Good or Bad for the Jews

"Good or Bad for the Jews"

Many years ago, and for many years, I would travel to Morocco to visit uncles, cousins, and my paternal grandmother. Some lived in Tangiers;...

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Little Bit of This, Little Bit of That: Random Weekend Thoughts

Still not feeling anywhere near 100%. Lots of sleepless nights. The pain just doesn't stop, and I hate painkillers. My blogging, therefore, might be a bit erratic, more than usual, let's say. Here are some random observations on stuff I contemplated during the night. 

Movies of the Diplomad

My faithful Akita Shepherd, Hartza, and my trusty Roku keep me company in the long gloomy hours. Hartza and I end up at 3 am watching all sorts of odd films we normally would not--some garbage, e.g., "Ender's Game" (ugh!), but some very good.

Hartza, silently debating whether to watch a movie or play with the ball.
We saw an outstanding Danish film called "A Hijacking" (Kapringen)--Hartza gave it the coveted four paws up award, and declared it better than a belly rub on a warm night.

It deals in a cold, somewhat detached, almost docudrama fashion with a fictionalized Somali pirate hijacking of a Danish merchant ship. Yes, sure, of course, it has some errors, and some slow moments, but overall it's a very grim, accurate, and powerful exploration of what happens during prolonged captivity and negotiations, and, most notably, the toll it takes on all involved. The film--Oh, the Horror!--features as the hero a white, male CEO in a suit who drives an expensive luxury car! No! He is portrayed as an honorable, hard-working man committed to saving his company's ship and people from the pirates! This is revolutionary cinema! The film also, perhaps inadvertently, provides a good look at what happens when a ship is taken, and there is no US Navy around: A striking contrast in approach to the issue of hijacking between this film and that of "Captain Phillips." Worth watching.

Those Crazy Auto Workers!

I normally don't write about labor union activities (OK, sometimes), but was struck by the blatant bias in press reporting on recent efforts by the UAW (United Auto Workers) to unionize a car plant in Tennessee. I refer to the vote last Friday by the roughly 1550 hourly workers at the VW factory in Chattanooga. I won't link to all the stories as they are easy to find. I was particularly struck by the reporting done by CNN. That once interesting "inventor" of the 24 hour news cycle and developer of some of the now standard techniques and technologies used by cable news channels has become a dull, dopey, predictable, MSNBC "Mini Me." Instead of trying to stake out a more-or-less centrist, objective reporting stance, it has biased, poorly written, and badly researched articles more worthy of the execrable MSNBC, or the hopeless "The Guardian." Its reporting on the VW plant vote was, yes, of that low of a quality.

The pro-union hype throughout was so blatant it was almost comical. Media outlets, especially CNN, were full of warnings about the tactics of Republicans who frantically sought to stop the unionization of the Chattanooga plant. The Republicans, it was alleged, wanted to block the UAW's effort despite support for it by VW and by the giant German metal workers union, IG (Industriegewerkschaft Metall.)  The IG gave advice to the UAW on how to unionize the plant, and set up Workers' Councils; VW provided the UAW the venue for union organizing. It seems that for the press pro-union activity by outsiders, even foreigners, is OK, but not the expressing of concerns about the UAW by people in Tennessee.

VW is an odd company, at least when seen with American eyes. Its ownership is split primarily among Porsche, the government of Lower Saxony, and a Qatar sovereign fund. Since its founding in the 1930s by two Austrians, Hitler and Porsche, it has enjoyed the protection of the German government in many ways, including prohibitions on foreign take-overs and limitations on voting rights by stockholders. It is a prime example of a hybrid government-private company--GM take note. On a personal note, I never cared for VWs; I briefly drove a Beetle in my college days--I remember that it had no working first gear for some reason, and had to start moving in second. Today's VWs I find, well, just plain boring. They seem the automotive equivalent of gluten-free, no preservative, no dye, no-cholesterol, low-fat, sugar-free vanilla pudding--might be good for you, but the heart does not race for a helping. Clearly millions of persons don't agree; VW is a very valuable and successful company that makes and sells cars around the globe, and, apparently, is a good employer. So, not for the first time, I am in a minority in my views.

