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McCain?
Prosecutor: Did you kill the victim?

Defendant : No, I did not.

Prosecutor: Do you know what the penalty is for perjury?

Defendant : Yeah, and it's a hell of a lot better than the penalty for murder."

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Switzerland attacked its neighboring country, Liechtenstein, three times and by mistake every time.

Switzerland holds a strange record in attacking its neighbor, Liechtenstein. Apparently, Switzerland has attacked Liechtenstein three times in 30 years, surprisingly by mistake each time!

Liechtenstein is a small country only 62 square miles in area. The country has a population of 37,000 people. But in spite of its small size, Liechtenstein is one of the richest countries in the world with one of the lowest unemployment rates. Another thing about Liechtenstein is that it does not have an army of its own. It disbanded its army in 1868 and is one of the 22 countries today without an armed force.

The first time Switzerland attacked Liechtenstein was on December 5, 1985. The Swiss Army was organizing a training exercise that involved launching missiles. Unknowingly, the Swiss Army launched the missiles into the heavily forested Liechtenstein causing a massive forest fire. The Liechtenstein government was very angry and Switzerland had to pay a heavy sum for the environmental damage.

The second attack took place on October 13, 1992. The Swiss Army received orders to set up an observation post in Treisenberg. They followed the orders and marched to Treisenberg. What they didn’t realize was that Treisenberg lies within the territory of Liechtenstein. They marched into Treisenberg with rifles and only later realized that they were in Liechtenstein.

The last attack was on March 1, 2007. A group of Swiss Army infantry soldiers was in training when the weather took a bad turn. There was heavy rainfall and the soldiers were not carrying any GPS or compass. Eventually, they ended up in Liechtenstein! Switzerland apologized to the Liechtenstein government for the intrusion, yet again.

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GOP's Secret Weapon

1) Liberals: Conservatives are so paranoid! No one wants to take your guns.

Also liberals: Repeal the 2nd Amendment! No one needs AR-15s! Gun owners are murderers and terrorists!

2) Liberals: College kids need to be protected from hurtful words with safe spaces because they’re so fragile and the poor dears need to be able to stay on their parents’ insurance until 26!

Also liberals: 16 year-olds should be able to vote!

3) Liberals: You can’t criticize Islam! We must be respectful to all religions!

Also liberals: Of course, there’s nothing wrong with using your tax dollars to build a life-size nativity scene made out of pig sh*t!

4) Liberals: We absolutely should not put armed guards in schools to stop shooters! It won’t work! Terrible idea!

Also liberals: There’s a school shooter! Quick, call someone with a gun to save the kids!

5) Liberals: Love trumps hate! When they go low, we go high! Hate has no home here!

Also liberals: You don’t agree with me? BIGOT! RACIST! FASCIST! WHY ARE YOU SO HATEFUL?

6) Liberals: Romney is such an idiot for thinking Russia is our biggest geopolitical threat. Get back in your time machine so you can get back to the Cold War, Grandpa! Ha, hah, ha!

Also liberals: Can we talk about how big a threat Russia is to us? Where are the sanctions? Maybe we should bomb Russia! Why are more people not talking about the danger of Russia?

7) Liberals: We need to do whatever it takes to curb global warming!

Also liberals: Let's all fly overseas in private jets and ride in SUVS to an opulent conference so we can discuss global warming.

8) Liberals: My baby can decide his own gender!

Also liberals: Spanking your child? That’s child abuse!

9) Liberals: We’re a rape culture! Women are under a constant threat of sexual assault from men!

Also liberals: Women should be able to carry guns for protection? That’s insane!

10) Liberals: Diversity is a strength!

Also liberals: No conservatives should be allowed to work for liberal publications, act in Hollywood or teach in schools!

11) Liberals: Donald Trump is another Hitler and the police are racists who are murdering young black men for no reason.

Also liberals: Only the government and police should have guns!

12) Liberals: It’s my body, my choice!

Also liberals: You should be fined by the government if you don’t want to buy health insurance!

13) Liberals: We’re the party of science!

Also liberals: Unborn children aren’t people and you can pick your own gender!

14) Liberals: The death penalty is morally wrong! You can’t do that to another human being, even if he’s a serial killer!

Also liberals: Not even the father of the child has the right to keep a woman from aborting her baby.

15) Liberals: School choice? Vouchers! Those are bad for children! Children should have to go to public schools!

Also (rich) liberals: Of course my kids are going to private school! It’s only the best for my children!

16) Liberals: You don’t want to give more of what you earned to the government? You’re SELFISH!

Also liberals: You want welfare, school lunches and housing you didn’t earn? Don’t be ashamed! There’s nothing wrong with taking it!

17) Liberals: The law is your fist when you're dealing with Nazis! They deserve it!

Also liberals: Everyone who disagrees with me is a Nazi!

18) Liberals: Conservatives are sexists who don’t respect women!

Also liberals: Give me a second; I just called Dana Loesch the c-word on Twitter and I have to like it with all 8 of my fake accounts.

19) Liberals: There is no reason to oppose tearing down Confederate statues other than racism!

Also liberals: The Jefferson Memorial? He was a slave owner; so it should go. William McKinley wasn’t nice enough to the Indians. He has to go! Oh, and let’s destroy Mount Rushmore while we’re at it!

20) Liberals: We need more women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics!

Also liberal women in college: I’m majoring in women’s studies!

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U.S.—Sources across the nation confirmed Wednesday that nearly everybody in the country would be willing to give up any and all privacy rights to websites they’ve visited and online services they’ve used as long as all companies they’ve done business with online agree to stop spamming their email inboxes with privacy policy updates.

The nation confirmed it would be totally OK with websites they visited one time seven years ago to purchase something for a Christmas gift handing out their data willy-nilly, on the condition that they stop blowing up their email notifying them about how they’re exploiting user data.

“I no longer care what you know about me or what you do with that data. Just please, I’m begging you, make the emails stop,” one man reportedly replied to the 129th privacy policy update email he’s received in the past day alone. “Sell it to the Russians for all I care. Just don’t email me again. Please. I’m desperate.”

“You’re going to sell my data to research firms, private interest groups, and giant advertising corporations? Great. Knock yourselves out. Just don’t tell me about it,” the man added.

At publishing time, several giant tech companies had gladly agreed to the nation’s demands.

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My son is 4 years old, and these weeks and months when he's still innocent are so precious.

Mostly because he doesn't know yet that the crackling cellophane sound means I'm opening a new box of cookies.

Issue of the Times;
John McCain and the POW Cover-Up by Sydney Schanberg

The “war hero” candidate buried information about POWs left behind in Vietnam.

John McCain, who has risen to political prominence on his image as a Vietnam POW war hero, has, inexplicably, worked very hard to hide from the public stunning information about American prisoners in Vietnam who, unlike him, didn’t return home. Throughout his Senate career, McCain has quietly sponsored and pushed into federal law a set of prohibitions that keep the most revealing information about these men buried as classified documents. Thus the war hero who people would logically imagine as a determined crusader for the interests of POWs and their families became instead the strange champion of hiding the evidence and closing the books.
Almost as striking is the manner in which the mainstream press has shied from reporting the POW story and McCain’s role in it, even as the Republican Party has made McCain’s military service the focus of his presidential campaign. Reporters who had covered the Vietnam War turned their heads and walked in other directions. McCain doesn’t talk about the missing men, and the press never asks him about them.
The sum of the secrets McCain has sought to hide is not small. There exists a telling mass of official documents, radio intercepts, witness depositions, satellite photos of rescue symbols that pilots were trained to use, electronic messages from the ground containing the individual code numbers given to airmen, a rescue mission by a special forces unit that was aborted twice by Washington—and even sworn testimony by two Defense secretaries that “men were left behind.” This imposing body of evidence suggests that a large number—the documents indicate probably hundreds—of the U.S. prisoners held by Vietnam were not returned when the peace treaty was signed in January 1973 and Hanoi released 591 men, among them Navy combat pilot John S. McCain.

Mass of Evidence
The Pentagon had been withholding significant information from POW families for years. What’s more, the Pentagon’s POW/MIA operation had been publicly shamed by internal whistleblowers and POW families for holding back documents as part of a policy of “debunking” POW intelligence even when the information was obviously credible.
The pressure from the families and Vietnam veterans finally forced the creation, in late 1991, of a Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs. The chairman was John Kerry. McCain, as a former POW, was its most pivotal member. In the end, the committee became part of the debunking machine.
One of the sharpest critics of the Pentagon’s performance was an insider, Air Force Lt. Gen. Eugene Tighe, who headed the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) during the 1970s. He openly challenged the Pentagon’s position that no live prisoners existed, saying that the evidence proved otherwise. McCain was a bitter opponent of Tighe, who was eventually pushed into retirement.
Included in the evidence that McCain and his government allies suppressed or sought to discredit is a transcript of a senior North Vietnamese general’s briefing of the Hanoi politburo, discovered in Soviet archives by an American scholar in 1993. The briefing took place only four months before the 1973 peace accords. The general, Tran Van Quang, told the politburo members that Hanoi was holding 1,205 American prisoners but would keep many of them at war’s end as leverage to ensure getting war reparations from Washington.
Throughout the Paris negotiations, the North Vietnamese tied the prisoner issue tightly to the issue of reparations. They were adamant in refusing to deal with them separately. Finally, in a Feb. 2, 1973 formal letter to Hanoi’s premier, Pham Van Dong, Nixon pledged $3.25 billion in “postwar reconstruction” aid “without any political conditions.” But he also attached to the letter a codicil that said the aid would be implemented by each party “in accordance with its own constitutional provisions.” That meant Congress would have to approve the appropriation, and Nixon and Kissinger knew well that Congress was in no mood to do so. The North Vietnamese, whether or not they immediately understood the double-talk in the letter, remained skeptical about the reparations promise being honored—and it never was. Hanoi thus appears to have held back prisoners—just as it had done when the French were defeated at Dien Bien Phu in 1954 and withdrew their forces from Vietnam. In that case, France paid ransoms for prisoners and brought them home.
In a private briefing in 1992, high-level CIA officials told me that as the years passed and the ransom never came, it became more and more difficult for either government to admit that it knew from the start about the unacknowledged prisoners. Those prisoners had not only become useless as bargaining chips but also posed a risk to Hanoi’s desire to be accepted into the international community. The CIA officials said their intelligence indicated strongly that the remaining men—those who had not died from illness or hard labor or torture—were eventually executed.
My own research, detailed below, has convinced me that it is not likely that more than a few—if any—are alive in captivity today. (That CIA briefing at the Agency’s Langley, Virginia, headquarters was conducted “off the record,” but because the evidence from my own reporting since then has brought me to the same conclusion, I felt there was no longer any point in not writing about the meeting.)
For many reasons, including the absence of a political constituency for the missing men other than their families and some veterans’ groups, very few Americans are aware of the POW story and of McCain’s role in keeping it out of public view and denying the existence of abandoned POWs. That is because McCain has hardly been alone in his campaign to hide the scandal.
The Arizona senator, now the Republican candidate for president, has actually been following the lead of every White House since Richard Nixon’s, and thus of every CIA director, Pentagon chief, and national security adviser, not to mention Dick Cheney, who was George H.W. Bush’s Defense secretary. Their biggest accomplice has been an indolent press, particularly in Washington.

