Wednesday, November 25, 2015

'Raise the Flag for Old Chicago.' The Stars and Stripes, that is.

Although I didn't go there, I've always felt a fondness for the University of Chicago. My dad had season tickets to their football games back when they were still in the Big Ten. And I used to love just hanging around the campus, designed to resemble Oxford University and breathing history and erudition from every ivy-covered brick.

As the current wave of diapered fascism sweeps the campuses of the nation, Chicago is fighting back. Other schools are beginning to follow suit. And maybe in addition to being the place where the atom was first split, that ivy-covered campus in Hyde Park will turn out to be the place where the freedom of the mind and of academic discourse in America were saved.

HT: Real Clear Politics

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Yeah, we're crazy here in Iowa

The extremism of Republicans and Democrats alike here in Iowa is proverbial. The latest polls on the Republican side only confirm that reputation.

Trump and Cruz are both scary- though in different ways- and both are sure losers in November. But then, when have Iowa Republicans ever given any thought to November?

HT: Real Clear Politics

Monday, November 23, 2015

'The district believes in freedom of speech, but cannot support insensitive language'

Thus speaks a school administrator explaining disciplinary action against a cheerleader who tweeted about illegal immigrants voting.

I don't know what that statement means, either- except that there's a school administrator out there who doesn't understand the concept "freedom of speech."

HT: Drudge

Talk about 'unclear on the concept!'

The Obama administration is bombing ISIS oil tankers.

But first it's dropping leaflets in order to give the drivers 15 minutes warning!

Sporting, this may be. A way to wage war, it is not.

HT: Drudge

Friday, November 20, 2015

Planned Parenthood shoots itself in the foot on social media

Planned Parenthood did a social media campaign asking people to describe the organization in one word.

Boy, did they ever get a surprise! Maybe there's some hope for this country after all!

And btw... they still don't do mammograms!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

A second consequence of a Trump nomination: Nancy Pelosi becomes speaker again

I continue to believe quite firmly that Donald Trump will not be the Republican candidate for president. Neither will Dr. Ben Carson who, though considerably better socialized than Trump, is equally unqualified for the office and gaffe-prone to boot.

But what if one of these guys were the nominee? Here's an all too plausible scenario for the result.

The tanTrump GOP voters are throwing is doubtless very satisfying emotionally. Clearly there are one or two issues on which Trump has connected with uneducated white Republicans in a way that others have not. But he isn't a plausible president, and if he nominated there will be consequences.

Hillary will be president, having been elected by a landslide she can plausibly call a mandate and working with a Congress in which the Democrats may well have re-taken the House.

Not ready for Pope Nancy again.

Well said, Mollie

Mollie Ziegler Hemingway herein shares some tips about how to have civil and consructive conversations about the refugee issue.

These people are trying to flee ISIS. Some of them are children. On the other hand, Paris showed us something we should already have known: that terrorists exploit such opportunities to smuggle themselves and contraband into the country.

I worry about anybody on either side who is not at least a little conflicted on this issue.

Some Cubs get some hardware

National League Rookie of the Year: Kris Bryant, Chicago Cubs.

National League Manager of the Year: Joe Maddon, Chicago Cubs

National League Cy Young Award winner: Jake Arrieta, Chicago Cubs.

We won't get MVP, but three out of four isn't bad.

Ladies and gentlemen, I think the Blackhawks are back

Monday, November 16, 2015

Sunday, November 15, 2015

'Politihacks:' Jonah Goldberg and those partisan 'non-partisan fact checkers'

Give me a break, Ann

I grieve for Ann Coulter's rapidly diminising credibility.

Her response to the Paris tragedy: "Donald Trump was elected president tonight."

Sorry, Ann. Even if you're right about the impact the Paris debacle will have on the American electorate, Donald Trump still faces one insurmountabe obstacle to the White House: he's Donald Trump.

The American people are not such irredeemable fools as to elect an egomaniacal demagogue with no understanding of the issues just because he's tough on immigration. And if they do, they deserve the result, because having someone as ill-informed and unstable as Donald Trump in the Oval Office would be a greater threat to all of us than ISIS is.

