Dodged the bullet

Boston, my Dad’s hometown, dodged a bullet when they pulled out of contention to host the 2024 Olympics. From Boston.com,

In a joint statement, United States Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun and Steve Pagliuca, chairman of bidding group Boston 2024, characterized the decision to pull the plug as a mutual one, reached Monday.

Boston’s bid has been subject to significant scrutiny, spawning multiple opposition groups and failing to capture public support. The bid was due to face a referendum next year, something recently unveiled documents showed Boston 2024 hoped to avoid.

You bet they “hoped to avoid” a referendum. Anyone who has seen what the Olympics can do to a city should know that such a referendum would be unlikely to pass, even in a nominally liberal town such as Boston.*

Wanting the Olympics to me is akin to liberals’ intoning, “we need high speed rail, all the cool countries have it!” And the economics of it are pretty much never what was envisioned. One example is Montreal hosting the 1976 Olympics. From an otherwise rah-rah Olympics piece in CNN (http://cnn.it/1DLTbnn), this is all one need remember: “The 1976 Montreal Olympics almost left the city bankrupt with its US$1.48 billion-price tag.”

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*Not all of Boston. Some of us are conservative, working class, and as practical as death. It’s those damned Yankees who are the liberals these days, and I’m not speaking of the New York baseball team.

The Donald

Donald Trump has become an issue for Republicans, at least among the chattering classes in the mainstream media. He’s the Republican they love to hate, and hold up as an example of what the Grand Old Party has become. According to them, of course.

But my Republican Party remains the Party of Lincoln, the Party that led the war to end slavery, the Party that overcame the solidly-Democratic South to end Jim Crow. But, hey, memories are short and selective on the Left.

Now The Donald is hardly my cup of tea. He’s only a conservative of convenience, just as he has a long history of befriending and supporting politicians of all political stripes who could be of benefit to Trump.

Will Trump be the cause of another Republican presidential defeat? Possible, but unlikely.

The Donald is a showman. He is a loudmouthed buffoon. He comes across as not having serious policy positions or prescriptions, although he does raise some serious issues. The problem is that his hucksterism clouds the distinction between serious issues and un-serious solutions.

Right now he is polling significantly higher than any of the other 15 (at this writing) prospective candidates. And therein lies his downfall. As our field winnows down, which it is sure to do over the next year, he’s going to be getting much more scrutiny from the people who matter (Republican primary voters).

If this does not doom his reality-show driven quest, then perhaps it is time for the Republicans to go the way of the Whigs.

Deep Dive

In case you missed it, our Social Justice Warrior Pope, Francis, seems to have swiveled from “liberation theology” to warning us of the disasters of global warming, climate change, bad weather, or something, if we don’t mend our wicked ways. Even the True Believers at the WaPo kind of mocked him with the headline, Release of encyclical reveals pope’s deep dive into climate science.

Deep dive, indeed. It seems the more exalted one’s position, the greater one’s celebrity, the less one must think things through before bleating it out for the world to see. But then, Francis is a Jesuit.

Let’s be generous about Jesuits: they are protean, and this may be a good, or a not-so-good thing. In Francis’ case, what comes across is that he has swiveled from the liberation “theology” cheered by his fellow Latin American Jesuits to the sky-is-falling climate alarmism.

I was catechized by Jesuits, and have always had the greatest respect and affection for the order (just happy my name is not Ignatius Xavier…) However, they are often on the lefty side of policy arguments, giving those arguments Christian window dressing. Francis comes across as a politician first, and a shepherd for his flock a distant second.

Preach the Gospel. Leave the politics to others. Have some discernment before accepting and repeating alarmist ravings about global warming, er, climate change, or whatever it will be called when the apocalypse does not come to pass. Francis, remember the coming nuclear winter?

She-Who-Must-Not-be-Named and The Donald

She-Who-Must-Not-be-Named is a terrible campaigner. She not only lacks the common touch, she is massively out of touch with the rest of us. This is becoming evident, even to the slow learners in the Yellow Dog Party. if you don’t get the reference, Google it – it’s a good definition of the idiots who’ll vote for anyone who runs as a Democrat.

In contrast, The Donald seems to be a straight talker, no-nonsense kind of guy. Seems to be. Until one dregs up the various lefty causes and politicians he has supported. For which he usually makes the excuse, “he’s my friend; he’s a terrific guy.”

