Monday, May 25, 2015

"In Flanders Fields," the Story of Major John McCrae

This post was originally published here on May 27, 2007.  I first read the poem in my sophomore year of high school, and it's impact has stayed with me for more than half a century.  I am reposting it for Memorial Day 2015.

******

I have always loved the poem "In Flanders Fields," written by Canadian officer John McCrae in World War I. (Flanders is a section of Belgium).  I found his story at the website of Arlington National Cemetery. Here it is.
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McCrae's "In Flanders Fields" remains to this day one of the most memorable war poems ever written. It is a lasting legacy of the terrible battle in the Ypres salient in the spring of 1915. Here is the story of the making of that poem:

Although he had been a doctor for years and had served in the South African War, it was impossible to get used to the suffering, the screams, and the blood here, and Major John McCrae had seen and heard enough in his dressing station to last him a lifetime.

As a surgeon attached to the 1st Field Artillery Brigade, Major McCrae, who had joined the McGill faculty in 1900 after graduating from the University of Toronto, had spent seventeen days treating injured men -- Canadians, British, Indians, French, and Germans -- in the Ypres salient.

It had been an ordeal that he had hardly thought possible. McCrae later wrote of it:
"I wish I could embody on paper some of the varied sensations of that seventeen days... Seventeen days of Hades! At the end of the first day if anyone had told us we had to spend seventeen days there, we would have folded our hands and said it could not have been done."

One death particularly affected McCrae. A young friend and former student, Lieut. Alexis Helmer of Ottawa, had been killed by a shell burst on 2 May 1915. Lieutenant Helmer was buried later that day in the little cemetery outside McCrae's dressing station, and McCrae had performed the funeral ceremony in the absence of the chaplain.

The next day, sitting on the back of an ambulance parked near the dressing station beside the Canal de l'Yser, just a few hundred yards north of Ypres, McCrae vented his anguish by composing a poem. The major was no stranger to writing, having authored several medical texts besides dabbling in poetry.

In the nearby cemetery, McCrae could see the wild poppies that sprang up in the ditches in that part of Europe, and he spent twenty minutes of precious rest time scribbling fifteen lines of verse in a notebook.

A young soldier watched him write it. Cyril Allinson, a twenty-two year old sergeant-major, was delivering mail that day when he spotted McCrae. The major looked up as Allinson approached, then went on writing while the sergeant-major stood there quietly. "His face was very tired but calm as we wrote," Allinson recalled. "He looked around from time to time, his eyes straying to Helmer's grave."

When McCrae finished five minutes later, he took his mail from Allinson and, without saying a word, handed his pad to the young NCO. Allinson was moved by what he read:
"The poem was exactly an exact description of the scene in front of us both. He used the word blow in that line because the poppies actually were being blown that morning by a gentle east wind. It never occurred to me at that time that it would ever be published. It seemed to me just an exact description of the scene."
In fact, it was very nearly not published. Dissatisfied with it, McCrae tossed the poem away, but a fellow officer retrieved it and sent it to newspapers in England. The Spectator, in London, rejected it, but Punch published it on 8 December 1915.
-----------------------------------------------
Stogie again. Red poppies are flowers whose seeds can remain dormant for years, and are activated into germination when the earth is broken or turned. When the soldiers in Belgium began burying their dead, there was a lot of freshly turned earth. In a few days the fresh graves were ablaze with the red poppies, as if God Himself had decorated the graves.

Because of this, the red poppy became a symbol of Memorial Day and for many years was worn by many to remember the war dead. This is an old tradition we should work to revive.

Here is McCrae's famous and beautiful poem, written 100 years ago this month, on May 3, 1915:

IN FLANDERS FIELDS
Maj. John McCrae (1872-1918)
.....
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
.....
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
......
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Memorial Day is Every Day for the Dutch Caretakers of American Graves

Here is a wonderful story of remembrance of the American war dead in Holland.  Hat tip to Always on Watch.





Sunday, May 24, 2015

Memorial Day, 2015

In the past I have posted pictures and poems dedicated to our fallen heroes.  Rather than try and top those efforts today, I will merely refer the reader to those earlier posts.  This post is an update of one I created for Memorial Day, 2010.

1.  Memorial Day, 2014:  Did They Die In Vain?  A reflection on how modern politicians have betrayed those who fought and died for our country.

2.  Memorial Day, 2013:  Freedom Isn't Free.  A video.

3.  Memorial Day, 2012:  Better Men Than I.  A commentary  on several great fighting men who made the ultimate sacrifice in war.

4.  Memorial Day, 2011:  The Confederate Memorial in Arlington Cemetery.  Jewish VMI Cadet Moses Ezekiel, a personal hero of mine.

5.  Memorial Day, 2009:  The American Cemetery in Normandy, France, containing the dead from the D-Day invasion of June 6, 1944.

6.  Memorial Day 2008:  Photos from friends, depicting those who died in war.

7.  Memorial Day 2007:  Thoughts on a local sailor who died in 1969.

8. Memorial Day 2006:  The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier; poem, The Bivouac of the Dead.

9.  Major John McCrae:  The Story of "In Flanders Fields."  This is probably the best post on the subject of Memorial Day.

10.  Remembering Pearl Harbor and the lessons of history.

11.  Memorial Service for the Crew of the U.S.S. Grunion (WWII Submarine).  Video and song, the Navy Hymn.

12.  Memorial Day Meditations:  Freedom Isn't Free; Alan Seeger's Life and Poem "I Have a Rendezvous with Death."  This probably ties No. 9 as the best post on the subject of Memorial Day.  Alan Seeger was an American who served with the French Foreign Legion, fighting the Germans in World War I France.  Seeger graduated from Harvard University in 1910 -- 105 years ago.

13.  Song & video:  Battle Hymn of the Republic

14.  Story, Song & video:  America the Beautiful

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Righteous Rants for a Saturday

It's almost futile blogging anymore.  It used to be you could choose one of a half-dozen outrages on society and lampoon the miscreants until your soul was satiated.   In the age of Obama, there are more outrages than you can count.  Which to choose?  Outrageous conduct is now the norm.  There is more aberrational behavior than normal among the populace.  The vampire fighters have diminished so much and the vampires grown, that being normal is not normal anymore.  The defenders of Western Civilization have become a thin line before the advancing hordes of barbarians and collectivists.  Still, we must try.

Take for instance:

1.  Soldiers in high heels.  This was another asinine demonstration of girly-men in the military, doing their best to make our armed forces the laughing stock of the world, diminish morale and morally and mentally emasculate men in uniform.  Two ROTC programs at two universities required its cadets to "walk a mile in her shoes," wearing high heels, to raise awareness of (mostly non-existent) campus sexual assaults on women.  Fred Reed, crusty curmudgeon and master of sarcasm, wrote a public letter to the ROTC commander to express his support.  He writes:
Dear General,
I see that on your watch the Army is turning into a transvestite marching corps in high heels, a Ziegfeld cross-gendered or bisected gay-bath sexual zoo vacuuming up every sort of erotic loony, not to mention becoming a home for unwed mothers and prostitution rings. I commend you. I have always wanted to be defended by a freak show.
Read the rest of it here.

