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Tom Grace’s “The Liberty Intrigue”
  12 Feb 2012     6:58 pm

One of the nicest perks about having a slightly well-known blog is the fact that authors and publishers occasionally ask me to review a book. In this way, I get the opportunity to read books that I otherwise wouldn’t even know exist. My approach to book reviews is simple: If I enjoy the book, I’m happy to review it, because I want to share my good fortune with my friends. If I don’t enjoy a book, however, I don’t give it a bad review. Instead, I don’t review the book …

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Honoring our Sea Faring Services
  5 Oct 2011     6:04 pm

In honor of Fleet Week (which starts Saturday in San Francisco), I have three Navy/Marine related stories to relate and I want to promote a few of my favorite Navy related blogs.
Story 1:
My daughter has started a new school and is making new friends. The other day, I met the Mom of one of these new friends. (I’m happy to say that both mother and daughter are nice gals.)
“Is your daughter an only child?” I asked. (Go ahead, say it: I’m nosy.)
“No,” she said, “I have a son, too.” Then, …

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Peculiarly enough, a hypothetical third party for independents would look like Progressives on steroids
  26 Sep 2011     4:35 pm

I do love the way my liberal Facebook friends make me aware of things I wouldn’t otherwise notice. One of those things is a Matt Miller op-ed in the Washington Post, which imagines the perfect speech a dream independent candidate would give. As Miller describes it:
This is one columnist’s stab at what a candidate might sound like if he or she were trying to appeal to the majority of voters in the middle of the electorate who feel both parties are failing us.
This dream speech, the one Miller imagines appealing …

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The Nanny state makes it impossible to raise children — and then takes them away
  4 Sep 2011     2:26 pm

Sometimes the matched sets just write themselves. Both of the articles I’m quoting here are from England. The first in our set is an article saying that town councils across England are being told that they need to reinstate actual playgrounds. The current versions, which are the kid equivalent of a padded room, are creating useless human beings:
Old-fashioned playground equipment like climbing frames, sand pits and paddling pools are set to be re-introduced after research found a degree of risk helps children to develop.
For years councils have …

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Reducing patriotism to a sleazy roll in the hay
  31 Aug 2011     7:29 pm

Mr. Bookworm is catching up with the Jon Stewart episodes he missed while we were away. One particular segment, which starts at the 2 minute mark, caught my eye. In it, Perry talks about love for country, clearly distinguishing himself from Obama, who hasn’t shown such love, either explicitly or implicitly. Take a look at what Stewart, a very bright, and periodically honest, dyed-in-the-wool Progressive, does with Perry’s simple statement of patriotism:

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart
Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c

Indecision 2012 – Michele Bachmann Fever & Rick Perry’s …

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Learning curves, intelligence and Rick Perry
  26 Aug 2011     2:12 pm

Although Obama’s grades are still a state secret, we know that the MSM is going to make hay of the fact that Rick Perry had a 2.22 GPA at Texas A&M. There’s no escaping the fact that he wasn’t much of an academic. I have a few thoughts on that subject. They start with a picture making the rounds on the internet, showing a 22 year Perry and a 20 something Obama:

Ignore the Obama image. Aside from misstating his age, it’s old hat. We know, because he confessed, that when …

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The narcissistic delusions of Leftists
  25 Aug 2011     6:13 pm

Can I say that an entire political ideology is narcissistic? Because I’d really like to say that about Leftism, a political movement that sometimes seems like the textbook definition of narcissism. Although the DSM is a highly political book, it’s still the starting point for any diagnosis of narcissism:
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders fourth edition, DSM IV-TR, a widely used manual for diagnosing mental disorders, defines narcissistic personality disorder (in Axis II Cluster B) as:[1]

A pervasive pattern of grandiosity(in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack …

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I love the environment; it’s the environmentalists I hate
  6 Jul 2011     4:39 pm

I’m a somewhat contrary person. (Right now, those who know me well are probably off laughing hysterically somewhere at my understatement.) Because the environmentalists are pushing so hard, from Al Gore on down, my instinct is to push right back. Pushing back makes me sound as if I don’t care about the environment, but that’s untrue. I like a healthy environment, whether it’s clean air, potable water, or abundant wildlife. The environment matters to me.
Some environmentalist initiatives are fine. Just as women’s hats were …

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Remembering Entebbe
  5 Jul 2011     1:24 pm

Yid With Lid reminds us that July 4th marks more than just America’s independence day. (H/t: Sadie) It’s also the anniversary of Israel’s spectacular rescue at Entebbe in 1976. That was another place and time, when most in the world actually cared about Jewish lives. I wrote about the rescue back in 2007 and reprint that narrative here.
For those of you too young to remember, here is a short-ish version of the long and exciting story about the Entebbe raid. (I culled these …

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Patriotism when you don’t love your country
  4 Jul 2011     7:47 pm

As I do every year, I went with my family to our town’s Fourth of July Parade. It’s a great parade, with all sorts of community groups participating, including the various chambers of commerce; Little League baseball teams; bagpipers (Marin is home to a thriving bagpipe community); an impressive selection of WWII vehicles from from the Garbarino Military Vehicle Museum, a private collection of lovingly restored military vehicles; marching bands; and the usual flotsam and jetsam of community organizations in a small town.
Thousands of people turn out to line …

