Is that you?

A photo appropriately taken by a whisky distillery worker on Loch Ness.

Title X

Apparently attempts to bar Planned Parenthood from receiving funding have just been made illegal.


Hillary Clinton is the Queen Birther, the mother hen of the movement. It came out of her campaign's astroturf efforts to smear Barack Obama as un-American, because her campaign manager had decided that was the way to win.

Here's the memo.

The primary astroturf outlet was Hillbuzz, "Founded and edited by Kevin DuJan while working on Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in 2008."

You can find tons of astroturf rumors there, not just birther stuff: just search for terms like "Obama gay", or "birth certificate", or other similar things. The stories are still on the internet.

Now, the Hillary campaign (of 2016) would have you believe that they employed this guy, but that he did all this research and writing on his own time, on a website named after her, without their knowledge or support. None of that time-consuming research and writing happened on the clock, no. And it's just his initiative that caused him to build a website designed to imply that there was grassroots support for her, which was a major part of her approach to not conceding the nomination during a long fight. Oh, and this astroturf site's main thrust -- questioning whether Obama was an American -- happened to be literally in line with the core strategy for discrediting Obama that her top campaign officials came up with.

Yet of course, we are going to be told that the only acceptable position is that Hillary Clinton had nothing to do with this. And that she has pneumonia, and nothing else. And that she was cleared by the FBI in its investigation of her.

UPDATE: Further confirmation from McClatchy's former editor. It's as if they think that none of us were there at the time, or won't remember how it happened -- or, in the case of Hillbuzz, can't just go look it up because it's all still there on the internet.

UPDATE: A second confirmation from a journalist that the story was pushed to them by Clinton operative Sid Blumenthal.

Colin Powell's Leaked Emails

I expressed disappointment with Colin Powell in an earlier post for explaining to HRC how to use email to get around records laws, so I thought I would cover his leaked emails where he defended himself, and provided tasty soundbites, as well.

According to an Intercept story on them, Powell's defense is that he viewed email more like a phone call than a cable machine, so the written record was not important. He used an AOL account for non-classified communication and the State Department computers for classified, so he didn't violate security rules. He also claims he discusses the situation in greater detail in a chapter of his book, It Worked for Me: In Life and Leadership.

In one of his email, he also added, Everything HRC touches she kind of screws up with hubris.” And then, “I told you about the gig I lost at a University because she so overcharged them they came under heat and couldn’t any fees for awhile. I should send her a bill.”

Update: Richard Wolff's Guardian article on the topic doesn't add much that's new, but he shows a remarkable self-awareness as he writes:

To be clear: hacking personal emails is reprehensible, and those behind the hack are scumbags who are trying to manipulate American voters.

To be doubly clear: the news media (including this column) have no principles and no shame in exploiting the ill-gotten product of those scumbags. Guilty, as charged.

And yet the Powell emails are so insightful and direct, it seems a shame – even if we have no sense of shame to let them pass by without comment.

The Gatlin Brothers


My wife found this on YouTube.

Eric Hines

Who's Buying?

I have decided that while "The Deplorables" would be a great name for a Punk Rock band, "The Irredeemables" is a better fit for a Metal band.

A protester against the DNC in Philadelphia

The fact is that this plays in so nicely with Hillary Clinton's rhetoric. Here's NPR annotating her stump speech:
[I]n almost every speech these days, she talks about how Donald Trump's rhetoric about immigrants and Muslims is out of sync with American values. It's a theme that came into full relief at the Democratic convention. There the unstated message was that this wasn't a campaign between Trump and Clinton but between Trump and America, American values. Clinton has always had American flags at her events, but since the convention they have been even more prominent as a backdrop at her events.
It's even more obvious in last Friday's speech, in which not Trump himself but his supporters were said to be "irredeemable" and "not America." Her move is the authoritarian one, appropriate for someone on the verge of taking over not only the Presidency but the Supreme Court: from now on, she and hers will tell us what is America, and what is not. The unfit, by her standards, will be excluded.

A good Metal anthem could be written against that. Maybe one has been already.

What do you mean, "I don't believe in God"?
I talk to him everyday.
What do you mean, "I don't support your system"?
I go to court when I have to
What do you mean, "I can't get to work on time"?
I got nothing better to do.
And, what do you mean, "I don't pay my bills"?
Why do you think I'm broke?...

