Just Wrong.

I hope the people who doctored up that video to make it seem like Planned Parenthood sells parts of “dead babies” for profit are really proud of themselves. They goaded a crazy guy into killing multiple actually born people, including a cop. Worse than that? A pro-life cop. And a mom of two. And an Iraq war veteran.

And all you people who think this was in any way justified? How dare you call yourselves Pro LIFE.

There’s a word for enforcing your opinions with violence: terrorism. Don’t blame me; blame the dictionary.

In Closing: Yeah, suuuuure the NSA is going to stop collecting your phone records, just like they “stopped” collecting e-mail metadata. As usual, if comments get out of hand they get closed. Threats will be reported to the authorities.

The Edge

I like those moments where I reach my edge. Those moments prove I am working to the best of my ability. They show me where my edge actually is. And most importantly, I will never stretch beyond the edge if I never get there in the first place.

In Closing: a few last Paris items; maybe you didn’t notice that you’re paying over twice as much; last century’s refugees; and the sane Republican candidate seems to be throwing up his hands in disgust as other candidates spew easily refuted nonsense.

I’m going to hold off on saying anything about Colorado Springs just now.

The Shorties Girls

I really thought about doing something on intellectual dishonesty today. But you know it boils down to one thing: Cheating cheats you in the long run. So here’s the shorties.

Google Easter Egg: check out what happens when you search for “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.”

The Cats of Belgium: Belgians have a pretty good sense of humor, it turns out.

The NSA: I guess nobody noticed they had their fingers crossed behind their backs. I wonder what, if anything, can stop them from thumbing their nose at the 4th and 5th Amendments.

Stop! Thief!: Civil forfeitures now exceed losses from burglaries.

Opt Out: Massachusetts has decided they don’t want Common Core. Not because they can’t live up to it, but because they believe what they already implemented was better.

The Whole Country: “Russian sailor drank half a litre of rum before crashing 7,000-ton ship full speed into Scotland.” Some headlines are better than others.

The History [Americans] Don’t Know: We will never figure out how to bring peace to the region without learning how “The West” helped cause the problems in the first place.

And Finally: A few words on Downtown Las Vegas. By the way, “Downtown” and “The Strip” are completely different places. Strictly speaking the Strip isn’t even in Las Vegas!

A Tale of Two Cities

Yesterday, I went on a mini pilgrimage to the site of the old MGM Grand fire — Bally’s.

All traces of the fire itself were erased 34 years and multiple renovations ago. Nevertheless, I could imagine a fireball traversing the long casino floor in seconds, faster than anyone could possibly have run. And yet, if you know what you are looking at, there are vestiges: exit doors prominently marked “EMERGENCY EXIT PUSH TO OPEN”; signage reminding guests where they can and cannot smoke.

In 1980 as today, tourism and hospitality is the largest industry in Las Vegas. Disaster forced changes for the better on businesses that might not otherwise have agreed. Dead tourists and news coverage of dead tourists is bad for business.

However, Vegas is not the worlds most popular tourist destination. France has twice as many annual visitors as Vegas. Paris alone has more annual visitors than Vegas. And remember that dead tourists are bad for business? Yes, Paris has a little problem. Experts swear it’s just a short term problem.


Heck, Paris has survived bigger problems than this.

Unhappy Anniversary: Vegas’s Towering Inferno

November 21, 1980, the MGM Grand Hotel (now Bally’s) had a deadly fire:

The official report on the fire is available in PDF form via the Fire Department. The event caused 85 deaths, a huge change of attitude, a massive renovation of Nevada’s building codes related to fire safety, and changes to Clark County Fire Department.

The lessons learned in Las Vegas may even have made your town’s tall buildings safer.

Deep in the Heart of Texas

Texas don’t need no steenking fact checking.

Ya know, when the Christian Science Monitor calls you out on your nonsense, you should probably pay attention!

In Closing: Taco Bell #1; The Princess who worked at Macy’s (and ran from the room when she met her future king!); and making abortions hard to get doesn’t prevent them.

