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Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Happy New Year!


May 2020 be kind to us all: health, happiness, and prosperity!


HAVE-A-LAUGH ADDENDUM (Thanks, Warren!):

Friday, December 27, 2019

2019 In Review


From 12 Stories The Media Got Horribly Wrong In 2019: As the year comes to a close, here are a dozen of the top stories the media majorly messed up (The Federalist)....
January: Covington Catholic

February: Jussie Smollett

March: The Mueller Report

April: White House Correspondents Dinner

May: Media Defends Joe Biden’s Manhandling Of Young Girls

June: Media Standing Up For Antifa

July: 50th Anniversary Of Moon Landing Celebrates Inequality

August: Chris Cuomo Goes Berserk After Being Called ‘Fredo’

September: Media Makes A Puppet Of Greta Thunberg

October: Washington Post Pens Glowing Obituary For ISIS Leader

November: ABC Buried The Jeffrey Epstein Story

December: DOJ IG Blows Up Steele Dossier Upheld By The Media
More details and video HERE.

And the beat goes on — no doubt becoming worse as we enter Election Year 2020.

Of course, there are other stories fitting the category of "Stories the Media Got Horribly Wrong." Do you wish to add to the list? Please do so in the comments section for this blog post.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

A Christmas Visitor



Posted by Warren

(Originally posted on "Longrange" for Christmas 2004)

4:00 am 12/24/04

There was a knock on my front door which startled me awake. My dogs were barking which required my dire threats to quieten them as I answered the door.

Maybe you have heard of our weather and the unusually cold temperatures and large amount of snow that has fallen in the last 24 hours. I live just south of Interstate 64 in Southern Indiana and you may have seen the news about the closed Interstate and stranded motorists on the national news.

A man in his early fifties, about my own age, stood at the door. He was wearing tennis shoes, jeans, a field jacket and sock hat. His glasses were frosted and his pale white hands and reddened knuckles gave witness that he wore no gloves.

He told me he was lost and asked for directions to a certain address. I told him that he missed his mark by a mile and a half and asked him where his car was. He said he was walking.

I invited him in and sat a chair for him by the warm air from the furnace vent. He was shivering uncontrollably and a faint whiff of alcohol was on his breath. I asked if I could fix him something to eat but he refused and accepted a hot cup of coffee.

My wife talked to him as he warmed himself and I could hear him speaking as I prepared his fresh coffee.

My son heard his voice and came into the living room to sit and listen, and to watch, just in case.

His story unfolded.

He was homeless, he had been sleeping in a box, under a bridge over the Ohio river, several miles to the West. He had decided that it was too cold and he might freeze to death if he didn't find safe shelter with more than a cardboard box to keep him warm. About midnight, he had left his meager possessions and headed for his sisters home, a mile or so from my own home. He had walked past in the blowing snow and the dark but continued walking. He was lost, confused and probably somewhat drunk. Hypothermia can add confusion to even the sober mind.

As he spoke, I realized that he had mental problems as do many of the homeless.

There are places that provide refuge for the indigent, I'm sure he knew, but they don't accept anyone who is intoxicated, which I'm also sure he knew.

He drank his coffee then asked me if I would drive him to his sisters home. He then offered me two dollars. Of course I refused the money but offered to take him where he wanted to go.

I intended to take measures to see after him and he seemed anxious to leave.

As I drove, he told me that his sister was out of town but he had permission to use her house in an emergency. I was worried that he was just lying for reasons of his own but I was determined to see the thing through, even if I had to call the police to ensure his well-being through this cold weather.

As we drove up to the house, there was a porch light on and smoke coming from the chimney vent. Even so, it was apparent that there was no one home, the snow around the house was undisturbed.

I asked him if he was sure he could get in, he said, "Yes, she (his sister) told me where the key is." He reached out his hand, as if for a hand shake, and when I offered mine, pulled my hand to his lips and kissed it saying, "God bless you".

I was profoundly embarrassed but stayed long enough to see him dig around in the snow and find a key, unlock the door and wave goodbye.

I drove home, my thoughts disturbed, by the events that had taken place.

My wife was relieved as I returned and I started preparing food (very early,) for Christmas Eve. As I cut up fruit for salad and prepared the turkey for baking, my son came up behind me, hugged me and kissing my head, said, "Dad, you did a good thing."