What do you mean, "I hurt your feelings"?
I didn't know you had any feelings.
What do you mean, "I ain't kind"?
Just not your kind.
What do you mean, "I couldn't be the President
Of the United States of America"?
Tell me something, it's still "We the people, " right?
Speaking of being broke because you pay your bills, don't forget that today is quarterly tax day for those of you who are self-employed, contracting, or otherwise responsible for both halves of your FICA taxes plus also your own health insurance. You may not be America, but you're still on the hook for funding her.

Zeiss Z1 F133 Lenses

Those were some pretty cool sunglasses Clinton was wearing this last weekend, weren't they? Well, she wears designer clothes worth lots of money, so fancy sunglasses aren't too surprising.

My readers want to know what type of space age eyewear Clinton was wearing when she collapsed. According to an expert on, the sunshades are Zeiss F133 blue protective lenses.

The prescription lenses are designed specifically to help prevent seizures by filtering out light and the color red, the most seizure-provoking color, according to Videgameseizures blog.
We should probably take "an expert on" with a grain of salt, but it's a plausible claim that's worth investigating further. It sounds like these lenses aren't hideously expensive, but they are specifically about cutting down on the risk of seizures. Given a fair amount of evidence that Clinton suffers from periodic seizures, if indeed these are sunglasses of that type, it would seem to be a kind of confirmation from Herself that seizures are a problem she's thinking about. That's something her doctor hasn't copped to, not yet.

The DNC Leak and the Health Stories Must Not Be Silenced

The DNC leak reveals a spreadsheet tracking donations from potential ambassadors or other public officials, along with what they've been assigned in return for the money they've brought to the table. There's an email chain in which they themselves call this "pay for play." It also contains details on a plot to gerrymander House districts, bamboozle the Republican party with a series of frivolous lawsuits to prevent them from responding, and a cynical plan to label Republican opposition as racism.

To read the big media, however, you'd think the whole content was ' mean things Colin Powell said about people.' That's the only story they're even trying to tell.

It's not the main story.

Hillary Clinton collapsed last Sunday and has retreated to a concrete-barricaded compound, from which she has not emerged all week. As the New York Post points out, if it weren't for an amateur who happened to video the collapse, we'd know nothing about her health conditions. I haven't seen any outlet in America comment on the barricades -- that's just the UK press.

These stories aren't going to get in front of many American voters unless there's a way to get past this wall of silence.

The DNC Leak

It's massive and brutal. Here are some highlights.

The corruption revealed should be a scandal. Will it?

UPDATE: They actually used the phrase "pay for play" in their own emails. They weren't even slightly kidding themselves about what they were doing.

UPDATE: It's just a constant stream of lies, bribery, and bad news about the state of our government.

DB: 2000 Sailors on USS Eisenhower Request Paternity Leave

In what was an originally exciting, if not unexpected situation, the Eisenhower’s administration department has become “flooded with a deluge of paternity leave requests,” said Master Chief Yeoman Reginald “Reggie” Frank.

“It’s an admin nightmare, but I can’t blame these guys. The mother and baby were airlifted to Bahrain, so... that means two weeks shore leave in Manama, whether or not she’s actually your baby-mama,” Frank added.

According to other sources, the carrier has convened a panel of officers and senior enlisted to sort through the ream of paternity requests, in an attempt to determine the most probable candidate.
Not quite. Paternity leave is ten days in the Navy, not two weeks.

Maternity leave? Four and a half months.

My Guess Is It's the "Prime Directive"

Heat Street asks a question: why don't Social Justice Warriors try to ruin Hip-Hop?
Just look at this 2012 2 Chainz video, “Birthday Song,” with the chorus “All I want for my birthday is a big booty hoe.” The video has enough problematic elements to make a purple-haired Tumblrina’s head explode....

There could be a few reasons for this. First of all, gamers and geek culture in general are seen as easy targets. They are perceived as indoorsy nerds who were bullied in high school. Perfect subjects to put up little resistance to those seeking to browbeat their hobby into submission (of course, the events of Gamergate proved that not to be the case). But compared to the hyper-masculine hip hop culture, geeks are certainly the easier victim.

