March 1, 2017

At the Crooked Walk Café...



... you can talk all night.

(And if you're shopping, please use The Althouse Amazon Portal.)

67 comments:

chickelit said...

Be iron like a lion (in Zion)

David Begley said...

NYT and WaPo trying to overturn the results of the election with more fake news stories about Russia.

We don't believe you clowns. The election was not hacked.

The WR Mead story on why Trump is no friend of Russia needs to get wider play. Trump approved KXL and DAPL.

ngtrains said...

89 is the most scenic road in the US.
drive it from Canada to Mexico

J. Farmer said...

Finally got around to watching Trump's speech. Loved about 90% of it. The other 10% was mostly just partisan boilerplate that I disagree with it. And then there was this statement:

I am sending the Congress a budget that rebuilds the military, eliminates the Defense sequester, and calls for one of the largest increases in national defense spending in American history."

Why is this such red meat for the conservative crowd? Didn't conservatives use to (rightly) mock progressives for claiming that any failing or failed social welfare program could be remedied by more money? Global military spending is about $1.7 trillion. Last year the US military spent nearly $600 billion. That's more than a third of the entire globe's military budget.

We face no significant threats abroad, and yet we need "one of the larges increases in national defense spending in American?" No.

Unknown said...

Today is Dr. Seuss's birthday. He would have been 113. He drifted towards liberal-bad in his later years, but in his prime, he was, when he was not just being silly, liberal-good: Yertle, The Sneetches, What Was I Scared Of?

Reading to my nieces in recent years, my favorite has become one I was hardly aware of growing up, I Had Trouble Getting To Solla Sollew, a book that ends with the refreshingly conservative message that: "All of my troubles are going to have trouble -- with me!"

The Sleep Book is another favorite of mine, and this one I *do* remember vividly from childhood. It's a longer Seuss, but that's intentional, and once you commit to the rhythm and gird yourself for the tricky parts ("Moose Juice!") it rarely fails to put a tired child to sleep.

And don't forget the full color illustrations (I don't know why Seuss didn't do more of this, in later years he should have had the clout for the expense..) and (probably misplaced) optimism of McElligot's Pool.

Could you, would you, with a goat?

Chuck said...

Unlike Begley, I am not going to condemn all news that is harmful to the interests of the Trump Administration as "fake."

I've never once acted as a Jeff Sessions-hater on this blog. I am not going to presume wrongdoing on his part. And unlike Begley, I am not going to presume that Trump is the innocent victim of a hostile media. The stories make me want more information. The stories make me want an authoritative investigation that is beyond reproach.

Chuck said...

However you choose to watch podcasts or video recordings, be sure to watch the CNN Town Hall from George Washington University featuring Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham. There were lots of really good questions from the audience members, who included Trump opponents and Trump supporters, but more people who didn't have a Trump axe to grind at all.

The discussion included the best plain-English discussion of the problems in Crimea I have heard this year. There were of course differences between the Senators and Trump statements in Russia; plainly stated. McCain also said that he could not have chosen a better military advisory team than the one assembled by Trump.

You may see news reports about "tears" being shed about the friendship between the two Senators. Which is mostly baloney. The last question in an hour of discussion was about their friendship. McCain said that it was built on shared policy. Graham agreed, and only when Graham got to the part about McCain being someone who would give his life for his country, did he smilingly rub a tear from the corner of his eye.

Watch it for yourself. Whether your name is Trump or McConnell or Schumer or Ryan or Putin or anything else, what McCain and Graham say is important.

harryo said...

Bless their hearts, a handrail...

Let's be careful out there!

Humperdink said...

After watching three (3) minutes of Morning Joe this AM, I have reached the conclusion that Scarborough is really our favorite "lifelong republican".

AReasonableMan said...

The Worst Part Of Trump’s Address: Conservative Republicans Cheering His Democratic Ideas

Personally I thought this was the best part, non-partisanship at its finest.

harryo said...

I was reading the story about Dan Grilo this morning.

Funny how one day everything can be going well, but your itching to act out about your political nemesis.