The unionization of the Chattanooga plant was to be the watershed, the bursting of the pent-up reservoir of demand for unionization, the unleashing of a relentless UAW drive, the (insert your tired cliche here) to unionize the large numbers of non-union car plants that have sprung up mostly in the South where they have fled Detroit and the terrors of Blue Rule. VW apparently was advised by its lawyers--and/or, perhaps, threatened by the NLRB in the US and the IG in Germany? Hmm?--that it could not set up Workers' Councils unless a legally recognized union represented the workers, otherwise and supposedly, the company would run afoul of the Wagner Act of 1935, and find itself charged with running a "white union," i.e., a company or sham union. I am no labor lawyer, and don't play one on TV, but friends who know this legal stuff better than I, say this is not at all settled, and that depending how structured, a Workers' Council would not be necessarily tantamount to a "white union." All that aside, this was the line peddled by the Democrats, the IG, the UAW, the NLRB, and, quietly, by VW. It is obvious why those organizations wanted the UAW to win the vote: the Democrats need labor union support in the South; the IG is afraid German car makers find it a little too convenient to move production offshore, especially out of Germany and the EU and to the US; the struggling UAW needs the money; the NLRB, along with the IRS, EPA, and DOJ, is a major electoral arm of the Obama administration, and charged with punishing firms that do not please the administration, e.g. the stunt with Boeing's South Carolina plant; and VW just wants whatever is easiest and less disruptive.

Well, of course, those silly American workers do not know where their interests lie, so they rejected the UAW. For some reason, some unfathomable reason, American factory workers seem, just seem, mind you, not to trust the UAW too, too much--hard to understand given the UAW's stellar record in promoting job growth and prosperity in paradises such as Detroit. So again we see how the rednecks let the GOP, the Tea Party, the NRA, Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, Fox News, the Koch brothers, etc., scare them off from the loving embrace of the UAW. Inexplicable.

The EU: Saving the Internet from the Americans

Seems that Merkel and Hollande want to find some way for the EU to fend off America's dominance in the internet. They want to protect Europe's data from the prying Americans. OK, OK, seems we have an intramural spat among believers in government solutions. The world's big socialists, Merkel, Hollande, and Obama are having a row. The Europeans are unhappy because their American counterpart has at his service an apparatus that is much better at spying on Europeans (and on Americans) than do they. Let's not get into all the nuts and bolts of the issue but look at what this story reveals about the EU. Its leaders are looking for some sort of big government solution to a problem created by big government. I am sure next steps will include creation of some private-public panel that will draft some EUish report--the NSA will get it before Merkel and Hollande do--that will recommend some multi-billion Euro program, excuse me, "programme," to do something very bureaucratic and elaborate to promote a European based internet. Yawn . . .  wake me up when you got something.

Gay Celebrities

Is it only me, or does it seem that every day some new brave celebrity comes out with a tearful "confession of being gay and proud? Come on guys and gals and others. Face it. Proclaiming gayness in Hollywood today takes about as much courage as a North Korean proclaiming his love for the Dear Leader. Enough already. Who cares? Besides, what exactly is there is to be proud about when it comes to sexual orientation? I don't want to know about it. You're boring me, you're boring me.

European Euthanasia

A disturbing development out of Belgium. The Belgian legislature has voted through a law that will allow the "practice" of euthanasia on children regardless of age.  The BBC tells us that,
When, as expected, the bill is signed by the king, Belgium will become the first country in the world to remove any age limit on the practice. 
It may be requested by terminally ill children who are in great pain and also have parental consent. 
Opponents argue children cannot make such a difficult decision. 
It is 12 years since Belgium legalised euthanasia for adults. 
In the Netherlands, Belgium's northern neighbour, euthanasia is legal for children over the age of 12, if there is parental consent.
There are so many troubling aspects to this that I cannot begin to list them. One, of course, is giving this sort of power to some panel of professionals and bureaucrats. The whole thing is too repulsive to write about. We now have a Europe which allows abortion on demand, is OK with euthanizing children, but opposed on high moral grounds to the death penalty for mass murderers.

Disgusting example of the decay of western civilization.

Undocumented Workers?

