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Archive for the ‘USA’ Category

Don’t call us. We’ll call you.

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Biden will get [the Western Alliances] working again”.

“President” Biden’s two hour press conference last week, designed to show that he had a handle on things, was a train wreck that showed just the opposite, a man who doesn’t know what’s going on in any aspect.

Just one of his brain farts involved talking about Russia and Ukraine in this manner:

 It’s one thing if it’s a minor incursion and we end up having to fight about what to do and not to do. 

As a result the following has happened:

A lot of this is just huffing and puffing, given that Germany has chosen to tie itself even more strongly to Russia via the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, that Biden chose to lift Trump’s sanctions on that and allow it to happen, that NATO is a paper tiger, and the EU even more so.

On the Nord Stream issue is this interesting tidbit:

“Matthias Warnig is, in various ways, an exceptional person. The 65-year-old is the oldest German friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin and the most active German in Russian business circles. He is a former Stasi agent who became a banker in the 1990s. Since then, he has sat on the supervisory boards of numerous German-Russian banks and companies. He is currently the CEO of Nord Stream 2.

From Stasi agent to corporate CEO. Sounds about right for today’s world.

However, there’s huffing and puffing on the Russian side as well, where Putin continues to do what he has done for years now; play a weak hand very well. Russia’s economy is smaller than that of Italy, South Korea and Canada, and the last thing Putin wants is spending on a war with Ukraine. Even a short, cheap war would still leave Russia on the hook for supporting Ukraine afterwards.

As such I don’t think Russia will invade Ukraine but instead wage a small Cold War against the Ukrainian government (as he has been) until he gets what he wants, which is a guarantee that they won’t join NATO and will be more amenable to Russian demands in general. I wouldn’t put it past Putin to try to have the current Ukraine government replaced. Thus there will be ongoing cyber attacks, economic pressure, diplomatic pressure, implied threats, support for Russia-friendly opposition groups, and possibly minor military clashes on the Russia-Ukraine border.

Biden is irrelevant, though his staff won’t be.

MINOR UPDATE

Regular commentator Andrei has pointed out the spelling of “Kyiv” vs “Kiev”, which I had wondered about but not researched before writing the article. Some explanation here:

Ukraine names its places using translations from Cyrillic into Latin and then into the Ukrainian language. “Kyiv” is a Latin version of the city’s name, translated into Ukrainian. The spelling, “Kiev,” on the other hand, is a romanization of the Russian name for the city. It became very common internationally in the 20th century.

That’s a sore spot for Ukrainians because it recalls the days when the Russian Empire, and, later, the Soviet State, banned the use of the Ukrainian language. It was an attempt to strengthen Russian influence in Ukraine, and Ukrainians have never really gotten over it.

So more of the argy-bargy between Russia and Ukraine. However, as the article points out:

There’s a solid argument for the conventional spelling. “Kiev” is what’s known as an exonym—an external name for a geographic place. For example, in English, we use “Germany” to refer to what the Germans call Deutschland, whereas, the French use the word “Allemagne.”

Loath as I am to help Mr Putin, in this case I’m sticking with Kiev rather than use a spelling that will have most readers wondering where we are talking about, so have updated the post.

Written by Tom Hunter

January 25, 2022 at 10:24 am

Supersize that fraud

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There was a rather silly “documentary” film made some years ago called “Supersize Me”, which took a crack at the consumer practices of American fast food places.

It did this by having the maker of the doco live on nothing but McDonald’s food for 30 days and taking full advantage of their Super Size option if it was offered. He gained 11 kilos in that time and sent his cholesterol through the roof. It took months to lose the weight but he suffered no long-term problems with his health.

Six weeks after the film’s debut, McDonald’s discontinued its supersize portions.

It’s a shame that promoters of massive and ever-increasing government spending don’t learn the same thing, as this rather astounding article in the NY Post reveals:

[The Federal government has] already appropriated some $6 trillion in fighting COVID, though. That’s more than we spent fighting WWII, which cost about $4.1 trillion in inflation-adjusted dollars.

