What the National Pamphleteers don’t Report:
Behind Bars Again
by Willis Eschenbach,
February 24, 2013
I’ve written about my time in the US Army, and about spending time behind bars getting out of the Army, in my story called It’s Not About Me. In that story, I discussed a bit of my view on the Vietnam war, the view echoed by many who have studied it since—that it was the wrong war, in the wrong place, at the wrong time. My experience was that the Vietnam war damaged every single person it touched, on both sides of the Pacific, and more than anyone it damaged some of the veterans who’d actually done the fighting. I know, I spent months in the nuthouse assisting the physically crippled and the memory damaged, my friends were the shell-shocked refuse of the carnage. It’s not my wish to refight the war or what I did regarding the war, just to tell my story about it, so please, let’s not turn this into a referendum on some imaginary “right” response to the Vietnam War—there weren’t any of those, just levels of wrong responses, plus pain and suffering enough for all.
Christina Dorothea Dyer Greene, and looking at that lovely old granny, you’d never guess she’d once put a voodoo death curse on a man … another story I should tell sometime.
A couple years after I got out of the nuthouse and the Army, I went to live with the Captain’s Daughter, my beloved grandmother we called “My-mummie” whom I’ve written about before. It was a [….]
It’s Not About Me
by Willis Eschenbach,
February 28, 2013
One response to Christopher Booker graciously mentioning my work in the Telegraph is the predictable increase in the usual personal attacks on me, as opposed to attacking my ideas and claims. People are rehashing Tim Lambert calling me a liar because he disagreed with my methods, as though that meant something about me rather than simply revealing something about Tim. They point out that I am an amateur scientist (as though that were other than a badge of honor). I’m told that I’m out of my depth. I am constantly assured that I am not qualified to offer a scientific opinion on climate, because of my lack of academic qualifications (BA in Psychology), and because of the shortness of my scientific publications list. The supply of reasons given to try to convince people to ignore my work is seemingly endless. To hear people tell it, I’m not fit to kiss the boots of a true scientist.
My point is that none of that matters. Either my scientific claims are correct, or they are not. It’s not about me. Period. End of story.
When I was younger, for decades I was a Zen Buddhist. There is an important saying that Zen is not the moon, it is just the finger pointing at the moon. Complaints, arguments, and discussions about the finger miss the point – the subject of importance, the subject worthy of discussion, is the moon.
That’s the ultimate [….]
Old Bill Rises from the Dead
by Willis Eschenbach,
March 1, 2013
I’ve written about a South Pacific reprobate I called “Old Bill” before in my tale called Modern Piracy. He was a con man of the highest order. As a friend remarked, most con men tell a story so good you believe it without question. Bill’s problem was that he told a story so artfully that even he believed it without question. I’d thought I was done with him after that, but nothing works like that in the islands.
Most good South Pacific stories start in some Yacht Club bar, and this was no exception. Back in the 1980s, I’d just finished up a two-country, four-week consulting job for the Peace Corps that had taken me to various adventures, first in PNG and then in Tonga. So I stopped off in Fiji to [….]
Morning Gold and Silver Report
by Geoffrey Varner
March 1, 2013
Gold bugs and novices alike are looking at the recent five month decline in the Gold price, wondering if the historic decade-long bull run is finally over. While there is no crystal ball to read the future, we can look at factors contributing to the more than 10 years of bullish prices. Some of these factors, such as central bank monetary policy, currency fluctuations, asset relocation and geopolitical unrest have been mostly constant in how they affect the demand for gold.
She goes on to say that the [….]
Gilded Class Warriors
Liberal grandees attack the rich while enjoying their lifestyle.
by Victor Davis Hanson,
February 21, 2013
In his first term, president obama was criticized fror trash-talking the 1-percenters while enjoying the aristocracy of Marth’s Vineyard and the nation’s most exclusive golf courses. Obama never quite squared his accusations that “millionaires and billionaires” had not paid their fair share with his own obvious enjoyment of the perks of “corporate jet owners,” “fat cat bankers,” and Las Vegas junketeers.
Now, that paradox has continued right off the bat in the second term. In the State of the Union, Obama once more went after “the few” and “the wealthiest and the most powerful,” whom he blasted as the “well-off and the well-connected” and the “billionaires with high-powered accountants.”
Like clockwork, the president then [….]
Shepards and Sheep
by Dr Thomas Sowell,
February 26, 2013
John Stuart Mill’s classic essay “On Liberty” gives reasons why some people should not be taking over other people’s decisions about their own lives. But Professor Cass Sunstein of Harvard has given reasons to the contrary. He cites research showing “that people make a lot of mistakes, and that those mistakes can prove extremely damaging.”
Professor Sunstein is undoubtedly correct that “people make a lot of mistakes.” Most of us can look back over our own lives and see many mistakes, including some that were very damaging.
What Cass Sunstein does not tell us is what sort of creatures, other than people, are going to override our mistaken decisions for us. That is the key flaw in the theory and agenda of the left.
Implicit in the wide range of efforts on the left to get government to take over more of our decisions for us is the assumption that there is some superior class of people who are either wiser or nobler than the rest of us.
Yes, we all make mistakes. But do governments not make bigger and more catastrophic mistakes?
Think about the First World War, from which [….]
John Kerry Invents Country of Kyrzakhstan
by Jonathon Earle,
February 25, 2013
In an embarrassing slip of the tongue, Mr Kerry last week praised US diplomats working to secure “democratic institutions” in the Central Asian country, which does not exist.
The newly minted diplomat was referring to Kyrgyzstan, a poor, landlocked nation of 5.5 million, which he appeared to confuse with its resource-rich neighbour to the north, Kazakhstan.
The State Department kindly omitted the error in the official transcript of Wednesday’s speech, which Mr Kerry delivered on the eve of his first foreign trip as secretary of state.
