Header Image (book)

aowheader.3.2.gif

Monday, July 22, 2019

Recommended Reading

See The Democrat Party Has Become A Mortal Enemy of The People of The U.S., and Of The Nation As Founded from "The Morning Report 7-17-19" at Ace of Spades (hat tip to Infidel Bloggers Alliance for the title used in this blog post).

Salient excerpt:
...The Democrat Party has gone from being merely a political enemy and morphed into a mortal enemy not just of the GOP and conservatives, but of the nation as founded, its distinct culture, traditions, heritage and its people. The spectacle over the last few days that we have had to endure, which is solely and wholly at the feet of the Democrat-Media Complex, will go down as a low point in our history, naturally depending upon who gets to write that history. For me, almost as repulsive as having to listen to the effluent coming from the flapping castanets of the Febrile Four Females of "The Squad" aka "The Aristocrats!" are the fools, stooges and confederates of the anti-Trump persuasion who cast equal if not more blame on this President and by extension the majority of the American people.

President Trump has rightly called them out in the plainest of terms for who and what they are and what they have said, vis a vis the bald-faced lies about or immigration and detention policies and more generally the nation and its citizens....The attitude and meaning of the phrase "America, love it or leave it" is unambiguous, and the only crime in Trump saying what amounts to that sentiment is that for far too long it has gone unsaid....
Read the rest HERE.

Related reading: When Democrats Threatened To Deport A Top Trump Aide, Media Yawned.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Musical Interlude

Perfect easy-listening music for this Summer 2019 Heat Wave in the Northeast:


About this piece:
Percy Faith recorded the most popular version of the tune, which spent an at-the-time record of nine consecutive weeks at number one on the still-young Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in early 1960.

It remains the longest-running number-one instrumental in the history of the chart. It reached number two in the UK. It hit number one in Italy under the title "Scandalo Al Sole".

Faith won a Grammy Award for Record of the Year in 1961 for his recording. This was the first movie theme and the first instrumental to win a Record of the Year Grammy.

Faith re-recorded the song twice first, in 1969, as a female choral version, then, in 1976, as a disco version titled "Summer Place 76".

In 2008, Faith's original version was ranked at number eighteen on Billboard's top 100 songs during the first fifty years of the Hot 100 chart.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Fifty Years Ago: Apollo 11

(For politics, please scroll down)

[source]

What we today in the 21st Century commemorate with a yawn was not taken for granted in 1969.

From The speech Richard Nixon would have given ‘in event of moon disaster’: The White House prepared remarks in case the Apollo 11 astronauts couldn’t return to Earth (Washington Post, July 12, 2019):
To: H. R. Haldeman
From: Bill Safire
July 18, 1969

IN EVENT OF MOON DISASTER:

Fate has ordained that the men who went to the moon to explore in peace will stay on the moon to rest in peace.

These brave men, Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin, know that there is no hope for their recovery. But they also know that there is hope for mankind in their sacrifice.

These two men are laying down their lives in mankind's most noble goal: the search for truth and understanding.

They will be mourned by their families and friends; they will be mourned by their nation; they will be mourned by the people of the world; they will be mourned by a Mother Earth that dared send two of her sons into the unknown.

In their exploration, they stirred the people of the world to lead as one; in their sacrifice, they bind more tightly the brotherhood of man.

In ancient days, men looked at stars and saw their heroes in the constellations. In modern times, we do much the same, but our heroes are epic men of flesh and blood.

Others will follow, and surely find their way home. Man's search will not be denied. But these men were the first, and they will remain the foremost in our hearts.

For every human being who looks up at the moon in the nights to come will know that there is some corner of another world that is forever mankind.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Asylum Abuse


Silverfiddle Rant!

What we have on the border is--to use a military term--a sh*tshow. Another military term that starts with "cluster" is the more apt term, but this is a family blog.

Our government clearly lacks the resources to handle such a surge of humanity. Our laws and lack of enforcement encourage abuse of our generosity and hospitality.

Regardless of your position, this article provides a good summary of the situation

Trump immigration change would all but end asylum requests for Central American migrants
The proposal "will decrease forum shopping by economic migrants and those who seek to exploit our asylum system to obtain entry to the United States," Attorney General William Barr said in a statement.
When people leave Central America and cross Mexico to violate our borders, that is exactly what they are doing: Forum shopping. By definition, true refugees or asylees fleeing a bad situation in their home country have found refuge when they get to another country.

Read stories about people coming here from other continents. Many go through five to 15 nations to get to the US. That is a gross abuse, and such people should be turned away at the border, and if found here in the US, forcibly deported to the last country they were in before crossing illegally into the US.

President Trump is also reversing Obama decrees granting asylum to victims of domestic abuse and gang violence. We have both of those here in the US. Just ask the Central American families on Long Island how the whole "escaping gang violence" is working out. MS-13 doesn't recruit white kids. They prey on children from Central America.

Election 2020 will be a referendum on illegal immigration

Do we want border enforcement and sensible immigration policy that includes swift rejection and deportation of abusers?

Or do we want what Democrats offer, which includes abolishing ICE, decriminalizing illegal entry into the US, free health care for illegal immigrants, and a stop to all ICE enforcement, including carrying out deportation orders issued by federal judges to deport criminal aliens?

Monday, July 15, 2019

Ilhan Omar: Lying Social Justice Warrior

Ilhan Omar

Not the first such lying social justice warrior, of course.

From Ilhan Omar Admits Lying to High School Students: Omar told a fake story to illustrate 'American racism, cruelty and injustice' (dated July 8, 2019):
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) admitted to flubbing the facts of an anecdote she told a large group of students to illustrate the "racism, cruelty, and injustice" she's seen in America since being accepted as a refugee more than two decades ago.