2.  Feminism.  R.S McCain continues to focus on this particular brand of left wing lunacy.  Feminism is actually a war on men, carried out by lesbian freekazoids who insist that heterosexual sex is always rape, is unnatural and forced on women through early brainwashing.  If the human race had subscribed to feminist theory from the beginning of creation, mankind would have gone extinct eons ago.  Listen, feminist morons, you are concave where we men are convex.  There's a reason why nature made us that way. It's a simple intelligence test regarding pegs and holes. My advice:  change your major from women's studies to Home Economics.  At least then you will be trained to do something useful.

3.  "Climate Change."  Future Scenario:   "President Hillary, Putin is bombing Washington State,  the Chinese are invading the Philippines, ISIS is beheading everyone in Atlanta!"

"Never mind that.  What are we going to do about climate change?"

Surely the left's estrangement from reality is no better demonstrated than in their paranoia about non-existent "global warming," aka "climate change."  All of the actual physical data, including temperatures, arctic ice, sea level rise, etc indicates the earth is not warming.  We are actually going through a cooling phase,   So why is there such a panic for a calamity that isn't happening?

Well, of course, there is the left's long-standing conspiracy to take over the economy, take control of the means of production, distribute the goodies as government sees fit, and solidify their long-held desire to install a form of totalitarianism over the United States.  But there is another reason as well.  Whenever leftists are faced with an intractable problem, they can skirt the issue by blaming it on "climate change."  ISIS, the genocidal mass murdering Muslim force now running amok throughout the Middle East, is a result of "climate change."  Apparently, carbon dioxide in the atmosphere turns Arabs into mad killers.

Anything and everything can be blamed on the blind forces of nature, or simply the weather.  Unemployment higher than ever before?  Climate change.  Hillary deleting official emails?  Climate change.  The rise of Putin?  Climate change.  Red China's encroachment in the South China Sea?  Climate change.  Harry Reid's black eye?  Climate change.

If anything bad happens when a Democrat is in office, it's because of the weather.  Since Democrats can't control the weather, they can hardly be held responsible for all the things going wrong in the world today.  If you don't like this column, it's because of climate change.

Friday, May 15, 2015

RIP B.B. King

The great blues musician died yesterday at age 89.  He will be missed.  I always loved to listen to and play bass to his hit, "The Thrill Is Gone."

Heaven is jammin' tonight.  RIP, B.B. King.


Boston Bomber, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Gets Death Penalty

Dead Terrorist Walking
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the boyishly cute bomber of the Boston Marathon, was given the death penalty today by a Boston jury.  

Dzhokhar and his older brother Tamerlan planted pressure cooker bombs among the crowd at the 2013 Boston Marathon, killing three people, including an eight year old boy.  The two terrorists later shot to death an M.I.T. police officer.  Seventeen people lost legs, and a couple of hundred more were seriously injured by the bombs.

Tamerlan became a good Muslim terrorist in a shootout with Boston police.  Dzhokhar, however, won't join his brother in death for years or decades while the long appeals process plays out.  

It was a just verdict for a Muslim barbarian.  Read more about it at the N.Y. Times, here.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Dead Sea Scrolls: My Visit to Southern California

Wifey and I spent Mother's Day visiting our son in Murrieta, California, south of Los Angeles. To get there, one must drive through Los Angeles with its confusing phalanx of freeways and intense traffic.  It always caused me considerable stress to do it, but this time it was different.  I navigated freeway Hell without much stress.  The reason:  this time I could see well, following two recent operations to remove cataracts.  Driving through L.A. was just ordinary driving, not the usual exercise in terror and chaos.

At my son's home in Murrieta, we watched "Gifted Hands," the 2009 movie about the life of Dr. Ben Carson, starring Cuba Gooding, Jr. as Carson.  It is a very inspiring story, and Carson owes much to his mom for steering him and his brother in the right direction.  His brother became an engineer.

On Monday we drove to Los Angeles to see the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibition.  The scrolls on display were mere fragments of the originals, which largely deteriorated after 2,000 years in a desert cave.  There are scrolls that are nearly intact, but they were not displayed, probably due to the difficulty of transporting them safely.  There was a lot of pottery displayed, including some of the jars in which the scrolls were originally stored.  Most of the pottery was broken into pieces, and reassembled like puzzles to make them whole again.

The Dead Sea Scrolls are ancient, hand-written texts, copies of the Jewish scriptures, from every book except that of Esther.  They were likely written and stored during the time of the Roman occupation, as a means of preserving Jewish holy texts from possible destruction by the invaders.  They were found in eleven caves near the Dead Sea, over a period from 1946 to 1952.

Friday, May 08, 2015

Bosch Fawstin's Award-Winning Drawing of Mohammed

Since many news outlets refuse to publish Fawstin's depiction of the False Prophet, I am publishing it here to show my solidarity with Bosch Fawstin and Pamela Geller.

The True Implications of the Muslim Attack on Pamela Geller

There has bee a lot of discussion about the Muslim attack on Pamela Geller's art show in Texas.  Liberals, as well as some conservatives, have argued that Geller's show was too provocative of Muslims, and unnecessary.  Others defend her right to free speech, the right to criticize Islam and its (false) prophet, Mohammed.  The former are actually arguing for a different standard for Islam and Muslims in America:  all other religions are subject to criticism and even ridicule, but Islam is sacrosanct.  Freedom of speech should be amended, making Islam the exception.

However, the true implications of the attack, like the attack on Charlie Hedbo in France, is that Islam is utterly incompatible with pluralistic democracies.  Where there are large concentrations of Muslims, there will be terrorist attacks on non-believers, because terrorism is a fundamental attribute of Islam, and always has been.  Muslims murder people, as commanded by Mohammed.  Murder to Islam is a sacred rite, a necessary activity for those who seek entrance to Muslim heaven.

Since Islam is incompatible with the safety and security of non-believers, Islam should be extricated from our midst.  Islam should  be banned.  All immigration from Muslim countries should cease, and those Muslims already here should be encouraged to leave.

Monday, May 04, 2015

Pamela Geller's Art Show Attacked in Texas; Two Muslims Become Good Terrorists

It was bound to happen, sooner or later.  Pamela Geller has been perhaps the strongest force in America opposing Islamization of the west, and warning of the violent, subversive nature of Islam.  So a couple of Muslims attacked her "Draw Mohammed" art contest with gunfire.  They shot a security guard before Garland, Texas police sent the two to collect their virgins.  One observer wrote that the chalked outline of the dead terrorist bodies was the best artwork at the show.

The security guard was not seriously injured and is expected to fully recover.

God, I love Texas.  I'd like to move there, especially since the rest of the country is in rapid retreat before the forces of Islamic appeasement, black violence and crime, and socialist, job-killing nonsense.  Texas would be a great place to make a last stand before the return of the Dark Ages.  I surmise there are a lot of like-minded people there.

Liberal pundits and terrorist apologists are, of course, blaming Pamela Geller for defending the First Amendment.  The liberals are all in for appeasement, perfectly willing to sacrifice all of our Constitutional freedoms for temporary safety.  There are better solutions.  Banning Islam altogether would be one of them.  We would not be banning a religion, we would be banning a murder cult bent on our destruction.