Sharing an Email

Since she sent it to about a bazillion people, I hope Elizabeth Warren won’t mind my sharing it with you:


Over the past four years, millions of people have fled their homes in Syria, running for their lives. In recent months, the steady stream of refugees has been a flood that has swept across Europe.

Every day, refugees set out on a journey hundreds of miles, from Syria to the Turkish coast. When they arrive, human smugglers charge them $1000 a head for a place on a shoddy, overloaded, plastic raft that is given a big push and floated out to sea, hopefully toward one of the Greek islands.

Last month, I visited the Greek island of Lesvos to see the Syrian refugee crisis up close. Lesvos is only a few miles away from the Turkish coast, but the risks of crossing are immense. This is a really rocky, complicated shoreline – in and out, in and out. The overcrowded, paper-thin smuggler rafts are tremendously unsafe, especially in choppy waters or when a storm picks up.

Parents try their hardest to protect their children. They really do. Little ones are outfitted with blow up pool floaties as a substitute for life jackets, in the hope that if the rafts go down, a $1.99 pool toy will be enough to save the life of a small child.

And the rafts do go down. According to some estimates, more than 500 people have died crossing the sea from Turkey to Greece so far this year. But despite the clear risks, thousands make the trip every day.

I met with the mayor of Lesvos, who described how his tiny island of 80,000 people has struggled to cope with those refugees who wash ashore – more than 100,000 people in October alone. Refugees pile into the reception centers, overflowing the facilities, sleeping in parks, or at the side of the road. Recently, the mayor told a local radio program that the island had run out of room to bury the dead.

On my visit, I met a young girl – younger than my own granddaughters – sent out on this perilous journey alone. I asked her how old she was, and she shyly held up seven fingers.

I wondered what could possibly possess parents to hand a seven-year-old girl and a wad of cash to human smugglers. What could possibly possess them to send a beloved child across the treacherous seas with nothing more than a pool floatie. What could make them send a child knowing that crime rings of sex slavery and organ harvesting prey on these children.

Send a little girl out alone. With only the wildest, vaguest, most wishful hope that she might make it through alive and find something – anything – better for her on the other side.

This week, we all know why parents would send a child on that journey. Last week’s massacres in Paris and Beirut made it clear. The terrorists of ISIS – enemies of Islam and of all modern civilization, butchers who rape, torture and execute women and children, who blow themselves up in a lunatic effort to kill as many people as possible – these terrorists have spent years torturing the people of Syria. Day after day, month after month, year after year, mothers, fathers, children and grandparents are slaughtered.

In the wake of the murders in Paris and Beirut last week, people in America, in Europe, and throughout the world, are fearful. Millions of Syrians are fearful as well – terrified by the reality of their daily lives, terrified that their last avenue of escape from the horrors of ISIS will be closed, terrified that the world will turn its back on them and on their children.

Some politicians have already moved in that direction, proposing to close our country to people fleeing the massacre in Syria. That is not who we are. We are a country of immigrants and refugees, a country made strong by our diversity, a country founded by those crossing the sea fleeing religious persecution and seeking religious freedom.

We are not a nation that delivers children back into the hands of ISIS murderers because some politician dislikes their religion. And we are not a nation that backs down out of fear.

Our first responsibility is to protect this country. We must embrace that fundamental obligation. But we do not make ourselves safer by ignoring our common humanity and turning away from our moral obligation.

ISIS has shown itself to the world. We cannot – and we will not – abandon the people of France to this butchery. We cannot – and we will not – abandon the people of Lebanon to this butchery. And we cannot – and we must not – abandon the people of Syria to this butchery.

Thank you for being a part of this,


That’s pretty much all I’ve got today. Oh yeah, except that closing the French border to refugees would not have stopped what happened in Paris since all 8 attackers had EU passports. That’s much like the fact that the 9/11 hijackers were in the US legally, with passports under their own names. But hey, REAL ID is making you safer from people who don’t have all their documents together, right?