Simo Häyhä

I wrote this piece five years ago today.  I’m updating the dates, but leaving the rest pretty much as was. 

———-

It was 110 years ago today that Simo Häyhä was born?

“Simo Whøhä?”

Have a seat.

Simo Häyhä was a pretty typical Finnish farmer – the kind of guy you can find in any small town in rural Finland or, for that matter, the Iron Range. He was born and grew up in Rautjärvi, a spot on the map off the west edge of Lake Ladoga, two miles west of the current Russo-Finnish border. Like most Finns, he did his year of military service in the mid-twenties, and went back to his real life – farming in the summer, hunting moose in the winter. He was, outwardly, a pretty unpreposessing man – he stood only 5’3, which is especially diminuitive among the statuesque Finns.

He was 34 when the Soviets invaded Finland. Häyhä was recalled to service with the Finnish 12th Division. The division held the Kollaa front, north of Lake Ladoga, and was quickly beset by four Soviet divisions and a tank brigade.

Kollaa was the Somme of the Winter War. The Soviets would charge; they’d get through the Finnish lines; the Finns would cut them off and kill them, or drive them back. And so it went, back and forth, for three whole months – virtually the entire length of the war.

And one of the reasons was Häyhä.

Simo Häyhä

Armed with a Moissin/Nagant M/28 – a World War 1-vintage Russian rifle that the Finns had reworked into a much more accurate piece (the Finns, a former Russian province, had retained the Russian-caliber, mostlhy Russian-surplus, weapons after independence) – and wearing homemade white camouflage, on his own cross-country skis, Häyhä stalked the forest. Unlike most of history’s snipers, he used only his rifle’s iron sights – he thought scopes forced the sniper to raise their heads too high, dangerously raising their profile. He was thorough about concealment – when he had time to prepare a position, he would compact the snow in front of him to avoid raising a small blizzard with his muzzle blast. He’d also keep snow in his mouth while stalking, to pre-cool his exhalation, avoiding the big clouds of steam that normally accompany heavy exertion in the extreme cold. 

Did we mention the extreme cold? The average temperature during the Battle of the Kollaa varied from “freaking cold” to “how the hell do humans live in this” – from -4 to -40, Fahrenheit.In a three-month period – roughly 100 days – Häyhä had 505 confirmed kills. 542 if you count some unconfirmed ones. Some Finnish sources say it was closer to 800.

And he wasn’t just a sniper; when the situation called for the Finns to close with with the Soviets, Häyhä would ski into hand-to-hand range with the rest of the troops for the close assault; he was credited with another 200 kills at point-blank range with his Suomi Model 31 submachine gun.

The Soviets called him “The White Death”. They tried everything to get him; countersnipers (they didn’t last long), concentrated volleys of anti-tank rifle fire (gunnies will know what they are; to a non-gunny, think “really big rifle desigined to penetrate a quarter inch of armor”), and finally rolling artillery barrages.

A week before the war’s end, on March 6 1940, a lucky shot from a Soviet infantryman caught Häyhä in the jaw, wrecking it and blowing of his left cheek. His comrades dragged him to the rear, where he began several years of recuperation. He got one of the very few battlefield promotions ever issued in the Finnish army, from Corporal to Second Lieutenant, in honor of his achievements.

The Soviets suffered 8,000 dead in three months in Kollaa; Häyhä alone accounted for nearly 10% of the total (and at least one of Finland’s other great snipers,Sulo Kolkka, claimed another 400 at the Kollaa; the two men between them accounted for over 12% of the entire death toll). On the list of the world’s greatest snipers, he’s not only the top of the list by a considerable margin, but he did it all in 100 days flat.

Even John Woo or Quentin Tarantino couldn’t make him a bigger badass.

But Simo Häyhä was no movie action hero; he was a typical workadaddy hugamommy Finnish backwoodsman. He survived the war, and lived until 2002 in rural Finland, hunting moose and breeding dogs. He was bit of a national treasure in Finland.

Häyha, signing autographs not long before his death.

