Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Muslim Free Zone

Forget the ongoing peaceful protests riots in Baltimore, where seven cops have been injured...
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency and activated the National Guard after riots erupted in Baltimore on Monday.

Chaos and violence erupted on the streets of Baltimore late Monday as protesters clashed with police, several of whom were injured.

"This afternoon, a group of outrageous criminals attacked our officers. Right now, we have seven officers that have serious injuries, including broken bones, and one officer who is unconscious," Capt. Eric Kowalczyk told reporters.
... despite the mayor giving the peaceful protestors violent thugs 'space to destroy.'
"...we also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well.”
I'll pass on the opportunity to point out the absurdity of a public official ceding control of her city to thugs and criminals so they can rampage and destroy with impunity. Instead, I'll focus on what obama's Justice Department is doing.

No, the Baltimore riots haven't attracted the interest of the Justice Department (other than to investigate the cops). But what does have the DOJ's panties in a wad is the refusal of an Arkansas gun range to allow muslims to fire weapons there.
The Department of Justice announced Friday that it is monitoring an Arkansas gun range on the grounds that it refuses to allow Muslims from shooting weapons at the facility.

The Washington Post reported Friday that the department was “monitoring the matter,” but no indication was given as to whether or not a full investigation into the Gun Cave Shooting Range in Hot Springs, or its owner, Jan Morgan, would be launched.

The Justice Department’s action came about as a result of two advocacy groups requesting an investigation into the shooting range’s anti-Muslim policy.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations wrote to the Department last year, arguing that the range was “systemically banning Muslims from a place of business” and that doing so was “a violation of federal laws prohibiting racial and religious discrimination.”
No, it's just common sense: preventing potential terrorists from honing their skills, and possibly turning their weapons on other patrons.
Upon hearing the news of the DOJ’s investigation, CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations - a designated terrorist organization) civil rights litigation director Jenifer Wicks told the Post:
“We welcome this positive development and hope it leads to a thorough investigation of clear violations of the civil rights of American Muslims and those perceived to be Muslim by the gun range owner.”
The Arkansas chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union also asked for a federal investigation in January.

Morgan is apparently ready to handle whatever the DOJ can throw at her. She wrote on her website Saturday that she has “been under the watchful eyes of federal law enforcement authorities for a long time” because of “years of death threats” from Muslims:
“I have nothing to hide. I have no secrets from the federal government.”
She also told The Examiner that she will be ready to handle a federal investigation if one is ultimately launched against her, saying:
“I was prepared to fight this from day one.

I will close my business before I will make any compromises that could jeopardize the safety and security of the members who shoot here… [I] will continue to follow the advise [sic] of two agencies within the DOJ to protect and defend my own life, as well as the lives of innocent American citizens in my presence, from any and all threats of violence connected to, and or associated with any and all terrorist organizations.”
She added that anything less “would be irresponsible, reckless, and life threatening.”

Morgan declared her gun range to be a “Muslim-free zone” last September:
I have officially declared my business, The Gun Cave Indoor Shooting Range, a MUSLIM FREE ZONE.
While many critics thought she would face a backlash in the form of reduced sales following the announcement, business soared...
Gee, what a surprise. One of these days I'll have to go on a road trip to visit her place. Not just to shoot, but to check out the owner as well...

Jan Morgan, owner of the Gun Cave Shooting Range

Monday, April 27, 2015

FOD 2015.04.27

Late last week it was disclosed that two innocent hostages were killed during a drone strike on suspected al Qaeda terrorists in Pakistan.
President Barack Obama announced Thursday that a U.S. counterterrorism operation targeting an al Qaeda compound in January accidentally killed two innocent hostages, including one American.

Multiple U.S. officials told CNN the hostages, Warren Weinstein, an American, and Italian national Giovanni Lo Porto, were killed by a U.S. military drone that targeted the al Qaeda compound.
barry immediately went into full presidential mode, standing up and announcing he took full responsibility for the incident. So far, so good.