Another aspect is race. Hip hop is inextricably black, born out of a resistance to authority, namely the police. Many prominent rappers today are staunch advocates of Black Lives Matter and their songs contain lyrics protesting police brutality. So does that give the entire genre a pass? For every “To Pimp a Butterfly” there are still dozens of songs about big booty women.
So, my theory about this is that the young women who make up the feminist arm of the SJW community all grew up in the 1990s. Every one I have ever met is a Sci-Fi fan -- especially Dr. Who -- which means that they cut their teeth on Star Trek: The Next Generation (TNG).

Now if you remember, TNG was an insufferable departure from the original Star Trek in its constant fulminating about the Prime Directive and the importance of not interfering in another culture's development. The Prime Directive in the original series was just a plot device: Kirk violated it at will, really, and it never caused bad results to do so. TNG took this idea very seriously, though, and I'd wager that growing up listening to important-sounding lectures from Captain Picard made way more impression on these young women than they are prepared to admit to themselves.

So what does that mean? It means that hip-hop comes from another culture, implicitly a lesser culture, and non-interference is the right response to it. The same is true, I think, of their view of Islam. The reason they view it as racist and xenophobic to criticize Islam's treatment of women is that, in so doing, we're trying to force a (again, implicitly in this view lesser) culture to adapt to our preferences.

White male geeks, however, are very much from these feminists' culture. They like Star Trek and comic books just as much as you do! Of course they have every right to tell you what to think and how to behave.

There's an implicit racism, maybe, in deciding which cultures merit protection from the Prime Directive. In the show, it's something like non-spacefaring cultures if I remember correctly. In this application of the concept to the real world, deciding to "respect" these cultures' right to non-interference is in fact a form of disrespect. I don't think these young women would admit to themselves that they think this, or that they are doing this. The last thing they would want to do, consciously, is 'colonize' these cultures or set up a hierarchy in which some cultures were superior. The mental pose is that they're respecting these cultures by leaving them to develop independently.

I think they probably really believe that "respecting you" is what they are doing, rather than "babying you" or "isolating you" or "looking down on you." They would probably be highly insulted at the suggestion that they had any such intentions.

HMS Terror

Now, there's a name that indicates a Navy that knew what a navy was all about. One of you anonymously mentioned that we should look at this story about the apparent discovery of the Terror, which was found in pristine condition. It can be explored by drones -- video at the link.
“We have successfully entered the mess hall, worked our way into a few cabins and found the food storage room with plates and one can on the shelves,” Adrian Schimnowski, the foundation’s operations director, told the Guardian by email from the research vessel Martin Bergmann.

“We spotted two wine bottles, tables and empty shelving. Found a desk with open drawers with something in the back corner of the drawer.”

The well-preserved wreck matches the Terror in several key aspects, but it lies 60 miles (96km) south of where experts have long believed the ship was crushed by ice, and the discovery may force historians to rewrite a chapter in the history of exploration.

VCDL Are Fighters

The Virginia Citizens' Defense League is one of my favorite gun rights groups. They really impressed me when I lived in Virginia, more than ten years ago now, and they're still going strong. Someone picked the wrong organization to mess around with in her little forgery.
Second Amendment rights advocacy organization the Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL), along with two of its members, today filed a $12 million defamation lawsuit against Katie Couric, director Stephanie Soechtig, Atlas Films, and Studio 3 Partners LLC d/b/a Epix for false and defamatory footage featured in the 2016 documentary film Under the Gun.
They have a solid case, but making her fight is an end in itself.

The Personal is Political. So Are Team Sports

No more enjoying yourselves without ritual cleansing. Everyone must acknowledge the sins of their nation before the kickoff, and states that have bad politics must not be allowed to host sporting events.

We'll all be much happier when every single space in our lives is brought under the control of the political. Won't we?

"White People Should Stop Doing Yoga"

This guy identifies himself as an "Idea Capital grant recipient," which I suppose means someone is paying him for his thoughts.
The way Westerners have reduced yoga to a trendy form of exercise is just another example of how colonialism continues to plague us. Yoga is a centuries old tradition of mindfulness, with physical practice only one part of the system. Unless you grew up Indian, learning these ancient traditions of your own people, using the sacred objects in their intended manner, you should not be allowed to practice “yoga” as trendy yuppie moms call it....