Asked in the nineties what made him so successful as a sniper, he responded in Finnish “Pyytlikkonyykkeyynnkyypelaapetoonen“; “Practice”. [1]

What can we take away from Häyhä’s story? That a little guy with a rifle can make a disproportionate difference. He stymied Stalin, just like a lot of American little guys with rifles (but whose preferred weapon is the ballot and the picket sign and the checkbook), outnumbered and outgunned and outspent, rhetorically stymie Nancy Pelosi and Richard Daley and the Democrats today. [2]

The damage to Häyhä’s jaw affected him the rest of his life. But he was a hero in Finland for nearly 70 years.

And so Simo Häyhä is every bit as much a hero for Real Americans for what he represents as he is for Finns for what he did.

Happy posthumous birthday, Simo Häyhä!

[1]What? You think I speak Finnish? Of course I made that up. But I bet I’m not far off.

[2] Comment-bait? Sure. It’s my blog, and I’ll provoke if I want to.

No Juthtith, No Peathe

(SCENE:  Mitch BERG is sitting in the waiting room at the dentist’s office, waiting on a checkup. Avery LIBRELLE enters the room, holding a throbbing tooth.  BERG tries to hunch down behind his magazine – but LIBRELLE notices him).

LIBRELLE:  Hey, Merg!  (Speaks with difficulty through pain) Thereth  an epidemic of rape on American univerthity camputheth.

BERG:  Wow.  Your mouth sounds painful. 

LIBRELLE: You’re dodthing the queththion!

BERG:  Well, no, I…OK, so how do we know about this “epidemic”?

LIBRELLE:  Becauthe American univerthitieth thay tho. 

BERG:  (Wincing in pain as LIBRELLE thpeakth) So in other words, university administrations, carrying out their own home-grown investigations, driven by a feminist lobby that actively disparages the idea of due process for those accused of rape, and with a vested interest in resolving all ambiguous cases – say, cases where everyone involved was blind drunk and there were no witnesses, or even the occasional malicious accusation – as rape, say there’s an epidemic. 

LIBRELLE: Yeth.

BERG: So you think data coming from university administrations – who act in these cases primarily as political rather than criminal-justice bodies – are the appropriate people to investigate allegations of felonious assaults which our society justifiably regards as second only to murder in moral gravity?

LIBRELLE: Of courthe.  Who elthe knowth more about thtudentth than the univerthity thythtem?

BERG:  OK.  So in the same vein – who knows more about priests than their various dioceses, arch-dioceses and the Vatican?  When priests were being accused of sexually abusing children, by your logic, the church was right to try to deal with it by itself.

LIBRELLE:  OF courthe not. 

BERG:  How so?

LIBRELLE:  Of courthe not. 

BERG: No, I mean why do you think not?

LIBRELLE:  And I anthwered you.  Of courthe not. 

BERG:  That’s no answer.

LIBRELLE:  Yeth it wath.

(ASSISTANT calls BERG’s appointment; LIBRELLE attempts to get up and leave the room ahead of BERG)

BERG:  Um, hello?

LIBRELLE:  Get an exthternal invethtigation, thucker.

(And SCENE)

Small Win

A Long Island woman, jailed for being a Tea Partier, wins big bucks in her lawsuit:

Southhampton cops searched her and found a legally owned rifle that she was transporting from a nearby rifle range. She contends a deputy sheriff arrived on the scene later and said to her, “I bet you are one of those Tea Party people.” When Genovese said she’s gone to Tea Party rallies, he allegedly said, “You’re a real right-winger, aren’t you?” and “You are a ‘Teabagger’” and then added that she’d be arrested for terrorism to make an example of other “right wingers.”
“Ms. Genovese was subjected to a level of abuse because [authorities] did not share the same political views as she did and saw this as an excuse to deny her even the most basic civil rights,” her lawyer Frederick Brewington said.​​

Winning money is nice – but that’s one thing government officials are never short of, time whining notwithstanding.

Far better that the sheriff deputy spend four days in jail himself; who qualified immunity” is supposed to cover police officers carry out duties they can reasonably be expected to perform; political persecution is not what we hire them for.

Consult This

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

A consultant got $100,000 grant to give St. Paul advice on snow-plowing. It boils down to “start plowing more quickly and keep plowing till you’re done.”

I could have told them that for $90,000 and change. But it’s a step in the right direction.

Joe Doakes

Government consultants are the new robber barons.

For Your Own Good

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

There is no limit to the power over others is contained in the phrase “for your own good.”