Then he sent his flunkies out to cover for him.
... both the Pentagon and the White House (in the form of Josh Earnest) went out of their way to make sure everyone knows Obama didn’t personally or specifically sign off on the drone attacks that tragically killed two hostages, including an American.

This is curious. First of all, he’s still responsible, as he himself said in his press conference. He set up and approved a system that lets these attacks happen. There’s something cowardly about honorably taking “full responsibility” in public, and then having your flacks go out and stage whisper “It really wasn’t him.”

(One plausible explanation for this duplicitous behavior) might have to do with his vanity. I can’t help but think the implication we’re supposed to take away is that if Obama-The-Righteous had been paying attention, mistakes like this would not have been made. The military bureaucracy has failed Obama, who famously reads Marcus Aurelius as he composes his kill lists. At least he avoided saying that he found out about these attacks by reading about them in the paper, but the upshot is the same. The president doesn’t make mistakes, others make mistakes implementing his will.
Ah, but wait. It appears that obama was more involved than previously disclosed. White House spokesweasel Josh Earnest originally said "that Obama did not specifically approve the operations that killed the Americans, but that the strikes were within the bounds of policy guidance."

Guess who approved a secret waiver to the publicly annouced drone strike policy?

Obama Kept Looser Rules for Drones in Pakistan
President Barack Obama tightened rules for the U.S. drone program in 2013, but he secretly approved a waiver giving the Central Intelligence Agency more flexibility in Pakistan than anywhere else to strike suspected militants, according to current and former U.S. officials.

The rules were designed to reduce the risk of civilian casualties. Mr. Obama also required that proposed targets pose an imminent threat to the U.S.—but the waiver exempted the CIA from this standard in Pakistan.

Last week, Mr. Obama apologized for the killings and took personal responsibility for the mistake. He called the operation “fully consistent with the guidelines under which we conduct counterterrorism efforts in the region” without specifying what those guidelines are or how they differed from those applied in the rest of the world.
Can you say "two-faced?"

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Sunday Funnies 2015.04.26

We celebrated Earth Day earlier this week. Today we're making fun of it.


In honor of Earth day, I'm sending all of my work-related emails to my “recycle” folder.


"I never know what to get the Earth for Earth Day. So I just bought it an iTunes gift card and buried it." –Jimmy Kimmel


'I have an obsession with wind farms.'

'Really?'

'Yes. I'm a huge fan.'


A woman called her husband during the day and asked him to pick up some organic vegetables for that night’s dinner on his way home.

The husband arrived at the store and began to search all over for organic vegetables before finally asking the produce guy where they were.

The produce guy didn’t know what he was talking about, so the husband said: “These vegetables are for my wife. Have they been sprayed with poisonous chemicals?”

To which the produce guy replied, “No, sir, you will have to do that yourself.”





Saturday, April 25, 2015

Tax Freedom Day

Yesterday was Tax Freedom Day (finally)!
Tax Freedom Day is the day when the nation as a whole has earned enough money to pay its total tax bill for the year. Tax Freedom Day takes all federal, state, and local taxes and divides them by the nation’s income. In 2015, Americans will pay $3.28 trillion in federal taxes and $1.57 trillion in state and local taxes, for a total tax bill of $4.85 trillion, or 31 percent of national income. This year, Tax Freedom Day falls on April 24, or 114 days into the year.
This year's cumulative tax bill is over 30% of total national income. That's more than we spend on housing, food, and clothing combined.


I don't know whether to laugh or cry...


Friday, April 24, 2015

Friday Follies Happy Hour 2015.04.24

This morning's post got me to reminiscing about the muscle car era...

Hands Off My Car

I've been working on vehicles most of my life. In my teenage years I was a true gearhead, owning and modifying a series of muscle cars. I still have an old trophy laying around from winning my class in 1970 at the old San Antonio Drag Raceway. (Click here for some neat old pictures from 'back in the day.')

One of my early jobs was as an attendant at a full service filling station (remember those?). After a while I worked my way up to assistant mechanic (that meant I did all the hard dirty work while the owner lounged around, drank Cokes, and told me what I was doing wrong.

