Category Archives: Totty

Who doesn’t love pretty girls?

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Goodbye, Blue Monday!
Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Speaking of girls (which is frequently done around here) and in order to better appeal to the many and varied interests of True Believers all across the blogosphere, a little solicitation of feedback is in order.

The famed Saturday Gingermageddon posts have been a staple of this blog for some time, and on occasion we have changed things up with a Blondepocalypse, a Brunettenarok, an Asian Invasion or other themed Saturday totty post.  So, True Believers, let me know in the comments section – is there anything else anyone would like to see, theme-wise?  The only thing I don’t care for is celebrity photos, and things should be reasonably SFW.  Other than that I’m open to suggestions.

Or we could just keep going with redheads.

While you’re thinking about that, consider the more serious (and ominous) words of the always-worth-reading Dr. Victor Davis Hanson:  The Decline of Western Civilization in a Few Paragraphs.  Excerpt:

Every once in a while, a criminal case — consider the O.J. trial — reflects the immoral course of our current trajectory. Here is an ongoing local criminal case that pretty much sums up what is happening to our culture, laws, and society at large.

Perla Ibeth Vazquez, 27, is now on trial in these parts. On Oct. 21, 2011 (a mere two-and-a-half-years ago?), she was drunk, drove, and killed, according to the Fresno Bee, one “Frank Winslow, 54, a family man and truck driver for Foster Farms who was only a few miles from home when he was killed on Highway 168 near Ashlan Avenue.”

Sad-BearThe Bee added that the local prosecutor, Steven Wright:

[L]aid the groundwork by telling the jury that Vazquez had pleaded guilty to drunken driving in Tulare County in 2006 and again in Fresno County in 2010. Each time, a judge warned her that if she got drunk and killed someone, she could be charged with murder, Wright said.

By all means read the whole thing.  Yr. obdt. has on many occasions found reason to be grateful to not live in Californey – this is one more.  How the state’s justice system can fail so utterly is astounding – but then, California as a state is pretty much failing utterly.  This incident is just one more straw.

Rule Five Friday

2014_06_20_Rule Five Friday (1)Let’s talk about Iraq again, just for a bit, as things are still developing.  First up is this bit from the always-worth-reading Dr. Thomas Sowell:  A Bitter After-Taste.  Excerpt:

Some say that we should never have gone into Iraq in the first place. Others say we should never have pulled our troops out when we did, leaving behind a weak and irresponsible government in charge.

At a minimum, Iraq should put an end to the notion of “nation-building,” especially nation-building on the cheap, and to the glib and heady talk of “national greatness” interventionists who were prepared to put other people’s lives on the line from the safety of their editorial offices.

Those who are ready to blame President George W. Bush for everything bad that has happened since he left office should at least acknowledge that he was a patriotic American president who did what he did for the 2014_06_20_Rule Five Friday (2)good of the country — an assumption that we can no longer safely make about the current occupant of the White House.

I rarely disagree with Dr. Sowell and do not disagree with the substance of his assertions in this article, although in response to that last point in the excerpt I tend to think President Obama’s misadventures in foreign policy are probably better ascribed to ineptitude than maliciousness.  And let’s be honest, a good deal of that ineptitude was on the part of the previous administration as well, not least of which was the notion – as Dr. Sowell points out – that we could do nation-building “on the cheap.”

But the end result is the same – gains won at the expense of American blood and treasure are not dissolving, giving way to gains made by the very worst sort of bloodthirsty, Dark Ages-type savages.

So what to do?  Our pals at The Atheist Conservative have some interesting ideas on the matter.  Excerpt:

2014_06_20_Rule Five Friday (3)Yes. It would be greatly good if the savage fight now underway between two Muslim armies in Iraq, Sunni and Shia, could end in the destruction of both.

We quote from an article at American Thinker, by Mike Konrad, who argues the desirability of leaving the two sides to fight it out:

    I know, I know, the recent ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Levant) gains have everyone scared. No doubt, the Islamophilic administration will want to step in, and save Islam from itself once again.  Let me advocate a course of action that will make sense to all sides in America; the left and right; from militarists to pacifists: Let the Muslims kill each other. …

    ISIS is presently a large group of thugs with guns. They have no navy, no air force, except for a few captured helicopters, which they will soon break.  The only ones they can threaten are their fellow Muslims. If they take over Iraq, who cares? They will soon reduce the Levant to the seventh century.