Now he's rushing to find a moving company to get out of his house before someone kills him.

One little tweet, and you find out that you are not ready for electronic communications.

His poor company had to fire him, and now is trying to save his accounts from moving.

Thank God, real Americans are in control still. This is why Hillary had no chance.

Robert Cook said...

"He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself."

kold_kadavr_ flatliner said...

Let this be your catalyst to Seventh-Heaven:

'The more you shall honor Me,
the more I shall bless you'
-the Infant Jesus of Prague
(<- Czech Republic, next to Russia)

Love him or leave him or indifferent...
better lissen to the Don:

If you deny o'er-the-Hillary's evil,
which most whorizontal demokrakkrs do,
you cannot deny Hellfire
which YOU send YOURSELF to.

Yes, earthling, I was an NDE:
the sights were beyond extreme.
Choose Jesus.
You'll be most happy you did.
God bless your indelible soul.

Hagar said...

I am not all that happy about Trump's SOTU speech. It seemed like going back to politics as usual.
I would have been happier if he had just sent them a brief written message and let their heads explode (again).

Hagar said...

What is up with the Democrats now wanting to go to war with Russia?
I thought they were supposed to be against all wars, etc. and so forth?

Angel-Dyne said...

Robert Cook: "He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself."

And remember that stuff Paine said about "choose one: open borders or Nazi Germany"? Or "we can only secure liberty by the uncontrolled mass migration that will inevitably sink our own oppressive political and cultural traditions and replace them with the superior ones of our Latin neighbors"?

Good stuff.

(Side note: "You're [sic] papers please". Jeez, doesn't anybody proof-read anything these days?)

viator said...

From 1985, Kathleen Battle

john said...

Are you in Zion now? I was there hiking with my son on Monday and Tuesday. Went up Angels Landing, then farther up into the clouds and snow. Later we hiked Weeping Rock. Did we pass each other on one of the trails? Would you have recognized us?

john said...

I had a purpleish parka on. And a hat from Scotland.

Hagar said...

The MSM seems to be all very relieved that Trump has turned out to be just another one after all.

Michael K said...

we need "one of the larges increases in national defense spending in American?"

"If you would have peace, prepare for war."

Part of the misunderstanding of the Defense Budget is how much of it is spent on people, including retirees.

The part that is in need of recovery is the hardware that has been used up and not replaced.

I agree that the Defense Department needs restructuring in how it spends money and there are about 10,000 lawyers that need to be fired.

Read Dakota Meyer's book about the ambush where he was awarded the MOH. They were under fire in an Afghan village and asked for artillery fire to help them. It was hours before it was finally approved. No doubt lawyers in the Pentagon had to be asked. The reason he survived was that he was not allowed to go with the team to the village as he was being punished for shooting at Taliban that were lobbing mortars into their base a few days before. He was told the mortarmen did not have uniforms on and therefore he could not shoot at them.

The book is called "into the Fire," and explains that his team, which was all killed and which he had been kicked off, was trying to do a peaceful meeting with village elders.

Michael K said...

I was hoping that Rumsfeld would restructure DoD with his management skills but 9/11 came first.

Angel-Dyne said...

Chuck: I've never once acted as a Jeff Sessions-hater on this blog. I am not going to presume wrongdoing on his part.

And Jeff Sessions is an honorable man, said Chuck.

john said...

And shorts. I always wear shorts.

Bob Ellison said...

What song to learn?

Robert Cook said...

Angel-Dyne,

Thank you for your non-substantive non-response to the content of the linked article.

harryo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Henry said...

Meghan McArdle discovers the value of nothing:

...academia has moved sharply to the left. What should we do about it?

Well, the first thing we should consider doing is “nothing.” As a public policy choice, "nothing" is far too often undervalued -- indeed, often ignored. But as I like to say, the existence of a problem does not imply the existence of a solution. It does not guarantee that any plausible cure will be better than the disease.

Jupiter said...