The freshman representative told 400 high school students she was sent to a Minneapolis courtroom where she witnessed a "sweet, old … African American lady" who spent the weekend in jail for stealing a $2 loaf of bread to feed her "starving 5-year-old granddaughter," according to the Washington Post. Omar says she screamed "Bullshit!" in the court room after the woman was fined $80 for the crime.

"I couldn’t control my emotions," Omar told the crowd, "because I couldn’t understand how a roomful of educated adults could do something so unjust."

The Post had several pieces of evidence indicating Omar was not entirely truthful about this experience.

"Omar’s story echoed the plot of ‘Les Miserables.' If true, it is also probably embellished," wrote Greg Jaffe and Souad Mekhennet, the author's of the Post‘s article.

"City officials said that police aren’t allowed to arrest people for shoplifting unless there’s a likelihood of violence or further crime. Typically, shoplifters are sentenced to attend a three-hour class."

Asked about the story, Omar admitted "she may have flubbed some facts," Jaffe and Mekhennet wrote.

"She might have had a prior [arrest]," Omar told the Post. "I’m not sure…The details might not have all matched, but that’s what I remember."

Omar has also been dinged recently by the Post and others for "botched basic facts" during her attempts to "go viral."

"Recently, she told a group of veterans that about 45 percent of military families rely on food stamps," Jaffe and Mekhennet wrote. "She was trying to make the point that Republicans didn’t care for the troops. The actual number is less than 5 percent, according to Pentagon statistics."
One of the problems of such lies is that the retractions thereof do not reach the audience lied to.

Tucker Carlson on Ilhan Omar's hatred of America:


Additional reading: Ilhan Omar's Twitter feed.

And the beat goes on....

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Musical Interlude

(For politics, please scroll down)

Enjoy "Ur" from The Forest by David Byrne (hat tip to Warren, who introduced me to this modern work):


Listen to all the movements of The Forest HERE.

About The Forrest:

Friday, July 12, 2019

Nancy Pelosi: Obstructing Justice

See Pelosi Advises Illegal Immigrants on How to Avoid ICE (hat tip to Z for this link).

Important to note....Those subject to these particular ICE "raids" already been processed, then ordered deported:
The raids are expected to target recently arrived migrant families who have already received final orders of removal from an immigration judge.
Here is more of the related reality:

Monday, July 8, 2019

The Harvest Of Zinnism

Seriously delusional (hat tip to Infidel Bloggers Alliance):



AOC is also a liar: Ocasio-Cortez’s ‘Drinking Out of Toilets’ Claim Drastically Falls Apart.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Independence Day 2019

(For politics related to current events, please scroll down)

What is there about America to love? The two selections below offer many reasons:





Happy birthday, America!


Tuesday, July 2, 2019

The Slide Into Rigging Our Elections


Reading for the above graphic: Roberts Helps Dems Rig Elections: The Supreme Court temporarily blocked Trump's citizenship question on the 2020 census. First paragraph:
With the amount of information the U.S. Census gathers every decade, it seems logical that one of the questions asked would be simply, “Are you a citizen of the United States?” Yet the very idea of asking this simple “yes” or “no” question outraged the Left — which is in a headlong rush to offer free stuff to anyone who arrives. And leftists found a judge and a Supreme Court willing to stop the Trump administration from adding this longstanding question back into the 2020 census.
Read the rest HERE.

This wrong-headed SCOTUS decision came just a few days before America's 243rd birthday. Our Founders must be writhing in their graves.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Personal Update

(For politics, please scroll down)

Overwhelmed here on the home front!

So, why have I been nearly AWOL from the blogosphere?

Short list, in no particular order:

1) Obtaining my Real ID Driver's License.  What a nightmare, one that has turned me into a rabid libertarian!  The DMV rejected my original birth certificate of registration — never mind that the certificate is signed and sealed by the state of Virginia. My certificate of marriage was also rejected because it was signed by clergy, never mind that he was acting on behalf of the court. Each of these rejected documents was good enough when I got my driver's license in 1967 and effected the name change in 1972 after I married. But not now! Hours upon hours waiting at the DMV before I got to the service window, the clerk of which obtained official copies of the needed documents through Virginia-government web sites; this immediate option was available only because I was born in Virginia and was married in Virginia.  All in all, this little experience cost me nearly $100. Last Friday, we headed out to the DMV again — that time, for Mr. AOW to get his Real ID. Fortunately, the process for him took only an hour: handicapped priority.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Musical Interlude

(For politics, please scroll down)

Two examples of the wonderful music of film composer Elmer Bernstein:





Of note: Elmer Bernstein (1922-2004) studied under Aaron Copland, the influence of whom can be heard in the above two selections.

Monday, June 24, 2019

The New Ethos

Devolution and inversionism rule the day:


What's next?  The determination that pedophilia and bestiality are just fine and dandy?  "If it feels good, do it" is the new moral standard. 

Any objections to the new ethos make one a bigot.  Sit down, and shut up!



Related reading: Three High School Girls File Discrimination Complaint Over Dominating Transgender Athletes (dated June 19, 2019).  These three girls refused to sit down and shut up.  Good for them!

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Musical Interlude

(For politics, please scroll down)

Enjoy the selections and images from the mostly-Bach compilation Classical Music for Relaxation:


The selections on the above video:

Friday, June 21, 2019

FEATURED QUESTION: Iran


What option(s) do you favor as the course to take in reaction to Iran's recent attack upon and shooting down one of our drones?

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Jeremiah was a Bullfrog


Silverfiddle Rant!
Western governments have seemed to be biased towards Christianity and Judeo-Christian culture, because that is where we came from! Regardless of an individual's religion, the Bible shaped and built Western Christendom.

Any system built by man has logical inconsistencies that spawn hypocrisies, and on the other end, abuses by those attempting to carry out every last jot and tittle of the letter of the law.