Of course, the huge horse's ass named Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center, a far left organization with virtually no remaining credibility, attacked Geller's sites and organizations as "a hate group."  Yes, she hates, we all hate -- Islam, an evil ideology, the world's most vile religion, mass murderer of millions.  Hating Islam is the moral equivalent of hating cancer, totalitarianism, intolerance, tyranny and murder.  If you don't  hate Islam, you are a damn fool.  Mark Potok is a damn fool.  Islamophobia is a good thing.

As for Pamela Geller, I would only advise this:  buy guns and learn how to shoot them, maintain them and store them.  A good pistol is a must, but an assault rifle and a shotgun are very much recommended.  Become a gun expert, including learning the laws of each state where you live or visit.  Move to Texas, you'll be safer there.

UPDATE:  ISIS has now added Pamela Geller to their list of westerners to be assassinated.  Geller should get a concealed carry permit for a handgun, if she hasn't already done so.

Sunday, May 03, 2015

Ann Coulter's Book: "Mugged: Racial Demagoguery from the Seventies to Obama"

I have been feeling a bit despondent lately about the Left's destruction of race relations to further their agenda.  Liberals, especially those in the media, seek to stoke the fires of black-white racial hatred, with unbelievably biased, irresponsible reporting.  The police throughout the country are being demonized as never before.  Many are expecting more black riots this summer as a result.

I do believe the Left will destroy the country if that is what it takes to rule it.  Many leftists are now advocating a nationalized police force, one of the noted milestones on the road to Fascism.  The ongoing demonization of local police has this national police force as its goal.   A national police force can enforce whatever tyranny the Federals seek to impose.  Gun confiscation, for example.  Another serious erosion of state sovereignty and local governance.

I am currently reading Ann Coulter's book Mugged: Racial Demagoguery from the Seventies to Obama.  The book was written just before the 2012 presidential elections, but is highly relevant in light of the recent Baltimore riots.

Coulter describes a lot of racial history over the past forty years:  the Tawana Brawley scandal, the Rodney King episode, plus several I hadn't heard of before, like the 1972 Harlem Mosque incident.

Four New York cops were called to Farrakan's Muslim mosque in Harlem.  The officer-in-distress call was fake and a set-up.  The cops entered the mosque and were ambushed in a stairwell.  One cop was shot dead, the others beaten to a pulp.  Unbelievably, the Mayor (liberal fool John Lindsay) and other city officials demanded the cops on the scene, the backup cops, leave the scene without arresting anyone.  The cop killer was later identified by painstaking police work, finally brought to trial, and released by a hung jury (one black woman refused to find him guilty, aided by one white liberal woman). In spite of an eyewitness, a member of the mosque, a second trial resulted in an acquittal, and once again, a guilty black man walked.  He walked because he was black, and his murder victim white.

Mayor Lindsay later apologized to Farrakan for the cops who had "invaded" his mosque.  The mayor did not attend the officer's funeral.  If there is a race war coming, you can be sure the Democrats will be stoking the flames and fighting for the black underclass.

Labeling Republicans and conservatives as "racists" is a key tactic in the Democrats' dirty little war.  In spite of that, we should not self-censor on the question of black racism, crime and violence.  We must not waiver in our support for the police, and our opposition to liberal railroading them in Kangaroo courts.

Saturday, May 02, 2015

Black Thug Dies; Black Underclass Burns Down Baltimore; Police Indicted. Same Old Story.

Obviously, something has to be done to curb black violence and lawlessness.  Our current strategy -- Give speeches about racism, apologize to thug's family, persecute the police officers -- isn't working.

How about just telling the truth about black dysfunction, rotten attitudes, violence and racist hatred against all non-blacks?  Truth might be a novel way to begin the search for solutions.

Fred Reed discusses some of these forbidden truths in his essay "Black Power."  He writes:
It is curious that blacks, the least educated thirteen percent of the population, the least productive, most criminal, and most dependent on governmental charity, should dominate national politics. Yet they do. Virtually everything revolves around what blacks want, demand, do, or can’t do. Their power seems without limit.
Fred's essay was written just before the Ferguson riots last year, but everything he says is current and relevant.  Do yourself a favor and read it here.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Former Muslim Woman Educates Others About What's Really in the Koran (Video)

Here's a must-see video.  This proves that there are good people in the Muslim faith:  namely, those who have never read the bloody Koran.  A brave Somalian woman is convinced that when many Muslims find out what's in the Koran, they will leave Islam.

When she finally read the Koran, she concluded that Allah is "a god who hates" and that "Muhammad was a terrible man."  She then left Islam to become a Christian.


Eye Surgery Completed

I had my second cataract surgery this past Tuesday, this time on my left eye.  The operation went well, but I spent a very bad night following the surgery.  My cornea swelled and my eye pressure increased a lot.  This caused a lot of pain, and I was unable to sleep, except for a few minutes here and there.

The next morning I went to the eye doctor for a post-surgery exam.  Unlike the first operation, this recovery was not going so well.  I threw up twice on the way, having my wife stop along the road.

The nurse took off the eye patch and everything was milky white.  I couldn't even read the largest letter on the eye chart.  The doctor said it was because my cornea was swollen, and he gave me a pill and some drops to unswell it.  This caused the pain to decrease quickly and significantly.  I went home and slept for something like 16 hours straight.

Today the sight in my left eye has improved considerably, but is still a bit blurry.  The milkiness has mostly disappeared.  The doc said the vision will improve over the next few days and weeks; I hope so.  I go back on Monday for a second evaluation.

UPDATE:  A second evaluation showed that the eye has improved to 20-25 from its initial 20-40.  I hope it will continue improving over the next few weeks until it reaches 20-20.  However, the eye sees a lot better than it did before the surgery, and my overall vision is now quite good.

Monday, April 27, 2015

The Shallowness of Liberalism

I spent most of the morning on FaceBook, arguing with liberals in liberal forums.  I just felt the need to fight these job-killing, liberty-strangling bastards.

Winning arguments with liberals isn't difficult.  The overwhelming majority are ignorant of current events, and history and economics, not to mention the Constitution.

Liberals flock to liberal groups to give each other a false sense of validation for their errant beliefs.  Politics is, for them, more of a social acceptance thing.  It is so satisfying to have liberal opinions, where one can pretend to be informed even though ignorant, morally superior though morally debauched, and can engage in a melee of self-congratulation with equally ignorant and shallow people.

After arguing with liberals, they often give up, surprised, shocked and deeply depressed to learn that there are counter-arguments for the political pablum that sustains them.

I hate liberalism.  And I am none too crazy about liberals either.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Bruce Jenner: "I Am a Woman!"

No Bruce, you are not a woman.

Women do not have penises.

However, in a free country you have the right to entertain whatever harmless fantasies you wish.

And if anyone calls you a sissy, hit them with your purse.

More Eyeball Surgery

Next Tuesday I will have my second cataract surgery, this time on my left eye.  I am looking forward to it.   Last January, I had the surgery on my right eye and have been very pleased with the result.  My eyesight in the right eye is phenomenal.

Another Baby Bird Drops In

Last summer I recounted my tale of caring for two fledgling Robins until they could fly.  I was helped by the birds' parents, who came often to feed the babies (I fed them too).  In less than a week they were strong enough to fly away.