The Donald is in this race for the simple reason of improving his brand and his bottom line. He is a blowhard, uncouth, and, as Marco Rubio all but said on Fox&Friends this morning, he lacks class. But, after 7 years of The One, we should be used to this in our president.

And then there were 16…

Ohio governor John Kasich announced his entry into the crowded Republican field today. And a whole lot of us conservatives shrugged. Gov. Kasich strikes me as a capable, and likable, state leader who is a right-leaning centrist. In other words, the kind of Republican liberals love (e.g. see this slobber piece at The Daily Beast). Of course, what the author calls Kasich’s “solidly conservative record” is open for debate among actual conservatives. Let’s just say that The Daily Beast is one of the last places I would go for advice about who to nominate on our side.

But I’m not here to complain about Kasich’s purity. We are none of pure; there are always going to be those more ideologically pure than thee or me. So, I’ve got it: John Kasich is not your tea party cup of tea. And he is not my first, or even third choice in today’s GOP field*.

But here’s what I keep coming around to: Bill Buckley’s rule, which is to nominate the most conservative candidate who is viable. In the general election, Gov. Kasich is reasonably viable, but he is, let’s face it, a lackluster candidate. He might not take Florida or even home state Ohio, both essential to any Republican.

The second point I’d make, in Kasich’s favor (sort of): who would you rather see take the oath of office come January 2017: John Kasich or She Who Must Not Be Named? The same goes true, however, for any of the current field, not to mention any stray cat found in the alley…

Last point: there is no way that Kasich gets our nomination in this time of Obama fatigue. Which is actually Big Government, Big Brother fatigue. Kasich seems to be among those Big Government Republicans who seem to think that government is the answer, not the problem. In this, he seems to share Jeb Bush’s approach to tinkering with big government, hoping to tweak the Leviathan so that some centrally-managed program will work a little better.

Perhaps Gov. Kasich is running for Veep? If so, I wish him well, but still he would not be my choice.

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*For what it’s worth, right now my top three are Scott Walker, Rick Perry, Marco Rubio. In that order.

The Stranger

The Stranger is a poem by Rudyard Kipling, the English chronicler of Empire. By today’s standards he’d be considered a stone racist, but he seemed to have a pretty good grasp of what was what in late-Victorian England.

One poem would seem to be directly applicable to those Islamic terrorists that the mainstream media and most liberals seem to want to call “lone wolves.” Lone wolf, on the presumption, hope actually, that yet another Muslim who kills innocents did not really get his (or her) motivation from ISIS or other radical Islamic groups.

From The Stranger, these words just might accurately describe jihadis who let loose with their Islam-inspired demons:

The Stranger within my gates,
He may be evil or good,
But I cannot tell what powers control–
What reasons sway his mood;
Nor when the Gods of his far-off land
Shall repossess his blood.

The late and unlamented terrorist who killed five American servicemen in Tennessee did so in the name of Islam. He may have held American citizenship (dual with Jordan, actually, which would seem problematic for starters). But was he in any meaningful way a true American?

No, he clearly was not. Clearly, the Gods of his far-off land repossessed his blood.

Suicide is painless…

Or so goes the line from the M.A.S.H. themesong. In the previous post, I affirmed that our active-duty military who are deployed stateside would be safer if they were armed. Then I recalled why they were disarmed in the first place: an over-anxious nanny state concern that the poor darlings, who we send out to fight our wars, were too likely to use their weapons to commit suicide.

And it should not even need to be said that when a soldier kills himself, he’s no longer available to fight for us. Nor should it be necessary to state that we all mourn those who take their own lives. No one wants more military suicides.

Well, perhaps some do. On the Left, perhaps because it aids in their overall cause to diminish our military. The Left’s cheering section, a/k/a the mainstream media, ever on the prowl for stories that defame the military, is all over a supposed “epidemic” of military suicides. Just Google it, and you’ll come up with lots of horror stories. One small problem: it just is not true. A Forbes article nicely dissects the thesis. Here’s a conclusion:

It’s just very difficult indeed to see that there is an epidemic of suicides in the military: either serving personnel or veterans. Within the limits of the statistics being used the rates seem to be a little below or a little above those for American men generally. I just don’t see where the “epidemic” comes from.

Well, it’s an “epidemic” because it shows how truly horrible we are in this nation to have a functioning military that we have, in the past, actually used to kill enemies. Oh, the humanity! Killing people is wrong, don’t you see? Unless, of course, they are in the process of trying to kill us.