For that the US got dozens of fleet carriers, hundreds of other warships, tens of thousands of tanks and planes, millions of rounds of ammunition, plus supplying food and medical care to some twelve million men – plus the Manhattan Project and winning the war against two substantial enemies. As the article says:

Unlike in the ’40s, though, we’ve pretty clearly lost World War C. COVID has killed way more people than Hitler and Hirohito did, and unlike the Third Reich, it’s never going to go away. So while we’re getting used to the Forever Virus, we might as well pause for a sec and wonder: What the heck did all that spending buy us? 

Good question. I guess you could say it kept a lot of businesses afloat, and given the much larger US economy of today perhaps $6 trillion is not a surprise. Still, it seems rather thin compared to WWII results. But the real kicker of the article is this:

So far, $100 billion of it has been straight-up stolen, “resulting in the arrest of more than 100 suspects who span the spectrum from individuals to organized groups,” according to a CNBC report. Don’t worry, though, the feds are on the case, and so far they’ve recovered … $2.3 billion. 

$100 billion just flat out stolen? That’s most of NZ’s GDP! How is that even possible? Of course in just one state, California, they’re not able to account for where 49 million cheques totalling $320 billion of spending went in 2018 alone (Money. Wall. Pissing Against.) so maybe the Federal government’s doing better?

The article looks at a few of the crooks and scammers, but only the ones we know about that are responsible for a piddling few billion. There must be bigger crooks out there responsible for the remaining $97.7 billion still missing.

Incidentally, according to that article, Operation Warp Speed cost just $18 billion, and it’s one of the few C-19 programs that succeeded in doing what it claimed it would do.

Written by Tom Hunter

January 24, 2022 at 11:50 am

Vox Populi? Vox Humbug!

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That was General Sherman’s summation of the press’s response to General Grant’s great victory at Vicksburg on July 4, 1863. Sherman, a solid friend of Grant, bluntly said that while the press were praising the man now it came only after months of calling him a useless drunkard, and that they would turn on him again tomorrow when something went wrong.

I’ve already written – in Political Science and From ZOMG Omicron to “Long Covid”, – of the about-faces being taken by the likes of the CDC, Dr Fauci, Democrat governors and their MSM stenographers on Chinese Xi Snot-related things like masks, PCR tests, quarantine periods and what case numbers really mean – all of which is happening as the fortunes of the Democrat party nosedive, which is a complete coincidence.

The explosion in Omicron case numbers is just further evidence of how all those messages have to change if the Democrats are going to avoid being held responsible, although given how hard they pushed it in 2020 it’s going to be a slog to get away from stuff as blatant as “I’m gonna shutdown the virus”. The US MSM will try to help of course.

One of them, opinionater economist Paul Krugman, has become the go-to man for having to eat his words on almost every issue you can think of, entirely because of his pathetic and slavish devotion to the Democrats.

Sad to see what has become of a Economics Nobel prize winner, but he’s not alone.

They’re also refusing to cover the worsening shortages of food and other goods in US stores – which is a result of the impact on supply chains of their C-19 responses – leaving it to the British MSM, who are not so invested in defending Biden, to do the job, as the Daily Mail does here with “Back in the USSR“:

Holy Guacamole, sports fans. In 1989 Boris Yeltsin visited a Randalls supermarket in Texas and was so astonished with what he saw that he was despondent on the flight to Miami: “he sat motionless, his head in his hands… the last vestige of Bolshevism collapsed inside of the man”.

The odds of “President” Biden and his staff having a similar Come To Jesus moment after looking at the current #BareShelvesBiden are about zero, which is quite telling in comparison to a man who grew up in a communist system but could still face reality and learn.