McCain’s Role
An early and critical McCain secrecy move involved 1990 legislation that started in the House of Representatives. A brief and simple document, it was called “the Truth Bill” and would have compelled complete transparency about prisoners and missing men. Its core sentence reads: “[The] head of each department or agency which holds or receives any records and information, including live-sighting reports, which have been correlated or possibly correlated to United States personnel listed as prisoner of war or missing in action from World War II, the Korean conflict and the Vietnam conflict, shall make available to the public all such records held or received by that department or agency.”
Bitterly opposed by the Pentagon (and thus McCain), the bill went nowhere. Reintroduced the following year, it again disappeared. But a few months later, a new measure, known as “the McCain Bill,” suddenly appeared. By creating a bureaucratic maze from which only a fraction of the documents could emerge—only records that revealed no POW secrets—it turned the Truth Bill on its head. The McCain bill became law in 1991 and remains so today. So crushing to transparency are its provisions that it actually spells out for the Pentagon and other agencies several rationales, scenarios, and justifications for not releasing any information at all—even about prisoners discovered alive in captivity. Later that year, the Senate Select Committee was created, where Kerry and McCain ultimately worked together to bury evidence.
McCain was also instrumental in amending the Missing Service Personnel Act, which had been strengthened in 1995 by POW advocates to include criminal penalties, saying, “Any government official who knowingly and willfully withholds from the file of a missing person any information relating to the disappearance or whereabouts and status of a missing person shall be fined as provided in Title 18 or imprisoned not more than one year or both.” A year later, in a closed House-Senate conference on an unrelated military bill, McCain, at the behest of the Pentagon, attached a crippling amendment to the act, stripping out its only enforcement teeth, the criminal penalties, and reducing the obligations of commanders in the field to speedily search for missing men and to report the incidents to the Pentagon.
About the relaxation of POW/MIA obligations on commanders in the field, a public McCain memo said, “This transfers the bureaucracy involved out of the [battle] field to Washington.” He wrote that the original legislation, if left intact, “would accomplish nothing but create new jobs for lawyers and turn military commanders into clerks.”
McCain argued that keeping the criminal penalties would have made it impossible for the Pentagon to find staffers willing to work on POW/MIA matters. That’s an odd argument to make. Were staffers only “willing to work” if they were allowed to conceal POW records? By eviscerating the law, McCain gave his stamp of approval to the government policy of debunking the existence of live POWs.
McCain has insisted again and again that all the evidence—documents, witnesses, satellite photos, two Pentagon chiefs’ sworn testimony, aborted rescue missions, ransom offers apparently scorned—has been woven together by unscrupulous deceivers to create an insidious and unpatriotic myth. He calls it the “bizarre rantings of the MIA hobbyists.” He has regularly vilified those who keep trying to pry out classified documents as “hoaxers,” “charlatans,” “conspiracy theorists,” and “dime-store Rambos.”
Some of McCain’s fellow captives at Hoa Lo prison in Hanoi didn’t share his views about prisoners left behind. Before he died of leukemia in 1999, retired Col. Ted Guy, a highly admired POW and one of the most dogged resisters in the camps, wrote an angry open letter to the senator in an MIA newsletter—a response to McCain’s stream of insults hurled at MIA activists. Guy wrote, “John, does this [the insults] include Senator Bob Smith [a New Hampshire Republican and activist on POW issues] and other concerned elected officials? Does this include the families of the missing where there is overwhelming evidence that their loved ones were ‘last known alive’? Does this include some of your fellow POWs?”
It’s not clear whether the taped confession McCain gave to his captors to avoid further torture has played a role in his postwar behavior in the Senate. That confession was played endlessly over the prison loudspeaker system at Hoa Lo—to try to break down other prisoners—and was broadcast over Hanoi’s state radio. Reportedly, he confessed to being a war criminal who had bombed civilian targets. The Pentagon has a copy of the confession but will not release it. Also, no outsider I know of has ever seen a non-redacted copy of the debriefing of McCain when he returned from captivity, which is classified but could be made public by McCain.
All humans have breaking points. Many men undergoing torture give confessions, often telling huge lies so their fakery will be understood by their comrades and their country. Few will fault them. But it was McCain who apparently felt he had disgraced himself and his military family. His father, John S. McCain II, was a highly regarded rear admiral then serving as commander of all U.S. forces in the Pacific. His grandfather was also a rear admiral.
In his bestselling 1999 autobiography, Faith of My Fathers, McCain says he felt bad throughout his captivity because he knew he was being treated more leniently than his fellow POWs, owing to his high-ranking father and thus his propaganda value. Other prisoners at Hoa Lo say his captors considered him a prize catch and called him the “Crown Prince,” something McCain acknowledges in the book.
Also in this memoir, McCain expresses guilt at having broken under torture and given the confession. “I felt faithless and couldn’t control my despair,” he writes, revealing that he made two “feeble” attempts at suicide. (In later years, he said he tried to hang himself with his shirt and guards intervened.) Tellingly, he says he lived in “dread” that his father would find out about the confession. “I still wince,” he writes, “when I recall wondering if my father had heard of my disgrace.”
He says that when he returned home, he told his father about the confession, but “never discussed it at length”—and the admiral, who died in 1981, didn’t indicate he had heard anything about it before. But he had. In the 1999 memoir, the senator writes, “I only recently learned that the tape … had been broadcast outside the prison and had come to the attention of my father.”
Is McCain haunted by these memories? Does he suppress POW information because its surfacing would rekindle his feelings of shame? On this subject, all I have are questions.
Many stories have been written about McCain’s explosive temper, so volcanic that colleagues are loath to speak openly about it. One veteran congressman who has observed him over the years asked for confidentiality and made this brief comment: “This is a man not at peace with himself.”
He was certainly far from calm on the Senate POW committee. He browbeat expert witnesses who came with information about unreturned POWs. Family members who have personally faced McCain and pressed him to end the secrecy also have been treated to his legendary temper. He has screamed at them, insulted them, brought women to tears. Mostly his responses to them have been versions of: How dare you question my patriotism? In 1996, he roughly pushed aside a group of POW family members who had waited outside a hearing room to appeal to him, including a mother in a wheelchair.
But even without answers to what may be hidden in the recesses of McCain’s mind, one thing about the POW story is clear: if American prisoners were dishonored by being written off and left to die, that’s something the American public ought to know about.

