Saturday, October 10, 2015

Verbally impotent in France

When I arrived on French soil six years ago, I could order an orange juice in a café and purchase a bus ticket, 
bemoans the Telegraph's Gillian Harvey,
but that was about it.

 … While I do have the language skills required to organise my finances at the bank, arrange a play-date for my children and have a parent-teacher meeting at the school (although my brain often aches after such encounters), it’s the subtleties of language that I miss.

Friday, October 09, 2015

Ranger School: Everything in the Obama administration is make-believe and subordinated to the agenda—even truth

Something about the story of the first two women ever to graduate from the Army’s prestigious Ranger course seemed hokey
notes Benny Huang, one army veteran who is always suspicious of “firsts.”
Our society is so fixated on them that it creates an incentive to fudge facts and lower standards.

Liberals will of course contest my assertion, though these are the same people who don’t really object to lowering standards in academia to get more minorities in the door, lowering them again to get them to graduate, then lowering them a third time to hire them as faculty members. Liberals don’t really oppose lowering the bar in order to create “firsts.” They just don’t like to call it “lowering the bar” because that tarnishes the accomplishment. As it should.

General Martin Dempsey, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, revealed his doublethink in 2013 when announcing long-term plans to open combat positions to women. In the vey same press conference in which he stated that women would be allowed the opportunity to prove themselves under the same standards as the men, he also stated, “If we do decide that a particular standard is so high that a woman couldn’t make it, the burden is now on the service to come back and explain to the secretary, why is it that high? Does it really have to be that high?”

So the standard will remain the same…unless women can’t reach it. Then elite units will have to justify their standards to the service secretaries, who will probably not be swayed. So why even debate with the service secretaries if disagreement itself signals a career-killing reluctance to get with the program?

In any case, isn’t “we like being awesome” justification enough? Apparently not. General Dempsey’s pronouncement set the tone—we’re going full speed ahead with women in combat. There’s nothing you can do to stop it and you will only be crushed if you try.

It should come as no surprise then that some Ranger instructors now say that the first women ever awarded the Ranger tab, Kristen Griest and Shaye Haver, received plenty of assistance.

 … When it was all over, several anonymous Ranger instructors contacted Congressman Steve Russell (R-OK), a combat veteran and former Army Ranger, to tell him that they had been pressured to go easy on the women. They “got special treatment and played by different rules.”
 … This is all par for the course in Obama’s military. Everything in his administration is make-believe and everything is subordinated to the agenda, even truth. Especially truth. Just think of the Solyndra and “shovel ready jobs.”

Congressman Russell has requested to see the women’s training reports, though I doubt very much that he will find anything there. No one would be stupid enough to document the women’s failures and then graduate them. If the course was fixed, so were the records.

 … These Ranger instructors cared enough about the truth to speak out through the only channels available to them. The real crooks in this sordid tale are the Pentagon brass, the Secretaries of Defense and the Army, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, and the president. They’re the ones who pressured people beneath them to graduate at least one woman. Am I calling them liars? You betcha! As an Army veteran myself, I’ll tell you that general officers are very much political animals. They lie as much or more than politicians and they’re lying now. 

Thursday, October 08, 2015

How to Respond If Someone Calls You a Racist or Says "You Are Full of Shit"

How do you respond to someone who tells you "You are full of s--t" or to someone who calls you a racist, a sexist, a bigot, a hater, a fascist, a Nazi, a troll, a reactionary, a crank, or a clown?


You thank them.


Very profusely.

Tell them:
I am touched by your words and I wish to thank you very much for calling me a racist/a hater/a sexist (and/or for saying that I am full of shit), in view of the fact that that shows that you have run out of arguments and that you now have no choice but to resort to ad hominems and insults.
If you wish to elaborate:
Of course, being liberals, people like you have no rational arguments to begin with, that is, none beyond your self-serving (and never-ceasing) statements of self-praise, such as that you are the most intelligent people that ever lived, that you are the most compassionate people who ever lived, that you are the most loving people who ever lived, that you are the most generous, most humanitarian, most peaceful, most tolerant people who ever lived, and that nobody before you has been as open as you are to debate and to discussion.
Related: Americans Anonymous

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Mocking Americans as Obese May Have to Become a Thing of the Past in Europe

Americans may soon lose the title of the world’s most obese people if Europeans maintain their habits of heavy drinking, smoking and overeating
reports the Daily Caller's Guy Bentley (thanks to B A Duffy).
A new report from the World Health Organization (WHO) shows that the majority of Europeans are now obese or overweight.