As National Review’s Jim Geraghty (moderate Right Wingers you can trust) points out, local TV stations and newspapers, and their websites, across the USA, are covering this story, complete with those all-powerful photos of empty shelves, but their National affiliates refuse to pick it up.

The likes of Krugman, Hiltzik, and many other Democrat Operatives With Bylines continue to get published. However, they clearly are feeling the heat of those massive declines in readership (Die MSM, Die – Dying, they still beckon) because now they’re trying to take out their new competitors. Two recent examples are Joe Rogan, who they have whinged to Spotify about, asking them to pull his podcasts due to his “misinformation”….

… and then a hit-piece on “broadcaster”, Dan Bongino. The latter was seen as one of the successors to Rush Limbaugh but, like the Bernie Sanders-supporting Rogan, their impact is via Internet podcasts rather than talk-radio, let alone other older media – and not through the ring-fenced Social Media gardens of TwitFace and company either.

The fight was never summed up better than Bongino’s response to the The New Yorker.

It’s no surprise then that despite their great strivings to support Biden, the MSM is failing on that front as well, with his latest Quinnipiac poll at 33% popularity, three points down from the same poll in November in a year-long trend of decline. That’s five points worse than Trump was at the same stage of his first year (38% approval). Other recent polls are just as bad:

Not only that, but he’s dragging his entire party to its doom – although I’m not prepared to let Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer and the rest of those idiots and their idiot policies off the hook:

That is a huge turnaround. I can recall nothing like it, even in years like 1994, 2002, 2010 and 2014 when the GOP kicked Democrat butt Mid-Term.

In the face of this, the Whitehouse idiots decided that what’s needed is a new messaging strategy – and they’re including the head of the CDC in that.

According to the WSJ, Walensky has been undergoing extensive media prep and has been coached by a media consultant ahead of several public briefings she plans to hold in the coming future.

On Monday, Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) told Fox News that the CDC should replace Rochelle Walensky with “someone who is compassionate, who is consistent, and where the messaging is clear.”

I guess Rachel Walensky’s flip flops on masks, PCR tests, quarantine periods, case numbers and vaccine boosters have proved to be a problem for Biden . Yeah! That’s the ticket, because even Biden can be different from the guy who said this:

“Even Dr. King’s assassination did not have the worldwide impact that George Floyd’s death did.”

Plus about ten billion other stupid things that have fallen out of his dementia-ridden old brain. Their first such effort was a 2 hour Biden press conference that had tongue-bathing journalists like the execrable PBS “reporter”, Yamiche Alcindor (PBS! How low have they sunk), raving about how he’d managed to stand up for so long.

Meantime, other people noted that on the issue of Ukraine alone he’d basically repeated what his military advisors had told him – that Putin has to do something, “would win“, with a “minor incursion” – shit that you’re not supposed to blab in public. This has resulted in both Russia and the US pulling staff from their embassies in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev, plus a blast at Biden from the Ukrainian President. It was so bad that even Late Night, Democrat Party, Cock Holster Comedian, Steven Colbert, took him to task on it.

“I would hate to see Joe as a hostage negotiator. ‘Why don’t we all just calm down? Just let everyone go…or shoot them.’ You gotta do something!”

But the most concise summation was this one from a former Special Assistant to GW Bush – who in 2020 undoubtedly bought into all the bullshit about Biden that he now professes to be surprised about – which is why he’s allowed on CNN:

As I’ve pointed out before, this is not a temporary glitch. This is what Biden always was, and unlike other Presidents who have been in trouble, he’s not capable of digging himself out of this hole.

As a result, the following cartoon that I’ve occasionally made reference to – published in early 2020 when all the Democrat nominees looked like losers – looks more prescient all the time.

And voila!

Written by Tom Hunter

January 24, 2022 at 12:40 am

The US 2022 mid-term elections will not be legitimate

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That’s according to the “President” of the USA, Joey Bivalve Biden:

“The increase and the prospect of being illegitimate is in direct proportion to us not being able to get these reforms passed.”