This morning, as I was sitting at the table underneath my canvas patio cover, I heard a "Plop" and looked to my right to see a young sparrow on the patio, looking stunned.  He seems to have just fallen out of the sky, or perhaps from a nest on my roof, invisible to me.  I immediately fetched him and put him in my bird cage to protect him.  Then I read about the feed and caring of fledgling Sparrows via a Google search.

I learned that fledgling Sparrows have a high mortality rate when in held captivity.  Some informed wild life rehabilitators stated that the fledglings are best left on the ground, because their parents will continue feeding them until they can fly.  So I freed the baby bird.  He immediately took refuge under a big bush in the corner of my yard.  In about fifteen minutes, an adult sparrow showed up and began feeding him.

I think the bird will be okay, absent any predators (like cats).  In any case, I think I did the right thing.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

The White Rose: Martyrs Against Nazi Tyanny #History #WorldWarII

One of my interests is World War II, and I spend a lot of time watching movies, documentaries and film clips of it on YouTube.  Last week I watched a film about the White Rose, a group of anti-Nazi German youths who worked against Hitler's government.  It is an inspiring tale:  young people risking, and several losing their lives, in the effort.

Founded in 1942, the White Rose wrote and distributed leaflets among the German populace, urging passive resistance to Nazi rule.  Leaflets were typed on a borrowed typewriter, and reproduced on a duplicating machine.  These were mailed at random to addresses taken from public phone books, or distributed by leaving them in public places.  The White Rose had cells in Hamburg, Freiburg, Berlin, and Vienna.

Hans Scholl, Sophie Scholl and Christoph Probst
The film documents the trial and execution of three members of the White Rose:   Hans Scholl, a medical student at the University of Munich, his sister Sophie Scholl, and Christoph Probst.  All three had been members of the Nazi youth organizations, early supporters of Hitler and the Nazis.  Hans had served in the RAD, the National Labor Force. As a soldier on the Eastern front, Hans had observed first-hand Nazi atrocities against civilians, and became disillusioned with the German war effort.  Christoph Probst had served in the German army at a Luftwaffe (air force) base.  However, they lost their allegiance to Hitler in light of Nazi atrocities, and they were angered by Germany's loss of democracy and freedoms.  Their pamphlets denounced Hitler as a mass murderer and called upon Germans to resist the Nazi regime.

After the German defeat at Stalingrad, Hans and Sophie took a suitcase full of leaflets to the University of Munich, where they left small stacks of them outside the doors of classrooms.  However, they were observed by the janitor, who reported them to the Gestapo, the Nazi secret police.  They were arrested and tried in the so-called People's Court on February 22, 1943.  The trial was presided over by the notorious Roland Freisler, chief justice of the People's Court of the Greater German Reich, who had been sent from Berlin.

Roland Freisler, a dedicated Nazi, held show trials in which the accused were insulted and demeaned. This was no different:
He conducted the trial as if the future of the Reich were indeed at stake. He roared denunciations of the accused as if he were not the judge but the prosecutor. He behaved alternately like an actor ranting through an overwritten role in an implausible melodrama and a Grand Inquisitor calling down eternal damnation on the heads of the three irredeemable heretics before him. . . . No witnesses were called, since the defendants had admitted everything. The proceedings consisted almost entirely of Roland Freisler's denunciation and abuse, punctuated from time to time by half-hearted offerings from the court-appointed defense attorneys, one of whom summed up his case with the observation, “I can only say fiat justitia. Let justice be done.” By which he meant: Let the accused get what they deserve.
Sophie Scholl
Freisler found Hans, Sophie and Christoph guilty of high treason, and sentenced them to death by guillotine. Their executions were carried out on the same day, by executioners strangely attired in top hats.  Sophie went first, followed by Hans, and Christoph died last.  Later, the prison guards would recount the bravery with which the three had met their end, saying that Sophie did not bat an eyelash.  Her last words were "The sun still shines."  Her brother Hans shouted "Long live freedom!" as the blade fell.

Later, other members would follow the three to the guillotine, including a Munich philosophy professor, Kurt Huber, who had overseen the group.

The film about the trial and executions is called Sophie Scholl, the Final Days.  It can be viewed for free at YouTube, at this link.

Roland Freisler was later killed by an American bomb in Berlin.  On February 3, 1945, as he was preparing another trial with a predetermined verdict (death), the building in which he presided came under American bombing.  As he gathered his papers before seeking safety in a shelter, a bomb exploded through the roof and Freisler was crushed by a falling beam.  Good riddance.

After many years, the guillotine, on which the three were executed, was found in the basement of a German museum.  It is considered too grisly to put on display.  See it here.

Today, schools and squares all over Germany have been named in honor of the White Rose.  This small group today is a symbol of freedom and resistance to tyranny.  I know I will never forget their names:  Hans Scholl, Sophie Scholl, and Christoph Probst.  As Sophie said to her mother, shortly before her execution:  May we meet in eternity.

Postscript:  the White Rose authored and distributed six leaflets (a seventh was never finished and released).  Their English translations can be read at this link.

According to Wikipedia:
The White Rose had the last word. Their last leaflet was smuggled to the Allies, who edited it and air-dropped millions of copies over Germany.
Graves of Hans Scholl and Sophie Scholl


How Hillary Clinton Seems to Me

Shrillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton is running for president.  I am not enthused.

Sure, there are the usual arguments for opposing her:  she's never accomplished much in her long life, never been a leader, never been an effective head of an organization of any import.  All that's true, but that's not the worst of it.

When I think of Hillary Clinton, I think of an arrogant, angry woman with a superiority-complex, looking down her nose at the little people, all with a scowl on her face.  Rules do not apply to her, they are for other people.  Facts don't matter, only spin.  Even if I agreed with Hillary philosophically, I would find it impossible to like her personally.  It seems to me that her whole existence on this planet, her every waking moment, is suffused with one burning agenda:  to rule the masses, the masses whom she hates, and for whom she feels only contempt.

That, in a nutshell, is how Hillary Clinton seems to me.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Tax Season Is Over! Big Band Is Back!!

It's over.  April 15 has come and gone.  I survived.  Went home and took a big nap, followed by a good cigar.

The CPA firm I worked for me likes me a lot.  They want me to show up on Monday to discuss further work for them.  They have over 100 tax returns on extension, and no doubt need help finishing them.

Yesterday I went to my big band practice, and it went very well.  The band is beginning to gel nicely.  The songs are tighter, we all seem to know what to do.  I feel increasingly confident in my ability to play bass with this band.  My ability to read notes gets better and better.  When you are playing music, and you intuitively know the chord changes, and your playing melds with that of the other musicians to create a joyous musical harmony, it is definitely thrilling.  You feel alive in an unusual way.  You are one with your instrument.  The music flows through you like electricity through a cord.  There is no better feeling.

One of my favorite sounds is trumpets with mutes.  The mute gives a very different sound to the trumpet.  One of the songs we play is "Don't Get Around Much Anymore."  The original big band recording of that song makes use of mutes for the trumpets.  (Have a listen here.)

After practice, I swung over to Aldo's Italian restaurant in Los Gatos, only five minutes away from the band's practice site, to join the after-tax dinner put on by the CPA firm, my new employer.  April 16 was, for me, an excellent day, with everything going right.  The high point was the band performance, but being seen as a valued employee by the CPA firm was a close second.  Both my bass skills and my tax skills are at a zenith, the highest point of my life.

