Saturday, November 30, 2013

If You Like Your Uranium Enrichment Plan... Part Three

Continuing my rant about obama's capitulation to the barbaric zealots running Iran (Parts One and Two here and here), I find myself nodding in agreement as I read Charles Krauthammer's take on the disastrous Iran uranium enrichment deal: "This is a sham from beginning to end. It is the worst deal since Munich.”
“It’s really hard to watch the president and secretary of state and not think how they cannot be embarrassed by this deal. Think about this: for half a dozen times, the Security Council has passed resolutions which said Iran has to stop all enrichment. Otherwise, there will be no change in the sanctions. No relief. Which means six times China and Russia, not exactly hardliners on Iran, have signed onto this. And what is the result of this agreement? Iran retains the right to enrich. It continues to enrich during the six months. It is promised a final deal in which we’re going to work out the details of its enrichment. And remember, enrichment is the dam against all proliferation. Once a country anywhere can start to enrich, there is no containing its nuclear capacity. So it undermines the entire idea of non-proliferation and it grants Iran a right it’s been lusting for, for a decade. That’s why there was so much jubilation in Tehran over this.”
Christmas came early for Iran and its Holocaust-minded mullahs.


(H/T Moonbattery)

Friday, November 29, 2013

obama's Thanksgiving

One day late, but better late than never...



Friday Follies Happy Hour 2013.11.29

A little swamp-boogie by a long time favorite of mine - pay attention to the lyrics.

"It's not the destination. It's the trip..."

If You Like Your Uranium Enrichment Plan... Part Two

Following up on a previous post regarding the abysmal agreement obama reached with Iran, in which they got everything they wanted in exchange for a highly dubious promise to cut back on their uranium enrichment program ("We won't break this promise - cross out hearts!"), here's a look at (1) the duplicitous behavior of obama, and (2) some Americans barry threw under the bus to make the deal.

obama's Duplicitous Behavior
Top U.S. diplomats spent months meeting with Iranians in a series of secret, bilateral negotiations that hammered out most of the details of the nuclear deal with the Islamic republic - an agreement that is being criticized by Israel and some in Congress as giving away too much in exchange for too little.

The one-on-one discussions between Iran and the United States were personally authorized by President Barack Obama, who has long tried to open up the lines of dialogue between the Iranian government and the United States.

The talks were kept hidden even from America's closest friends, including its negotiating partners and Israel, until two months ago, and that may explain how the nuclear accord appeared to come together so quickly after years of stalemate and fierce hostility between Iran and the West.

But the secrecy of the talks may also explain some of the tensions between the U.S. and France, which earlier this month balked at a proposed deal, and with Israel, which is furious about the agreement and has angrily denounced the diplomatic outreach to Tehran.

Israel isn't the only U.S. ally to voice concerns over the deal. Saudi Arabia - the Sunni Muslim Middle East rival to Shiite Iran - has long taken a hard line against Tehran obtaining a nuclear weapon. France, too balked at the terms of the deal - even though that nation was part of the Geneva talks and eventually signed on.
That should tell you everything you need to know about the deal. Israel, the only western-style democracy in that part of the world (and the only one that doesn't treat women like second class citizens - or worse), is violently opposed to it. The Saudis have sided with the Jews against their fellow muslims in Iran. Hell, even the French showed more common sense and backbone than obama (even though they reverted to type and caved in at the end).

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said it best: "Today the world became a much more dangerous place because the most dangerous regime in the world made a significant step in obtaining the most dangerous weapons in the world."

As for the Americans obama threw under the bus:
A retired FBI agent has become the longest-held American hostage in history, more than six years after he was kidnapped in Iran.
Seems like we could at least have gotten his release thrown in as part of the deal. Instead, obama issued the press release below after the agreement was signed.