Remember that this comes from the Democrat Party that’s been screaming for a year now about how it’s an act of treason, sedition, insurrection (and a whole bunch of other terms they don’t understand) to call a US election into question.

This administration is so far gone in the head that they actually sent VP Harris out in public to try and clean up the mistakes of the root vegetable “President”. To nobody’s surprise she did not, although for once she didn’t make things worse.

To be fair, this is not new for the Democrats; in 2020 they were openly talking about how that election was going to be stolen by the GOP, talk which they and their MSM stenographers promptly dropped the day after the election.

Years ago the Democrats only questioned election results after the fact; in 2000, 2004 and 2016. It’s a sign that despite all their supposed strengths, they’re not at all confident about their power, their policies or their basic philosophical arguments – and I’m being generous in granting that they have a philosophy beyond naked power grabs, bribery and corruption.

Written by Tom Hunter

January 22, 2022 at 12:02 pm

“You’re unskilled bureaucrats. Stay in your lane.”

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This is why American democracy works. Not because of the bullshit that fills the airwaves in Washington D.C., based on the bullshit that happens in The Halls Of Power there, but because of what happens locally around the fifty states.

Bethany Mandel, a journalist who has written for the likes of the NYT, had finally had enough of the mandate bullshit from her local Council Health Board in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. Watch and enjoy as a Friday night aperitif.

Oh, if only the likes of the Auckland and Wellington City Councils faced people like this.

Written by Tom Hunter

January 21, 2022 at 7:31 pm

The Stasi Agent next door

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In early 2020, one of the two contributors to the Kiwipolitico blog site, Lew, made a Twitter comment about how the C-19 pandemic had led to the rise of what he called, “curtain twitching Fascists”, people in New Zealand spying on and informing on their neighbours breaching of the Lockdown rules and regulations.

This post is about something far worse rising in the USA.

I’ve covered some of the discussions about a new US Civil War in two previous posts, A second American Civil War and a A Civil Break, not a Civil War.

This talk seems to have started around the time that Trump became President, waning as Orange Man Bad left office, but now waxing as the Democrats stare down the gun barrel of electoral defeat in this year’s Mid-Term election (funny how the discussion rises in fever pitch whenever the Democrats are out of power nowadays).

Most of these discussions focus on the traditional aspect of citizens rising against a State they feel is represented only by other citizens. Although there is occasionally a semi-technical discussion pointing out that it would be more like a guerrilla war than the almost formal conflicts of the past, even that doesn’t get to grips with the fact of two American populations that increasingly cannot stand the sight of each other. In both Democrat and Republican circles there are those who play this down: the traditional appeal to “the better angels of our nature” and so forth, also pointing out that living different lives is what America has always been about.

But today comes news of an opinion poll conducted by one of the reputable pollsters in the USA, Rasmussen, which asked Democrats some key questions. The results are both startling and frightening:

  • 55% of Democrats support fines for the unvaccinated (the Austrian solution).
  • 59% of Democrats support the unvaccinated being confined to their homes at all times except in an emergency.
  • 48% of Democrats support fines or prison for people who publicly question the existing COVID-19 vaccines on any platform.
  • 45% of Democrats support putting the unvaccinated in temporarily designated facilities.
  • 47% of Democrats favour a government tracking program for the unvaccinated.
  • 29% of Democratic voters would support the unvaccinated losing custody of their children.

While the survey showed solid majorities of all American citizens being against all of these ideas, the fact that such huge proportions of Democrat voters support them is a terrifying fact that seems far worse than any discussion I’ve seen so far about a civil war. This is about something far worse than just having two large groups of people who increasingly have little in common. This suggests that your life really could be under threat from people like this if their numbers swell only a little more and they have their hands on the levers of power when you’re in opposition to them – on any number of things.

Note also the percentage of Republicans supporting such ideas: it’s a lot lower but frankly it should be zero.