My soul weeps every time I smell the waft of mall food court Chinese. A noble an ancient culinary practice has been raped by American food engineering to become nothing but a foul simulacrum of Chinese cuisine.
Welcome to America, pal. We have this little thing we used to call "the melting pot." Get used to it, because there's no fixing it. People learn things from rubbing up against each other, and when you bring people from all over the world, they're going to rub up against each other. Not every part of what they encounter will be useful or interesting to them, but they'll take what they want.

That's not racism or violence. It's actually a kind of cooperation and openness to new ideas.

Or maybe this is satire. Who can tell anymore?

A Lesson in Trust

Yesterday, the Daily Mail out of the UK ran a story asking whether Hillary Clinton had brought a personal doctor to the 9/11 memorial. There were lots of photos of this woman with her right before her collapse, and doing things that were plausibly field diagnostic tests such as checking her pulse or having Clinton squeeze her fingers.

Turns out, she was a PR aide (and former State Department employee), so it's not what it looked like.

The New York Post describes this as the Mail "mistakenly" describing her as a nurse, but the Mail headline is explicitly asking whether or not she is a doctor. She apparently looks somewhat like Hillary's actual doctor, the one who later gave the statement about her pneumonia.

In any case, the reason outlets like the Mail are quite right to ask these questions is just that the Clinton campaign has proven it can't be trusted to provide answers. Clinton supporters will want to say, "See? This is how conspiracy theories start!" Well, yes, it is, but not with journalists asking questions. They start with powerful people who hide truths. If you don't want conspiracy theories, try transparency.

Chesterton's Paradox of the Wall

Did you know what it was for, before you wanted to replace it? Here's some folks who did know.

Clinton's Chappaqua Home Barricaded

This is not the expected behavior of someone who claims she might return to the campaign trail any day now. You don't put up concrete barricades around your house if you're planning on being out and about again by the weekend.

Something more is going on than we've been told, as usual. It must be something interesting.

An Extended Tolkien Analogy

Wretchard, noting the fear with which the DNC is waiting for Wikileaks to drop another hammer on the dying Hillary campaign, compares the situation to an earlier Middle Earth:
Now America could beat Bolshevism the Original Recipe, because they fought these master conspirators asymmetrically. The Cold War proved that.

Then a bunch of "activists" bloated with their own pride, thought they could dispense with America, form an imitation Communist Party and go up against the real thing on their own. The EU, the World Order. All they managed to do, like Saruman was to play into Sauron's hands. They turned DC into a kind of Kremlin on the Potomac, complete with its version of Izvestia and Tass.

"A strong place and wonderful was Isengard, and long it had been beautiful [...]. But Saruman had slowly shaped it to his shifting purposes, and made it better, as he thought, being deceived - for all those arts and subtle devices, for which he forsook his former wisdom, and which fondly he imagined were his own, came but from Mordor; so that what he made was naught, only a little copy, a child's model or a slave's flattery, of that vast fortress, armoury, prison, furnace of great power, Barad-dûr, the Dark Tower, which suffered no rival, and laughed at flattery, biding its time, secure in its pride and its immeasurable strength."

The Bolshevists are showing that they may not have been able to beat America, but they can beat Donna Brazile and Debbie Wasserman. Washington was better before Obama improved it. Now the Dark Lord has come, with his Nazgul Assange.
It's an interesting formulation. I've been thinking about something similar since Hillary Clinton's comments on Friday that half of her opponents were "deplorables," 'racists and xenophobes,' "irredeemable" who were "not America." I think she means people like many of the people who live around here in rural Georgia, many of whom are doubtless racists and xenophobes by her standards and perhaps often even by ordinary standards. These may be deplorable traits, but the people are not: they are probably as good as most people anywhere, as racism and xenophobia are quite common traits among all people worldwide. These traits are to be struggled against, like sins; but they are also very common things, like sins. They may make a man damnable, but not irredeemable.

Yet how odd to say that they are not America, they, who are most obviously America. They're the ones who fly the flag, not just outside their office but outside their homes. They're the ones who would refuse to hyphenate "American" even if asked to do so in order to illuminate their heritage. They're the ones who tear up at the singing of the "Star-Spangled Banner," while Hillary's team debates how vigorously to protest it.

If they're not America, nobody is. To recognize the evils of racism is fair and right, for it has been a terrible evil. To read these people out of America, though, is to render America empty and without content. Without them, there is nothing that is just America, un-hyphenated. America becomes nothing more than a substrate for all the hyphens.