So for today, I will enjoy my recent accomplishments.  At least until my wife insists that I do my laundry, which is piling up, and vacuum the dog's fur-ball contributions to our house.  And straighten up my music room.  And shred old tax documents.  I'll do it though, with a smile on my face.

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Amanda Knox's Long Nightmare Comes To An End

Amanda Knox is the college student who was wrongly convicted in Italy for the 2007 murder of her roommate, Meredith Kercher.  Having closely followed the case, the characters, the evidence and the facts, I became convinced early on that she was completely innocent of the crime.  That goes the same for her then-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, who was convicted along with Knox in 2009.

There was never any evidence of Knox and Sollecito's involvement.  No fingerprints, no DNA, no motive, no witnesses.  However, Giuliano Mignini, a prosecutor with a bad reputation for frivolous indictments dreamed up a "sex-game-gone-wrong" scenario in which Knox and Sollecito participated with one Rudy Guede to slash Meredith's throat.  The scenario's only basis was Mignini's dirty mind.

The real murderer-rapist-burglar was a black thug named Rudy Guede, whose DNA was all over the crime scene.  He received a sentence of only 16 years.  When he was being monitored on Skype, talking to a friend, he told that friend that Knox and Sollecito were not there.  He told other cell-mates the same thing:  the unlucky couple had nothing to do with the crime.  Mignini ignored it.  The two were convicted and sentenced to prison terms of around 25 years each.  They appealed.

In an appeals trial in 2011, forensic experts testified to the inadequacy of evidence to convict the two, and they were declared innocent and set free.  This didn't set well with a higher court in Rome, who ordered a third trial with a pre-selected verdict:  guilty as determined by the first trial.  Knox and Sollecito appealed to the Italian Supreme Court, who this week declared the two innocent, and even more, not only "not guilty by lack of evidence" but stated categorically that the two did not commit the crime.

Knox and Sollecito spent four years in prison for a crime they did not commit.  Knox was also convicted of defamation of her former barroom boss, Patrick Lumumba, for signing a statement that Lumumba killed Kercher.  However, she signed the statement, written not by her, but for her, by the Perugian police, after intense and abusive interrogation all night, without sleep or food.  She signed their statement under extreme duress, and repudiated it the next day after a few hours of sleep.  This unjust conviction was upheld by the Supreme Court, perhaps as insurance that she could not sue for the false imprisonment she was made to endure.  Because of that, she "owes" Lumumba around $54,000 in damages.  I hope she never pays a dime.

The players in this drama who deserve disgust and shame are as follows:

1.  Giuliano Mignini, the corrupt prosecutor who engineered the debacle in court.  May he suffer the shame and dishonor he richly deserves, for the rest of his miserable life.

2.  The fanatical "guilters," those people fanatically devoted to preserving the convictions, in spite of the total absence of evidence of guilt.  This includes a large number of Brits, who are incapable of logic or objective evaluation of the facts.  I suspect their anti-American prejudices are a large factor in their disgraceful attitudes.  I hope this final verdict sticks in their craws and gives them enormous amounts of stomach acid.

3.  The parents of Meredith Kercher, whose displaced anger and need for revenge has made them devoted to preserving the wrongful convictions.  Meredith Kercher was a fine, lovely young woman whose murder was a tragedy, and whose loss to the world is enormous.  However, her parents have covered themselves in shame, yearning as they did for a surrogate to punish for Meredith's death, while the real murderer was given a light sentence and soon will be free to walk the streets again.

4.  Ann Coulter, whose uninformed attacks on Knox displayed her considerable ignorance of the case and the facts.  She loved to label Knox as "convicted murderer Amanda Knox."  Now it is "acquitted innocent Amanda Knox."  Will Coulter apologize for her error?  Don't hold your breath.

Congratulations to Amanda Knox and Raffaele Solecito, two young college students whose lives were trashed by the corrupt, inefficient and deeply flawed Italian system of justice.  May their long-awaited healing begin, and may they get on with their lives and find peace.

Related Article:  Italian Court Throws Out Knox Conviction Once and for All.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

A Stogie Update

I am busy working on taxes and I'll be glad when its April 16!  I've done a lot of corporate (both C Corps and S Corps), a trust, a couple of partnerships, and a number of individual tax returns.  My skills are sharper than ever before, and I have become quite familiar with the most popular tax software, Lacerte.

I used some of my pay to buy an Acoustic Image Contra bass amplifier for my string bass, and looking forward to trying it out with the band.

The weather here in Northern California is warm and sunny, bad for the drought, good for the morale.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Brett Kimberlin's Descent Into Litigation Madness

This week the federal court in Maryland finally got around to dismissing Brett Kimberlin's RICO lawsuit against all defendants.  A small portion of the suit remained, though it is no longer a RICO case.  Patrick Frey must still stand trial to discover if he violated Brett Kimberlin's civil rights by asking the FBI to investigate Kimberlin for his role in several swatting cases, including that of Patrick Frey.  Google it, if you want more info.

Since Frey is an assistant District Attorney, he may have been acting "under the color of law," which means he might have frightened Kimberlin into thinking he might be arrested for speaking out.  Obviously, assistant DA's are not able to request police investigation into a serious crime committed against them, because it might upset the suspected perpetrator, and that would violate the potential criminal's civil rights.  [Update:  Frey may not have to stand trial.  The case is moving into the discovery phase.  Based on the evidence that comes to light during discovery, Frey may be able to get a motion for summary judgment, which would end the case.]

Folks closer to the case think Frey will prevail, and I think so too.

Kimberlin is obsessed with William J.J. Hoge and intent on destroying the man through the court system.  The ink was hardly dry on the dismissal of Kimberlin's Peace Order petition against Hoge, when Kimberlin filed yet a SECOND RICO suit, naming all new defendants, with the exception of Hoge.  This absurd fantasy involves a big conspiracy by a firm of attorneys, H.B. Gary (a commercial business), the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and a bunch of other folks who have never met Brett Kimberlin.  Kimberlin refers to them as "Team Themis."

I read the complaint.  It is totally unclear to me how Kimberlin could have any legal standing in this lawsuit.  There is no mention of how any of these defendants wronged Kimberlin personally, and he has no standing to sue on behalf of anyone else.  I doubt that this suit will survive as long as the first RICO suit.  It is nothing but great glaring generalities, making accusations of various wrong-doings without any specifics, or who did what to whom, when and why.  Reading it, I am struck with a strong impression that Brett Kimberlin has simply lost his mind.

However, litigious Brett wasn't finished.  In the same week he filed a million dollar lawsuit against Home Depot.  Home Depot was recently the victim of hackers, who broke into its computer system and stole credit card information, which they then sold on the black market.  Kimberlin claims that one of those credit cards was his.  Actual damages that he claimed were around $75,000, plus one million dollars for punitive damages.

