The Canal de Saint-Quentin, the waterway that connected the River Oise and the Somme, had been one of the great engineering marvels of the 19th Century. At first a sleepy little spillway during the 1700s, the Napoleonic Era saw the canal widened and given more depth, with a series of locks and tunnels that turned the route into the busiest man-made waterway by freight in France until the 1960s.
By the fall of 1918, the Canal de Saint-Quentin found itself a part of another major engineering marvel, this time of the 20th Century – the Hindenburg Line. Indeed, the canal was viewed by both the Allies and the Germans as the most impenetrable section of the entire line, as between the canal’s rushing waters and the Hindenburg Line’s mixture of barbed wire, trenches and massive, reinforced concrete defenses, the ability to cross the Line was for all intends and purposes impossible. Any attacker would have to wade through the canal under fire, limiting the ability to get tanks and heavy equipment across while going through an additional a no-man’s-land covered by machine guns and artillery. Given the Great War’s track record of amphibious operations and plans, an offensive against Saint-Quentin seemed borderline suicidal.
As September 26th, 1918 was about to become September 27th, 1,044 British field guns and howitzers and 593 medium and heavy guns lashed out at Saint-Quentin, along with 30,000 poison gas shells in the largest British bombardment of the war. The barrage was to open the way for the first wave of 30 British/Australian divisions and 2 American divisions, with the inexperienced Americans tasked to charge in first. The attack had been hotly contested at the highest levels of the Allied governments and even mid-level British officers thought the offensive was nothing more than a “sacrificial stunt” to vainly attempt to keep Germany on the ropes as they retreated from their Spring Offensive gains.
For the first time, the fearsome Hindenburg Line would be fully engaged by the Allies. The momentum of the war rested upon the outcome.
The remains of the one of the Hindenburg Line’s bunkers
One hardly had to be clairvoyant in late September of 1918 to see that the Great War was finally, mercifully, coming to a head. Since their “Black Day” in Amiens in early August, the German army had been in a headlong retreat back to the Hindenburg Line, surrendering tens of thousands of prisoners as well as miles of ground that had cost them a million men earlier in the year. The Austro-Hungarian attempts at forcing a conclusion in Italy had been stymied, the Ottomans were being driven out of the Middle East with horrific casualties and the Bulgarians were in the process of surrendering. The Central Powers were no longer on the verge of collapse – they were actively collapsing. Continue reading →
A few years ago, when people started talking about the “Dunning Kruger Effect” – the notion that the less someone knows about a subject, the more expert they feel about it – the first thing I thought was “Well, this isn’t going to get turned into a form of onanistic self-ongratulation, used in service of political hackery, nosireebob”.
I was right, of course, judging by this “Dunning-Kruger-For-Dummies”-level primer:
There’s also “much more research activity” about the effect right now than immediately after it was published, Dunning said. Typically, interest in a research topic spikes in the five years following a groundbreaking study, then fades.
“Obviously it has to do with Trump and the various treatments that people have given him,” Dunning said, “So yeah, a lot of it is political. People trying to understand the other side. We have a massive rise in partisanship and it’s become more vicious and extreme, so people are reaching for explanations.”
“People are trying to understand the other side”, and why politics has become more vicious and extreme, by trying to quantify your opponents idiocy?
In so many ways:
Many people “cannot wrap their minds around the rise of Trump,” Sloman said. “He’s exactly the opposite of everything we value in a politician, and he’s the exact opposite of what we thought Americans valued.” Some of these people are eager to find something scientific to explain him.
In other words, people using the “Dunning Kruger Effect” to explain the rise of Trump, qua Trump, without understanding the demography and class-conflict aspects of 2016 (and today) are exhibiting…
A lot of them are out, either on bail or personal recognizance. A few haven’t had their bail set yet, which strikes me as being a ridiculously long time to get around to it. Only a few have been denied bail and remain in jail: those are mostly people who allegedly attacked cops or were engaged in Assaultive / Violent Behavior.