At best one can argue about errors from sample sizes, but this survey was done along the same conventional lines as other polling. It won’t be that inaccurate as to enable these large numbers to be dismissed. Although the title of this post names agents of a state, the better term here for these people is Inoffizieller Mitarbeiter.

Who could continue to live amidst Democrat voters after seeing this? Moreover, what does it portend for the future in a country where power is still evenly split, where such things are perhaps just one election, one swing state away from becoming reality.

Written by Tom Hunter

January 21, 2022 at 3:44 pm

Sad Stats and a world of unending fear

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Perhaps scary would be a better word. These being from the USA: Ten Statistics to Ruin Your Day.

Obviously there are pragmatic things like the $28 trillion debt of the USA and the increasing problems of getting military recruits because of obesity, other health problems and 10% of the pool (17-24 years old) having criminal records.

But these were the ones that I found sad:

1. The nuclear family fades in the USA:
According to a Pew Research study, the United States has the highest number of children living in single-parent households.  Almost one-fourth (23%) of children in the U.S. under the age of 18 live with one parent and no other adult, which is the highest in the world.

3. Tens of millions can’t read:
More than 30 million adults in the United States cannot read, write, or do basic math above a third-grade level.

5. We’re not having kids:
America’s total fertility rate fell in 2020 to just 1.67 births per female, the lowest in history, and well below the replacement level of 2.1.

Given the fading of the family that last is not surprising. But then there is perhaps the saddest of all – which feeds right back in the 1st.

8. But we’re lonely: A poll of 1,254 adults aged 18 and older found that 27 percent of Millennials have no close friends, 25 percent have no “acquaintances,” and 22 percent — or 1 in 5 — have no buddies at all.

Lindsay Mitchell addressed some aspect of this in her post, “Millennial Fetal Contentment”:

When enough Millennials reached young adulthood in the 2010s they cried out in pain. The real world wasn’t like the highly structured environments of their daycare centers or schools. Suicide, self-harm, depression, deviancy, drugs, self-mutilation (eg tatooing,) shock-hair colouring, and piercings became epidemic. When enough young Millennials had the chance to be an influence they promoted ‘Safe Spaces’ and Feminism and Gender Pronouns and Climate Change Catastrophisation and Racism to try to change their uncomfortable world into a place they felt at home.

When the world hurts you, and especially when you find you can’t control everything about even your small part of that world, you withdraw from it. The online world has the best safety since it is the most controllable by you. Lindsay finishes her piece with this:

The Millennial dream is everyone else’s nightmare.

She means in terms of control but what those stats above tell us is that another nightmare will be upon us before long where we don’t have enough young(ish) people, especially enough capable people, to power the world forward.

There are more than a few in the West who perhaps rather like that idea.

This slow destruction started decades ago:

In March of 1970, Anne Bernays penned a piece titled “What Are You Supposed to Do if You Like Children?”[1]  Her target was the Women’s Liberation Movement that was ushering in ideas that “men are sexual vampires, [and] marriage is stunting and exploitative.”

Those women who are “willing to acknowledge the remotest emotional obligation to husband and children, especially to children during their fragile first five or six years of life … can’t summon the time, physical energy, and psychic equipment to do two jobs simultaneously.  You can’t split a woman’s life down the middle and expect each half, like a severed worm, to go happily crawling off, to survive and function in perfect health.”

Yet that is exactly what has been demanded of most women as they valiantly try to raise a family and work outside their homes.  Or they simply decide that children are not worth their time or effort, or some other agency is left to the care and development of their children.

What I find incredible is that this feminism I grew up with in the 1980’s, that every one of my female friends supported, has not made women happier, as it was supposed to do.

