The Editor is alive . . . but just barely

Or so it has felt. Hoagie asked:

What’s going on? Where’s the Editor?

I came down with some crud Wednesday, May 27th, that knocked me for a loop, but I kept working. A full day Friday, then starting again at 8 PM Friday evening until after daylight Saturday morning, and an eye infection occurred on top of that; I have been down for the count. since then. I tried to go back to work last Wednesday, but that was a mistake. One course of antibiotics did nothing, and I turned out to be allergic to the second antibiotic, and it hasn’t been a lot of fun.

I’m just now back to the point where I can use both eyes normally.

A gutless Commander-in-Chief

If, in 1943, Franklin Roosevelt had exact knowledge that Adolf Hitler and his top henchmen were doing their main work from a mostly unguarded building, with no real bomb shelters, on the Wilhelmstrasse in Berlin, do you think that the President would have told General Dwight Eisenhower, “No, we can’t bomb that building, because there are too many families with children living nearby”? From The New York Times:

With ISIS in Cross Hairs, U.S. Holds Back to Protect Civilians
by Eric Schmitt | May 26, 2015

WASHINGTON — American intelligence analysts have identified seven buildings in downtown Raqqa in eastern Syria as the main headquarters of the Islamic State. But the buildings have gone untouched during the 10-month allied air campaign.

And just last week, convoys of heavily armed Islamic State fighters paraded triumphantly through the streets of the provincial capital Ramadi in western Iraq after forcing Iraqi troops to flee. They rolled on unscathed by coalition fighter-bombers.

American and allied warplanes are equipped with the most precise aerial arsenal ever fielded. But American officials say they are not striking significant — and obvious — Islamic State targets out of fear that the attacks will accidentally kill civilians. Killing such innocents could hand the militants a major propaganda coup and alienate both the local Sunni tribesmen, whose support is critical to ousting the militants, and Sunni Arab countries that are part of the American-led coalition.

But many Iraqi commanders, and even some American officers, argue that exercising such prudence is harming the coalition’s larger effort to destroy the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or Daesh, and that it illustrates the limitations of American air power in the Obama administration’s strategy. A persistent complaint of Iraqi officials and security officers is that the United States has been too cautious in its air campaign, frequently allowing columns of Islamic State fighters essentially free movement on the battlefield.

There’s more at the original.

In 1956, the West German government estimated1 that there were 436,000 civilian casualties from American and British bombing raids, not including another 134,000 who were refugees on the Eastern Front. Let’s face facts here: we won World War II not just by fighting the German Army on the battlefields, but by bombing strategic targets throughout Germany: airfields, railroad depots, munitions factories, fuel storage facilities, ports, really anything which would have been of use to the Third Reich and its war effort. We weren’t specifically targeting houses and apartment buildings, but in the mass bombing raids, thousands upon thousands of residential areas got hit, and thousands upon thousands of complete non-combatants, including small children and even babes-in-arms, were killed, blown apart and burned to death. In Japan, something on the order of 590,000 civilians were killed during World War II, including the firebombings of Kobe and Tokyo along with the atomic bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. They were hideously ugly, but they were also thought necessary to win the war; in Japan, the firebombings and the two atomic bomb attacks destroyed so much of the Japanese will and ability to resist that the country surrendered without the necessity of an invasion of the home islands. We might not want to kill civilians and non-combatants, but, in war, it is sometimes necessary.

But, as we have seen, Barack Hussein Obama is no Franklin Roosevelt, nor is he anywhere as good a President as Harry Truman. Neither President Roosevelt nor President Truman particularly wanted to see civilians killed,2 but they were concerned with actually winning the war, and doing so with the fewest American casualties possible, and that meant that they could not afford to be squeamish about civilian casualties.

And that is how you actually win a war.