Cookie, in essence, your article argues that governmental exercise of power is necessarily wrong. In particular, it finds that enforcing immigration laws is equivalent to Nazism, and those who enforce them are necessarily Nazis. And it equates the rights of citizens and non-citizens. Indeed, it argues that any right denied to non-citizens will eventually denied to citizens.

It's a long article. There are a lot of ways you could look at it. You could say it is an impassioned defense of Liberty. You could say it is a squalid piece of deracinated globalist cant. Angel-Dyne chose to interpret it in light of the recent widespread and absurd assertion that everyone on Earth has a Constitutional right to enter the US.

Jupiter said...

Henry said...
Meghan McArdle discovers the value of nothing:

"...academia has moved sharply to the left. What should we do about it?"

Well, "nothing" is what we should be paying them. I think that would sort things out pretty quickly. So, yeah, let's hear it for Nothing!

Robert Cook said...

"They are designing a welfare program for the aerospace industry."

That's what our War Department has long been for: it reroutes the people's tax monies to the profiteers of war in and out of government. We need to drastically cut the war budget, not increase it.

Robert Cook said...

Jupiter, if you choose to misread the article, this is your prerogative. The article is plainly stated and unambiguous in its review of historical examples of abuses of government power as a warning to the like dangers we will face in our near future if we submit to continuing and increasing government intrusion into our privacy (all sold as a remedy to over-stated (or non-existent) dangers to our republic).

Angel-Dyne said...

Cook: Thank you for your non-substantive non-response to the content of the linked article.

I read the article, Robert. It's standard issue "government war on our liberty" stuff (correct as far as it goes - tell us something we don't know), stapled to a shoddily-reasoned argument about "why enforcing immigration law makes you Hitler".

Look, if you end up essentially arguing that "the U.S. government has been shitting all over the rights of citizens, therefore we must leave law-breaking non-citizens alone, because Nazis", it's time to sit back, think a little harder, and craft a better argument. People who don't like tyranny, "papers please", and a police state should have been thinking a little more clearly about lax border control a long time ago. Open borders means more tyranny, less freedom, less democracy. I did in fact make a substantive response to the article's meanderings, which you could see if you could be bothered to think it through.

But no, I do not take seriously anybody who makes mindless, hysterical analogies between 1930s Europe and now. Gee, class, in what ways are illegal migrants being deported from the U.S. in 2017 not like Jews in 1930s Germany? The analogy is grotesque, to anyone who bothers to give it any thought. Analogies should clarify, not obfuscate and manipulate emotions. The former is an aid to thinking, the latter is propaganda.

Bob Ellison said...

Open borders mean no nation and tough luck to anyone near minimum wage. Democrats should know that.

Henry said...

Robert, I think Jupiter read the article quite well. I even agree with many of the authors examples of government programs gone awry -- including Trump's current anti-illegal-immigration push. But the author's leap from civil liberty concerns to genocide!!!! is extreme to the point of idiocy. It's a slippery slope turned into a water park, complete with cherry-picked examples, the muddling of general and specific policies, abandoning of context, and confusion between causes, effects, and correlations.

Somehow I think the Nazis would have done just what they did ID cards or not. Blaming genocide on ID cards is like blaming Blitzkreig on roads.

Robert Cook said...

"Look, if you end up essentially arguing that 'the U.S. government has been shitting all over the rights of citizens, therefore we must leave law-breaking non-citizens alone, because Nazis,' it's time to sit back, think a little harder, and craft a better argument."

The article makes no such argument.

khesanh0802 said...

I just read the transcript of the president's speech in the NYT. I was really pissed off by the "Fact Checks". Interestingly most were "True", but the Times had to add little snarky bits (to get clicks I guess).

@ Robert Cook We know you are anti-war and you can afford to be as long as there are those who will actually defend the country when it needs defending. If you had ever spent any time in the service - and were a little more objective - you would know that shrinking budgets first effect is to reduce manning levels, training and maintenance at the point of the spear so that when someone is actually called upon to fight his/her unit will be understrength, poorly trained and have inadequate support - be it air/ground support, beans and bullets, transportation/mobility, etc. As a result of reduced capabilities "enemies" are more likely to escalate a disagreement to actual conflict and when that conflict occurs casualties will be much higher than they would be with a well manned, well trained, well supported force.