And now women are being erased from many spaces by the transgender movement, to the horror of feminists, even though it was their ideas that started the ball rolling:

… it was Shulamith Firestone in the 1970s  who wrote that it has “become necessary to free humanity from the tyranny of its biology” and “eliminate the sex distinction itself [so that] genital differences between human beings would no longer matter culturally.”  Ultimately, Firestone asserted that the “blood tie of the mother to the child would eventually be severed,” and the “disappearance of motherhood” would follow.

Wish fulfilled, as the article points out by noting the steady legalisation of eliminating or marginalising oppressive words like father, mother, parents, son, daughter, and so forth: replaced by “gender-neutral language”. And the “legal” aspect is nasty, as this article noted:

Whereas the gay rights movement was about demanding more freedom from the state for people to determine their sex lives unconstrained by the law, the transgender movement demands the opposite: it calls for recognition and protection from the state in the form of intervention to regulate the behaviour of those outside of the identity group. Whereas in the past, to be radical was to demand greater freedom from the state and institutional authority, today to be radical is to demand restrictions on free expression in the name of preventing offence.

Exactly. With force of law.

Going back to the sad stats of the Millennials, many of whom are driving the Woke movement, the question must arise of how this has been affected by our two-year Pandemic Panic? There have been a couple of occasions where huge blackouts in New York City have led to baby booms nine months later, but I’ve yet to see the same from our lockdowns anywhere in the Western world. What’s different this time aside from a longer period of “nothing else to do”? Over at the NYT, David Brooks does not have an answer to any of this but points out that:

Not only is reckless driving on the rise, Yglesias pointed out, but the number of altercations on airplanes has exploded, the murder rate is surging in cities, drug overdoses are increasing, Americans are drinking more, nurses say patients are getting more abusive, and so on and so on. … Teachers are facing a rising tide of disruptive behavior. …

What the hell is going on? The short answer: I don’t know. I also don’t know what’s causing the high rates of depression, suicide and loneliness that dogged Americans even before the pandemic and that are the sad flip side of all the hostility and recklessness I’ve just described.

Well the massive increase in the murder rate is down to the sort of Democrat cities that Brooks loves, the hangovers from the Antifa/Burn Loot Murder riots of 2020, and idiot theories of law enforcement. But the rest of it probably has a lot to do with the response of TPTB to Chinese Xi Snot.

Sadly these effects may not go away anytime soon in our “post-Covid world”, at least judging by this argument from Commentary magazine, The Atlantic’s Nervous Breakdown:

The Atlantic reader who visits the website rather than simply journeying there through social-media links is turned into a doom-scroller, confronted time and again as she journeys down the homepage with headlines like this one: “America Is Running Out of Time.” Note how the title lacks specificity; it doesn’t need specificity, because this is what nearly every article in the Atlantic is about. (A recent feature in the January/February print issue of the magazine was titled, simply, “Are We Doomed?”)

“Bring Back the Nervous Breakdown,” urged a 2021 article. And so Goldberg’s Atlantic has. An astonishingly large number of stories in both the print and online versions of the magazine now focus on the irrational feelings of a very particular and privileged class of people—elite, left-of-center, educated people who ironically believe themselves too sophisticated to be emotionally manipulated like the unwashed Fox-viewing masses they abhor.

Pieces like Ian Bogost’s essay “I’m Starting to Give Up on Post-Pandemic Life” typify the Atlantic’s panic porn—the titillating personal account of a distorted negative emotional experience described lubriciously with no observable larger social purpose.

I read that last article. My advice is that you should not. A godawful piece of existentially painful navel gazing from a self-absorbed twat, who just happens to be “an American academic and video game designer.” He’s not alone: the article looks at another Atlantic writer, Alexis Madrigal, who caught Covid at a wedding despite being fully vaxxed, and promptly had a meltdown:

“The life disruption—the logistical pain you cause those around you—is now a major part of any bad scenario. As I write this, I’m now 10 days past my first symptoms, but I continue to test positive on antigen tests, and so I have not returned home. I haven’t hugged my kids for 10 days.”

