Combs Spouts Off

"It's my opinion and it's very true."

Trump dooms planet, women and minorities hit hardest

Posted by Richard on June 1, 2017

I spent way more time than I should have on Twitter today, marveling at the collective freak-out over the President’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord. And thoroughly enjoying the rejoinders to the Chicken Littles from some of the folks I follow.

Leonardo DiCaprio was an obvious and easy target.

Justin Trudeau got a good smack-down.

Yes, Mitt Romney wrung his hands over the decision, and Steve Kruiser made the obvious comment.

A tenured chair at Harvard spewed forth an interesting take on history that elicited countless reactions like David Burge’s.

I could go on and on. There was “conservative” columnist Jennifer Rubin, who hated the Paris Accord until Trump dumped it; now she loves it and is dismayed. There was the ACLU denouncing it as “an assault on communities of color” because more blacks live near coal plants. Doubling down on that, some senile California attorney declared that Trump did it “just because it was signed by our first black POTUS – yes, he is that racist.!!!!”

There are a bunch more, including a funny rejoinder to Michael Moore, in my timeline. Both the Federalist and Ricochet have compilations of some of the most panicky, over-the-top reactions to the President’s decision. And Twitchy is just full of related stuff.

But one of the things that really struck me was this: many of the same people who insisted that withdrawing from the Paris Accord would flood coastal cities, kill children, destroy the planet, etc., also insisted that withdrawing was stupid because the accord didn’t obligate us to do anything. Cognitive dissonance, anyone?

 

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Michelle Malkin on Marijuana

Posted by Richard on May 31, 2017

No, not like that. Like this:

Let’s talk about marijuana.

Specifically, let’s talk about how and why I came to be one of the countless parents across America (and around the world) who have let their chronically ill children try it.

Read the whole thing. It’s excellent.

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War on cars meets war on terror

Posted by Richard on May 30, 2017

Last month, a rejected Uzbeki asylum seeker with ties to ISIS hijacked a truck in Stockholm and drove it into a crowd along a major street in the city, killing five and injuring many others.

What should be done to stop such terrorist attacks? An editorial in the major Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet has an idea: ban cars from the city. Yes, really.

It’s not just terrorism that such a ban would thwart. It would also promote “gender equality” and help save the planet. No, I’m not making this up.

The idea of reducing the number of cars in Swedish cities was backed last month by Sweden’s environment minister, who argued that driving is a gender equality issue as well as a matter of shrinking the nation’s carbon emissions.

“Cars are driven largely by men so by giving a lot of space to cars; we’re giving a lot of space to men — at the expense of women,” Karolina Skog explained.

Sweden already had strict gun control laws. (It also has a number of “no-go zones,” enclaves where the large number of Muslim immigrants it’s admitted enforce Sharia law, and those who don’t abide by that, including police, had better not enter.) Yet terrorist attacks continue, some using vehicles. To those who thought gun control would stop mass shootings (it hasn’t), the obvious answer to car/truck attacks is to ban motor vehicles.

Those of us living in the real world just shake our heads in disbelief.

But don’t forget, to American leftists, Sweden is the shining example of what we should strive to be. And the war against cars (via zoning, reallocation of gas taxes to mass transit, promotion of high-density dwellings, conversion of car lanes to bike lanes, “traffic calming,” etc.) is certainly proceeding apace in Denver and cities across the country. So don’t be surprised if “fight terrorism, ban cars” campaigns crop up here about 15 minutes after the next lone wolf truck attack. And if proponents couple that with the claim that cars are symbols of patriarchy, hoo boy, that’ll bring out lots of protesters.

They can have my 2014 Subaru Forester when they pry the 6-speed stick out of my cold dead hand.

[Actually they can have it in exchange for a pristine 1992 Range Rover. Or (dreaming) a new Mazda Miata. Or (really dreaming) an immaculate 1964 Jag XKE roadster. Or (really, really dreaming) a factory-restored Ferrari Daytona. Or …]

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That liberty shall live

Posted by Richard on May 29, 2017

“Flags In” for Memorial Day, Arlington National Cemetery. Photo from Isaac Wankerl (www.iwankerl.com).
The grave of his father, Maj. Max W. Wankerl, is in the foreground.

