Monday, December 11, 2017

Last race of 2017

This past Saturday evening Julie, Chaos, and I completed our last race of 2017, Running Fit's "Holiday Hustle 5K" in Dexter MI.  It's a very fun race starting on the edge of downtown and running through nice residential neighborhoods, and Running Fit always puts on a beautifully organized and enjoyable event.  We did not run fast, but we ran, and the three of us crossed the finish line together.  It's the first race I've run since surgery, and felt great.  Now, on to 2018!




Friday, December 08, 2017

Additional thoughts on Jerusalem

Concerning Trump's announcement that the U.S. Embassy to Israel will be relocated to Jerusalem, a friend of mine writes me that "Time will tell whether this was a wise move, or not."

Indeed.  I think this will prove to have been a wise move.  In addition to what I've said in my previous post, there are two additional points I think important.  1) The Palestinians must recognize that intransigence does not pay off.  They must accept that Israel is permanent.  They must give up fictions like "occupation" and "return to pre-67 borders," and flights of fancy such as "right of return."  2) It's great that the United States is now taking a strong position with respect to the Palestinian Authority, instead of a weak, politically correct position.  Trump is badgering the PA -- threatening their office in NYC, threatening their American funding, and now accepting Jerusalem as Israel's capital.  Every time a proposed Middle East peace deal has collapsed, it was the PA who sabotaged it.  President Trump's pressure on the Palestinians is welcome.  Playing hardball with these hoodlums -- long overdue.  That's the only way progress can result.

Later this year, "we" at Unforeseen Contingencies will again make predictions for the coming year.  Our prediction for Israel and the Palestinians will among them.

Photo: U.S. and Israeli flags projected on walls of Jerusalem, city founded by the Hebrews.

Thursday, December 07, 2017

The Infamy of December 7th

On this day in 1941, the IJN attacked American bases at Pearl Harbor and elsewhere, as part of the imperialist expansion of Japan's totalitarian regime.  In doing so, they, along with the Germans and Italians, helped end what had been a trend towards the civilizing of warfare, when at least governments would declare war before waging it.

And on this day in 1683, the great political theorist Algernon Sidney was executed for having written Discourses on Government, one of the greatest libertarian works, which held that governments only exist to protect individual rights, and that individuals have the right to abolish them if they fail to do so.  It was the single most important work influencing the American Revolution.

It's a good day to remember Sidney's maxim: "This hand, enemy to tyrants, by the sword seeks peace with liberty."

Quick Notes

1. President Trump's reduction of the scale of monument designations is a good thing.  Monument designation doesn't protect natural land that was otherwise being destroyed, it simply blocks most uses of it, and is an Presidential power of doubtful Constitutional authority, at least when it's used to effectively control use of adjacent lands and promote ulterior personal and political agendas.

2. Recognizing Jerusalem as capital of Israel is a great idea, and long overdue.  The U.S. Congress already passed a law in 1995 calling for this, with numbers sufficent to override a veto.  No President implemented it until now, claiming an executive prerogative over foreign policy.  Trump is both exercising that prerogative and implementing the law.  Jerusalem was founded by the Hebrews 1600 years before Islam even existed.  It already is the seat of government for Israel.  Maps drawn by Palestinian Authority maps typically omit Tel Aviv, the alternative to Jerusalem, so what do these fools expect?  And Muslim Arabs frequently omit Israel itself, as do other idiots.  BBC ran a headline claiming that "The World condemns Trump" over this, which is nonsense.  Yes, a number of world leaders who are anti-American and anti-Israeli may be upset, but they aren't the world, plenty of us are pleased with the President's move.  Yes, many Muslims are mad, but this is because they're going to have to resign themselves to the fact that Israel is a permanent Middle East fixture, and the U.S. is no longer intimidated by their whining.  Exterminationist fantasies die hard, but die out they will.

3. In response to the Jerusalem announcement, Muslims in Gaza tried to kill Israeli civilians by firing rockets into Israel.  They failed.  Wow!  An illogical, stupid, evil, and failed response...that sums up so much of official Palestinian policy towards Israel.

