Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Adiós y Vaya con Dios

I started this blog over six years ago - January 16, 2010, to be precise. At the time I was commuting between my job in Laredo (Texas, of course) and my home near Bergheim (also in the Great State of Texas). I needed something to help me pass the time and stay out of trouble while I was away from the family, so Bergheim Follies was born.

Fast forward to today. I'm retired and back living at home. The kids are out of the house. In spite of - or maybe because of - being retired it seems I have more things to do than when I was working, and less time to do them. This blog has become a time-sink where I lose 2 or 3 hours a day sitting on my increasingly fatter ass in front of the computer. Given the state of the world today - and the state of our nation - it's also become much less enjoyable.

Bottom line - I'm pulling the plug. I've got things I want to do, and things I need to do. Shutting this down means I have one less excuse to avoid them. Thanks to all of you who have dropped by this little corner of the interweb. I've made some good friends through this blog; some digital, and some in meatspace. It's been an honor and a pleasure having you spend some of your precious time here.

I'll leave you with the following toast. I mean that last part. If you ever wander down around Bergheim let me know. I'll buy you a beer.

Adiós y Vaya con Dios...

Monday, July 18, 2016

You've Got To Be Kidding

Alternate Title: Don't You Have Some Real Problems To Address?

At first I thought this headline was a joke.

Sadly, it is not.

Government Considers First Pokemon Go Regulations
Pokemon Go players have certainly had their fair share of run-ins with the law this week — mostly on the wrong side of it. Two men sustained serious injuries and are facing possible charges after falling down a cliff in California chasing Pokemon. Two teens were arrested in Toledo after jumping fence into the Toledo Zoo following the digital creatures. And in LA, police are chasing after Pokemon Go players who wander on to random neighbors’ lawns.
Okay, stupid people do stupid things. Nothing new about that. But apparently some of the idiots we have elected to office think they must do something to protect us from ourselves.
... the app itself is now the target of lawmakers, who want to regulate the game, claiming that the app poses a significant risk to public safety, and the fun must end.

One New York Assemblyman is considering drafting some sort of restriction on the game, claiming that Pokemon Go, which involves battling digital creatures, could have “tragic real-world consequences...”

Senator Al Franken is also looking into Pokemon Go. The former SNL star and Minnesota Democrat has written a letter to Niantic, the company responsible for programming the augmented reality portion of the app, asking them how much information they’re collecting from users, and what they plan to do with that information.

If his questions go unanswered, Franken could call for Congressional hearings on the subject...
That's what we get for electing a joke to the senate. (You know  the old saying: "That's the problem with political jokes. They keep getting elected.")

Democrats think congressional hearings are a bad thing when it comes to hillary, and Benghazi, or hillary and classified information, or hillary in general, but they're a good thing when it comes to imaginary creatures on your cell phone. Sigh...

The scary thing is that the move to legislate a game - a friggin' video game! - is occurring at multiple levels of government, and in multiple locations.

I am firmly in the "less government is better government" camp. This is just the latest reason why.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Sunday Funnies 2016.08.17

The choices for our next president are:
(A) disappointing;
(B) discouraging;
(C) depressing;
(D) all of the above.

 * * * * *

During a lady's medical examination, the doctor says: "Your heart, lungs, pulse and blood pressure are all fine. Now let me see the part that gets you ladies into all kinds of trouble."

 The lady starts taking off her underwear but is interrupted by the doctor.

 "No! No! Don't remove your clothes...........just stick out your tongue!"

 * * * * *

A woman goes to a psychiatrist because she's worried about her husband’s temper.  
The doctor asks: “What’s the problem? 
The woman says: “Doctor, I don’t know what to do. Every day my husband seems to lose his temper for no reason. It scares me.”      

The doctor says: “I have a cure for that. When it seems that your husband is getting angry, just take a glass of water and start swishing it in your mouth.  Just swish and swish and swish, but don’t swallow it until he either leaves the room or calms down.”      

Two weeks later the woman comes back to the doctor looking fresh and reborn. She says, “Doctor that was a brilliant idea! Every time my husband started losing it, I swished with water. I swished and swished, and he calmed right down! How does a glass of water do that?”      

The doctor says: “The water itself does nothing. It’s keeping your mouth shut that does the trick.