War is a brutal, nasty business, and if you are going to engage in it, you had damned well better be prepared to be brutal and nasty. When you have the enemy leadership in your gun sights, you kill them! Not killing them lengthens the war and puts your own soldiers at greater risk. Not killing the enemy leadership when you have them in your sights means that they will be alive to keep targeting your own troops. What kind of Commander-in-Chief is Barack Hussein Obama that he would allow Da’ish leaders to live and continue to fight when he has a chance to stop them?

To your Editor, it’s pretty simple: if you are going to fight a war, then fight the war! If you don’t have the guts to fight the war, then quit, pull out, bring your personnel home and as far out of harm’s way as possible.

  1. Hans Sperling, Die Luftkriegsverluste während des zweiten Weltkriegs in Deutschland, Wirtschaft und Statistik October 1956, journal published by Statistisches Bundesamt Deutschland. (German government Statistical Office), accessed via Wikipedia.
  2. Though the firebombings were expressly meant to kill civilians.

Rule 5 Blogging: Mostly Marines!

It’s the weekend and time, once again, for THE FIRST STREET JOURNAL’S version of Rule 5 Blogging. Robert Stacey Stacy McCain described Rule 5 as putting pictures of pretty women somewhat déshabillé, but, on this site, our Rule 5 Blogging doesn’t put up pictures of Jessica Biel in her summer clothes, but women, in full military gear, serving their countries in the armed forces. The terribly sexist authors on this site celebrate strong women, women who can take care of themselves and take care of others, women who have been willing to put their lives on the line in some not-so-friendly places, women who truly do have the “We can do it!” attitude.

Sergeant Brittany L. Greenhalgh, intelligence communicator, G-2 Section, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Headquarters Group, II MEF (FWD), followed in the footsteps of her family’s heritage and enlisted in the military shortly after graduating from high school in 2000. Today, on the last leg of her enlistment, Greenhalgh serves in support of operations in Iraq, and carries on the tradition her family began more than 60 years ago.

Continue reading ‘Rule 5 Blogging: Mostly Marines!’ »

From Around the Blogroll

There were many subjects upon which we pontificated as sophomores, including the idea of a ban on nuclear weapons, but then we did something really radical like grew up. It appears that Barack Hussein Obama and his minions never reached the growing up stage:

US Presses Israel on Talks for Middle East Nuclear-Free Zone
United Nations — May 21, 2015, 8:22 PM ET
By Cara Anna, Associated Press

The United States has sent a top official to Israel amid an effort to revive talks on a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons, a central issue of a landmark treaty review conference that some fear will end Friday without progress on global disarmament.

Assistant Secretary, Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation Thomas Countryman.

The State Department confirmed that the assistant secretary of state for international security and nonproliferation was in Israel to discuss the issue. An Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman declined comment on Thomas Countryman’s visit, saying it was a “very sensitive” matter.

Establishing a zone free of nuclear weapons in one of the world’s most tense regions is a rare point of agreement between the United States and Russia these days. Frustrated by the delay of a conference on the zone that was supposed to take place three years ago, Russia has proposed that U.N.-led talks be held no later than March 2016.

A draft proposal by a review conference subcommittee on regional issues, dated Wednesday, would impose an even earlier deadline, saying the U.N. secretary-general should convene talks by Dec. 15 if Israel and its neighbors can’t agree on arrangements by then.

That has alarmed Israel, which is not a party to the treaty and has never publicly declared what is widely considered to be an extensive nuclear weapons program. Israel was furious when the United States at the treaty review conference five years ago signed off on a document that called for talks on a Middle East nuclear-free zone by 2012.

With a new document that threatens to pressure Israel again, the U.S. visit this week is meant to calm things down. “This administration and this president do not break commitments to our Israeli partners, and any suggestion to the contrary is offensive,” White House spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan said in a statement.

Translation: noting the actual evidence that this President doesn’t like Israel and its leadership very much, and favors her enemies, is offensive to an Administration and a party which depends upon the loyalty of American Jewish voters annoys them, but that information is truthful nevertheless.

