…the campaign of the scientific establishment to rule out intelligent design as beyond discussion because it is not science results in the avoidance of significant questions about the relation between evolutionary theory and religious belief, questions that must be faced in order to understand the theory and evaluate the scientific evidence for it.
The Tramp Abroad Suggests You Consider The Views Of Some A-10 Pilots
The first pilot makes his case in a personal communication:
Comments on ISIS: Hell, we will never learn from our mistakes when you have assholes trying to run the government that want to be calling all the shots on the battlefield. “Harry” says – Live today to the fullest because tomorrow is not promised. Pogo fans from way back were famous for quoting a popular comment – “We have met the enemy and they are us”. That reminds me of the “free fire zones” and “no fire zones” in Nam that changed almost daily that were directed from D.C. &@!!@!
After reading what this A10 Pilot had to say…. Remember, our president says, “We have them on the run!”
Well, here’s a forwarded message — FYI, from the perspective of someone who is overflying Syria within this abyss of rules of engagement: On Dec 3, 2015, at 1122, in a note, an A-10 pilot currently deployed and involved in the “fight” against ISIS wrote:
The squadron is doing fine. Everybody is happy to be here and we are doing some good work. The A-10s are holding up well and the technology we have on the jets now (targeting pods, GPS guided bombs, Laser Guided bombs, Laser guided missiles, tactical data link, satellite comms), and of course the gun, make the A-10 ideal for this conflict.
We are killing off as many ISIS as we can, mostly in ones and twos, working with the hand we are dealt. I’ve never been more convinced in my career that we’re facing an enemy that needs to be eradicated. With that being said…. I’ve never been more frustrated in my career. After 13 years of the mind-numbing low intensity conflict in Afghanistan, I’ve never seen the knife more dull. All the hard lessons learned in Vietnam, and fixed during the first Gulf War, have been unlearned again.
The level of centralized execution, bureaucracy, and politics is staggering. I basically do not have any decision-making authority in my cockpit. It sucks.
In most cases, unless a general officer can look at a video picture from a UAV over a satellite link, I cannot get authority to engage. I’ve spent many hours staring through a targeting pod screen in my own cockpit, watching ISIS shitheads perpetrate their acts until my eyes bleed, without being able to do anything about it. The institutional fear of making a mistake that has crept into the central mindset of the military leadership, is endemic.
We have not taken the fight to these guys. We haven’t targeted their centers of gravity in Raqqa. All the roads between Syria and Iraq are still intact with trucks flowing freely.
The other night I watched a couple hundred small tanker trucks lined up at an oilfield in ISIS-held northeast Syria, presumably filling up with oil to be traded on the black market, go unfettered. It’s not uncommon to wait several hours overhead a suspected target for someone to make a decision to engage or not. It feels like we are simply using the constructs built in Afghanistan, which was a very limited fight, in the same way here against ISIS, which is a much more sophisticated and numerically greater foe. It’s embarrassing…. Be assured that the Hawg drivers are doing their best.
On the other hand, here are comments from another A-10 pilot, albeit from a “military” website.
Cruz For President?
This attempt at the character assassination of Senator Ted Cruz actually reminds of the personality and career of Barack Obama. Surely there must be important differences? Yes, but they are primarily distinctions made when the candor of both men is examined.
Cruz is an open book; he spells out his positions with clarity and conviction. Obama remains a puzzle, for his policies are cloaked by slogans, vague expressions of hope that we can do better, and a stubborn insistence that the power structure must trust his leadership. Cruz tells the electorate what he has in mind, while Obama disguises his policy in blandishments, contradictions, glittering generalities, and pledges that his reinvention of US society will remain ethical. Well, Obamacare was a relatively clear concept when proposed, though it immediately degenerated into a notoriously complex misadventure.
