Thursday, December 8, 2016

South Carolina May Not Be the Biggest State, But...

This morning, I was driving the kids to school and having a conversation in the car with our five-year-old son about states. He eventually asked me "Which state is the biggest?" and I replied, "Well, California is big. Texas is another big state."

He sort of got a bit dejected about that, as it seemed he was hoping for South Carolina to be one of the biggest states. I thought about it, and trying to think of something positive about South Carolina, I said, "Well, South Carolina is one of the oldest states."

He perked up, and said in the assertive voice he uses when making a logical conclusion of figuring something out, "Ohhhh, so that's why our roads have so many cracks in them."

Kids. Gotta love 'em.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

December 7, 2016

Good morning, campers. Seventy-five years ago, the United States was attacked at Pearl Harbor, 2,403 Americans were killed and 1,178 were wounded, and America's entered WWII. Take a moment to remember what happened three-quarters of a century ago.

Fortunately for the United States, our aircraft carriers were untouched by the attack.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Then and Now; Two Marines in Okinawa - About a Half Century Apart

I was thinking about my father-in-law today. He's not doing so well. Here's a picture of him from a long time ago, back when he was in Okinawa.

My Father-in-Law, James Barber, in Okinawa in the early 1960s
And just for perspective, time-capsule purposes, here's a picture of one of my friends, Steve, from earlier this year in Okinawa, celebrating the USMC's Birthday.

My friend, Steven Kasdan (center) in Okinawa a few weeks ago
Anyway, keep my father-in-law in your prayers.

Social Justice Warriors Change Lyrics to "Baby It's Cold Outside"

Most notably, when Liza sings, “I ought to say no, no, no,” Lemanksi responds with “You reserve the right to say no.”

Progressive aren't happy unless they are banning/prohibiting something fun, huh? The Puritans called and said, "Whoa, back off, dudes!"

Also, I always thought the song was pretty clear that she's fine with the idea of staying but is trying to put up a plausible resistance to save her reputation. But maybe that's just my privilege showing.

Whatever. These people annoy me so much (and I don't even really like this song that much). Here's the version I like best.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Why Mattis Makes a Great Pick for Secretary of Defense

It looks like it's going to be the "Warrior Monk" for Secretary of Defense.

Here's why I think Mattis will be an excellent Secretary of Defense:

First, Mattis is going to stop/reverse the idiotic social engineering that gets put on the armed services. He's not going to be worried about the politically correct stuff.

Second, I think he's going to be pushing for sensible ROE policies for the men and women who are at the tip of the spear. If we send an Iowa kid into some hell-hole on the far side of the world, he's going to make sure that the kid from Iowa has rules in place to engage the enemy that make sense.

Oh, and he cares about his Marines. Go find the story that everyone will be telling you in the next few days and weeks about Mattis and Christmas guard duty. Just remember I told you here, first.

Third, I think he's going to honestly focus on war-fighting and making the military the best that it can be at killing the enemy and breaking their things. That's what the military does, campers - it's there to kill people and break things. The military isn't there to be some social experiment, or be some progressive enclave of social justice. However, Mattis is going to try and avoid conflict if possible because he knows the cost. He's seen it firsthand. But, as he's said, "there are some assholes in the world that just need to be shot".

Fourth, he's also going to do this job with a sense of history, so he's not going to ever find himself at a loss for a sense of how things can go wrong. He's such a student of history, he carried his own personal copy of the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius throughout his deployments.

Finally, and most importantly, he's going to tell things to his boss (the President) like it is. He's not going to live in a fantasy world, he's not going to hide the truth, and he's not going to avoid the hard questions. I think President Trump is getting someone in Mattis who is not going to be intimidated by the oval office and try and cover things up or mask the hard choice. Mattis is too smart for that, and he's not a political hack. He's a professional war-fighter. Trump is getting someone who will force him to think and make tough decisions rather than provide easy outs.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

No, we shouldn't get rid of states: My case for states from over on Brad's Blog

I gave this some thought. I had my two drinks as recommended by the federal government while doing it. After giving it considerable thought, I don’t think it’s a good idea to get rid of states.