This Administration has agreed to a deal which purportedly slows down Iran’s development of nuclear weapons, in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions on Iran, but which is one that will not slow down such development, because the Iranians will resume full speed development as soon as the sanctions are lifted, because they know that our weak-willed President won’t do one fornicating thing to actually enforce the agreement, but seems to think that it’s Israel which is the problem, not Iran.

This Administration, including the President who runs it, and his former Secretary of State who wants to succeed him, has been an absolute disaster on the world stage.

And now, on to the blogroll!

Everybody loses

Have you heard the story about “mattress girl,” Emma Sulkowicz, who claimed to have been raped by her friend Paul Nungesser. Miss Sulkowicz claimed that the sex had begun consensually — it was not the first time they had been intimate — but then Mr Nungesser turned violent and anally raped her. She did not go to the police, and continued a friendly relationship with Mr Nungesser for a while. Eventually, she went to the University administration — both were students at Columbia — and got no satisfaction there; no action was taken against Mr Nungesser.

Eventually, a form of “campus court,” in which the standard of proof is not guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, but the preponderance of the evidence,1 cleared Mr Nungesser. Miss Sulkowicz took to carrying a mattress around Columbia to symbolize the injustice she said she had suffered, and now Mr Nungesser has sued Columbia University for failing to protect him from harassment.

It’s very obvious: both of the students are losers here. We do not, and cannot, know if Miss Sulkowocz’s allegations are true, though what evidence there is appears to point to her claims not being accurate. Mr Nungesser has been exonerated as far as the legal system allows — the “campus court” found him not responsible for any assault, and Miss Sulkowicz never reported it to law enforcement, so there was never any criminal trial — but, as always, it’s virtually impossible to prove a negative.

What Miss Sulkowicz has done, by publicizing the case in the manner that she has, ir to assure that both of them are losers. Responsible employers check the background of prospective employees, and when those employers google either of their names, this case is going to come up, with thousands and thousands of hits. And the results of that are obvious:

  • No responsible human resources person will recommend Miss Sulkowicz for employment. Even if her claim is true, she has proved herself to be a publicity seeker of notoriety, and if it is false, she is a nut case. Either way, she is a walking, talking sexual harassment case. Whatever her intelligence and talents, there are other people, other applicants, who would be just as intelligent and just as talented, without having the obvious liabilities, and Miss Sulkowicz’ résumé gets thrown in the trash.
  • No responsible human resources person will recommend Mr Nungesser for employment. He has been as exonerated as possible under our system, but there is no way to prove he didn’t assault Miss Sulkowicz. His presence in an office would lead to, at the very least, a whispering campaign among current employees, and possibly serious problems from any current employees who believed he was a rapist. Whatever his intelligence and talents, there are other people, other applicants, who would be just as intelligent and just as talented, without having the obvious liabilities, and Mr Nungesser’s résumé gets thrown in the trash.

Former Secretary of Labor Ray Donovan famously asked, “Which office do I go to to get my reputation back?” after he and all of his co-defendants were quickly acquitted following a politically-motivated trial in New York. For Miss Sulkowicz and Mr Nungesser, both young people, their reputations are permanently stained, and their career prospects virtually destroyed.

The six most important words that they need to learn to say for their future employment are, “Would you like fries with that?”

  1. Meaning: the conclusion is more probable than not.

The success of socialism

‘Twasn’t so long ago that the then-President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela was a hero to the American left, with his Bolivarian socialism and constant criticism of President George Bush. Well, Señor Chavez has gone to his eternal reward, and Venezuela, still governed by socialists, is reaping the rewards of socialism. From The Wall Street Journal:

Venezuelan Officials Suspected of Turning Country into Global Cocaine Hub
U.S. probe targets No. 2 official Diosdado Cabello, several others, on suspicion of drug trafficking and money laundering
By José de Córdoba and Juan Forero | May 18, 2015 3:36 p.m. ET

U.S. prosecutors are investigating several high-ranking Venezuelan officials, including the president of the country’s congress, on suspicion that they have turned the country into a global hub for cocaine trafficking and money laundering, according to more than a dozen people familiar with the probes.