To read them out of America is to make America a blank slate on which anything else might be written. Something new. Something different. But how, then, to avoid the trap that Wretchard identifies? Are they writing something new, like Jefferson and the Founders did? Or are they making a copy of something else? A little copy, a child's model, a slave's flattery?

Standards Change Over Time

This video is making the rounds right now.

Distinctions Lost

An important one here: is the desired end result to also boycott Israel, or to stop boycotting North Carolina?
Could someone explain why it’s noble, enlightened, justifiable, and progressive to boycott an American state, but hateful, bigoted, retrograde, and evil to support a boycott of a foreign country that has been imposing a brutal, discriminatory, and illegal occupation for many decades, a boycott that is led by people with virtually no political rights?
Oh, ok. I see where you're going with this now.

The "fake because"

Scott Adams originally predicted the hamfisted "deplorables" comment would have no real effect on voters.  After Clinton's collapse from "pneumonia," he's less sure:
In our rational minds, we are good people who use data and reason to arrive at our decisions. We need to maintain that untrue self-image to stay happy. Clinton’s collapse at the 9-11 event creates an uncomfortable dissonance in us. On one hand, we don’t think anyone should be penalized for a minor illness. And we don’t wish harm on anyone. Our rational minds want to NOT care that Clinton collapsed on the 9-11 anniversary. That’s who we are. We’re rational people who can put stuff like this in context.
But in our irrational minds – the part that actually makes decisions – we really, really don’t want a commander-in-chief who is so frail that she might sneeze-fart herself to death in the Situation Room. Realistically, and rationally, we know that isn’t a real problem.
But…it…feels…like one.
Minus the implicit moaning about how we're probably being unfair, this strikes me as a fairly realistic assessment.  On the other hand, I suspect a lot of voters may be looking for a more concrete and comprehensible reason to reject, not the sickly old lady, but the steaming eruption of lies that issues continually from Clinton's mouth, so numerous and varied that it's gotten hard to keep track.  Many voters may be deciding that, however they feel about Trump, he's not bad enough to make them swallow Clinton.

Of Course

This is how things are done now, is it not?

A Good Article from Vox

'How do we help veterans re-integrate into American society?' asks Vox. The answer they get: 'Why should they wish to?'
Basically, soldiers in combat experience something that's a pretty close reproduction of our evolutionary past. We evolved to live in groups of 30, 40, 50 people functioning very closely. Sleeping together, eating together, doing everything together. Our survival depended on the group.

That's our evolutionary past. It's also life in combat. It's even life in a platoon at a rear base. Most of the military does not fire their weapons at the enemy, do not get shot, but they do function in these close, tight-knit groups, and those emotional bonds become incredibly important. That's what we're wired for....

Then they come back and they see a country which is racially divided, it's economically divided, it's politically divided. There powerful wealthy people frankly getting away with enormous financial crimes without consequences. It's a country at war with itself, and I think on some level, unconsciously or consciously, it must be quite complicated for soldiers who risked their lives for this country, were wounded maybe, lost friends, to come back and see that the thing they were fighting for is fighting with itself. I think that must be incredibly demoralizing...

[D]o they really want to be re-integrated? The point of my book is that it's a fragmented, alienated society with very high suicide rates. Do we want to help them transition back to something that's psychologically toxic? Is that really doing them a service? The fact that they are psychologically rebelling against the transition home says something very healthy about them, because they're transitioning to something that if you look at rates of mental illness is obviously not doing anyone much good.
From a philosophical perspective, I want to add to this picture. Aristotle says that the goal of ethics is eudaimonia, a state of happy flourishing that you find when all of your vital powers are aligned in rational activity. More, he says, to fully experience this state you need a community that is set up to support it. The military deployed comes much closer to attaining Aristotle's ideal than anything else I've seen in the world. Everyone is working together towards some strategic good. They all have different jobs, but those jobs must align. Thus, there is constant rational communication and consideration of how to align different fires on a target, or different staff sections on a mission. This 'small, close knit' community is also a community that works together toward some goods that they pursue together through rational activity.

War being war, as Clausewitz says, 'everything is simple, and the simplest things are hard.' Thus, one needs all of one's vital powers in alignment to accomplish these goals. It is a very engaging sort of life.