Again, I was embarrassed, not by my son's hug and kiss but by his praise.

It was the right thing to do.

My son told me that he tries to help the homeless ones that hang around his place of employment. We spoke of how little we can actually do for them and I was proud of my son for being a good man and doing the right thing.

As I continued to prepare food for Christmas Eve, my thoughts drifted to a couple seeking shelter in Bethlehem and the birth of the Lamb of the New Covenant, and I felt God's Peace.

May God's Peace and blessings be with you all!
Merry Christmas.

Warren

Post Note:

First, please watch "Mary, Did You Know?" as performed by the Pentatonix, an a capella group. I hope that you love it as much as I do:


====

Fifteen years have passed since I first posted this and I am always asked to brush the cobwebs off and re-post it for Christmas. I change the post note every year to reflect my personal feelings.

"Mary, Did You Know?" by the Pentatonix has became my favorite Christmas Carol. If you haven't listened to it already, I urge you to put on your headphones or good speakers and have a listen. Maybe below you could tell me your favorite Carol.
I'll spend Christmas Eve at my son's home.

Once again,
Merry Christmas!
Warren


From AOW....

For this Christmas Day, a rather unusual offering....The Wexford Carol, performed by Alison Krauss and Yo-Yo Ma:


Lyrics for this traditional Irish Christmas Carol based upon the Nativity Story told in Holy Scripture:
Good people all, this Christmas time,
Consider well and bear in mind
What our good God for us has done
In sending his beloved son
With Mary holy we should pray,
To God with love this Christmas Day
In Bethlehem upon that morn,
There was a blessed Messiah born.

[...]

Near Bethlehem did shepherds keep
Their flocks of lambs and feeding sheep
To whom God's angels did appear
Which put the shepherds in great fear
Prepare and go, the angels said
To Bethlehem, be not afraid
For there you'll find, this happy morn
A princely babe, sweet Jesus, born.

With thankful heart and joyful mind
The shepherds went this babe to find
And as God's angel had foretold
They did our Saviour Christ behold
Within a manger he was laid
And by his side the virgin maid
Attending on the Lord of Life
Who came on earth to end all strife.

[...]

Good people all, this Christmas time,
Consider well and bear in mind
What our good God for us has done
In sending his beloved son
With Mary holy we should pray,
To God with love this Christmas Day
In Bethlehem upon that morn,
There was a blessed Messiah born.
Merry Christmas to all who stop by this site. Be blest!

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Advent Musical Interlude

(For politics, please scroll down)

For the fourth Sunday in Advent, enjoy this a capella arrangement of "Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming," a Sixteenth Century German carol emphasizing prophecies about our Lord's Incarnation:


Lyrics:
Lo, how a Rose e’er blooming
From tender stem hath sprung!
Of Jesse’s lineage coming,
As men of old have sung.
It came, a flow’ret bright,
Amid the cold of winter,
When half spent was the night.

Isaiah ’twas foretold it,
The Rose I have in mind;
With Mary we behold it,
The virgin mother kind.
To show God’s love aright,
She bore to men a Savior,
When half spent was the night.

This Flow’r, whose fragrance tender
With sweetness fills the air,
Dispels with glorious splendor
The darkness everywhere.
True man, yet very God,
From sin and death He saves us,
And lightens every load.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

A Beautiful, Perfect Letter


Silverfiddle Rant!

President Trump's letter to Speaker Pelosi was a work of rhetorical beauty.  It cogently and comprehensively hit all the notes in the Democrats' discordant three-year Opera of the Grotesque.

The letter is a thing of beauty, professionally stated but still in the President's own voice.  Clearly, this was not fired off, tweet-like while sitting on the toilet.  Some professional staff work went into it.

This on the heels of IG Horowitz's stinging rebuke of FBI procedures, and Comey's admission that he was wrong and "there was real sloppiness." It vindicated Rep Nunes and shows Adam Schiff to be a liar. Mr. Horowitz confirmed significant FISA abuse and concluded the salacious and unverified dossier played a “central and essential role” in the bureau’s decision to seek a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant on former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

Now comes Senate Leader McConnell rightly telling Democrats the Senate impeachment trial will not be turned into an ad hoc fishing expedition.  The Senate will try the case as the Democrats bring it to them.