According to WHO, 59 percent of Europe’s population is either overweight or obese. Furthermore, the report found that Europe had the highest level of tobacco and alcohol use in the world, with dependency running at 4 percent.

Monday, October 05, 2015

This insane fear we have of offending Muslims is getting people killed—and raped

After reading more about the incident, I’m nearly certain that this kid knew exactly what he was doing
says Benny Huang of the Texas teenager who planned to bring a suspicious device to school as part of a deliberate self-victimization hoax.
What [Ahmed Mohamed] was doing, very likely with the help of CAIR, is called desensitization. It’s the processes of conditioning people to ignore what they know to be dangerous. Most people, when they encounter a briefcase with protruding wires will trust their instincts and report it to authorities. As the old saying goes, “If you see something, say something.” But if ordinary people can be made to keep mum out of fear that they will be called names—racist, Islamophobe, etc.—then terrorists can operate without nosy people flubbing up the operation.

Frontpage Magazine aptly coined a new adage for this era of tolerance and diversity: “If you see something, say something—unless the suspicious person is Muslim.” Yeah. Then shut up or you’re racist.

The classic desensitization operation is the “flying imams” incident of November 2006, in which a group of six Muslim clerics (imams) seemed to go out of their way to alarm passengers on a flight to Phoenix. Three of the imams also triggered “red flags” by buying only one-way tickets and not checking baggage. Several passengers quietly complained to flight attendants that they found the imams’ behavior suspicious.
The righteously indignant imams struck back with lawsuits against the airport, the airline and an anonymous passenger who passed a note to a flight attendant. The imams were represented by CAIR, of course. Eventually the suit against the passenger was dropped but the one against airline went to court. The case was eventually settled for an undisclosed amount through court-supervised mediation, which CAIR touted as a civil rights victory. The judge wrote that the imams had done nothing illegal and discarded as irrelevant the fact that reasonable people, lacking the benefit of hindsight, did what they thought prudent to keep people safe. Airlines were put on notice—if you see Muslims doing something that looks suspicious, you’d better be right.

Many observers, myself included, believed that the whole incident was a pre-meditated attempt to provoke exactly the reaction that they got—just like Ahmed Mohamed’s stunt. If you think that sounds crazy, consider for a moment that one of the imams worked for a Hamas front group before it was shuttered by the Treasury Department.

What CAIR will never admit is that people in western societies are socialized to treat Muslims with kiddy gloves. In their world, Muslims are given extra scrutiny. In reality, they are given less. In their world, the innocent actions of Muslims are interpreted as threatening by demented, Islamophobic minds. In reality, people pretend not to find their actions threatening even when they clearly are.
Can anyone dispute that the 2009 Fort Hood shooting could have been prevented if anyone had had the cajones to report Major Nidal Hassan before he started killing people? It didn’t take Sherlock Holmes to deduce that the Palestinian-American psychiatrist was hot for jihad. Major Hasan went off topic at a military psychiatry conference to deliver a lecture that many in the audience perceived as pro-radical Islam and anti-American, in which he approvingly quoted radical clerics and even Osama bin Laden. A classmate of his says that Hasan later mentioned his support for suicide bombers.

As someone who has served in the Army, I can tell you that career officers are some of the most risk-averse people you will ever meet because the worst fate they can imagine is having an Equal Opportunity (EO) complaint filed against them. There’s nothing worse than being accused of an “-ism” or a “-phobia.”

 … Our reluctance to identify Muslim malfeasance goes beyond terrorism. Try to imagine a society so paralyzed by fear of being labeled Islamophobic that people will look the other way while school-aged girls are raped. That nation really exists. It’s called England.