10 Key Pieces of Evidence That Men Were Left Behind
1. In Paris, where the Vietnam peace treaty was negotiated, the United States asked Hanoi for the list of American prisoners to be returned, fearing that Hanoi would hold some prisoners back. The North Vietnamese refused, saying they would produce the list only after the treaty was signed. Nixon agreed with Kissinger that they had no leverage left, and Kissinger signed the accord on Jan. 27, 1973 without the prisoner list. When Hanoi produced its list of 591 prisoners the next day, U.S. intelligence agencies expressed shock at the low number. Their number was hundreds higher. The New York Times published a long, page-one story on Feb. 2, 1973 about the discrepancy, especially raising questions about the number of prisoners held in Laos, only nine of whom were being returned. The headline read, in part, “Laos POW List Shows 9 from U.S.—Document Disappointing to Washington as 311 Were Believed Missing.” And the story, by John Finney, said that other Washington officials “believe the number of prisoners [in Laos] is probably substantially higher.” The paper never followed up with any serious investigative reporting—nor did any other mainstream news organization.
2. Two Defense secretaries who served during the Vietnam War testified to the Senate POW committee in September 1992 that prisoners were not returned. James Schlesinger and Melvin Laird, both speaking at a public session and under oath, said they based their conclusions on strong intelligence data—letters, eyewitness reports, even direct radio contacts. Under questioning, Schlesinger chose his words carefully, understanding clearly the volatility of the issue: “I think that as of now that I can come to no other conclusion … some were left behind.” This ran counter to what President Nixon told the public in a nationally televised speech on March 29, 1973, when the repatriation of the 591 was in motion: “Tonight,” Nixon said, “the day we have all worked and prayed for has finally come. For the first time in 12 years, no American military forces are in Vietnam. All our American POWs are on their way home.” Documents unearthed since then show that aides had already briefed Nixon about the contrary evidence.
Schlesinger was asked by the Senate committee for his explanation of why President Nixon would have made such a statement when he knew Hanoi was still holding prisoners. He replied, “One must assume that we had concluded that the bargaining position of the United States … was quite weak. We were anxious to get our troops out and we were not going to roil the waters…” This testimony struck me as a bombshell. The New York Times appropriately reported it on page one but again there was no sustained follow-up by the Times or any other major paper or national news outlet.
3. Over the years, the DIA received more than 1,600 first-hand sightings of live American prisoners and nearly 14,000 second-hand reports. Many witnesses interrogated by CIA or Pentagon intelligence agents were deemed “credible” in the agents’ reports. Some of the witnesses were given lie-detector tests and passed. Sources provided me with copies of these witness reports, which are impressive in their detail. A lot of the sightings described a secondary tier of prison camps many miles from Hanoi. Yet the DIA, after reviewing all these reports, concluded that they “do not constitute evidence” that men were alive.
4. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, listening stations picked up messages in which Laotian military personnel spoke about moving American prisoners from one labor camp to another. These listening posts were manned by Thai communications officers trained by the National Security Agency (NSA), which monitors signals worldwide. The NSA teams had moved out after the fall of Saigon in 1975 and passed the job to the Thai allies. But when the Thais turned these messages over to Washington, the intelligence community ruled that since the intercepts were made by a “third party”—namely Thailand—they could not be regarded as authentic. That’s some Catch-22: the U.S. trained a third party to take over its role in monitoring signals about POWs, but because that third party did the monitoring, the messages weren’t valid.
Here, from CIA files, is an example that clearly exposes the farce. On Dec. 27, 1980, a Thai military signal team picked up a message saying that prisoners were being moved out of Attopeu (in southern Laos) by aircraft “at 1230 hours.” Three days later a message was sent from the CIA station in Bangkok to the CIA director’s office in Langley. It read, in part: “The prisoners … are now in the valley in permanent location (a prison camp at Nhommarath in Central Laos). They were transferred from Attopeu to work in various places … POWs were formerly kept in caves and are very thin, dark and starving.” Apparently the prisoners were real. But the transmission was declared “invalid” by Washington because the information came from a “third party” and thus could not be deemed credible.
5. A series of what appeared to be distress signals from Vietnam and Laos were captured by the government’s satellite system in the late 1980s and early ’90s. (Before that period, no search for such signals had been put in place.) Not a single one of these markings was ever deemed credible. To the layman’s eye, the satellite photos, some of which I’ve seen, show markings on the ground that are identical to the signals that American pilots had been specifically trained to use in their survival courses—such as certain letters, like X or K, drawn in a special way. Other markings were the secret four-digit authenticator numbers given to individual pilots. But time and again, the Pentagon, backed by the CIA, insisted that humans had not made these markings. What were they, then? “Shadows and vegetation,” the government said, insisting that the markings were merely normal topographical contours like saw-grass or rice-paddy divider walls. It was the automatic response—shadows and vegetation. On one occasion, a Pentagon photo expert refused to go along. It was a missing man’s name gouged into a field, he said, not trampled grass or paddy berms. His bosses responded by bringing in an outside contractor who found instead, yes, shadows and vegetation. This refrain led Bob Taylor, a highly regarded investigator on the Senate committee staff who had examined the photographic evidence, to comment to me: “If grass can spell out people’s names and secret digit codes, then I have a newfound respect for grass.”
6. On Nov. 11, 1992, Dolores Alfond, the sister of missing airman Capt. Victor Apodaca and chair of the National Alliance of Families, an organization of relatives of POW/MIAs, testified at one of the Senate committee’s public hearings. She asked for information about data the government had gathered from electronic devices used in a classified program known as PAVE SPIKE.
The devices were motion sensors, dropped by air, designed to pick up enemy troop movements. Shaped on one end like a spike with an electronic pod and antenna on top, they were designed to stick in the ground as they fell. Air Force planes would drop them along the Ho Chi Minh trail and other supply routes. The devices, though primarily sensors, also had rescue capabilities. Someone on the ground—a downed airman or a prisoner on a labor gang —could manually enter data into the sensor. All data were regularly collected electronically by U.S. planes flying overhead. Alfond stated, without any challenge or contradiction by the committee, that in 1974, a year after the supposedly complete return of prisoners, the gathered data showed that a person or people had manually entered into the sensors—as U.S. pilots had been trained to do—no less than 20 authenticator numbers that corresponded exactly to the classified authenticator numbers of 20 U.S. POWs who were lost in Laos. Alfond added, according to the transcript, “This PAVE SPIKE intelligence is seamless, but the committee has not discussed it or released what it knows about PAVE SPIKE.”
McCain attended that committee hearing specifically to confront Alfond because of her criticism of the panel’s work. He bellowed and berated her for quite a while. His face turning anger-pink, he accused her of “denigrating” his “patriotism.” The bullying had its effect—she began to cry.
After a pause Alfond recovered and tried to respond to his scorching tirade, but McCain simply turned away and stormed out of the room. The PAVE SPIKE file has never been declassified. We still don’t know anything about those 20 POWs.
7. As previously mentioned, in April 1993 in a Moscow archive, a researcher from Harvard, Stephen Morris, unearthed and made public the transcript of a briefing that General Tran Van Quang gave to the Hanoi politburo four months before the signing of the Paris peace accords in 1973.
In the transcript, General Quang told the Hanoi politburo that 1,205 U.S. prisoners were being held. Quang said that many of the prisoners would be held back from Washington after the accords as bargaining chips for war reparations. General Quang’s report added: “This is a big number. Officially, until now, we published a list of only 368 prisoners of war. The rest we have not revealed. The government of the USA knows this well, but it does not know the exact number … and can only make guesses based on its losses. That is why we are keeping the number of prisoners of war secret, in accordance with the politburo’s instructions.” The report then went on to explain in clear and specific language that a large number would be kept back to ensure reparations.
The reaction to the document was immediate. After two decades of denying it had kept any prisoners, Hanoi responded to the revelation by calling the transcript a fabrication.
Similarly, Washington—which had over the same two decades refused to recant Nixon’s declaration that all the prisoners had been returned—also shifted into denial mode. The Pentagon issued a statement saying the document “is replete with errors, omissions and propaganda that seriously damage its credibility,” and that the numbers were “inconsistent with our own accounting.”
Neither American nor Vietnamese officials offered any rationale for who would plant a forged document in the Soviet archives and why they would do so. Certainly neither Washington nor Moscow—closely allied with Hanoi—would have any motive, since the contents were embarrassing to all parties, and since both the United States and Vietnam had consistently denied the existence of unreturned prisoners. The Russian archivists simply said the document was “authentic.”
8. In his 2002 book, Inside Delta Force, retired Command Sgt. Maj. Eric Haney described how in 1981 his special forces unit, after rigorous training for a POW rescue mission, had the mission suddenly aborted, revived a year later, and again abruptly aborted. Haney writes that this abandonment of captured soldiers ate at him for years and left him disillusioned about his government’s vows to leave no men behind. “Years later, I spoke at length with a former highly placed member of the North Vietnamese diplomatic corps, and this person asked me point-blank: ‘Why did the Americans never attempt to recover their remaining POWs after the conclusion of the war?’” Haney writes. He continued, saying that he came to believe senior government officials had called off those missions in 1981 and 1982. (His account is on pages 314 to 321 of my paperback copy of the book.)
9. There is also evidence that in the first months of Ronald Reagan’s presidency in 1981, the White House received a ransom proposal for a number of POWs being held by Hanoi in Indochina. The offer, which was passed to Washington from an official of a third country, was apparently discussed at a meeting in the Roosevelt Room attended by Reagan, Vice President Bush, CIA director William Casey, and National Security Adviser Richard Allen. Allen confirmed the offer in sworn testimony to the Senate POW committee on June 23, 1992.
Allen was allowed to testify behind closed doors and no information was released. But a San Diego Union-Tribune reporter, Robert Caldwell, obtained the portion relating to the ransom offer and reported on it. The ransom request was for $4 billion, Allen testified. He said he told Reagan that “it would be worth the president’s going along and let’s have the negotiation.” When his testimony appeared in the Union-Tribune, Allen quickly wrote a letter to the panel, this time not under oath, recanting the ransom story and claiming his memory had played tricks on him. His new version was that some POW activists had asked him about such an offer in a meeting that took place in 1986, when he was no longer in government. “It appears,” he said in the letter, “that there never was a 1981 meeting about the return of POW/MIAs for $4 billion.”
But the episode didn’t end there. A Treasury agent on Secret Service duty in the White House, John Syphrit, came forward to say he had overheard part of the ransom conversation in the Roosevelt Room in 1981, when the offer was discussed by Reagan, Bush, Casey, Allen, and other cabinet officials.
Syphrit, a veteran of the Vietnam War, told the committee he was willing to testify, but they would have to subpoena him. Treasury opposed his appearance, arguing that voluntary testimony would violate the trust between the Secret Service and those it protects. It was clear that coming in on his own could cost Syphrit his career. The committee voted 7 to 4 not to subpoena him.
In the committee’s final report, dated Jan. 13, 1993 (on page 284), the panel not only chastised Syphrit for his failure to testify without a subpoena (“The committee regrets that the Secret Service agent was unwilling …”), but noted that since Allen had recanted his testimony about the Roosevelt Room briefing, Syphrit’s testimony would have been “at best, uncorroborated by the testimony of any other witness.” The committee omitted any mention that it had made a decision not to ask the other two surviving witnesses, Bush and Reagan, to give testimony under oath. (Casey had died.)
10. In 1990, Col. Millard Peck, a decorated infantry veteran of Vietnam then working at the DIA as chief of the Asia Division for Current Intelligence, asked for the job of chief of the DIA’s Special Office for Prisoners of War and Missing in Action. His reason for seeking the transfer, which was not a promotion, was that he had heard from officials throughout the Pentagon that the POW/MIA office had been turned into a waste-disposal unit for getting rid of unwanted evidence about live prisoners—a “black hole,” these officials called it.
Peck explained all this in his telling resignation letter of Feb. 12, 1991, eight months after he had taken the job. He said he viewed it as “sort of a holy crusade” to restore the integrity of the office but was defeated by the Pentagon machine. The four-page, single-spaced letter was scathing, describing the putative search for missing men as “a cover-up.”
Peck charged that, at its top echelons, the Pentagon had embraced a “mind-set to debunk” all evidence of prisoners left behind. “That national leaders continue to address the prisoner of war and missing in action issue as the ‘highest national priority,’ is a travesty,” he wrote. “The entire charade does not appear to be an honest effort, and may never have been. … Practically all analysis is directed to finding fault with the source. Rarely has there been any effective, active follow through on any of the sightings, nor is there a responsive ‘action arm’ to routinely and aggressively pursue leads.”
“I became painfully aware,” his letter continued, “that I was not really in charge of my own office, but was merely a figurehead or whipping boy for a larger and totally Machiavellian group of players outside of DIA … I feel strongly that this issue is being manipulated and controlled at a higher level, not with the goal of resolving it, but more to obfuscate the question of live prisoners and give the illusion of progress through hyperactivity.” He named no names but said these players are “unscrupulous people in the Government or associated with the Government” who “have maintained their distance and remained hidden in the shadows, while using the [POW] Office as a ‘toxic waste dump’ to bury the whole ‘mess’ out of sight.” Peck added that “military officers … who in some manner have ‘rocked the boat’ [have] quickly come to grief.”
Peck concluded, “From what I have witnessed, it appears that any soldier left in Vietnam, even inadvertently, was, in fact, abandoned years ago, and that the farce that is being played is no more than political legerdemain done with ‘smoke and mirrors’ to stall the issue until it dies a natural death.”
The disillusioned colonel not only resigned but asked to be retired immediately from active military service. The press never followed up.

My Pursuit of the Story
I covered the war in Cambodia and Vietnam, but came to the POW information only slowly afterward, when military officers I knew from that conflict began coming to me with maps and POW sightings and depositions by Vietnamese witnesses.
I was then city editor of the New York Times, no longer involved in foreign or national stories, so I took the data to the appropriate desks and suggested it was material worth pursuing. There were no takers. Some years later, in 1991, when I was an op-ed columnist atNewsday, the aforementioned special Senate committee was formed to probe the POW issue. I saw this as an opening and immersed myself in the reporting.
At Newsday, I wrote 36 columns over a two-year period, as well as a four-part series on a trip I took to North Vietnam to report on what happened to one missing pilot who was shot down over the Ho Chi Minh trail and captured when he parachuted down. After Newsday, I wrote thousands more words on the subject for other outlets. Some of the pieces were about McCain’s key role.
Though I wrote on many subjects for Life, Vanity Fair, and Washington Monthly, my POW articles appeared in Penthouse, the Village Voice, and APBnews.com.Mainstream publications just weren’t interested. Their disinterest was part of what motivated me, and I became one of a very short list of journalists who considered the story important.
Serving in the Army in Germany during the Cold War and witnessing combat firsthand as a reporter in India and Indochina led me to have great respect for those who fight for their country. To my mind, we dishonored U.S. troops when our government failed to bring them home from Vietnam after the 591 others were released—and then claimed they didn’t exist. And politicians dishonor themselves when they pay lip service to the bravery and sacrifice of soldiers only to leave untold numbers behind, rationalizing to themselves that it’s merely one of the unfortunate costs of war.
John McCain—now campaigning for the White House as a war hero, maverick, and straight shooter—owes the voters some explanations. The press were long ago wooed and won by McCain’s seeming openness, Lone Ranger pose, and self-deprecating humor, which may partly explain their ignoring his record on POWs. In the numerous, lengthy McCain profiles that have appeared of late in papers like the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal, I may have missed a clause or a sentence along the way, but I have not found a single mention of his role in burying information about POWs. Television and radio news programs have been similarly silent.
Reporters simply never ask him about it. They didn’t when he ran unsuccessfully for the Republican nomination in 2000. They haven’t now, despite the fact that we’re in the midst of another war—a war he supports and one that has echoes of Vietnam. The only explanation McCain has ever offered for his leadership on legislation that seals POW files is that he believes the release of such information would only stir up fresh grief for the families of those who were never accounted for in Vietnam. Of the scores of POW families I’ve met over the years, only a few have said they want the books closed without knowing what happened to their men. All the rest say that not knowing is exactly what grieves them.
Isn’t it possible that what really worries those intent on keeping the POW documents buried is the public disgust that the contents of those files would generate?