As an example of the current state of affairs, Marine Corps aviation which is an integral part of the Marine Corps combat team is operating at only 50% of requirements. Without critical air support the Marine rifleman is much more exposed to harm.

Your lack of historical perspective is irritating, but I must remind my self that I am not going to get you to change your opinion. If you did some reading about how we made such a mess of Korea in the 50's you might begin to understand my - and Trump's point - about preparedness.

Or perhaps give some thought to what the situation might be in Syria today if Obama had had the courage to eliminate Assad's air force when he had the opportunity.

Or what it might be in Ukraine if Putin had thought we had him outgunned and had the intestinal fortitude to oppose him.

Or - going back in history - why Napoleon (or Hitler) was never able to invade England.

To paraphrase Orwell: you sleep peaceably in your bed at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on your behalf. In that case, wouldn't you rather they had the tools to do the job?

mockturtle said...

Thoughtful post, khesanh0802, but I would differ on a couple of points.
1. Suppose we had taken out Assad's air force. Who would be running Syria now? ISIS? Is Assad a bigger threat than ISIS? Was Saddam Hussein? Was Gaddafi?

2. Hitler chose not to invade England. It would have been easier than invading Russia.

Overall, I agree about preparedness. I'm almost ecstatic about the F-35 and looking forward to the MCAS air show this month in Yuma. But we need to avoid these wasteful nation-building efforts. And avoid trying to build an army of disinterested natives to further our own agenda, as we did in Vietnam and, more recently, in the Middle East.

Robert Cook said...

"@ Robert Cook We know you are anti-war and you can afford to be as long as there are those who will actually defend the country when it needs defending."

But when was the last time the country needed defending? Certainly not since WWII, at least. (And when before that? Not since sometime in the prior century, at least.)

Meade said...

john said...
"Are you in Zion now? I was there hiking with my son on Monday and Tuesday."

We arrived yesterday afternoon. Missed you and your shorts by that much. Sad.

khesanh0802 said...

@Mockturtle First, thanks.

If Assad had no air force he would have been unable to deliver the chemical weapons that he has been using on various cities in Syria. I doubt much else would have changed except that Putin mightn't (big "might") have been as comfortable moving into Syria if he knew we were serious about the situation there.

Hitler was prepared to invade England, but was never able to establish the air superiority that would be needed to allow passage of the channel. He was,essentially thwarted by the Royal Navy and the RAF. Napoleon was prepared as well, but the Royal Navy prevented any attempt at a crossing.

khesanh0802 said...

@Robert

Given what I deduce as your view of "defending the country", there has been no need since the War of 1812. We certainly did not NEED to go to war over the seceded states, or the war in France in 1916, or the War in Europe in 1940. Our borders were not threatened in any instance since 1812.

Given your point of view we certainly provoked the Japanese into attack Pearl Harbor rather than leave them alone to expand their "Greater East Asian Prosperity Sphere". You and Charles Lindbergh would have been big buddies in 1939.

khesanh0802 said...

@ Mock Turtle I agree with you about nation building. It has proven unworkable. OTOH I am not as happy about currently funding the F 35 as I would be after ensuring that all the services have the funds to operate and maintain the equipment that they currently have/need to accomplish their various missions. Having been in the Marine Corps and being at the end of the Navy's supply chain I am extremely sensitive about sending our people into battle with outdated equipment.

khesanh0802 said...

@Mock Turtle I think the ME would still be about as messy as it is if we had eliminated Assad's air force, only Assad would only be a little less deadly to his own citizens. Removing Gaddafi, who we pretty much had under our thumb, was stupid. We may have been better off leaving Hussein in place to fight the Iranians ( you remember Kissinger's hope they could both lose!), although I think HW did the world a real disservice by not removing Hussein in the first round - I don't care how much some of the allies would have whined and cried - it would have been simple and inexpensive casualty-wise.