Memorial Day

by Edgar A. Guest (1881-1959)

The finest tribute we can pay
Unto our hero dead to-day,
Is not a rose wreath, white and red,
In memory of the blood they shed;
It is to stand beside each mound,
Each couch of consecrated ground,
And pledge ourselves as warriors true
Unto the work they died to do.
Into God’s valleys where they lie
At rest, beneath the open sky,
Triumphant now o’er every foe,
As living tributes let us go.
No wreath of rose or immortelles
Or spoken word or tolling bells
Will do to-day, unless we give
Our pledge that liberty shall live.
Our hearts must be the roses red
We place above our hero dead;
To-day beside their graves we must
Renew allegiance to their trust;
Must bare our heads and humbly say
We hold the Flag as dear as they,
And stand, as once they stood, to die
To keep the Stars and Stripes on high.
The finest tribute we can pay
Unto our hero dead to-day
Is not of speech or roses red,
But living, throbbing hearts instead,
That shall renew the pledge they sealed
With death upon the battlefield:
That freedom’s flag shall bear no stain
And free men wear no tyrant’s chain.

Today, please remember those who died “that liberty shall live.” I’m remembering my dad, Col. Samuel R. Combs — who, in the memorable words of Robert Denerstein, “answered his country’s call even before the phone rang.” I miss you, Papa.

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You might just be a partisan hack journalist if …

Posted by Richard on March 23, 2017

… your first reaction to the latest London terrorist attack is to worry that it might help right-wingers. And your second reaction is to suggest that the perp may not have been an Islamic terrorist.

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Celebrate Pi and Einstein today

Posted by Richard on March 14, 2017

Today, March 14, is Albert Einstein’s birthday. It’s also Pi Day (3/14) for those who use the month/day/year date format. If you’re into greater precision, celebrate Pi Minute (3/14, 1:59) or even Pi Second (3/14, 1:59:26).

Europeans and others who use the more logical day/month/year date format prefer to celebrate Pi Approximation Day on July 22 (22/7).

Technically, of course, all of these, including Pi Second, are Pi Approximations.

In any case, enjoy some pi(e) today! Or convert some matter into energy!

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Password humor

Posted by Richard on March 11, 2017

From this /. thread (much of which is worth reading), with a couple of errors in the original corrected:

WINDOWS: Please enter your new password.
USER: cabbage
WINDOWS: Sorry, the password must be more than 8 characters.
USER: boiledcabbage
WINDOWS: Sorry, the password must contain 1 numerical character.
USER: 1 boiledcabbage
WINDOWS: Sorry, the password cannot have blank spaces.
USER: 50fuckingboiledcabbages
WINDOWS: Sorry, the password must contain at least one upper case character.
USER: 50FUCKINGboiledcabbages
WINDOWS: Sorry, the password cannot use more than one upper case character consecutively.
USER: 50FuckingBoiledCabbagesShovedUpYourAssIfYouDon’tGiveMeAccessNow!
WINDOWS: Sorry, the password cannot contain punctuation.
USER: ReallyPissedOff50FuckingBoiledCabbagesShovedUpYourAssIfYouDontGiveMeAccessNow
WINDOWS: Sorry, that password is already used.

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Liberal professors stunned by results of their sex-swap experiment

Posted by Richard on March 10, 2017

Two New York University professors conducted an interesting experiment to test this question: what if Trump had been female and Clinton had been male? Their assumption going in was that a  male acting like Hillary Clinton did in the debates would have been perceived more positively.

Tad Cronn explains the experiment and its surprising (to leftists) results:

The idea was simple: Re-create a portion of the presidential debates, putting Hillary’s exact words into the mouth of a man and putting Donald Trump’s exact words into the mouth of a woman.

To isolate the gender factor as much as possible, the two actors hired even went so far as to copy each candidate’s posture, movements and inflections.

The professors hoped to show that Trump’s aggressive manner would not have been acceptable to viewers coming from a woman, while Hillary’s presentation would have won her fans if she were a man.

Upon showing the resulting video to audiences, the results were eye-opening. The male version of Hillary came across as an even bigger pompous jackass, while the female Trump won over viewers with her feistiness and courage.

“We both thought that the inversion would confirm our liberal assumption—that no one would have accepted Trump’s behavior from a woman, and that the male Clinton would seem like the much stronger candidate,” said Professor Joe Salvatore. “But we kept checking in with each other and realized that this disruption—a major change in perception—was happening. I had an unsettled feeling the whole way through.”