An elite unit of the Drug Enforcement Administration in Washington and federal prosecutors in New York and Miami are building cases using evidence provided by former cocaine traffickers, informants who were once close to top Venezuelan officials and defectors from the Venezuelan military, these people say.

A leading target, according to a Justice Department official and other American authorities, is National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello, considered the country’s second most-powerful man.

“There is extensive evidence to justify that he is one of the heads, if not the head, of the cartel,” said the Justice Department official, speaking of a group of military officers and top officials suspected of being involved in the drug trade. “He certainly is a main target.”

Representatives of Mr. Cabello and other officials didn’t return phone calls and emails requesting comment. In the past, Venezuelan authorities have rejected allegations of high-ranking involvement in the drug trade as an attempt by the U.S. to destabilize the leftist government in Caracas.

Well, of course Mr Cabello rejects all of the allegations; that’s what drug kingpins do. But this isn’t the DEA under President Bush; this is the Drug Enforcement Administration under our own leftist President doing this.

This is what socialism brings. Not only has socialism failed to bring prosperity to even an oil-rich nation like Venezuela, but the socialist leaders, the ones who are just oh-so-much men of the people, are trying to become wealthier personally by providing drugs to other people, to make those people poorer. The “economics” of socialism, which holds that socialists are somehow not motivated by greed or personal gain, are shown to be a huge lie by the avarice of the socialist leaders.

Remember the very wealthy mourners when President Chavez took his final journey to Hell, Sean Penn, Michael Moore and Oliver Stone? Remember the idiotic Cindy Sheehan, who dishonored her son’s sacrifice in Iraq by hobnobbing with President Chavez? I wonder what they think about the socialism which has enriched the leadership but left the poor without access to even basic necessities? President Chavez, the great champion of the poor, had an estimated net worth of between $1 billion and $2 billion when he died, while his country was mired in poverty, and the entire country had a GDP of only $14.414 billion in 2013, when Mr Chavez died.

Think about that! Señor Chavez managed to loot somewhere between 7 to 14% of the entire country’s annual production, as his personal wealth, while telling the world, and the mentally-challenged leftists, that he was some great champion of the poor, and the left actually believed him! Of course, Messrs Penn (net worth: $150 million), Moore (net worth: $50 million) and Stone (net worth: $50 million), themselves great champions of the poor, could never see that, and many, many poorer Americans duped by the promises of socialism managed to miss it as well.

The real success of socialism is to make many socialist leaders very wealthy, but it leads to extreme poverty for the great mass of the people.


Already in the tank

From The Wall Street Journal:

Labor Gives Clinton Room to Maneuver on Trade Talks
Democratic front-runner has remained neutral on a hotly debated issue
By Laura Meckler and Melanie Trottman | Updated May 17, 2015 7:46 p.m. ET

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-Hell)

LAS VEGAS—Michael Collins, a nurse and active member of his local union, isn’t happy about free-trade legislation being debated in Congress, believing it would undermine American workers. It won’t, however, change his view of Hillary Clinton, a one-time booster of the pact.

In the 2016 presidential race, “Hillary’s about the only person we’ve got who’s viable,” he said.

Labor unions are fighting hard to defeat legislation that would authorize sped-up consideration of a trade agreement being negotiated with 11 Pacific Rim nations. However, they are giving Mrs. Clinton the kind of breathing room they aren’t affording congressional Democrats or even the president.

Mrs. Clinton as a senator voted in support of several free-trade agreements, and opposed one, with Central American nations. As secretary of state, she supported the Pacific Rim negotiations, and her former boss, President Barack Obama, is leading the effort to approve them.

But in recent weeks, as the Trans-Pacific Partnership took center stage in the Senate and opened schisms within the Democratic Party, Mrs. Clinton has maintained steadfast neutrality. She issued one statement and answered one question on the matter. In neither case did she pick a side.