 * * * * *

My wife says I’m unsophisticated and uncultured. To prove her wrong, I bought tickets to an event of taste and refinement.

It starts with “b” and rhymes with “wallet.”

 * * * * *

Old people like to give good advice as consolation for the fact that they can no longer set bad examples.

 * * * * *

A little silver-haired lady calls her neighbor and says, "Please come over here and help me. I have a killer jigsaw puzzle, and I can't figure out how to get started."

Her neighbor asks, "What is it supposed to be when it's finished?"

The little silver haired lady says, "According to the picture on the box, it's a rooster."

Her neighbor decides to go over and help with the puzzle.

She lets him in and shows him where she has the puzzle spread all over the table.

He studies the pieces for a moment, then looks at the box, then turns to her and says,

"First of all, no matter what we do, we're not going to be able to assemble these pieces into anything resembling a rooster."

He takes her hand and says, "Secondly, I want you to relax. Let's have a nice cup of tea, and then," he said with a deep sigh ............

"Let's put all the Corn Flakes back in the box."

 * * * * *

The teacher asked the class to use the word “fascinate” in a sentence.

Molly put up her hand and said, “My family went to my granddad's farm, and we all saw his pet sheep. It was fascinating."

The teacher said, “That was good, but I wanted you to use the word ‘fascinate,’ not 'fascinating'.”

Sally raised her hand. She said, “My family went to see Rock City and I was fascinated.”

The teacher said, “Well, that was good Sally, but I wanted you to use the word ‘fascinate’.”

Little Johnny raised his hand, but the teacher hesitated because she had been burned by Little Johnny before. She finally decided there was no way he could damage the word “fascinate,” so she called on him.

Johnny said, “My aunt Leslie has a sweater with ten buttons, but her tits are so big she can only fasten eight!”

The teacher sat down and cried.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Thank You

Thanks to our elected 'leaders,' who are charged with the responsibility of protecting us. As the following article shows, they have failed miserably.

The attack in Nice shouldn’t have been a surprise
If Thursday’s terrorist attack in Nice, France, was shocking, it shouldn’t be — because we were warned.

The attack seems to have been ripped out of the al-Qaeda playbook.

In 2010, two American terrorists,Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan, published a series of articles in the al-Qaeda magazine Inspire on what they called “Open Source Jihad.” They described it as “a resource manual” for carrying out terrorist attacks against the West that allowed Islamic radicals “to train at home instead of risking dangerous travel abroad.” All that is needed, they said, “is the willingness to give one’s life for Allah.”

One of those articles, published in the fall 2010 issue under the name of a terrorist trainer identified as Yahya Ibrahim, was called “The Ultimate Mowing Machine.” It described what ultimately happened in Nice in precise detail.

“Here is one idea of how an individual Muslim may [wage individual jihad]. It is a simple idea and there is not much involved in its preparation,” the article said. “The idea is to use a pickup truck as a mowing machine, not to mow grass but mow down the enemies of Allah.”

“Pick your location and timing carefully,” it continued. “Go for the most [crowded] locations. Narrower spots are also better because it gives less chance for the people to run away. . . . To achieve maximum carnage, you need to pick up as much speed as you can while still retaining good control of your vehicle in order to . . . be able to strike as many people as possible in your first run. Keep in mind that as soon as people realize what you are up to, they would scatter and run in every direction looking for cover. They would look for areas where the vehicle cannot reach them. Therefore, it is important to study your path of operation beforehand.”

The article further advised that “The ideal location is a place where there are a maximum number of pedestrians and the least number of vehicles. In fact if you can get through to ‘pedestrian only’ locations that exist in some downtown (city center) areas, that would be fabulous. There are some places that are closed down for vehicles at certain times due to the swarms of people.”

“If you have access to firearms, carry them with you so that you may use them to finish off your work if your vehicle gets grounded during the attack,” it concluded, adding “This idea could be implemented in countries like Israel, the U.S., Britain, Canada, Australia, [and] France.”

This is what happened last night. The driver, identified as 31-year-old Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, took a truck, found a crowded location in the city center reserved for pedestrians, where thousands were gathered for a fireworks display. He picked up as much speed as possible and drove for more than a mile down the promenade, mowing people down. The driver then got out and started shooting people, before he was shot by police. At least 84 people were killed and dozens more injured.