That is to say that Obama has led the country by vaguely indicating his intent to restructure its political system, crafting a Utopian ideal. He placed ethically unqualified leaders in high positions (Holder, Koskinen, Hillary Clinton, Sebelius, Kerry, to name some outrageous examples); all failed. He generated numerous unconstitutional executive orders, illegally changing existing legislation. His comments regarding racially sensitive disputes entangled the presidency in issues far outside the purview of the federal government, even to the point of influencing juries (it appears Obama’s advisers eventually managed to temper the presidential zeal). From harebrained concepts of firearms legislation and the future of Islam to his confused and confusing foreign policy, Obama is a font of sophomoric babble and misleading fantasy.
Cruz is almost certainly more intelligent and better informed than Obama. He is probably at least as stubborn, determined, and confident as the president. His stated goals are virtually exact opposites of current federal policy, and would doubtless require Congress to reverse itself on several controversial issues. That does not mean, however, that Cruz’s approach to reform is comparable to Obama’s. Cruz is far more forthright, candid, and obvious; he does not strike this newsletter as likely to downplay his fervor for sweeping social and legislative change. Cruz almost certainly won’t have a slogan like Obama’s absurd “Hope and Change” and “Yes We Can”.
Because the two men earnestly desire to lead the USA in literally opposite directions, it is too easy to think of them as equal but opposite in temperament and technique.
True, in some ways Cruz is the virtual equivalent of Obama: he is utterly committed, profoundly sincere, and lethally dangerous to his enemies. He can be expected to tamper as he sees fit, as well as use the White House as his bully pulpit. Of course the current administration’s admirers are desperately afraid of Cruz: they know his determination to reverse course matches the revolutionary resolve of the most Utopian Obamites.
Cruz is radically different from Obama in several important areas, and one is obvious: he is fathomable (why does the word scrutable not exist?). There will be no need to guess about or assume anything regarding his family, his birthplace, his schooling, his social security number, his religious preferences, his occupational history, his mentors and admired thinkers, his real objectives, and his hopes.
Consider that for a moment: in fact the USA actually does find itself still grotesquely under-informed about Obama — in spite of two conspicuously puzzling autobiographies, each of which might or might not be his work. He remains, in many important respects, an extraordinarily secretive figure. Indeed, being an Obamite is an act of expediency based on robust faith.
Whether to support Cruz, however, begins with discovering his views on the issues that concern you.
Note well: the commentary in the NY Times cited above is an attempt to expose Cruz’s personality as toxic. The columnist is clearly saying that Cruz is a fascist; this newsletter notes that, oddly, there was no comparison to Hitler’s clear vision and iron resolve.
The column was an attack on the enemy’s psychology; that’s always a risky tactic. After all, how many people are impressed with the portrayal of Hillary as greedy and deceitful? Did Slick Willy’s sexual compulsions and lies ever corrode his clout with the voters, and do powerful and influential figures generally consider him an ethically immature obsessive narcissist who deserves to be ignored?
Cruz will dismiss slurs about his authoritarian ways as the whining of lesser creatures. Specific policy issues will prevail.
It might be considered natural to assume that a “Progressive” would be followed by a “wingnut” who is determined to clean up the mess. Action, reaction. Isn’t it probable that a political Neanderthaler will be called upon to save the babies and deal with the Frankfurt School’s twenty-first century operatives?
Well, perhaps. But…what if the full implications of Obamoid Utopianism have yet to impact the voters and besmirch the plans of rabid collectivists like “Squaw” Warren and Bernie Sanders? Obama’s legacy is still not obvious to many voters.
Of course Warren and Sanders, those two old-fashioned anticapitalist trolls, hope to attract the support Obama enjoyed. It’s not likely to happen, because Obama’s appeal was unique and ambiguous; he did not pester his supporters with harangues on class warfare, the evolution of society, and the delusional economic preachments of neo-Marxism.
Warren’s and Sanders’s ideology will indeed be a tough sell. Modern socialism is actually a corpse that appeals primarily to bitter, resentful dreamers. That’s true simply because the fact is that rich people have only one option when they become richer: they must always give their money to someone else.