Gallons per flush and curly light bulbs, school lunches and eliminating kickball, unlimited immigration and minimum wage increases, bank bailouts and crop subsidies, gun bans, up-armored police and down-graded health insurance plans.

It’s the reason we had to destroy the village to save it: it was for their own good.

That’s going to become one of my new litmus tests. When someone proposes society require people to do something the people won’t voluntarily do for themselves, I’m going to ask why. If the answer is “it’s for their own good,” then regardless of the merits of the proposal, I’m against it.

Joe Doakes

A significant part of our society mixes up “government” and “parents”.

Overinformed

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Government over-reach.

FDA to require calorie information, even on popcorn at theaters. The theory is giving people more information will enable them to make wise decisions.

Is there a person alive in America who doesn’t already KNOW that theater popcorn is terrible for them?

Is there a person alive in American who would look at the label on theater popcorn and say “Oh, Hell no; I’ll munch some broccoli instead”?

Talk about your food deserts – places where no healthy food is available – the movie theater is second only to the State Fair. And nobody goes there to eat healthy, either.

Joe Doakes

A third Obama term would no doubt involve Michelle Obama tackling theater fare. An FDR like fourth term? State fair grub.

Pre-Emptive

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Chuck Hagel was fired as Defense Secretary. The story is he was an outsider, couldn’t get past the inner circle of Obama advisers. And who are those people?

Valerie Jarrett, of course. And Denis McDonough. He’s from Stillwater, went to St. John’s University, and now runs the country.

The White House official, speaking on condition of anonymity in order to speak before the president’s announcement, said McDonough has played a key role in all of Obama’s major national security decisions in recent years, including the end of the war in Iraq, winding down the war in Afghanistan, responses to natural disasters in Haiti and Japan and repeal of the military’s ban on openly gay service members.

Minnesotans should not wait until he’s purged, we should start distancing ourselves from him now. Preemptive repudiation.

Joe Doakes

That would not be Minnesota nice, naturally…

Rumors Of Fear

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

As recently as last Spring, European nations were content to leave their gold in US banks backed by the US government. They trusted our traditional institutions to protect their property.

Not anymore.

So I gotta wonder – what has changed in the last few months that makes European nations fear United States banks and government are not trustworthy?

Joe Doakes

we’re getting a lot of rhetorical questions, lately, Joe…

Good, of course – but rhetorical.

MPR: Pounding That Wedge For All It’s Worth

For the record, I’m a fan of MPR’s Bob Collins – if for no other reason than few people write about aviation issues as well as he does (and there are other reasons).

Which is not to say that I agree with him all the time.  We’ve had our disagreements

The Minority Case:  And this Collins blog post is one of them; it quotes a story from Tim Pugmire about an incoming state representative John Heintzeman of Nisswa, who scored a big upset win earlier this month.   Pugmire quoted Heintzeman as saying:

“People of faith need to be able to know that they can practice their faith in the way, in the tradition that their family has over many, many years, without being afraid of somehow violating the law,”

 Collins follows:

“Rural values” and “traditional values” are fairly vague terms, which are often left to the rest of us — city slickers — to figure out what they define exactly. They often are intertwined with religion or “faith,” as Heintzeman said.

 And that usually leads to the obvious question: whose religion and whose faith?

For the benefit of the audience that Collins is writing to – the Volvo-with-a-reproduction-”Wellstone”-sticker driving, free-range-alpaca wearing, straight-ticket-DFL-voting Macalester alumni set that is the “must win” demographic for MPR, I’ll explain it.

It’s about Islam. 

It’s so the young Somali woman working at the Midway WalMart need not worry about feeling racist, faith-ist repercussions when she politely asks an infidel like yours truly to please move the pork chops across the scanner, since her observance of her faith doesn’t allow her to handle them. 

Oh, it probably also covers cases like the photographers and bakers and florists who, for religious reasons not a lot different than the young Somali, tried to beg off participating in gay weddings, even trying in some cases to refer the “customers” to gay-wedding-friendly competition, leading to test cases (since that was what the “customers” were looking for in the first place).   And, yes, sometimes those concerns aren’t purely individual in scope.

It could even – hard as this may be to believe – cover religious freedom for people whose beliefs are more in line with the MPR audiences’

Really, it’s about protecting the minority from the majority – which is supposed to be what a representative republic (as opposed to a democracy) does. 