“Any trade deal has to produce jobs and raise wages and increase prosperity and protect our security,” she told reporters in New Hampshire last month. “We have to do our part in making sure we have the capabilities and the skills to be competitive.”

More at the original.

It seems that the labor unions are already in the tank for the former First Lady; after all, she’s not the only candidate in the race, and the other declared Democratic candidate, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), is strongly opposed to the trade deal, and former Governor Martin O’Malley (D-MD), who is expected to declare his candidacy shortly, is also opposed. If the unions want to move Mrs Clinton to the left on this, you would think that this is the time to do it.

But the sad truth is that the union leaders aren’t really concerned about the union workers, or workers in general, but about getting a Democrat, any Democrat, elected. Getting Democrats in office means more money and advantages for the union leaders, but it hasn’t meant any advantage for the American worker.

Baltimore Crumbling

This map is of South East, East Baltimore, and part of Eastern Baltimore County. They are separate political subdivisions of Baltimore. The X is approximately where I grew up and lived from 1949 to 1972. What is shown on the map in what I labeled was the Major Industry that was in the City. The one steel plant off to the right is in the County. There were quite a few more small plants and operations.


Now that you had a good look at the map, all the industry that is noted is GONE. Does not exist, and hasn’t been replaced. These jobs gone were good paying Blue Collar Jobs. Now think about the riots a month ago. Think minimum wage part-time jobs. Now that is Baltimore except for the white collar jobs in the downtown Business District.

From Around the Blogroll

From The Wall Street Journal:

Harvard Accused of Bias Against Asian-Americans
Complaint alleges university sets higher bar for applicants to limit Asian enrollment
By Douglas Belkin | Updated May 15, 2015 9:26 p.m. ET

A complaint Friday alleged that Harvard University discriminates against Asian-American applicants by setting a higher bar for admissions than that faced by other groups.

The complaint, filed by a coalition of 64 organizations, says the university has set quotas to keep the numbers of Asian-American students significantly lower than the quality of their applications merits. It cites third-party academic research on the SAT exam showing that Asian-Americans have to score on average about 140 points higher than white students, 270 points higher than Hispanic students and 450 points higher than African-American students to equal their chances of gaining admission to Harvard. The exam is scored on a 2400-point scale.

The complaint was filed with the U.S. Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights.

“Many studies have indicated that Harvard University has been engaged in systemic and continuous discrimination against Asian-Americans during its very subjective ‘Holistic’ college admissions process,” the complaint alleges.

The coalition is seeking a federal investigation and is requesting Harvard “immediately cease and desist from using stereotypes, racial biases and other discriminatory means in evaluating Asian-American applicants.”

More at the link. But, the complaint will, and must, fail, at least as long as Barack Hussein Obama, or any Democrat, is President of the United States, because if the complaint is upheld, then the systematic discrimination against white applicants, in favor of blacks, must fall as well.

Harvard University is a private college, and, as such, it is your Editor’s opinion that the school can do whatever it wants; Harvard can exclude all Asian applicants, or all white applicants, or all black applicants, if it so chooses. Yes, I know, that isn’t how the law reads, but it should be. My opposition to Affirmative Action is based on the Fourteenth Amendment, which states that the government cannot discriminate on the basis of race. The Supreme Court, in Grutter v Bollinger, approved the use of race-based considerations in applications to the University of Michigan Law School, as long as they weren’t hard quotas, but even the majority were uncomfortable with that decision, as Associate Justice Sandra O’Connor note in the conclusion of her majority opinion:

We expect that 25 years from now, the use of racial preferences will no longer be necessary to further the interest approved today.

That decision was announced on June 23, 2003, just five weeks short of twelve years ago; the majority’s opinion is closing in on the half-way point of that twenty-five year exception to the clear requirements of the Constitution the Court thought it wise to approve. Anyone want to be that, on June 23, 2028, Affirmative Action will be ended?

Naw, me neither.

And now, on to the blogroll!

That’s it for this week!