Given all that, Judeo-Christian praxis, even with its excesses and deficiencies, has built the most powerful and most advanced civilization humankind has ever seen. Our broad-based system of rights for all is not perfect, but where else is it better?

Despite Christianity's persecutors and inquisitors, the fundamental tenets of the Bible are essential for a salubrious and prosperous society.

That is why government appears to endorse or favor Christianity. Anti-Christians continue to scream about this, and my answer has always been the same: if you can build a secular system of morality with similar foundational bedrock principles, I am all for it as a national ethos.

But didn't the founders give us that already?

How often do public officials invoke our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? Never. Like the founders, they wisely use broad euphemisms like the creator, or divine providence. That is the respect religious people pay to those who are not into that.

Outside of the early colonies, nobody has been forced to go to church here. We had a good set up. Religious people could live their lives, and the irreligious could as well. People were always free in this nation to practice their perversions, and the tribute vice paid to virtue was hypocrisy. People practicing perversions didn't do it in the public square; they respected community standards for the most part. They went off to their dens of iniquity, which town fathers and churchmen knew existed, and no doubt a number of them visited, but this unspoken social compact made for a healthy society.

What we have now is creeping neo-paganism, and it will not end well.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Outspoken Valedictorian

Not the proper venue, perhaps.  Apparently, however, frustration overcame etiquette, and Nataly Buhr decided to tell it like it is. Furthermore, what she decided to do is one way to hold a school somewhat accountable for what amounts to malpractice of education — a horror which, in large part because of tenure, has infiltrated all school systems, even the best of them. I myself have seen this malpractice of education over the years, but in the past four years or so, it seems to have accelerated, even in Honors and Advanced Placement courses.

Blurb for the video below:
Gradation is supposed to be one of the happiest nights for students, instead a South Bay valedictorian took to the podium to call out a teacher and other staff in her commencement address that has since gone viral.
San Diego valedictorian graduation speech:


From Valedictorian delivers scorched-earth graduation speech (New York Post, June 13, 2019):
A California valedictorian delivered a scorched-earth graduation speech in which she thanked her guidance counselor for having “absolutely no role in my achievements” and a teacher who was “regularly intoxicated during class.”

Sardonic senior Nataly Buhr didn’t mince words in her speech to San Ysidro High School’s class of 2019 last Thursday, according to video posted [above].

She started by thanking, in earnest, her “hard-working” parents before launching into a tongue-in-cheek tirade. {She also commended some excellent teachers by name]

“To my counselor, thanks for teaching me to fend for myself. You were always unavailable to my parents and I, despite appointments,” Buhr deadpanned while dressed in a white cap and gown. “Only in these past few weeks, with the awards ceremonies and graduation coming up, did you begin making your appearance.”

She added, “And might I note, you expressed to me the joy in knowing that one of your students was valedictorian when you had absolutely no role in my achievements.”

The plucky teen also gave a shoutout to the “staff in the main office” for teaching her to be “resourceful.”

“Your negligence to inform me of several scholarships until the day before they were due potentially caused me to miss out on thousands of dollars,” she said.

Buhr drew thunderous applause from her fellow seniors when she brazenly called out “the teacher who was regularly intoxicated during class this year.”

[...]

Unsurprisingly, school officials were not pleased with the stunt....
Read the rest HERE.

What Nataly Buhr did will have no impact, of course. It's like screaming into the abyss. Our public education system is rotten to the core.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Musical Interlude

(For politics, please scroll down)

Enjoy this Renaissance Dance Music, which reminds me of the wonderful music I've heard at various Renaissance fairs and could well be used in the classroom teaching of Shakespeare's works:


The pieces included in the video above:

Thursday, June 13, 2019

The June Force-Feeding

Celebrate LGBTQ Pride Month — or else! (graphic from The Patriot Post):


We've gone from Gay Pride Day to LGBTQ Pride Month. Sheesh. This is why, IMO...
LGBTQ Bigotry: Tyranny Masquerading as Tolerance.  A bit long, but important if we are to answer those who are promoting tyranny disguised as tolerance.

Meanwhile, we have this...Johns Hopkins Research: No Evidence People Are Born Gay or Transgender.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Recommended Reading

See 'Scorched Earth': Mueller's Targets Speak Out by Paul Sperry at RealClear Investigations.

The last two paragraphs therefrom:
Ex-Trump campaign official Michael Caputo, who went public earlier, complaining he had to remortgage his house after having to hire expensive Washington lawyers, wants Mueller and his team investigated for “prosecutorial abuses.” “Ruining lives was blood sport for them,” he said.

[Journalist Art] Moore agreed: “You look at the lives ruined — Corsi, Michael Flynn and others. That alone is enough to warrant a special investigation.”
Read the rest HERE.

Look. I understand that a lot of people don't like Donald Trump.  Disliking, even hating, any given President is an American tradition. But resorting to the methods as described in the RealClear Investigations essay cited above? 

Such measures are Kafka-esque. Orwellian.

Some say the methods of an attempted coup.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Musical Interlude

(For politics, please scroll down)

Enjoy Walk to Paradise by English composer Frederick Delius (1862-1934):


About the above piece:

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

75 Years Ago On The Beaches Of Normandy

Honor The Greatest Generation....

The assault phase of Operation Overlord was known as Operation Neptune.  Operation Neptune began on D-Day (6 June 1944) and ended on 30 June 1944.

Reading for today, from The Last Longest Day by Richard Fernandez:
...It was an all-out throw of the dice. A maximum effort. There was no plan B if it didn't work. Had it failed, Eisenhower would have said: "Our landings have failed and I have withdrawn the troops. My decision to attack at this time and place was based on the best information available. The troops, the air and the Navy did all that bravery could do. If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt it is mine alone." The consequences of defeat would have been incalculable....

[...]