Attacking a cop is still not enough reason to deny bail in any ordinary criminal case. The courts have consistently held that bail is a constitutional right. It’s being delayed/denied. The charges against the January 6th accused aren’t serious enough to support the denial of bail. And denial of bail for trespass-type offenses while holding the accused in solitary confinement, is inconsistent treatment considering that we’re emptying the jails everywhere else so people don’t catch Covid. The hype could simply be complaints from defense lawyers looking for a better deal for their clients, or from political grifters who will seize any stick to beat the administration. But the fact the DOJ’s own list confirms the claims makes this smell political. The fact the government refuses to turn over video evidence makes it smell political. The fact the judge made histrionic claims to justify the sentence for a non-violent protester makes it smell political. It smells like an attempt to punish these Trump supporters and intimidate the rest. It smells like federal law enforcement is holding political prisoners. That’s Third World banana republic stuff, like stuffing ballot boxes or imposing martial law on the capital city or calling for ‘reeducation camps’ or telling the media which news stories to take down. That stuff could never happen in America, right?
Democracy can not survive if people don’t trust its institutions to be even-handed.
I’m far from “Anti-Vax”. I got the J&J vaccine – partly to shut Karen up, and partly because the science that exists convinced me it was worth the fairly minimal risk.
But there are times I wish this country had a national organization, one dedicated to disseminating unvarnished, unbiased, scientific information about public health to the public.
But I dream.
If we did have such an organization – and a news media that actually reported facts rather than emotions and political narrative…
…again, I dream.
By the way, I commend for your attention this 8-10 tweet thread on the latest science re the immunity provided by both natural and vaccine-based immunity. The news is largely if not uniquivically good…
…and you’ll hear little to none of it from our useless media.
I bring that up to arm you all for the upcoming fight – with the CDC sending out trial balloons about renewed mask mandates, and bobblheads like Gavin Newsom actively locking things down again. And if Newsom is talking about it, you know Tim Walz is fantasizing about reliving his Mussolini days, too.
Now, for me it’s an emergency, no matter what our idiot bureaucracy says; I have parents in their 80s in about the health one might expect of people in their eighties, so I take the precautions needed, either way.
But as the inevitable tsunami of Karens who believe one “believes” science, and whose idea of “science” is an NPR piece from April 2020, by a morose millennial reporter living in an apartment in Brooklyn venting their personal depression in the form of a “news” piece about how awful things are, I urge you to keep an eye on the actual science:
Because this time, there can be no deferring to the good will of the participants, like most of us did in the spring of 2020.
This isn’t public health,. This is a social power grab. Nothing more. .
When I first heard that there was going to be a recall vote against Gavin Newsom, I figured “Quixotic” was an understatement. The early polling showed California’s incompetent governor walking away with a recall election.
And when Larry Elder took leave from his national talk radio show (Disclosure: on my station, on the Salem Network, for which I work part-time), I figured it was yet another symbolic drive to get people talking about the issues.
Californians who say they expect to vote in the September recall election are almost evenly divided over whether to remove Gov. Gavin Newsom from office, evidence of how pivotal voter turnout will be in deciding the governor’s political fate, according to a new UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies poll co-sponsored by the Los Angeles Times.
Ed Morrissey notes:
Conservative talk radio host Larry Elder, who last week won a court battle to appear on the Sept. 14 recall ballot, leads in the race to replace Newsom among the dozens of candidates in the running, while support for reality television star Caitlyn Jenner remains low, the survey found. Forty percent of likely voters remain undecided on a replacement candidate, providing ample opportunity for other gubernatorial hopefuls to rise in the ranks before the Sept. 14 special election…
One potential advantage – special elections (and a recall is the special-est election there is) offer at least a slight premium for the motivated. Has this past couple of years of incompetent elitism left enough Californians angry enough to bring on a spasm of rebellion?
The odds are still very, very long. But maybe not as long as we’d thought.
I’d like to claim this as a late addition to the DFL Dictionary – but alas, it’s actually from the Urban Dictionary:
Rupar (Verb): To purposely (sic) mislead. To completely mischaracterize a statement or video by omitting context.