Levinson isn't the only American held by the savages Iranians.
Saeed Abedini, an American citizen, has been imprisoned in Iran for more than a year for practicing Christianity. The talks over Iran’s nuclear program were seen by his family and those representing them as one of the most promising avenues yet for securing his release.

But the White House confirmed over the weekend that Abedini’s status was not on the table during those talks.
Why not?

One more:
Another case that has recently drawn public attention is that of Amir Hekmati, a U.S. Marine who was arrested in Iran in 2011 while visiting his grandmother.
He was detained on charges of spying for the CIA and sentenced to death. His family says the confession was coerced.
'Confession.' Yeah, right...

For an informed opinion, let's hear from a few of the original American hostages held by Iran back in the dark days of Jimmy Carter's administration.
...for many of the 66 Americans who were held hostage for 444 days at the start of the Iranian revolution, trusting the regime in Tehran feels like a mistake.

“It’s kind of like Jimmy Carter all over again,” said Clair Cortland Barnes, now retired and living in Leland, N.C., after a career at the CIA and elsewhere. He sees the negotiations now as no more effective than they were in 1979 and 1980, when he and others languished, facing mock executions and other torments. ... “And what do we get out of it?” asked Barnes. “A lie saying, ‘We’re not going to make plutonium.’ It’s a win-win for them and it’s a lose-lose for us.”

Retired Air Force Col. Thomas E. Schaefer, 83, called the deal “foolishness.”

“My personal view is, I never found an Iranian leader I can trust,” he said. “I don’t think today it’s any different from when I was there. None of them, I think, can be trusted. Why make an agreement with people you can’t trust?”
Why, indeed? That's the question I keep asking myself.
Sgt. Rodney “Rocky” Sickmann, 56, of St. Louis, then a Marine sergeant, remembers clearly being told by his captors that their goal was to use the hostages to humiliate the American government, and he suspects this interim deal is in that vein.

“It just hurts. We negotiated for 444 days and not one time did they agree to anything … and here they beg for us to negotiate and we do,” he said. “It’s hard to swallow. We negotiate with our enemies and stab our allies in the back. That doesn’t seem good.”
Leave it to a Marine to succinctly sum up the situation:"We negotiate with our enemies and stab our allies in the back."

That also sums up the obama presidency...

Thursday, November 28, 2013

A Day Of Thanks 2013

To all of you out there who make this little corner of the Internet a community, please accept my best wishes for a Happy, Safe, and Blessed Thanksgiving for you and yours.








May your stuffing be tasty,
May your turkey be plump.
May your potatoes and gravy
Have nary a lump.
May your yams be delicious
And your pies take the prize.
And may your Thanksgiving dinner
Stay off your thighs!


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Couldn't Have Happened To A More Deserving Jerk

Could it be that MSNBC actually has a shred of integrity?
On Tuesday, MSNBC officially cancelled Alec Baldwin’s interview program after the host used anti-gay slurs to insult a photographer on the streets of New York City.
Of course good ol' Alec claims he was misquoted.
"I dispute half the comment I made...”
Baldwin claims he said "c**ksucking maggot" instead of " c**ksucking faggot."

He further blames his firing on something called the “fundamentalist wing of gay advocacy.” (Is that anything like the "vast right-wing conspiracy"?)
...Baldwin went off on the “fundamentalist wing of gay advocacy,” including a number of prominent media personalities, who lobbied for his firing behind the scenes and successfully got him fired.
Typical liberal behavior. Blame everyone but yourself for the consequences of your actions.

There is one point, however, on which I agree with Alec. Why did MSNBC ax Baldwin for making a (disputed) gay slur, while taking absolutely no disciplinary action against Martin Bashir for saying live, on the air, clearly and unambiguously (and undisputedly), that someone should defecate in Sarah Palin's mouth and urinate in her eyes?

Could it be that MSNBC believes gays should be a protected group, but anything goes when talking about conservatives?

To answer the question I asked at the top of this post - "Could it be that MSNBC actually has a shred of integrity?"  - the answer is "nope."

