Military Survival Tips with Mat Best



This guy just learned something for sure.

(Full video is here.)

Foundations

"A lot of smoke, and no fire," she says.

I feel some heat coming off of these.

Story one:
... the American people, their representatives, and law enforcement were never supposed to see these Clinton documents. She blatantly broke the law to destroy them, instead of handing them over to the State Department. “Clinton’s lawyers deleted these emails without turning them over to the State Department, though it turns out that they are clearly public records that explain just how a momentous decision was made on a major arms deal. In spite of that, the FBI recommended no prosecution[.]"
Story two:
"I have never seen a diplomatic cable that had as stark a description of one energy company trying to cheat."
— Fred Fleitz, Center for Security Policy
...While the CFIUS deliberations were taking place, people who stood to profit from the Uranium One sale donated more than $2.6 million to the Clinton Foundation.

Also, Renaissance Capital, an investment bank with connections to the Russian government, paid former President Bill Clinton $500,000 to deliver a speech -- more than his usual fee.

Even before the sale was under consideration, the Clinton Foundation received $31.3 million in donations from one person, Frank Giustra, who stood to benefit from the sale....

"I think it is a smoking gun," Gray said. "By not acting, she helped. And the only way she could have avoided criminal liability was to recuse herself, which she did not. I think it is a clear violation of ethics statutes."
Story three:
From 2009 through 2013, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had refused to designate Boko Haram as an official Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) in spite of intense bipartisan pressure to do so. Why? Both Citizens United and Senator David Vitter have sought FOIA releases of documents explaining State’s thought process at this time. However, there is a major Clinton Foundation donor who had a clear interest: a Nigerian oilfield billionaire named Gilbert Chagoury.

Gilbert Chagoury has substantial oil exploration interests in Nigeria. He also pledged $1 billion to the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) in 2009, the same year Hilary Clinton took office as Secretary of State. Gilbert Chagoury is part of a small Nigerian clique that includes President Muhamadu Buhari. He was interested in seeing Buhari elected, and is reportedly the one who pushed for Axelrod’s firm to be brought in.

It would have been in the business interests of Chagoury, and Buhari to keep former president Goodluck Jonathan from initiating oil ventures in northern Nigeria until Buhari was able to secure the presidency. That would make sure that the contracts got into the right hands.
UPDATE: Pretty hot over here, too.

As This Election Season Demonstrates ...


T&P: Alternative Marine Raider Insignia

They have some suggestions. You can read about one of the things they reference here.

Honesty in Training

Apparently honesty is not always thought to be the best policy after all.

Story one: Army pulls training slide listing Clinton as insider threat.

Story two: Stanford pulls training on sexual harassment and alcohol that is a bit too straightforward about reality for comfort.

In both cases, I think these materials are among the best I've ever seen in their genres, both of which are irritating but necessary aspects of contemporary life. Read the archived drinking page for yourself. It doesn't just treat the dangers of rape (which is what caused the objection), but that women risk organ damage at lower levels and shorter periods of heavy drinking. If the intent of the training is to help young women learn how to manage the risks that alcohol poses to them, both socially and as a chemical, this is a fantastic page.

Likewise, the OPSEC slide put its finger on a serious issue that is hard to talk about: that those who outrank you, both in the chain of command and also as civilian appointees or elected officials, may themselves be the risk. You can't let someone's higher rank cause you to turn a blind eye to bad practices. It's just because the State Department lacked such a culture that some of America's most sensitive secrets were exposed by Hillary Clinton to our national enemies. If the intent of OPSEC training is actually operational security, that was a great slide.

We'll have to do with weaker sauce that leaves these risks unaddressed, I suppose.

"A Nation For Sale Under Hillary Clinton"

Well, not the whole nation, thank you. A few of us are not to be bought.

On the other hand, as Auda Abu Tai said, why should they wish to buy a man like me? What good am I to them?

Kurt Schlichter: Prophet

Well, novelist, really. It just feels prophetic, sometimes.

The Inauguration Speech America’s Corrupt and Incompetent Ruling Class Will Make A Reality

...

For too long, the elites looked down on us even as they stole our labor and our heritage to enrich themselves. For too long, they hid behind laws that apply only to us and not to them, behind a media that lied to us to protect them, behind an economic system that stole from us to protect them. That ends today!

