Say it ain’t so, Joe.

nextboat

I have to pause right there for a moment. “Shoeless” Joe Jackson never said that famous line:

I guess the biggest joke of all was that story that got out about “Say it ain’t so, Joe.” Charley Owens of the Chicago Daily News was responsible for that, but there wasn’t a bit of truth in it. It was supposed to have happened the day I was arrested in September of 1920, when I came out of the courtroom. There weren’t any words passed between anybody except me and a deputy sheriff. When I came out of the building this deputy asked me where I was going, and I told him to the Southside. He asked me for a ride and we got in the car together and left. There was a big crowd hanging around the front of the building, but nobody else said anything to me. It just didn’t happen, that’s all. Charley Owens just made up a good story and wrote it. Oh, I would have said it ain’t so, all right, just like I’m saying it now.

So, with that settled, we can get on to Joe for America. As readers know, I’ve been critical of JFM in multiple posts. However I do need to give that ultra-conservative site some credit for stretches of sanity. For example—and you can choose to believe this or not—I find myself on the same side with JFM on a number of issues:

Accused cop killer and one of the FBI’s most wanted fugitives Eric Frein has been captured alive, sources told ABC News tonight.

Both a federal law enforcement source and a Pennsylvania law enforcement source confirmed that Frein in custody.

It has been “a very good day,” the Pennsylvania law enforcement source said.

Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher, also known as “Joe the Plumber” is a conservative political activist. Joe for America is his blog:

The views expressed in this blog are my personal views and they do not represent the views or opinions of Chrysler in any way.

So all the posts are not by Joe Worzelbacher. In fact, looking down the string of current posts I see a variety of names. Apparently any number of people post to JFM. Which may explain this:

Noah’s Ark Has Been Found. Why Are They Keeping Us In The Dark?

I’m often amazed at our lack of knowledge about history. Ordinary people are hungry for this information, yet the organizations responsible to disseminate these facts seem to have an agenda to keep us in the dark. This is especially true when it comes to our ancient human history.

I won’t hold you in suspense with this article: The Ark of Noah has been found. It’s real. I’ll describe the evidence in some detail and end with the historical and religious implications.

Oh my God! Is this crusty old fossil still around?

Mark, Mark! Hold on for a minute. I can save you a lot of trouble, but you have to listen to me. It’s all quite simple. The fabled Ark of Noah is a myth, which is why we call it a fable. It’s a made up story. Noah is a made up person. All of this is from the Bible, which is an ancient book of mostly fiction.

There. I’ve gotten the word out, and we can safely put this bit of hysteria to bed.

Sorry, not quite:

Beverly Golato · Top Commenter · Manchester Community College, Manchester, CT

The biggest problem here is that scientists won’t confirm the discovery because then they would have to admit the bible was correct. Scientist are against God’s teaching and will always try and prove God doesn’t exist. The Discovery Channel is a little bias against religion so they are more than happy to repeat what scientists say. Scientists are important for research in almost everything except God’s teaching.

Oh no again. And Beverly Golato is a “Top Commenter.” I’m thinking that means she comments a lot on JFM, and her fact-deficient thoughts are picked up by thousands (if not millions) of readers. Ebola does not get this much of an assist.

Joe, tell us this isn’t so.

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The Morrison Report

Image from Wikipedia

Image from Wikipedia

Yesterday was an embarrassing time for me—somebody mistook me for a conservative. Don’t be shocked. It’s not hard to figure out how I got on this person’s distribution list. For me to feed my continuing supply of nonsense it’s required that I subscribe to a number of nonsense sources. That would include the Discovery Institute, conservative outlets and religious newsletters. As a consequence I seem to have caught the attention of Peter Morrison:

My name is Peter Morrison, and I’m a conservative businessman living in Lumberton, Texas with my wife and five children. 

I currently serve as treasurer of the Hardin County Republican Party and recently served on the Lumberton ISD School Board. 

I believe deeply in the principles of limited constitutional government, the sanctity of life and that our state and nation should be run under Thomas Jefferson’s principle of “Equal Rights for All, Special Privileges for None.”

Be sure and enter your email address above to get my free newsletter.  It features engaging commentary about current events of interest to Texas conservatives and actions you can take to better our state and nation.

If you’d like to contact me directly, my email is info@petermorrisonreport.com

Although I did not previous visit Peter Morrison’s site and subscribe to his newsletter, I am now glad to be receiving it, no matter how I came to his attention. A few days ago I received an email from Morrison in a similar vein to this one that came just yesterday:

Subject: We Must Stop Legal Immigration
From: Peter Morrison Report (info@petermorrisonreport.com)
To: jf_blanton@yahoo.com;
Date: Wednesday, October 29, 2014 10:36 AM

Summary of this report:

Americans are increasingly fed up with illegal immigration, and rightly so.  If we want our grandchildren to grow up in an America our grandparents would recognize, we must stop amnesty, and we must insist that our elected leaders take real action to stop and reverse illegal immigration. However, illegal immigration isn’t the main factor when it comes to the radical demographic transformation that is drastically altering America’s culture and politics. It is legal immigration that is driving the changes that will soon give Democrats permanent control of national politics if we don’t do something, and do it fast. While stopping amnesty is our most pressing task, it’s only the beginning.  We must then work to bring legal immigration to a virtual halt, before America suffers the irreversible fate of turning into a one-party country.

Full report:

Illegal immigration is finally becoming a concern for millions of Americans who never thought about the issue before.  The hordes of illegal aliens, including tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors, who swarmed our border these past few months have brought the issue to the attention of the nation.  Even the average American who pays little or no attention to politics was shocked to discover that the greatest country in the history of the world has become a dumping ground for the offspring of the poor of Central and South America.  Word has evidently gotten out that any Third World parent in the Western Hemisphere who doesn’t feel like raising their kids can just send them north, knowing that Uncle Sugar will take good care of them.

While it’s nice to see average Americans finally starting to wake up to the threat of illegal immigration, it’s also very frustrating. That’s because, frankly, when it comes to the dangers of immigration, illegal immigration is only the tip of the iceberg.  Legal immigration is a much bigger problem, by far. Unfortunately, even most conservatives have no problem with legal immigration. In fact, many think it’s just terrific. Conservatives are generally clear-headed and logical thinkers, but when it comes to this topic, many simply resort to repeating “feel-good” platitudes.  “America has always been a nation of immigrants.”   “Immigrants come to America because they value freedom and liberty, so they’re natural Republicans.”

These platitudes are worse than meaningless – they’re completely false. There have been many decades during which America brought immigration to a virtual halt, because it was in our own best interests.  Yes, it’s a fact that historically, America has often welcomed immigrants, but not in unlimited numbers and not from Third World nations. Until 1965, immigration was largely restricted to people from Europe, where the vast majority of Americans had their roots.  The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 changed all that. Now, 90% of immigrants are non-European, and they’re coming here at the rate of about a million a year.  They’ve been doing so for decades, and that is the main reason why it has become nearly impossible to elect a Republican president.

Unlike illegal immigrants, legal immigrants can apply for citizenship.  During the last 50 years, tens of millions of them (including their children) have become citizens legally, and have started voting. If they were natural Republicans as so many conservative pundits and leaders have been telling us for decades, then the Republican Party should be getting stronger and stronger in national elections. What we’re seeing, though, is the exact opposite – George W. Bush barely squeaked into office in both 2000 and 2004, and Mitt Romney couldn’t beat the most radical left-wing president this country has ever seen.

With every passing year it’s getting harder and harder to elect a Republican president, and frankly, if things don’t change, in a few years it will be next to impossible.  That’s because immigrants, far from being natural conservatives, prefer the Democrats by about a two to one margin, and every year they and their descendants make up a bigger part of the voting population.  If America had the same demographic mix in 1980 as we have now, Ronald Reagan would have lost to Jimmy Carter.  If we’d had the same demographic profile in 2012 as in 1980, Mitt Romney would be president today.