2014_06_20_Rule Five Friday (4)Yr. obdt. approves – that may indeed be the best option for the United States to follow.  Let them kill each other, and by all means let Russia and China also attempt to wrestle with the Mesopotamian tar baby.  We’ve had enough.  There may even be some pieces to pick up when the dust settles – then again, there may not.

Either way, I think we’ve done enough.  There have been mistakes made in the past, but that’s past – and as that great American philosopher and sage, W.C. Fields, was known to state:  “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.  Then quit.  No point in making a damn fool of yourself over it.”

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Rule Five Friday

2014_06_13_Rule Five Friday (1)Are School Homicides Becoming the Norm?  Short answer:  No.  Long answer:  Read the article.  Excerpt:

In the aftermath of yesterday’s shooting at an Oregon high school, the president worried that such slayings are “becoming the norm.” I’ve written skeptically in the past about whether the number of mass shootings in America is actually increasing, as the word becoming implies—see my posts here, here, and here—but there’s always a haze of uncertainty around those numbers, thanks to the varying definitions of “mass shooting” that different people use.

2014_06_13_Rule Five Friday (2)But maybe that isn’t the best thing to be measuring in the first place. The Oregon incident isn’t a “mass” shooting at all—the gunman killed two people, and one of those was himself—but it obviously speaks to the same sorts of fear and grief. If your son was just shot, after all, it’s hardly a comfort that his classmates survived. A map darting around the Internet this week claims to show all the school shootings since Sandy Hook. Note the modifier: school, not mass.

Here is the report mentioned in the article, Indicators of School Crime 2014_06_13_Rule Five Friday (3)and Safety, 2013.   Read it for yourself.  One relevant highlight:

Of the 31 student, staff, and nonstudent school-associated violent deaths occurring between July 1, 2010, and June 30, 2011, there were 25 homicides and 6 suicides. During the same time period, there were 11 homicides and 3 suicides of school-age youth (ages 5–18) at school.

During the 2010–11 school year, 11 of the 1,336 homicides among school-age youth ages 5–18 occurred at school. During the 2010 calendar year, 3 of the 1,456 suicides of youth ages 5–18 occurred at school.

2014_06_13_Rule Five Friday (4)Compare that to a typical weekend in, say, Chicago.

I don’t want to belittle any event of violence in any school, anywhere.  But as an Objectivist, I am compelled to evaluate facts – and the facts are that school shootings, while tragic, are not epidemic, and not increasing, demagoguery by some in the media aside – the numbers simply do not add up.

Reason concludes:

This much is clear: If you’re wondering where kids are likely to die, the answer plainly isn’t a classroom. (Quoting the BJS report one more time: “During the 2010–11 school year, 11 of the 1,336 homicides among school-age youth ages 5–18 occurred at school.”) And in the period for which we have clear data, the school homicide rate moved in the same 2014_06_13_Rule Five Friday (5)direction as the overall homicide rate: downward. To bring it still lower, the first question to ask is what happened to get us that far.

Let’s also ask this:  What is the common thread among all of the highly-publicized mass shootings that have happened in the last several years?  One comes immediately to mind:  A history of untreated or undertreated mental illness.

Root cause analysis, True Believers – it’s something nobody in the media a) knows how to do, and 2) gives a damn about.

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Rule Five Friday

2014_06_06_Rule Five Friday (1)Back to a bit on the Bergdahl controversy; well, call it a side effect:  Why Are We Freeing Terrorists?  Excerpt:

Democrats have been promoting the idea that they stand firmly against a “War on Women.” So how come President Obama just released some of that war’s worst aggressors?

I’m talking about the “Taliban Dream Team” who were just traded for ransomed soldier Bowe Bergdahl.

These were top officials in the Taliban regime: a provincial governor, a deputy defense minister, a deputy intelligence minister, a top arms smuggler, and a top Taliban military commander. Two of them are wanted by the United Nations for war crimes committed against Afghanistan’s 2014_06_06_Rule Five Friday (2)Shiites.