During my time in the Army I was assigned to the motor pool, working on an assortment of vehicles (both wheeled and tracked) and field generators.

In short, I knew my way around things motorized. But all that changed about 20 years ago.

I don't work on cars much anymore, especially since all the fun under-the-hood stuff changed from mechanical to digital.
In the old, pre-computer controlled days, the path to more horsepower ran deep under the hood into the bowels of the engine, and much time and money was needed for bigger cams, larger valves, and high compression pistons. Sure, you can still do all that today, but why bother? Now getting more horsepower and torque from your engine is as easy as plugging in a programmer. With just a few keystrokes you can have power and acceleration you can feel.

The computer, commonly known as ECM, ECU, or PCM, is your vehicle’s brain and controls every function, particularly ones that are critical for performance like fuel delivery, ignition timing and spark advance. However, the computer is calibrated very conservatively at the factory, with settings intended for the “average” driver. Your engine is capable of much more, and if you’re an enthusiast you can unleash this hidden power with a performance programmer.
(More detailed info here, including overviews of Performance Chips, Control Modules, and Performance Monitors.)

All of this bubbled up to the top of my mind when I read that car makers are trying to make it illegal for people to work on their own cars.
One of the inherent rights of owning a vehicle is the ability to get on one’s backside — a wrench in one hand and a grease rag in the other, and just tinker to your little heart’s desire. Since the vehicle was invented, it’s been an important facet within the community of gearheads.

General Motors — the same company responsible for 87 deaths related to faulty ignition switches, FYI — wants to take that right away from you citing safety and security issues.

To be fair, what they really want to prevent is the use of the afore-mentioned performance chips and programmers. Their approach is to argue that because technology is now so pervasivly embedded in modern vahicles, they should actually be classified as “mobile computing devices.” That would bring them under the auspices of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

It’s been around since 2000 and started as anti-Internet piracy legislation. But automakers want to use it to try and make working on your own car illegal. Yes, illegal. The general premise is that unlike cars of the past, today’s vehicles are so advanced and use such a large amount of software and coding in their general makeup, altering said code could be dangerous and possibly even malicious.

Listing the vehicle as a “mobile computing device,” the law would hypothetically protect automakers from pesky owners looking to alter any sort of technology in the vehicle that relates to the onboard computer. Flashing your ECU would be a big no no, which could also lead to all sorts of problems for aftermarket shops.

What GM, and even tractor companies like John Deere, argues is that you, as an owner, don’t actually own your car. Rather, you’re sort of just borrowing it for an extended amount of time and paying for the rights to use the technology. If it sounds ridiculous— it is. But it gets even more ludicrous.

According to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, John Deere argued that “letting people modify car computer systems will result in them pirating music through the on-board entertainment system.”

That’s right— pirating music. Through a tractor.
Isn't that just about the stupidest thing you've ever heard? A tractor as a mechanism to pirate music... GMAFB.

Let me get this straight. I shell out my hard-earned $$$ to buy a vehicle. I own it. I maintain it. I register it, pay taxes on it, insure it, and in general am responsible for all aspects of its maintenance and operation ... except that I can't modify it!?!?

I don't think so.

It's mine! I'll do what I damn well please with it. They'll get my wrench when they pry it out of my cold dead fingers.

What's next? Outlawing DIY home improvements?

Un-friggin'-believable.



Thursday, April 23, 2015

Earth Day Observations

The motto for the 45th anniversary of Earth Day, observed yesterday (Wednesday April 22, 2015), is "It's our turn to lead."

As the old saying goes, "Do as I say, not as I do."
At a pre-Earth Day concert at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. last Saturday, too few garbage cans overflowed with styrofoam and plastic non-biodegradable, non-recyclable trash from Earth-lovers, most of whom did not walk or bike to the event, but added to the carbon by driving there or even flying in.
Here's what the greenies left behind.


Here's how they got there.