The great patriotic leader Phyllis Schlafly issued a report that every conservative should read. In it, she clearly and irrefutably demonstrates that legal immigration is a mortal threat to conservatism.  One by one, she lays out the actual facts (which will be quite surprising to many conservatives) and exposes the feel-good platitudes for the dangerous lies they are. Here are some of those facts:

Every decade, some 11 million legal immigrants come to America.  Only 10% percent of them are from Europe; 75% of them are Asian or Hispanic. In general, they and their children vote 2-1 for Democrats.  62% of them support socialized medicine run entirely by the government; 69% support Obamacare. On one poll, 53% of Hispanic Americans said they have a negative view of capitalism.

When asked if they prefer a bigger government providing more services, or a smaller one providing fewer, 55% of Asians and 75% of Hispanics said they prefer a bigger government.  Most immigrants are poor, and many receive government handouts for many years after moving here.  Now, with African-Americans voting 9-1 for Democrats, and millions of Asians and Hispanics voting Democrat at 2-1 or higher, and 10 million of them moving here every ten years, it’s pretty obvious that it won’t be long before the majority of voters will be people who will never support any conservative principle or politician, under any circumstances.

Mrs. Schlafly was not exaggerating when she wrote:

“The key conclusion of the report is this: For conservatives, there is no issue more important than reducing the number of immigrants allowed into the country each year.”

Many people have forgotten that California used to be one of the most solid conservative states in America.  Its electoral votes went to Republicans for decades.  Thanks to immigration, both legal and illegal, California is now a permanent one-party Democrat state.  Barring some radical changes, the same thing will happen to Texas in a few decades.  When it does, conservatives can forget about ever again electing a president.

Making things even worse, many immigrants despise us and our children, even as millions of them flock here.  To them, we’re a bunch of racists who deserve nothing but their contempt.  They also have no attachment to our history and roots, and many of them couldn’t care less about the Constitution. When asked if the Constitution should take precedence over international law, only 37% of legal immigrants say yes. In another poll, only 50% of naturalized citizens said that our schools should teach children to be proud of America.   Making matters even worse is that every single non-European immigrant is entitled to affirmative action and other racial preferences the moment they get off the plane.  Not only will conservatives be outnumbered politically in the not too distant future, our children are going to grow up surrounded by people who have more rights than they do, and who despise everything they represent.

Phyllis Schlafly’s report is entitled How Mass (Legal) Immigration Dooms a Conservative Republican Party.  Some have accused her of fear mongering and exaggerating how bad things are. They are wrong.  In fact, if anything, she is understating the effects that legal immigration has already had on our country, and how much worse they will get if it’s not drastically reduced in the very near future. I urge everyone to read the report, and then contact your Congressional representative and Senators and demand that legal immigration be scaled way back immediately, so that our grandchildren won’t grow up in an alien and hostile culture.  All other issues pale in importance compared to rolling back immigration.

Please forward this report on to other conservatives. Also, please like the report on facebook to help spread the word!

The Peter Morrison Report

http://www.PeterMorrisonReport.com

http://www.facebook.com/morrisonreport

Sources:

http://www.anncoulter.com/columns/2012-12-05.html

http://washingtonexaminer.com/romney-wins-white-vote-by-same-margin-as-reagan-did-in-1980-landslide/article/2512819

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/370166/liberal-newcomers-phyllis-schlafly

http://www.eagleforum.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/2014_ImmigrationBook-6-12-14.pdf

All right, all of that is interesting in so many respects. Let’s start with the subject line:

We Must Stop Legal Immigration

Yes, “we must stop legal immigration.” Legal immigration? Illegal immigration is bad enough, but we must stop legal immigration? I hope I’ve gotten that point across. Lest some readers are still missing the point, Peter Morrison, treasurer of the Hardin County Republican Party, who also previously served on the Lumberton (Texas) ISD School Board, wants to shut the borders. Don’t let any more people in.

Why?

I’m glad you asked. Morrison spells it out in his email. Picking a choice quote from among many: “I urge everyone to read the report, and then contact your Congressional representative and Senators and demand that legal immigration be scaled way back immediately, so that our grandchildren won’t grow up in an alien and hostile culture.”

I’m going to pick a little deeper and bring forth what may be the pertinent word: “alien.” People not like us. Please allow me to put up a contrived quote that might have appeared more than a hundred years ago:

We must stem this flow of immigrants, these aliens, else our way of life, even our very existence, will be threatened.

[Chief Sitting Bull, the Lakota Nation]

Yes, Mr. Morrison. If we continue to allow illegal immigration, even legal immigration, our grandchildren will be faced with growing up among people who do not look like them. Think like them. Act like them. Peter Morrison, meet Chief Sitting Bull.

Call me a left wing liberal if you want, but I oppose illegal immigration. Why? Because it’s against the law. I can’t insist that you obey the law about not using public funds to proselytize religion in our schools and then at the same time say it’s all right to break the law and enter this country without going through proper channels.

Of course we all know who else opposes illegal immigration. It’s the conservatives. It’s the Republicans. Just ask them.

No, they do not.

Conservatives, Republicans, favor illegal immigration when it suits their purpose. Four years ago I contracted with a home builder for a new home in San Antonio. We had numerous discussions, out of which came the fact that he is a committed conservative and a staunch Republican supporter. Is he opposed to illegal immigration? He better not be.

Since I moved in during October 2010 I have observed the construction of scores of new homes in the neighborhood by this builder. I have observed the workers building these homes. Many of them cannot speak the English language. The conservative Republican who sold me my new home cannot conduct his business without involving the illegal activity of employing undocumented workers.

Why are undocumented workers necessary for many American businesses? One simple fact stands above all other explanations. Undocumented, illegal, workers work cheaper. You can pay them less, because they need the work, and in most instances they cannot compete with American citizens simply because they are here illegally.

I have seen in television interviews American business owners explain that it’s not a matter of money. It’s that Americans will not do some jobs that illegal workers are willing to do. That’s bull shit. I will put that matter to rest right now. I’m retired, but suppose I were still in the work force and looking for a job. Would I take a job as a janitor? Some business owners say I would not and that it is not a matter of money. It’s because I find the job beneath me. Really? Pay me $50,000 a year, and I will take that janitor’s job. You say that $50,000 a year is too much to pay a janitor, and I say that I do agree it’s too much, but I also say we are now talking about money and not about what jobs Americans will or will not do.

In all of this I have whitewashed over Morrison’s ultimate concern. Immigrants are going to vote for Democrats, and we will never elect another Republican president.

Please do not be shocked when I say I would not feel comfortable with the possibility of having one-party rule for the next 100 years or even less, even if that one party is the Democratic party. Electing a Republican every now and then helps to keep my party of choice, the Democratic Party, from becoming a party of extremes.

But what of Morrison’s concerns that immigrants do not share his conservative values? Peter Morrison, meet Bobby Jindal. Meet Ted Cruz. Meet Marco Rubio.

Let me pause to concede one point to Peter Morrison. He’s sure that immigrants from Mexico and further south tend to vote Democratic. This appears to be correct:

The majority of Latinos favor President Barack Obama over GOP contender Mitt Romney, according to an exclusive Fox News Latino. There is, however, one glaring exception: Cuban Americans.

While 64 percent of Mexican Americans and 67 percent of Puerto Ricans said they would vote for the Obama/Biden ticket come November, only 39 percent of the Cuban Americans polled said they would vote for the Democratic side.

One part of Morrison’s message had a decidedly uncharitable slant:

Word has evidently gotten out that any Third World parent in the Western Hemisphere who doesn’t feel like raising their kids can just send them north, knowing that Uncle Sugar will take good care of them.

Others share this sentiment:

Good news America, tens-of-thousands of children in the country illegally are on their way to a public school near you for a taxpayer funded education and the Department of Education says they’re entitled it. More from Caroline May at Breitbart (bolding is mine):

The item is from TownHall.com and further quotes are from Breitbart. Breitbart quotes correctly from the government’s Department of Education. The Health and Human Services Department elaborates further:

When a child who is not accompanied by a parent or legal guardian is apprehended by immigration authorities, the child is transferred to the care and custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR).  Federal law requires that ORR feed, shelter, and provide medical care for unaccompanied children until it is able to release them to safe settings with sponsors (usually family members), while they await immigration proceedings. These sponsors live in many states.