ISIS is more dangerous world wide than any sovereign state in the ME. I think it is unrealistic to hope ISIS can be eliminated. Crippled, perhaps, but not destroyed/eliminated. In that case we must be prepared to do what Robert Cook demands, which is defend our own borders and territory.

Robert Cook said...

"Given what I deduce as your view of 'defending the country,' there has been no need since the War of 1812."

Possibly so.

"We certainly did not NEED to go to war over the seceded states,"

More than likely true.

"...or the war in France in 1916,"

Absolutely true.

"...or the War in Europe in 1940."

Arguably true. However, given the extremity of Hitler's aggression and the devastation being wreaked on the European continent--as well as the (possibly provoked) attack on Pearl Harbor--and especially given Hitler's declaration of war against America, I'd say there was a good argument we were fighting in our defense, given the potential peril to us if Hitler took control of Europe.

"Our borders were not threatened in any instance since 1812."

Yes, although, see above: if Hitler had succeeded in conquering Europe, how could we know if he would not be satisfied until he conquered the USA?

mockturtle said...

@ Mock Turtle I agree with you about nation building. It has proven unworkable. OTOH I am not as happy about currently funding the F 35 as I would be after ensuring that all the services have the funds to operate and maintain the equipment that they currently have/need to accomplish their various missions. Having been in the Marine Corps and being at the end of the Navy's supply chain I am extremely sensitive about sending our people into battle with outdated equipment.

Khesanh0802, my excitement over the F-35 Lightning II is entirely emotional/visceral and is due to a lifelong fascination with aircraft rather than on a rational view of military spending. Indulge me. ;-)

khesanh0802 said...

@MockTurtle I figured. You are indulged!

khesanh0802 said...

@Robert Cook Your Hitler "what if" doesn't meet your criteria. You were talking, I thought, about defending our borders. You make the point yourself that there are times when going to war though not directly threatened is the best alternative. Had we been threatened directly by Germany in 1941 we would have been in big trouble because we were completely unprepared. If the Brits had not held out with our meager assistance we might well be speaking German here today.

To be honest I am not ever excited about the prospect of going to war. However we seem to have a difference of opinion on the role - or the definition - of preparedness. Maybe not. I am probably as opposed as you to the armed forces welfare programs that benefit many industrialists while being of questionable value to the people who actually have to do the fighting. At the moment, however, I believe that we have put ourselves in a position- both in manpower and equipment -where we will have difficulty defending our interests if we are hard pressed; creating several dangerous situations around the world. We are going to have to rebuild many of our capabilities and someone is going profit along the way.

As I have said I would rather see us strong enough that no one wants to pick a fight than to be on the borderline where it may be worth the risk to an antagonist.

khesanh0802 said...

@ Robert Cook One addendum. If FDR (who's domestic politics I don't like) had not had the foresight, determination and political courage to begin aiding Britain in 1940 who can tell what might have been the end result. Spreckenzie Deutsche?

mockturtle said...

Pray for peace, prepare for war. Always the most rational policy. Having a strong, well-prepared military is the best deterrent of all to conflict.

Freeman Hunt said...

This post inspired a mapping out of a 16 day vacation.

David Baker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David Baker said...

This "vacation" reminds me of Chevy Chase pausing to view the Grand Canyon. That is, after being reminded.

Not so unusual though, which is why it's a good idea to take plenty of pictures because of the delayed reaction, the time it takes to catch up to what you're actually doing. Like not just going, but being on vacation.

"Honey, uh, where were we when I took this picture?"

Robert Cook said...

"Pray for peace, prepare for war. Always the most rational policy. Having a strong, well-prepared military is the best deterrent of all to conflict."

And yet, we find ourselves, with virtually no self-defense necessity, to be constantly involved in endless concurrent and consecutive "conflicts" throughout the world over the past many decades.

James Madison warned of the great dangers of maintaining standing armies.

mockturtle said...

Cookie, how could a nation have a prepared military without a standing army? Are you suggesting we rely on conscription in the face of attack? Raw inductees with no experience or knowledge? No weapons? Yikes! Glad you're not in charge.