Our system of government entirely revolves around the idea of many states working together with a federal government in a balance that can be sometimes frustrating, sometimes inefficient, but ultimately provides for a great deal of diversity and freedom for the people.

We don’t have a “one-size-fits-all” set of laws in all aspects of our lives because the people in different areas of our vast country have different beliefs, cultures, and ideas. Federalism allows us to have these different cultures, beliefs, and ideas flourish together. The people of New York can have very strict gun control, while the people of Wyoming don’t. The people of Texas can have zero income taxes, while the people of Connecticut have high ones. The folks in Louisiana have some really weird real estate laws. (By the by, South Carolina has some weird laws, too.) But that weirdness makes us great.

It’s the motto of our country – e pluribus unum. Out of many…one. At our core, we are many people in one country all living together. We have different cultures, ideas, and beliefs. And this diversity is to be celebrated and protected – even thought it’s not super-efficient. However, as you’ll probably agree: Government isn’t like running a business.

Federalism allows for diversity of culture, ideas, and beliefs. Is it easy? Nope. For example, it’s it a pain in the behind for me to have to understand that the concealed carry laws in South Carolina don’t in another state. However, I respect that the people in New York have a different point of view than I do on this issue, and I don’t begrudge them the right to restrict the carrying of firearms, as wrong-headed as I think their belief might be.

Bud, I think you’re a very passionate person, I know you believe in what you believe in very deeply. That’s why you have such strong reactions to people who don’t share your viewpoint.

If you’ll permit me to give you a bit of friendly criticism, you go wrong when you think that you have a monopoly on what is right and what is good. No one does. That’s why I often in a half-joking way, occasionally state that “I’m just a moron” or “Your mileage may vary” at the end of some of my comments. Half of that is me just joking around. But the other half of it is me realizing that I don’t have the ordained wisdom of perfection in what is right and good.

What flows from your thinking thinking you have a monopoly on the right way of thinking is your desire to simply eliminate states and all the differences that they carry.

My advice is to realize that not everyone shares your exact culture, beliefs, and values – and realize that’s okay. So, let’s keep the states, and our state laws, and our differences.

But hey, I’m just a moron, and your mileage may vary.


Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Obama: The Democrats failed because "Fox News in every bar and restaurant in big chunks of the country"

In this election, [white working class voters] turned out in huge numbers for Trump. And I think that part of it has to do with our inability, our failure, to reach those voters effectively. Part of it is Fox News in every bar and restaurant in big chunks of the country, but part of it is also Democrats not working at a grassroots level, being in there, showing up, making arguments. That part of the critique of the Democratic Party is accurate.
I don't know what kind of bars and restaurants that President Obama has been going to, but all the bars I've ever been to have sporting events on the television. I mean, who in their right mind would go out to a bar and watch news of any kind? And if it's not sports, it's weather. But 99.9% of the time, it's sports.

In other public areas where there are televisions, like airports, it's CNN. (Or sports) A few weeks ago, I traveled via commercial air travel for Thanksgiving. I went from Columbia to Atlanta (you have to go through Atlanta everywhere in the South no matter what) and then on to Shreveport, Louisiana. Guess what is on every single airport television. Yeah, CNN. And in all the airport bars, it was sports.

No one puts Fox News on in public probably because so many leftists would freak out, but more importantly, because no one goes to a bar or restaurant to watch the freakin' news.

Can you imagine: Excuse me sir, I know you and your friends are watching the Notre Dame-Michigan game and drinking some beer, but could we switch it over to Fox News? I understand that a particularly good edition of Hannity is coming on in a few minutes.

Give me a break. This is such a cop-out because Obama is basically saying that the Democrats couldn't get their message out to the people. Apparently, they couldn't break through the Fox News stranglehold of Buffalo Wild Wings - not that people rejected their ideas on the merits.

I guess despite having every other media outlet and all newspapers in America they just couldn't break through the Fox News on the television down at Applebee's.