Sponsors are adults who are suitable to provide for the child’s physical and mental well-being and have not engaged in any activity that would indicate a potential risk to the child. All sponsors must pass a background check. The sponsor must agree to ensure the child’s presence at all future immigration proceedings. They also must agree to ensure the minor reports to ICE for removal from the United States if an immigration judge issues a removal order or voluntary departure order.

HHS is engaging with state officials to address concerns they may have about the care or impact of unaccompanied children in their states, while making sure the children are treated humanely and consistent with the law as they go through immigration court proceedings that will determine whether they will be removed and repatriated, or qualify for some form of relief.

HHS has strong policies in place to ensure the privacy and safety of unaccompanied children by maintaining the confidentiality of their personal information. These children may have histories of abuse or may be seeking safety from threats of violence. They may have been trafficked or smuggled.  HHS cannot release information about individual children that could compromise the child’s location or identity.

So, it would appear that everything Peter Morrison, Town Hall and Breitbart are complaining about is true. Undocumented children who show up in this country are scooped up and cared for by government agencies which act to ensure they have shelter, food, clothing, protection, care and education, a lot of which is at public expense:

A new report puts the price of educating the thousands of illegal immigrant children who recently crossed into the U.S. at a whopping $761 million this school year — as some school systems push for the feds to pick up the tab.

The estimate comes from the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), which issued a report on the 37,000 “unaccompanied minors” – who mainly are from Central America – after analyzing data from the Department of Health and Human Services and education funding formulas in all 50 states.

The numbers underscore the concerns critics have raised for months about the burden the surge is putting on local school systems and governments.

Am I outraged at this? Excuse me? This is what a civilized society is supposed to do. When we cease to care for children in need, ours or theirs, we are becoming a nation of troglodytes. But then, that’s being uncharitable to troglodytes. My best guess is the troglodytes cared for their children. That said, let’s examine the reality.

  • $761 million this school year
  • 37,000 “unaccompanied minors”

In trying to reconcile these two numbers I come up with $20,568 per student per year. This is what I found from The Washington Post:

There’s a particularly acute gulf visible in different regions. As the Census Bureau’s announcement noted, the nine Northeast states were among the 15 states spending the most per pupil; 18 states in the South and West were among the 20 states spending the least per pupil. New York spends the most per pupil ($19,552), more than three times the per-student amount spent in Utah ($6,206), the last state on the list.

All right, that doesn’t come out to $20,568, even for New York state, which is the highest. Considering the least spent is $6,206 per student the average has got to be much less than $20,568. So let’s get past this and agree that it costs thousands of dollars a year to educate a child for one year in this country. What of it? It’s worth it.

You think not? Go back to the 37,000 number. That’s supposed to be the number of “unaccompanied minors” that somebody’s complaining about. How does this number compare with other than “unaccompanied minors?”

In fall 2014, about 49.8 million students will attend public elementary and secondary schools. Of these, 35.1 million will be in prekindergarten through grade 8 and 14.7 million will be in grades 9 through 12. An additional 5.0 million students are expected to attend private schools(source). The fall 2014 public school enrollment is expected to remain near the record enrollment level of fall 2013.

Wait just a moment. I think I can do this calculation in my head. 37,000 is less than 0.1% of 49.8 million. Somebody is bleeding all over my Yahoo mail in box over a 0.074% blip in the education budget?

I think the bleeding over a 0.074% (that’s 0.00074) is not so much about the money as it is about the children. Some people just don’t like the children. These children are going to grow up and vote for Democrats. Really? Are you surprised? With conservative Republicans taking the kind of stand that Peter Morrison has, why would they ever vote for him? When did it become a politician’s job to work for self interest while ignoring the needs of the voters?

There may be more. It’s possible these children are going to grow up and not go to the same church as Peter Morrison:

AUSTIN – Some conservative Republican activists working to unseat House Speaker Joe Straus are circulating e-mails that emphasize his Judaism.

Several e-mails have surfaced in recent days that mention Straus’ rabbi and underscore the Christian faith of his leading critics in the House Republican Caucus.

“Straus is going down in Jesus’ name,” said one, whose origins were unclear.

Straus, R-San Antonio, “clearly lacks the moral compass to be speaker,” said another, written by Southeast Texas conservative activist Peter Morrison.

“Both Rep. Warren Chisum and Rep. Ken Paxton, who are Christians and true conservatives, have risen to the occasion to challenge Joe Straus for leadership,” Morrison wrote in his newsletter last Thursday, referring to two Republicans who are running against Straus for speaker.

Morrison, asked Tuesday if he intended to signal that Straus is unfit because he is Jewish, replied in an e-mail, “I was simply making factual statements about Rep. Chisum and Rep. Paxton.”

Morrison said his opposition to Straus is driven by issues, not religion.

Readers, there is much more to this than I can cover at one sitting. You have to be sure I’m coming back to this. Peter Morrison is not finished with all the ills that afflict our fair nation. And we are not finished with Peter Morrison.

Bad Movie of the Week

Army_of_Darkness_poster

I don’t have a copy of the movie, so I’m going to have to post this review from memory. It’s Army of Darkness with Bruce Campbell as Ash Williams. First a little background.

This is a sequel to another film, also directed by Sam Raimi, titled Evil Dead 2. This is most frightening, because that name indicates there may have been an Evil Dead 1. Anyhow, in Evil Dead 2 Ash tangles with zombies and other weird critters in a cabin in the woods, and many people get killed. In the end Ash is the only survivor, and he finds himself drawn into a space-time vortex along with his car, a 1973 Oldsmobile Delta 88. Ash and the car get dropped into the year 1300 in the midst of some Medieval warriors engaged in a scuffle.

At the conclusion of Evil Dead 2 we see Ash with only his double-barrel shotgun and his chain saw, plus the car, and as a stranger appearing mysteriously in the midst of a scuffle among Medieval warriors he is immediately held suspect. That is until the warriors are menaced by a flying dragon, which Ash dispatches with his trusty two-barrel. He is then hailed as a hero. That was in 1987.

By the time Raimi directed Army of Darkness in 1992 there had apparently been a change of heart, because this movie opens with hero Ash in chains with some other battlefield captives. The plot goes in a straight line from there.

I will not recap the plot, but suffice it to mention:

  • Ash gets tossed into a pit with unmentionable critters and shoots his way out.
  • He uses his fresh flash of fame by ordering the release of the remaining battlefield captives.
  • He is treated as royalty in the castle of his previous captor, wined and dined, but declining the favors of the absolutely smashing Sheila (played by Embeth Davidtz). He later relents, with great gusto.
  • He directs the local wizard to invoke his powers to return him to the 20th century.
  • The wizard cannot do this without the Necronomicon Ex-Mortis, a book Ash first discovered in the cabin in Evil Dead 2.
  • Ash screws up his quest to recover the book, bringing down the wrath of the Deadites on his hosts.
  • Using his 20th century knowledge Ash helps defeat the Deadites, and the wizard returns him to the 20th century.
  • The end finds Ash continuing his fight against evil critters at his job in the hardware section of the local S-Mart store.

The production quality for this 22-year-old flick is impressive. All those Deadite critters and other special effects were managed without the wizardry available today.

The entire thing is played completely for laughs and could be a remake of The Crimson Pirate if you were to squint hard enough. The Medieval scenes do not resemble anything English, although all the Medieval characters speak with English or Sottish accents. If somebody had mentioned the setting was Medieval Spain instead of Medieval England, the entire thing would have been more believable. Not a totally bad movie, but bad enough to be included in this series posts without a smirk.

Bad Joke of the Week

Not yet

Not yet

Due to the popularity of the “Survivor” shows, Texas is planning to do one entitled, “Survivor, Texas-Style!”