Neither does Capitol One, which continues to employ Baldwin as its spokes-bigot...

If You Like Your Uranium Enrichment Plan... Part One

Long post today, on a serious topic. Refill your beverage and commence reading.

Of all the things obama has done to 'fundamentally transform' this country, none have the potential for disaster on a global scale so much as his recent deal with Iran to rein in its nuclear program. He has quite literally given madmen access to a weapon of mass destruction. In doing so, he has further weakened U.S. power, prestige, and credibility in the international community.

How, you ask? There are three major flaws in the agreement.

First, and most critical, Iran retains its capability and infrastructure to produce weapons grade uranium. The agreement calls for Iran to restrict uranium enrichment from its natural concentration (0.7%) to 3.5%. 3.5% doesn't sound like much, especially when a concentration level of 90% is needed to produce nuclear weapons. But that's misleading.
...the enrichment process for weapons grade uranium is highly non-linear…the level of enrichment accelerates as the process continues. That means that most of the cumulative effort required to produce highly enriched uranium (HEU) comes at the earliest stages. About 90% of the total effort required is expended to reach the 5% level.
The agreement states that Iran can keep all of the 5% enriched uranium it already has processed. From there to weapons level uranium requires only 10% of the time and effort needed to attain the 5% level. Plus Iran isn't required to dismantle or destroy any of its uranium enrichment infrastructure or facilities (it is required to uncouple or remove links between some centrifuges, which is easily reversible if and when Iran decides to do so).

Iran also retains the capability "to continue all aspects of its nuclear-weapons program the agreement does not cover (centrifuge manufacturing and testing; weaponization research and fabrication; and its entire ballistic missile program)."

Second, Iran's 'right' to enrich uranium has been confirmed.
...the text of the agreement says that Iran can keep enriching (uranium to 3.5%) ... and that the final agreement ... will provide for “a mutually defined enrichment program with practical limits and transparency measures to ensure the peaceful nature of the program.”
That sure sounds like acknowledging their "right to enrich," not matter what the clown tandem of barry and kerry say.

Taking that one step further, the obama administration has bestowed a patina of legitimacy on a rogue nation ruled by religious fanatics.
...Iran has gained legitimacy. This central banker of international terrorism and flagrant nuclear proliferator is once again part of the international club.  Much as the Syria chemical-weapons agreement buttressed Bashar al-Assad, the mullahs have escaped the political deep freezer.
Not only that, the agreement highlights yet again America's growing impotency and irrelevance under obama in the Mid East. Remember how Russia under Putin punked the U.S. in the Syria chemical weapons fiasco? This is worse.

Third, lifting current sanctions against Iran boosts their power and prestige in several ways. In addition to an immediate influx of badly needed cash (estimates place the Iranian industry overall at twenty percent of capacity, with only two-to-three months’ hard currency reserves), Iran will now be able to recruit foreign investment. Once other countries and multinational corporations invest substantial sums in Iran, they will become de facto lobbyists for it.
...a mere six-months’ easing of sanctions will make it extraordinarily hard for the West to reverse direction, even faced with systematic violations of Iran’s nuclear pledges.  Major oil-importing countries (China, India, South Korea, and others) were already chafing under U.S. sanctions, sensing President Obama had no stomach either to impose sanctions on them, or pay the domestic political price of granting further waivers.
Finally, and most importantly, this agreement increases the likelihood of unilateral action by Israel, while at the same time stacking the deck of world opinion against such action.
... the deal leaves the basic strategic realities unchanged. Iran’s nuclear program was, from its inception, a weapons program, and it remains one today. Even modest constraints, easily and rapidly reversible, do not change that fundamental political and operational reality.

Undoubtedly, an Israeli strike during the interim deal would be greeted with outrage from all the expected circles.  But that same outrage, or more, would also come further down the road.  In short, measured against the expected reaction even in friendly capitals, there is never a “good” time for an Israeli strike, only bad and worse times.  Accordingly, the Geneva deal does not change Israel’s strategic calculus even slightly...