He experienced only mild illness, his kids never got sick, and yet:

Madrigal’s conclusion isn’t that he might have overreacted in his risk assessment. He doesn’t even entertain that possibility. Rather, he doubles down on the idea of living in permanent emotional lockdown because of COVID: “Things aren’t likely to change that much for quite some time. Even after however many kids get vaccinated, there will still be breakthrough infections. Other variants could spread. Maybe we’re in this space for another year or two or three.”

Christ! What a hideous fate for a grand old American magazine that made its name during the US Civil War and was still an excellent read just twenty years ago.

FFS, we’re certainly never going to have a “post-pandemic world” if it’s heavily influenced by people like this, and while it’s tempting for me to make scathing observations about the modern writers of The Atlantic, the terrible truth is that there are apparently millions of people in Western nations that have been driven as insane as this – including New Zealand, judging by the frightened hordes lining up this week to get their little kids jabbed.

Despite this doom and gloom I will finish with this hopeful quote:

Human nature possesses an irreducible—or, if you will, an irremedial—capacity for resisting domination. We humans will not accept an harmonious arrangement of our lives that denies us all freedom to act as individuals. . . . We will not recognize as good any course of action that annihilates our sense of responsibility for the course of our lives. We cannot care for a world, however ostensibly good, in which we cannot recognize ourselves, or any whom we love.

Written by Tom Hunter

January 20, 2022 at 6:00 am

Go on, give him a cuddle

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I don’t recall any of our Angus bulls getting close to 3000 pounds but perhaps some did.

This is one big boy.

Written by Tom Hunter

January 18, 2022 at 6:00 am

The skills of ordinary men

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I recently read two articles that actually cover some of the same ground, even though their topics could not be more different.

The first is from 2003, Electric Heroes, and it’s written by a lawyer looking back at one of his early cases where a woman sued an American power company over the death of her husband, who was a linemen.

They clambered up narrow steel ladders and then inched across four-inch-wide “angle-iron” girders made slippery with rain or morning dew, and when they reached out, they touched either the open sky or heavy steel cables whose purpose was to carry enough electricity to power the nation’s fourth largest city.

Because they were so well trained, they were able to work safely, routinely, under conditions that would terrify you or me.

The writer points out that these men (in those days they were all men) were also very careful, which made the case a little strange since this particular linemen had fallen 120 feet to his death or possibly had jumped. Not even his workmates could figure out what had gone wrong.

As the young workhorse lawyer gathering two years of information for the trial, he got to know these men very well.

They had a strong sense of duty, and they had a natural dignity that was boundless.  They were modest men, but they had quiet pride by the mile.  Amongst each other, they were very, very funny.  They cussed a lot, and after work they’d go out together for a beer, or to hunt or play poker or catch an Astros game.  And they stuck up for one another.  You’d think twice about crossing any one of them.

They took the case seriously from the beginning because one of their own had died in their midst, for reasons they couldn’t quite explain or grasp, and they were being accused of having caused his death by their indifference. 

In the end the case was settled out of court and the jury dismissed. The young lawyer had become so bonded with these men that he was incandescent with rage at what he felt his senior lawyers had done to them: as much as admitting that they had been indifferent to their workmate, their friend. But the young partner took him to lunch and, as he saw in hindsight, helped him grow up a bit:

“In the greater scheme of life, are you really furious that Mrs X is getting the fairly modest amount of money that will be left to her after her lawyers’ fees and expenses are extracted?  She’s not getting a huge windfall.  Our client can afford it.  It all goes into the rate-base, and ultimately it will be paid in tiny, tiny increments by all the families for whom Mr X helped keep the lights on during his twelve years with the company. Can you not see the justice in that result, even if it wasn’t the harsh and total victory you were gunning for?”

The second article is very recent and is written by a Captain Charlie Anderson of the Minnesota National Guard, describing their recent expedition to Kabul to extract American and Afghan civilians before the Taliban took over: A few good ‘Bastards’.