It may well be that the broader society lacks a number of things that these smaller, close-knit and rationally ordered communities offer. Are these goods we can replicate? Certainly: any number of organizations could be set up to pursue goods in this way, although they will not all be as fully engaging of all of one's vital powers absent the extremes of war.

Are they goods that we do replicate? No, not really, not for the most part. Indeed, in the current economy, large numbers of Americans are simply left idle. They can pursue their own goods, of course, but without a community or the resources one provides toward enabling that pursuit. They can set up their own communities, but then these are perceived as a danger by the broader society.

What's the Prognosis?

So, if this is ordinary best-case-scenario pneumonia -- as they would like us to believe -- what's the prognosis?
Older, sicker people usually have more severe cases. And their cases of pneumonia are more likely to cause complications, such as bacteria in the bloodstream (bacteremia) or throughout the body (septicemia).... Viral pneumonia usually is less severe than bacterial pneumonia.... In healthy people, pneumonia can be a mild illness that is hardly noticed and clears up in 2 to 3 weeks. In older adults and in people with other health problems, recovery may take 6 to 8 weeks or longer.... About one-third of people with community-based pneumonia are age 65 or older. Older adults are treated in the hospital more often and stay longer for the condition than younger people. Pneumonia is more serious in this group, because they often have and may develop other medical problems.
1) She's 68 and not in the very best of health even before this episode.

2) Assuming we are being told the truth, she has the more-severe bacterial version because she's on antibiotics.

So, figure multiple weeks off the campaign trail? Best case, and if they're on the level?


Tim Kaine is not helping her cause.

Tim Kaine tells reporters after today's Dayton speech that Hillary Clinton was "responsive" right away when he talked to her Sunday.
"Responsive"? That's something you say about someone on their deathbed.

Sailor at War Gives Birth to Baby Girl

She's on a carrier, apparently, which is pretty far removed from the front lines. Still and all.
“As the baby was born at sea aboard an operational unit, the main focus for the U.S. Navy, the ship and its crew is the safety and well-being of the baby and the mother," Urban said in an email.
The main focus of the US Navy and a ship deployed at war is the safety of the baby and mother. A serving Naval officer wrote that.

"Nervously Whispering About Her Stepping Aside"

Are they nervous, or are they excited?

No Way, Doc

There isn't actually an international law that would permit you to have tried Bin Laden.
"I think assassinations ... they're against international law to start with and to that effect, I think I would not have assassinated Osama bin laden but would have captured him and brought him to trial," Stein said while campaigning in Iowa over the weekend.
So, the way this works is that the whole SEAL Team raid was illegal -- that's why the SEALs were inducted into the CIA for the length of time they performed the raid. Breaking the laws of other nations is the CIA's job. So the whole raid to get him was a violation of both Pakistan's laws and this 'international law' that you seem to believe exists.

Now, you could have asked Pakistan to arrest him -- but since the Paks were the ones hiding him, that would have meant that he would have mysteriously vanished. "Oops, we raided that house you told us about but he wasn't there!" Something like that.

If you wanted to be scrupulous about obeying 'international law,' then, you'd never have gotten to Bin Laden at all.

Had you, though, who would have tried him? Pakistan? A US Federal court? He was a foreign national on foreign soil throughout the planning cycle of the 9/11 attacks. Where would US courts get the authority, under 'international law,' to try him even if you could drag him before a court?

The Hague, then, I suppose.

Lex talionis is the only real international law.

Two More Celtic Swords

Not nearly so old, circa 100 BC. The date puts them about the time of the birth of Julius Caesar, who brought an end to the legendary era in Britain for a while with his reconnaissance in force.

It would be wrong to say that this begins the historical era in Britain, however. The historical era ended again a few hundred years later, and the legendary era returned for a space. There dwells Arthur.

Censorship, British and American

The Brits can be as snide as they want about the "prissy American censorship" practiced by Facebook, which certainly is deplorable (although the deplorables are the ones on whom it is practiced, in current parlance). But their government practices real, live censorship -- with criminal penalties, and on an increasing range of subjects.
"We've all agreed for a long time that it's not okay for someone to shout homophobic or Islamophobic abuse at someone. So why is it okay to shout misogynistic abuse at a woman or behave towards her in a way that makes her feel threatened and impacts upon her ability to lead a normal life?"
Perhaps because I can't control your feelings, and thus I'd be subject to criminal penalties for something I can't control? As the article goes on to admit, many of the things she wants to criminalize as 'hate crimes' are already illegal -- such as sexual assault. There's no need for a law to criminalize what is already criminal, and it is wrong to criminalize an outcome that the 'criminal' cannot control.