Hey, I've got nothing against conservation. I love nature. I live in the country. I do all sorts of outdoorsy things like hiking, hunting, canoeing/kayaking, and the like. We leave most of our property in its natural state to conserve native habitat (and not, as my wife claims, because I'm lazy). We capture rainwater for household and irrigation use, we conserve energy (primarily to save $$$, but still...), we walk or bike when feasible, we do the whole Three R thing (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle).

In short, we live what is arguably a more-than-average green lifestyle. Sure, we do it out of mixed motives - respect for nature, a desire to save money, convenience/self-reliance - but the bottom line is that we do it. We don't just say the words and then go our merry way, tossing styrofoam containers on the ground while piling aboard our limos and private jets.

Unlike so many liberals, we are not hypocrites.


Footnote: One of the leaders of the early Earth Day movement believed in the cause so strongly that he killed his girlfriend and composted her body.

You can't make this stuff up.

Ira Einhorn mug shot

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Rules For Thee - Part Two

Just a couple of days after parking in a handicapped spot, hillary's campaign van is in the news again.
Democratic Presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton's security detail led a handful of journalists on two lengthy high-speed chases to homes of influential Democrats on Monday.

Her lone official appearance on her first day in New Hampshire was a carefully stage-managed small-business roundtable in Keene.

But a lunchtime visit to a main-street bakery and two more appointments later in the day were off-the-books and under the public's radar.

If police radar had been engaged, however, it would have clocked Hillary's signature black conversion van - 'Scooby', for the uninitiated – hitting 92 mph in a driving rainstorm on Interstate 89, where the top speed limit is 65.

No one in the motorcade displayed flashing lights or blasted a siren.

After Clinton emerged from Whitney Brothers, a children's furniture manufacturer, her black Chevy conversion van raced an hour north to the town of Claremont, hitting 73 in a 55 mph zone.
Speed limits... handicapped parking spots... government e-mail regulations... rules don't apply to the hildebeast.

Based on reports of how she treats the 'little people' around her, it's quite possible that the van's driver was merely trying to get rid of her as quickly as possible.
From the book Inside The White House, by Ronald Kessler (investigative journalist) – What Hillary said to the staff at the Arkansas Governor’s mansion on Labor Day, 1991 (p. 244): “Where is the G-damn f**king flag? I want the G-damn f**king flag up every f**king morning at f**king sunrise.”

From the book Crossfire: Witness in the Clinton Investigation, by L.D. Brown (long-time Clinton body guard) – What Hillary said to a State Trooper who was driving her to an event (p. 84):  “You f**king idiot.”

From the book I’ve Always Been A Yankees Fan: Hillary Clinton in her Own Words, by Thomas D. Kuiper – What Hillary said to Rep. Dennis Hastert in 1993 about nationalizing health care (p 20): “We just can’t trust the American people to make those types of choices. … Government has to make those choices for people.”

From the book The Truth About Hillary: What She Knew, When She Knew It, and How Far She’ll Go to Become President, by Edward Klein (best-selling author) – What Hillary shouted at a Secret Service officer (p. 5):  “Where’s the miserable c*ck sucker?”

From the book Unlimited Access : An FBI Agent Inside the Clinton White House, by Gary Aldrige (FBI Agent-in-Charge at White House during Bush and Clinton administrations) – What Hillary screamed at her Secret Service detail (p. 139):  “Stay the f**k back, stay the f**k away from me! Don’t come within ten yards of me, or else! Just f**king do as I say, okay!!!?”

From the book Hillary’s Scheme: Inside the Next Clinton’s Ruthless Agenda to Take the White House, by Carl Limbacher (Newsmax) – Various comments Hillary made to her Secret Service detail agents (p. 89): “Get f**ked! Get the f**k out of my way! Get out of my face!”

From the book American Evita: Hillary Clinton’s Path to Power, by Christopher Anderson (biographer) – What Hillary said to her State Trooper bodyguards after one of them greeted her with “Good morning” (p. 90):  “F**k off! It’s enough that I have to see you shit-kickers every day, I’m not going to talk to you too!! Just do your G*damn job and keep your mouth shut.”