Between 1997 and 2013, a group of mostly Pakistani men in and around Rotherham, England were luring white English girls as young as eleven into what can only be called sex slavery. A conservative estimate of the victims is 1,400. The pervs managed to keep their little operation secret until 2001 when a Home Office worker named Jayne Senior began interviewing victims and compiling a report which she eventually turned over to authorities…who did nothing for fear of being perceived as racist. Ms. Senior was pressured to remain silent and even ordered to attend an “ethnicity and diversity course.”
 … This insane fear we have of offending Muslims is getting people killed—and raped. I don’t care for a moment if some kid in Texas feels bad because a teacher mistook his bomb-like object for a bomb. He was likely baiting the teacher, and even if he wasn’t, the teacher did nothing wrong. The madness has to stop.

Sunday, October 04, 2015

RIP Adrian Frutiger, the Font Designer I Had a Spat With 20 Years Ago

For more than 50 years, Adrian Frutiger made the world legible
writes Margalit Fox in her New York Times obituary. Twenty years ago, I had a verbal run-in with the Swiss type designer, through the pages of the International Herald Tribune, in which I appealed to the bible of the advertising industry.
    Anyone who has had to strain his eyes to make out a street sign or a highway direction at night, read arduously through a monument inscription, or decipher a direction from the far side of
a Paris Métro platform would tell typographer Adrian Frutiger that the idea is not to "recognize letters one by one" (back page, Sept. 18 [1995]), but words!

    Thus, a text, whatever it is (even a headline or a brief pair of terms), should never be in capitals.  As David Ogilvy of Ogilvy & Mather writes in "Ogilvy on Advertising" — the definitive book on the ad world — "The eye is a creature of habit.  People are accustomed to reading books, magazines and newspapers in lower case."  It has been established that "Capital letters are extremely difficult to read" and "retard reading.  They have no ascenders or descenders to help you recognize words, and tend to be read letter by letter."
It was printed, shortened, in the International Herald Tribune (issue # 35,023) on October 5, 1995, as "Signs of the Times."

Back to the Margalit Fox's obituary:
A type designer who died on Sept. 10 at 87 in his native Switzerland, Mr. Frutiger created some of the most widely used fonts of the 20th century, seen daily in airports, on street signs and in subway stations around the world.

Mr. Frutiger, whose career spanned the era of hot lead and the age of silicon, created some 40 fonts, a vast number for one lifetime. Praised for an elegant readability that belied their rigorous engineering, his typefaces over the years have graced signs in the Paris Métro and many international airports, and on Swiss highways and some London streets.

His best-known fonts include Univers, employed throughout the design of the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, and Frutiger, ubiquitous on airport signage, including that of John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York and Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris.

“Frutiger is basically the best signage type in the world because there’s not too much ‘noise’ in it, so it doesn’t call attention to itself,” Erik Spiekermann, a prominent German type designer and friend of Mr. Frutiger, said by telephone on Wednesday. “It makes itself invisible, but physically it’s actually incredibly legible.”

 … in the early 1960s he founded his own studio in Paris.

Commissioned to create signage for airports and subway systems, Mr. Frutiger soon realized that fonts that looked good in books did not work well on signs: The characters lacked enough air to be readable at a distance. The result, over time, was Frutiger, a sans serif font designed to be legible at many paces, and from many angles.

One of Frutiger’s hallmarks is the square dot over the lowercase “i.” The dot’s crisp, angled corners keep it from resolving into a nebulous flyspeck that appears to merge with its stem, making “i” look little different from “l” or “I.” (For designers of sans serif fonts, the gold standard is to make a far-off “Illinois” instantly readable.)

  … His other fonts include Avenir, Centennial, Egyptienne, Herculanum, Iridium, Serifa, Vectora and Versailles.

As conspicuous as Mr. Frutiger’s work became, it was for its inconspicuousness, he said, that he hoped it would be known.

“The whole point with type is for you not to be aware it is there,” he said in an interview on the Linotype company’s website. “If you remember the shape of a spoon with which you just ate some soup, then the spoon had a poor shape.” He added:

“Spoons and letters are tools. The first we need to ingest bodily nourishment from a bowl, the latter we need to ingest mental nourishment from a piece of paper.”