Enemies of the people and their lapdogs in the media, it is time for you to be held accountable!

They speak of the Constitution, but your will is my constitution! Your needs are my Bill of Rights! Under my rule, your voice will be America’s voice!

...

I highly recommend his "future history" novel, Conservative Insurgency. Told from the perspective of a history Ph.D. candidate working on his dissertation in the 2040s, it tells the story of how constitutional conservatives created a successful cultural insurgency and re-established themselves as the dominant political, social, and cultural force in the nation.

The book is intended as a road guide for conservatives today who are hoping to do that very thing.

Given our discussions of the possibilities of a new civil war, the book deserves a read as a way change might be effected without significant violence. If anyone has or does read it, let's discuss it. I'd be interested to know what you think.

Say What Now?

More scientific studies prove that national parks and natural areas are racist, deny equal access.... Among the changes encouraged by the Centennial Initiative is a redesign of all national parks to remove intimidating imagery, such as the vehicles driven by and uniforms worn by park rangers, both of which “have law enforcement connotations” and therefore “present a significant impediment to engaging all Americans.”
First of all, park rangers often actually are law enforcement officers, so removing that 'connotation' would be confusing. They're there to help you, but they're also there to make sure you obey the parks rules -- many of which are actually Federal laws.

Second, speaking as someone who has spent a lot of time in National Parks around the country -- if you get more than 50 feet from the road, you'll never see rangers anyway. If you don't like cops, hike a little. It'll improve your health, and I can promise you that I have never seen a park ranger on any backcountry trail in any state or National park ever.

Park rangers have to be the least intimidating police in the country. Almost all they do is fill out forms and sell you access to campsites and such. There's an outside chance one might be around if you needed help, but it's not like they're going to be breathing down your neck while you tramp over Clingman's Dome or scale the Tetons in spite of clear warning signs telling you not to do that. Hypothetically, that last one.

Feeling quizzy

Which GWOT Are You?

Now You're Talking

Headline: "Trump: Special prosecutor must investigate Clinton 'immediately.'"

Immediately isn't soon enough, really.

Things For Which I Am Grateful

After more than a week of receiving visitors while staying with my mother, I am deeply grateful to be back at my home. The one with a locking gate at the road, another at the top of the pasture, and a sign by the road gate that reads:

POSTED
NO TRESPASSING
KEEP OUT

"Good Friend of Ours"

Included among the Abedin-Band emails is an exchange revealing that when Crown Prince Salman of Bahrain requested a meeting with Secretary of State Clinton, he was forced to go through the Clinton Foundation for an appointment. Abedin advised Band that when she went through “normal channels” at State, Clinton declined to meet. After Band intervened, however, the meeting was set up within forty-eight hours. According to the Clinton Foundation website... had contributed $32 million to CGI.... reportedly gave between $50,000 and $100,000 to the Clinton Foundation....gave an additional $25,000 to $50,000.
The real issue isn't that this is how Secretary Clinton conducted state business. It's that this is how President Clinton will conduct state business. The Federal government of the United States will no longer be for the People, but for her "good friends," that is, the ones who are at the top of the bribery scale.

This Sounds Like A Solid Briefing


These briefings are always interminable and painful, especially since you've already sat through goodness knows how many of them. This one raises what is really an excellent point that I don't think I've ever heard covered before. Good for the briefer for finding a way to make the briefing not only more amusing (and therefore more interesting), but to raise a new and real concern.

H/t: US Army W.T.F! Moments. They're a lot like the old milblogs used to be.

UPDATE: For the record, I heard not one but two pre-deployment briefings on the laws of war that cited Allen B. West as a bad example, and while he was a sitting Congressman. Clinton doesn't deserve more deference.

Top Clinton Adviser Spent Years Editing Radical Islamic Journal

I think the story about how this journal published a point-by-point takedown of her famous Beijing speech is hilarious.

But I think my favorite part of the story comes at the end, when Clinton is Secretary of State:
[I]n 2010, Huma Abedin arranged for then-Secretary of State Clinton to speak alongside Abedin’s hijab-wearing mother at an all-girls college in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. According to a transcript of the speech, Clinton said Americans have to do a better job of getting past “the stereotypes and the mischaracterizations” of the oppressed Saudi woman. She also assured the audience of burqa-clad girls that not all American girls go “around in a bikini bathing suit.”
If we had a real press, somebody would be running with a headline built around Hillary Clinton's opposition to bikinis.