Well, true ideologues never stand down: the retro warriors will forever seek the comuppance of the “corporate state”, the ruin of the plutocrats, and the victory of the proletariat. O tempora, o mores….
Addendum: The media march in lockstep.
Could Cruz Win?
There are two utterly contradictory viewpoints in the Republican party. One argues that in order to win The White House, the GOP must put up a candidate somewhat like Ronald Reagan. This ideal politician would be able to attract votes from a significant number of Democrats — enough votes to render the ideologically fervent “Progressives” in the party at least somewhat less relevant. This means appealing to younger people, Black voters, and single (presumably feminist) female Democrats.
This strategy is based on the assumption that Republicans will not stay home on election day. It also implicitly suggests that Republican propaganda should avoid religious themes, and must not make explicit appeals to the most fervent activists in the “wingnut” base of the party.
The second viewpoint is that of Senator Ted Cruz. He insists that first, Republicans twice lost the White House to Obama because they fractured their party by choosing the wrong men. Accordingly, too many rock-ribbed Republicans, nauseated by the party’s candidates, stayed home. Cruz says that courting Democrats is not just futile, but suicidal: the GOP’s message is a thrilling paean to just governance. He says he can speak to the heart and soul of the party as McCain and Romney never could…inspiring even hardened cynics to vote.
There might be a bit of truth in each scenario, but both are fanciful. Democrats and Republicans will vote for the nominees of their parties. Too, there simply was no significant GOP reserve that sat out 2008 or 2012. The biggest change in the electorate in 2016 will probably be that many Black voters will not bother to show up this time. (Some folks will recall Kentucky Fried Hillary, and stay home out of sheer disgust.)
What matters is that Cruz is not an attractive candidate. Even though many of his positions on critical issues are appealing, he will almost certainly alienate virtually all Democrats (who already think of him as a loon) and too many Republicans.
Significant numbers of Republicans are angry, as GOP support for Trump demonstrates. The Donald’s supporters will melt away as the election draws near; support for Trump is, after all, nothing more than a way for bitter Republicans to make rude gestures in the direction of the Bush family and Washington.
Cruz is wrong to think he will benefit from the disgruntled Republicans’ eventual epiphany. In fact former Trump followers will make their ultimate choice by determining who can beat Hillary.
If the GOP is to win, it must present the most rational arguments possible, and Cruz is too monochromatic and inflexible to do that gracefully. He’s hardcore, rock-ribbed, and eager to destroy the enemy. Obama won because virtually everyone could invest him with their dreams. He was often vague, but even then he suggested something new and energizing. You recall the kiddie choir singing The One’s praises; Cruz will not inspire such warm and fuzzy moments. He is emotionally hard where Obama was theatrically, passionately soft; recall the poster that transformed Obama into an iconic Leader who, for all his Orwellian assurance, was safely benevolent.
Cruz can’t match that. Yet he would have to in order to defeat Hillary, the feminist who, profoundly humiliated by her spouse, intends to seize power.
The best Republican standard-bearer must be a healer, a firm but kindly leader who talks about individual rights, freedom, the constitution, and the electorate’s innate sense of decency. He must remind Democrats that they too have seen their Liberty curtailed by power-hungry satraps.
Decent governance can be reinstated. If that is to happen, Hillary must be defeated, but Cruz can not do that. His notion that a significant number of Republicans have gone into seclusion is nonsense; if he depends on the best-informed and most obstinate “wingnuts” — a cadre that is hopelessly outnumbered — he will be handed his head. The idea that he can appeal to all Republicans and to any Democrats is a febrile fiction. Against him, Hillary, tacitly promising a third Obamite term, would win a victory on a par with that of Lyndon Johnson over Barry Goldwater in 1964.
Links Courtesy Of The Tramp Abroad
This is really cool!!
A useful account of being stopped by the police; recommended.
This man is a US American first and a Muslim second. That probably does not go down well with the local imam.
Oh, my: the decline of the English language since 1386.
Is the USA digging a “tunnel” that will never have an exit?