How many "undocumented workers" are actually workers? I suspect that a significant proportion of illegal aliens in the country are not workers, at all. They are probably in their majority children, single mothers, and sick and old folks living on the dole. They aren't only taking your jobs, they're also taking your money.

Wonder if you could even get stats on this? Probably not. Very, nay, way too non-PC.


  1. That is the most beautiful animal I have ever seen. The article was good too. But damn, that dog is just completely majestic.

    1. He's a great beast. A rescue. He weighed 40 pounds. He is now a robust 90 lbs and is the most gentle, regal, loving dog you could imagine. He goes everywhere with me.

  2. Just wanted to drop a note to tell you how much your postings mean to me. They give great insight to a person who does not have the "inside baseball" view that you do. Although we seem to be on the same wavelength, I still learn from you. One if the most interesting courses I ever took was International Relations, it was fascinating in its complexity. And being a dog lover makes it so much the better, we have three Border Collies.

    1. Thank you. I love Border collies. They have to be the smartest dogs on the planet . . .hope Hartza doesn't read what I just wrote . . . .

  3. The Ender's Game movie was truly awful. The book gets maybe 3 stars I gave the movie 1. I hate painkillers also but during my recent bout of shingles I found Percocet to be a gift directly from God. Don't pass on it until you've tried it.

  4. Another good read. Thank you. Awaiting your comments on Venezuela when you have time and energy.

  5. Thank you, another great post. The The Belgium acceptance of euthanasia for children caught my attention also. A question: Did Germany madate such a law back in the 1930s, in an attempt to cleanse their perception of the German genotype? Strange how these socialists embrace a form of enforced Darwinism, yet shrink back at capital punishment for criminals. Criminals have nothing to fear, it's just the unborn children or those born and not considered worthy of life that need to fear.

    Concerning your furry friend! Yes, he's a handsome beast all right - and fearless too, would be my guess. It's always handy to have a hero close by when things seem to get out of hand. He can cause people to reconsider their next action, as he's nipping on their gluteus maximus! LOL

    The sodomites? I am anxiously awaiting & anticipating the next pandemic spread strictly by sodomy, then everyone can be called a racist (?) for not accepting sodomites into their circle of friends. sigh. My response would be to please be quiet and die with at least a shred of dignity.

    1. In Germany, under the 3d Reich, there was an entire euthanasia program, known as "T-4" for the address where the experiments were conducted at Tiergartenstrasse 4 in Berlin. An estimated 200,000 people were killed this way, of all ages, at psychiatric hospitals and in the camps.

      There was considerable church opposition to this program when news of it leaked out--it was one of the few Nazi programs that provoked a significant, negative public response. There's much more here:

      It was the first think that came to my mind when I read that BBC link. People really are beyond stupid when it comes to not learning the lessons of history.

  6. The workers council issue exists because Bill Clinton vetoed the Kassebaum TEAM Act in the 1990s.
    The unions opposed it. Of course.

  7. Dip, sorry to read about the pain related to your shoulder surgery. My opposite sex (you know, since we are supposed to be brave and announce our sexual preferences in this new modern age) spouse just had rotator cuff surgery for the second time in four months by one of the best shoulder surgeons in the Southwest. So tricks we learned this time that hopefully, will help you.

    Sleep in your recliner, or at least propped up by a four or five pillows to where you are almost upright. For some reason, sleeping upright as much as possible helps keep the pain down. Apply cold packs for 20 minutes every couple of hours. That reduces the internal swelling which will also help the pain.
    Pain killers are horrible, but don't let the pain get ahead of you. No one (well, except druggies) actually likes pain killers but they serve a purpose. If you don't want to take one, take a half one and some heavy duty Tylenol.
    I hope these suggestions help. I know they worked for my better half.

    As to the UAW losing in Tennessee. Southerners are not stupid. They see what the unions have done for Detroit, and they understand that a leech needs a live body.

    Undocumented workers? Well, that's a misnomer. They are not "un" documented. They have lots of documents that can be purchased from any black market document maker at any flea market in the U.S. Need a birth certificate? No hay problema. Driver's license? Social Security card? Aqui barato. Believe me, illegals are well documented, the documents just are not legal.

    Let me know if the suggestions help your pain.


    1. Mr. Zane,

      How about "falsely documented persons"? Or even--this is so wildly crazy it might just work--"illegal aliens"?