...It is for the current generation to decide whether to build a new dark age of universal surveillance or one of expanding freedom. It is for the present to decide whether to succumb to new cults or keep the flame. The men of the Longest Day have done their job. Only the living can still make history. The past has already made it.
Read the rest HERE.  Worth your time.

The American military cemetery in Normandy, 2003

Claude and Kenneth, two of my cousins, served on the beaches of Normany during Operation Overlord — one cousin in the US Army and one in the US Navy. They were 19 and 21 years old. Miraculously, they both came home physically whole. But psychologically, Claude and Kenneth were forever changed and never again slept through a night without nightmares. Both of my cousins died young, one at the age of 39 and the other at the age of 44.

Monday, June 3, 2019

Planet of the Apps


Silverfiddle Rant!

“I think big data is so powerful that nation states will fight over how much data matters.” He added: “He who has the data can do the analytics and the algorithms at the scale that we talked about will provide huge nation state benefits, in terms of global companies and benefits for their citizens, and so on.” (Eric Schmidt, Google CEO)

WhatsApp--owned by Facebook--is a free app that allows you to have private networks and exchange text, voice, video, pictures, and even make free international phone calls. Yes, Free. The data Facebook gleans from users must be worth billions...

Turn off tracking on your cell phone?  You just turned off the information that is fed back to you.  The technology is still tracking you.  Every non-cash purchase is tracked, catalogued and fed into Big Data.

Are machines conditioning us?

You automatically respond to your phone's noises and vibrations, taking your attention away from a good book, TV, movie, children, social activity, or engaged conversation.

When seeking help, we take instruction from chatbots and computerized voices driven by programmed algorithms.

Two quotes from The Atlantic's How AI Will Rewire Us:
Parents, watching their children bark rude commands at digital assistants such as Alexa or Siri, have begun to worry that this rudeness will leach into the way kids treat people, or that kids’ relationships with artificially intelligent machines will interfere with, or even preempt, human relationships. Children who grow up relating to AI in lieu of people might not acquire “the equipment for empathic connection,” Sherry Turkle, the MIT expert on technology and society, told The Atlantic’s Alexis C. Madrigal
If AI is creating socially-stunted human beings who cannot create empathetic relationships with others, another worry pops up:  Are humans forming emotional bonds with AI?
As digital assistants become ubiquitous, we are becoming accustomed to talking to them as though they were sentient; writing in these pages last year, Judith Shulevitz described how some of us are starting to treat them as confidants, or even as friends and therapists.
Will computerized technology become like eyeglasses or a prosthetic we cannot do without?  We now have a whole generation of motorists who have never had to drive across their city or state without the aid of computerized navigation. Average intelligence is declining across the developed world.

Could humans become so hooked on technology that we would be literally helpless without it?

Is there a darker agenda?

Links:
Evan Horowitz: IQ Rates are Dropping
Daily Mail - Are We Becoming More Stupid?

Saturday, June 1, 2019

A Half Century Ago...

(For politics, please scroll down.  Active political thread below)


Moi — in my college ID photo.


Those were the days, huh?


I still can't believe that I kept my college ID card.  But I did.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Summing Up — Thus Far

A follow-on to Silverfiddle's blog post Howls of the DC Damned:


Then, again, we have what Robert Mueller said yesterday, May 29, 2018, in his statement, which has again ramped up calls for impeachment:
... [I]f we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so....
Full statement HERE, which some interpret as goading Congress to act and which some interpret as muddying the waters for the 2020 General Election.

Additional reading: Bob Mueller Runs and Hides in Eight Minutes to Avoid Having to Answer One Key Question by Roger L. Simon:
...When did you know there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia?

If the answer, as many, including Andrew C. McCarthy [See THIS], are indicating, is somewhere in Fall 2017, what in the Sam Hill was Mueller doing putting the country through two years of prolonged agony? It's not likely he did all this to prop up CNN's faltering ratings.

Was it, just by chance, to induce obstruction from one Donald J. Trump who -- like a relatively normal person but with a shorter fuse than most, justifiable in this case -- would react like a stuck pig to being falsely charged for so long? That would have been essentially entrapment....


Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Howls of the DC Damned


Silverfiddle Rant!

When dirty democrats and deep state conspirators accuse others of doing something, you can be sure they are doing it themselves...

All excerpts are from the AP Article, Trump moves to escalate investigation of intel agencies.


"House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff accused Trump and Barr of trying to “conspire to weaponize law enforcement and classified information against their political enemies.”"
Hmmm... That's exactly what Obama's political hacks running the alphabet agencies did to President Trump...

An "Obama Admin senior intelligence official" (a sneakweasel, hiding behind a cloak of anonymity because dirty dealers fear sunlight) offered this up:
"... said their principle concern is that the attorney general, hand-picked by Trump, could declassify and release selective bits to make the previous administration and former senior officials look bad."
How rich.  You mean like Russian disinformation about golden shower prostitutes?  Or unmasking the incoming National Security Advisor and then leaking details to the press that lets the whole world know our intel agencies listen in on all phone calls?  You mean like that?  Like the Obama gang did?

And what president does not "hand-pick" his cabinet members, including the Attorney General?  The Press is wracked with a deep, rotting sickness.

 The Establishment damns Atty General Barr as a partisan abuser of his office...
"Thursday’s move further solidifies Barr’s position in Trump’s eyes as a legal warrior fighting on his behalf."
"Trump has told close confidants that he “finally” had “my attorney general,”
Well, at least the President didn't call the Attorney General his "wingman."

They have also damned Barr and the Trump administration for ***Sacrebleu et Quelle Horreur!!!!*** "framing the issue" when releasing the Mueller Report. Unprecedented! No one in DC has ever done that before!

The psychological projection is stunning, and the conspirators are actively engaged in PsyOps, propagandizing the American people and billowing smokescreens to preemptively discredit the DOJ and their findings, which will most likely embarrass and incriminate various high level Obama officials who now infest CNN, MSNBC and any other Infotainment Media Outlets that pay them to perform.