So how do we stop them? The answer is not gun control. France has some of the strictest gun-control laws in the world, yet that did not stop Bouhlel in Nice from obtaining the weapons he used. And most of those killed in France were not shot; they were run over. The terrorists have plenty of ideas for how to kill us that don’t involve guns.

The answer is to take away their caliphate — to win the fight over there, so we do not have to face them over here. When the Islamic State was “decimated” after the 2007 surge in Iraq, its members were not carrying out terrorist attacks across the world. They had, according to CIA Director John Brennan, only about “700 or so” adherents left. They were focused on survival, not external operations. Their current campaign of violence only started after President Obama withdrew all U.S. forces from Iraq, took our boot off their necks and allowed them to establish a haven in Syria — which they then turned into a Grand Central Terminal of jihad, bringing in tens of thousands of foreign fighters from more than 100 countries across the world. They then used their Syrian haven as a base from which to reconquer large swaths of Iraq, declare their radical Islamic caliphate and spread their deadly tentacles across the globe. And we think it is a coincidence that since then, they have carried out 126 attacks in 23 countries outside of Iraq and Syria that have killed more than 1,700 people. (emphasis added)
Thank you, barack hussein obama.
When will the carnage stop? When the terrorists are defeated again. Until then, expect more attacks like the one in Nice.
Step Number One - don't let these savages into our country, as Newt Gingrich has suggested.

Step Number Two - cut off their financial means of support, along with their access to social media. You can't tell me that (1) we are unable to 'follow the dollars;' and (2) we are unable to hack into or otherwise disrupt the host servers of their websites. Hell, just about any 18-year-old could do either. Why haven't we?

Step Number Three - stop releasing captured terrorists from Gitmo.

Step Number Four - track 'em down and kill 'em all.

There - that's not so hard, is it?

Friday, July 15, 2016

And So It Begins

Hillary got away with “extremely careless” behavior that would have resulted in criminal charges for anyone else. Her defense? She 'didn't intend to' violate regulations regarding the transmission and storage of classified material. (here and here)

Absurd? Without a doubt. Effective? Most certainly. After all, she got away with it.

Not only does this allow a dangerously unqualified person to quite possibly become the next President of the United States, it sets a dangerous precedent for other cases involving national security.
“I intend to use the Hillary defense,” said Sean M. Bigley, a lawyer whose firm handles dozens of cases a year involving national security clearances. “I really question how any agency can say someone is a security risk if the president of the United States did something similar.”

He added, “We’ve had people lose 20-year careers for doing less than what she did.”

Mark F. Riley, a former military intelligence officer who became a lawyer defending those accused of national security violations, said he, too, would invoke the Clinton recommendation.

“I’m going to use it every chance I get, particularly in oral arguments. I’m going to bring it up over and over and over,” Riley said, adding that he thinks Clinton and her team engaged in “an egregious, egregious security violation.”

“Any other person would have had their security clearance revoked,” he said.

Kel McClanahan, another national security lawyer, said the FBI had not pursued an important line of inquiry: whether Clinton violated the law merely by setting up private servers and diverting government records. Someone who “conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates or destroys” government records can face a fine and up to three years in prison. The Justice Department has sent defendants to prison for such a crime, McClanahan said.
Oh, great. Not only is there a strong possibility that classified information was stolen from hillary's unlawful and unsecured email server, but now the 'hillary loophole' will be used to help foil prosecution in other instances of compromised national security. And yet this creature continues to be a viable candidate for president... and somewhere around half of Americans support her.

When will we wake up from this national nightmare?

In related news, the 'Hillary Defense' is already being invoked in sleazy criminal cases.
A lawyer for one of the NYPD cops accused of doing favors for bribes — including mile-high sex with this hooker on a free trip to Las Vegas — said his client’s behavior was no worse than Hillary Clinton’s.

“It’s similar to what the FBI said about Hillary Clinton, and why she wasn’t charged,” said John Meringolo, a lawyer for James Grant, who pleaded not guilty in Manhattan federal court Wednesday.

Meringolo described his client’s alleged actions — swapping police favors for expensive gifts like the wild trip with prostitute Gabi Grecko — as mere violations of police conduct.
Gabi Grecko

Here's some more examples of the 'Hillary Defense' in action.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Wordless Thursday - 2016.07.14

I always seem to be a day late and a dollar short when it comes to Wordless Wednesday. Oh well, rules are made to be broken.