The only good thing about these lawsuits is that they may hurry the day when Brett Kimberlin is finally adjudged a vexatious litigant, and unable to file more lawsuits on his own without advance permission from a court, and without posting bond for the benefit of the defendants.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Brett Kimberlin's Battle of the Bulge Moment

In late 1944, the allies were closing in on Berlin from all sides.  The war for Germany was lost.  However, the German high command launched a desperate counterattack that became known as the Battle of the Bulge.  Not expecting the attack, allied troops retreated and many were captured.  Hitler's desperation move eventually came to naught, as allied troops pushed back and regained the momentum.  Hitler's last major offensive of the war had failed, and he took refuge in his Berlin bunker to await the end.

This past week Kimberlin launched his own version of the Battle of the Bulge.  It was a desperation counter attack on his most effective critic, William J.J. Hoge of Hogewash.com.  Brett Kimberlin (BK) and his dubious associates appear to be feeling the heat, that is, expecting Brett's RICO lawsuit to be thrown out soon, and then face the legal ramifications of filing a false and vexatious lawsuit in federal court.

Kimberlin sought to launch a counterpunch that might turn the tide in his favor:  he filed yet another vexatious action against Hoge, seeking a Maryland Peace Order, claiming that Hoge was obsessed with BK's teenage daughter.  The Peace Order demanded that Hoge stop harassing and stalking his daughter, and implied that Hoge was seeking Kimberlin's arrest in order to "save" Kimberlin's daughter.  Kimberlin presented some two-year old tweets, allegedly sent by Hoge, discussing BK's daughter as evidence that his claims were true.

However, they were not true.  In my opinion, this Peace Order petition was most likely a lame attempt to denigrate the credibility and reputation of William Hoge, to be cited and used as a counterclaim in any future legal actions against BK for malicious prosecution and forged documents presented to a court.

The Peace Order claim was a huge lie from beginning to end.  Hoge had done none of the things BK claimed, said none of the things BK claimed.  The tweets presented were innocuous, briefly discussing an online Gazette article about the daughter's musical pursuits, and Kimberlin's alleged attempt to insinuate himself into the story.  The tweets were not originated by Hoge, who had simply retweeted what others had previously tweeted.  When asked in court if these tweets were authored by him, Hoge stated truthfully that they were not.

Further, a Maryland Peace Order requires evidence that is not older than thirty days, and so the two-year old tweets were inadmissible, even if relevant, which they were not.  The Peace Order petition was denied.

Kimberlin's claims in the Peace Order were highly fictitious, and could conceivably be construed as perjury.  Nevertheless, there are some mutterings from a BK support site, Breitbart Unmasked, that say BK will seek to have Hoge prosecuted for perjury, that is, for denying that the irrelevant tweets were authored by him.  Hoge has presented clear evidence on his blog that prove he is correct:  the tweets were penned by Lee Stranahan.  So before BK attempts any actions to prosecute Hoge for non-existent perjury, he should consider that it is he who may be prosecuted for perjury, by making fictitious and frivolous claims in a Peace Order hearing.

Now that BK's "Battle of the Bulge" moment has passed, perhaps it is time for him and his associates to retire to their bunker and await the inevitable day of reckoning for the wicked.

Note:  I believe the facts as stated above are true; however, readers are invited to submit corrections to any inadvertent misstatements of fact.

See also Hoge's post about the case here, and Aaron Walker's detailed account here.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Jayzoo Cree, as the French Say: the Hijinks of Obama and Hillary

I am appalled at our Democrats-in-power.  Barack Obama entertaining the notion of raising taxes by Executive Order.  Obama trying to hatch a secret deal with the Iranians, which some say will grease the skids to their nuclear bomb -- and without the advice and consent of Congress.

Now Hillary has been called on the carpet for running her own email server and doing state business on it rather than on the official email server.  That's against the law, so why did  she do it?

She claims that she would have to have two iPhones or Blackberries to use two different email addresses, and opted for using just one, for convenience sake.  Horse puckey.  You can put several email addresses on a single iPhone, so that explanation is lame and doesn't wash.

The truth, I suspect, is that she was doing unethical things with Obama, things related to Benghazi and other scandals.  Her and Barack's plot to lie about the terrorist attack on Benghazi and pretend it was just a protest against an inflammatory video that got out of hand.  Yeah, that's the ticket.  It certainly wasn't because Obama and Hillary are incompetent boobs who didn't take security threats seriously -- especially with Obama up for reelection.




Thursday, February 26, 2015

Christians Burned Alive In Nigeria? The New Holocaust Ignored by the World (WARNING: Grisly Photo)

My friend Rick Darby of Reflecting Light sent me a photo he obtained from a French friend.  It shows a multitude of people who have been incinerated.  The source says these are Christians who were burned alive in their church by Muslims in Nigeria.

The French text reads: THIS IS WHAT THE ENTIRE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY SUPPRESSES ... it is absoutely necessary to know.
Media scandal / It is politically incorrect to show the fate dealt by the Islamists to Christians who refuse to submit ...

Christians burned alive in a church in Nigeria: a monstrous holocaust before international indifference.

DENOUNCED BY SPANISH PRIEST JUAN CARLOS MARCOS

Can anyone shed more light on this photo and the story behind it?


Blog Break

I am unusually busy this tax season, and the extra money is nice.  I have to figure out how to squirrel some of it away for fun stuff before my wife spends it all on bills.

I need a good case for my string bass.  They are not easy to find.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Obama's Dangerous Delusions Regarding Islam

Barack Obama is dangerously deluded.  At his big conference the other day to discuss dealing with extremism, he repeated one meme over and over:  the West is not at war with Islam.  Terrorists are not Islamic.  The day before, some woman in the State Department made the asinine observation that the root cause of terrorism is poverty and frustration over non-responsive governments.  "We can't kill our way out of this war," she opined.  Yep, just like we couldn't drill our way out of high gas prices, but we did anyway.

Here's a big tablespoon of reality, Barack.  Yes, we are at war with Islam -- their choice, not ours.  Terrorism is indeed Islamic.  All of these Muslims in ISIS, Al Qada, the Taliban and Boko Haram are merely obeying their holy scriptures.  They are literally carrying out the dictates of their prophet and following his example.  Muhammad too, was a terrorist and mass-murderer.  Obama is following the progressive dictum that says reality can be changed by refusing to acknowledge it.

As for the airhead in the State Department, Muslims don't cut off people's heads and burn them alive because they seek a new vocation.  Leave it to a bureaucrat to see every problem solvable by applying their favorite panacea.  Remember the huge tsunami of 2004 that savaged Indonesia Sri Lanka?  Some absurd progressive sent a large shipment of condoms to assist the victims.  Yes, when one has been trashed by a tsunami, one tends to get a bit randy.  His panacea to every problem:  free birth control.

An old saying applies here:  When the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Busy Me

The tax season has grabbed me.  That's why posting is light right now.

Saturday, February 07, 2015

Defending ISIS: Obama's Assault on Moral Clarity at the Prayer Breakfast #ISIS, #prayerbreakfast #Obama

The Cowardly King
Everyone has now heard about Obama's defense of ISIS's evil at the prayer breakfast in Washington two days ago.  Obama sought to create "moral equivalence" between mass murder committed by Islamists and that allegedly created by Christians during the Crusades and the Inquisition.

In a nutshell:  Per Obama, Christian civilization is no more moral than Islamic civilization [this is pure horse puckey, but let's assume for the sake of argument that Obama is right].  Other religions besides Islam have brutalized people in past times.  Therefore, we shouldn't get up on our "high horse."