That's the thing about the Democrats and leftists in general. Nothing is ever their fault. It's bad messaging, or bad optics, or communism just hasn't been tried in the true sense yet by the right people. Nothing is ever actually their fault.

And again, we're talking about one news outlet. One. It's the only media outlet that the left demonizes. You remember the scene from Blazing Saddles where the Governor says, "I didn't get harumph out of that guy!", because one single guy didn't agree with him?

Yeah, that's Obama and the left - pointing at Fox News because it's not harrumphing.

Tim Scott and Trey Gowdy Named to Trump Transition Team

Sen. Tim Scott and Rep. Trey Gowdy were both named to positions on the transition team Tuesday.

Scott was named a vice chair of the transition, one of seven named in a release sent out by the Trump team on Tuesday. Four others are also members of Congress. Vice President-Elect Mike Pence is the chairman of the transition.

I can't really see Tim Scott leaving his US Senate seat. He just won an election, so he's got a nice, long six year term. I'm not sure what would tempt someone to leave the US Senate in such a situation.

Gowdy is maybe more of a possibility. He's a great prosecutor and he could be a good fit somewhere in the Department of Justice. Maybe Deputy AG or Associate AG? I could see him leaving Congress for something like that, maybe.

Or is this just not that big a deal?

Read more here:

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Mitt Romney Sums Up 2016 In One Expression


Mitt Romney went to dinner with Trump tonight and a reporter "happened" to catch them, meaning that someone tipped off the reporter.

You can just feel Romney's embarrassment coming through the photo. I feel you, Mitt. We all do.

It's gonna be a weird four years.

Content Free Music Post

There may be some actual content later. Or maybe not. We'll see how you behave, and then I'll decide.

Monday, November 28, 2016

"I continue to believe it is strategically unwise, but it is a decision you have the right to make."

I guess we shouldn't be surprised at this development. My guess is he won't have much to say in his own defense.

Monday Morning Headlines

Curran, Charles Courtney. American 1861-1942. Shadow Decoration. 1887.

Good morning, campers! I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving with lots of good food and time with the extended family. Now it's back to work. Here's a few headlines to get you caught up on some actual news.

1. Fidel Castro is finally dead. Good. He was a murderous tyrant, and the world is a better place without him. Hopefully, the Cuban people can move forward towards freedom.

2. The Clemson football team beat the Gamecocks like Hannibal beat the Romans at Cannae. Yeah, it was that bad. No word yet if Dabo and his team are now preparing to march on Columbia to subdue the capital and complete the victory.

3. Heroes in Blue is kicking off their second "Feed and Officer" campaign. Consider visiting one of the participating restaurants and making a donation.

4. Nikki Haley is going to be the new UN Ambassador. I think she'll do a good job in a tough role, but don't feel too sorry for her. She gets a very nice penthouse in the Waldorf Astoria as her new permanent residence

Oh, and here are some tips on how to be a Gentleman. (Also know as just being polite.)

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

Freedom From Want, Norman Rockwell 1940

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. Relax, enjoy the holiday with your families and be thankful for all the blessing that you have.

Remember that there are people out there who don't get the day off. From our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines around the world, to local police, firemen, and doctors, all these folks are hard at work making sure that we're safe and secure.

Oh, and we've got some football teams out there practicing, getting ready to entertain us on the gridiron. For instance, Coach Muschamp, when asked if the Gamecocks would be practicing, said "Thanksgiving is a meal, it's not a day." indicating the Gamecock football team would be practicing today.

In all fairness, I thought the meal was the day. On the other hand, the team could probably use the practice.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

A Handy Guide For Liberals Who Are Suddenly Interested In Gun Ownership

Yes, there is some snark, but it's also full of actual tips for people interested in gun ownership.

Many of you have been sharing every second hand account, rumor, and urban legend about some random doofus in Somnambulant, Wisconsin or Bumfight, Louisiana, shouting an ethnic slur or spray painting a swastika on a wall. Newsflash, in a country with a third of a billion people, some percentage of them are going to be assholes. I hate to break it to you, but the assholes were there before, and they will be there forever. Just right now the news has a self-serving incentive to report about these assholes in particular.