In other words – everyone’s religion and faith.  Or even their complete lack of either. 

Rights are rights. 

Oh, there’s more to it than that.  There’s a wedge to be pounded:

Pick Your Herbicide:  Perhaps you’ve heard the story; a GOP district chair in Big Stone County, whose day job is was working at a Hardware Hank, did a no-no; he said really stupid things about Muslims.  Of course, this is red vegan meat for the DFL establishment – at least in part because it’s more fun for them than some other stories that wecouldbe talking about. 

Collins finds a greater significance in it, though (emphasis added):

In Big Stone County, the chairman of the Republican Party is defining those values, at least for his neck of the woods.

Jack Whitley posted this yesterday on his Facebook page.

Let’s make this clear: a guy who was elected chairman of the GOP in the fifth-smallest county in Minnesota, a county with fewer registered voters than MPR has assistant producers, is “defining” “rural values”?

Would that be in the same way that Paris Hilton or Plukey Duke “define” “urban values?”

No?

Naturally, everyone from Ken Martin to CAIR jumped on the statement… 

“It’s very disturbing to see a Republican Party leader engage in outright bigotry and hate,” the Council for American-Islamic Relations said in a statement calling on Republicans to disavow Whitley’s values. “Without a clear rejection of these inaccurate and intolerant remarks, the party’s silence will appear to be agreement.”…

 …““How such a violently bigoted person can hold a position of leadership in the Minnesota Republican Party is confounding and absolutely unacceptable,” DFL Chair Ken Martin said in a statement which called on Downey to demand Whitley quit his party position.

…using it to impugn all Republicans and, as Collins seems to be flirting with, the whole idea of “rural” values themselves.

Naturally (as Collins notes), MNGOP chair Keith Downey did condemn the statements.  Some of Ken Martin’s oompa-loompas have wondered publicly and in the media why Downey doesn’t just fire Mr. Whitley; perhaps that’d work in the DFL, but chairs of GOP house, senate or county districts are elected by their members, and need to be removed by them (as readers of this blog have learned over the years).

But this isn’t about inside-the-GOP party mechanics:

Too-Free Association:  In 2008, Barack Obama referred to Americans with “rural” values as bitter, gun-clinging Jeebus freaks.   The Obama coalition relied on creating a big, sharp, thick wedge between “mainstream” America – in the stereotypes, the part that is white and mainstream-Christian and straight and usually male – and anyone else. 

And the Minnesota DFL is no better; Minnesota’s political map is the results of decades of wedging city vs. suburbs, metro vs. outstate, white vs. black, and in the case of MPR, us vs. them.

And there sure could be more wedges:  if the Minnesota media ever held the DFL to account for, say, Keith Ellison (who openly supports Hamas, whose charter calls for the extermination of Jews), or Phyllis Kahn (who bent party rules, and party dogma about election fraud, to the breaking point in keeping a Muslim insurgency from ousting her at her district convention) I’m sure that could create some wedges, too. 

But nobody wants those wedges, apparently.

I Am Just A Caveman:  I’m still trying to figure out what Mr. Heintzeman’s statement – about protecting freedom of religious conscience from majority coercion, which is a right most people support unless it transgresses Big Gay – has to do with Mr. Whitley’s outburst. 

And I imagine I will be for some time.

Proportional

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Saint Paul has basketball courts, outdoor refrigerated ice rinks, softball fields and golf courses, all of which cost millions to build and lose money every year.

I’m not aware that Saint Paul similarly subsidizes facilities for bagpiping, curling, flying boomerangs and model airplanes, swordplay or shooting.

Discrimination. No Peace, No Justice. Nothing will change until we force the public to wake up and take notice.

I’m off to set fire to a few cars in Black neighborhoods.

Joe Doakes

Be the change, Joe.

Be the change.

Live From Ferguson

According to Don Lemon on CNN, his sources say that officer Darren Wilson will not be indicted.

I’m watching CNN tonight for the first time since probably 9/11 and the invasion of Afghanistan.

I know – I feel dirty too.

UPDATE: Van Jones expresses an easement the Tea Party opposes police brutality.

Nope. No bias there.

UPDATE: Is anybody but me betting that the media is hitting its knees and praying for a major riot?