Let's see if we can come up with some logical extensions of Obama's thinking:

1.  Since other religions have also done evil things in the past, we should feel no moral outrage against ISIS for mass murdering Christians, Kurds, Shiites, beheading helpless captives, and burning a captured pilot alive.

2.  We have inherited the ancient sins and the guilt of our ancestors, and because of this, are unworthy of moral outrage.  Therefore, we cannot take any actions to stop Islamic barbarism in the here and now.  We must accept our deaths, because it is ISIS's turn to murder people; it's only fair, after all.  With any luck we will meditate on our shameful guilt before the scimitar separates our heads from our necks.

3.  Because of point #2, Obama is off the hook for doing nothing substantive to stop ISIS, and may not be criticized for the failure, nor for cuddling up to the Muslim Brotherhood and other radical Islamic groups.

The fact is, Obama seeks to obliterate any sense of moral clarity in defeating Islamic extremism.  Without the clear sense that one's enemy is evil and his own cause is just, victory becomes more difficult to attain.  So, Obama hopes, we will do nothing instead.  The legendary "Fifth Column" is not only in our gates, but is occupying the White House.

Obama did not invent the leftist "moral equivalence" meme, but his words at the prayer breakfast last week were the epitome of this strategy, in all its disgusting falsity and destructiveness.  The left seeks to substitute moral ambivalence for moral clarity.  In the process, they weaken our will to survive evil.

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Islamophobia is a Good Thing; or Reason No. 1386 Why We Should Hate Islam #IslamicAtrocities

I see the Muslim animals in the Middle East burned a Jordanian pilot alive.  They put him in a cage, drenched him with gasoline, and lit a fire under the cage.

Islam is so uber-evil, that it is impossible any longer to be shocked by what its followers do in the name of their fake god.

Nice try, ISIS, but I cannot hate you or your religion any more than I already do.


Sunday, February 01, 2015

Superbowl Sunday, But Not For Me. Band Update.

I won't be watching much of the Super Bowl today, if any.  I must venture out to do taxes for some of my personal clients.  I don't really care much which team wins today -- they both represent very "progressive" areas.

At big band practice last Thursday, the band director was very encouraging, complimenting my bass playing and saying that "the bass is the most important instrument in the group."  Of course I always knew that.  However, I suspect he was exaggerating.  All those trumpets, trombones and saxophones count a little.  The drummer and guitar player add somewhat as well.

Of course, they were all giving me dirty looks after the director's comment.  I simply stuck my tongue out at them and turned up my volume.

Well one more cup of coffee and then I have to hit the door.  Have a great Sunday.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Jonathan Chait: Political Correctness is "a Kind of Virtual Mental Prison."

Jonathan Chait has written a controversial essay for New York magazine on the subject of "political correctness":  Not a Very P.C. Thing to Say hat tip American Power.  Chait's explanation of this phenomenon is that it is a form of censure, thought control, permanent control of public discussion so that only certain memes and themes may be advanced, with any opposing views silenced and ostracized.  Political correctness is a new form of Stalinism (my description, not Chait's).

The goal of political correctness is to shut down debate on subjects beloved by the left.  Criticism, opposing ideas are forbidden.  The result is that in leftist venues like the college campus, a hostile culture and work environment holds sway over the populace.  A hyper-sensitivity to any imagined race or gender bias exists, and those who inadvertently trigger it are to be publicly humiliated, excoriated and socially and professionally ostracized.  This is the P.C, environment, which Chait has described as a "kind of virtual mental prison."

Political correctness is tyranny.  That's why I have been determined to say what I think in this blog, regardless of who it may offend.

If you have recently been enrolled in college courses, you probably noticed the strange culture that exists on campuses.  Attitudes about race, sex, gender and economics seem bizarre, odd and alien.  That is because of the intellectual bubble in which the left lives, the false reality they have constructed for themselves.  Their values are warped and unnatural.  You find yourself tip-toeing around crowds of weirdos to avoid giving offense and bringing down the anger of the strange alien masses.  Take a good look, for this is what America will look like if they have their way.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

2014 Was the Hottest Year on Record! Yeah, Right. #climatechange

"2014 was the hottest
  year on record!"
One of the most hard-to-believe memes to come out this month is the absurd notion that "2014 was the warmest year in history."  Really?  Where, on Uranus?

In my life experience, 2014 was one of the coldest years since my parents moved to California sixty-one years ago this month.  Arctic ice is at record levels.  Snow is falling all over the globe [see coming New York storm for instance].  Yet you can ignore all of that.  The "climate scientists" have decreed otherwise.  Ignore the icicles, the storms, the snow flurries: the warmists have spoken.

Anyone who believes in catastrophic man-made "climate change" will never get my vote.  Mitt Romney is therefore out of the question.

UPDATE:  Powerline reports that 2014 was one of the coldest years in the last 10,000 years, based on ice core data.  Also, Powerline shows how leftist governments have "adjusted" the data of prior decades to give a fake warming effect.  Read it here.




A Courageous Voice: Vanderbilt Professor Warns Against the Islamic Threat, is Attacked by Campus Leftists #Islam

Professor Carol M Swain
Professor Carol M Swain of Vanderbilt University displayed a lot of moral backbone last week, when she warned:
“What would it take to make us admit we were wrong about Islam?” the professor began. “What horrendous attack would finally convince us that Islam is not like other religions in the United States, that it poses an absolute danger to us and our children unless it is monitored better than it has been under the Obama administration?”
Professor Swain was immediately attacked by campus "progressives" for puncturing another of their illusions.  You see, it doesn't matter how many Fort Hoods, Boston Marathons or Charlie Hedbos we must suffer, or how high the body count may reach:  the illusion of "peaceful" Islam must be maintained.

Professor Swain teaches political science and law at Vanderbilt.  My only criticism of her comment is that it doesn't go far enough.  Islam should be banned, not merely monitored.

Read more here.



Saturday, January 24, 2015

American Sniper: Why Do Leftists Hate It?

The movie "American Sniper" is a true story, based on the life of Chris Kyle.  Here's how it is described:
U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle (Bradley Cooper) takes his sole mission -- protect his comrades -- to heart and becomes one of the most lethal snipers in American history. His pinpoint accuracy not only saves countless lives but also makes him a prime target of insurgents. Despite grave danger and his struggle to be a good husband and father to his family back in the States, Kyle serves four tours of duty in Iraq. However, when he finally returns home, he finds that he cannot leave the war behind.
The movie is smashing attendance records and appears to be the most popular film in a decade.  People who saw it say it is very moving.  It apparently also reawakens American patriotism.

Of course, "progressives" (Democrats, leftists and other crawly things) hate the film.  Michael Moore, leftist film maker and professional America-hater, denounced snipers as "cowards."

Why do "progressives" hate the film?  Simple.  "Progressives" hate the military, hate patriotism, hate white people, hate war against evil people with whom those progressives identify.  In fact, any time there is a struggle between good and evil in this world, the "progressives" will support and defend the latter with their dying breath.