  8. So sorry about the continuing pain, your excellency.

    Hartza appears to be a very handsome animal ... for a dog. I have seen far less impressive movie critics ... on television.

    On your recommendation, I'll see Kapringen. To your knowledge, have its makers been arrested for racist provacation, yet?

    (Good thing that could never happen here. Nakoula! Pardon me, I sneezed.)

    You asked each of us for his watershed-like cliche for the (attempted) unionization of the Chattanooga plant. I think "infection of patient zero" covers it.

    The International Telecommunications Union--I beg its pardon, le Union Internationale des Télécommunications--will be allowed to take over the Internet. Or it won't. Large consequences would follow.

    Re: coming out in Hollywood. Of course gayness is who one is, unlike, say, one's philosophy, which is merely what one thinks. But one is not proud of sodomy per se, but of bravely smashing the old heteronormative order. Unlike--as Tom Leher's song, "The Folksong Army" puts it"--the rest of you squares.

    Oddly enough, I know a little about that culture. I went to Hollywood High School, where no student, however unprepossessing, of either sex--in those days there were only two--who walked to school--as in those days many did--went unpropositioned by passing men.

    It may be true that no truly straight boy was ever seduced into homosexuality--how would I know?--but many have been seduced into homosexual acts that screwed them up no little and quite some. I speak at second-hand, of course.

  9. Diplomad, as someone who worked IT for one of the largest privately held grape growers in California, I can assure you a lot of illegals do have a job. However, they also tend to have multiple sets of phony ID's that they use to collect various forms of welfare.

    On another note, if you want to depress yourself, head to the emergency room of the local county or city hospital and note how many of the people there have cell phones and kids who are dressed in the latest fashions along with name brand sneakers. Yet none of them can come up with the money to go to a regular doctor. And not a single person seems to have any sort of condition that qualifies as an emergency. I won't mention the language most of these people speak, either.

    Usually, I put my name on my posts, but, not this time. It wouldn't be hard to connect my name with the employer to which I'm referring so, best I remain anonymous this time.


    Another reader.

  10. God bless the dogs. My minor knee surgery unexpectedly morphed into major knee surgery, and the dogs are such a blessing now that I'm down for the count. They are well worth the high price of the dog walker.

    Hope you're feeling in the pink soon. Post-surgical recovery is always demoralizing, especially when there's a lot of pain involved.

  11. Legalizing is disenfranchising.
    It's the same way our governments are attempting to wrest control of our kids from their parents.
    What has *forever* been a private matter between doctors, patients, and families, is now being 'legalized' in some countries. It will be 'legalized' in the US, because in order to wrest control over a decision such as 'euthanasia', the government has to make it clear that they *control* when/why/how/where such things will occur.
    The government must first be able to regulate and control this if their end purpose is to implement/suggest/mandate euthanasia (in order to manage costs, for example).

    'Legalizing' can be among the most controlling of actions.

    - reader #1482

  12. Dip, I misread your first paragraph. I thought you wrote "your blogging might be a bit " erotic so I read on. Erratic and erotic are too close in mispronunciation. If you like good acting and dialogue in film, "The Lion in Winter" is a good one with Hepburn and Burton.

    1. Hepburn, O'Toole in Lion in Winter. Burton, O'Toole in Becket.

    2. Thanks. As soon as I walked out of the house I realized what I had done.

    3. They're all dead. You're safe . . .

    4. "They're all dead. You're safe . . . " Anthony Hopkins isn't, but this was before he developed a certain taste so to speak.

    5. I appreciate it guys. Didn't stop me from feeling some what bad about it though. Next thing you know, somebody will tell me Red Skelton didn't play Rhett Butler in "Gone With the Wind".

    6. Mr. Wall,

      I think you might mean Aubrey Filmore in "A Southern Yankee" (1948), or possibly Wally "The Fox" Benton in Whistling in Dixie" (1942). It's a natural mistake to make.

  13. I've never understood why the unions even bother expending much effort down here, all the Prussians would've had to do would've been to look to what happened at the Caterpiller plant installed in extreme southern Missouri.

    True, West Plains is very unlike say, a St Louis or a Kansas City except ...

