“When I saw Mustangs over Berlin, I knew the jig was up.”
- Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring.
And he was right.
I am conflicted. Seriously. I have thought for ages of putting up a list of the truly great fighter ‘planes and it is difficult to compare across eras. So you can stuff your Spitfire and your English Electric Lightning (magnificent though they were). The P-51D does it for me.
For me better looking than the Spit (I know that is a hanging offence in England because by English law the only thing better looking than a Spitfire is Pippa Middleton’s buttocks), much better range and just pure sex to take the stick with. And when Major General James Doolittle* got his paws on the 8th Airforce and used the P-51s on the offensive rather than defensive. Well, in just over a week 17% of German fighter pilots were lost. The Luftwaffe never recovered.
The P-51 truly won the air-war over Germany.
*Rarely has anyone had a less appropriate surname.
I am horrified but not exactly shocked. This is the Leitmotif of our lives. It is the continuous grinding pressure that makes our lives a slow misery. And all because of the deranged rantings of a goat-botherer nigh on a Millenium and a half ago.
Our culture has put Neil and Buzz on the moon. Our culture has created computers, our culture has made it affordable for me, as a student, to see the Applachians. Our culture enables boys to wear skirts to school. I am 42 and the largest social change I have seen in my time is the increasing acceptance of homosexuality. I’m straight but I’ll happily have a pint on Canal Street* in Manchester so this could of been me. It quite possibly could have been you.
I have a short message to jihadis. If you want to live in the Dark Ages many countries are available. We have gay marriage (a boon to florists – especially if Sir Elton John is involved). Shoddy Absurdia executes people for “crimes” such as “sorcery”. That is the difference.
You pay your moneys, you takes your choice.
If you want to live in a modern industrial democracy then fine. But if you do then I is sorry but you have to play the rules. Our rules. If they want to play by their rules then they can fuck off. I want nothing to do with people like that.
If they want an all straight caliphate with sexuality subjected to strict law then that is their choice. Just don’t do it in Europe or America. We are better than you. We have to remember that.
So was this homophobic? Or Islamic terrorism? Or both? I dunno. I do know it was appalling.
And my wishes are to the friends and family of the dead and wounded.
Have you heard of a preference cascade? We have all heard of the story of the Emperors New Clothes (think of Danny Kaye singing “Isn’t it ohhh! Isn’t it ahhh! Isn’t it absolutely wheee! The suit of clothes is altogether, but altogether, it’s altogether The most remarkable suit of clothes a tailor ever made Now quickly, put it altogether With gloves of leather and hat and feather It’s altogether the thing to wear in Saturday’s parade Leading the royal brigade"), where everyone, wanting to appear to be holding the ‘right’ views, all made claims that inwardly they weren’t happy or comfortable with. Massive social pressure, right?
Well, along comes a small boy who speaks the simple truth, “The King is in the altogether, but altogether, the altogether He’s altogether as naked as the day that he was born.”, and everyone then, relieved to discover they are not the only ones to be holding doubleplus ungoodthink, feel free to express their true opinions, leading to a collapse in dishonesty, deceit and cognitive dissonance. There is a cascading change in the opinions and preferences people express.
The argument being, things go as they are, and keep going, until something, maybe even a small something, occurs which alerts people to the fact that they are not alone, or just one of a small group, in their dissatisfaction. As knowledge spreads a tsunami of change can then overwhelm the population, society, and the complacent elites who are perfectly happy with things as they are, thank you very much.
Thus Trump, and what will follow.
The GOP leadership does not know what hit it, and the politically correct, those who follow and force the party line on others, are going to spend at least the next few months in outrage nirvana. Quite probably the next eight and a half years.
Anyway, apropos of nothing, just as something to share, you might like this.
Something to be considered. Much as most posters here, and visitors, loath the thought of Donald Trump as President, preferring anyone, anyone at all, including the known to be criminally corrupt Hillary Clinton, consider the Supreme Court.
Whoever next takes the White House will be gifted the opportunity to appoint one, probably two, maybe four, or possibly even five, Justices of the Supreme Court. This will shape United States policy for the next three decades.
Do we really want Hillary to have this opportunity?
I knew of an obscure law in Texas that essentially made it illegal to have in your home more than two sex toys (guess why the two?). Seeing as archaeologists have found dildos in ancient Egyptian tombs and such this clearly not some vile post ’60 innovation undoubtedly linked to drugs.
I didn’t know Ted Cruz was an architect of either creating the law or just making it er… harder. But…
In perhaps the most noticeable line of the brief, Cruz’s office declared, “There is no substantive-due-process right to stimulate one’s genitals for non-medical purposes unrelated to procreation or outside of an interpersonal relationship.”
It sort of seems this was a kinda plea bargain for the removal of the sodomy laws (which he was part of). OK, we’ll let gays do what they want but not with artificial help. In short things like anal sex were made legal but a vibrating butt-plug illegal. Yeah, I’m doing a switcharo here because dildos (or similar) are used in all ends (intended) of the sexual Spectrum (ZX and indeed 48K).
There are a number of issues here but let’s boil it down to one. Ted Cruz strongly implies sex ought to be for procreation and not for fun. So that is me un-fucked. Oh go on Nick! Yes I shall. Would he object to a married woman having a contraceptive implant? I bet he would. Because that is very much sex for fun and also bonding between two humans at the deepest level. There is a bigger issue though. How very dare Ted Cruz tell people what sex is for? How very dare he declare that sex without procreation is against the constitution when the constitution doesn’t mention sex at all and for good reason. Because it is private. He does also mention “public morals” and that is scary. And it comes down to the line about due process rights. And that is scary. The law is to tell you what not to do and not what you can do. Under common law systems it is assumed (and generally upheld) that you can do whatever you want unless it is specifically proscribed. Cruz’s attitude to masturbation is very scary here because it is about the law having to specifically allow something. It is basically allowing nothing unless it is made as legal.
Then again, we have a short tale from Anthony Watts about a December evening last year in S.F.
I was walking down Market street in San Francisco last night and spotted these folks out in front of Nordstrom’s. It made me do a double take.
I had just come from a two-hour climate skeptic bashing fest at #AGU15 where Naomi Oreskes and Michael Mann gave slide after slide of vitriol filled notes of why climate skepticism is bad.
I introduced myself to these caroling folks, shook hands with every one, and they were all very nice and wanted to know who I was. They were concerned about how Muslim Americans are being treated given current world events so they came up with this idea of going around to different places in SFO and caroling. Kudos to them for doing so as this little gesture helps break down some of the barriers that fear puts up.
It could be a ruse, of course. I suppose prudence suggests we be wary even while following our inner directive to grant the benefit of the doubt.
You have the right to analyse, criticise, judge, satirise, mock, lampoon and ridicule any belief and opinion to any extent you see fit, without let or hindrance. ‘Islamophobia’ is a fatuous and intellectually junk term whose combined purposes are to smear the target, deceive listeners and protect Islam from this critical analysis, placing it above all other belief systems in this society – a position to which it has no entitlement.
The sole legitimate role the state has in this matter is to ensure both your freedom to do this, and your security following.
Counting Cats (CC) was taken to task by several other commenters for being too squeamish and perhaps even morally neutral about who are the good guys and who are the bad guys here. While I don't share CC's reaction to the video, I rejoice in his (her?) existence. What kind of a world would it be if people like CC didn't exist or if they had to hide their views? Who knows, we might all be living in something akin to Somalia.
CC's civilized response is precisely why our military is a force for good in the world.