How the Senate Committee Perpetuated the Debunking
In its early months, the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs gave the appearance of being committed to finding out the truth about the MIAs. As time went on, however, it became clear that they were cooperating in every way with the Pentagon and CIA, who often seemed to be calling the shots, even setting the agendas for certain key hearings. Both agencies held back the most important POW files. Dick Cheney was the Pentagon chief then; Robert Gates, now the Pentagon chief, was the CIA director.
Further, the committee failed to question any living president. Reagan declined to answer questions; the committee didn’t contest his refusal. Nixon was given a pass. George H.W. Bush, the sitting president, whose prints were all over this issue from his days as CIA chief in the 1970s, was never even approached. Troubled by these signs, several committee staffers began asking why the agencies they should be probing had been turned into committee partners and decision makers. Memos to that effect were circulated. The staff made the following finding, using intelligence reports marked “credible” that covered POW sightings through 1989: “There can be no doubt that POWs were alive … as late as 1989.” That finding was never released. Eventually, much of the staff was in rebellion.
This internecine struggle continued right up to the committee’s last official act—the issuance of its final report. The Executive Summary, which comprised the first 43 pages, was essentially a whitewash, saying that only “a small number” of POWs could have been left behind in 1973 and that there was little likelihood that any prisoners could still be alive. The Washington press corps, judging from its coverage, seems to have read only this air-brushed summary, which had been closely controlled.
But the rest of the 1,221-page Report on POW/MIAs was quite different. Sprinkled throughout are pieces of hard evidence that directly contradict the summary’s conclusions. This documentation established that a significant number of prisoners were left behind—and that top government officials knew this from the start. These candid findings were inserted by committee staffers who had unearthed the evidence and were determined not to allow the truth to be sugar-coated.
If the Washington press corps did actually read the body of the report and then failed to report its contents, that would be a scandal of its own. The press would then have knowingly ignored the steady stream of findings in the body of the report that refuted the summary and indicated that the number of abandoned men was not small but considerable. The report gave no figures but estimates from various branches of the intelligence community ranged up to 600. The lowest estimate was 150.
Highlights of the report that undermine the benign conclusions of the Executive Summary:
• Pages 207-209: These three pages contain revelations of what appear to be either massive intelligence failures or bad intentions—or both. The report says that until the committee brought up the subject in 1992, no branch of the intelligence community that dealt with analysis of satellite and lower-altitude photos had ever been informed of the specific distress signals U.S. personnel were trained to use in the Vietnam War, nor had they ever been tasked to look for any such signals at all from possible prisoners on the ground.
The committee decided, however, not to seek a review of old photography, saying it “would cause the expenditure of large amounts of manpower and money with no expectation of success.” It might also have turned up lots of distress-signal numbers that nobody in the government was looking for from 1973 to 1991, when the committee opened shop. That would have made it impossible for the committee to write the Executive Summary it seemed determined to write.
The failure gets worse. The committee also discovered that the DIA, which kept the lists of authenticator numbers for pilots and other personnel, could not “locate” the lists of these codes for Army, Navy, or Marine pilots. They had lost or destroyed the records. The Air Force list was the only one intact, as it had been preserved by a different intelligence branch.
The report concluded, “In theory, therefore, if a POW still living in captivity [today], were to attempt to communicate by ground signal, smuggling out a note or by whatever means possible, and he used his personal authenticator number to confirm his identity, the U.S. government would be unable to provide such confirmation, if his number happened to be among those numbers DIA cannot locate.”
It’s worth remembering that throughout the period when this intelligence disaster occurred—from the moment the treaty was signed in 1973 until 1991—the White House told the public that it had given the search for POWs and POW information the “highest national priority.”
• Page 13: Even in the Executive Summary, the report acknowledges the existence of clear intelligence, made known to government officials early on, that important numbers of captured U.S. POWs were not on Hanoi’s repatriation list. After Hanoi released its list (showing only ten names from Laos—nine military men and one civilian), President Nixon sent a message on Feb. 2, 1973 to Hanoi’s Prime Minister Pham Van Dong saying, “U.S. records show there are 317 American military men unaccounted for in Laos and it is inconceivable that only ten of these men would be held prisoner in Laos.”
Nixon was right. It was inconceivable. Then why did the president, less than two months later, on March 29, 1973, announce on national television that “all of our American POWs are on their way home”?
On April 13, 1973, just after all 591 men on Hanoi’s official list had returned to American soil, the Pentagon got into step with the president and announced that there was no evidence of any further live prisoners in Indochina (this is on page 248).
• Page 91: A lengthy footnote provides more confirmation of the White House’s knowledge of abandoned POWs. The footnote reads, “In a telephone conversation with Select Committee Vice-Chairman Bob Smith on December 29, 1992, Dr. Kissinger said that he had informed President Nixon during the 60-day period after the peace agreement was signed that U.S. intelligence officials believed that the list of prisoners captured in Laos was incomplete. According to Dr. Kissinger, the President responded by directing that the exchange of prisoners on the lists go forward, but added that a failure to account for the additional prisoners after Operation Homecoming would lead to a resumption of bombing. Dr. Kissinger said that the President was later unwilling to carry through on this threat.”
When Kissinger learned of the footnote while the final editing of the committee report was in progress,he and his lawyers lobbied fiercely through two Republican allies on the panel—one of them was John McCain—to get the footnote expunged. The effort failed. The footnote stayed intact.
• Pages 85-86: The committee report quotes Kissinger from his memoirs, writing solely in reference to prisoners in Laos: “We knew of at least 80 instances in which an American serviceman had been captured alive and subsequently disappeared. The evidence consisted either of voice communications from the ground in advance of capture or photographs and names published by the Communists. Yet none of these men was on the list of POWs handed over after the Agreement.”
Then why did he swear under oath to the committee in 1992 that he never had any information that specific, named soldiers were captured alive and hadn’t been returned by Vietnam?
• Page 89: In the middle of the prisoner repatriation and U.S. troop-withdrawal process agreed to in the treaty, when it became clear that Hanoi was not releasing everyone it held, a furious chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Thomas Moorer, issued an order halting the troop withdrawal until Hanoi complied with the agreement. He cited in particular the known prisoners in Laos. The order was retracted by President Nixon the next day. In 1992, Moorer, by then retired, testified under oath to the committee that his order had received the approval of the president, the national security adviser, and the secretary of Defense. Nixon, however, in a letter to the committee, wrote, “I do not recall directing Admiral Moorer to send this cable.”
The report did not include the following information: behind closed doors, a senior intelligence officer had testified to the POW committee that when Moorer’s order was rescinded, the angry admiral sent a “back-channel” message to other key military commanders telling them that Washington was abandoning known live prisoners. “Nixon and Kissinger are at it again,” he wrote. “SecDef and SecState have been cut out of the loop.” In 1973, the witness was working in the office that processed this message. His name and his testimony are still classified. A source present for the testimony provided me with this information and also reported that in that same time period, Moorer had stormed into Defense Secretary Schlesinger’s office and, pounding on his desk, yelled: “The bastards have still got our men.” Schlesinger, in his own testimony to the committee a few months later, was asked about—and corroborated—this account.
• Pages 95-96: In early April 1973, Deputy Defense Secretary William Clements “summoned” Dr. Roger Shields, then head of the Pentagon’s POW/MIA Task Force, to his office to work out “a new public formulation” of the POW issue; now that the White House had declared all prisoners to have been returned, a new spin was needed. Shields, under oath, described the meeting to the committee. He said Clements told him, “All the American POWs are dead.” Shields said he replied: “You can’t say that.” Clements shot back: “You didn’t hear me. They are all dead.” Shields testified that at that moment he thought he was going to be fired, but he escaped from his boss’s office still holding his job.
• Pages 97-98: A couple of days later, on April 11, 1973, a day before Shields was to hold a Pentagon press conference on POWs, he and Gen. Brent Scowcroft, then the deputy national security adviser, went to the Oval Office to discuss the “new public formulation” and its presentation with President Nixon.
The next day, reporters right off asked Shields about missing POWs. Shields fudged his answers. He said, “We have no indications at this time that there are any Americans alive in Indochina.” But he went on to say that there had not been “a complete accounting” of those lost in Laos and that the Pentagon would press on to account for the missing—a seeming acknowledgement that some Americans were still alive and unaccounted for.
The press, however, seized on Shields’s denials. One headline read, “POW Unit Boss: No Living GIs Left in Indochina.”
• Page 97: The POW committee, knowing that Nixon taped all his meetings in the Oval Office, sought the tape of that April 11, 1973 Nixon-Shields-Scowcroft meeting to find out what Nixon had been told and what he had said about the evidence of POWs still in Indochina. The committee also knew there had been other White House meetings that centered on intelligence about live POWs. A footnote on page 97 states that Nixon’s lawyers said they would provide access to the April 11 tape “only if the Committee agreed not to seek any other White House recordings from this time period.” The footnote says that the committee rejected these terms and got nothing. The committee never made public this request for Nixon tapes until the brief footnote in its 1993 report.

McCain’s Catch-22
None of this compelling evidence in the committee’s full report dislodged McCain from his contention that the whole POW issue was a concoction by deluded purveyors of a “conspiracy theory.” But an honest review of the full report, combined with the other documentary evidence, tells the story of a frustrated and angry president, and his national security adviser, furious at being thwarted at the peace table by a small, much less powerful country that refused to bow to Washington’s terms. That president seems to have swallowed hard and accepted a treaty that left probably hundreds of American prisoners in Hanoi’s hands, to be used as bargaining chips for reparations.
Maybe Nixon and Kissinger told themselves that they could get the prisoners home after some time had passed. But perhaps it proved too hard to undo a lie as big as this one. Washington said no prisoners were left behind, and Hanoi swore it had returned all of them. How could either side later admit it had lied? Time went by and as neither side budged, telling the truth became even more difficult and remote. The public would realize that Washington knew of the abandoned men all along. The truth, after men had been languishing in foul prison cells, could get people impeached or thrown in jail.
Which brings us to today, when the Republican candidate for president is the contemporary politician most responsible for keeping the truth about this matter hidden. Yet he says he’s the right man to be the commander in chief, and his credibility in making this claim is largely based on his image as a POW hero.
On page 468 of the 1,221-page report, McCain parsed his POW position oddly, “We found no compelling evidence to prove that Americans are alive in captivity today. There is some evidence—though no proof—to suggest only the possibility that a few Americans may have been kept behind after the end of America’s military involvement in Vietnam.”
“Evidence though no proof.” Clearly, no one could meet McCain’s standard of proof as long as he is leading a government crusade to keep the truth buried.
To this reporter, this sounds like a significant story and a long overdue opportunity for the press to finally dig into the archives to set the historical record straight—and even pose some direct questions to the candidate.