Stay Tuned. This is going to be a nail-biter all the way to the end. 

Saturday, May 25, 2019

For Memorial Day 2019

[With thanks to Warren, who called my attention to the cited essay below]

[about "Flags In" at Arlington National Cemetery]

Some appropriate reading for Memorial Day and worth pondering....

From Sacred Duty: A Soldier’s Tour at Arlington National Cemetery by Tom Cotton, published in Hillsdale College's Imprimis (April/May, 2019):
Every headstone at Arlington tells a story. These are tales of heroes, I thought, as I placed the toe of my combat boot against the white marble. I pulled a miniature American flag out of my assault pack and pushed it three inches into the ground at my heel. I stepped aside to inspect it, making sure it met the standard that we had briefed to our troops: “vertical and perpendicular to the headstone.” Satisfied, I moved to the next headstone to keep up with my soldiers. Having started this row, I had to complete it. One soldier per row was the rule; otherwise, different boot sizes might disrupt the perfect symmetry of the headstones and flags. I planted flag after flag, as did the soldiers on the rows around me.

Bending over to plant the flags brought me eye-level with the lettering on those marble stones. The stories continued with each one. Distinguished Service Cross. Silver Star. Bronze Star. Purple Heart. America’s wars marched by. Iraq. Afghanistan. Vietnam. Korea. World War II. World War I. Some soldiers died in very old age; others were teenagers. Crosses, Stars of David, Crescents and Stars. Every religion, every race, every age, every region of America is represented in these fields of stone.

I came upon the gravesite of a Medal of Honor recipient. I paused, came to attention, and saluted. The Medal of Honor is the nation’s highest decoration for battlefield valor. By military custom, all soldiers salute Medal of Honor recipients irrespective of their rank, in life and in death. We had reminded our soldiers of this courtesy; hundreds of grave sites would receive salutes that afternoon. I planted this hero’s flag and kept moving.

On some headstones sat a small memento: a rank or unit patch, a military coin, a seashell, sometimes just a penny or a rock. Each was a sign that someone—maybe family or friends, or perhaps a battle buddy who lived because of his friend’s ultimate sacrifice—had visited, honored, and mourned. For those of us who had been downrange, the sight was equally comforting and jarring—a sign that we would be remembered in death, but also a reminder of just how close some of us had come to resting here ourselves. We left those mementos undisturbed.

After a while, my hand began to hurt from pushing on the pointed, gold tips of the flags. There had been no rain that week, so the ground was hard. I asked my soldiers how they were moving so fast and seemingly pain-free. They asked if I was using a bottle cap, and I said no. Several shook their heads in disbelief; forgetting a bottle cap was apparently a mistake on par with forgetting one’s rifle or night-vision goggles on patrol in Iraq. Those kinds of little tricks and techniques were not briefed in the day’s written orders, but rather got passed down from seasoned soldiers. These details often make the difference between mission success or failure in the Army, whether in combat or stateside. After some good-natured ribbing at my expense, a young private squared me away with a spare cap.

We finished up our last section and got word over the radio to go place flags in the Columbarium, where open-air buildings contain thousands of urns. Walking down Arlington’s leafy avenues, we passed Section 60, where soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan were laid to rest if their families chose Arlington as their eternal home. Unlike in the sections we had just completed, several visitors and mourners were present. Some had settled in for a while on blankets or lawn chairs. Others walked among the headstones. Even from a respectful distance, we could see the sense of loss and grief on their faces.

Once we finished in the Columbarium, “mission complete” came over the radio and we began the long walk up Arlington’s hills and back to Fort Myer. In just a few hours, we had placed a flag at every grave site in this sacred ground, more than two hundred thousand of them. From President John F. Kennedy to the Unknown Soldiers to the youngest privates from our oldest wars, every hero of Arlington had a few moments that day with a soldier who, in this simple act of remembrance, delivered a powerful message to the dead and the living alike: you are not forgotten.

*****************************************************************************

The Thursday before Memorial Day at Arlington National Cemetery is known as “Flags In.” The soldiers who place the flags belong to the 3rd United States Infantry Regiment, better known as The Old Guard. My turn at Flags In came in 2007, when I served with The Old Guard between my tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Old Guard is literally the old guard, the oldest active-duty infantry regiment in the Army, dating back to 1784, three years older even than our Constitution....

[...]

No one summed up better what The Old Guard of Arlington means for our nation than Sergeant Major of the Army Dan Dailey. He shared a story with me about taking a foreign military leader through Arlington to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Sergeant Major Dailey said, “I was explaining what The Old Guard does and he was looking out the window at all those headstones. After a long pause, still looking at the headstones, he said, ‘Now I know why your soldiers fight so hard. You take better care of your dead than we do our living.’”
Read the entire essay HERE.

Memorial Day is not really about store sales and cookouts. 

Rather, Memorial Day is a solemn commemoration of our fallen military across the centuries. 

Pause, remember, reflect.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

What Is Ramadan?

(Much of this blog post was previously published in 2011 and 2015)

Ramadan 2019 began at sunset on May 6 and continues for 30 days until June 5.

What does Ramadan really celebrate, particularly Eid ul-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan?

If one understands the history of Islam and, especially, that of Ramadan, one will come to understand that such a commemoration, including iftar dinners at the White House, should be unacceptable to all those who oppose Islamic supremacism.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Fake Everything


Silverfiddle Rant!

Robocalls are a menace, and Caller ID spoofing is a sinister twist on this black art.  Remember the National No Call List?  It's a joke, brought to you by the same government apparatchiks who claim they can solve climate change if we just give them enough money.



Paul Starr rants about robocalls in his American Prospect article, The Robocall Deluge Is a Case of Government Failure.