Bears 37, Rams 13

Bears tight end Zack Miller had caught four TD passes in his previous career. He's caught three in the past week.

Jay Cutler continues his impression of Brett Favre at the peak of his career, and Jeremy Langford continues to make it clear why Matt Forte, of all people, is expendabe.

The Bears destroyed the Rams today in St. Louis, 37-13.


Friday, November 13, 2015

Just one thing to say tonight.

And yeah, I know the colors are backwards But the sentiment stands.

'What do we want?' 'Free stuff!' 'Who's gonna give it to us?' 'The government!' 'Who's going to pay for it?' 'The One Percent!' "What can't we do? 'Basic arithmetic!'

Right now, we're running a catastrophic 18 trillion dollar deficit. If all of Bernie Sanders' proposals were implimented, they would cost another 18 trillion.

How to pay for it? Easy Soak the rich. Make that demonic "One Percent" step up to the plate and pay its "fare share!"

Except that the top 50% of all taxpayers currently pay 97.2% of all Federal income taxes; the top one percent pay 38.1%, and the bottom 90% pay 29.7%. Which is as it should be. The principle of a graduated income tax has behind it the reasonable idea that the burden of paying for the work of the Federal government should lay most heavily upon the shoulders of those best able to bear that burden. But on the other hand, when one percent of the population pays 38.1% of the taxes, it's hard to make the case that they're not carrying much more than ther weight!

Sorry, Mike Huckabee and all you Flat Tax advocates, but it's a matter of simple fairness.

But what happens when you point those statistics out to a "progressive?" Invariably he or she will simply refuse to accept them, and will consider that an adequate response to them. Like the ostrich sticking its head in the sand, they seem to think that if they deny reality it will obligingly go away. Except, of course, that the world doesn't work that way. Unless you're a Christian Scientist (or a Democrat), it's patent that reality doesn't care very much one way or the other about whether one acknowledges it.

Reality says that the Left's numbers when it comes to soaking the rich almost never add up. And it also says that somebody will still have to pay for all those goodies. Therein lies the problem. As Margarent Thatcher pointed out, the problem with looking to the government to provide for every aspect of your life is that "sooner or later you run out of other people's money!"

The response of the woman in the video below upon being confronted with the economic facts of life is fairly typical of the response of "progressives" generally to having their wholly imaginary "reality" challeged by mere facts.

Mrs. Thatcher was right. Eventually you do run out of other people's money, and it is simply not true that the resources of the "one percent" are either infinite or sufficient to pay for all the goodies the Left keeps thinking they can be made to pay for.

And another thing: when tax rates reach a certain level for the rich, it will no longer make sense to become rich. What, after all, is the practical difference between having one cookie and having ten if having ten means that nine of them are going to be taken away from you? And if the percentage of the cookies you are allowed to keep keeps dropping the more cookies you have, there comes a point at which you gain nothing by baking any more.

Among the probems this creates is that you no longer have people to take cookies from to give to the cookie-deprived. Everybody goes hungry.

But what does that matter? Those greedy SOB's don't have more cookies than we do anymore!

A word of warning: watching this video will be painful. As Herman Cain points out, as ridiculous and foolish as this young woman's position is, nobody should be embarassed this way, especially on national TV.

But on the other hand, at some point somebody has to break it to the "progressives" that in the real world all those goodies have to be paid for- and the One Percent can't even begin to pay for them.

And neither can the rest of us.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Heroes, living and dead

In the United States, today is Veterans' Day. On it we remember specifically American veterans who are living.

In one way, this is strange. In Canada and throughout the British Commonwealth, and in other nations friendly to us, it is "Remembrance Day" which is observed on November 11. It functions in  the same way that Memorial Day functions for us. It commemorates the truce which effectively ended the First World War at "the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month" of 1918, and is the day on which the heroic dead are honored.