Yesterday, at a “press conference” on the Capitol steps, as embattled representative John “Burn Hugo Down” Thompson, the DFLer from either Saint Paul, Superior or someplace else, was promising not to resign, a woman – “Tammy Jo”, we’re told – drove “onto the Capitol Mall” (looks like the upper parking lot to me) and waved a Trump flag.
KARE11’s John Croman – who is distinguised by being “Not Quite Esme Murphy” – tweeted what would appear to be a troubling outburst:
Now, my first thought was that “Tammy Jo” was likely a DFL plant, a DFLer from Woodbury, sent to lend Thompson and his press conference a cleansing blast of the unambiguous victimhood that is his only line. That, I surmised, would explain why not a single member of our city’s press corps – the people who ran down “Umbrella Man” and his life story run down while the rubble was still burning last year – has come up with a complete identification of “Tammy Jo”.
I’m sure it’ll happen.
But even given the in-the-bagginess of the Twin Cities media, that seemed a bit of a stretch.
Still – it’s not merely the Twin Cities media; it’s KARE11, the station that led the local TV market to “Woke”-ness. There’s got to be a DFL-upsucking angle, I thought. I mean, this wasn’t a “hate crime” per se, but Berg’s 20th Law seems to be proximate: “All incidents of “hate speech” not captured on video (involving being delivered by someone proven not to be a ringer) shall be assumed to be hoaxes until proven otherwise.” There might need to be an Esme Murphy Corollary: “Hoaxes, and/or DFL PR operations”.
Because the DFL had a need, and Croman fulfilled it.
Leave it to David Steinberg, who on issue after issue – Keith Ellison, Ilhan Omar, the riots, the Minneapolis City Council – does the reporting the Minnesota Media can’t be bothered, or haven’t been told by Ken Martin they’re allowed, to do.
So – what really happened?
Aaron Rupar isn’t the disease. Coming from the Twin Cities media scene as he did, he’s just a symptom.
…marksmanship aficionados were treated to the slightly less refined spectacle of Piers Morgan sniping on Twitter as an American won the first gold medal of the Rio Games and USA Shooting, the governing body, firing back by accusing the gun-control advocate of trolling.
Morgan’s facile argument: it is no wonder that a country of 330 million people with an estimated 400 million guns in circulation and a serious homicide problem is good at shooting. “What we do out here on the skeet fields and on the rifle range has nothing to do with crime and violence,” Matt Suggs, the chief executive of USA Shooting, said.
The US is indeed the all-time medal leader, with roughly as many gold medals as the next three countries (China, Russia and Italy) combined. But Ginny Thrasher’s first-day success in the 10-metre air rifle was the US’s only shooting gold of the 2016 Games, while top-ranked Italy won four. Though the US has a large number of competitive shooters, they are not necessarily taking aim in the international disciplines featured in the Olympics.
Because street criminals are the ones moving up to the Olympic team. And to think we accuse leftists of being bovine intellectual herd animals.
Having just shot skeet for the first time earlier this month, I’m a little in awe of my nephews’ facility at blasting clays – and a lot in awe of the kind of shooting the serious competitors do.
So, just how wrapped up was the American Revolution and the founding of the American Republic wrapped around slavery?
Quite the opposite: while all of the 13 colonies had originally allowed slavery, it had been abolished in most of the states by the revolution…
…and was recognized by most of the founding fathers as explicitly contrary to all of the Revolution’s interests except self-preservation (dividing in the face of the British would have been national suicide)…
…and abolition was a driving force behind the framing of the Constitution.
Just in case you need some ammo for your next spar with your next “progressive” relative.
…what’s happening between Park Siding and Depot Street today is construction of a half-mile tunnel that will carry the Metropolitan Council’s Southwest LRT project through a pinch point in its 15-mile path from downtown to Eden Prairie. Complexities with water, underground debris, and construction methods seem poised to push the line’s opening deep into 2025 or 2026.
Ever since word started to leak out last fall that the Kenilworth tunnel construction was stuck in a sloppy mess of water and boulders, contractors and Met Council officials have known the line could not meet its opening estimates, and that tunnel costs could blow through the project’s contingency fund. But the agency insists even today that it cannot estimate the magnitude of delay nor additional cost.