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A problem with medicine that ObamaCare won’t solve
  25 Jun 2011     1:27 pm

I spent four hours at my Mom’s yesterday trying to organize her medicines. I am more gray now than I was before. My son, who was with me, kept saying “This is insane. This is insane.”
The insanity operated at a lot of levels. Some of the insanity comes about because my mother likes her medicines (my son calculated that she takes approximately 800 pills per month, or 9,600 pills per year), and because she takes them on a schedule of her own devising, entirely separate from …

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The psychology of war and warriors
  23 Jun 2011     2:19 pm

Peter Wehner writes about Obama’s decision to draw down troops in Afghanistan, something that (just coincidentally, of course) will take place right before Obama’s reelection bid. Wehner is appalled, and he explains that this gross political calculation isn’t the way it needs to be:
I have the advantage of having served a president during wartime. And whatever faults one might be tempted to lay at the feet of George W. Bush, he never allowed politics of the Obama kind to infect his decisions. I know of what …

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It’s not what you believe; it’s what you do with those beliefs that counts
  13 Jun 2011     5:55 pm

The discussion on my recent climate change post has one side saying “expert consensus” and the other side saying “facts.” Let me state something very important here: An expert consensus is not a fact. Experts used to think the sun revolved around the earth (wrong), that bad air caused disease (wrong), that spicy food and stress caused ulcers (wrong), that autistic people are mentally retarded because their mothers didn’t love them (oh, so wrong), etc. Experts are wrong, all the time.
This is a touchy subject for …

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Weiner did a bad thing and being pro-abortion doesn’t give him a pass
  9 Jun 2011     2:29 pm

A few months ago a movie came out based on a premise that was, for me, an entirely new concept: a Hall Pass or, license from ones spouse to have sex, once, outside of marriage. (I understand that the movie, which I didn’t see, ultimately made the point that having an affair isn’t as easy or attractive as it seems.)
I thought of that movie when I read Amanda Marcotte’s outraged article about coverage of the wanking Weiner. Unlike Kirsten Powers, who was mad at Weiner for lying …

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A sentimental service in a cynical society — our Navy
  7 Jun 2011     1:38 am

Sentiment: “refined or tender emotion; manifestation of the higher or more refined feelings.”
Ours is a cynical age. The traditional values that defined us as Americans (weirdly old-fashioned ideas such as the belief that we are a wholesome, good and honorable culture) seem to have been jettisoned. Even though I believe the majority of Americans are indeed wholesome, good and honorable, the message of our popular culture is jaded and immoral.
Children pick up on that. As they head towards adulthood, they strive to imitate the cynical malaise that …

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White House/Obama email information collection — it’s getting weird
  6 Jun 2011     8:10 pm

I received something peculiar in my email yesterday:

A few things to note:
1. The email informs me that someone left a comment on “,” a blog that has lain dormant for four years.
2. The Author’s name is an obvious nom de cyber — Trimegistus.
3. The Author leaves as his email address ““.
That email address is the interesting part. I am not for a single minute claiming that Trimegistus is a White House employee. However, “” is an email address with a history. The Obama administration …

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Finally — an Amazon product that has something for everyone
  6 Jun 2011     1:50 am

Obscenely overpriced product? Check.
Ridiculous discount?  Check.
Product description riddled with grammatical errors and pretentious, unintelligible language? Check.
Customer “reviews” that are worth their weight in gold? You betcha.
I hereby present the Plodes RECH reDO Lawn Chair – Black Leather with White Stitching and Cherry Arms. This isn’t just any old lawn chair. This is a special lawn chair:
Restored tube/lawn chair, stitched leather, hardwood. reDO is a limited edition redefinition of a soon to be extinct icon [sic]. The infamous aluminum tube web chair that society has taken …

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The circumcision ban on the San Francisco ballot is driven by blatant antisemitism
  3 Jun 2011     6:30 pm

I often say I’m shocked by something that crosses my computer screen, but that’s not really true. I mean, I probably sort of shocked insofar as I’m surprised that someone has behaved according to type, but in an extreme way, or that something I’ve long assumed would happen actually did happen (or, in a surprising way, didn’t happen). But I’m very seldom shocked to the core of my being. Today, though, I was shocked, shaken really, by an email Zombie sent me.
Zombie has gotten hold of some …

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California’s raunchy politicians
  1 Jun 2011     3:07 pm

Do you remember the old Dean Martin comedy roasts? The zingers were mean, sometimes mildly risqué, and usually funny. Don Rickles was the acknowledged master of the genre.
The California Assembly has taken the roast to a whole new level. At a benefit to raise money for programs involving young people and politics (“It’s for the children!”), the past and present assembly members gathered to roast Speaker John A. Pérez. The tone of this affair, a public event comprised of elected politicians raising money for children, couldn’t …

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Mene, mene, tekel, upharsin
  29 May 2011     10:52 pm

I’ve often heard people use the expression “he saw the handwriting on the wall.” I wonder, though, how many know that it originates in the Book of Daniel, which is a part of the Old Testament. I’m reasonably sure that most of my readers are familiar with the story of Daniel, but for those who aren’t, here is the briefest summary possible: Daniel lived in Babylon during the Jewish exile and became a high court official to King Nebuchadnezzar and, after him, to his son Belshazzar. …

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