And it's not just robocalls...
The robocall deluge is just one manifestation of a phenomenon I call “media degradation.” It goes along with spam email, spam text messages, fake news, deepfake videos, and much else.

Add to this a total loss of on-line privacy and "harmful content" in social media.  Mark Zuckerberg joins Paul Starr in calling for more government intervention.

I share their concerns, but not their calls for more Big Government.

Here's how I rank their concerns, #1 being the biggest:

1. On-line Privacy.  Government needs to pass a law. Now.  Stating no one may sell, buy, share or otherwise traffic my personal information without my explicit written consent.

2. On-Line Free Speech.  I want government to bust the on-line trusts.  Global corporations own the digital public square, so social media must be converted into a public utility that guarantees access for all who do not break the law. The Twitter Stasi banned the pro-life movie Unplanned's twitter account, un-banned it, and then erased all its followers.  King Twit Jack Dorsey needs to be dragged from his imperial palace by his hipster beard and publicly caned for all of the censorship he has engaged in.

3. Fake News. I do not want government intervening.  The situation is bad enough as it is.  The Infotainment News Media is going to have to police itself and clean up its act if it wants to up its approval rating, which is now lower than President Trump's.

4. Deepfake Videos. This is a biggie given how reliant as we are on video evidence and the unreflective credulity we invest in it. It's bad enough what the porn stuff can do to a person's reputation.  Think about deepfakes of "leaked conversations, etc" of world leaders, or deepfaked atrocities designed to propagandize us into one more rage mob or worse, another war.  What consoles me is the empirical fact that technology solutions solve technology problems.  Context, forensic examination, non-video corroborating evidence or lack thereof, etc will snuff most deepfakes, if the resulting hysteria doesn't get out of control first.

5.  Robocalls, Caller ID Spoofing, Spam E-Mails, Spam Texts.  These annoy me, but I don't see the need for government intervention, although I would like to see the tech industry try harder at deploying customizable apps to help us snuff this didgicrap.

6. On-line Trollery.  The Hill is rife with spam comments and obvious trolls, some flying false flags just to provoke. I would like to see some heuristic technology developed to eradicate such infestations.

7.  "Harmful Content" in social media.  If it doesn't break the law, Stop. Banning. It. I support some common sense community standards, but the Silicon Valley Archipelago has gone way overboard.  Turn them all into public utilities and regulate them as such.

What say you?

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Friday, May 17, 2019

Education Today? (With Addendum)

In what world is this appropriate for a second grade teacher to do?


And why is the teacher still employed at the school?

Addendum below the fold:

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

"We are a Good People"


Silverfiddle Rant!
Rabbi Dov Fischer speaks for his people, and for America, in the wake of yet another hate crime hoax and calls for slavery reparations...

Yes, we are informed by the Shoah, as we are by the destruction of the Holy Temple that someday will be rebuilt in Messianic times on its promontory on Mount Moriah, as we are by the expulsions, Inquisitions, blood libels, pogroms, Communist terrors, and other persecutions that have visited us. That makes us vigilant. But we do not build a culture on thatI wish so much for others in other cultures to understand that no culture can be built in 2019 America on a slavery that ended in 1865 by virtue of 300,000 White men giving up their lives to end it.

Vestiges of our racist past remain.  Yahoogle "Sandtown Baltimore" for one example. We have stubborn pockets of racists, some noisy, some violent, and some quiet and sneaky.  We always will, but our polite society that snickers at blasphemy and vulgarity does not tolerate bigotry. 

Dov Fischer again, from the same linked article:
We are a good people. We do not lynch Blacks or others. Rather, we had Loretta Lynch. Outside of New York, we smile at people we do not know as we walk down the street. When we cross a street, we wave to the driver who waits to make a right turn. We make friendly small talk at the grocery cash register, even a guy with a yarmulke when paying a woman with a hijab. We are a good people. And we deserve better than the despicable Big Lie that this country is riven on racial, gender, religious, or ethnic lines.
Very few of us had a perfect upbringing, and our family histories tell of struggle, oppression and every variety of unfairness life hands out.  Nursing grudges and grievances while believing people owe you something is a path to unhappiness and failure.

The best message you can give people is to encourage them overcome: Let go of the past. Do the right thing, work hard, delay gratification, get an education. Success--hard-won and self-earned--is the best response to the bigots and the haters.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Recommended Reading

See Democrat Contenders' Laughable, Massive Giveaways by Erik Rush.  Excerpt:
...Among the mind-bogglingly unaffordable proposals being floated are reparations for blacks for slavery. On April 8, Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., introduced a bill that would study the concept of reparations for descendants of slaves. Booker said that the bill is “a way of addressing head-on the persistence of racism, white supremacy and implicit racial bias in our country.”

The persistence of racism, white supremacy and implicit racial bias in America is an utter fiction (unless one takes into account the uncomfy bed progressives have made for blacks), but blacks and rank-and-file liberals have been convinced that these are endemic to our nation.

[...]

...T]here are definitely enough propagandized blacks and foolish whites among us to make this a reality given the right (or wrong) combination of a Democratic president and Democrat-controlled Congress.
Read Mr. Rush's entire essay HERE. He discusses much more than race.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

For Mother's Day 2019

(For politics, please scroll down)

Four generations in January, 1978:

L to R: my beloved second cousin, whom I regard as my daughter (b. 1967); me at age 25; my mother (1916-1987); and, Wawa, my maternal grandmother (1898-1981).

The above photo was taken here in the living room of this old house, built circa 1935.

I miss you, Mom and Wawa.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Comment Of The Day

A few days ago, commenter Baysider posted the following insightful comment to Silverfiddle's May 2, 2019 post "Seattle Is Dying" here at Always On Watch:

I live in such a town - Soviet Monica. Crime (and vagrancy) is up, WAY UP, since the Crime Train is bringing boatloads more freeloaders into town. People are disgusted. We have to protect and defend ourselves. Government has abandoned that function in all but name only.