The 8 contestants will all start in Dallas , then drive to Waco, Austin, San Antonio, over to Houston and down to Brownsville … They will then proceed up to Del Rio, El Paso, Odessa, Midland, Lubbock, and Amarillo. From there they will go on to Fort Worth and finally back to Dallas …

Each will be driving a pink Volvo with bumper stickers that read: “I’m a Democrat,”
“Amnesty for Illegals,”
“I love the Dixie Chicks,”
“Boycott Beef,”
“I Voted for Obama,”
” George Strait Sucks,”
“Hillary in 2012”
And…
“I’m here to confiscate your guns.”

The first one to make it back to Dallas alive wins.

God Bless Texas!

Rock Solid

I am so very sorry

How can you tell you have a rock solid lock on your elected office? Apparently when nothing you do or say seems to matter.

First a short civics lesson. The Constitution requires that states have two representatives in the United States Senate (senators) and that they share in the House of Representatives from a pool of fixed size. That means populous states such as California, Texas and New York send a sizable crowd (Texas has 36) representatives to Congress besides their two senators. Slightly populated states, including Alaska, send the minimum of one.

The sole representative from Alaska is Don Young, who has held this position continuously since 1973, ever since the previous Congressman Nick Begich vanished in the wilderness in an aviation accident. Voting history shows a few close contests, but Young has held the office since, getting re-elected every two years—holding a solid lock on the position. One can only conclude there is something Alaskans like about Don Young.

You may wonder:

Zachary Grier, 17, a senior at Wasilla High School, asked Young during the assembly why he still opposed same-sex marriage, even after a court struck down Alaska’s ban on same-sex unions. Young responded by asking Grier, “What do you get when you have two bulls having sex?” When Grier answered that he didn’t know, Young told him: “A whole lot of bull.”

So, that is that. One can appreciate that Congressman Young’s party platform incorporates an aversion to homosexuality and is particularly in opposition to homosexual marriage. Supposedly it’s the religious thing. Young’s party picks up a lot of votes from religious hard liners who consider homosexuality to be sin and consider homosexual marriage to be a threat to the institution of (heterosexual) marriage. One might also appreciate that Congressman Young, though older than I am, still hangs onto a school boy mentality regarding a number of issues.

Loose talk, such as the foregoing, is possible for a politician running for re-election when there is an electorate of like mind set. However, Congressman Young could possibly benefit from the experience of others who seriously misjudged their base. As an example I may cite the case of Representative Todd Akin of Missouri running for the Senate two years ago. His unrehearsed remarks regarding legitimate rape bought him a sideline ticket to Washington politics.

Young’s remarks relating to a particular tragedy reveal additional disconnect:

Even more shocking, Grier said, was the way Young talked about suicide less than a week after a high school classmate took his own life. Young told the assembly of about 130 students that suicide was caused by a lack of community support, which angered a close friend of the deceased student. When the student interrupted Young to say that wasn’t true, the congressman called him a “smartass,” Grier said.

All right, high school students do not make up a large part of the electorate, but putting down a future member of the voting public with a crude remark is not the way to build a solid base of support. That Young still represents (for the present) Alaska is an indication of one or more of:

  • His usefulness far overrides any embarrassment he is causing.
  • Alaska voters are of the same mind set and are not embarrassed.
  • Don Young has stayed too long and has come to seriously misjudge the voters of his state.

We should not expect sterling character from our elected politicians, else the halls of Congress would echo the drop of a pin. However, consistent revelations of immature thinking should flash a warning to the electorate that somebody has overstayed their usefulness.

Just in Time for Christmas

beastfrom20000fathoms-large-jpg

People, this is just what we need. All right, maybe not exactly what we need. What really need is an attack by The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, but that’s not about to happen soon.

So what we are getting, instead, is another round of mindless rattle from the anti-vaccine crowd:

The ebola pandemic began in late February in the former French colony of Guinea while UN agencies were conducting nationwide vaccine campaigns for three other diseases in rural districts. The simultaneous eruptions of this filovirus virus in widely separated zones strongly suggests that the virulent Zaire ebola strain (ZEBOV) was deliberately introduced to test an antidote in secret trials on unsuspecting humans.

The cross-border escape of ebola into neighboring Sierra Leone and Liberia indicates something went terribly wrong during the illegal clinical trials by a major pharmaceutical company. Through the lens darkly, the release of ebola may well have been an act of biowarfare in the post-colonial struggle to control mineral-rich West Africa

That was posted on the Rense.com site:

Jeff Rense is an American radio talk-show host of the Jeff Rense Program, broadcast on US satellite radio via the Rense Radio Network and Internet radio.

Rense’s radio program and website, Rense.com, cover subjects such as 9/11 conspiracy theories, UFO reporting, paranormal phenomena, tracking of new diseases and possible resultant pandemics, environmental concerns (see chemtrails), animal rights, possible evidence of advanced ancient technology, geopolitical developments and emergent energy technologies, complementary and alternative medicine among other subjects. In addition to articles critical of Israel and Zionists, the website also carries articles which defend Iran’s policies from its critics  and opposes anti-Iranian media bias.

[Some links deleted]

The site is host to additional bizarre postings. I did not go to the trouble to figure out what this is all about:

Sheeple-23-

There are any number items of interest, including the following:

 

 

Somehow I am reminded of this site, which I have been following for several years:

(NaturalNews) If you need another reason to add more celery into your diet, researchers have now identified a compound in the vegetable that demonstrates anti-tumor activity. Effective against several types of cancer — including those of the pancreas, ovaries, liver, small intestine, stomach, lung and breast — apigenin has been shown in vitro to significantly inhibit cancer cell proliferation. Although this flavonoid is present in a variety of fruits and vegetables, celery is a particularly rich source of the compound.

The Natural News site and newsletter are operated by Mike Adams:

NaturalNews (formerly Newstarget) is a website operated by Mike Adams. It is dedicated to alternative medicine and various conspiracy theories, such as “chemtrails“, the alleged dangers of fluoride in drinking water, (as well as those of monosodium glutamate and aspartame) and alleged health problems caused by “toxic” ingredients in vaccines, including the now-discredited link to autism. It attracts roughly 7 million unique visitors per month.

It features guest authors such as anti-vaccinationist Joseph Mercola, and anti-vaccinationist and conspiracy theorist Jon Rappoport, and has featured interviews with Russell Blaylock, Sandor Katz, and others.

Its primary purpose is the promotion of alternative medicine and (often controversial) nutrition claims.

[Some links deleted]

Over the past quarter of a century the anti-vaccine movement has been growing in this country and in other places. including England:

U.K. public health officials are racing to contain a rash of measles outbreaksamong older British children that threatens to spread the highly contagious disease throughout the country. The budding epidemic has been linked to a debunked 1998 anti-vaccine study that caused U.K. vaccination rates against measles to plummet.

In 1998, a team of British scientists led by Dr. Andrew Wakefield published a widely rebuked paper that incorrectly linked the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine with autism. The study, which received widespread attention at the time, led many British parents to forgo their children’s MMR shots — something that is possible in the U.K. since schoolchildren aren’t subject to mandatory vaccination laws as they are in the United States.

Andrew Wakefield is a well-known anti-vaccine campaigner. Blogger Bob Park called the ball three years ago on the demise of Wakefield’s fraud-rich career. I posted Bob’s findings on the North Texas Skeptics site:

Autism: there is no vaccination against fraud.

In 1998, Dr. Andrew Wakefield, a British gastroenterologist and researcher, set off a worldwide panic with a Lancet article in which he identified the common MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccinations as a cause of autism. There was a precipitous drop in the number of parents electing to vaccinate their children, and a corresponding rise in measles cases. Once considered inevitable, measles is a serious disease. In 2009, however, Wakefield was found to have altered patients records to support his claim. The Lancet immediately retracted his 1998 publication. The British General Medical Council ruled that Wakefield had acted “dishonestly and irresponsibly.” Investigative reporter Brian Deer has tracked Wakefield for years, turning up new “contributions” to support his “work.” Lawyers, smelling a possible “mass tort blitz that could make them very wealthy, were particularly generous. Class-action lawsuits in asbestos and tobacco, while justified, eventually benefited the lawyers far more than the victims. Wakefield was struck off the Medical Register and may no longer practice medicine in the UK. No matter, Wakefield now operates an autism clinic in Austin, Texas. Although he doesn’t have a medical license in the US, that won’t much matter in Texas.