So in truth, an Israeli military strike is the only way to avoid Tehran’s otherwise inevitable march to nuclear weapons, and the proliferation that will surely follow. Making the case for Israel’s exercise of its legitimate right of self-defense has therefore never been more politically important.
That's why Benjamin Netanyahu is so outraged - and rightly so. Once again obama has undercut our primary ally in the Middle East. He's stabbing in the back the only truly democratic and progressive country in that region. Hell, even the Saudis are opposed to the deal, and are making cautious advances to the Israelis. That's how bad this agreement is.

The enemy of my enemy is my friend...

So there you have it. An obama administration that has consistently been hostile towards Israel has brokered a deal enhancing the economy, nuclear weapons capability, and international prestige of a rogue state that exports terrorism and terrorists. At the same time, barry and his stooge kerry are misleading the rest of the world about their intentions and the ramifications of the deal.

Sound familiar?


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Relationship Advice For Women

I may have, from time to time, posted a few things that poked fun at the fairer sex (in the nicest possible way, of course). In the spirit of being fair and balanced, today I am extending a helping hand to the ladies out there by passing along some advice to help them achieve happiness in their personal lives.

Five Secrets to a Great Relationship
1. It is important to find a man who does chores around the house, occasionally cooks and cleans, and who has a job.
2. It is important to find a man who makes you laugh.
3. It is important to find a man who is dependable and doesn’t lie.
4. It is important to find a man who’s good in bed and who loves to have sex with you.
5. It is important that these four men never meet.
While I'm at it, I'd like to offer some tips to help professional women understand the nuances of modern-day marketing.
1.You’re at a party and you see an attractive man. You go over to him and say: “I’m fantastic in bed.”

This is Direct Marketing.

2.You’re at a party with a group of friends and you see an attractive man. One of your friends goes over to him and says: “That girl over there is fantastic in bed.”

This is Publicity.

3.You’re at a party and you see an attractive man. You ask for his phone number. The next day you call him and say: “I’m fantastic in bed.”

This is Telemarketing.

4.You’re at a party and you see an attractive man you already know. You go over to him and say: “Do you remember how good I am in bed?”

This is Customer Relationship Management.

5.You’re at a party and you see an attractive man. You get up, smooth your dress, go over and serve him a drink. You straighten his tie seductively and say: “I’m fantastic in bed.”

This is Public Relations.

6.You’re at a party and you see an attractive man. He comes over to you and says: “I hear you’re fantastic in bed.”

This is Branding, the reputation of the name.

7. On your way to a party, you realize many attractive men live nearby. You start blasting your horn, roll down your car window, and drive slowly, yelling for all the world to hear, “I–AM–FANTASTIC–IN–BED!”
This is spam.
You're welcome.


Monday, November 25, 2013

FOD 2013.11.25

Just when you think you've seen/heard it all...
In an interview on BET (Black Entertainment Television) last night with Bow Wow (Bow Wow?!? Who/what the fuck is Bow Wow? Is that a person or a dog?) and Keshia Chante, First Lady Michelle Obama talked up her husband, President Barack Obama. "I always say my husband has got swag," said Mrs. Obama...
Swag?!? Again, WTF is swag? According to Google, "swag" is either "an ornamental festoon of flowers, fruit, and greenery" or "money or goods taken by a thief or burglar." Both of those definitions are applicable to barry, but somehow I don't think that's what Chewbacca Michelle meant.
Mrs. Obama also said that the president of the United States "sings all the time." She continued, "Oh, yes, he’s in the bathroom all the time just singing."
So that's how the liar-in-chief spends his time - singing in the bathroom? I guess it's either that or playing golf (or basketball).


We are so doomed until we get rid of this SCoaMF...