Make no mistake about what these men are, and I will not, can not mince words here:  They are fucking savages.  They are the kind of people who stone others to death for not believing as they do; they are the kind of people who blow up innocents, who use human shields, who will kill children to make a political point.  They do not deserve to be released; what they deserve is a bullet to the head, preferably delivered by an American serviceman.  And the Gitmo Five are not just foot soldiers in the army of Islamist savagery; they are goddamn generals.

And we traded them for Bowe Bergdahl; a deserter.  He is a man who, not so very long ago, would have faced a firing squad for desertion in the face of the enemy.  Today?  He will probably walk.

2014_06_06_Rule Five Friday (3)Another perspective worth reading:  Don’t Like Dealing with Terrorists? Bring Them Down.  Excerpt:

Hostage negotiations between a Western democracy and a hostile totalitarian regime lopsidedly favor the evil regime.  Its leaders do not care about human life, while ours are often driven by concern over the fate of their citizens.  You can see that in the case of Israel, which releases hundreds of terrorists for a single Israeli hostage, and you can see it in those US/Iran/Israel negotiations back in ’85:  President Reagan was very passionate about saving our hostages, as Israeli prime ministers, including Begin and Netanyahu, have been about saving theirs.

2014_06_06_Rule Five Friday (4)And therein lies the difference between us and them, between the civilized and the savage; we value human life, and they do not.  We build schools that these assholes would kill girls for entering.

As I said, fucking savages.

And we let them go.

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Rule Five Friday

2014_05_30_Rule Five Friday (1)It seems recession has returned.  Two items on that tidbit:

From CNBC:  Frigid winter takes toll as US GDP contracts for first time in 3 years.

Bloomberg is a tad more optimistic, but not much:  U.S. Economy Shrinks for First Time Since 2011; Pent Demand Suggests Temporary Setback.

Key excerpt from CNBC:

The U.S. economy contracted in the first quarter for the first time in three years as it buckled under the weight of a severe winter, but there are signs activity has since rebounded.

2014_05_30_Rule Five Friday (4)The Commerce Department on Thursday revised down its growth estimate to show gross domestic product shrinking at a 1.0 annual rate.

It was the worst performance since the first quarter of 2011 and reflected a far slower pace of inventory accumulation and a bigger than previously estimated trade deficit.

Bloomberg agrees:

A pickup in receipts at retailers, stronger manufacturing and faster job growth indicate the first-quarter setback will prove temporary as pent-up demand is unleashed. Federal Reserve policy makers said at their April meeting that the economy has strengthened after adverse weather took its toll.

2014_05_30_Rule Five Friday (5)“The good news is that the first quarter is over, it was a difficult one for the U.S. economy,” said Ryan Sweet, senior economist at Moody’s Analytics Inc. in West Chester, Pennsylvania. “I wouldn’t worry too much about the decline, it’s mostly driven by less construction spending and less inventory accumulation. This quarter should be a good one.”

Oddly enough, in 2012 I remember being told that if I voted for Mitt Romney, that unemployment would stay above 5% and economic growth would go in the crapper.  And look – they were right!

I think both articles may have one good point; the bad winter did hurt retail movement, and there may be some rebound now that spring has well and truly sprung and people are moving about more.  But that’s not a major move, and the economy remains in an anemic growth cycle; really anemic if you remember the Roaring Eighties.

2014_05_30_Rule Five Friday (3)And we may be in for a major market move, too.  Excerpt:

Of these (indicators), the most important will likely be the first-quarter GDP due on Thursday. The last estimate was for growth of 0.1%, while expectations for the revision are a -0.6% decline in growth for the first quarter. A decline here would be an unwelcome development, as two consecutive quarters of negative GDP is the official definition of recession. While this will probably be blamed on bad winter weather, a slip into recession could easily trigger the next “Minksy moment” and escalate market volatility. I remain cautious as we enter the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer.

Could that presage a crash?  It’s hard to tell, but the Fed can’t keep pumping cheap money in to the economy forever – and when they stop, a major adjustment is inevitable.  See Stein’s Law.

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