Stirling Bridge

Yesterday was also the anniversary of the Battle of Stirling Bridge in 1297. If you are mostly familiar with the history via Braveheart, you may not be aware that there was a bridge. Or why, exactly, it was important to fight the battle. Actually, there's a lot you won't know.

So It Turns Out There Was Something There After All

Now she has two problems: First, the appearance of extreme physical weakness, which is not a quality voters look for in a President. That's the small problem.

The big problem is that she's just spent a year teaching Americans that they can't trust what she says about things like this. "She got overheated" is the new "there was never any classified information in my email, and I turned over everything work-related." We know, from recent experience, that she and her people only tell as much of the truth as they are absolutely forced to, and give up more truth only when there is no choice whatsoever.

The 'overheated' story was so implausible, in sub-80 degree weather without humidity, that we've already seen the first modification: 'she has pneumonia.' OK. Even if that's true, pneumonia is not terribly likely in the summer without some additional illness suppressing the immune system. What illness is that? She's been coughing for a long time.

The only thing we can be sure of is that she's not going to level with us about whatever it is. That's true for this, as it was true in the classified information scandal, and as it will be true with regard to everything ever if she's elected President. It's who she is.

The Democratic Party, were it wise, would take this opportunity to force her to stand down for anyone else. They could only improve their electoral prospects by doing so, and would in the meantime do the nation a significant favor.

UPDATE: Two questions I've seen asked and not answered: if she has contagious pneumonia, how could her campaign justify sending the little girl out to hug her in the "all is well!" photo-op? If she has contagious pneumonia, why would they take her to Chelsea's home, where there are babies who could be at risk from such a move?

There are a range of possible answers to those questions, but none of them make her look good.

4,000 Year Old Sword Discovered in Scotland

With hilt of gold, a beautiful weapon from the age of Conan -- or in any case, in the time of legends before the beginning of the mists of history.

Enid & Geraint

By custom and tradition of the Hall, today there are no posts except this poem.

Enid & Geraint

Once strong, from solid
Camelot he came
Glory with him, Geraint,
Whose sword tamed the wild.
Fabled the fortune he won,
Fame, and a wife.
The beasts he battled
With horn and lance;
Stood farms where fens lay.
When bandits returned
To old beast-holds
Geraint gave them the same.

And then long peace,
Purchased by the manful blade.
Light delights filled it,
Tournaments softened, tempered
By ladies; in peace lingers
the dream of safety.

They dreamed together. Darkness
Gathered on the old wood,
Wild things troubled the edges,
Then crept closer.
The whispers of weakness
Are echoed with evil.

At last even Enid
Whose eyes are as dusk
Looked on her Lord
And weighed him wanting.
Her gaze gored him:
He dressed in red-rust mail.

And put her on palfrey
To ride before or beside
And they went to the wilds,
Which were no longer
So far. Ill-used,
His sword hung beside.

By the long wood, where
Once he laid pastures,
The knight halted, horsed,
Gazing on the grim trees.
He opened his helm
Beholding a bandit realm.

Enid cried at the charge
Of a criminal clad in mail!
The Lord turned his horse,
Set his untended shield:
There lacked time, there
Lacked thought for more.

Villanous lance licked the
Ancient shield. It split,
Broke, that badge of the knight!
The spearhead searched
Old, rust-red mail.
Geraint awoke.

Master and black mount
Rediscovered their rich love,
And armor, though old
Though red with thick rust,
Broke the felon blade.
The spear to-brast, shattered.

And now Enid sees
In Geraint's cold eyes
What shivers her to the spine.
And now his hand
Draws the ill-used sword:
Ill-used, but well-forged.

And the shock from the spear-break
Rang from bandit-towers
Rattled the wood, and the world!
Men dwelt there in wonder.
Who had heard that tone?
They did not remember that sound.

His best spear broken
On old, rusted mail,
The felon sought his forest.
Enid's dusk eyes sense
The strength of old steel:
Geraint grips his reins.

And he winds his old horn,
And he spurs his proud horse,
And the wood to his wrath trembles.
And every bird
From the wild forest flies,
But the Ravens.