4. Al Franken is resigning.  Good riddance to that malevolent, moralizing, socialist degenerate.  Today Dennis Prager doubted the wisdom of Minnesotans in electing Franken, but it should be noted that Franken's first margin of victory was a few hundred votes, fewer than the number of illegal immigrants who likely voted.  (And they are overwhelmingly Republican, right?  Heehee!)  (They aren't even Minnesotans!)


Friday, December 01, 2017

Is leftist thought a form of mental illness?

It appears to be.  On his "I Want a New Left" blog, philosophy professor John Pepple makes three points that strongly suggest today's leftists are simply insane.

First, quoting an anonymous blog commenter, he observes that much of the "narrative" the left promulgates today -- incessant claims of microaggressions and victimhood and outrage -- follows exactly the procedure of cognitive behavioral therapy (one of the few psychological treatments that actually seems to be effective).  Only instead of promoting the positive and the solving of problems, it promotes hostility, hatred, and failure.  It's cognitive behavioral anti-therapy in service of dysfunction.

Second, in discussing Elizabeth Warren's refusal to get a DNA test to prove her claim she's an Indian, Professor Pepple observes that Dems really seem to not even understand the positions of their political opponents, and gives several examples.  I think this is proof that modern leftism, at least this common sort, is intellectually and morally empty, and also a mere dogma or faith, a set of beliefs held without reason, and often in defiance of reason.  Pepple's post is particularly worth reading.

Finally, in a second post on Pocahontas Warren's "Indianness," Pepple notes that she appears to claim to be 1/32 Cherokee.  That makes one an Indian?  Well, of course.  In modern leftist thought, men can be women, women can be men, men and women can be one (or more) of 61 or so otherkins, or anything else he or she or it or [place pronoun of choice here] wants... but only if he or she etc. holds the right set of beliefs about Trump, free markets, gun control, Islam, and so on ad infinitum.  Otherwise, "he" is a white male oppressor -- like Ted Cruz, Clarence Thomas, Nikki Haley, Condoleeza Rice, Bobby Jindal, Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams, Carly Fiorina, and the rest of those old white males.

Yes, leftist thought is clearly a form of mental illness.  It's less clear it actually qualifies as thought.

New Year's Resolution...Completed!

Last december I posted four resolutions for 2017.  It's safe to say I will complete none of them this year.  I owe this, first of all, to the falling-apart of my hip and August surgery, which precluded three of the four goals. The fourth, completing my pipeline economics project, well, I failed that from a combination of unexpected work duties and plain laziness.

BUT there was another resolution I made, one which I did not share.  And today, I successfully completed it.  It was tough, a real challenge, a test of my strength and character.  There was much to overcome, but through dedication and perseverance I succeeded in achieving my goal.

As of today, December 1, I have eaten caviar in every month of 2017.  Photos leading up to the triumphal moment follow. (The actual consumption is too graphic for public display.)


Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Is there a "deep state?" The case of the CFPB

"Does America Have a Deep State?"  That's a cover headline from an article in Sept./Oct. Foreign Affairs, and the answer is "of course," although it's not really a deep state, just the what "the state" has become, a massive self-serving and self-sustaining, unaccountable federal bureaucracy.  The author seems to think this is just fine.

The current controversy over the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) is a perfect illustration.  This recent regulatory monstrosity, a creation of Dodd-Frank, tries to act as a law unto itself, i.e. outside of the constraints of the Constitution and American law.  The head of the bureau, Richard Cordray, an Obama appointee, stepped down, apparently to run for governor in Ohio.  He named another Democrat from the bureaucracy, Leandra English, to take over -- because, you know, the Constitution specifies that heads of bureaucratic agencies get to choose their own replacements, to ensure that executive branch bureaucracies become entrenched dynasties impervious to control by the chief executive, the President.  Well, actually the Constitution says no such thing, and the case is an example of the administrative state run amok.  Of course, it gets even better, i.e. worse.

President Trump immediately selected his own acting replacement, OMB head Mick Mulvaney -- a genuine budget-cutter who really is interested in shrinking the size and power of the state.  Good!  Unforeseen Contingencies unequivocally endorses this move... as a stopgap on the road to abolishing CFPB and repealing Dodd-Frank, of course.  The "it get worse part" is that Ms. English promptly sued -- I guess the theory is that bureaucrats have inalienable rights to their powers, and they may pass these on to their cronies and sycophants unchecked.  Happily, a federal court just ruled against Ms. English and Mr. Mulvaney stays. 