Vaccination: public health may never fully recover.

An editorial in the British Medical Journal expressed the hope that the latest news will put an end to the anti-vaccine movement. We should be so lucky. Paul Offit, an infectious disease expert who wrote Autism’s False Prophets, and donated all royalties to autism research, is not optimistic. Wakefield is clearly seeking to portray himself as a martyr, and even has his own celebrity activist pleading his case to the public on programs such as Oprah, former Playboy model Jenny McCarthy who has an autistic child. The scientific community must learn to speak up publicly on issues of integrity.

Bob mentioned our own Jenny McCarthy:

Jennifer AnnJennyMcCarthy (born November 1, 1972) is an American model, television host, comedic actress, author, and anti-vaccine activist. She began her career in 1993 as a nude model for Playboy magazine and was later named their Playmate of the Year. McCarthy then parlayed her Playboy fame into a television and film acting career. She was formerly a co-host on the ABC talk show The View.

McCarthy has written books about parenting, and has become an activist promoting research into environmental causes and alternative medical treatments for autism. She has claimed that vaccines cause autism and that chelation therapy helped cure her son of autism. Both claims are unsupported by medical consensus, and her son’s autism diagnosis has been questioned.

[Some links deleted]

Most interesting are the activities of Jon Rappoport:

Jon Rappoport (born April 16, 1938) is an American journalist and author living in San Diego, California with his wife, Dr. Laura Thompson, with whom he does much work advocating alternative medicine. He studied philosophy for four years at Amherst College in Massachusetts, graduating in 1960. He has published the web site nomorefakenews.com since 2001. He has been an investigative reporter for over 20 years. Rappoport has also authored several non-fiction books. Although his main focus over these years has been the power of the imagination and creativity, he is most often cited and interviewed as an authority on conspiracies and global elites, the work of the latter, as Rappoport sees it, in general being implemented through the seven global cartels, which he identifies as the government, military, money,intelligence, energy, media, and medical. Topics that he has reported on include medical fraud, deep politics, and health issues for newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe, including CBS Healthwatch, Spin, Stern and LA Weekly.

Rappoport is vice-president of the publishing house Truth Seeker Company, Inc. and authors and sells audio CDs on magic,past life regression and development of paranormal abilities.

[Some links deleted]

An excerpt from a posting on the Ebola crisis is illuminating:

Q: Among intelligent people, what’s the biggest barrier to understanding hoaxes pertaining to viruses?

A: Many people will tell you they see through the lies of consensus reality. They know all about them. But when you bring up a virus, and you say there is no reason to suspect a so-called outbreak is caused by a virus, they back away. They can’t imagine that kind of lie. They can’t conceive that such a lie is being told.

Q: Why?

A: They accept, as fact, what medical authorities tell them on that subject. Some people connect “the killer virus” with what they already know about high-level elites who are out to control and diminish and debilitate populations. So “killer virus” and “spreading destruction” fit that picture. Therefore, they automatically buy “the virus.”

In fact, and this is odd, there are people who categorically reject almost everything doctors and medical authorities tell them—but they choose to accept this one: the virus. They choose to believe that when the authorities say, “We have an outbreak and it’s caused by the Ebola virus,” it must be true. Very strange.

Q: The word “outbreak” is strong.

A: Yes. People, again, automatically, associate it with a virus. Movies play a role there. But when you stop and think about it, “outbreak” just means, if it means anything at all, that a number of people in the same general geo-area have become sick. A toxic chemical, for example, could cause that. A vaccine campaign could cause that.

Q: When a number of people who, say, live together become ill, the assumption is there must be a transmission of a virus from person to person.

A: Right. But that isn’t necessarily the case. It isn’t person A, then person B, then person C—it’s all of them being exposed to the same conditions. For instance, if you had 42 people all living in filth with no hope, no money, no job, and they were also exposed to a toxic chemical, and their bodies were breaking down from starvation, and they all became ill, would you call that “transmission?” Of course not.

Q: Considering US and European and African Ebola patients as a whole, don’t they prove that Ebola is caused by a virus and these patients caught the virus?

A: No. As I’ve demonstrated before, the most widely used diagnostic tests for Ebola (antibody and PCR) are unreliable, useless, and irrelevant. Therefore, to assume these patients have Ebola is unwarranted.

To say a patient has Ebola MEANS he tested positive on a reliable and relevant diagnostic procedure. It doesn’t mean anything else.

All of this just in time for Christmas.

Too Hot to Trot

Victoria's Secret model Miranda Kerr

Victoria’s Secret model Miranda Kerr

When you’re hot you’re hot. When you’re not, then … Then you’re really OK.

This came up on The Five, a Fox News commentary program:

Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle believes that young, attractive women should be excused from voting so they could devote their time to online dating.

“It’s the same reason why young women on juries are not a good idea. They don’t get it!’ said the co-host of ‘The Five” on the right-leaning news channel’s daily talk show.

Guilfoyle, 45, who helped pay her way through law school modeling for a variety of retailers including Victoria’s Secret, said young, beautiful women don’t have the proper “life experiences” to have a say in who holds elected office.

Instead, they should only be granted the privilege after they’ve gained wisdom from raising children, paying bills or dealing with real-world issues like a mortgage and health care.

‘They’re like healthy and hot and running around without a care in the world,” said Guilfoyle.

“[H]ealthy and hot and running around without a care in the world.” You’ve got my interest already. But not vote? Where have I heard this before?

1. Women would be corrupted by politics and chivalry would die out
2. If women became involved in politics, they would stop marrying, having children, and the human race would die out
3. Women were emotional creatures, and incapable of making a sound political decision.

Of course, that’s not what Guilfoyle was saying. She was only saying that young, really hot, women should excuse themselves from voting. Ann Coulter was more recently saying this:

I think [women] should be armed but should not vote. No, they all have to give up their vote, not just, you know, the lady clapping and me. The problem with women voting — and your Communists will back me up on this — is that, you know, women have no capacity to understand how money is earned. They have a lot of ideas on how to spend it. And when they take these polls, it’s always more money on education, more money on child care, more money on day care.”

[Links removed]

First, let’s hope this is not a trend. That’s because this sort of thing, telling hot young women they should not vote, could be hazardous. Hazardous, that is, to those who choose to intone such advice. Take it from me. I have known a number of these hot young women. Had I dared to admonish one of them so, I could have expected dire consequences. How does having a four-inch spike heel driven through your thigh bone sound? That has got to hurt.

Let us suppose, just for the sake of argument mind you, that Guifoyle and Coulter are dispensing sound advice. Suppose a few years of maturity will reward hot young women with a deserved sense of judgment and an expanded world of wisdom. What should we expect to see?

goodless

Let start with Ms. Coulter. I have a copy of her book, Godless: The Church of Liberalism, which we have seen before:

Coulter’s latest book, Godless: The Church of Liberalism, hit the New York Times Best Seller List at number one on June 25th this year. If liberals are no longer squirming as much it could be because Godless takes an unfortunate detour into the real world and steps on some land mines that should be on everybody’s maps by now. It’s also a bunch of day-old bread.