Speaking of rules:

I'm not a big cauliflower fan:

Beware of the woman who says nothing:

Warning - Puns Ahead!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

A Chip Off The Old Block

My 22-year-old son sent me this joke.
Four surgeons sit around discussing their favorite patients.
The first surgeon says, "I like operating on librarians. When you open them up, everything is in alphabetical order".
The second surgeon says, "I like operating on accountants. When you open them up, everything is in numerical order".
The third surgeon says, "I like operating on electricians. When you open them up, everything is color coded".
The fourth surgeon says, "I like operating on politicians".
The other three surgeons look at each other in disbelief.
The fourth surgeon continues, "Because they're heartless, gutless, spineless, and the ass and head are interchangeable".
The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

Speaking of heartless, gutless, spineless, and ass-headed politicians:

Tuesday, July 12, 2016


This should not come as a surprise to observers of the obama administration. They feel no obligation to the public or the nation they took an oath to serve.

Assholes, one and all...

Kerry Leaves NATO Summit Early To See ‘Hamilton’
Secretary of State John Kerry is facing criticism after departing a major NATO summit early in order to watch a showing of the hit Broadway play Hamilton...

Kerry had been attending a major summit of NATO powers in Warsaw, Poland this weekend, but departed early from the powwow, dubbed by a U.S. official as “one of the most important political events of the year,” so he could attend a final showing of the musical...

Kerry’s early departure drew criticism from some foreign policy observers and prompted the State Department to admit that the secretary had left early for the showing, as well as a wedding ceremony.

Many celebrities attended the showing, prompting criticism from at least one former U.S. official.

“Priorities … John Kerry left the NATO summit early so he could hang out w/Jane Fonda, JLO, & Charlie Rose,” tweeted Michael Doran, a former senior director of the White House’s National Security Council.

Kerry also posed for pictures with fans during the play, according to photos posted on Twitter.
At least, unlike his predecessor, an American ambassador and three other state department employees haven't been killed on his watch.


Monday, July 11, 2016

Here We Go Again

By now everyone should be aware of what happened in Dallas last Thursday.
Dallas Shooting Suspect, Micah Johnson, ‘Upset at White People’

A military veteran who said his goal was to kill white police officers opened fire Thursday night in downtown Dallas, leaving five officers dead and seven wounded...
Shortly thereafter, similar incidents followed.

Tennessee shooter targeted white victims, similar to Dallas ambush
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has released the name of the suspect behind Thursday morning's random shooting in Bristol, TN that claimed the life of an area newspaper carrier and injured three others, including a local police officer.

The TBI says 37-year-old Lakeem Keon Scott was armed with at least two weapons, an automatic-style rifle, a pistol and a large amount of ammunition...

Preliminary findings indicate Scott may have targeted people and officers after being troubled by recent events involving African-Americans and law enforcement officers in other parts of the country.
Missouri Cop 'Fighting For His Life' After Being Shot in Traffic Stop
A police officer is "fighting for his life" after he was shot during a traffic stop this morning in Ballwin, Missouri...

The incident, which was caught on police dashcam, happened around 11 a.m. local time on Friday when an officer pulled over a vehicle for speeding...

After speaking with the driver, the officer went to his car to do paperwork ... the driver exited his vehicle, approached the officer's car, fired three shots, returned to his vehicle and fled.

The suspect, Antonio Taylor, a 31-year-old black man who was paroled in 2015 after serving time on a federal weapons charge, was charged with assault of a police officer, armed criminal action and a felon in possession of a firearm...
Gunfire strikes San Antonio Police headquarters
Multiple gunshots were fired at the San Antonio Police headquarters building Saturday night... There were no reports of injuries.

Bullet marks were found on the exterior wall of the building, and shell casings were discovered in a nearby alley...

This incident comes as police departments nationwide are on edge following the shooting of 12 police officers in Dallas.
I'm a data guy. My first professional career involved numbers, algorithms, and analytics. My second career relied heavily on data collection and analysis. So when I view the events of the past few days (the Dallas shootings and related aftermath), I get frustrated when so many use emotions in place of analysis and logic.

Here's some numbers to chew on.

Last year (2015) 990 people were shot and killed by police in this country. Approximately 50% were white, 26% were black, and the remainder were hispanic or 'other.' 9% were unarmed. 74% were shot while some sort of attack was in progress.