Sunday, November 24, 2013

Better Late Than Never, Plus Planning Ahead

Things have been a little hectic lately, what with hunting, funerals, and honey-do crap, so I'm somewhat behind in my posting.

One of the things I've neglected is homage to seasonal beers. Autumn is a prime time for Oktoberfest brews. My standard go-to Oktoberfest bier is Spaten's Oktoberfest, which they claim is the world's first Oktoberfest beer. I have no reason to doubt them.


Thankfully, I'm not the only one who is running a little late. It seems to be an American tradition.
That’s right, friends: the leaves are turning, the temperature is dropping, and Halloween is just around the corner, but most importantly, Oktoberfest is here! Was here, actually; the real Oktoberfest celebration in Munich ended on October 6th this year. As Americans, though, we hold very dear our inalienable right to bastardize and misappropriate items of foreign culture as we see fit, so we will likely be drinking Oktoberfest beer well into December, and rest assured, we will celebrate Oktoberfest whenever we damn well please...
...Upon first sip, my girlfriend blurted out, “It’s like a liquid pretzel!”  Upon second, she changed her mind to, “It’s like I’m drinking fall!”
These are common impressions of great Oktoberfest beers that are probably due as much to the beer’s appearance as the taste. The first thing you’ll notice about Spaten Oktoberfest is the beautiful deep-gold/amber color. It really does look like you’re drinking tree whose leaves have just turned for Autumn. Or possibly liquid pumpkin pie topped with whipped cream, thanks to the ample foamy head that regrettably dissipates very quickly.

Don’t worry, it doesn’t taste like dead leaves (or pumpkin pie). Like all Oktoberfests/Märzens, Spaten Oktoberfest is a lager, and the nose (aroma) is accordingly very clean with only the slightest hint of earthy/lemon esters. You can detect a bit of malty/biscuit taste, and a bit of the higher alcohol content, but the main attraction doesn’t come until the first sip. If you’ve had an Oktoberfest before, you basically know what to expect, and if you haven’t, imagine a sweeter, stronger version of your favorite amber lager (maybe Dos Equis or Sam Adams Boston Lager).
Yummm...

Another giant plus for Spaten Oktoberfest is the Bier Mädchens (beer serving girls).


Double Yummm...

As for planning ahead, Thanksgiving is looming. We're expecting a full house, so anything we can do now to minimize what we have to do on Turkey Day is a plus. One of my favorite tricks is Do-Ahead Gravy. Not only is it one less thing to do on the big day, it also provides the fixings for an additional stress-free meal.

Do-Ahead Thanksgiving Gravy

Ingredients

2 pounds chicken or turkey wings
1 red onion, sliced and quartered
2 stalks celery, cut into 2-inch pieces
2  carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
4 cups turkey or chicken broth (see note below)
4 cups water
3 large fresh sage leaves
2 cups dry white wine
1/2 cup flour or cornstarch
Meat juices from roast wings

Directions

1.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. In a large shallow roasting pan (cookie sheet), place wings, onion, celery, and carrots. Roast 1 1/2 hours or until wings turn a deep golden brown. I like to lightly sprinkle the wings with Cajun seasoning to help them attain that golden brown color.

2.  When wings are done, transfer along with cooked vegetables from roasting pan to a large stockpot. Add broth, 4 cups water, and sage leaves. Set aside.

3.  Place roasting pan on top of cooktop or stove burners. Add wine to roasting pan and heat to a low boil, scraping up browned bits from bottom of pan, about 10 minutes or until wine is reduced to 1/2 cup. Transfer wine mixture to stockpot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, about an hour or so. Have a drink of the leftover wine to fortify yourself.

4.  Strain liquid in saucepot into another pot. Set aside wings, but discard vegetables. Let broth sit while you shred meat from wings.

