and a rather ironic one.

It assumes that the weakening of the west, the empowering of Iran was contrary to the goal of Barack Obama and those who made this deal.

I submit and suggest that this assumption by Mr. Prager is due to the same blindness that he describes at the start of this video because I further submit and suggest that to Barack Obama and his team all of the consequences of the Iran deal Mr. Prager describes were features, not bug

Closing thought If you told me I would be writing that sentence about a US president 10 years ago I wouldn’t have believed you.

Boy George: Voice of Reality

It’s very difficult to predict things, particularly the future

Boy George, the lead singer of the eighties band Culture Club, is being accused of transphobia following tweets blasting those who adopt personal pronouns. “Leave your pronoun’s [sic] at the door!” he tweeted.

George’s tweet was met with outrage by many, and Boy George responded to some of the criticism.

“Do you not know what the **** pronouns are?” asked one user, to which Boy George replied, “A modern form of attention-seeking?”

If you told the me on the 80’s that Boy George would be the voice of reason in the 21st century I would have laughed till I had a rupture

Unremembered Gratitude, Gatez Misdemeanor, Occam on Iran, Manslaughter vs Murder Williamson goes under the fedora

There is a running gag in the TV show Maverick when both Brett or Bart Maverick after a long trip in a stagecoach or horse or whatever invariability when they get to a hotel they want a tub and hot water. As soon as it’s drawn invariability whatever lady they are paired with whether it is Connie Stevens or Kathleen Crowley appropriate the full bath from this which angers them to no end as a bathtub of water costs a dollar (the equivalent of $21.18 today) for it since someone has to haul the water, heat it and then haul it again to the tub one bucket at a time.

While California is doing it’s best to return their state to a land where a hot bath or shower is a luxury that most people can’t afford, which has been the norm the rest of us can be grateful that we live in an age and a land where such comfort is so common that it never occurs to be grateful for it.


Rep Matt Gaetz is getting a ton of flack for his vote with the Democrats on their Iran resolution in the house.

I can’t see the point of it, this resolution was symbolic, has no chance of becoming law and was about as meaningless as any that Pelosi has pushed.

After all we don’t throw Rand Paul or Mike Lee off the bus because their principles on foreign policy are different, perhaps Gaetz believes that on principle congress should not cede this power to the executive as a rule.

When he abandons the President or the Pro-life movement on something that actually matters I’ll worry but for now I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. After all people have the right to be wrong.


Had a bit of a twitter debate with a fellow who was insisting that we shouldn’t trust the US government info on the downing of that Ukranianian jet.

While there is nothing wrong with doubt Occam’s razor suggests that this was all about some panicked at the thought that Donald Trump would follow through almost at once, a perfectly reasonable explanation made more reasonable by Iran’s ducking and dodging on the investigation. Particularly with Iran doing all it can to obscure the site.

I’m wondering if those who are seeing a conspiracy here think that the pickets who shot Stonewall Jackson were actually Union spies under deep cover, after all they had the most to gain by removing him before Gettysburg…


One more thing about the jet business. I object to the use of “Murder” in describing what happened. Manslaughter or involuntary homicide would be more accurate. I suspect if the gunners knew it was a passenger jet they would not have shot it down, but given the situation it was irresponsible for Iran to let the jet go up.

Of course if you subscribe to the idea that Iran tipped us off and knew we weren’t hitting back because of it the command might have assumed they gave the battery folks a heads up. Very bad idea if so.


Finally Marianne Williamson has dropped out of the presidential race. A lot of people laughed at her but I am very relieved that she is gone.

In my opinion she was one of two candidates who had an actual chance against President Trump, not a great chance, but a chance.

You might ask why, and once all the candidates I think have a shot are gone I might give it, but until then I’ll just be satisfied that the President’s chances have improved considerably.

SABLE/GERBL All Time League Leaders

As you might remember I’m currently running two Pursue the Pennant online leagues. The former is about half way done, the later about a quarter of the way into their 154 game season.