But in midwinter, in a private call with government stakeholders, the Met Council did offer some specificity, [Twin Cities Business] has learned. At the time, the project was expected to be delayed by at least two years into late 2025, say individuals on that call, including state Rep. Frank Hornstein (DFL-Minneapolis), who chairs the state House Transportation Committee. Hornstein is a supporter of the project who frames himself as disappointed in its current state.
“We raised questions about all these problem areas. They were waived away. Every dire prediction came true, the ones about cost overruns, the ones about the tunnel, the millions given away to railroads in negotiations,” he said in a spring interview.
On Tuesday, Axios reported that an aide to the speaker and a White House official tested positive for COVID-19 after attending a rooftop reception to honor the fugitive lawmakers. Both individuals were fully vaccinated, although a White House official downplayed the staffer’s illness.
“Yesterday, a fully-vaccinated senior spokesperson in the Speaker’s press office tested positive for COVID after contact with members of the Texas state legislature last week,” said Drew Hammier, deputy chief of staff to Pelosi.
The group of 50 Texas Democrats flouted federal regulations implemented by President Biden that require passengers on privately charted planes to wear masks for the duration of a flight. As of publication, no legal action has been taken against them, even though the Centers for Disease Control issued explicit warnings about not wearing masks. The Federal Aviation Administration did not respond to requests for comment from the Washington Free Beacon.
Since their arrival in Washington, D.C., six of the Texas Democrats have tested positive for COVID-19. The whereabouts of the Texas Democrats are unknown, and the public does not know how many people they infected during their trip to the nation’s capital. Texas state representative Gene Wu, a prominent member of the group who has shared news articles on Twitter about coronavirus strains entering the country while on the lam, did not respond to a request for comment.
Of course, their mission – gundeck the election reforms via foul means in a way they could never do via fair – remains accomplished.
On April 30, 1971, the Milwaukee Bucks defeated the Baltimore Bullets 118-106 to win their first NBA championship. The team had won the equivalent of a Powerball jackpot the previous year, when a coin flip gave the team the first pick in the 1969 draft. The Bucks drafted Lou Alcindor, the dominating center from UCLA, then added the great Oscar Robertson, an equally dominating guard who had played for terrible teams for a decade. The early good fortune lead to glory as the Bucks franchise won its first title in only the third year of its existence.
At the time, I was a second grader at St. Therese School in Appleton, Wisconsin. While I didn’t follow the NBA that closely at first, I knew this championship was a big deal. Shortly after the Bucks won the championship, Alcindor changed his name to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, which confused me a bit, but second graders are easily confused. As we grew older, we would try to imitate Abdul-Jabbar’s famous sky hook on the school playground, ineffectively of course. We would cheer our Bucks and curse the mighty Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers, who would stand in the way of our team’s glory. The Bucks made it back to the finals in 1974, but lost to the Celtics in 7 games, including the finale on the floor of the Milwaukee Arena.
As time went on, Abdul-Jabbar decided that he no longer wanted to live in Milwaukee, which did not fit his cultural needs. The Bucks traded Abdul-Jabbar and the players the team received in return formed the nucleus of a consistent contender for the league championship, but a team that never could get past the hated Celtics and the equally despised Philadelphia 76ers. This went on for over a decade, but by the early 90s Michael Jordan ruled the league and the Bucks became a footwipe. I continued to follow the Bucks throughout my adolescence and into adulthood, but there wasn’t much joy in it.
In 2013, the Bucks finally found the man who would replace Abdul-Jabbar, a Greek citizen of Nigerian descent named Giannis Antetokounmpo. He was 18 years old and while his talent was recognized, he was not invited to hang out in the green room with the other top prospects of that year. When his name was called, he came up on stage from the stands at Barclays Center, a face in the crowd. Over the following eight seasons, he transformed himself from a skinny refugee kid into the most imposing and relentless basketball player on the planet, earning the nickname “The Greek Freak.” On Tuesday evening, Antetokounmpo led the Bucks to their first championship in 50 years, scoring 50 points in a 105-98 clincher against the Phoenix Suns. For his part, Antetokounmpo is a thoroughly likable young man with a big smile and a spectacular game, and his teammates are equally talented and amiable. And after a 50-year wait, my childhood team had finally returned to the summit.