It is a pity that this retired Marine Lieutenant Colonel is not a native-born US citizen. Asad Khan would make a better presidential candidate than all of the rest combined. He certainly speaks more sense than most of those from whom we have to choose from today.
Are Muslims and Mormons close to each other as regards faith?
The new iPhone is pretty smart; it autocorrects “lardass” to…well, this.
Links to information about ISIS (Daesh): first, three videos on the Kurdish female soldiers whose bullets are dreaded: One, Two, andThree. Next, a 22 minute segment from “60 Minutes”. This is an excellent report on the YPJ (Kurdish Women Fighters) who are helping to push back and eradicate ISIS. Finally, this Israeli documentary (subtitled in English) may be a bit dated (some scenes appear to be from November, 2014).
In fact the USA’s defenses against jihadism are high.
News You Can Use: fifteen rules for security and risk professionals, drawn from the IRS breach.
News You Can Use If You Ignored The Above Link, And Lost Your Bet That You Would Not Have Any Trouble: here are the names of fifteen award-winning whiskeys/whiskies from around the world. (It’s whiskey in the USA and Ireland, and whisky in Britain.) Meanwhile…what’s a “European blend single malt”?
What does DHS really know about visa waiver overstays we have in the USA? Apparently not enough.
Oh: so ISIS is a plot hatched by the USA, Israel, and Turkey that intends to bait Putin into turning on his new Dome of Protection. (!!) Then, once the US knows how it works, Washington will join up with Moscow to eradicate the Khazarian Mafia! — Wait, who the hell are the Khazars, you ask? Well, read this…. Whew! These conspiracy theorists sure put a lot of imagination into their madcap websites!
Something is wrong with this comparison of the cost of distilled water with the cost of gasoline. Perhaps the author of the article is referring to the cost of distilled water that one can buy at the local drugstore. One US dollar sounds about right; Amazon gets four or five dollars a gallon.
Here are comments on a book I recommend.
It is said that Prague is such a pretty city that Hitler ordered that it not be bombed.
South Koreans are traveling to Germany…to perform exorcisims? Information is available here in German, and there are English-language reports in The Wapo and The Guardian as well as on Deutsche Welle.
Can Don Trump’s hot anti-Muslim stance be assuaged with some cool cash? Consider as well this investment in the UAE — and here’sanother. I’d say he also has nothing against Turks, who just happen to be about 99% Muslim.
A warning from the other side.
Radical Islam by the numbers.
This video on the history of typography is well done and quite interesting.
Typography meets Dalí and the sound studio.
Germans are starting to arm themselves — in large numbers. Even though they are applying only for the “kleiner Waffenschein” (permission to carry a gas or starter pistol), it shows that there is an increase of fear in the German population that they may have to defend themselves from attacks in public, robbery or swindlers trying to rip them off in their homes. Here’s a report on German firearms regulations.
Is Obama really a “total pussy”? This retired LTC thinks so!
Hot peppers are not really hot…it’s just that we perceive them to be hot.
Don’t get in the way of this “scholar”. I wonder what percentage of Muslims really believe what he says and would be willing to take action based on his pronouncements.
Einstein was wrong. Oops!
US police usually hate it when people make videos of interactions between law enforcers and the citizenry. Here are two examples: this, and another instance. Then there is a video that sharply contrasts unconstitutional law enforcement with good practice. Facts: cops who do not want indisputable proof of their behavior to exist need to find another type of employment; the USA’s police will simply have to learn to live in this century, and the public should be immensely grateful for the activities of citizens who use cameras to press for much-needed reforms. Finally, Utopia is not available. Even wide exposure of video evidence is not always sufficient to secure justice, as this casedemonstrates (advisory: the linked video lasts longer than a half hour, documents torture and injury, and reports that justice was never served; viewing it is a disturbing experience).
Obama’s unconstitutional attempt to create new immigration law by presidential decree (and yet more) will come before the Supremes, and the court’s judgment could become even more consequential than anybody thought. Recommended.