It’s a fascinating look at those events from a soldier’s view, but it’s also a good look at a component of the US military that’s often overlooked or disparaged, The National Guard. They’re part-time soldiers although equipped with the same stuff as the regular forces including, in this case, Bradley’s and Abrams tanks. Having said that I was surprised a few years ago to find out from a mate in the NZDF that the Hawaiian Air National Guard flies F-22’s!

But what shows here is that the training is also right up with the regular forces:

We’d practiced and trained for the past two years. The task force did a combat training rotation exercise at Fort Hood, Texas in 2019 and executed a successful rotation (the first post-Covid) at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California in 2020. While drilling at Camp Ripley, Minnesota we completed numerous tabletop exercises and worked the Military Decision Making Process repeatedly until it became muscle memory.

We had executed multiple iterations of gunnery tables and were continuing ongoing missions in Syria, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia. We were confident that as the CENTCOM Regional Response Force we’d be poised and prepared to project military power wherever it was needed to accomplish tactical and strategic goals.

When the time came to move out they were ready to go and got to Kabul promptly. Even so such units still endure scepticism from the regulars:

One captain I met from their brigade intelligence section told me he was under the impression that a senator had pulled some strings and got us deployed from Minnesota. When I told him about our task force and that we were already in the Middle East, postured for such a crisis event, he was speechless. Initially, there was an air of distrust, but we proved ourselves worthy partners, dispelling the myth about the perceived capability gap between the active duty and guard/reserve components. 

It was this paragraph that caught my attention in relation to the first article, as the commander of the unit, Lt. Col. Jake Helgestad, described:

He underscored the life skills the National Guard brought to the 82nd Airborne. “We provided capabilities to the fight beyond trigger-pullers that 1/82 never would’ve been able to — engineers, plumbers, electricians, welders, mechanics, heavy machinery operators – we enabled advanced operations that directly impacted the military’s ability to get people out.” 

No need to call up the US Army Corp of Engineers to build barricades and reinforce walls when you’ve got a bunch of people who do that in their everyday lives.

The article is lengthy but well written and packed with a lot of coal-face detail about what they dealt with in a horrific and rapidly deteriorating situation. Well worth your reading time.

Written by Tom Hunter

January 17, 2022 at 3:39 pm

Hey Kids! It’s your Covid Jab Day

with 14 comments

I already wrote about the nonsense of vaccinating kids aged less then 12 against the “deadly” C-19 virus, in the post The kids are alright.

That article noted some of the horrendous reporting that has happened on this specific issue via places like the New York Times, where claims of 900,000 kids hospitalised with C-19 since early 2020 were so wrong even that publication had to correct its “facts”.

Scanning Newshub the other day I noticed that the trick is now simply not to mention at all the extraordinarily low numbers of kids getting sick and dying from Chinese Xi Snot virus. Charts like the following from the CDC in the USA will not be seen in our local MSM.

That’s basically the Delta virus at work, but the statistics for Alpha in 2020 were no different for young kids (and young adults).

Such a chart won’t be seen in our MSM for good reason; it might increase “vaccine hesitancy” and the government can’t have that. There’s also this from my previous post:

“Then for other children in the 5-11-year-old age group, you really have to put a high premium on ensuring safety. Because we know that once you’ve excluded that probably 2 or 3 per cent of children with severe other problems, then the rest of the children, the chance of them getting even more than a cold or something they may not even notice, is really very small.” 
– Peter McIntyre. Otago University professor of women’s and children’s health,

To be fair that quote actually did come from Stuff.co.nz, which had an entire article on the question of vaccinating kids for C-19. But it’s the only such article I’ve seen, and it’s hard to find even on Stuff unless you have the link.

I wonder how many of those who are vulnerable to the virus, clearly shown in the chart, feel any guilt or shame about this at all? My read is few.

Written by Tom Hunter

January 17, 2022 at 10:47 am