Sydney Schanberg has been a journalist for nearly 50 years. The 1984 movie “The Killing Fields,” which won several Academy Awards, was based on his book The Death and Life of Dith Pran. In 1975, Schanberg was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for international reporting “at great risk.” He is also the recipient of two George Polk awards, two Overseas Press Club awards, and the Sigma Delta Chi prize for distinguished journalism. His latest book is Beyond the Killing Fields(www.beyondthekillingfields.com). This piece is reprinted with permission from The Nation Institute.

Quote of the Times;
Vision without action is daydream. Action without vision is nightmare.

Link of the Times;
https://midcenturymodernmag.com/
Family?
A cowboy is driving down a back road in Texas.

A sign in front of a restaurant reads, "Happy Hour Special: Lobster Tail and Beer."

"Hot damn," the cowboy says to himself.”

"My three favorite things!"

*.*

My girlfriend is temperamental.

90% temper and 10% mental.

*.*

Upon entering the little country store, the stranger noticed a sign posted on the glass door saying, "Danger! Beware of Dog!"

Inside, he noticed a harmless old hound dog asleep on the floor beside the cash register.

He asked the store manager, "Is that the dog folks are supposed to beware of?"

"Yep, that's him," he replied.

The stranger couldn't help but be amused.

"That certainly doesn't look like a dangerous dog to me. Why in the world would you post that sign?"

"Because," the owner replied, "before I posted that sign, people kept tripping over him."

*.*

What's the difference between a poorly dressed man on a unicycle and a well-dressed man on a bicycle?

Attire.

*.*

What's E.T. short for?

Because he's got little legs."

Issue of the Times;
To All Young Americans by Karl Denninger

You have to wonder, really, whether we have any hope for the future in this country.

Deficit spending is often said to be a way to make generations to come pay for the things that people want today. It's actually not quite that complicated, and yet it's more complicated.

It's a way to make the young believe they're getting a free lunch - whether it be health care, a college education or similar - when in fact they're being told they have to pay twice or more for the same thing.

Consider the so-called women's equality screed. The alleged "pay gap." It doesn't exist once you do multivariate analysis. That is, while it is true that women earn less than men as a sex when you look at, for example, nurses both women and men earn almost exactly the same amount.

It's just that there are more women nurses than men, just as there are more women teachers than men.

Among the non-college degree folks there are vastly more male welders than women. Welding isn't a profession that requires an immense amount of upper-body strength, for example; indeed, it's a fairly precise thing, and women are perfectly capable of doing it. It's a job that can easily make you $100,000 or more a year, but you have to be willing to go where the work is, which is often welding things like oil pipelines. More men than women choose that job; ergo, there is a skew in earnings.

Vocation, I remind you, is a choice.

Then there is all the screaming about "family leave" and similar.

But let's face facts, shall we: Putting your kid(s) in daycare is a crock. And that in turn means that one of the parents should choose to stay home and raise them. Maybe they alternate or not, but the entire "invention" of daycare came about because we squeezed people to the point that one person couldn't earn enough for a decent living to be had by a family of four.

That is where the real problem lies, and it's all centered in a handful of areas. Health care, education and housing.

Housing is not just the price of houses it's also property taxes. A decent house in a major metro area often comes with a $5,000, $6,000, $10,000 or even higher property tax bill - every single year. Then you put a $1,500 health insurance policy premium on that for a family of four (if you're lucky it's that low) and suddenly just the operating cost of your household has reached $30,000 for invariant and "mandated" costs.

Note that you haven't actually paid for the house yet. Nor have you paid for the power, heating and water bills, or bought a single pound of ground beef or bunch of broccoli to eat.

Nor have we talked about that college yet. College that used to have a per-semester tuition and fee cost in the hundreds - to just over a thousand - dollar cost rather than five or ten times as much in inflation-adjusted money.

All of this has happened because of Washington and its money-printing, along with their allegiance to so-called "Free Trade" and "free immigration" which is nothing of the sort. No, it's not the Fed. It's Congress and the President, both of whom have run up $20 trillion on the nation's credit card. That has in turn forced prices higher and in the places where there is zero enforcement of the rule of law on monopolies and anti-trust it has gone up fastest, along with those places where you are forced to participate in some way. When it comes to so-called "free trade" go ahead and try to explain how you compete making cars for $30/hour when the Mexican guy gets paid under $5 for the same thing. The alternative to putting to a stop to that crap is that you either accept getting paid $5 (which you can't live on due to the above) or you get $0 because the job isn't here any more!

All of medical, property tax (mostly schools, if you look at your bill), and education are in this category.

Tell me why, if you're a young person, you accept this? Why do you allow Washington DC to run up the credit card like this and destroy you and your ability to have and raise a family on one income?

If you killed the medical monopolies and school property tax abuses, along with the educational game-playing with loans, forcing all three of these down by 80% (and yes, that is very achievable where the market is allowed to work) then you could have a family with one earning party, one staying at home to raise the kids, and a couple of kids. You'd be comfortable. We'd have a good economy. And you would prosper.

Instead we have 30 people grifting off every doctor or nurse in the local hospital - all of them collecting a paycheck but never providing a single second of care to a single patient. You probably know some of them. They're stealing from you, Junior!

Your local high school? It's full of non-teaching administrators, and the teacher pensions and costs that are driving up not teacher wages but operating expenses (and thus property taxes by a factor of four or more) are all stealing from you, Junior! What's worse is that they intentionally don't teach you how exponents work in math class because they know you'd broil and eat everyone in there in a day were you to learn how it is an inherent mathematical truth that deficit spending is not actually free and always is put back on SOMEONE, and the SOMEONE is YOU.

Your local university? How much has Calculus changed in the last 50 years? NOT ALL ALL! What has changed is technology (e.g. computer programming) -- it's gotten much, much cheaper. The old mainframe the college used to need to teach programming cost millions. The Raspberry Pi you can learn to program on today costs $35 and fits in your pocket. Circuit-design and layout software that used to require $50,000 computers to run on now works perfectly well on a $1,000 laptop or desktop computer! The cost of education, especially computer and technology-related education, should have fallen like a stone but instead it has gone up on an inflation-adjusted basis by 500% or more.

There are 536 people responsible for all of this and more. There are over 300 million Americans and millions of young adults who are being forced to pay for these handouts, never mind the "wink-wink-nod-nod" thefts.

Don't start with the "tax the rich" nonsense run by Bernie Sanders and others. That won't work because it can't. The rich don't have enough money, in short; if you taxed them at 100% you'd close the budget gap and get what you want for one year. How many of the rich would work the second year when they got to keep nothing? None. Then what do you do?

There is one - and only one - way to stop this. Stop the scams. Put an end to the medical monopolists - break them up and throw the executives in prison and health care costs will fall to the point that you will be able to pay cash for nearly everything. Get rid of cost-shifting and "loans" in education - all of it - and college prices will fall like a stone, to 1/5th of what they are today. Do the above two and extend it to local and county governments and your property taxes will fall by 80% as well.

Suddenly you will be able to live comfortably and raise a family on one income again!

Why should you, as a young person, tolerate the current situation? It's theft and it's all aimed at you, the young people of this nation. For what - so your next door neighbor can make $60,000 sitting in a chair in a hospital never providing a single second of care to a single person and force you to cover his or her salary?

When will you stop tolerating this and demand it all end, here and now, "or else"?

You've already had the ability to work hard, find someone you want to be with and then have and raise a family with one of you working to make some money and the other raising the kids in a decent but not extravagant home stolen from you by these 536 thieves.

Will you demand it stop - and mean it - before or after you're left starving in the streets?

Exactly how much further does it go, in short before you remove the pink pussy hats and replace them with something more-useful?

Quote of the Times;
…Peterson’s claim that identity politics is “genocidal in its ultimate expression” is no exaggeration. Hitler’s military invasions and death camps were the ultimate expression of the racialist and nationalist identity politics that spiritually drove Nazism. And Stalin’s weaponized famines and “gulag archipelago” were the ultimate expression of the class warfare identity politics that spiritually drove Soviet communism. - Sanchez

Link of the Times;
https://www.lewrockwell.com/2018/01/joseph-mercola/eliminate-google-from-your-life/
Athletes?
Now that they are retired, my mother and father are
discussing all aspects of their future. "What will you
do if I die before you do?" Dad asked Mom.

After some thought, she said that she'd probably look
for a house sharing situation with three other single or
widowed women who might be a little younger than herself,
since she is so active for her age.

Then Mom asked Dad, "What will you do if I die first?"

He replied, "Probably the same thing."

*.*

Oneliners:

I just realized capslock can be an anagram for cockslap. Which makes me wonder if that's how should feel after getting "yelled" at on the internet.

I wonder if we'll ever run out of dinosaurs to dig up.

There 492 billionaires in the United States, and not one of those goddamned losers has decided to become Batman or Iron Man.

Hands have four fingers and fore fingers.

Shoe stores should keep a slightly used pair of each of their shoes so people can see how they will fit after it's been broken in.

The word plebian isn't plebian.

*.*

Morty Applebaum had a very unpleasant appointment scheduled with an IRS auditor who had come to review his records.

At one point the auditor exclaimed, "Mr. Applabaum, we feel that it is a great privilege to be allowed to live and work in the USA. As a citizen you have an obligation to pay taxes, and we expect you to eagerly pay them with a smile."

"Oy, thank God," said Morty with a sigh of relief. "I thought you were going to want cash."

*.*

Army struggling to come up with more offensive cadences

FORT BENNING, Ga. – Given the current American craze of getting and staying offended, key leaders in the Army are worried that Jody calls are losing their offensive edge by not keeping up with new offensive words and concepts, sources confirmed today.

“In my day, Jody calls were the most offensive fucking words I could wheeze out during a 10-minute mile platoon run,” said Army Drill Sgt. Bert Michaels. “These new recruits have a completely different tolerance for offense.”

Michaels explained that new recruits aren’t automatically offended by the kind of swearing and sexual talk they’ve been hearing on TV since they were kids. He says that now the best new cadences focus on liberals, cucks, income inequality, and vaccines.

“Drill Sgt. Called out ‘Eskimo Pussy’ just to see what we’d do,” one recruit told reporters, on condition of anonymity. “We were all like, ‘is that one of the President’s songs? I wasn’t offended at all.”

“To get a group really heated up, I used to call their mothers transvestites,” Michaels said. “The last time I did that, the recruit just asked me what her preferred pronoun would be and if she was pre- or post-op. He asked for permission to send her a goddamn card congratulating her. Now, if I really want to cause some emotional stress, I tell them that some of their peers want free college.”