From the book The First Partner: Hillary Rodham Clinton, by Joyce Milton (biographer) – What Hillary to a Secret Service Agent who was reluctant to carry her luggage because he wanted to keep his hands free in case of an incident (p. 259):  “If you want to remain on this detail, get your f**king ass over here and grab those bags!”
Such a sweet grandmother she is...

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Economics 101

It constantly amazes me how liberals (or progressives, or whatever else you want to call those fools who don't have a clue as to how the real world works) consistently ignore basic economics.

These Blue States Have Tried the Elizabeth Warren Model. Their Residents Are Fleeing.
Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren recently appeared on one of the late night talk shows, beating the class warfare drum and arguing for billions of dollars in new social programs paid for with higher taxes on millionaires and billionaires. In recent years, though, blue states such as California, Illinois, Delaware, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland and Minnesota adopted this very strategy, and they raised taxes on their wealthy residents. How did it work out? Almost all of these states lag behind the national average in growth of jobs and incomes.

So, if income redistribution policies are the solution to shrinking the gap between rich and poor, why do they fail so miserably in the states?

The blue states that try to lift up the poor with high taxes, high welfare benefits, high minimum wages and other Robin Hood policies tend to be the places where the rich end up the richest and the poor the poorest.

California is the prototypical example. It has the highest tax rates of any state. It has very generous welfare benefits. Many of its cities have a high minimum wage. But day after day, the middle class keeps leaving. The wealthy areas such as San Francisco and the Silicon Valley boom. Yet the state has nearly the highest poverty rate in the nation. The Golden State, alas, has become the inequality state.

So much for liberal policies creating a workers paradise.

The 19 states with minimum wages above the $7.25 per hour federal minimum do not have lower income inequality. States with a super minimum wage—such as Connecticut ($9.15), California ($9.00), New York ($8.75), and Vermont ($9.15)—have significantly wider gaps between rich and poor than states without a super minimum wage.
Anyone with a basic understanding of economics realizes that labor has value - but that value is determined by the market, not by the government. If the government imposes an artificial value on labor, businesses will seek the most efficient means of minimizing labor costs.

Hint to the libs/progs: machines don't require minimum wages or other government mandated benefits.

The ‘Fight for $15’ Suffers A Setback As McDonald’s Flirts With Automation
By the third quarter of next year, McDonald’s plans to introduce new technology in some markets “to make it easier for customers to order and pay for food digitally...
More:

Robots will replace fast-food workers
As protesters across the country call for the fast-food chains to raise their wages, a number of companies have begun experimenting with new technology that could significantly reduce the number of restaurant workers in the years to come.

Panera Bread is the latest chain to introduce automated service, announcing in April that it plans to bring self-service ordering kiosks as well as a mobile ordering option to all its locations within the next three years. The news follows moves from Chili's and Applebee's to place tablets on their tables, allowing diners to order and pay without interacting with human wait staff at all.

In a widely cited paper released last year, University of Oxford researchers estimated that there is a 92% chance that fast-food preparation and serving will be automated in the coming decades.
My first 'real' job - not counting my paper route or a lawn mowing service - was as a 16-year-old fry cook at a fast food restaurent in Alamo Heights, Texas (not a chain, but a single establishment owned by a guy who should have known better than to hire teen-agers).

Anyway, the owner did his best to minimize labor costs. His efforts had unintended consequences, one of which was our tendency to make huge triple-stacked burgers and incredibly rich shakes, not only for ourselves but for our buddies. He would have been better off paying more in order to get more responsible employees.

Fast forward to 2015. Rather than pay fast food workers a rate much higher than their labor is worth (not denigrating the workers, but rather being realistic concerning the value of their labor), employers are beginning to invest in lower cost automation.

What's next - the government setting a minimum wage for robots...?


Monday, April 20, 2015

FOD 2015.04.20

Here's a little humor to help you start the week off with a smile...