Those Who Dare

Headline: "Despite threat from ISIS, 100 children receive First Communion in Iraq."

Their plight will not likely be a happy one, even if ISIS's most prominent enemies win. Life in a state ruled by intensely-ideological and Iran-backed Shi'a militias will be tough, even if it is better than what the Islamic State would have given them.

Eulogy

Here's a post from 2004 that is newly relevant.

Cowboys

Should there be a National Cowboy Day?

Times change. The cowboy doesn't. While our culture might sell out; the cowboy stays true to his values (and his horse). Rock stars, rap stars, movie stars come and go--loudly. The cowboy remains--quietly. When our children watch the Twin Towers crumble on CNN, they worry for our security, our future, our very foundation. The cowboy represents that foundation, that self-reliance, survival instinct, and integrity. We know that he'll ride out of that dusty ruin and survive, and with the grace of God he'll get the cattle to Amarillo. There's a little bit of him in every American. That's why we need him.

John Fusco, Screenwriter; Hidalgo

My father liked to watch Westerns when I was a boy. He was a big television watcher when he was home, which was only on the weekends. His job had him up and gone before the sun rose, and the only time of the year you'd see him before sunset was the summer -- because the day was longer in the summertime. On the weekend, though, he'd be at home, working at home and car repair, and serving as a volunteer fireman, instead of doing his regular job.

He would usually find some time on Sunday afternoon to watch some television. The TV was always on when he was home, and it would usually show one of three things: a football game, a NASCAR race, or a Western movie. These were dependable features.

I had no time for Westerns -- I very much preferred Star Wars movies, more progressive, not mired in the past. We lived out on the edge of civilization, it seemed, although I knew that there was more civilization if you just kept going: run far enough from Atlanta and you'll hit Chattanooga. But there was a large swath of country that lay out beyond the uttermost suburb where you'd find cattle country and timberland. North Georgia ground isn't very good, so other forms of farming don't work well. But you can raise cattle, and you can raise short needle pine for pulpwood. This all felt very far from the action, to a boy; I recognized Luke Skywalker's complaint about being on the planet farthest from the bright center of things, and greatly admired Han Solo.

So, I would usually leave my father to his Westerns. I still spent a fair amount of time with him when he was home, though, helping him work on the cars and with other tasks around the property. He spent a lot of that time telling stories, one right after another. Almost all of them were about growing up with my grandfather, who had run a body shop and service station for long haul truckers on I-75. In the imagination of youth, it sounded a great deal like Mos Eisley: there was a cantina filled with dangerous, armed men where my young father sometimes had to go to get and carry back family friends, and which produced occasional fights and drawn guns. Hot rods as finely tuned as any starfighters had occupied my father's free time as a young man. Freightliners paused there to gas up, seeming like smugglers, hauling over their limit, often running on amphetamines as much as gasoline. High stakes poker games ran in the back, while mechanics fixed up the rigs in the bays.

In the center of it all was my grandfather, a great and heroic figure, always armed with his revolver, so fearsome that none of the dangerous men who occupied the fringes of the story ever dared to trouble him. This part of the story I knew to be perfectly realistic, for I'd met the man myself. He had no exact Star Wars comparison. Star Wars would have been a different movie with "Jack T." in it. He was big, and strong, and fearless, hard-drinking but not controlled by the whisky, dangerous but kindhearted to the weak. He took care of his family and his friends, kept the peace among those who were passing through, and ran off the ones who wouldn't abide by his rules.

I always wanted to grow up to be just like him. He was the best man I'd ever heard of or met, so I thought as a boy.

Of course you've realized by now what kind of movie features a man like that.

You never know, with stories, exactly how much is an expression of the great archetypes. A lot has been written about Star Wars archetypes: Han Solo the pirate, Obi-Wan the Wizard, Luke as the Young Hero. The most resonant fiction is built on these archetypes, which speak to the depths of the human heart.