But Correia! You’re not a marginalized Mexican transsexual Muslim! What do you know!?

I know that anybody can be “marginalized” if they walk into the wrong neighborhood. Violence can happen to any of us, and it does, all the time. Whether your odds of being a victim are good or bad, it still sucks when you draw the short straw and somebody tries to hurt you. Whoever you are, you are correct to be concerned for your safety. Anybody can be attacked, and everybody should be prepared to deal with it.
Go read the whole thing.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The Marine Corps Reading List

Not the first thing you think of when I say "Marine Corps" is it? You might be surprised.

Normally, you don't think of the United States Marine Corps when you think of great reading. Usually the first thing that comes to mind is strong men storming out of amphibious landing crafts storming the beaches to close with and kill the enemy. Maybe you think of their famous assault on Chapultepec in the Mexican War, or Belleau Wood, or Peleliu, Iwo Jima and Okinawa.

In any event, the image of the Marine Corps is one of martial strength, discipline, courage, and commitment. Notably absent there is the virtue of being well-read. However, that's a bit inaccurate.

Did you know the United States Marine Corps has a reading list? Yes, every Marine has assigned books to read based on their rank, and it's phenomenalAt minimum, three books per year are required to fulfill annual reading criteria for all active duty and reserve Marines, officer and enlisted.

Here's a selection of some of the books on the list:

The Killer Angels -Michael Shaara
I'm Staying With My Boys...: The Heroic Life of Sgt. John Basilone, USMC - Jim Prosser
The Red Badge of Courage - Stephen Crane
Ender's Game - Orson Scott Card
The Marines of Montford Point: America's First Black Marines - Melton McLaurin
All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
The Art of War - Sun Tzu
Infantry Attacks - Erwin Rommel
Black Hearts - Jim Frederick 
On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society - Dave Grossman
The Face of Battle - John Keegan
Diplomacy - Henry Kissinger
Team of Rivals - Doris Kearns Goodwin
The Federalist Papers - Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, John Jay

Again, this is just a partial list, but look at it. There is everything from the philosophical to the historical, to the abstract, to the in your face awfulness of war. Just even looking at this partial list, how much have you read?

Since I'm always looking for a good book to read, I've decided that I'm going to work my way through the list (after I finish the Aubrey-Maturin Series, of course). Accordingly, just like the Marine Corps is always looking for a few good men, you should always be looking for a few good books.

If you are in need of a good book, the Commandant of the United States Marine Corps has a few suggestions for you.

Carry on.

Monday, November 21, 2016

James Mattis on the State of the World

Happy Monday to all the ladies, gentlemen, scholars, Thanksgiving procrastinators, lawyers everywhere, and all the ships at sea!

This is a short week since the Thanksgiving holiday will be cutting into things, which means I'll be working to get the regular amount of work done in less than the regular time. As Jerry Reed would say, We've got a long way to go and short time to get there.

However, I would encourage you to find some time this week to watch the video below. Right up front, I'll let you know it's long. But hey, not everything is a quick-hitting hot take.

The video is a speech that General (Ret.) James Mattis gave back in 2015 to the Heritage Foundation in which he discusses his view of the state of the world. If you hadn't noticed, Mattis appears to be on the short list for SECDEF in the new administration.

In this lecture, Mattis discusses expansionist Russia, the issues dealing with a muscular China, and he lays out the fundamental question we aren't asking ourselves in dealing with the middle-east, which is preventing the United States from having an overarching strategy.

I highly recommend that you watch this video, if for no other reason, to educate yourself on how the possible new Secretary of Defense views the world. If you aren't as fortunate as me to have wonderful in-laws, you could watch this video over the holiday with some earphones and avoid them for awhile.

Video below the jump

Friday, November 18, 2016

Friday Open Thread

Happy Friday, campers.

Lots of work today, so you're just going to have to enjoy this picture of a dog in a boat. Have a great weekend!