    I too Diplomad have ever felt VWs drab little things but very recently an article's title grabbed my attention - now admittedly it might've had to do with Arkansas' spate of Global Warming Not! - but to tell the truth I wouldn't mind owning one of these:


  14. The Tennessee workers are smarter than their counterparts in OZ, I see. All three auto plants will close in the next couple of years.

  15. I am suspicious. Is David Mamet, David Mamet ghost writing for you today?

  16. Appears the fat lady hasn't sung. And it would appear neither the Prussians nor the UAW has bothered with any History books.

    The effort would have created the first union at a foreign-owned automaker in the historically anti-union South-and raised the morale of a union that has seen membership plummet from 1.5 million in 1979 to 380,000 last year.


  17. Regarding gay celebrities coming out and the UAW loosing big-time, one of the regular smart-*sses at Ace of Spades (IRRC) remarked that at this rate there would be more gay celebs in Hollywood than private-sector union employees everywhere else.

  18. Regarding your four-legged friend, I have to admit that if my wife weren't allergic to them, I'd have a cat. Still, dogs are wonderful, as long as they're somebody else's responsibility.

    I'm in full sympathy with the Chattanooga auto workers who voted to reject the UAW, even if in principle I'm in favor of independent labor unions (I noticed while in China, that if you really want to sweat labor, you need to go to a country where the workers' party is in control--and when I see China's problems with spontaneous labor unrest, or villages beating up Communist cadre in eastern Guangdong over shady land deals [makes me proud to be part Hakka], I feel that it couldn't happen to a nicer government.

    As for homosexual celebrities, I am frankly disgusted. When one of the other posters spoke of going to school in Hollywood and virtually all kids of either sex got propositioned, it makes me all the more disgusted with the entertainment industry. When a bunch of my students told me about the inspiring film they saw about Harvey Milk in "health" class, I asked if they were told how Milk used to prey on teenaged runaways in SanFran, and got a few people thinking.

    My own guess is that in a couple of decades, when I'm dying in prison for "hate speech", a bunch of young men will come out of the woodwork whining about the miseries of growing up sodomized by "two daddies" (the Frank Lombard case multiplied), and the selfsame lawyers pushing the LGBT agenda today will sail off into comfortable retirement representing these aggrieved youngsters in a whopping big class action suit against every organization and institution that made their last clients' misery possible. May it bankrupt half of the MSM and Hollywood.

    I was Vice Consul in Bangkok for two years. I didn't go looking for the sex industry, but simply couldn't avoid noticing it. Everything about it is sordid and disgusting, but the ponytailed Farang men who know they're HIV-AIDS positive and are going abroad for a last fling with partners as young as they can find them (and telling themselves they're helping the world's poor while doing it) are just about the worst of all. Maybe a future generation, which explores the last taboo, will tweet each other about how queers taste like something between pig and dog (apologies to Hartza and friends) rather than chicken. We today are so determined to go Hell-for-leather to define deviancy downwards, I fear that such a day will come.

    Having read the Nevi'im many times, I sometimes wonder if the real reason why Europe is being overrun my Muslims (a culture that chiefly produces fratricidial war and slums surrounded by deserts) might not be divine judgment on a culture that once had so much, but then collectively flipped the bird at its maker. I fear the USA isn't that far behind, either.

    1. re: "Having read the Nevi'im many times, I sometimes wonder..."

      Well stated, and yes I agree. Europe has embraced cultural and spiritual death, so a vigorous robust virus of death (aka Islam) is overtaking her in a most obscene manner.

  19. Holy Shit Batman!

    A few posts back Kepha advocated (& I'd agreed to) re-instituting a certain law - little did I realize - A.C.A. § 5-14-101 (2014) :
    5-14-101. Definitions.

    As used in this chapter:

    (1) "Deviate sexual activity" means any act ... touching, directly or through clothing ... the breast of a female."

    ... among other stuff of course - meant anything else than "undesired, unwished, uninvited, "My Dad is gonna cut your balls off" etc ... I figured I'd be the first to agree with.

    But ooh boy Kepha, Arkansas' "anti-sodomy law" goes a very long bridge - a guy by law can't even examine for say, breast cancer 'cause touching a tit ... excuse me ... a breast - female - violates Arkansas' Sodomy Law.