It happens with true stories too, though. Jack T. was the Sheriff, or the Marshall; but the Sheriff in the Western is also the King. Like all of these archetypes, he can be good or bad. The Bad King is a tyrant. The Good King keeps order in the world, upholds and cares for the weak, looks out for the poor, drives off the vicious. He has the power to punish and to pardon, which is seen in every Western: the bandit is run off or killed, but the harmless town drunk is endlessly forgiven and helped in his times of particular adversity.

The world can be violent and cruel, filled both with lawful and the lawbreakers. But the stories tell us that it can also be a good place, a happy place, if there is a good King. If this is the story of the Western, it is also the story of the Beowulf, whose time as king is peaceful in spite even of the existence of dragons. His death brings wild mourning, and the folk expect both death and slavery to follow, even though the dragon was slain.

Americans don't want Kings, but we still need the man even if we don't want the office. We want a free-born man, chosen by his equals rather than by his birth -- and in this, it happens that we are following precisely in the footsteps of the Geats, whose kings were elected by the folk.

I inherited my grandfather's Stetson after he died. I wear it often, when I don't wear my own. I carry a revolver, legally and licensed in several states. I find, when I have time that I don't have to spend working, that there's little I want more than to settle in with a good Western. In this, I am just like many Americans, apparently including Doc. We are seeing in our own way the same, ancient things:
It was decidedly cool for Houston, a harbinger for the frost that would set in that night. Anyway, I was walking along in the cool of the evening with a Justin cowboy hat on my head, and Alice on my hip, when I looked up and I saw a most amazing sunset. It was all gold and burning over the rooftops. Little broad streaks of copper and gold clouds fixed high above in a sea of ultramarine blue, while I was drowned beneath in a cool breeze. It was just gorgeous. I paused from my errand for a minute, awed by a beauty that must have awed man in discrete moments throughout the ages, from ancient Greece to a greek eatery in modern Texas.
In the end, I suppose I did turn out to be just like my grandfather. I'm old enough now to know that he wasn't exactly the man who was painted for me. Having become him, I can see only too clearly some of the flaws he must have borne, which now I bear.

Also, I realize -- not quite too late -- that Jack T. was not the best man I've ever known. My father is. I wanted to be like his father not because his father was better than him, but because his father was the man he most respected and admired in the world. All I wanted was for him to respect and admire me just like that.

If the stories proved not to be completely accurate, they were nevertheless perfectly true. I may not always succeed at being a good man, but I know how. I know how to be a good man because my father told me. He told me about his father. Now I have a son, and I have to tell him. Nothing can capture the value of this gift, or the weight of this duty. I have heard only too often the laments of those who did not receive what I was given, who do not know how to pass on what I must.

The Western is our national epic. It is the way in which Americans, the ones who still remember how, pass on the eternal truths to the next generation.

Behold the Röhm RG10!

My grandfather gave a pistol to my father many years ago, back when they were working a service station on I-75 near Knoxville together. At dad's death, I came into possession of it. I remember shooting it as a young man, but didn't really know much about it. So I looked into it today, just to see what I could learn about the model and its history.
The Rohm RG-10 revolver is a notoriously dangerous "Saterday night special" poorly made gun in which frequently the cylinder does not align with the barrel and when you pull the trigger as much lead may come out the sides of the gun as out the front.

They have a HORRIBLE reputation. They break after very little use.

The BEST thing you can do is break the hammer off with a pair of pliers and then save the gun until the next "buy back" offer and turn it in for the money.
Well, let's have a second opinion.
[Y]ou would have to pay me to take the gun out of your hands. I have one that I bought in the early '60's for about $10. and you would be fortunate to get that for it today. The proverbial Saturday Night Special!
Hm. Perhaps a third opinion?



Well, my grandfather carried better guns himself. So did his wife, as a matter of fact. I think I'll keep the thing as a memento only. For shooting, I have a Ruger Single Six that serves the same purpose far better.

On Station

My mother is now in Wyoming, with my sister and her new grandbaby. I was with her, with only short breaks for the gym and suchlike, from the moment dad died until I watched her pass through airport security this afternoon. We haven't spent that much sustained time together since I was a child. It was nice, in a way, in spite of the very difficult circumstances.

I am now returned home.