Quotes from the book may illustrate the wisdom and maturity hot young women can expect attain with maturity:

Liberals’ creation myth is Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, which is about one notch above Scientology in scientific rigor. It’s a make-believe story, based on a theory that is a tautology, with no proof in the scientist’s laboratory or the fossil record—and that’s after 150 years of very determined looking. We wouldn’t still be talking about it but for the fact that liberals think evolution disproves God. [page 199]

Imagine a giant raccoon passed gas and perhaps the resulting gas might have created the vast variety of life we see on Earth. And if you don’t accept the giant raccoon flatulence theory for the origin of life, you must be a fundamentalist Christian nut who believes the Earth is flat. [page 214]

Darwiniacs do not have a single observable example of one species evolving into another by the Darwinian mechanism of variation and selection. All they have is a story. It is a story that inspires fanatical devotion from the cult simply because their story excludes a creator. They have seized upon something that looks like progress from primitive life forms to more complex life forms and invented a story to explain how the various categories of animals originated. But animal sequences do not prove that the Darwinian mechanism of natural selection caused the similarities. It is just as likely that the similarities are proof of intelligent design, creationism, or the Giant Raccoon’s Flatulence theory. The animal-sequence drawings allegedly demonstrating evolution by showing, for example, a little runt horse gradually becoming a grand stallion, are just that: drawings. [page 226]

Nor are intelligent design scientists looking at things they can’t explain: Quite the opposite. They are looking at things they can explain but which Darwin didn’t even know about, like the internal mechanism of the cell, and saying, That wasn’t created by natural selection—that required high-tech engineering. By contrast, the evolution cult members look at things they can’t explain and say, We can’t explain it, but the one thing we do know is that there is no intelligence in the universe. It must have been random chance, or it’s not ‘science’. [page 245]

It may be too much to hope that with maturity would come some scientific knowledge and an appreciation for rational argument. These quotes are cited in the entry for Coulter’s book in Wikipedia:

Coulter’s reliance on intelligent design and creationist sources for science, has prompted some critics of the intelligent design movement to analyze her claims. P. Z. Myers, countering Coulter’s claim that there is no evidence for the theory of evolution, points to the scientific literature that contains hundreds of thousands, possibly millions, of articles about various aspects of evolution. He also argues that Coulter has it backwards: The issue is not whether there is evidence that supports evolution theory, but whether there is evidence that is explained by evolution theory, since theories are explanations for data. In response to Coulter’s citing of Jonathan Wells‘ arguments concerning peppered moth evolution, Ian Musgrave argues that Coulter misrepresents the significance of the peppered moth experiments, makes a number of factual errors, and a “wildly ignorant misrepresentation of evolution.” James Downard criticized Coulter’s favoring of secondary sources over primary sources, saying “she compulsively reads inaccurate antievolutionary sources and accepts them on account of their reinforcement of what she wants to be true.”

Media Matters for America responded to Coulter’s “strawman” arguments against evolution by noting 11 types of “distortions” in her writing and going into detail explaining why her claims are false and contrary to science. A satirical account of Coulter’s take on evolution was written by probabilist Peter Olofsson, whose tongue-in-cheek argument was that Coulter had in fact written a veiled criticism of the intelligent design movement, much like Alan Sokal did to the postmodern movement in his famous hoax.

[Some links deleted]

I don’t need to stop with Guilfoyle and Coulter. Examples abound:

Few are more stridently conservative than Schlafly. Besides her noted political conservatism, she is a near fanatical anti-feminist. Wikipedia notes “In March 2007, Schlafly said in a speech at Bates College, ‘By getting married, the woman has consented to sex, and I don’t think you can call it rape.’”

And, I don’t need to stop here, but I will. What I may have demonstrated is that wisdom is not a necessary consequence of maturity. These women have demonstrated that adequately. Regarding whether hot young women can possess wisdom and solid judgment, there are ample examples to attest to it. Women like Guilfoyle who disagree may risk public ridicule. Men who disagree may risk a swift kick in the nuts.

Death of an Empire

On 6 August 1945 the first atomic bomb used in warfare exploded over Hiroshima, Japan, and the future was there for all to see. Some did not see, and three days later the case was made with finality when a second bomb exploded over Nagasaki. The Japanese Empire capitulated a few days later, and the worst man-made calamity in the history of this planet began to come to a close.

The introduction of the atomic bombs is generally considered to be the final stroke in the death of the empire, but its fate had already been cinched months earlier off the coast of the Philippine Islands. I was turning four and an empire was dying with the destruction of its navy in the most significant naval battle in this planet’s history. It was 23 October 1944, 70 years ago today.

From Wikipedia: The four main actions in the battle of Leyte Gulf: 1 Battle of the Sibuyan Sea 2 Battle of Surigao Strait 3 Battle of (or 'off') Cape Engaño 4 Battle off Samar. Leyte Gulf is north of 2 and west of 4. The island of Leyte is west of the gulf.

From Wikipedia: The four main actions in the battle of Leyte Gulf: 1 Battle of the Sibuyan Sea 2 Battle of Surigao Strait 3 Battle of (or ‘off’) Cape Engaño 4 Battle off Samar. Leyte Gulf is north of 2 and west of 4. The island of Leyte is west of the gulf.

Four years previous American General Douglas MacArthur had been in charge of forces in the Philippines. The Japanese Empire’s surprise attack at Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941 caught the American military off guard, and our battleship fleet in the Pacific was annihilated in a few short minutes. Given this notice, MacArthur made the same mistakes in the Philippines that had allowed the Pearl Harbor fleet to be destroyed, and when the Japanese attacked American forces a few hours after the Pearl Harbor attack, the United States Army’s air fleet was wiped out nearly completely on the ground. An invasion by Japanese ground forces later in December forced MacArthur to flee to Australia, leaving behind a force of American and Philippine troops to be overrun and captured. The American invasion of the Philippine Islands in October 1944 was MacArthur’s promised return to retake the islands.

Prior to the battle there was serious discussion as to where American forces should attack. Imperial forces had been driven to the far reaches of the Western Pacific, and vital Japanese interests now lay exposed. American occupation of either the Philippines or the island of Formosa would cut off Japan’s remaining sea link to the outside world. By chance an American pilot was shot down over the island of Leyte, where he was rescued by locals. They informed him that Japanese forces in the Philippines, and especially on Leyte, were weak. The report from this pilot confirmed the Philippines as the next target of the American advance.

Oct 20, 1944:
U.S. forces land at Leyte Island in the Philippines

On this day in 1944, more than 100,000 American soldiers land on Leyte Island, in the Philippines, as preparation for the major invasion by Gen. Douglas MacArthur. The ensuing battles of Leyte Island proved among the bloodiest of the war in the Pacific and signaled the beginning of the end for the Japanese.

The Japanese plan unfolded to defeat the American fleet defending this invasion, thus isolating our troops on Leyte. There was a lot of genius behind the plan, and it could have worked. Wrong moves by Japanese commanders coupled with extraordinary initiative by American naval officers in the critical Battle of Surigao Strait sealed the fate of the Japanese fleet and the Japanese Empire:

Shō-Gō 1 called for Vice-Admiral Jisaburō Ozawa‘s ships—known as the “Northern Force”—to lure the main American covering forces away from Leyte. Northern Force would be built around several aircraft carriers, but these would have very few aircraft or trained aircrew. The carriers would serve as the main bait. As the US covering forces were lured away, two other surface forces would advance on Leyte from the west. The “Southern Force” under Vice Admirals Shoji Nishimura and Kiyohide Shima would strike at the landing area via the Surigao Strait. The “Center Force” under Vice Admiral Takeo Kurita—by far the most powerful of the attacking forces—would pass through the San Bernardino Strait into the Philippine Sea, turn southwards, and then also attack the landing area.

This plan was likely to result in the destruction of one or more of the attacking forces, but Toyoda later explained this to his American interrogators as follows:

Should we lose in the Philippines operations, even though the fleet should be left, the shipping lane to the south would be completely cut off so that the fleet, if it should come back to Japanese waters, could not obtain its fuel supply. If it should remain in southern waters, it could not receive supplies of ammunition and arms. There would be no sense in saving the fleet at the expense of the loss of the Philippines.

 

Early on there were signs of success. The Japanese fleet from the north caught Admiral Halsey’s attention, and he went after them. Although he was largely successful at inflicting serious damage to Ozawa’s fleet, his force was absent from the critical battle.