The Democrat ship is sinking... and it's on fire... in shark-infested waters. My Prediction: Democrats will do what they always do when caught with their pants down:  They will scream louder into their media megaphone.

Please go read the letter and tell us what you think.

Monday, December 16, 2019

Where I've Been — And Still Am (Continued)

(For politics, please scroll down)

When I say that I have "too much stuff," I mean it! Blogging continues to be too much effort at this time.  Thanks to my food friend Silverfiddle for taking up the slack here during my absence.

In the process of The Big Clean Out in preparation for our move to Indiana (move date not yet determined), former blogger The Merry Widow and I found the ultimate family heirloom in the cellar crawlspace of this old house, which has been in my family since 1947:




Yes, I know to whom this treasure belonged: my great-grandfather, who died in Tennessee in the 1930's or 1940's after being bedridden for some ten years after a stroke.  Apparently, this bedpan was important enough for my great aunt to bring to Washington, D.C., when she moved here in the 1950's!  I can't throw it away now.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Advent Musical Interlude

(For politics, please scroll down)

For this Third Sunday of Advent 2019, please enjoy "O Come All Ye Faithful" as performed by Celtic Woman:


This information from YouTube provides important insights about the above interpretation:
...The dresses worn have the colors of the Threefold Flame, of Blue, Yellow and Pink, representing Power, Wisdom, and Love, as well as the color of the current Cycle for the Earth, which is Violet and represents Redemption. The Violinist (Máiréad Nesbitt) comes out in the Purity of White.

They have done a wonderful job bringing forth the beauty, and Divine Culture into the outer world, and as the prayer goes in Christian circles, we ask "Thy Kingdom Come." This is how His Kingdom does come, we bring it here with our choices and actions....
Read the rest HERE.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Progressive Pendulum Apogee?


Silverfiddle Rant!
Mattress Girl regains her sanity:

My view of our nation's future has turned dark and cynical, but I am always on the lookout for rays of hope, and they are out there, among millennials and post-millennials, of all people.  (Children really are, to quote that vapid leftwing tautology, the future.)

When the media's gaze is upon you, it’s difficult to change your mind.

This week, New York magazine’s The Cut published an article titled, “Did Emma Sulkowicz Get Redpilled?” The story chronicles the political awakening of 27-year-old Sulkowicz, who became famous in 2014 for dragging her mattress around Columbia University’s campus to protest the university’s handling of her alleged sexual assault.

The act of performance art, dubbed Mattress Performance (Carry That Weight), became a flash point for a national conversation about campus sexual assault. Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York even invited her to the State of the Union address in 2015.
I've said it before and I'll say it again. If anything can save post-modern America, it is libertarianism...

And what about her posture has changed? She now listens to Jordan Peterson. She attended Reason writer Robby Soave’s book party for Panic Attack: Young Radicals in the Age of Trump. In the book, Soave writes critically of Sulkowicz.
Her own words:
“As I became more and more feminist,” she said, “I think I got to a point where I was literally just straight up hating men. I just hated men, I wished all men would die.”

Now she wants to listen to their perspective — not just men, but others she has disagreed with.

The most remarkable part of the story, though perhaps not the most surprising, is that Sulkowicz says she didn't even know a conservative until last year.
Progressive Academia has morphed into a post-modern Ministry of Truth, indoctrinating everyone into parroting 2+2=5, but the human mind cannot be chained forever.  Progressive "historical arcs" be damned.  The human spirit will always bend toward freedom and liberty.

Monday, December 9, 2019

US Government Infested with Liars


Silverfiddle Rant!
Washington Post reports:

A confidential trove of government documents obtained by The Washington Post reveals that senior U.S. officials failed to tell the truth about the war in Afghanistan throughout the 18-year campaign, making rosy pronouncements they knew to be false and hiding unmistakable evidence the war had become unwinnable. (WaPo via MSN)

It's no surprise our government is infested with bald-faced liars. The most sickening aspect of this story is the complicity of military flag officers. Military people thrive on the mission impossible, I saw it in action every day in Iraq and Afghanistan. A nation needs such people, and when carried out by the enlisted, company grade officers and field grade officers it is a noble endeavor.