The Absurdity of Political Discourse This Year

I was having an interesting discussion over at neo-neocon's about Trump when the full weight of this election's absurdity struck me. Again. If I were to reduce it to campaign slogans, it would look like this:

Vote for Trump -- We're more likely to be able to impeach him!

Vote for Hillary -- She's going to be an awful president, but better than Trump!

Vote for Trump -- He might, possibly, maybe, do some good things! Really! He could!

Vote for Hillary -- If we're going to have the worst president ever, better the Democrats get the blame! Or the Liberals!

Someone I read recently, I can't remember who, claimed that there were just a lot fewer conservatives than she thought. I think the electorate has caught us by surprise, and so I wonder how well I know the people of my own nation.

I got to hear one of my state senators recently. He encouraged everyone to get into local politics more. Focus on your city, county, and state offices, he said. Those in local offices are closer than DC and more likely to sit down and talk with you. You have more actual influence there.

He also said something interesting about Democratic vs. Republican involvement. He had spent some years in city government before being elected to the state legislature. He said that although he was a Republican in a deep red state, his Democratic constituents contacted him a lot more than his Republican ones. This was especially true at the city level, but still true at the state level.

I think I've gotten to the point where I'm writing off the presidential election. Whoever wins, it seems, will be a tragedy. I'll vote, but gradually I've come to care less and less about who wins. I'm going to focus more on local politics.

But even more, I want to focus on participating in the culture. I do believe politics is downstream from culture. I think, if we could shift the culture toward conservative values, the political elections would follow. If we shift it enough, the parties will follow.

Interior decorators

I've reached this advanced age never really knowing what people saw in the Taj Mahal.  All I've ever seen is the standard exterior shots, not really for me, radial symmetry and so on.  Someone pointed out to me that the extraordinary part was the interior detail.  Yikes!  I'll say.  "Google Images" has an eyeful, this being just an example:






Well, I can't do that kind of work, but I have been having the best time making "Chrismon" Christmas tree ornaments for my new church's new Christmas tree.  The new building's higher ceilings inspired someone to pass the hat and buy a bigger tree, sadly artificial but still nicer than the old one.  They need new ornaments in the 8- to 10-inch range.  You know what that means?  There are many, many more pixels in an ornament that size than the usual 3-inch range I shoot for.  At least four times as much fun, and I still have five months till Christmas to work on these.  My work table is fairly groaning with the weight of thread and beads and sequins crying out to be sewn and crocheted together.  In fact, when the word goes out that you need beads and such, people start volunteering to unload their craft closets on you.  There is a place in the world for people afflicted with OCD.


How About I Volunteer You to Lead a Discussion?

The comments under my recent Seven Books Every Conservative Should Read post made me think of doing some kind of read-and-discuss project here. I had thought about continuing my Common Ground series with something like this, but life got busy last fall and it didn't happen.

Would you be interested in such a thing? And if so, would you be willing to lead a discussion for a book you recommend and others were interested in? If you are not a blogger, maybe we could work something out where I post and then you pick it up in the comments.

It doesn't even have to be one person leading. If several bloggers were reading the same book, there's no reason we couldn't all be posting on different aspects of it as we read.

As for me, I am going to put off leading any read-and-discuss blogging for now. I would like to lead a discussion on the book Aristotle for Everybody, but I want to see how difficult this semester will be before making other time commitments. If there's time, I may try to get into it this fall, or maybe in December when classes are done. I would enjoy participating in your discussions, though.

What do you think?

Compare

Grim mentioned that Nathaniel Rateliff most resembles the Blues Brothers.

For your consideration:


Everybody Needs Somebody




Seven Books Every Conservative Should Read

Matthew Continetti, editor in chief of the Washington Free Beacon and regular contributor to the Weekly Standard, discusses other famous Conservatives' reading suggestions and then gives us his own list. It looks pretty interesting. I've ordered Modern Times and put the rest on my Amazon wish list.

Alas, with classes starting up next Monday, I will have very little time to read things I choose.

Why Beauty Matters

An hour with philosopher Sir Roger Scruton


Shamelessly stolen from Maggie's Farm.

Update: I don't remember running across him before, but from the Wikipedia entry about him and his website, he would appear to be one of Britain's foremost Conservative philosophers. During the Cold War, he helped establish "underground universities and academic networks" behind the Iron Curtain.