This year (2016) 512 people have been shot and killed by police to date. That's pretty much on track with last year's numbers. Approximately 47% were white, 24% were black, and the remainder were hispanic or 'other.' 7% were unarmed. Data was not provided regarding whether or not an attack was in progress.

Another piece of data was cited by Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke (who, BTW, is black).
"Forty percent of law enforcement officers in the country that are killed in the line of duty are killed by black men," Clarke said, pointing out that blacks only represent about fifteen percent of the population.
The data indicate that there is no epidemic of police shooting blacks. The numbers have remained steady.

What has changed is the use of social media to share and encourage emotional and illogical responses to these incidents. We also have grandstanding politicians and their enablers in the press who are busy spinning these tragedies to advance their narrative. For example, in a Facebook post last week obama had this to say.
"What's clear is that these fatal shootings are not isolated incidents. They are symptomatic of the broader challenges within our criminal justice system, the racial disparities that appear across the system year after year, and the resulting lack of trust that exists between law enforcement and too many of the communities they serve."
I guess barry can't be troubled to examine the facts.

He's not alone. Here's what some SJW had to say in the New York Times.
... this brand of tragedy has become routine… Law enforcement, militarized and indifferent to black lives, is the problem.
Of course, hillary had to chime in as well.
Speaking to a largely African-American audience at the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Philadelphia, (hillary said)... it was important to acknowledge the "implicit bias" in society and some police departments.
(Side note: hillary desperately needs the black vote to help her get elected, so it's not surprising that she's pandering to them. But some conspiracy theorists think there might be another, more sinister explanation.)

I don't doubt that some of the shootings may not have been justified. But there are a myriad of factors in play here - training, mental and emotional composure of the officers involved, experience, actions of the suspects, and yes, possibly even some racial bias. But to tag all shootings as racially motivated, and to paint all cops as indifferent or even hostile to blacks, is not only false and misleading, it is grossly irresponsible. It leads to incidents like the Dallas shootings, and other similar events.

There have also been reports of individual black people and police officers coming together and helping bridge the gap between both sides. Here's one example.

Click to embiggen.

Color me foolishly naive and optimistic, but I hope that the events of the past few days will open eyes on both sides. Regardless of my fetish for data, I realize that perception is important. And right now, rightly or wrongly, blacks perceive that cops represent a threat to them, and are responding accordingly. We have to hope that the police have a better grip on their emotions and don't push back, leading to a vicious cycle of tragedy upon tragedy. We also have to hope that calmer heads will prevail on the other side, and that, over time, a calm and reasonable dialogue will emerge.

Like I said, color me foolishly naive and optimistic...

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Sunday Funnies 2016.07.10

Wedded bliss...

A couple are sitting in their living room, sipping wine. Out of the blue, the wife says, “I love you.”

“Is that you or the wine talking?” asks the husband.

“It’s me,” says the wife. “Talking to the wine.”

I was standing in front of the bathroom mirror one evening admiring my reflection, when I posed this question to my wife of 30 years: “Will you still love me when I’m old, fat, and balding?”

She answered, “I do.”

After 12 years in prison, a man finally breaks out.

When he gets home, filthy and exhausted, his wife says, “Where have you been? You escaped eight hours ago!”

A man says to a friend, “My wife is on a three-week diet.”

“Oh, yeah? How much has she lost so far?” asks his pal.

He replies, “Two weeks.”

My ex and I had a very amicable divorce. I know this because when I wrote on my Facebook account “I’m getting a divorce,” she was the first one to click "Like".

When I asked a friend the secret to his 52 years of marriage, he replied, "We never go to sleep angry."

"That’s a great philosophy," I noted.

"Yes. And the longest we’ve been awake so far is five days."

While a woman is keeping vigil beside her husband’s deathbed, he says to her, "Before I die, I have something to confess to you."

"Shh, not now," she replies.

"But I need to tell you: I cheated on you," he admits.

"Yes, I know," she replies.

"I need to clear my conscience before I die… "

"Shh," she counters. "Just lie back and let the poison work."

As I was stepping into the shower after an afternoon of yard work, my wife walked into the bathroom. "What do you think the neighbors would say if I cut the grass dressed like this?" I asked.

Giving me a casual glance, she replied, "They’d say I married you for your money."