UPDATE : and here comes the press conference…

UPDATE: Dist. Atty. takes a not remotely muted whack at the mainstream media. Good.

UPDATE: “No probable cause exists to indict Officer Wilson”.

UPDATE: As the grand jury report continues, CNN is showing footage of demagogues… well, demagogue in.

UPDATE: Observation of the crowd as presented on CNN: lots of black people with visible faces; lots of twentysomething white people with bandannas over their faces.

It looks like some stuff is being thrown around – and some people are running hither and Jan. Hard to tell if anything is actually breaking out yet.

UPDATE: Shrill media woman asking the district attorney if the police will in the future be required to shoot for hands and legs, went under attack – or not shoot on armed suspects.

Somebody’s been watching too many movies.

UPDATE: Reporter who looks like he was from the Pacific Network asks: why are there no laws protecting the likes of Michael Wilson?”

UPDATE: Oh joy. The oresident is next.

UPDATE: CNN talking head – I think it’s Jeffrey Toobin, but I can’t tell for sure, knows what really matters whether; defending the media against the district attorney’s complaints about their wretched performance in this whole case.

UPDATE: Mark Garragos is a disgrace to the legal profession, and to America.

UPDATE: reports of gunfire. Good news – the reports are coming from the mainstream media, so they’re probably BS.

But it did take CNN precisely 10 seconds to put it a screaming “Gunshots Heard in Ferguson” banner.

UPDATE: President Obama opens with “this nation is built on the rule of law”. I couldn’t help but laugh.

UPDATE: at first blush, Obama’s speech is not a bad one. It’s not exactly soaring rhetoric, and that’s probably okay.

Related news – wow, that’s a lot of teargas.

UPDATE: oh, goody – cars burning, teargas in the air.

UPDATE: a very winded sounding Jake Tapper is reporting bricks being thrown, looting, cars overturned.

UPDATE: reporters are getting to your guest. So at least there’s some good news.

UPDATE: Van Jones assures us of the vast majority of the crowd is peaceful – but there is apparently quite a bit of teargas. And that’s where the media are, naturally.

UPDATE: Don Lemon apparently needed to pay attention during gas mask training. He tried to don his mask, but was overcome.

UPDATE: I don’t know what makes for worse television – Don Lemon gagging on tear gas, or Don Lemon psychoanalyzing the crowd.

UPDATE: i’m not going to say that there’s no justification for black anger with a white police department – but if I hear Don lemon rationalize the crowds violence anymore, I’m a grab a teargas lunch for myself.

UPDATE: cNN’s Chris Cuomo needs to shut up and put a gas mask on.

UPDATE: Jake Tapper is on the scene of extended vandalism and looting.

UPDATE: Cuomo is reporting handgun fire in response to teargas launchers.

UPDATE: producing live spot news broadcast is difficult. Never let anyone tell you otherwise. But I get the impression that the wheels are coming off cNN’s production the moment.

UPDATE: numerous reports of protesters firing handguns at the police. This is incredibly ominous – in the entire history of American protest, that has been extremely, extremely rare, especially in a nation that is as relatively heavily armed as the United States is.

ProtectMN: An Unreliable Source

I’ve been saying it for years.  It hardly bears saying again.

Heather Martens of “ProtectMN” – the gun-grabber group that used to be “Citizens for a Safer Supine Minnesota” – has never, not once, made a true, factual substantial statement about the Second Amendment or guns in America (barring the odd number or bit of trivia). 

Not one.  Ever. 

We’ve been documenting this fact for about a decade now.  The lies come in ones and twos, and sometimes in gale-force flurries.  She lies about criminals and about how criminals operate in the face of determined resistance; she lies about the law-abiding (no, lots, and lots more, sometimes reverting to puerile slander); she lies about her political opponents, and about elections, and, lately, about the results her “group” has on the public discourse.

She’s exploited race, she’s exploited crime victims,

And yet everytime a firearms issue crosses the public threshold – as they have been, this past two DFL-clogged sessions – the media beats a path to her door.  And not just the media that are paid for by the same people that pay Martens’ bills, or the little daisy-chain of lefty alt-media that paint Martens’ toenails when they get the chance.  No, even the mainstream media, the reporters who may or may not know anything about firearms but may try to do a fair job, whose editors want to see two sides to a story and don’t know an anti-gunner in Minnesota other than Martens (or the even less credible Jane Kay or Joan Peterson).