It’s a great story, but only if you accept the narrative that the NBA still means something. In the 50 years between championships, much has changed. The games in 1971 were played in darkened arenas with less than 13,000 people in attendance. The owners were local businessmen and the coachers were guys like Red Auerbach, the curmudgeonly cigar chomping leader of the Celtics. Over the course of 50 years, the NBA engaged in relentless marketing, leveraging the genuine star power of Abdul-Jabbar, Julius Erving, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, and Michael Jordan to transform the league into an international entertainment. The money flowed and the movie stars and beautiful people were sitting courtside, especially in Los Angeles.
This went on for a long time, but in recent years the dominant player and personality has been LeBron James, immensely talented but a man with a perpetual scowl on his face. His preferred nickname is “King James,” and he has been an imperious monarch for nearly 20 seasons. He indulges in woke social commentary and turns a blind eye to the NBA’s sordid relationship with the Chinese government, claiming that critics of the tyrannical regime are not sufficiently informed. James is a tremendous talent, but he’s utterly detestable.
So after 50 years, how much joy is there in winning a championship of a league full of vipers and hypocrites? For me, more than is justified. The fan in me wants to get a championship cap that matches those the Bucks wore as they accepted the trophy in Milwaukee, but let’s face it, it’s likely that hat probably comes from a crappy Chinese factory and the profits would land in the coffers of some woke conglomerate.
But still, but still, I want to believe the Bucks have accomplished something noble and that my years of fandom are now being rewarded. My head says it’s a lie, but my heart says something else.
[CEO Evan Hafer] quickly debunked the notion that he made derogatory remarks about BRCC’s customers or conservatives and then proceeded to explain how the New York Times deliberately twisted his words and took them out of context. According to Hafer, his conversation with the NYT Magazine reporter was in the context of racism and anti-Semitism in America in light of Hafer being the target of an organized attack last year because of “my last name and my heritage.”
“We were purely discussing that,” Hafer says, and he was not conflating those groups with conservatives.
“The New York Times, as we know, the chances of them being objective were fairly slim, but we gave them the opportunity,” he added. He went on to mention veterans issues he hoped to bring attention to. But, unfortunately, the New York Times chose to go with “the salacious headline” about the company instead.
Hafer reiterated that racists and anti-Semites have no place in his company.
“I really need you guys to get the facts straight on this, which is: There’s no chance in hell I’m gonna talk s–t about conservatives to the New York Times. It’s just not gonna happen.”
How long do the mainstream media hacks have to keep exposing themselves as frothing-at-the-mouth haters of conservatives before conservatives get it? If Hafer truly thought that the Times was going to give him a fair shake and that this would be a good marketing opportunity, then he’s too monumentally stupid to be around anything that isn’t toddler-proofed. It’s like walking into a biker bar while wearing a tuxedo and being surprised you got your a** kicked after you called all of them wusses. It’s just super easy to predict how some things are going to work out.
Conservatives shouldn’t be treating The New York Times and its ilk with any kind of courtesy. Unless you want to be a turncoat, it’s not going to work out well for you. Don’t hang out with an enemy who spends all day pointing a knife at you then turn away and act surprised when you get stabbed in the back.
And here’s the most important lesson for conservatives: don’t pull the knife out, hand it back to your enemy, then turn away again.
Well, Kruiser’s gonna kruis. At the risk of giving Hafer too much credit – something I tend to be wont to do – he’s a businessman from Utah, not breezy media analyst; there’s a first time for everyone.
Not saying that stands up – Black Rifle is pretty savvy, generally.
Further evidence for my eternal advice – if you’re a conservative, any conservative, and the mainstream media are interviewing you for any reason, record the interaction. Every single time. If you’re misquoted, wrenched out of context, played for a patsy – as is likely in many corners of the media these days – you’ll have evidence.
