Concerning Michael Bloomberg and farmers

. . . which we’ve previously addressed here and here, I received this image over the weekend via e-mail (origin unknown). Makes sense to me.  When I look at the size of Michael Bloomberg’s fortune (over $60 billion, by all accounts), I have to ask how much “dirt” went into amassing so great an amount.  If it all happened without a single lapse in ethics or honesty, and entirely within the law, I’ll go out and buy a hat so that I can eat it! (Of course, the same applies to most large fortunes, irrespective of the political affiliations and/or ambitions of their

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The “ruling class” are losing their grip

Tucker Carlson addressed the issue last week.  This five-minute clip is well worth your time. Andrew Codevilla, whom we’ve often met in these pages, discussed the “ruling class” a decade ago.  His insights then are as valid today as always. Never has there been so little diversity within America’s upper crust. Always, in America as elsewhere, some people have been wealthier and more powerful than others. But until our own time America’s upper crust was a mixture of people who had gained prominence in a variety of ways, who drew their money and status from different sources and were not predictably

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“The Roots of Our Partisan Divide”

That’s the title of a long and very interesting article by Christopher Caldwell.  Basically, he argues that a culture of “civil rights” has usurped, and threatens to overthrow (and may perhaps already have overthrown) the constitutional foundation of our republic.  I’m going to quote from it at some length, in an attempt to capture the essence of his argument. But it is a third strand of the story, running all the way down to our day, that is most important for explaining our partisan polarization. It concerns how the civil rights laws of the 1960s, and particularly the Civil Rights Act of 1964, divided

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Sunday morning music

A few weeks ago, friend, fellow author and fellow blogger Cedar Sanderson sent me a link to the video clip below.  It features the guqin, an ancient Chinese zither-like instrument that defies precise comparison with Western instruments.  It’s a lovely piece. Wikipedia describes the guqin as follows: The guqin is a plucked seven-string Chinese musical instrument of the zither family. It has been played since ancient times, and has traditionally been favoured by scholars and literati as an instrument of great subtlety and refinement, as highlighted by the quote “a gentleman does not part with his qin or se without good reason,”

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Saturday Snippet: Between silk and cyanide

One of the most remarkable autobiographies to come out of World War II was that of Leo Marks, who became the code specialist for Special Operations Executive (SOE), the clandestine operations department set up by Winston Churchill with the directive to “set Europe ablaze”.  SOE supplied arms, money and operators to resistance movements all over occupied Europe and throughout the Far East.  It made many mistakes and experienced many failures, but grew into a massive organization that made a measurable contribution to victory. Many years after the war, Marks wrote about his SOE experiences.  He battled for almost a decade to get

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A lovely toy for well-heeled shooters

I’ve always liked double-barreled side-by-side shotguns.  I recently came across this early-19th-century muzzle-loading example at Down East Trading Co. in Canada.  (Click the images for a larger view.) It comes in a lovely baize-lined case, complete with all original accessories. The shotgun is made of Damascus steel.  These close-ups show part of the patterning.  (Of course, it’s only safe to use with blackpowder loads.)   The company describes the shotgun as follows: We are pleased to offer an exceptional example of the work of Durs Egg who was one of the most famous London gunmakers of the early nineteenth century.  The piece is a

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A farmer replies to Michael Bloomberg

Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg was rather scathing about farmers and farming a few years ago.  This video clip surfaced recently as he ramped up his presidential campaign. A sheep farmer from northern Texas has replied. Dear Mr Bloomberg, I am not an anybody … a middle of the country farm girl with no college education … but your comments about farming not taking as much “gray matter” as what you do made me want to address this serious misconception you and many in our society seem to have. Farming is not simply planting a seed or feeding an animal

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Reactions to coronavirus in China are echoing the Ebola epidemic in Africa

I’m seeing a number of similarities between the way that China is responding to the coronavirus epidemic, and the way governments and individuals responded to Ebola in Africa.  Frankly, I’m startled, because the Chinese government should know better, and its people are more educated than the average African:  yet, the similarities persist. Consider government actions to control an outbreak of disease.  In Africa, we saw: Initial denial.  Governments tried to protect their economies, particularly tourism, by denying that there was an epidemic at all.  Those insisting that the problem was real were denigrated, mocked, and sometimes even locked up by

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He’s got a point . .

After President Trump pardoned several individuals a few days ago, reaction from the Democratic Party and the news media was very negative.  However, as Donald Trump Jr. tweeted yesterday: It’s kinda hard to argue with those numbers, isn’t it? Peter

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“Plankton powered rubber duck bombs”???

The new Armed Forces minister in Britain is raising eyebrows (and not before time, IMHO!) with his views on the future of warfare. Special Forces of the future should be planting malware in enemy servers rather than fighting wars with daggers, the new armed forces minister said yesterday. James Heappey, a former Army officer, said … the military needed ‘to think the incredible’ to win wars now and referred to the Alexa smart speaker as a model for innovation, adding: ‘Alexa, fight my war.’ . . . Speaking at the Royal United Services Institute (Rusi) think tank, he said: ‘We have

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