The most popular new cadence of the year includes, “The Army Colors,” which now includes verses for red “to show the world we’re conservative,” blue “to show the world we’re gender fluid too” and green “to just say no to refugees.”

When one Special Troops Battalion tried the new cadence, three equal opportunity complaints were filed within 24 hours — the highest in two decades.

Meanwhile at Fort Bragg, the 75th Ranger Regiment is trying out “I hate women and so should you/especially the ones that can do what we do.” The only female assigned to the unit yawned and expressed that it wasn’t the worst micro-aggression she’d seen that day.

“I just called this whole basic training platoon snowflakes,” said Michaels. “They were fuming. It was the angriest I’ve ever seen them. Half of them were upset for being called liberals, and the other half were upset because I appropriated a term that originated during the abolitionist movement for my own modern agenda. I’d say it was a win-win.”

*.*

The worst part about working at the tattoo parlor?

It's way too easy to put off looking for Post-Its.

Issue of the Times;
Ending Gender Discrimination in Professional Sports by Jim Goad

The current year is 2018, people, so why are we still segregating male and female athletes? Don’t they know that gender is a social construct and everyone’s equal?

Legendarily ill-tempered tennis champ John McEnroe outraged gender-deniers across the planet when he said that black female tennis champeen Serena Williams was not the world’s best tennis player. He said she’s the best female tennis player of all time, but that was not enough to appease the rabid egalitotalitarian hordes.

The now-infamous (if entirely reasonable) exchange happened between McEnroe and Lulu Garcia-Navarro of NPR:

Garcia-Navarro: Let’s talk about Serena Williams. You say she is the best female player in the world in the book.

McEnroe: Best female player ever—no question.

Garcia-Navarro: Some wouldn’t qualify it, some would say she’s the best player in the world. Why qualify it?

McEnroe: Oh! Uh, she’s not, you mean, the best player in the world, period?

Garcia-Navarro: Yeah, the best tennis player in the world. You know, why say female player?

McEnroe: Well because if she was in, if she played the men’s circuit she’d be like 700 in the world.

Naturally, the pro-fem harpies began yipping like the spoiled Chihuahuas that they are. This was a horrible comment, they said—undeniably “sexist,” and also probably at the very least a little bit racist.

Never mind whether it was factual or not.

In 2015 at age 56, McEnroe told talk-show host Jimmy Kimmel that he could possibly still beat Williams, who was then 33, in a tennis match but added that she’d cream him in a boxing ring. He also said that around the year 2000, Donald Trump offered him money to play Williams in a “Battle of the Sexes,” but he balked because it wasn’t enough money.

Four years ago, Williams told David Letterman that she wouldn’t play an exhibition match against male champion Andy Murray because he’s a boy and she’s a girl:

For me, men’s tennis and women’s tennis are completely, almost, two separate sports. If I were to play Andy Murray, I would lose 6-0, 6-0 in five to six minutes, maybe 10 minutes. No, it’s true. It’s a completely different sport. The men are a lot faster and they serve harder, they hit harder, it’s just a different game. I love to play women’s tennis. I only want to play girls, because I don’t want to be embarrassed.

Perhaps she’d learned her lesson when she and her sister Venus—both of whom have been repeated world champions—bragged back in 1998 that they could beat any male player ranked under the world’s top 200. At the Australian Open, a male German player named Karsten Braasch—who was ranked #203 in the world at the time—took the bait and challenged both sisters. He allegedly played them after finishing a round of golf and drinking two beers. He beat Serena Williams 6-1 and her sister Venus 6-2. The Williams sisters then downgraded their boast and claimed they could beat any man ranked outside the top 350.

But late-stage egalitarianism is a form of mass insanity, and there still remain true believers and nutjob misfits who insist that women can do everything a man can do except when it comes to being innately evil. In that case, men corner the market.

In the 2009 book Playing with the Boys: Why Separate is not Equal in Sports, two female authors argue that the only reason women appear to be athletically inferior to men is that society unfairly segregates them due to outmoded patriarchal beliefs. An exceedingly dumb 2013 article in VICE magazine says the idea that boys are better athletes than girls is “fucking bullshit” and that the “games are rigged.” Naturally, there is no statistical evidence to buttress this non-argument, only the usual frothing about sexism and patriarchy and what impenitent assholes men are.

In a 2005 book called Genetic Technology and Sport, authors Claudio Tamburrini and Torbjorn Tannsjo make a bold and potentially humiliating proposition for the gender-equality fanatics:

The present authors have questioned the practise of sexual discrimination in sport. We have argued that it should be abolished. Women and men should compete against one another on equal terms on sport arenas. The reasons for giving up sexual discrimination within sports, and for allowing individuals of both sexes to compete with each other is simple. In sports it is crucial that the best person wins. Then sexual differences are simply irrelevant.

Hmm, what might happen if the Athletic Gender Wall were to be razed?

Seeing as how the women’s world record for the 100M dash—which has held steady for 29 years as of this writing—is routinely bested by high-school boys, it wouldn’t be pretty for the ladies. When it comes to running or swimming or any athletic feat that is timed, “the mean ratio from men’s over women’s world records was .90.” This is why the women’s world record for the 400M swimming medley is a pitiful 26 seconds beyond Michael Phelps’s world record for men. It’s also why female marathon winners plod behind male winners at anywhere from 12 to 15 minutes on average.

When one considers that average female upper-body strength is about 52% of men’s and 66% when it comes to lower-body strength, it doesn’t bode well for any female athlete wishing to compete against males in tasks that require brute force.

In a desperately flailing attempt to compensate, the equality loons will toss “trans women”—in other words, men who pretend they’re women—into the mix. There are multiple cases of “trans women” destroying natural-born women in sporting events, but I’ve never heard of a “trans man” coming anywhere close to setting a men’s world record in sports.

To my knowledge, the only sports where female athletes achieve something resembling parity with men are equestrian events—but that’s cheating, since the main “athlete” is the horse.

Late-stage leftist egalitarianism is a psychosis and must be mocked as such. Leftists pretend as if “self-esteem” is all that’s needed to trump biology. But if female athletes wish to maintain even a semblance of self-esteem, they should only compete against other girls. Otherwise, expect a lot of crying.

Even Serena Williams realizes this, despite all the pearl-clutching, vapor-sniffing dupes who get offended on her behalf.

This leaves everyone with a choice—you can either believe in equality, or you can believe in reality.

Quote of the Times;
You want to know who is enslaved in society, look at who’s not allowed to get angry.

Link of the Times;
https://therationalmale.com/
Wall?
I asked my mum "How much is a couple?"

"2 or 3" she replied.

Probably explains why her marriage collapsed.

*.*

PORTLAND, OR—Immediately after losing a pickup basketball game at a park Friday, local liberal and unemployed man Rayne Wendell took to his iPhone in order to submit a piece to Slate.com in which he argues that the rules of basketball are “fundamentally flawed and unjust.”

Slate quickly published the piece.

“The three-point rule seems particularly imbalanced toward people who are good at shooting the basketball from far away, while the rule that the team with the most points wins is systemic bias at its worst,” he wrote. “Since the other team had more points, the outdated scoring system favored their winning.” He was quick to point out that although the other team did score more points, his team took more shots, and so should have been awarded the victory.

He then argued that the rules of basketball need to be “constantly evolving,” until they arrive at a place where he wins more often, and his opponents don’t win as often.

“And can we talk about the problematic height bias?” he wrote in the 17th paragraph of the piece. “Why should an incredibly tall, skilled, athletic player’s presence on the court count for at least two of me?”

Wendell concluded the piece by suggesting a radical new scoring system for basketball, where he walks on the court and is granted the win, no matter how well the other team plays.

*.*

21 Phrases You Use Without Realizing You're Quoting Shakespeare

William Shakespeare devised new words and countless plot tropes that still appear in everyday life. Famous quotes from his plays are easily recognizable; phrases like "To be or not to be," "wherefore art thou, Romeo," and "et tu, Brute?" instantly evoke images of wooden stages and Elizabethan costumes. But an incredible number of lines from his plays have become so ingrained into modern vernacular that we no longer recognize them as lines from plays at all.

1. "WILD GOOSE CHASE" // ROMEO AND JULIET, ACT II, SCENE IV

"Nay, if our wits run the wild-goose chase, I am done, for thou hast more of the wild-goose in one of thy wits than, I am sure, I have in my whole five. Was I with you there for the goose?" — Mercutio

2. "GREEN-EYED MONSTER" // OTHELLO, ACT III, SCENE III

"O, beware, my lord, of jealousy! It is the green-eyed monster, which doth mock the meat it feeds on." — Iago

3. "PURE AS THE DRIVEN SNOW" // HAMLET, ACT III, SCENE I AND THE WINTER'S TALE, ACT IV, SCENE IV

"Be thou as chaste as ice, as pure as snow, thou shalt not escape calumny. Get thee to a nunnery, go." — Hamlet

4. "SEEN BETTER DAYS" // AS YOU LIKE IT, ACT II, SCENE VII

"True is it that we have seen better days and have with holy bell been knolled to church, and sat at good men's feasts and wiped our eyes of drops that sacred pity hath engendered." — Duke Senior

5. "OFF WITH HIS HEAD" // RICHARD III, ACT III, SCENE IV

"If? Thou protector of this damnèd strumpet, talk'st thou to me of "ifs"? Thou art a traitor—Off with his head." — Richard III

6. "FOREVER AND A DAY" // AS YOU LIKE IT, ACT IV, SCENE I

"Now tell me how long you would have her after you have possessed her." — Rosalind

"Forever and a day" — Orlando

7. "GOOD RIDDANCE" // TROILUS AND CRESSIDA, ACT II, SCENE I

[Thersites exits]

"A good riddance." — Patroclus

8. "FAIR PLAY" // THE TEMPEST, ACT V, SCENE I

"Yes, for a score of kingdoms you should wrangle, and I would call it fair play." — Miranda

9. "LIE LOW" // MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, ACT V, SCENE I

"If he could right himself with quarreling, some of us would lie low." — Antonio

10. "IT'S GREEK TO ME" // JULIUS CAESAR, ACT I, SCENE II

"Nay, an I tell you that, Ill ne'er look you i' the face again: but those that understood him smiled at one another and shook their heads; but, for mine own part, it was Greek to me." — Casca

11. "AS GOOD LUCK WOULD HAVE IT" // THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR, ACT III, SCENE V

“As good luck would have it, comes in one Mistress Page; gives intelligence of Ford's approach; and, in her invention and Ford's wife's distraction, they conveyed me into a buck-basket.” — Falstaff

12. "YOU'VE GOT TO BE CRUEL TO BE KIND" // HAMLET, ACT III, SCENE IV

"So, again, good night. I must be cruel only to be kind. Thus bad begins and worse remains behind." — Hamlet

13. "LOVE IS BLIND" // THE MERCHANT OF VENICE, ACT II, SCENE VI

"But love is blind, and lovers cannot see the pretty follies that themselves commit, for if they could Cupid himself would blush to see me thus transformèd to a boy." — Jessica

14. "BE-ALL, END-ALL" // MACBETH, ACT I, SCENE VII

"If the assassination could trammel up the consequence, and catch with his surcease success; that but this blow might be the be-all and the end-all here, but here, upon this bank and shoal of time, we’d jump the life to come." — Macbeth

15. "BREAK THE ICE" // THE TAMING OF THE SHREW, ACT I, SCENE II

"If it be so, sir, that you are the man must stead us all, and me amongst the rest, and if you break the ice and do this feat, achieve the elder, set the younger free for our access, whose hap shall be to have her will not so graceless be to be ingrate." — Tranio (as Lucentio)

16. "HEART OF GOLD" // HENRY V, ACT IV, SCENE I

"The king's a bawcock, and a heart of gold, a lad of life, an imp of fame, of parents good, of fist most valiant." — Pistol.