Cronn closes with an intriguing thought:

 I wonder, if anyone was brave enough to try it, if a similar experiment involving race would finally show liberals that, yes, it really was Obama’s policies that people hated.

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Watch Atlas Shrugged Part 1 live tonight

Posted by Richard on February 2, 2017

2017 02 02 Happy Birthday Header

Atlas Shrugged Newsletter: 02.02.17

“America’s inner contradiction was the altruist-collectivist ethics. Altruism is incompatible with freedom, with capitalism and with individual rights. One cannot combine the pursuit of happiness with the moral status of a sacrificial animal.”Ayn Rand

***

TONIGHT: Watch Atlas Shrugged Part 1 LIVE

film countdown 3

HAPPY BIRTHDAY AYN RAND!

Tonight, pop some popcorn and celebrate Ayn Rand’s birthday by tuning in to watch Atlas Shrugged Part 1 and chat live with Producer Harmon Kaslow and Associate Producer Scott DeSapio.

Head to Galt’s Gulch now for details.

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Why Trump won, reason #673

Posted by Richard on January 20, 2017

There are many reasons why Trump won the election. Not the least among them is the mindset of the Washington establishment exemplified by MarketWatch editor Rex Nutting in the condescending opinion piece Welcome to Washington, Trump supporters (emphasis added):

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — I’m seeing a lot of Trump supporters on the streets of the District today, and as a 25-year resident of this great city, I say “Welcome! Stay awhile!”

Today is your big day to celebrate the election of the man who heard your voice and amplified it. It must feel great to be heard.

You won’t meet many Washingtonians around the Capitol, on the parade route up Pennsylvania Avenue, or on the Mall today. Most of us are staying away from downtown out of respect, and maybe a little anxiety about what is to become of our beloved nation.

After the ceremony and the parade, I hope you’ll wander around the city for a while. You may think that Washington doesn’t understand you and your problems, but I wonder if you understand us, the people of this metro area. There’s more to us than a swamp.

In the spirit of the day, get out of your bubble and get to know us, because we are America too.

To Nutting and his ilk, it’s those of us who live in flyover country who are living in a bubble. We need to meet the residents of the District of Columbia and visit its monuments to the “anti-Trump” political leaders of the past in order to get to know the real America.

SMDH.

UPDATE: Some visitors from flyover country are being removed from their bubble and introduced to D.C. residents whether they like it or not:

Celeste Sollars, who said she and her husband came to town from Kansas to see the inauguration, said they were spit on and her husband was put in a chokehold by protesters.

“The cops wouldn’t do anything,” she said, crying. “This is not how it was supposed to be — assault is not a First Amendment right.”

So today the heartland ignoramuses visiting Washington are learning that the real America outside their 3000-county “bubble” is all about vandalizing property, burning cars, and assaulting people who think differently.

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A familiar refrain

Posted by Richard on January 5, 2017

Regarding the “mentally disabled” young man who was held captive, tortured, and beaten for 24-48 hours in Chicago, with some of the torture streamed live on Facebook, there’s this news:

CHICAGO — Chicago police don’t believe a man beaten in an assault broadcast live on Facebook was targeted because he was white despite profanities made by the accused assailants about white people and President-elect Donald Trump, a police spokesman said Thursday.

Charges are expected later in the day against four black suspects, Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi told The Associated Press.

Repeatedly shouting “F*ck white people! F*ck Trump!” isn’t evidence of racial motivation, according to authorities.

I’m reminded of all the times that authorities have assured us that shouting “Allahu Akbar!” isn’t evidence of radical Islamist motivation.

And the establishment wonders why a large portion of the population views them with contempt.

UPDATE: Chicago PD has decided this was a hate crime after all. Under Illinois law, targeting someone because of either their race or their disability is a hate crime, so it’s not clear which they’re applying in this case. Note, however, that the video doesn’t record any of the perps shouting “F*ck retards!”