5.  Skim fat from broth. Amount of broth should be around four cups. If broth is significantly less than 4 cups, add flavored liquid (canned chicken broth, white wine, sherry, beer, etc.) to bring volume to 4 cups. If broth is significantly more than 4 cups, return to saucepot and heat to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer until volume equals 4 cups. Have another drink of wine.

6.  Heat broth to boiling. Meanwhile, in a small bowl mix flour (or cornstarch) with 3/4 cup water until blended. Whisk flour/cornstarch mixture into boiling broth. Boil for a couple of minutes, stirring continuously as it thickens. Remove from heat.

7.  Let gravy cool, then transfer into a container with tight-fitting lid. Refrigerate up to 5 days or freeze up to 1 month. Finish off the wine while the gravy is cooling.

8.  Complete gravy after roasting turkey: Add strained and skimmed pan juices from roast turkey to gravy. If you need more gravy, stir in 1/4 to 1/2 cup cream or milk, chicken broth, wine, etc. Heat and serve.

Notes:

I like to make homemade turkey broth from the turkey carcass after Thanksgiving. Basically just toss the leftover bones into a large stockpot, throw in some veggies and seasonings, cover with a mixture of water, wine, sherry, or what-have-you, and simmer for a few hours. If you'd like more detailed directions let me know.

I then freeze the resulting broth until next year. I use it as the stock to make the Do-Ahead Gravy.

I also use the broth as the base for turkey soup. Simply add the shredded meat from the wings you used for the gravy, plus your grain or pasta of choice (barley, couscous, farro, orzo, wild rice, egg noodles, etc.). Simmer for 30 minutes or so. You can also add whatever else you like in your soup. For example, I usually saute some mushrooms and garlic, and put them in the pot. I also like to top off the soup with chopped green onions. But it's up to you. Be creative.

Oh yeah - don't forget to open another bottle of wine...

Sunday Funnies 2013.11.24

Thanksgiving is coming...


A turkey farmer was always experimenting with breeding the perfect turkey, specifically one with more legs to satisfy his family's preference for dark meat. After many frustrating attempts, the farmer was telling his friends about his recent success.

"Well I finally did it! I bred a turkey that has six legs!"

His friends all asked the farmer how it tasted.

I don't know," said the farmer. "I never could catch the darn thing!"


What do you get if you cross a turkey with an evil spirit?

A poultry-geist.


The state of Arkansas recenetly annouced that Halloween and Thanksgiving will no longer be state holidays.

The turkey left for Washington D.C. and took the witch with him.


Last year I decided to have a throw-back Thanksgiving and shoot my own turkey for the holiday.

You should have seen the people scatter in the meat department.









Saturday, November 23, 2013

Requiem For A Marine

Twelve years ago we moved from Houston to our present home in Heaven Central Texas. I haven't looked back. Nothing against the people there - we left behind several good friends - but that city is just too big and crowded for me. Sadly, however, I'm back in Houston today for a funeral.

The father of one of my close friends passed away earlier this week. I met the father through my buddy, who years ago invited me to join him and his family on their deer lease. I came to consider the father as an uncle. Cali (his nickname, short for The California Kid) was one of three older guys who shared the lease with his two sons and me. The three old dudes were a hoot. They played pranks and practical jokes on each other and anyone else around, told sidesplitting stories and jokes, and didn't hesitate to make their opinions known about politicians, the younger generation, and the sorry state of affairs compared to when they were kids.

The other two died a few years ago. Cali hung on, but it was clear he was in failing health and failing spirits. That wonderful old man is finally resting in peace. He and his buddies are probably giving Jesus a hotfoot about now.

There was much more to Cali than fun-loving old timer. He was a long-time happily married man who raised two great sons and a pretty good daughter. He was a successful businessman and was heavily involved in community and charitable activities. He was also first, last, and always, a United States Marine; a decorated combat veteran of WWII.