We ALSO contribute a lot to the private rehab agencies, but I'm not interested in YOU unless you want to take a step in the right direction. Don't expect free lodging and a latrine in MY yard. You can be willing to straighten up and move in the right direction and we'll help.

Our city actually threatened fines/jail to ordinary people like me who wash the filth away -- for spreading disease! What do they expect us to do, lick it up? My garage door guy wears a mask when he works in this area because of all the stench of urine which signals disease that he is working among.


Related reading: Medieval Diseases Are Infecting California’s Homeless: Typhus, tuberculosis, and other illnesses are spreading quickly through camps and shelters (The Atlantic, March 8, 2019).

How long can California survive this onslaught? Similar situations exist all over Southern California, including even in Beverly Hills and Bel Air.

Related...Police Union: LAPD Officers Contracted Staph Infection After Homeless Person Came Into Station (May 7, 2019).

Monday, May 6, 2019

Joe Biden's Brain

(At Always On Watch 2, in the wake of Mr. AOW's brain hemorrhage on September 1, 2009, and my consequent crash course in neurology followed by up-close and personal encounters with the rather peculiar phenomenon of confabulation, I posted a few times about Joe Biden's brain. This post is an update to those previous posts and is a post irrespective of Joe Biden's political views; in fact, I feel compassion for what I believe to be the man's neurological issues)


Joe Biden is known for making gaffes.  In fact, a Google search of "Joe Biden gaffes" yields lists of Bidenisms. One example of a Bidenism, an example which reads much like spinning tales around a campfire:
"When the stock market crashed, Franklin D. Roosevelt got on the television and didn't just talk about the, you know, the princes of greed. He said, 'Look, here's what happened." –Joe Biden, apparently unaware that FDR wasn't president when the stock market crashed in 1929 and that only experimental TV sets were in use at that time, interview with Katie Couric, Sept.22, 2008
Read the entire list HERE.

Just last week, there was this: Biden Tells ‘The View’ Obama’s Presidency Had No ‘Whisper of Scandal’.

Funny? Sure. But is something else going on?

Check out the following information about confabulation:

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Animal Humor

(For politics, please scroll down)

With thanks to Warren, who emailed me the link to the video below:




Bonus video below the fold.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Seattle Is Dying


Silverfiddle Rant!
Mrs. Silverfiddle and I watched the captivating documentary, Seattle is Dying, available on YouTube.  It is a professional one-hour production and has almost 3 million views.  I recommend you cast it to your flat panel and enjoy the hi-res camera work.

The entire film is one long parade of homelessness and drug abuse, and the sadness and misery and crime that results. It's all exacerbated by the city's inability to address the growing problem.

The wife and I found one part particularly galling.  A homeless clown, enjoying it all as street theater because we are a nation rich enough and stupid enough to allow bozos like him to make a joke of it all...



In related news, the brain surgeons running Washington DC, thought it would be a great idea to put up homeless bums and drug users in luxury apartments, but it ain't working out so well.

Seattle defenders are pushing back against the viral documentary, but they've got a fight on their hands.  Even good liberals are fed up in this city that voted 87% for Hillary and only 7% for President Trump.

What say you?

Monday, April 29, 2019

Broken Borders

Silverfiddle Rant!

President Trump spoke for all sane Americans:

"We have the worst laws of any country in the world. ... You have to fix the asylum situation, it's ridiculous."



Damon Linker, a sensible liberal who excoriates President Trump daily, begrudgingly agrees:
It's a mess. But things truly cross over into the absurd with the recent decision of a California judge to block the Trump administration's effort to get most migrants to remain in Mexico until their asylum hearing. The U.S. is confronting a flood of migrants fleeing oppression, violence, and poverty in one country (usually Honduras, Guatemala, or El Salvador), crossing a massive intermediary country (Mexico) that no one claims is persecuting them, and yet a judge insists that it's a violation of the law to deny them entry.

That ruling is either an outrageous warping of the law, in which case it needs to be quickly overturned by a higher court, or it is a demonstration that the law itself needs to be changed […]. In the current situation of years-long backlogs and restrictions on detaining kids, it amounts to a wide-open door to anyone who shows up on the border with a child claiming asylum. To the extent that current law requires this fiasco, it needs to be scrapped and replaced.
Bernie Sanders agrees as well, stating he is not for open borders:
What we need is comprehensive immigration reform. If you open the borders, my God, there's a lot of poverty in this world, and you're going to have people from all over the world. And I don't think that's something that we can do at this point. Can't do it. So that is not my position.
The ground is shifting under the Democrats.  President Trump may be demagoguing the illegal immigration issue, but his demagoguery is working, and it is needed to wake us from our media-induced stupor.

Our president is stymied by our idiotic immigration laws and Trump-hating judges who allowed the previous president to make up his own immigration laws, but Democrats will pay a price in 2020.  

President Trump's trollery and demagoguery have manipulated Democrats onto the side of open borders and illegal immigration, where some don the presidentially-proffered political suicide vest, while others scramble and scurry to split hairs, make excuses and confect distinctions without differences. 

Despite losing every battle, President Trump is winning.  How do we know?  After struggling mightily to deny reality, Democrats now acknowledge the crisis, but blame President Trump.

At least half of the world's 7.5 billion people want to come here. Government needs to act.


See also:
Democrats Powerless to Stop Red Wave
David Frum - How Much Immigration is Too Much?

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Musical Interlude

Flute Concerto in A Minor, composed by German Baroque composer Georg Philipp Telemann (1681 – 1767):


Wonderful polyphony and antiphony!

Friday, April 26, 2019

¡Viva el Presidente!