Still, that was then.  This is now. 

So as we head toward another session, I thought I’d reiterate my thesis:

Heather Martens has never
made a single true, substantial factual assertion

on firearms or the Second Amendment

I thought I’d demonstrate that ineluctable fact by taking a stroll through the ProtectMN website, as of today (11/19/14). 

The only real recent output from Martens is her post-election wrapup piece; the title alone, “Gun Sense Takes Big Wins in 2014 Midterm Elections”, is one for the ages. 

Yep, Heather – it was just a spectacular election day for the gun-grabbers:

In Minnesota, gun violence prevention champions Gov. Mark Dayton and Sen. Al Franken won re-election over NRA-endorsed opponents. “This election shows that campaigning on gun violence prevention is good politics in Minnesota,” said Heather Martens, Protect Minnesota’s executive director.

Dayton spoke a lot more about his support for hunting, and about the “two .357 Magnums” he supposedly keeps at home, than about background checks in both of his elections. 

 In Washington State, voters approved a ballot initiative to require background checks for gun sales, despite the NRA’s efforts to defeat it.

Martens is right about this, as far as she goes.  Of course, this issue may well turn out to be in Washington (at least the rural half of the state) what it was in Colorado.  Stay tuned. 

 In other races around the country, gun violence prevention champions won Senate seats in New Hampshire, Maine, Illinois, and Michigan.

In other words, some Democrat Senators held some safe Democrat seats where guns are not an issue. 

 In Pennsylvania, NRA-endorsed Tom Corbett was unseated by gun violence prevention champion Tom Wolf.

True – but guns were not on the top ten list of reasons that office flipped. 

The loss of Sen. Mark Pryor in Arkansas shows that trying to win the friendship of the NRA by voting against sensible gun laws is a bad idea. Pryor voted against the Manchin-Toomey background check amendment. According to Everytown for Gun Safety, the NRA spent $2.9 million this election to defeat him anyway.

So – replacing a Senator that got a C- (earned in part via the vote on the idiotic Manchin-Toomey) with A-rated Tom Cotton was a “victory for ‘Gun Sense’”, then?

Huh.

Rep. Dan Schoen, DFL-St. Paul Park, sailed to victory despite being targeted as “anti-gun” by the Minnesota gun extremist PAC.

News flash:  Democrat wins easy victory in Democrat district. 

Schoen authored legislation in 2014 to get guns away from domestic abuser, a bill that won overwhelming bi-partisan support.

Huh.  And did Heather Martens mention that Schoen’s bill got “overwhelming bi-partisan support” after, and because, he worked with the Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance to turn it into a law that would help victims rather than merely punish gun owners without due process? 

No?

In the 8th Congressional district, Rep. Rick Nolan won re-election over Mills Fleet Farm scion Stewart Mills. A major campaign issue was Nolan’s support for background checks on gun sales. “Rep. Nolan proudly supports common-sense gun violence prevention. His opponent represented the interests of the gun industry,” Martens said.

I don’t live in the 8th, but while I did see lots of photos of Nolan posing with shooters, including a few strategically placed “assault rifle” owners, I don’t recall any talk (outside of safe DFL havens) about “background checks”. 

Perhaps this needs to be made more public for 2016? 

“This is in line with the nationwide success gun sense candidates had in this election.”

“Nationwide success” like anti-gun Democrats losing the Senate, falling further behind in the House, watching their leads among minorities whittled away to the lowest level in a decade, falling to under 40% of state legislative chambers, seeing their gains in Colorado erased largely due to Second Amendment issues,   (after a series of humiliating recall losses driven entirely by gun owners), losing the Minnesota House of Representatives, with Second Amendment issues being a significant reason for those losses nationally and in Minnesota, including having some of the more prominent anti-gun DFLers – Shannon Savick, Jay Sieling – erased and humiliated at the polls?

Keep the “big wins” coming, Heather!

Media people, all  you Tom Schecks and Bill Salisburys and Pat Kesslers; when you have a source whose veracity burns you 100% of the time, why do you keep using it?