I may have posted this story before, but it bears repeating. Several years ago when our son was in middle school he was assigned to interview veterans for a history class. The point of the assignment was to get first-hand accounts from actual participants, and then compare those to what the history books said (aside: his history teacher that year was IMO the best teacher I've ever come across - he got the kids really, really interested in history by getting them involved).

Anyway, our son was fortunate enough to interview Lt. Col. Richard E. Cole, General Jimmy Doolittle's co-pilot during the famous WWII bombing raid on Japan. He also interviewed my father, a WWII combat vet, and Cali. The interviews were video-recorded to show in class.

The first question our boy asked Cali was "Why did you join the Marines?"

Cali got an intense look on his face, stared our son straight in the eye, and without hesitating answered "To kill the God-Damned Japs!"

I thought my wife was going to have apoplexy. Cali's son and I were laughing so hard we almost fell over. Our son didn't know what to do, but like a good budding journalist he went ahead and asked the rest of his questions. Needless to say, we did a little editing on the video before it was turned in.

Here's some excerpts from Cali's obituary.
Retired Major (Cali), USMC, age 92 passed away peacefully on November 15, 2013 ... He is also preceded in death by his two lifelong friends (Arbrey) and (Cabe). The threesome hunted and fished together and shared a lifetime of fun and laughter for over 40 years.

During WWII, (Cali) was assigned to the 2nd Marine Division, Amphibious Tractors. He was on the first waves of battle at Tarawa, Saipan, Tinian, and Okinawa. On Tarawa, after landing assault troops from his amphibian tractor, commanding a platoon of tractors, he returned to the edge of the coral reef with his crew and noticed that the advance of troops wading ashore was stopped by concentrated enemy fire from three sides. (Cali) and his men with complete disregard for their own safety drove their vehicle between the gunfire and the troops. Using the tractor for a shield and manning the tractor-mounted machineguns to return fire, they were successful in guiding the troops ashore. (Cali) provided overhead fire for the advancing troops until the tractor was demolished. (Cali) received the presidential unit citation, a Purple Heart, and was awarded the Silver Star by Admiral Nimitz. He also received the Navy Commendation Medal for the battle on Saipan.

In May 1945 after 37 months and 12 days Norman was sent home. His war was over. He was immensely proud to be a Marine. He remained in the reserves and retired from the Marine Corp in 1964 attaining the rank of Major.

He loved to hunt and fish and loved auto racing with a passion. He was crazy for the Houston Oilers and furious with Bud Adams when he moved the team to Tennessee.

In lieu of flowers please donate to the Wounded Warrior Project...
Rest In Peace, Cali. You deserve it.


Friday, November 22, 2013

Friday Follies Happy Hour 2013.11.22

Fifty years in 1963 ago JFK was assassinated.

Fifty years ago in 1963 this song was one of the year's top hits.

Some things are timeless...

Word Of The Day

Schadenfreude: a feeling of enjoyment that comes from seeing or hearing about the troubles of other people.


Where Were You?


Unless you've been living in a cave, by now you're aware that today is the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John Kennedy. I'm not going to go into the historical, political, and social ramifications of his assassination, other than to note in passing that it was a watershed event in our country's history. For starters, just imagine how different things might have turned out if JFK, who would be considered a moderate-to-conservative today, had remained in office instead of being replaced by LBJ, a sleazy scheming liberal by anyone's standards, then or now. (And BTW, what's with all the 3-initial identifiers from that era? JFK, RFK, LBJ, MLK ... but I digress.)

What I wanted to discuss today is the "Where were you when..." question. JFK's assassination is the first date that I can recall where I was and what I was doing when I heard about it (7th grade band class - the announcement came of the school's loudspeaker that the president had been shot. No further details were provided, so we had no idea how serious the incident was.)

What I remember most about the assassination and its aftermath was how everyone was glued to the television. Back then there were only three TV channels. For several days it was nothing but coverage of the shooting and the subsequent events, from sign on until sign off. (Remember how TV channels used to sign off the air around midnight by playing the National Anthem? If you do, you're an old fart like me.)