Title: Analyzing the Propensity of Modern Feminists, Progressives and the Media to Overstate Accrued Virtue.
Aim of the Experiment: The aim of the experiment is to test whether there is any activity approved of by “Big Left” that a woman can do, that will not be turned into a example of supreme personal moral virtue.
Hypothesis: It is predicted that, provided the activity is one promoted by “Big Left”, that there is no activity a woman can carry out that will not be referred to as “Brave”, “Courageous”, “Fierce” or other such superlatives.
Background Theory: It is believed that the rhetorical “Bar” for an action to be considered an act of personal moral courage, when the action is:
Congruent with the values of modern political and social “progressives”, and
Performed by a woman
…has dropped to the point of nearly being indistinguishable from any normal activity.
Methodology: The research team:
Observed an extensive list of actions
We specifically looked for examples of morally unremarkable, mundane, even counterproductive activities not being referred to in morally superlative terms
Last year, when the FBI triiumphantly claimed that they’d busted a plot to kidnap MIchigan governor Gretchen Whitmer, I said, in as many words, “I bet a shiny new quarter this was a setup by the feds”.
The explosives expert was the undercover FBI agent. He was the one who figured out where to plant the explosive and offered to obtain as much as the group wanted. Would there even have been a plan to blow up the bridge without him? The Iraq War veteran is heard barking at the other members about not hanging around unless they were “down with the thought of kidnapping.” It almost sounds as if he had to talk some of them into it. A government informant from Wisconsin was the person who traveled around the country and introduced various militia members to each other, sometimes paying their travel costs. Many of the eventual members had never met each other before this. There were fully a dozen informants and undercover agents involved every step of the way.
When you put all of that together, you are forced to consider the question that Buzzfeed is asking. Without all of those agents and government informants holding people’s hands and guiding their steps, would there even have been a conspiracy without them? The defendants are saying no. They claim that the whole idea of kidnapping Whitmer never rose above the level of fantasy, though they freely admit going to paramilitary training sessions together and engaging in anti-government conversations and online chats.
My two cents: the establisment wants to deliver on that “wave of white supremacist terror” they’ve been promising since 2009, they’re willing to create it from scratch.
Americans – at least the noisy ones that take part in politics – don’t like each other very much. Dennis Prager notes that we’re more divided, politically and intellectually, today than we were in 1861; other than slavery and its various side effects and the state and regional social differences that they led to, Americans weren’t that far apart back then.
Today? The hate is palpable. I felt it almost two decades ago, and it’s gotten much, much worse in the five years.
Half the country is using the nation’s government and media institutions and, increasingly, the corporate world to gain control over the other half.
And as the Declaration of Independence notes, people are inclined to suffer from indignities and oppression…
…until they’re not.
So – what if that other half finally says “enough”, and decides we’re better off apart?
Ignore the source – pseudonymous social media trolls are cheaper than Dogecoin derivatives these days. With that said, whoever drew this…:
…must live in Texas (or Florida?), and be one of those Texans / Floridians who doesn’t spend a lot of time paying attention to the rest of the country. The Dakotas will join a mostly-blue Midwest only via a hypothetical conquest, and Minnesotans invading North Dakota would look a little like this, or maybe this.
But sometimes I wonder if it wouldn’t be easier and more productive than the situation we have.
There have been 50 homicides so far this year in Minneapolis, which is close to the amount that had accumulated by the summer of 1995 — the year the city was given the nickname “Murderapolis.” There were 97 total murders that year.
Unlike most Minnesota endeavors, I wouldn’t rule out Minneapolis “winning“ the title this time around. During the Murderapolis years, both of the Twin Cities mayors believed that law and order and public safety our primary jobs city government what is there to do. Not “privileges“.
I can’t say I was a huge fan of Sharon Sayles Belton, but she and the City Council she had actually knew what their priorities were supposed to be.
While Jacob Frey ran for office as a “law and order“ candidate (compared to the contenders in the field against whom he ran, at any rate), Minneapolis is weak mayor system and strong, and progressive to a fault, City Council make that more or less futile.