 * * * * * *

Dear Abby

My husband has a long record of money problems.  He runs up huge credit-card bills and at the end of the month, if I try to pay them off, he shouts at me, saying I am stealing his money. 
He says pay the minimum and let our kids worry about the rest, but already we can hardly keep up with the interest. 
He has been so arrogant and abusive toward our neighbors that most of them no longer speak to us. The few that do are an odd bunch, to whom he has been giving a lot of expensive gifts, running up our bills even more. 
Also, he has gotten religious.  One week he hangs out with Catholics andthe next with people who say the Pope is the Anti-Christ, and the next he's with Muslims. 
Finally, the last straw. He's demanding that before anyone can be in the same room with him, they must sign a loyalty oath. It's just so horribly creepy!  Can you help? 
Signed, Lost in DC


Dear Lost:

Stop whining, Michelle. You can divorce the jerk any time you want.  The rest of us are stuck with him for two more years!

* * * * * *

Barack Obama got out of the shower and was drying off when he looked in the mirror and noticed that he was white from the neck to the top of his head.

In a sheer panic and fearing he was turning white all over, he called his doctor and told him what had happened.  The doctor advised him to come to his office immediately.

After an examination, the doctor mixed a concoction of brown liquid, gave it to Barack, and told him to drink it all.

Barack drank the concoction and said  "That tasted like bullshit!"


"It was", the doctor replied, "You were a quart low."



* * * * * *


When Obama died, George Washington met him at the Pearly Gates. He slapped him across the face and yelled, "How dare you try to destroy the nation I helped conceive?"

Patrick Henry approached, punched him in the nose and shouted, "You wanted to end our liberties but you failed."

James Madison followed, kicked him in the groin and said, "This is why I allowed our government to provide for the common defense!"

Thomas Jefferson was next, beat Obama with a long cane and snarled, "It was evil men like you who inspired me to write the Declaration of Independence."

The beatings and thrashings continued as George Mason, James Monroe and 66 other early Americans unleashed their anger on the radical, socialist, leader.

As Obama lay bleeding and in pain, an Angel appeared. Obama wept and said, "This is not what you promised me."

The Angel replied, "I told you there would be 72 VIRGINIANS waiting for you in Heaven. What did you think I said".....

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Sunday Funnies 2015.04.19

Dedicated to man's best friend...

No, not beer - dogs!



I tell ya, my dog is lazy. He don’t chase cars. He sits on the curb and takes down license plate numbers.
 - Rodney Dangerfield

Did you ever walk in a room and forget why you walked in? I think that’s how dogs spend their lives.
- Sue Murphy

I spilled spot remover on my dog. Now he’s gone.
 - Steven Wright


A dog goes into a grocer’s with a basket in its mouth. In the basket is a shopping list and a purse.

The grocer reads the list, puts the goods requested into the basket, takes some money from the purse and puts back the change. The dog then runs off home.

This happens every week for months and the grocer becomes extremely impressed by the animal’s intelligence and its dedication to its task. One day he decides to follow the animal home and see if its owner would be willing to sell it.

The dog eventually leads the grocer to a run-down house where it puts the basket on the doorstep and rings the door-bell with its nose. After a few seconds an old woman opens the door and starts hitting the dog with a stick.

‘Stop!’ shouts the grocer. ‘What are you doing? That’s the most intelligent dog I’ve ever seen in my life.’

‘Intelligent, my ass!’ shouts the old woman. ‘That’s the third time this week he’s forgotten his keys.’


A man notices a small boy wearing a fireman’s hat, sitting in a cart being pulled by his pet dog. When he gets closer he notices that the cart is tied to the dog’s testicles.

‘That’s a nice fire engine,’ says the man. ‘But wouldn’t the dog pull faster if you tied the rope to his collar?’

‘Yes,’ says the boy. ‘But then I wouldn’t have a siren.’


Bert takes his dog to the vet and says, ‘Can you cut off my dog’s tail?’

‘Why do you want me to do that?’ asks the vet.

Bert replies, ‘My mother-in-law’s arriving tomorrow, and I don’t want her to think she’s welcome.’