Cordray and English are, obviously, despicable scoundrels.  To add to the despicability factor, it appears that the shyster leading Ms. English's lawsuit, Deepak Gupta, used to work for CFPB and now is being financed by secret Democrat donors.  Tom Steyr?  George Soros?  John McCain?

Of course, Sen. Pocahontas Warren (D, MA) is upset.  ("Pocahontas?  Isn't that a racial slur?"  Pocahontas' descendant doesn't think so, and neither does this Navajo code-talker.  They seem to like Mr. Trump, too.  I'd have supposed that Social Justice Warriors would be more offended by Pocahontas Warren's cultural appropriation of American Indianness, since, umm, ... well, no I' suppose actually I wouldn't have supposed this.  SJWs are phonies.)

Conclusion: Drain that swamp, Mr. Mulvaney!

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Thanksgiving 2017

The American holiday, Thanksgiving, is a time to reflect and be grateful for all we have.  Simply to be alive is a gift, and to be alive in the 21st Century, a time with so much potential for advancing freedom, prosperity, and happiness, is a great thing.  President Trump gave a thoughtful Thanksgiving proclamation, well worth reading. One doesn't have to be American to reflect and celebrate.

I have a great deal for which to be thankful -- life, liberty, loved ones, opportunities, the beauty of the world that surrounds me.  I'll feature one example here.

Careful readers will have noted that I had hip surgery in August, 2 August to be exact, a full hip replacement needed because of degenerating cartilage in my left hip.  My surgeon, Karl Schultz, and his team did the same excellent work he'd done for me in 2008.  So too did Lisa M. and her team of physical therapists.  As a result, 87 days later, on October 28, I competed in the Bad Apple 12 Hour Ultramarathon at Klackle Orchards in Greenville, Michigan, and completed 36 miles in 11 hours and 30 minutes, my first ultra since surgery.

Bad Apple consists of 4 mile loops through apple orchards, pumpkin patches, woods, and fields.  It's extremely well-organized and a great deal of fun.  As I had not been running to speak of, I hiked most of it, running only the last two minutes as I approached the finish.  (Running felt great!)  I had no pain and no particular difficulty on the course, and could have done another lap (so long as 12 hours hasn't elapsed runners are allowed to start another lap) but 36 miles is 30 more than anything I'd done since May, so I happily stopped, having exceeded my expectations and not wanting to risk injury.  Canine companion Chaos did 16 miles with me, Julie did 20, and we all three received medals.  A good friend of ours, Loretta Tobolske-Horn, set the new women's course record at 68 miles.  She was a completely focused machine on the course, yet also seemed utterly relaxed mentally.  She was impressive to watch.

It's Thanksgiving, and today I am thankful for the dedication and ability of my surgeon and all the other MD's nurses, etc. who rebuilt and cared for me, for my PT's who trained me back into shape, and for my loves Julie and Chaos and my friends who encouraged me, and for the system and country that make these things possible, and for the universe and the grand architect of it all.

Happy Thanksgiving Day!

"Rotten Apple? Not me!"

Runners
Mats H., another crazy Swede (are all the hard core Swedish adventurers named Mats!?!)

Mats at aid station

Pumpkin Challenge (runner who carries in the biggest pumpkin wins a prize)

Loretta
"I'm trying, I'm trying!"

Finishing!

Julie and medal

Chaos regards her medal: "run for the adventure, not the awards"

"And for the post race recovery!"

Sunday, September 17, 2017

President Trump hits a hole in one!

Perfect shot placement!

I laughed like crazy at this, but at least as amusing is the absolute outrage of the mainstream media.  They have no problem with bad comediennes pretending to decapitate the president , not with calling him a Nazi and racist, nor with Bill Clinton's loser wife calling Mr. Trump a dictator and slandering those of us who voted for him, but the amusing gif of Trump whacking Hilliary with a golf shot?  Too much! I'll leave it to readers to find the animated gif. Here's the essence.



GREAT SHOT!  Put the next one on Rocket Man's fat forehead, Mr. President!

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