Around 08:00 on 24 October, the Center Force was spotted entering the Sibuyan Sea and attacked by VF-20 squadron F6F-5 Hellcat fighters, VB-20 SB2C-3 Helldiver dive bombers, and VT-20 Avenger torpedo bombers from USS Enterprise of Halsey’s 3rd Fleet. Despite its great strength, 3rd Fleet was not well-placed to deal with the threat. On 22 October, Halsey had detached two of his carrier groups to the fleet base at Ulithi to provision and rearm. When Darter‘s contact report came in, Halsey recalled Davison’s group, but allowed Vice Admiral John S. McCain, with the strongest of TF 38’s carrier groups, to continue towards Ulithi. Halsey finally recalled McCain on 24 October—but the delay meant the most powerful American carrier group played little part in the coming battle, and the 3rd Fleet was therefore effectively deprived of nearly 40% of its air strength for most of the engagement. On the morning of 24 October, only three groups were available to strike Kurita’s force, and the one best positioned to do so—Gerald F. Bogan‘s Task Group 38.2 (TG 38.2)—was by mischance the weakest of the groups, containing only one large carrier—USS Intrepid—and two light carriers (the failure to promptly recall McCain on 23 October had also effectively deprived 3rd Fleet, throughout the battle, of four of its six heavy cruisers).

The decisive action came on the morning of 25 October, when the Center Force was spotted approaching the invasion beaches. There was an obvious mismatch, as the American fleet had only destroyers, cruisers and light carriers to defend the beaches. The American response was to send carrier aircraft into action against the Japanese and at the same time to generate a smoke cover to protect the major ships from Japanese naval fire. At that point destroyer commanders changed the course of the battle by charging the attacking Japanese capital ships. They ran headlong toward the attackers.

One of the pilots flying patrol after dawn alert that morning reported the approach of Japanese Center Force. Steaming straight for “Taffy 3” were four battleships (including Yamato), eight cruisers (two light and six heavy), and 11 destroyers. Johnston‘s gunnery officer—Lieutenant Robert C. Hagen—later reported, “We felt like little David without a slingshot.” In less than a minute, Johnston was zigzagging between the six escort carriers and the Japanese fleet and putting out a smoke screen over a 2,500 yd (2,300 m) front to conceal the carriers from the enemy gunners: “Even as we began laying smoke, the Japanese started lobbing shells at us and the Johnston had to zigzag between the splashes…. We were the first destroyer to make smoke, the first to start firing, the first to launch a torpedo attack….”

For the first 20 minutes, Johnston could not return fire as the enemy cruisers and battleships’ heavy guns outranged Johnston‘s 5 in (130 mm) guns. Not waiting for orders, Commander Evans broke formation and went on the offensive by ordering Johnston to speed directly toward the enemy—first a line of seven destroyers, next one light and three heavy cruisers, then the four battleships. To the east appeared three other cruisers and several destroyers.

As soon as range closed to within ten miles, Johnston fired on the heavy cruiser Kumano—the nearest ship—and scored several damaging hits. During her five-minute sprint into torpedo range, Johnston fired over 200 rounds at the enemy, then—under the direction of torpedo officer Lieutenant Jack K. Bechdel—made her torpedo attack. She got off all 10 torpedoes, then turned to retire behind a heavy smoke screen. When she came out of the smoke a minute later, Kumano could be seen burning furiously from a torpedo hit; her bow had been blown completely off, and she was forced to withdraw. Around this time, Johnston took three 14 in (360 mm) shell hits from Kongō, followed closely by three 6 in (150 mm) shells—from either a light cruiser or Yamato—which hit the bridge. The hits resulted in the loss of all power to the steering engine and all power to the three 5-inch guns in the aft part of the ship, and rendered the gyrocompass useless. A low-lying squall came up, and Johnston “ducked into it” for a few minutes of rapid repairs and salvage work. The bridge was abandoned and Commander Evans—who had lost two fingers on his left hand—went to the aft steering column to conn the ship.

This ferocious action so confused Admiral Kurita he thought he was being attacked by a superior force, and he retired his fleet. However, the action left the American carriers Princeton and St Lo sinking. Years ago I worked with Charlie Kee, who was one of the soldiers who had landed on Leyte. He told of the feeling of desolation as he viewed from the easter slope of the island American carriers sinking in the gulf.

From Wikipedia: USS Princeton burning prior to blowing up

From Wikipedia: USS Princeton burning prior to blowing up

From Wikipedia: USS St Lo blowing up

From Wikipedia: USS St Lo blowing up

This was not the last action of the Battle of Leyte Gulf, but by the end of the following day, 26 September 1944, the Japanese fleet was finished. The fight to eliminate Japanese forces from Leyte continued for another two months, and 3500 American troops were killed. The Japanese lost their entire ground force, 80,000. Few were taken alive. More bloody battles were to continue before Japanese forces were driven from the islands, but from October 1944 the Japanese Empire was cut off from supply by sea. The island nation could not supply its land forces on the Asian continent and elsewhere, and vital supplies could not reach the homeland. By the time Americans employed atomic weapons the following year people on the Japanese islands were eating grass.

Homosexual Agenda in Trouble

HomosexualAgenda

I reported on the Homosexual Agenda back in March:

A few days ago a Facebook friend posted a link on the feed about a war on Christianity. That encouraged me to engage in some skeptical analysis, which ended up drilling down on the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) and its leader Alan Spears. Alan Spears and Craig Olsen are authors of the book. I obtained a Kindle edition and promised to do a review. Here it is.

What the book is all about, if you have not already guessed by the title, is the homosexual agenda, said agenda being the principal threat to religious freedom. The book goes to ten chapters making its case, which I can summarize briefly: Proper Christians have nothing against homosexuals, themselves. Proper Christians just have a God-inspired objection to homosexual acts, e.g., sodomy and fellatio, supposedly involving people of the same sex, because acts between people of the opposite sex would be heterosexual and not homosexual. Come to think of it, proper Christians object to deviant sex even between people of the opposite sex. Homosexuality, we learn, is an acquired taste, and society needs to eliminate all situations that can promote acquiring this deviant attitude. Furthermore, homosexuals can unlearn their wrongful ways and revert to normal sexual lifestyles and live happily ever after. Finally, normal sex, even though it is defined as original sin in the Bible, is God’s plan for us and anything contrary goes against God and is a mournful sin.

Spears and Olsen may be gladdened to learn the homosexual agenda is in terrible trouble, being threatened by Michigan state representative candidate Jordan Haskins, who has previously worked to “fend off the homosexual movement” in Saginaw:

So thankful for what God has done in my life this year. He has turned me into an honor’s student when I was at Delta College. At Maranatha Baptist University, I made Dean’s List last Spring 2014. I am the Republican nominee for the 95th State House seat here in the great state of Michigan. I helped lead the effort to fend off the homosexual movement here in Saginaw along with some inner city pastors. These are all things that God has allowed me to add to my resume/ repotiore of my life experiences.
I can say I’ve done fast food, construction (electrical, dry wall, roofing, flooring, windows, insulation). I was an intern in the Michigan Republican Party’s field office here in Saginaw with a good buddy of mine. We traveled the 4th district together reaching out to voters. I am a precinct delegate. I am a member of the Saginaw County Republican Party executive committee.
God has totally turned me around from the stubborn teenage/ young person that I used to be. I can still be hardheaded at times, but that is because I don’t want to see people in Saginaw hurting and suffering anymore. I still believe that we can be a part of the Michigan comeback and I believe that as long as there are those that love God here, we can win souls and see God move in this city and state.

Homosexuals and their liberal allies are running scared in Michigan’s 95th State House District after the diligent efforts of Mr. Haskins. Sexual deviants and other liberals have reason to fear Haskins’ forthright and vigorous campaign, because, as he has noted, he is working closely with God.

As is the case for all defenders of the American morality, Mr. Haskins has his detractors. Principal among these would be the American system of criminal justice:

Haskins has a criminal history consisting of several misdemeanor and felony convictions dating to his teenage years. That history includes a prison sentence in Saginaw County Circuit Court for felony convictions tied to an uncommon sexual fetish he called “cranking” in interviews with police.