It's a different story with flag officers. Generals responsible for the lives of the men and women charged to their care failed to tell the truth and instead went along with the political lies foisted on them by our elected leaders. They said nothing and refused to put their careers on the line to challenge the lies from our government. The generals who exhibited such behavior are moral cowards, a disgrace to the uniform, and criminally negligent. Every damn one of them who participated in this lie--active duty or retired--should have the stars ripped from his or her shoulders and be publicly disgraced. I am sick to my stomach.

General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff should be immediately fired for his role in this fraud on the American people and the men and women of the US military, living and dead.

Here are some damning quotes. Please go read the whole thing for yourself, and tell us what you think.
“We were devoid of a fundamental understanding of Afghanistan — we didn’t know what we were doing,” Douglas Lute, a three-star Army general who served as the White House’s Afghan war czar during the Bush and Obama administrations, told government interviewers in 2015. He added: “What are we trying to do here? We didn’t have the foggiest notion of what we were undertaking.”

"Every data point was altered to present the best picture possible."

The United States has allocated more than $133 billion to build up Afghanistan — more than it spent, adjusted for inflation, to revive the whole of Western Europe with the Marshall Plan after World War II.

One unidentified contractor told government interviewers he was expected to dole out $3 million daily for projects in a single Afghan district roughly the size of a U.S. county. He once asked a visiting congressman whether the lawmaker could responsibly spend that kind of money back home: “He said hell no. ‘Well, sir, that’s what you just obligated us to spend and I’m doing it for communities that live in mud huts with no windows.’ ”

Year after year, U.S. generals have said in public they are making steady progress on the central plank of their strategy: to train a robust Afghan army and national police force that can defend the country without foreign help.

In the Lessons Learned interviews, however, U.S. military trainers described the Afghan security forces as incompetent, unmotivated and rife with deserters. They also accused Afghan commanders of pocketing salaries — paid by U.S. taxpayers — for tens of thousands of “ghost soldiers.” 

A Kakistocracy... if they can keep it


Silverfiddle Rant!

Through successive Democrat and Republican regimes our nation has fought other nation's wars for them, allowed China to rape us blind economically, failed to stanch the flow of thousands of metric tons of drugs flowing across our borders every year, and failed to get reckless deficit spending under control.


Welcome to the Potemkin Village of Washington Power
What American constitutional government most urgently needs at present is for our Madisonian institutions—the presidency, the Congress, and the courts—to wrest back control of national security policy from an unelected and increasingly rogue national security establishment.

That ominous challenge to constitutionalism was on full display with the recent op-ed piece in the New York Times by retired Admiral William McRaven, in which he brashly warned that unless Trump jumped aboard the Forever War bandwagon, he must be removed, and “the sooner the better.”

[...]

Tufts law professor Michael Glennon points out in a recent essay in Humanitas that the Cold War brought something new and ominous in military-civilian relations.

The national security bureaucracy became so large and omnipotent that the Madisonian branches of government became something like the British House of Lords, symbolically important but in reality without much power.

The executive, legislature, and judiciary became a kind of Potemkin village, with real national security power lodged in, as Glennon describes it, “a largely concealed managerial directorate, consisting of the several hundred leaders of the military, law enforcement and intelligence departments.”
9/11 amped up that bureaucracy on steroids, but it also caused millions of us to realize the "experts" were dime store knockoffs.

Please read the linked article and tell us what you think.

*** Comments Closed. Please see latest post on government lies on Afghanistan ***

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Advent Musical Interlude

(For politics, please scroll down)

The story that never grows old and offers Mankind eternal Hope — even in the midst of personal and political turmoil!  Beautifully performed by King’s College Choir Cambridge, 2011:


Lyrics:
While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks

Nahum Tate

While shepherds watched their flocks by night
All seated on the ground
The angel of the Lord came down
And glory shone around, and glory shone around

"Fear not," said he, for mighty dread
Had seized their troubled mind
"Glad tidings of great joy I bring
To you and all mankind, to you and all mankind

"To you, in David's town this day
Is born of David's line
The Savior who is Christ the Lord
And this shall be the sign, and this shall be the sign

"The heav'nly Babe you there shall find
To human view displayed
All meanly wrapped in swathing bands
And in a manger laid, and in a manger laid

"All glory be to God on high
And to the earth be peace
Good will hence forth from heav'n to men
Begin and never cease, begin and never cease"

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Democracy Dies in Hate Speech Laws


Silverfiddle Rant!
Former Time Editor and CEO of Constitution Center (!) Wants To Cancel First Amendment, Pass Hate Speech Laws

The rest of the world--from Central Europe to the Islamic lands of the Middle East--hate our liberal Free Speech laws. Free Speech is a threat to tyrants and hidden agendists everywhere, and it is a particular threat to multi-cultural societies, since they have more friction points than homogeneous ones.

