Wednesday Hotel Hell California Open Comments

Adios, California 

Former member of the California state legislature and House Minority Whip, Steve Baldwin, pens an elegy for his home state.  An interlude for a moment to introduce just who Baldwin is

After a few years with the College Republicans, he was asked by William F. Buckley and a group of prominent Young Americans for Freedom alumni to take over YAF as the once revered organization was on the verge of collapse. He agreed to serve a two-year term (January 2005- December 2006) as Executive Director of this historic group and was able to bring this organization back to life.

During this time he also raised funds for the Nicaraguan freedom fighters resisting the Soviet-backed Sandinista regime there.  When the Democrats in Washington decided to collaborate with the Soviet ambitions in Latin America by cutting off congressional funding to the freedom fighters, Baldwin, along with many others, raised private funds to keep their resistance alive.  They were successful, and for the first time in Cold War history, the Soviet empire experienced a setback when the resistance finally pressured the Sandinistas to agree to free elections, elections the Communists ultimately lost — at a decisive point in history.

And now on to his column for American Spectator:

Sure, the liberals like to claim California socialism is working by pointing to the much heralded statistic that “California’s economy is the 6th largest in the world” as calculated by the state’s Department of Finance. Indeed, California’s $2.62 trillion economy is larger than that of France, Canada, Brazil, Russia, and Italy. However, that GDP stat does not factor in California’s cost of living, which is 36.2% higher than the national cost of living. As Carson Bruno writes in Real Clear Markets, “using the cost of living adjusted data from the International Monetary Fund and adjusting California’s GDP data provides a better snapshot of California’s economic standing in the world. Doing so shows that California is actually the 12th largest economy — a drop of 6 spots — and actually puts the state below Mexico.”

and another myth busted,

But it’s not just Silicon Valley employees fleeing California; it’s productive — and job-creating — citizens from all over the state. As Joel Kotkin and Wendell Cox wrote in theMercury News last April, “the largest group of outmigrants tends to be middle-aged people making between $100,000 and $200,000 annually.”

San Diego city workers cleaning up endless streets of homeless encampments and daily pressure washing streets and sidewalks with disinfectant to try and stem a huge outbreak of hepatitis A in the city.

Weekend Veterans’ Day Open Thread

Pearl Harbor survivor Houston James of Dallas is overcome with emotion as he embraces former Marine SSgt Mark Graunke, Jr. of Flower Mound, Texas during the Dallas Veterans Day Commemoration at Dallas City Hall. SSgt Graunke, Jr., who was a member of a Marine ordnance-disposal team, lost a hand, leg, and eye while defusing a bomb in Iraq in July of 2003.

May God Bless All of Our Veterans.

Friday Open Comments

Monica Bellucci won the highly coveted 2017 Virna Lisi Award this past Tuesday evening in Rome.  Today’s bonus photo is in honor of Virna Lisi, a great actress who, in 1965, delighted teenage boys around the world by popping out of a cake wearing nothing but whipped cream in How to Murder Your Wife.

Thursday Open Comments

Angelo Codevilla at American Greatness has initiated a four part series on terrorism.  Anything Codevilla writes is worth taking the time to read. An excerpt from Part 1:

Focusing on these differences—especially in the light of the recently released Osama Bin Laden documents and their emphasis on al-Qaeda’s latter-day relationship with Iran—invites us to cut through the establishment’s parrot-chorus of “what everyone knows” about terrorism and to unravel the complexity what we are really up against. The following is the first of a four-part attempt to do this.

Far from idiots or zealous amateurs working from Afghan caves, the men who planned and ran the 9/11 attack forged passports, and used the international banking system, sophisticated intelligence, and logistics. With the sole exception of Mohammed Atta, they did not expose themselves to danger. So good was their security that, to this day, we do not know who most of the hijackers were: The names on the passports they used to board did not match the security camera photos and, whereas Atta sent the remainder of the money from the plot to an account linked to Bin Laden—openly—the world’s banking sleuths have been unable to determine from which accounts the money had come.

Wiping out records of money transfers is akin in sophistication to producing and altering passports—the kinds of things done not in Afghan caves, but by sovereign countries’ intelligence services. Though we don’t know who provided the passports with which most of the 9/11 hijackers came to America, we know that Saddam’s Iraq provided the ones with which Ramzi Yousef and Abdul Rahman Yasin came to America for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and that the crew who organized 1993 ran 9/11 as well. We know that, unlike the “idiots” who have hit us since, these people had no history of Muslim devotion. They were professionals, with the resources of sovereign countries’ intelligence services.

Read the whole damn thing.