Robert Cook said...

"Cookie, how could a nation have a prepared military without a standing army? Are you suggesting we rely on conscription in the face of attack? Raw inductees with no experience or knowledge? No weapons? Yikes! Glad you're not in charge."

How often have we been attacked such that we needed immediate response by a standing army? Also, most of the soldiers who fought in WWII were civilians up until December 07, 1941, after which time many signed up voluntarily, while many others were soon drafted.

Jupiter said...

Robert Cook said...

"And yet, we find ourselves, with virtually no self-defense necessity, to be constantly involved in endless concurrent and consecutive "conflicts" throughout the world over the past many decades."

'Fraid I have to agree with Cookie on this one. It is worth considering that no other English-speaking nation needed a war to obtain independence from Britain, or to end slavery. I'm afraid there is something inherently warlike in our national character. And why exactly do we need to be ready at a moment's notice to fight everyone else on Earth? No other nation has this existential imperative. We have enough nukes to wipe them all off the Earth, but we still need the largest Army, Navy and Air Force on Earth. We have active military commands for every scrap of dry land on the planet, our satellites peer down from orbit, and the CIA infiltrates every government on Earth, but we can't get on an airplane without having an X-ray machine shoved up our asses, because everyone on Earth wants to kill us all. Not them any of them have tried recently with an airplane.

If there is any justification for all this, it lies in our ability to maintain our web of alliances. This made some sense, maybe a lot of sense, when the Soviet Union was actively seeking to expand Communism by military means. I grew up with the idea that the US was the Leader of the Free World. I find that idea increasingly ironic. Where is this Free World, and what is it free from? Almost all of the worst threats to my freedom are now located in the US, and most of them are subsidized by my taxes. The only foreigners I fear are the ones who want to invade my country, and the US government is giving money to the UN to pay their airfare.

Right, Cookie?

Jupiter said...

And while we are on the subject, Winston Churchill quite deliberately dragged the US into WWII, with the active connivance of FDR, in a vain hope of saving the British Empire. One may argue that we could not stand by and watch while Hitler seized Eastern Europe and slaughtered tens of millions, but it appears that we *were* able to stand by while Stalin seized Eastern Europe and slaughtered tens of millions. FDR and Churchill called him "Uncle Joe". Actually, they didn't stand by, they sat down and got drunk with him. Yeah, that was one necessary war. One of my uncles got killed in it, but the family saw it as a small price to pay for dividing Germany in two for a couple generations. Seems a bit pointless at this juncture, doesn't it? They put it back together anyway, just so it will be intact when they hand the whole thing over to the Muzzies.

mockturtle said...

Jupiter, Churchill hated Stalin. If he called him 'Uncle Joe' it was with sarcasm.

Jon Ericson said...

Sooo many clueless starfish out there.

I'm running a few commenters thru a
couple of dozen speech pattern analysis programs and
the things that pop up!

Type away!
More gristle for the mill!

(results, what you would expect, so far.)

Don't be shy!
Type like you mean it!
Let it all hang out.

Jon Ericson said...

Lamebrains, my big data will... do something. :-)

CuznDon said...

Cool picture. I'd like to sit on that bench and listen to you talk in live color.

Robert Cook said...

"More gristle for the mill!"

That is "more grist for the mill."

Robert Cook said...

"Right, Cookie?"

Jupiter, you've summed it up very well.

Jupiter said...

mockturtle said...
"Jupiter, Churchill hated Stalin. If he called him 'Uncle Joe' it was with sarcasm."

Mock, I think Churchill may well have come to hate Stalin, and it is possible that his frequent professions to the contrary during the war were intended to soothe the sensibilities of his two most powerful allies. But FDR was quite cozy with him, and Churchill certainly played along. Of course, Churchill also played FDR. Churchill was ready to see the whole world in flames to save Britain.

Robert Cook said...

Here's one look at what our standing army costs...in both blood and treasure.

mockturtle said...

Churchill was ready to see the whole world in flames to save Britain.

And rightly so.