Here are the Current Leaders all time great team league as of Wednesday

  • Batting
  • AL Dimaggio NYY .380 Goslin Wash .353 Powell Balt .337
  • NL Jones NYM .366 Hodges Bkyn .358 Hornsby Cubs .358
  • On Base
  • AL Dimaggio NYY .447 Powell Balt .443 Williams Bos .443
  • NL Hodges Bkyn .459 Jones NYM .452, Robinson Bkyn .440
  • Slugging
  • AL DiMaggio NYY .700 Simmons Phil .650 Powell Bal .620
  • NL Hornsby Cubs .687 Mays SF .629 Hodges .618
  • On Base+ Slugging
  • AL DiMaggio NYY 1.148 Powell Bal 1.063 Williams Bos 1.039
  • NL Hornsby Cubs 1.123 Hodges Bkyn 1.077 Wilson Cubs 1.006
  • Runs
  • AL Dimaggio NYY 86 Selkirk NYY 70 Keller NYY 69
  • NL Mays SF 82 Robinson Bkyn 78 Cuyler Cubs 76
  • Hits
  • AL DiMaggio NYY Simmons Phil 128 Goslin Wash 113
  • NL Hornsby Cubs 120 Hodges Bkyn 111 Wilson Cubs 107
  • Doubles
  • AL Greenberg Det 39 Simmons Phil Judge Wash 26
  • NL Grimm Cubs 26 Hodges Bkyn Marion StL McMillian Cubs 25
  • Triples
  • AL Rice Wash 16 Matthews Wash Miller Phil 11
  • NL Hopp Stl 14 Burton Mil Amoros Bkyn Slaughter StL Cuyler Cubs 8
  • Home Runs
  • AL Powell Bal DiMaggio NYY 25 Simmons Phil 22
  • NL Mays SF 28 Hornsby Cubs 27 Aaron Mil 26
  • RBI
  • AL DiMaggio NYY 91 Doerr Bos 84 Greenberg Det Simmons Phil 81
  • NL Hornsby Cubs 95 Wilson Cubs 82 Mays SF 81
  • Stolen Bases
  • AL Rice Wash 9 Campaneris Oak 6 Belanger Balt North Oak Fisher Wash 4
  • NL Wills LA 39 Cuyler Cubs 33 Mays SF 8
  • Walks
  • AL Williams Bos 82 Bishop Phil 75 Selkirk NYY White Det 72
  • NL Robinson Bkyn 64 Hodges Bkyn 55 Matthews Mil Snider Bkyn 54

Pitching

  • ERA
  • AL McNally Bal 2.95 Blue Oak 3.00 Gomez NYY 3.06
  • NL Cooper StL 1.87 Seaver NYM 2.23 Conley Mil 2.31
  • Wins
  • AL Hunter Oak 12 Blue Oak McNally Balt Grove Phil 11
  • NL Drysdale LAD 12 Spahn Mil 11 Seaver NYM Newcombe Bkyn 10
  • Losses
  • Zachary Wash 11 Blue Moon Odom Oak 10 Rowe Det Fischer Det Walberg Phil 9
  • Johnson Pit 12 Osteen LAD Malone Cubs 11
  • Saves
  • AL Klinger Bos 16 Fingers Oak 12 Mossi Cle 10
  • NL McMahon Mil 13 Miller SF 11 Gusti Pit 10
  • Blown Saves
  • AL Narleski Cle 5 Richert Balt Shores Phil 4
  • NL McMahon Mil 6 McGraw Mets 5 Bolin SF Roebuck Bkyn Jonnard Cubs 4
  • Innings Pitched
  • AL Wynn Cle 143 Ruffing NYY 142.1 Blue Oak 141
  • NL Drysdale LAD 146.1 Seaver Mets 145 Cooper Stl 134.2
  • Strikeouts
  • AL Grove Phil 108 Earnshaw Phil 104 Johnson 103
  • NL Koufax LAD 171 Seaver NYM 120 Koosman NYM 114
  • K per 9 inn
  • AL Earnshaw Phil 7.87 Grove 7.01 Johnson Wash 6.92
  • NL Koufax LAD 11.57 Koosman NYM 7.81 Podres Bkyn 7.62
  • Walks per 9 inn
  • AL Hughson Bos 1.40 Hardin Bal 1.42 McNally Bal 2.57
  • NL Newcombe Bkyn 1.31 Burdette Mil 1.45 Koufax LAD 1.49
  • Batting Avg against
  • AL Blue Oak .195 Feller Cle .213 Hunter Oak .215
  • NL Seaver NYM .174 Cooper StL .187 Conley Mil .203
  • WHIP
  • AL Hughson Bos 1.08 McNally Bal 1.13 Hunter Oak Feller Cle 1.17
  • NL Seaver NYM 0.90 Koufax LAD 0.94 Cooper NL 0.97
  • HR per 9 Inn
  • Earnshaw Phil Lemon Cle 0.45 Gomez NYY 0.48
  • Conley Mil 0.29 Pierce SF 0.47 Spahn Mil 0.48