Social media platforms hate free speech: It is a threat to their revenue models. Now more than ever, they need a global speech code enforced by powerful nations in order to legally shield their profits and eliminate costly and legally-precarious nation-by-nation tailored enforcement. One Automated Speech Code to Rule Them All.

Asshat Richard Stengel, Obamaite and former Time Magazine editor, is the latest "serious person" to make anti-First Amendment arguments. We are in scary territory. Here are some excerpts:
On the Internet, truth is not optimized. On the Web, it's not enough to battle falsehood with truth; the truth doesn't always win.
What planet does this man live on? The Truth is slaughtered daily on the altar of partisan politics. Unfortunately, here in the real world, everything doesn't wrap up nice and neatly like a Leave it to Beaver episode. That is no reason to stamp out free speech.

Government schools that propagandize and indoctrinate, while making our children dumber, are also no reason to attack the First Amendment:

A 2016 Stanford study showed that 82 percent of middle schoolers couldn't distinguish between an ad labeled "sponsored content" and an actual news story.
Here's another pearl of wisdom:
All speech is not equal. And where truth cannot drive out lies, we must add new guardrails.
Something is crooked here, we all perceive it, but we can't put our finger on it. This quote provides some illumination:
Only a quarter of high school students could tell the difference between an actual verified news site and one from a deceptive account designed to look like a real one.
The linked article laments how students unquestioningly lap up information shoveled to them by an official-looking website that is really a "fake." 

What is "an actual verified news site?"  And what Official Verifier bearing the official Seal of Approval decides?

When the Washington Post libeled those schoolboys from Ohio, was that "actual verified news?"

More importantly--in this mortal coil where "truth cannot drive out lies," who decides what it the truth and what are the lies?  

Who was lying, Christine Blasey Ford, or Justice Kavanaugh?

Who was lying, the stolen valor Native American, or the schoolboys?

Restoring Walter Kronkite

This is revanchist Establishmentarians aching to restore the ancien régime of  "Because We Say So." They long to return to the days where they determined what is right and what is wrong.  The Information Totalitarians are working to restore the regime that dictates Truth to the pliant masses who obediently lap it up and regurgitate, while the dissident fringe damns itself by its refusal to say  2+2=5.

We all grew up in an age of appeal to authority--"Four out of five doctors smoke Camels!"--but the "authorities" have beshat themselves and their credibility is shot.  There is no monopoly on truth.

See also: No, the US does not need European-style hate speech laws

Monday, December 2, 2019

Expertendämmerung


Silverfiddle Rant!

The Infotainment Media Complex warns that President Trump doesn't listen to the experts.

I ask, what have the experts done for us lately?

What are our great foreign policy achievenments over the past decade?

Somalia?

Iraq?

Putin taking bites out of Georgia and Ukraine?

How much pro-American goodwill has the State Department experts drummed up over these past decades?

Bruce Thornton sums it up in his essay, Peggy Noonan Reminds Us Why Trump Won:
Indeed, when it comes to foreign affairs, generations of highly credentialed foreign policy mandarins have not compiled a record that would suggest those credentials contribute to success.

The two most consequential failures include misreading the Iranian Revolution as an anticolonial bid for freedom and popular sovereignty, rather than a religious revolution aimed at creating an Islamic theocracy; and failing to foresee and thus prepare for the collapse of the Soviet Union, something that was unthinkable to the big brains of our foreign policy establishment.

Moreover, the great foreign policy success in the postwar period was victory in the Cold War, which was the accomplishment of an ex-actor and foreign policy amateur looked down on by the government agency “professionals.” They contemptuously dismissed Reagan’s common-sense wisdom like “we win, they lose,” “evil empire,” and “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.” The latter iconic phrase, by the way, was argued against by the State Department and National Security Council because it was too provocative and naïve.
What say you?

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