UPDATE 2: I should note that I’m not in favor of hate crime laws, especially not those that only apply to crimes against certain “protected classes” while ignoring hatred based on, for instance, nationality or profession. The depravity of these acts alone should be sufficient to warrant long prison sentences. That said, I think the motivation of the perps should be explored and discussed, and I think it’s fair to invoke it as an aggravating factor leading to a longer sentence; a perpetrator of violence motivated by hatred of a whole segment of society is more of a danger to the public than one motivated by a beef with a specific individual.

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The problem with DNA today

Posted by Richard on January 4, 2017

The next time you hear that the police have DNA evidence connecting someone to a crime, remember Michelle Malkin’s latest column, Forensic Nightmare: The Perils of Touch DNA.

The problem with DNA today is that we’ve become too good at finding it. It’s now possible to detect and analyze incredibly small samples of “touch DNA” — the epithelial cells that our skin sheds all the time everywhere we go. And those cells can then get transferred to who knows whom or where. Six degrees of separation, anyone?

You go to an office to drop off a job application and shake hands with the manager. She meets her husband for lunch, and they hug. Later that day, as he’s making the night deposit from his business, someone assaults him from behind and steals the money. Guess what? The police find your DNA on the back of his jacket. His assailant wore a mask, and the only description he can give is a white guy of average height and medium build wearing dark clothes. Hey, that’s you, isn’t it?

The problem is analogous to the problem caused by our ability to measure smaller and smaller concentrations of contaminants or pollutants. First it was parts per million, then parts per billion, and now we’re measuring parts per trillion. We’re approaching the point where we can detect almost anything almost anywhere. “The lake contains organophosphates!” “Detectable levels of arsenic were found on the playground!”

While there are some substances (like lead, which accumulates in the body) for which it’s fair to say that there really aren’t any safe levels, for almost everything else Paracelcus’ adage that the dose makes the poison is true. But people don’t know or tend to forget that (which radical environmentalists exploit all the time).

Just as tiny bits of your DNA can end up in many places, so can tiny bits of a farmer’s glyphosphate (Roundup). While both facts are interesting, they shouldn’t be assumed to prove that you, or the farmer, or Monsanto are guilty of anything or have harmed anyone. They merely demonstrate how good we’ve gotten at detecting stuff in very small quantities.

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Gary Kubiak’s retirement speech

Posted by Richard on January 3, 2017

For health reasons, Gary Kubiak has stepped down as coach of the Denver Broncos. If you’re at all interested in the Broncos, or in football, or just in how a man of great character handles the difficult task of announcing that he’s walking away from his dream job, you might want to watch his retirement press conference.


[YouTube link]

Sports reporter Mike Klis:

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Skenazy: worst free-range moments of 2016

Posted by Richard on January 2, 2017

Lenore Skenazy is the author of Free-Range Kids, How to Raise Safe, Self-Reliant Children (Without Going Nuts with Worry), which started a national movement against helicopter parenting and bubble-wrap child rearing. I wish every parent in America would read that book and regularly visit her website. The smothering, over-protective, “all risk must be eliminated” style of parenting that she forcefully and persuasively rejects is, IMHO, the reason we have college students today who need counseling and “safe spaces” after encountering “Trump 2016” written in chalk on the sidewalk.

Shortly before Christmas, Skenazy posted her top 11 worst free-range moments of the year. Her number one is my favorite (i.e., most headdesk-inducing one):

The police chief of New Albany, Ohio, helpfully revealed the age that kids are old enough to start going outside on their own: 16. “I think that’s the threshold where you see children getting a little bit more freedom.”

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Happy New Year 2017!

Posted by Richard on January 1, 2017

fireworks

Happy New Year! I can’t believe that at my advanced age I’ve made it past midnight. I owe it all to immoderate quantities of The Glenlivet and several wonderful interactions on my porch with the feral cat I’ve been befriending, whom I’ve named Bibi (and who now comes when I call her name).

Five months ago, Bibi wouldn’t let me get within 8 or 10 feet of her. Tonight, as I crouched down to give her a treat, she hopped up on my leg. Later, as I sat on the porch step sipping Glenlivet, she almost climbed into my lap to get a sniff of it. She rubbed up against my legs and the back of my hands on several occasions. I think we’ve made remarkable progress in our relationship, and it portends a wonderful 2017.

I hope you too have reason to believe that things got better during 2016 (hey, at least we avoided letting the Clinton crime family have another shot at the White House). And I hope that 2017 promises to be even better for you, as it does for me.

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