Friday, August 28, 2015

Trump Card

Like many Americans, I didn't watch the first Republican candidate presidential debate. To paraphrase a certain notable Democrat, “at this point in time, what difference could it make?”. Seriously, for those paying attention, we know who we like and who we don't. For the undecided, I doubted there was much they could say that would make a difference.

Besides, I reside in Virginia, a pivotal state for the actual election. Even with that, the way the primary game is played, the people of Virginia will have virtually no say in who will eventually be on the Republican ticket. By the time we have our primary election, the die will be cast. How do I know that? Not a single candidate has deigned to visit our great state to campaign. In fact, I’d venture to say they have not even set up campaign offices in our state. After all, why spend money where it doesn't matter – at least not for now. Is my bitterness over this showing through – damn right!

That being said something notable happened in that debate. I though, 'hey, as long as I am going to start writing again, I might as well write about that.' So I am. At this point everyone knows the notable thing that happened. Forest of virtual trees have been harvested and beaten into bits so the Internets pundits could pontificate on the happening. So I’ll rake over it one more time to freshen your memory.

Apparently the candidates were asked to raise their hands to indicate that if they did not win the nomination, they would not run as an independent. Now first lets consider the question a little. Raise your hand? Seriously? What are they, six year olds squirming in their seats desperately trying to get the moderator's attention so they could get to the bathroom before their abject failure at bladder control is pasted on their pant fronts for the swarmy second graders to point at and make fun of? Is this what the potential new leaders of the free world are to be reduced to? Pissy first graders?

Next let's consider the why of the question. Was there anyone on the stage besides Trump who would even be considered a potential for an independent run? Ok – maybe Rand Paul, but he is not his dad. He has been active in the Senate, working within the Republican organization to try to make a difference. He is not just going to throw all that away for an independent run. So yes, the only one there they were asking was Trump. So why bring that up? I see no spontaneity in that question. If I had to guess, i'd say Trump asked them to pose that question himself.

Why would he do that? I'd say that this campaign is not a chess match for Trump – it's a game of high stakes poker. What he wanted to do is to send a message to the party – ditch me at your own peril. That forces them to let him play as long as he wanted unless they can think of some other way to steal his underpants. The down side for him is they are incredibly inept at the game and his campaign has succeeded to the point that he remains a distinctive lead candidate. I'd say that no one is more surprised by that than him. A true accidental candidate – I really believe he was just trying to get some leverage to build some buildings and sell some books. Ooops! If we are lucky, the coming months will be notably different than what has come before. If we are really fortunate, we'll get what we need in the oval office – an change we deserve. Not because whomever that it is planned to be that, but because that is what is compelled by history.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Hero Of The Week 2-21-15

(H/T WeaselZippers) This week's hero of the week goes out to a Virginia Capitol Police officer that helped a returning soldier. This guy and his war dog were inseparable in Afghanistan. The dog, Spike, served him and his buddies by going in to harms way, again and again to sniff out danger and protect them from some of the sneaky crap they had to deal with.

When Jared Heine returned back home, like many veterans, he suffered from PTSD. One of the things he talked about most was missing his work dog Scout. Jared's mother went to work to try to find out what happened to Scout. It turned out that he was still working, and now with the Virginia Capitol Police. When she got in contact with our hero, Officer Laura Taylor, the officer faced a hard decision. For her, it was the right thing to give Spike to Jared, and help him try to close the loop on his time in service. So here's to you Officer Laura Taylor (and Spike), our Hero(s) of the week:

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Hero of the Week 2-7-15

This week's hero of the week was pretty much a no-brainer. I don't usually give out the Hero award to royalty, but this week was different. The ISIS cowards decided to make public the video of how they had burned to death a pilot they had captured after negotiating for weeks with the Jordanian government. The enraged head of state did what any leader would do in such a circumstance. First he executed the ISIS troglodytes that were being negotiated for, and then he led airstrikes on ISIS targets: not another coddled royal twerp, this guy. So here's the hero of the week award to King Abdullah II of Jordan. Fly it until the last piece stops moving.

I see that, I though of this..

(Via Instapundit) I saw this story about a study of the microbes of in the New York subway system. It notes:
"Almost half of the DNA found on the system’s surfaces did not match any known organism and just 0.2 percent matched the human genome.”
 My thoughts immediately went to Jeff of MIB:

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Afghanistan - a different view

A worthy read from Jerry Pournelle on the situation in Afghanistan here (at the bottom of that entry). It confirms everything I know about the arms that our military is using good and bad.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Um, still not the best

I noted this article about a British sniper with 171 kills that has surpassed America's top sniper Chris Kyle in kills (160) and the Sun is touting as the top sniper ever. Um, no.. that's just wrong. The top ever would have to be Vasily Zaytsev. As Wikopedia notes:
a Soviet sniper and a Hero of the Soviet Union during World War II. Between 10 November and 17 December 1942, during the Battle of Stalingrad, he killed 225 soldiers and officers of the Wehrmacht and other Axis armies, including 11 enemy snipers
 Note that for most of his 400 kills he used a standard issue Mosin-Nagant. The Mosin is an awesome rifle, amazingly accurate, even with open sights. But still, it takes a God given talent to be that accurate at those distances consistently. Regardless,  you have to admire all these men who, under the conditions and horror of war, have the courage to employ their talents to protect their fellow soldiers and their country.