17. "KILL WITH KINDNESS" // THE TAMING OF THE SHREW, ACT IV, SCENE 1

"This is a way to kill a wife with kindness, and thus I'll curb her mad and headstrong humor." — Petruchio

18. "KNOCK, KNOCK! WHO'S THERE?" // MACBETH, ACT II, SCENE III

"Knock, knock! Who's there, in th' other devil’s name?" — Porter

19. "LIVE LONG DAY" // JULIUS CAESAR, ACT I, SCENE I

"To towers and windows, yea, to chimney tops, your infants in your arms, and there have sat the livelong day with patient expectation to see great Pompey pass the streets of Rome." — Mureless

20. "YOU CAN HAVE TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING" // AS YOU LIKE IT, ACT IV, SCENE I

"Why then, can one desire too much of a good thing?— Come, sister, you shall be the priest and marry us.—Give me your hand, Orlando.—What do you say, sister?" — Rosalind

21. "THE GAME IS AFOOT" // HENRY V, ACT III, SCENE I

"The game's afoot: follow your spirit, and upon this charge cry 'God for Harry, England, and Saint George!'" — King Henry V

*.*

A man was eating a meal at a restaurant. He checks his pockets and leaves his tip -- three pennies. As he strides toward the door, his waitress muses, only half to herself, "You know, you can tell a lot about a man by the tip he leaves."

The man turns around, curiosity getting the better of him. "Oh, really? Tell me, what does my tip say?"

"Well, this penny tells me you're a thrifty man."

Barely able to conceal his pride, the man utters, "Hmm, true enough."

"And this penny, it tells me you're a bachelor."

Surprised at her perception, he says, "Well, that's true, too."

"And the third penny tells me that your father was one, too."

*.*

My wife and I went back to the hotel where we spent our wedding night for our 30 year anniversary.

Only this time I stayed in the bathroom and cried.

Issue of the Times;
Off the Wall by Sharon Freeman to Mike Rowe

Mike Rowe, I’m curious as to your opinion on the tragic death of the Boy Scouts of America?! I have several cousins that are Eagle Scouts, and I know that you are one also, so I feel you have somewhat of a vested interest in this matter. I didn’t have a problem with entire families going on Boy Scout camping trips, but to force them to become co-ed...I think that’s sad.

Hi Sharon.

In 1974, I was a painfully shy twelve-year-old kid with an annoying stammer and a deep fear of trying anything new. I was also very awkward around girls. I dreamed of being near them, but in real life, their proximity made me sweaty and nauseous. So one evening, my father dragged me to the basement of Kenwood Presbyterian Church, where the boys of Troop 16 were in the midst of an organized brawl called British Bulldog. The rules were simple.

One kid stood alone in the middle of the room. On the far end, 25 boys waited for the scoutmaster to blow a whistle, at which point they’d bolt to the other end. During the charge, the kid in the middle would attempt to tackle somebody and lift him in the air long enough to yell, “1,2,3, British Bulldog!” That kid, if successfully lifted, would join the other kid in the middle of the room, and together, they’d go about the business of tackling and lifting other kids during each subsequent charge. In the end, the last one to be lifted was declared the winner – the British Bulldog.

I was immediately thrust into this pandemonium and hoisted into the air, despite my best efforts to remain grounded. Somewhere along the way I got a bloody nose. Others sustained busted lips, black eyes, and sprained fingers. Happily, the game was followed by a course in First Aid, taught by a local paramedic who showed us how to apply a tourniquet and administer CPR. It was awesome.

In the coming weeks, I learned how to tie a sheepshank, throw a boomerang, build a fire, and make a lean-to. I was given a Boy Scout Handbook, and told to memorize the Scout Law and The Scout Oath. I did, and a week later, after another round of organized violence and hands on learning, I was summoned to the stage in the basement. There, I stood by the flag, raised my right hand, and promised to “do my duty to God and my country, obey the Scout Law, help other people at all times, and to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.”

The Scout Oath was the first promise I ever made, and I tried my best to keep it. I also got busy earning Skill Awards and Merit Badges, a consistently frustrating pursuit that always seemed to highlight my chronic incompetence. The Scoutmaster, a retired Army Colonel named Mr. Huntington – often said, “I know you're uncomfortable, Mike. Might as well find a way to enjoy it.”

In Troop 16, merit badges reflected merit. There was a boxing ring, where differences were often settled, monthly camping trips, frequent visits to the shooting range, weekly fitness tests, poetry readings from memory, and many other activities tailor-made to pull every kid out of his particular comfort zone. It was often humbling, but never humiliating. Failure was simply viewed as the most common symptom of trying. Consequently, the more I tried, the more I failed. The more I failed, the more I succeeded. The more I succeeded, the more confident I became. My grades improved in school. My stammer vanished, as did my awkwardness around girls.

One year at summer camp, I was called upon to sing a song of my choice at the evening campfire. It was parent’s night, and several hundred people from multiple troops were on hand. None were expecting me to belt out a tune from Tom Lehrer called “Be Prepared,” but that’s precisely what I did.

If you’re not familiar with this little gem, give it a listen. It is without question the most inappropriate song a Boy Scout could ever sing in public, but I thought it was hysterical, and packed with excellent advice. Afterward, Mr. Huntington offered a general apology to the parents in attendance, and gave me latrine duty for the duration of the encampment. Later though, he pulled me aside and said, “Mike, that was the funniest damn thing I’ve ever heard. Great job!”

Six years and two-dozen merit badges later, I was an Eagle Scout. Thirty-five years after that, I became a “Distinguished” Eagle Scout. I’m still not sure what I did to “distinguish” myself, but I accepted the award with gratitude, and I’ve tried ever since to give something back to the organization that gave me so much. Which brings us to what you've called “the tragic death" of The Boy Scouts, and the frightful prospects of “forced co-ed camping.”

According to their official statement, https://cnn.it/2HOv7gY, the Boy Scouts are welcoming girls because that’s what the overwhelming majority of parents want. From what I can tell, no one is being “forced” to do anything. Nothing in their statement talks about “co-ed” camping or even co-ed Troop Meetings.

As I read it, The Boy Scouts are launching a separate program that serves girls. Yes, The Girl Scouts are pissed, and the reason is clear - they don’t want the competition. But respectfully, is that argument even remotely persuasive? Competition is good, even among organizations that have similar goals. Especially now, with 90 million kids in this country unaffiliated with any youth-based organization. So I’m not opposed to building a program within Scouting for girls. But I am very worried about the future of Scouting in general.

When I left the organization in 1979, there were 5 million active members. Today, there are 2.3 million. With the recent departure of the Mormon community, that number will soon drop to under two million. Clearly, something is wrong. The question is what? Is it the past sexual scandals? Is it the more recent admission of gay and transgender members? I would imagine those are factors. But a 60% decline? That seems very unlikely. Besides, the drop-off started long before all that. Likewise, girls have always been excluded from The Boy Scouts, so I’m skeptical that welcoming them now, will fix whatever’s broken.

In my opinion, this kind of attrition can only explained by an increasing lack of relevance, or, the perception of irrelevance. Unfortunately, in situations like this, there's no difference between perception and reality. And right now, there's a perception that The Boy Scouts have gone soft. That's the real tragedy, Sharon, because I can’t think of anything more needed in our country today, than a youth organization that offers kids the same experience I underwent in the basement of Kenwood Church. Why? Because our country’s current obsession with “safe spaces” is destroying character faster than the Boy Scouts of today can build it.

Obviously, we want our kids protected from the hazards of a dangerous world. And clearly, the world we live it is a dangerous place. But safety is not the purpose of our existence, and this whole idea that kids need to be protected from fear, distress, discomfort, and disappointment is far more dangerous to the future of our country than anything I ever encountered in Scouting. You can’t build character in a “safe space.” You can only build dependence and entitlement, and you don’t have to look very far to see the results. Pardon my rant, but the stakes are high.

Too many kids are graduating from high school with no sense of who they are. Too many kids are leaving college with no marketable skill. Too many kids have never pondered a code to live by, or considered the importance of anything beyond the pursuit of their own comfort. It’s easy to call these kids “snowflakes,” but where do you suppose they came from?

We are the clouds from which the snowflakes fell. We are the ones who gave them trophies just for showing up. We’re the ones who told them that their feelings were more important than their actions, and that their dreams would come true if they simply followed them. Now, we are confronted with millions of dissatisfied young adults with no tolerance for beliefs that conflict with their own, and no realistic understanding of how life actually works.

I know I’m generalizing. I know there are many hardworking, conscientious millennials out there. I employ several. But I also know the “safe space movement” is real, and I can think of no better way to push back than to expose more kids to the brand of Scouting that I was lucky enough to encounter four decades ago. If by some miracle the dynamic I experienced in Troop 16 were available to everyone today – if Scouting could somehow recapture that combination of risk and wonder and pride and personal accountability - I believe their ranks would swell with the sons and daughters of millions of anxious parents, desperate to expose their kids to a program that prepares them for the real world.

I worry about The Boy Scouts for the same reasons I worry about The Girl Scouts and The Future Farmers of America and Skills USA and The 4-H Club and every other group that tries to elevate virtues like hard work, delayed gratification, and personal responsibility. I worry, because those ideas are wildly out of fashion, and organizations that have traditionally celebrated them are under enormous pressure to “evolve.” And so they do. But to what end? A 60% drop in membership?

If the Boy Scouts want to attract a new generation of members, they'll need to stand for something more than inclusion. Because being inclusive doesn't make you relevant. If I were calling the shots, I'd take a stand against the safe space movement and everything it embodies. And I'd do it in the most public way possible. But of course, that might also require a level of risk completely inconsistent with current orthodoxy.

As we all know, in 1974, a chipped tooth or a black eye didn’t lead to lawsuit, and today, I’m pretty sure a boxing ring and a trip to the shooting range would make a lot of parents...uncomfortable. But that’s exactly the point. In a world that values safety above everything else, discomfort is never welcome. Neither is risk. And yet, discomfort and risk are precisely why my time in Scouting was so valuable, and why Troop 16 was the polar opposite of a safe space.

Anyway Sharon, that’s a very long way of saying that girls are not the enemy. The enemy is bad ideology, and the inability to effectively confront it. Do I favor co-ed Scouting? Hell no. I can’t think of a single good reason to put girls and boys in the same troop, the same tent, the same boxing ring, or the same game of British Bulldog. But I can think of many good reasons to include them in a unified effort to confront the siren song of “safe spaces.”

