Saturday, March 28, 2015


It is snowing again.

Saturday, March 28, 11:43 a.m.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

For this we gave up five enemy combatants!

As his mates have been saying along along, it seems that Private Bergdahl deserted his unit before he was picked up by the Taliban in 2009. (I don't know why the media insist on titling him "Sergeant." He was a private when he took off without leave, and since it seems unlikely he got any military training -- except possibly the wrong kind -- while he was gone, he no more deserves three-stripe rank than any recruit just out of basic training.... And he also got back pay! And his parents got a reception in the White House Rose Garden!)

Even stranger, it seems that all this was known to the Pentagon and the White House in 2010, a year after Mr Bergdahl bugged out and three years before we gave up five Gitmo detainees to obtain his release. Given the speed with which military justice moves in the age of political correctness, the Gitmo lads will be back on active duty in Afghanistan, doing their best to kill American servicemen, before Mr Bergdahl gets his trial.

What in God's name did we do this for?

Monday, March 23, 2015

On Parade

I am enjoying a sneezing, coughing episode now in its third day, to get through which I am reading this magnificent book by day and watching an episode of the Benedict Cumberbatch mini-series each night. What a wonderful writer is the oddly named Ford Madox Ford (born Ford Hermann Hueffer; he changed it in honor of an ancestor whose middle name was Madox, but without explaining why he ditched the surname as well). No doubt I am influenced in its favor by the three handsome actors who represent Christian Tietiens; his wife Sylvia; and his beloved but never-reached Valentine. But it's not just that. I find myself following Sally around the house, declaiming bits of Mr Ford's brilliant prose. I haven't been this excited about a book since I was an undergraduate.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Officer Friendly goes door to door ...

Here, a SWAT team in Ferguson, Missouri, checks out the home of a possible suspect in the shooting of two policemen. What they are providing, beyond a larger target, is something I can't quite get my head around.

Meanwhile, the Attorney General of the United States has called the shootings "cowardly."

“We are lucky by God's grace that we didn't lose two police officers," Mr Holder added. That's rich, coming from the man who has done so much to fan the flames in Ferguson.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

"I did not have classified email with that woman"

When Bill Clinton famously parsed s-e-x in a way that few Americans would have done ("I did not have sex with that woman"), we all thought that the then-president was a great innovator. It turns out, however, that more likely he was the student and the then-First Lady was the teacher.

As the New York Times explains:

I did not email any classified material to anyone on my email,” Mrs. Clinton said at a news conference on Tuesday at the United Nations. “I’m certainly well aware of the classification requirements and did not send classified material.”

Ah, but did she receive any? 

Of course she did! The U.S. Secretary of State did her job for more than four years without once getting classified information in her in-box (this, mind you, in a government that will famously slap Classified on a Post-It Note), then she wasn't really doing her job, was she?

Monday, March 09, 2015

Oh, those Clintons!

The New York Times reported that:

“Finally, in December, dozens of boxes filled with 50,000 pages of printed emails from Mrs. Clinton’s personal account were delivered to the State Department.”
Can you believe it? Not only did she have a private email account against State Department policy, but she didn't turn over any of those emails! She turned over printouts that will take months to search, and if something is missing (Benghazi? Millions of dollars of oil money for the Clinton foundation?), well, gee, it's just too bad that an overworked intern somehow wasn't able to find it....

Why did the Clintons (because we know, don't we, that they are both working on this?) go to the trouble and expense of printing fifty thousand pages at a cost of a nickel apiece, putting them in boxes, and (what?) Fed Exing them to Foggy Bottom, when a thumb drive of the actual emails could have done the same thing in a few minutes and for a few dollars? To ask the question is to answer it: emails can easily be searched. Just type Benghazi or Arab Emirates into the search engine, and presto! -- here is every email touching on this subject.

But, precisely because it's the Clintons, we'll never know. They are the world's greatest experts on covering their tracks.

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Bye-bye, Ma Bell!

It's been a long time since Lily Tomlinson's Telephone Operator From Hell would terrify customers by saying: "You don't understand! This is the Telephone Company." Judge Greene broke up Ma Bell into seven regional telephone companies plus a much-reduced AT&T to provide long-distance service. Now, the former Ma doesn't even provide long-distance, but is just one of several wireless companies (mine, as it happens). And last week the New York Stock Exchange demoted her from the Dow Jones Industrial Average, to be replaced by -- oh, the shame of it! -- Apple, the company that provides its most popular smartphone.

To cap it all, there is still one telephone company left on the DJIA. That is Verizon, formerly Nynex, the spin-off Baby Bell that served New York and New England. It too is mostly a provider of wireless service.