God may not be amused. God may want an explanation of the term cranking:

Haskins admitted to police that, on both occasions, he broke into the yard where vehicles were parked, incident reports from the Saginaw County Sheriff’s Department show. He said he pulled spark plug wires on sheriff, mosquito control and other vehicles parked there.

“Jordan would remove the spark plug wires and sit in the car and masturbate while the motor was sparking and making noises,” the police report states.

Haskins was charged with additional misdemeanor offenses related to a third incident at the mosquito control property in October 2010.

According to that incident report, Haskins again said that he damaged county vehicles by pulling spark plug wires to “masturbate while cranking the engine.” Deputies said he told them the act is a sexual fetish he learned about online.

Haskins told The Saginaw News that he has difficulty explaining what drove him to again and again repeat that behavior.

Most likely The Lord would have no trouble with Mr. Haskins’ peculiar proclivity, since it does not involve two people of the same sex—just one person of a particular sex and an automobile of undetermined sex.

Of course, that got me to thinking about what Mr. Haskins is in for if ever he is successful getting elected to the Michigan State Legislature. Then he will have an opportunity to learn about another activity with the cute name of “circle jerk.”

People Unclear

GodNeedsMoney

See what I mean? I’m constantly telling people that I’m not about to run out of this kind of stuff, and people like Fox News host Ainsley Earhardt are constantly coming forward to reassure me I’m still on track. Here is what Earhardt said recently:

Law abiding citizens who come to the South need to understand there is a culture in the South of disobeying the law. People from other parts of the country who come to the Sourh need to abide by our accomodation of stupidity.

Those are not Earhardt’s exact words, but she said the same thing, only using different language, which I will reproduce here:

Fox News host Ainsley Earhardt on Wednesday lashed out at atheists who had asked that Christian plaques be removed from public schools in Texas, saying that they “need to understand the culture” in the South.

And I think, growing up in the South, people in Wisconsin, these atheists in other cities need to understand the culture in the South, and how church is a very integral part of our childhood and growing up, and it’s a very important part for the Southern culture.”

I can attest to the truth of Earnhardt’s dismal view of the general level of intelligence in the South, in this case Midlothian, Texas. Although the region south of the Ohio River doesn’t have a lock on this kind of stupidity and lawlessness, at times it does seem to celebrate it inordinately. Recent examples abound. Here is just one:

The parents of a Buddhist student are joining forces with the American Civil Liberties Union to sue a public school board in north Louisiana, alleging their son was called “stupid” and given low marks for not adhering to Christian doctrine taught in his 6th grade science class.

Sharon and Scott Lane are the parents of three children enrolled in the Sabine Parish School System in rural northwest Louisiana. In a complaint filed Wednesday (Jan. 22) in U.S. District Court, the Lanes argue their son “C.C” became the “target of proselytization and harassment by faculty and administration” at Negreet High School when it became apparent he was not a Christian.

Illegal actions of the teacher involved and those of the school administration were so blatant that this case never went to trial. The school subsequently entered into a consent decree which requires the school to end religious proselytizing and to accomodate students of varied cultures.

The consent decree, a court order agreed to by both parties, ends a lawsuit filed in January by the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Louisiana on behalf of a Buddhist sixth-grader of Thai descent, “C.C.,” who was harassed by staff and students because of his faith.

“No child should feel that a teacher is trying to impose religious beliefs, and this agreement ensures that this will no longer be the case at Sabine Parish schools,” said Marjorie Esman, executive director of the ACLU of Louisiana. “We’re glad the school board worked with us to bring this matter to a quick and amicable resolution.”

Under the consent decree, the school board must end official prayers during class and school events, refrain from disparaging any particular faith, and prohibit staff from teaching creationism and other biblical doctrine as fact. The consent decree also protects students’ rights to express their faith and pray privately and of their own volition. To ensure that the consent decree is carried out properly and that the constitutional violations do not recur, the board will also conduct in-service training for staff on First Amendment issues and the effects of religious discrimination on students.

Meanwhile, up north in Mount Vernon, Ohio, science teacher John Freshwater taught religious-based creationism as science and engaged in Christian proselytizing in class. That chicken has finally come home to roost as recently announced by the NCSE:

The case began in 2008, when a local family accused Freshwater, then a Mount Vernon, Ohio, middle school science teacher, of engaging in inappropriate religious activity and sued Freshwater and the district. Based on the results of an independent investigation, the Mount Vernon City School Board voted to begin proceedings to terminate his employment. After thorough administrative hearings that proceeded over two years and involved more than eighty witnesses, the presiding referee issued his recommendation that the board terminate Freshwater’s employment with the district, and the board voted to do so in January 2011. (The family’s lawsuit against Freshwater was settled in the meantime.)

Nearly ten years ago the Dover, Pennsylvania, School District prepared to introduce Intelligent Design, a well-known religious concept, into the science curriculum. That ended with a suit brought by parents of students in the school. The suit resulted in a loss by the school district at heavy expense to the tax payers. The case was tried in federal court, and the trial judge additionally chastized members of the school administration for their perjured testimony. Judge John E. Jones III concluded in his 139 page decision:

  • For the reasons that follow, we conclude that the religious nature of ID [intelligent design] would be readily apparent to an objective observer, adult or child. (page 24)
  • A significant aspect of the IDM [intelligent design movement] is that despite Defendants’ protestations to the contrary, it describes ID as a religious argument. In that vein, the writings of leading ID proponents reveal that the designer postulated by their argument is the God of Christianity. (page 26)
  • The evidence at trial demonstrates that ID is nothing less than the progeny of creationism. (page 31)
  • The overwhelming evidence at trial established that ID is a religious view, a mere re-labeling of creationism, and not a scientific theory. (page 43)
  • Throughout the trial and in various submissions to the Court, Defendants vigorously argue that the reading of the statement is not ‘teaching’ ID but instead is merely ‘making students aware of it.’ In fact, one consistency among the Dover School Board members’ testimony, which was marked by selective memories and outright lies under oath, as will be discussed in more detail below, is that they did not think they needed to be knowledgeable about ID because it was not being taught to the students. We disagree. …. an educator reading the disclaimer is engaged in teaching, even if it is colossally bad teaching. …. Defendants’ argument is a red herring because the Establishment Clause forbids not just ‘teaching’ religion, but any governmental action that endorses or has the primary purpose or effect of advancing religion. (footnote 7 on page 46)
  • After a searching review of the record and applicable caselaw, we find that while ID arguments may be true, a proposition on which the Court takes no position, ID is not science. We find that ID fails on three different levels, any one of which is sufficient to preclude a determination that ID is science. They are: (1) ID violates the centuries-old ground rules of science by invoking and permitting supernatural causation; (2) the argument of irreducible complexity, central to ID, employs the same flawed and illogical contrived dualism that doomed creation science in the 1980s; and (3) ID’s negative attacks on evolution have been refuted by the scientific community. …It is additionally important to note that ID has failed to gain acceptance in the scientific community, it has not generated peer-reviewed publications, nor has it been the subject of testing and research. Expert testimony reveals that since the scientific revolution of the 16th and 17th centuries, science has been limited to the search for natural causes to explain natural phenomena. (page 64) [for “contrived dualism”, see false dilemma.]
  • [T]he one textbook [Pandas] to which the Dover ID Policy directs students contains outdated concepts and flawed science, as recognized by even the defense experts in this case. (pages 86–87)
  • ID’s backers have sought to avoid the scientific scrutiny which we have now determined that it cannot withstand by advocating that the controversy, but not ID itself, should be taught in science class. This tactic is at best disingenuous, and at worst a canard. The goal of the IDM is not to encourage critical thought, but to foment a revolution which would supplant evolutionary theory with ID. (page 89)
  • Accordingly, we find that the secular purposes claimed by the Board amount to a pretext for the Board’s real purpose, which was to promote religion in the public school classroom, in violation of the Establishment Clause. (page 132)

No, Ms. Earhardt, sane people coming into a region of chaos in this country do not have to accomodate lawlessness and idiocy. The American legal system protects us from the lawlessness, and public exposure and ridicule protects us from the idiocy. On that second point I am not always sure.