Someone has to challenge the insipid belief that safety is the most important part of living. Someone has to challenge the idea that feelings trump achievement. Someone has to challenge the idea that “crying closets” on campuses designed to console stressed out students who just can't handle their finals exams, (or the outcome of a presidential election,) will produce a responsible, productive adult.

It’s not enough to simply ignore bad ideas. The safe space movement needs to be confronted, and I’d love nothing more than to see Scouts of both genders lead the charge.

Mike

Quote of the Times;
“People are not disturbed by things, but by the views they take of them.” – Epictetus

Link of the Times;
https://www.breitbart.com/big-journalism/2018/07/04/my-declaration-of-incivility-media-call-us-nazis-celebs-call-us-cnts-dems-scream-fck-you/
Dealing?
The Rudest Place Names In Ireland

1. Doodys Bottoms - Co. Wicklow

2. Effin - Co. Limerick

3. Dicksboro - Co. Kilkenny.

4. Fartrim - Co. Cavan

5. Cum - Co. Mayo

6. Slutsend - Co. Dublin

7. Bastardstown - Co. Wexford

8. Fannystown - Co. Wexford

9. Lousybush - Co Kilkenny

10. Muff - Co. Donegal

11. Termonfeckin - Co. Louth

12. Dyke Parade - Co. Cork

13. Letterfinish - Co. Kerry

14. Gaggin - Co. Cork

15. Blue Ball - Co. Offaly

16. Horetown - Co. Wexford.

17. Kilbrittain - Co. Cork

18. Naad - Co. Cork

*.*

ATLANTA, GA—The mandatory time of greeting one another during a church service has always been the bane of the socially awkward church member’s existence.

But self-described introvert Carla Weslow announced Friday that she has found an innovative way to beat the system: a powerful new smoke bomb she has developed over the past seven years.

Tucked away in the waistband of Weslow’s pants at all times, the smoke bomb lies in wait. As soon as a church member spots her trying to avoid attention near the back pew and strides toward her to shake hands and catch up on each other’s weeks, the vigilante introvert springs into action.

Maintaining a calm demeanor, she flings the smoke bomb at her feet with lightning speed and accuracy, causing a cloud of thick fog to instantly envelop the vicinity and obstruct her attacker’s vision. Weslow then uses those few precious moments of confusion to flee the area using a grappling hook, zip line, or other gadget stowed in her purse.

“I am the night!” Weslow cried out as she rolled through a church window and made her getaway to her car during a recent church service, according to witnesses.

“I just wanted to see how her week was going,” a bewildered, coughing church member said later.

*.*

While a friend and I were visiting Oxford University, we noticed several students on their hands and knees assessing the courtyard with pencils and clipboards in hand.

"What are they doing?" I asked our tour guide.

"Each year," he replied with a grin, "The Dean asks the new students how many bricks it took to finish paving this courtyard."

"So what's the answer?" my friend asked him when we were out of earshot of the freshmen.

The guide replied, "One."

*.*

Movement That Demands Forceful Silencing Of All Opposing Viewpoints Unsure Why Nation So Divided

A political movement that immediately demands that people they disagree with be forcefully silenced by myriad means such as having their sponsors pulled and having them fired from their jobs expressed Friday that they weren’t 100% sure why the nation was so polarized and divided. Lamenting the significant problem of America’s deep divisions while simultaneously creating internet mobs to lynch those with whom they disagree, the nation’s liberals collectively stated they couldn’t figure out why polar opposites continued to drift further and further apart.

Representatives of the left, who recently campaigned for advertisers to tank a show they did not like and for a magazine to fire a man they did not agree with, expressed their bewilderment that the nation can’t just unite and all get along. A barrage of social media posts and opinion pieces by progressives all expressed similar confusion at the nation’s polarization.

“It just doesn’t make any sense,” one opinion writer at Slate wrote, in an article entitled “Why Can’t We All Just Get Along And Also Agree With Me Or I Will Kill You?” “Why can’t our nation get along? Also, if you breathe an opinion even slightly different from our own, we will destroy you. But yeah, let’s all be united and stuff.”

“This is America, after all, a land where we are all free to express our own opinions, so long as they agree with mine,” the article concluded. “Or I will bring your livelihood crashing down so fast you and your family won’t be able to breathe.”

One liberal took a break from applauding The Atlantic for firing a conservative opinion writer for having conservative opinions to call for national unity on his Facebook account, while another progressive bookended his Twitter post calling for advertisers to pull from a conservative talk show with quotes about love, unity, and brotherhood.

At publishing time, sources had been able to confirm that the nation’s liberals were rapidly refreshing their Twitter and Facebook feeds looking for differing opinions, so they could find a new target to destroy.

*.*

TEXT TO NEIGHBOR:

Hi, Fred, this is Richard, next door. I’ve got a confession to make.

I’ve been riddled with guilt for a few months and have been trying to get up the courage to tell you face-to-face. At least I’m telling you in this text and I can’t live with myself a minute longer without you knowing about this.

The truth is that when you’re not around I’ve been sharing your wife, day and night. In fact, probably much more than you. I haven’t been getting it at home recently and I know that that’s no excuse. The temptation was just too great. I can’t live with the guilt and hope you’ll accept my sincere apology and forgive me.

Please suggest a fee for usage and I’ll pay you.

Regards, Richard

NEIGHBOR’S RESPONSE:

Fred, feeling so angered and betrayed, grabbed his gun and shot Richard killing him. He went back home and poured himself a stiff drink and sat down on the sofa. Fred then looked at his phone and discovered a second Text message from Richard.

SECOND TEXT MESSAGE:

Hi, Fred. Richard here again. Sorry about the typo on my last text. I expect you figured it out and noticed that the damned Auto-Spell Correct had changed “wi-fi" to “wife”. Technology, huh? It’ll be the death of us all.

Regards, Richard

Issue of the Times;
Dealing With Aggressive Violence By Jim Campbell

The vast majority of people seem confused about violence on both practical and idealogical grounds.

Practically, it is impossible to remove the *ability* for human beings to inflict harm upon one another. Deprived of a rifle, a human intending harm will simply find other means: a knife, a pipe, a pressure cooker, a truck, acid, even sticks and stones, and, if necessary, fists and feet.

This is an unfortunate, yet undeniable fact of the universe. Humans can be incredibly creative in their efforts to harm each other.

The one thing that seems to give predatory humans pause is the possibility of defense in the form of violent counterattack. Everywhere in the Animal Kingdom, predation occurs primarily on the weak and defenseless. Only a desperate predator will risk attack on a strong target that can defend itself. Humans are no different.

Most people supporting “gun control” measures, and now “knife control” measures in the UK, are living in childish denial of this basic reality of the human condition. (A smaller group are not in denial of anything, but seek to turn the population into defenseless subjects.)

Before discussing the solution, an important clarification is necessary:

Not all violence is morally equal or even practically unacceptable.

The kind of violence that should be of concern to decent people is called AGGRESSION. Aggression is violence directed toward an innocent person who is minding their own business. Defensive violence is not a problem. In fact, even those who most staunchly oppose people’s right to arm themselves accept that defensive violence is required to deal with aggression. These people simply believe that defensive violence should only be allowed by a small group of people, typically the police. I will discuss this position later when I address the ideological misunderstandings on this subject. For now, all that is necessary is to see that nearly all people make a distinction between aggressive violence and defensive violence. The problem decent people face is aggression, not violence. The problem is not “gun violence” or even “gun aggression”. The problem is aggressive violence, by whatever means. Many people with a specific political goal deliberately confuse this point.

If we accept the obvious reality that a human being dedicated to harming others will find a way, then what can be done?

The only thing that can be done is to make ourselves and other decent human beings stronger. We must be rational adults and accept that predators can not be made safe by depriving them of the MEANS to harm, because an intelligent human dedicated to harming another person will ALWAYS be able to find means in some form. That is to say, we can not rid the world of aggression. Instead, we must accept radical responsibility for our own safety and the safety of other decent, innocent, people around us.

Technology provides decent people with the means to become stronger. With modest effort, even the physically smallest and weakest person can become quite strong, and a threat to deliver overwhelming defensive violence, making them very unattractive to human predators. This technology, of course, is the firearm. Study after study shows that when decent people are armed, or may be armed, then aggressive violence drops. A population where a small but significant number of people MAY be armed, but it is unknown to an assailant whether a particular individual is armed, as is the case in jurisdictions with “concealed carry” laws, see the highest reduction in violent crime. These are established facts.

In the 1800’s, the Colt Single-Action Army Pistol was called “The Equalizer”, because equipped with this technology, an otherwise physically weaker or slower person was equal to their bigger, stronger, faster aggressor. Women, who on average are about half the strength of a man, should give this some special consideration.

Consider that when only one nation possessed nuclear weapons, they were used. Since there has been the threat of overwhelming defensive violence, so-called “mutually assured destruction”, they have not. Many geopolitical strategists are concerned that one nation may develop the technical capability to launch a successful first attack that destroys the target nation’s ability to respond. This is called “nuclear primacy”. It is a concern because it removes the threat of defensive violence. It is exactly this concern of counter attack that has protected humanity for fifty years.

This, then, is the practical solution for dealing with aggressive violence:

1. Accept that it is impossible to eliminate the means to inflict harm.
2. Accept that some people will seek to harm others.
3. Create in yourself and other decent people the ability to respond to predators with overwhelming counter violence.

History shows us that when people do not have the means to defend themselves, they will eventually suffer atrocities.

The moral argument is more cut and dried:

A human being is the absolute owner and sovereign over their body. As such, they have an absolute and inalienable right to defend themselves from aggression by others, by ANY means available or necessary, as long as those means do not harm other innocent people around them.

Any attempt to deprive a human being of the right to defend themselves is to deny that person ownership and sovereignty over their own body.

As a sovereign individual, a human being has the absolute right to make mutually-voluntary agreements (contracts) with other human beings, to keep the products of their labor and justly-acquired property, whether obtained from labor or contract.

Depriving a human being of the right to keep the fruit of their labor is called “slavery”. Taking a person’s justly-acquired property by force is called “theft”. Both are aggression against the person’s self-ownership and self-determination.

A human being has the absolute right to voluntarily disarm themselves. They do not have the right to forcefully disarm others, interfere with their voluntary relationships with others, take their property, or engage in any other aggression against another person, either directly or by proxy.

Any government which restricts or removes the means for innocent people to defend themselves no longer recognizes those people as free moral agents. It regards them as subjects, and rejects their most fundamental rights as owners of their own bodies. Any such government is de facto a tyranny and illegitimate.

The absolute right to defend one’s self and property is indistinguishable from and synonymous with the existence of the individual as a free moral agent.

Disarmed, we are subjects. Armed, we are citizens. As decent citizens, we have the moral duty to protect ourselves, our loved ones, and other innocent people from those who would harm us

Quote of the Times;
“The essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic, and a killer. It has never yet melted.” - Lawrence

Link of the Times;
https://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/u-s-co2-levels-drop-again/
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