Silverfiddle Rant!
Corruption is killing many struggling countries around the world.  Yes, we have corruption in the US, but we are so wealthy, with so much easy credit sloshing around, chiselers can rake off their take without the stupefied public taking notice.

Not so in poor countries.  Hunger and misery serve to sharpen the senses and narrow an intense focus on injustice.  Haiti is mired in misery nine years after an earthquake made the miserable nation even crappier.  Over $13 billion in aid has poured in (as of 2015), and outraged Haitians are asking where the hell it all went, because it sure has hell didn't go to the people.

Mexico is also afflicted by endemic corruption...
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Monday he will create a “Robin Hood” institute to return to the people the ill-gotten wealth seized from corrupt politicians and gangsters.

A 2017 report by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development noted that recent studies estimated that Mexico lost between 5 percent and 9 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) to corruption annually. (Reuters)
Mexico's GDP is just north of $1 Trillion, so the amount stolen by corrupt oligarchs and criminal syndicates is staggering $50 to $100 Billion. That's how a country ends up a shithole despite having good, hardworking people.

I fear he will be killed before he reforms the system. May God bless and protect President Obrador.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

The Socialist Plan for America

By Sam Huntington

Most socialist countries have pursued extreme policies. Most, but not all. The argument made by socialists and dyed-in-the-wool communists, such as Bernie Sanders, is that socialist policy in the United States would involve fewer increases in tax rates, but one notices that Sanders never discusses the likely economic or social consequences of socialism. Why should he? He’s trying to sell socialism to the American people. A full discussion of socialism’s likely ramifications would only defeat his argument.

To begin with, socialist policy produces lower real growth. We know this because we can observe the effects of socialist policy on citizens who live in countries that embrace it. Experts who have not sold their souls to a proven ruinous ideology tell us that in the long run, American socialism would likely reduce real GDP by 40% (See Economic Freedom of the World, 1975-1995, Fraser Institute and Economic Freedom of the World Index). The Fraser Index provides a range between the least-free (1) and the most free (10). These indicators are aggregated to five main categories, which are given equal weight in the overall. The categories are indicators of economic freedom, not political freedom or civil liberties. The categories are:

• Size of government in spending, taxing, and size of government-controlled enterprises
• Legal system and property rights
• Sound money (measuring policies relating to inflation
• Free international trade
• Limited regulation, the freedom to exchange and trade domestically

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Names Have Meaning: Sri Lanka Suicide Bomber Mohammed Azzam Mohammed

About the Easter Sunday jihadist who stood in line at the crowded breakfast buffet at one of those high-end hotels and detonated himself just as he was about to be served:

Monday, April 22, 2019

It Ain't Over


Silverfiddle Rant!

Mueller Time! has come and gone, and its unsatisfying quaffs have left deranged Democrats with a skull-splitting headache and a wicked case of flatulent diarrhea.

Exoneration Schmoneration…

Investigators, prosecutors and their investigations don't "exonerate" people other than those wrongly imprisoned.  Our justice system doesn't work like that.  Progressive demands of "Prove your innocence!" are out of Stalin's Soviet Union.  In the United States, the government must make the case of a person's guilt within the judicial system. If they cannot, the person is guilty of nothing.

Mueller found no collusion and no obstruction (make no mistake--had he found prosecutable obstruction of justice he would have recommended prosecution in his theatrical report.)  

Obstruction??? President Trump cooperated completely with the investigation:
The president could have shut down the investigation at any time, but he didn’t. He could have asserted executive privilege to deny the special counsel access to key White House witnesses, such as McGahn. To the contrary, numerous witnesses were made available voluntarily (there was no need to try to subpoena them to the grand jury), and well over a million documents were disclosed, including voluminous notes of meetings between the president and his White House counsel. (Andrew McCarthy - NY Post)
It's not over, folks. With Democrats, its never over. They're still steaming and bawling over Merrick Garland's "stolen" seat. They're still fuming over Bush 2000, forgetting the Supreme Court decision to stop the Gore shenanigans was 7-2, not 5-4.

The Democrat conspiracy to trap the President has failed.  All Democrats have left is lies and smears.

Shred the Clean Bill of Health

Fat Jerry is demanding to see everything: The unredacted report, all the evidence, every page of grand jury testimony...  and the beauty of it is, he's entitled to none of it. Not one shred, but he will continue to beat that drum, because Democrats cannot abide this clean bill of health Robert Mueller issued to President Trump.

Fat Jerry, Gasoline Maxine and the rest of the bug-eyed unhinged nutballs in the Democrat congressional delegation will persist in demanding tax returns, bank statements, personal papers, stool samples and anything else they can dream up. It's an un-American propaganda game know as, "What do you have to hide?" and its great for fundraising.

The outrageous Democrat requests will be tied up in the courts through Election 2020, with President Trump gloating at massive rallies and Democrats fuming and raising money from the softheads.

Discredit the Attorney General

More damaging to our nation is the Democrat campaign--carried out with their co-conspirators in the Infotainment Media Complex--to demean, dehumanize and discredit Attorney General William Barr. Ad Hominem is the left's favored tactic.  Put the object of rage and hatred beyond the pale, smear him, drum up hatred and scorn against him.  That's the Democrat way.

Why?  Because Attorney General Barr will get to the bottom of the Clinton Crime Syndicate dirty tricks that sparked this historical travesty that sucked various alphabet agencies into the worst abuse of power in our nation's history.  His final report won't be pretty. The only Democrat defense is to use their Infotainment Media Complex toadies to preemptively mud up William Barr, smear him and discredit him in the eyes of the American people.

Pelosi knows they are scaring the normals, but she can't stop this circus train...


See Also:
Robert Mueller Obliterated the Trump-Russia Conspiracy Theories
Mueller’s Despicable Parthian Shot
Top 10 things the media got wrong about ‘collusion’ and ‘obstruction’