Reader RB writes: “Here is a fine article from the Washington Post entitled The fascinating history of how Jefferson and other Founding Fathers defended Muslim rights. I recommend it highly. It is relevant in view of calls for restrictions on an entire group instead of on specific individuals who plan or commit criminal acts. From my own readings regarding this formative intellectual era, I think the author accurately portrays the Founders’ notions of religious liberty, the separation of church and state, and freedom of conscience. This piece is a breath of fresh air.”
Can Hillary win? Sure, but she’s a terrible candidate, so her victory depends on which of the possible GOP aspirants she faces. She’s not invincible.
US citizens: ponder this foreign policy issue.
“…I like to say there’s about as much in common between existentialism and communism as there is between existentialism and cigarettes….” Huh? Well, this guy is both an existentialist and a libertarian, so…if you are confused but interested, see this.
You might have heard that a prolonged drought is savaging California. Don’t believe it. Yes, there has been and is a drought, but the state has more than enough water. What it lacks is common sense. Politicians and environmentalists have made rational planning almost totally impossible.
“Wingnuts” will love this: a UN “observer” is spotted in the USA, and he refuses even to acknowledge questions about why he is present and what he is doing. He must be either an impostor or a moron.
Government bureaus crushed a harmless, innovative attempt to open a new type of credit union. It’s a sad tale, and the NY Times — a bastion of collectivist authoritarianism — deserves praise for telling it.
This newsletter insists that Sam Clemens’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is “the great American novel”. Because it accurately reports speech that was common in the last quarter of the nineteenth century, it has long distressed educators and political activists. It isstill being banned. Its humanitarian narrative is exemplary, but…many folks have a hard time understanding what Clemens created and promoted. That is a signal failure of modern education.
Global warming is easier to find if you move the locations of the instruments that measure temperature.
Hillary and the truth: not soulmates.
You know about the Sandy Hook tragedy, but the chances are you have no idea just how extraordinarily complex and bizarre it is. It seems to be casting a spell over the conspiracist community, much as the assassination of John Kennedy has. The Powers That Be should take steps to discredit this development…assuming, of course, that they can credibly answer the many questions raised by suspicious citizens. For this newsletter, the significant fact is growing distrust of government, politicians, law enforcement, and the press. (There’s more hysteria here.)
Climate change is real; global warming is not. See this video for the objective science…and here are more global climate data the Gore-Hansen Cult does not acknowledge. Meanwhile, the politicians are delighted by claims of AGW, because the non-facts provide an excuse to transfer power and wealth from the citizenry to authoritarian bureaus and collectivist ideologues.
This newsletter considers its subscription to Commentary essential. You might agree. Accordingly, see whether you can access thiscommentary, and, if you can read it and do appreciate it, consider subscribing.
“Intelligent Design” is struggling to replace the teaching of evolution in US education. There is no more illuminating essay on the dispute than this. Advisory: it is a challenging read.
Contrarian’s delight: call up You Tube and in the Search window (at the top of the screen), enter “nonstampcollector”. The result will offend/delight you and your friends/new enemies.
You are either against all forms of statist repression, whether it’s called “National Socialism” or “Progressivism”, or…. Well, read this.
They are students. They are not mature, responsible adults. Their opinions are experimental, cocksure, and slavishly enthusiastic, as thisvideo demonstrates. Matters of principle are difficult for everyone, but experience and perspective are vital to good judgment.
In the USA, this is not proper policing — it is unofficially authorized unconstitutional abuse. If not for Youtube.com, this widespread malpractice would be virtually unassailable.
Ah, the self-deprecating humor of the would-be celebrity: this female loves “social media” sites, because using them “…allows me to interact with my fans without having to see, hear, or smell them”. (Source; fast forward to three minutes and ten seconds of the video.)
Here are eight and one-half minutes of video that should be widely viewed in the baffled and irresolute Occident.
Ooops! Yet another Obamite Attorney General makes a hash of a pronouncement. Perhaps she’s a superannuated undergraduate….