Open Letter To African American Families

To: African-American families
From: Mitch Berg, public-school refugee
Re: War

All,

The Obama Administration talks a lot about “wars”; about a “war on women”, finding a “war against discrimination”, Michelle Obama’s “war on obesity”, continuing the “war on poverty”, and so on. In fact, just about the only thing the administration doesn’t call “war” is the part where they drop bombs on people who are shooting at us, or people that we are friendly with (at the moment).

But let’s be honest – the only war the administration is waging with any gusto is the war against you and your families.

That is all.

Solved!

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

East Coast town wants to ban all tobacco products, for the children
. Citizens object – today tobacco, tomorrow what next?
If St. Paul banned tobacco sales, it would cut into tobacco tax revenues which the State needs to pay for various stadia projects.
Would the DFL object? “You must allow your poorest citizens to buy products we know will kill them, so we can pay for the Billion-dollar playground where Million-dollar superstars on drugs play games to sell advertising for beer companies. We demand it. For the Wilfs.”
Probably not in so many words.
Joe Doakes

Not only is politics the least effective way to allocate resources – at times, it’s the most morally repugnant as well.

The Suspense Was Killing Us

Joe Doakes from Como Park emailed:

The President is preparing an Executive Order to open the Mexican border.

Border Patrol upper management just recalled half the M-4 carbines used by Border Patrol officers, for “refurbishment.”

M-4′s aren’t unique – couldn’t they borrow some from the Army? Why are Border Patrol agents being disarmed just as the borders are being flung open?

Wait, maybe I just answered my own question.

Joe Doakes

it’s never a hard guess…

Veterans Day

I never quite know what to say to veterans.

Hear me out, here.

Saying “thank you for your service” seems trite – almost mawkish.   Someone who never served saying “Thanks for going overseas and getting shot at!”?

See what I mean?

In the meantime, what I want to say is “glad you made it home”.  But I can see that being taken the wrong way.

http://www.rare-posters.com/5475.jpg

So I’ll wing it.

Veterans:  thanks for spending the best years of your lives in barracks, troops ships, foxholes, berthing spaces, CVC helmets, cockpits and gun mounts, doing things most of us can’t imagine, to protect the freedoms too many Americans take very much for granted.

It doesn’t roll off the tongue, but it doesn’t have to.

Separate But Equal

For starters, I think schools today resort to suspension way too quickly; sometimes it seems it’s the only sort of consequence schools offer anymore. There seem to be either no meaningful consequences to an action – or a three day vacation. And don’t kid yourself – that’s what suspension is, to any kid who’s actually getting suspended.

To the extent that black and Hispanic kids were getting suspended more? That’s at least partly the sign of a lazy administration.

But the news that the Minneapolis public schools have officially adopted a “separate but equal” system, where most students can be suspended without further ado, but black and Hispanic students require further review, makes me wonder if these people have ever heard of the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment.

Darned If You Do, Darned If You Don’t

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Obama is sending more troops to Iraq. Ordinarily, I’d use a colorful expression to explain why that’s a dumb idea. Not this time.

If I said “not our circus, not our monkeys,” then Liberals would gibber that I’m comparing Africans to Apes, proving I’m racissss.

And if I said “we don’t have a dog in that fight,” Liberals would howl that dogs are offensive to Muslims, proving I’m an intolerant religious bigot.

If I said “There is no Constitutional authority to deploy US troops to a foreign land without a Congressional declaration of war,” Liberals would solemnly opine that disputing The First Black Constitutional Scholar proves my utter ignorance of law and history.

So I’ll just say “it’s a dumb idea” and let it go at that.

Joe Doakes

If progressivism built the economy like it builds rhetorical gotchas, this country would be humming along right now.

Fruitcake. Literal. Not Government.

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

I need advice from SITD readers.

For nearly 20 years, I’ve ordered brandy-soaked Monastery Fruitcake from the Cistercian Monks at Holy Cross Abbey in Virginia. My mother served it to her old lady friends and their verdict was “It’s very good for store-bought,” which, coming from those people, is the second-highest possible rating behind “as good as my Mother used to make.”

The monks aren’t selling fruitcake this year. They’ve suspended fruitcake production for 2014 to embark on a spiritual renewal to deepen their commitment to monastic life. Arrrgh! Okay, yes, monks, spiritual, I get it. But where will I get my fruitcake???!!!

Recommendations?

Joe Doakes

They can’t possibly be the only fruitcake making monks in America, can they?