    Check it for yourself - A.C.A. § 5-14-101 (2014)

    Arkansas I'm of the opinion is ...

  20. Dear Dip, Have you come across any good old movies about the Revolutionary War in your nighttime viewings? So far I have found Drums Along the Mohawk, Johnny Tremaine, and Revolution (1985 with Al Pacino), and the John Adams mini series, but I would think there must be more.
    I've been reading 1775 by Kevin Philips, which makes me want to see a good film representation of all of that.

    1. Anonymous, Dip may have his favorites, but my immediate reaction would be to recommend the "1776" musical, which is great. Also, there is the movie "The Devil's Disciple", with Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, and Laurence Olivier, taken from a play by George Bernard Shaw. I'll try to think of more, because I know they are out there.

      Minta Marie Morze

    2. There aren't many films about the Revolution. "Devil's Disciple" is one of the few good ones. I guess Hollywood finds the Revolution too full of white males concerned about government intervention and keeping their guns and money.

  21. "gluten-free, no preservative, no dye, no-cholesterol, low-fat, sugar-free vanilla pudding".....

    Wow, the darkness outside did sneak in a bit there!

    Sure hope you're feeling much better, and I do agree, that's a beautiful dog. Bet he loves your restless nights!

    Best to you from SandraC

  22. I enjoy the vast majority of your posts and look forward to them. However, I think you missed the mark regarding your "review" of Ender's Game. With all respect, stick to politics and the larger issues; topics you're much more informed about...!

    1. Movies are like cars. It is a very subjective process undergone in deciding whether a film is good or bad. It is not a question of being "informed" about movies, it is whether the movie appeals to you or not--it is, after all, supposed to be art, entertainment for the senses, etc. I did not review "Ender's Game," I reacted to it. I found "Ender's Game" appalling as it sees a dystopian future where we are all under the control of some international military organization that can come and take our children away in the name of some weird threat. The military, to add insult to injury, is made up of a bunch of PC pajama boys who engage in some of the silliest "training" I have ever put on film. A hopeless mess.

  23. 'It is not a question of being "informed"' Yep, don't need to know power to weight ratios etc, to enjoy tearing up asphalt with a car.

  24. Great article as always - thanks Dip.

    Anxiety and panic attacks sometimes overwhelm me. I couldn't get through these times without my little dog.

    Re Lion in Winter: Such excellent acting!

    Re UAW: Follow the money. It's always about the money.

    Re Winter Olympics: The Russians don't want their children exposed to the West's gay propaganda. The American press thinks this is bad. To show tolerance for differences in opinion the Americans showcase flamboyant gays in lipstick. How is this message received by the rest of the world?

    I too look forward to reading what you have to say about Venezuela.

    Reader #8

  25. Dip...your beast is a glorious creature.a puppy nose kiss to him..Now, regarding your post opt got some good advice..however, I would like to suggest acupuncture..and no, you will not feel the needles((I am a needle phobe..and I do it all time) and Turmeric for the pain and inflammation ...I will let you find out that it is being seriously looked at for cancer, Altzheimer's ,heart disease, arthritis ,reducing cholesterol, triglycerides,diabetes, minimizes likelihood of blood clots,supports healthy kidneys and liver, healthy pain-free joints..You can't get all you need just by eating a lot of Indian need a supplement.Even my doctor takes it and I have a client who is an oncology doc(who had been at MD Anderson) who is involved in international studies re Turmeric
    Want to keep you around for a long time...I practically went into mourning the last time you disappeared..To your good health!!!!

  26. I've just recently come across your blog and enjoy it immensely. I do hope that you will be feeling better soon. Love your dog - I also have a Shepherd, Millie. I was raised with one as a girl and truly think there is no better breed to have around children. When my granddaughters come over (they're 2 and 3) Millie whimpers with joy! Anyway, I watched "The Hijacking" last night and it was very well done. I recognized three of the actors (the cook, the CEO, and his second in command) from a series you might enjoy, "Borgen". Danish politics. I don't know if you have heard of it. Unlike "House of Cards" I don't feel like I need to shower after watching it.
    Thank you for your postings and photos of Hartza will be appreciated, Engelina