When I was growing up, Veterans' Day was still Armistice Day in the United States- also calling to mind the ending of World War I, but mainly by honoring living veterans of the World Wars and Korea. Why the difference in name and emphasis from the observance on the same day in the Commonweslth and elsewhere?  Because our equivalent of Remembrance Day- Memorial Day, celebrated in May- is much older. It was begun at the conclusion of the American Civil War as "Decoration Day," on which the war dead were honored by decorating their graves. What, then, to do with the day on which the "War to End All Wars" ended? The solution: a day to honor living veterans, to go alongside the day on which we already honored the fallen.

This has always led to a great deal of confusion in the States. On the day on which the countries with which we have the most in common are honoring specifically their dead heroes, we are honoring our living ones. Here, it is on a day reserved for thanking the living, if at all, that people wear poppies in their lapels.  I remember having to memorize John McCrae's "In Flanders Field" in second or third grade, and reciting it in chorus with my classmates at a special assembly on a day supposedly about honoring living veterans.

It shouldn't be surprising that even in the States the difference between Veterans' Day (formerly Armistice Day) and Memorial Day (formerly Decoration Day) confuses a great many people The distinction between the two observances can be seen in this chart:

Ok. Got that?

Well, from the time I myself first comprehended the distinction, I have to admit that it has bothered me a little. Nobody, in my experience, is as strict about limiting the honor we give to the heroic dead to the dead on Memorial Day as a living American veteran! Yet while the difference between living heroes and dead ones is, at one level, rather obvious, that very difference carries within it similarities. We honor the dead in May for having actually made a sacrifice which we honor the living in November (even as our closest allies are honoring specifically their dead) for having been willing to make. There is an element of commonality which, without abolishing or even equivocating about the difference, lies at the heart of both observances.

It is summed up in a song being sung today all over the British Commonwealth in memory of the dead. The singing of that song is a hallowed tradition of Remembrance Day. But here in America, it might be sung equally well on either Veterans' Day or on Memorial Day. "I Vow to Thee, My Country," after all, bespeaks a vow which our living heroes made and kept (at least to the degree it was asked of them) just as our dead heroes did.

Ir ia not, after all, a song about death. Not really. In fact its beautiful tune, by Gustuv Holst, was used by Prince William and Princess Katherine as their wedding march. Those of us who use the Lutheran Service Book will recognize that tune as the one to which the words of Hymn 941, "We Praise You and Acknowedge You," are set.

Most who have worn our country's uniform have lived rather than died. Most, if the truth be told, served in peacetime, when death in combat was no immediate possibility. But I think it's good that we celebrate our more general holiday honoring veterans on the same day our cousins north of the border and "across the pond" and our friends throughout the world celebrate an observance far more similar to the one we ourselves celebrate in May. It reminds us that living veterans, too, were willing to die for us. It is that for which we honor them.

On December 12, in Philadelphia, a college football game will be played which is a kind of institution in the United States. It will be between the United States Military Acadamy at West Point and the United States Naval Acadamy at Annapolis. A meme I saw on Facebook today observed that the Army-Navy game may be the only sporting event in the world in which every player on the field is willing to die for every fan in the stands. While the students at the Air Force Academy and the Coast Guard Acadamy might take umbrage at that meme, it still should give us something to think about.

So as my personal "thank you" to those who kept their lives as well as those who have lost them over the years in the service of my own freedom, I've decided to do something unusual: to offer a "Remembrance Day" song from the UK as a tribute to living American veterans. Its words, after all, might well be thought of as springing metaphorically their voices, too. It bespeaks a vow which they, too, have made and kept.from the metaphoriacal voices of all alike. It speaks of a vow which living and dead alike have both made and kept.

May it inspire in our own hearts the same sentiment, even if we are not asked to make the same sacrices they made or take the same risks they took on our behalf.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Bears 22, San Diego Chargers 19

Once again, my Bears bumbled, fumbled- and dramatically won late in the fourth quarter tonight. In the process Jay Cutler both threw a pick-six, and set an all-time franchise record for TD passes!

This in a game in which Robby Gould missed two field goal attempts- which just doesn't happen.

Heroes: Cutler, wideout Alson Jeffery and substitute running back Jeremy Langford, who made my fantasy team look very good indeed this week.

Who knows? Maybe we can curdle the Cheeseheads on Thanksgiving after all. That lone would make the season.

In any event, BEAR DOWN!