Mr Kerry’s flub was all the more awkward, because [….]
Strike Down Section 5
The Voting Rights Act is a victim of it’s own success
by Hans A. von Spakovsky
February 27, 2013
Representative John Lewis certainly deserves the nation’s thanks for the fight he led during the civil-rights movement. But his latest commentary in the Washington Post, about the Shelby County case and the Voting Rights Act, shows that he is living in the past. The South has changed since he marched from Selma to Montgomery nearly 50 years ago.
Even the article’s headline is deceptive: “Why we still need the Voting Rights Act.” The entire VRA is not at issue in the Shelby case. The justices will be hearing arguments on Wednesday about the continued constitutionality of Section 5 only.
Section 5 was an emergency provision that was supposed to terminate after five years and that covered only certain jurisdictions (nine states and parts of seven others). Covered jurisdictions such as Shelby County, Ala., are basically in federal receivership — they cannot [….]
States of Conservatism
Beyond the Beltway, the right is thriving
by John Hood,
February 25, 2013
Inauguration Day 2013 was a moment of jubilation for conservatives. After four years of lackluster economic growth and a series of personal and policy mistakes, the incumbent chief executive, a history-making Democrat, was replaced by a conservative with an attractive policy agenda and a skillful campaign team. In a concise, hopeful inaugural address, the newly elected Republican leader of the executive branch promised to focus the administration’s attention and resources on job creation and economic growth in the short run, while setting the stage for long-term solutions to the government’s fiscal woes.
I’m describing the inauguration of Pat McCrory, North Carolina’s first Republican governor in 20 years. His election to replace retiring one-term Democrat Bev Perdue, the state’s first female governor, was one of the few bright spots for the GOP last November, so McCrory got more national attention than the incoming governor of the nation’s tenth-largest state would normally have received.
In general, however, Republican success in [….]
The Big o Goes for the Big Zero Again
by John Ransom,
February 28, 2013
As the president resumes his “It’s-not-my-fault” presidency-cum-campaign, I’d like to point out to everyone that it’s been 1,401 days since the Democrat-Controlled Senate passed a budget.
I say this because when the Mayan financial calendar runs out on the country this Friday, we’ll be awash in illegal immigrants, downed airliners, out-of-work teachers, Russian missile strikes, Chinese hackers and Aryan Nation terrorists.
And, oh, come on now: We all know that the only real terrorists the White House is worried about are the white supremacists at places like the Family Research Council.
There’s nothing so dangerous to America today as an organization that advances “faith, family and freedom in public policy and the culture from a Christian worldview.”
Except, perhaps, [….]
Fire: The Overlooked Threat
by Scott Stewart,
February 28, 2013
People sometimes obsess over the potential threat posed by terrorist attacks that use things such as chemical weapons, electromagnetic pulses or dirty bombs. Yet they tend to discount the less exciting but very real threat posed by fire, even though fire kills thousands of people every year. The World Health Organization estimates that 195,000 people die each year from fire, while according to the Global Terrorism Database an average of 7,258 people die annually from terrorism, and that includes deaths in conflict zones such as Afghanistan and Iraq.
There are also instances in which fire is used as a weapon in a terrorist attack. U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and embassy communications officer Sean Smith, the two diplomats killed in the attack on the U.S. office in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012, did not die from gunfire or even rocket-propelled grenade strikes but from smoke inhalation. This fact was not lost on the U.S. Department of State Accountability Review Board that investigated the Benghazi attack. In an interview published by [….]
Sheriff Debunks Gun Magazine ‘fallacies’ in Viral Video
by Billy Hallowell,
A video featuring Sheriff Ken Campbell of Boone County, Ind., is capturing the attention of gun enthusiasts who have consistently argued that capping magazine sizes will do very little to save American lives. In a 14-minute instructional and debunk clip, Campbell narrates why a ban on high-capacity magazine sizes is ineffective, showcasing — through examples — the idea’s purported deficiencies. In an interview with TheBlaze, he explained the video’s purpose and detailed his views on the current gun control debate.
When asked whether capping magazine sizes would saves lives, Campbell was forthright in sharing his views with TheBlaze.
“I think it’s a great fallacy to believe that it would,” he said candidly. “You’ve got a standard capacity versus a 10 round. From a citizen standpoint…all we’re doing is making it more difficult for [people] to defend themselves against bad guys.”
The sheriff also took aim at recent comments uttered by Vice President Joe Biden. While Campbell said he respects the politician, Biden’s statements about shotguns were simply silly, [….]
Rotten to the Core:
obama’s War on Acedemic Standards (Part 1)
Rotten to the Core (Part 2):
Readin,’ Writin’ and Destructionism
Rotten to the Core, Part III:
Lessons from Texas and the Growing Grassroots Revolt
by Michelle Malkin,
March 1, 2013
Texas is a right-minded red state, where patriotism is still a virtue and political correctness is out of vogue. So how on earth have left-wing educators in public classrooms been allowed to instruct Lone Star students to dress in Islamic garb, call the 9/11 jihadists “freedom fighters” and treat the Boston Tea Party participants as “terrorists”?
Here’s the dirty little secret: Despite the best efforts of vigilant parents, teachers and administrators committed to academic excellence, progressive activists reign supreme in government schools.
That’s because curriculum is king. The liberal monopoly on the modern textbook/curricular market remains unchallenged after a half-century. He who controls the textbooks, teaching guides and tests controls the academic agenda.
That is how the propagandistic outfitting of students in Islamic garb came to pass in the unlikely setting of the conservative Lumberton, Texas, school district. As Fox News reporter Todd Starnes noted this week, a 32-year veteran of the high school led a world [….]
Part 2 MAY follow….