The Legal Saga of an Abject Scoundrel #BrettKimberlin

Brett Kimberlin's RICO lawsuit is plodding along towards eventual resolution, hopefully in our lifetimes.  This is his "racketerring" suit in federal court against numerous conservative bloggers.  Kimberlin argues that these bloggers formed a massive conspiracy among themselves to get rich by "defaming" him.  They "defamed" him by publishing the truth about Kimberlin's criminal past, which included setting off bombs in and around Speedway, Indiana back in 1978.  Two people were injured by one of the bombs, one quite severely.  That victim later committed suicide rather than deal with the pain.

Kimberlin doesn't like people telling the truth about him, as it has significantly impacted his efforts to acquire donations for his two leftist non-profit organizations, i.e. "Justice Through Music" and "Velvet Revolution."  Maybe the well-heeled leftists who once donated hundreds of thousands of dollars were unaware of bomber-boy's past.  They are aware now, largely from Kimberlin's lawfare activities and the massive negative publicity he has generated himself.   Now, faced with a choice between poverty and having to get a real job, Kimberlin opted to instead sue everyone in sight, hoping, no doubt, that some of his legal targets would settle out of court.  Few have done so.

I have read almost all of Kimberlin's self-represented legal briefs and arguments, and they are truly off-the-wall and pathetic, in my layman's opinion.  His arguments are insulting to the intelligence.  For example, he is claiming, among many other crimes, invidious discrimination under the Ku Klux Klan Act, alleging that the defendants' "conspiracy" was persecution motivated by bigotry.  However, Kimberlin is white, and convicted felons are not a protected class envisioned by the Klan Act.  Nevertheless, Kimberlin continues making such absurd arguments, undeterred by shame or embarrassment.

Most of the defendants have now filed motions to dismiss the suit, because it is overly vague.  Kimberlin's claims generally do not specify who did what, when, how this harmed him, and how or why the deed was illegal, defamatory or false.  It is fairly clear that presenting actual deeds and damages is not Kimberlin's point; his point is using the legal process to silence and financially damage or extort the defendants. Since he represents himself, Kimberlin does not incur the same expenses as the defendants who are represented by counsel.

In my opinion, Brett Kimberlin is fueled by an unrelenting hatred of all who oppose him, criticize him, or frustrate his personal goals, e.g. of getting large cash donations from the public to pursue leftwing political goals.  He has no remorse, no human empathy, no kindness, no charity, no care whatsoever for anyone on the planet but himself.

In other words, Brett Kimberlin is a Rat with a capital R.  It is for that reason that so many of us continue to follow his frivolous lawsuit in federal court, no matter how slow and plodding it is.  We look forward to a just resolution.  We hope for legal redress for his lawfare victims.  And we hope for adequate punishment for the outrageously bad faith of an abject scoundrel.

Seeing Stars: My New Surgically Enhanced Vision

On Thursday evening, I returned from band practice.  The sky was black with night, and as I exited the car, I looked upward and saw stars.  With my blurry, cataract-burdened eyesight, I hadn't seen stars in a night sky for some time.  They were lovely.

I had a checkup yesterday to see how my cataract surgery is healing.  The doctor said it looks great, and my visual acuity is greater than expected - 20-15?  The doctor said "Wow" when he measured it.  Not bad for an eye that I previously considered to be nearly useless.

The surgery on my left eye is scheduled for April 28.  Now I need to make a decision.  Should the left eye be fitted with a lens that will leave it somewhat nearsighted?  The doctor recommends this, as I will then be able to read without reading glasses.  My left eye would be for reading and close-up viewing, my right eye for driving and distance viewing.

Right now, I am leaning towards making the left eye like the right, so I can see distance with added clarity.  I will happily wear reading glasses for close-up viewing.

I don't have to decide right away.  I will wait until my right eye is completely healed from the surgery, and see how it does with close-up viewing.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Famous Quotes About Islam #Islam #Muhammad

In the world of today, world leaders deny the tyranny of Islam.  They rationalize it and are in deep denial about the murderous nature of this so-called religion.  However, in times past, world leaders spoke out against it.  Those opponents of Islam include John Quincy Adams, Voltaire, Winston Churchill, Benjamin Franklin, Sir William Muir, and many others.

Here are some examples:

Muslims are the first victims of Islam. Many times I have observed in my travels that fanaticism comes from a small number of dangerous men who maintain others in the practice of this religion by terror. To liberate the Muslim from his religion is the best service that one can render him.
– Joseph Ernest Renan
French expert of Middle East ancient languages and civilizations

In the seventh century of the Christian era, a wandering Arab of the lineage of Hagar, the Egyptian, combining the powers of transcendent genius, with the preternatural energy of a fanatic, and the fraudulent spirit of an impostor, proclaimed himself as a messenger from Heaven, and spread desolation and delusion over an extensive portion of the earth. Adopting from the sublime conception of the Mosaic law, the doctrine of one omnipotent God; he connected indissolubly with it, the audacious falsehood, that he was himself his prophet and apostle.
– John Quincy Adams
6th president of the United States

Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached. God is not pleased by blood – and not acting reasonably is contrary to God’s nature. Faith is born of the soul, not the body. Whoever would lead someone to faith needs the ability to speak well and to reason properly, without violence and threats… To convince a reasonable soul, one does not need a strong arm, or weapons of any kind, or any other means of threatening a person with death.
– Byzantine Emperor Manuel II Palaiologos 
Conversation between the Emperor and a Persian scholar, 1391.

Read these and many more quotes here.

Billy Crystal is Right: Stop Shoving Gay Scenes in My Face (like "Glee") #BillyCrystal #Glee

Somebody had to say it, and Billy Crystal, actor and comedian, finally did:  There are way too many gay scenes on television.  Some gay characters, now and again, are okay, because homosexuality is a part of humanity and a part of life.  However, due to pressure from radical gay advocacy groups, every television show, every new movie, every Broadway play has to have at least one prominent gay character.  Some have way more than that.  The television series "Glee," is a case in point.

"Glee" is about a high school glee club, giving it a credible basis for lots of singing and music.  the series is in its last season, having survived five previous years on the air.  "Glee" is appealing in that it features some excellent singing talent and some interesting plots and characters, e.g. the evil and crazy cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester (played by Jane Lynch), who has now taken over as principal of the school (and who hates the glee club).  Various student club members, like the talented Lea Michele as Rachel Berry, provide excellent singing entertainment.

However, the fly in the soup is the gay component.  It is overdone to the point of suffocation.  Watching "Glee" one might get the impression that homosexuality is the natural and the norm, and heterosexuality the rare exception.  There are two gay male students, and two gay female students, and the first two  six-season episodes are exclusively devoted to the romantic intrigues and relationship storms of these four characters.  To make matters even more odd, the high school football coach is a masculine-looking woman who announces that she will be getting sexual reassignment surgery to gain a penis and become a man.  Except that she will then be a gay man, because she is still attracted to men.  If one wishes to enjoy the positive aspects of "Glee," he or she must be prepared to wallow in gayness as a condition thereof.

The fact is, "Glee" is a gay love story and always has been.  No doubt gay people love it, but as a non-gay man, I find its negatives now outweigh its positives.  I find the over-emphasis on the gay lifestyle vaguely disturbing and distasteful.  I'm glad that this is the last season for "Glee."  I am all gayed-out.