Eventually, of course, things got more-or-less back to normal. Then came the RFK and MLK shootings, and nothing was ever quite the same.



The next date that's fixed in my mind is January 28, 1986, when the space shuttle Challenger blew up shortly after liftoff, killing its crew of seven. I was working in Houston at the time. We were gathered in the break room to watch. At that time shuttle launches were still a big event, especially in the Houston area, where NASA was headquartered. To say we were all stunned would be a massive understatement. Watch the short video of the launch below, and notice how quiet it gets after the explosion. No one knows what to say. They probably can't believe what they just saw. The NASA PAO (Public Affairs Officer) narrating the launch finally came up with "Obviously there was a major malfunction."

Obviously...



The next 15 years are a pleasant blur for me. Getting married to my current wife, the birth of our two children, a career change from industry to academia, all these milestones in my life were marked and celebrated at the time. But the memory of them is softened by a pleasant, golden haze. The stark details have faded over time. Then comes a date that I'm sure I share with most of you - September 11, 2001.

I was just about to begin teaching a class when I heard a fragmented and preliminary report concerning an airplane possibly hitting one of the World Trade Center towers. I headed into class thinking that it was probably a light plane sightseeing over Manhattan and accidentally flying into a building. When class was over I learned the horrible truth - that we were at war with a bunch of barbaric savages who deserve to be wiped from the face of the earth.

I still feel that way.



My final "where were you" date is February 1, 2003.

Another space shuttle - Columbia - was returning to earth early Saturday morning after completing its mission. At the same time I was driving down a country road in Central Texas. It was a beautiful winter day - crisp and clear, a deep blue sky without a cloud in sight. I saw a brilliant white contrail pass overhead, heading from west to east. All of a sudden that one contrail became multiple smaller contrails. I had no idea what had happened until a couple of hours later, when I heard the news. Again, it was a feeling of shock and disbelief.

Watch the video below and you'll see that shock and disbelief mirrored on the faces of the NASA personnel in Mission Control, followed by tears as the truth slowly dawns on them.



So there you have it - four dates that are indelibly etched in my memory. I wish they were happier events, but evidently my subconscious prefers the tragic and dramatic.

Sometime today, when I have a quiet moment, I'll say a little prayer for all those affected by these four tragedies. If you're so inclined, I'd be honored if you'll join me.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Car Parts And Bucks

Busy day yesterday. I left the house before sun-up and got back well after dark. I spent the day at our deer hunting lease, about a three hour drive from the house. My older son and I refilled feeders (1000 pounds of corn), set up two new blinds, cleared shooting lanes, performed general maintenance on existing blinds, and also managed to sneak in a little time to hunt.

Our lease is just outside Sonora, Texas, a small town in the west central part of the state. Like many other small Texas towns, Sonora experiences a bit of a boom during hunting season. Out-of-towners flood these places, buying corn and other types of feed, beer, groceries, beer, lumber and fencing materials, beer, gas, and oh yeah - beer. For the most part hunters are welcomed with open arms by the townfolk, and not just because we fill the towns' coffers. We also tend to share certain core values - a love of nature and the outdoors (which we demonstrate by shooting things), a sense of self-reliance and independence, and a fondness for firearms.

This last was exemplifed by the sign pictured below, taken on the main street of Junction, Texas. The wording on the sign is hard to read, so I've reproduced it in the caption.

Welcome hunters. 5% off with NRA/CCL (Concealed Carry License) card.

I mentioned earlier that we snuck in a little hunt while we were up there. I saw a magnificent buck that I would have loved to put on my wall. However, I just couldn't bring myself to shoot him. When you see the picture below you'll know why.


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

obamacare Odds And Ends

And The Lies Just Keep On Coming

Following up on his infamous "If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan" lie, obama offered up this whopper:
“In the first month alone, we’ve seen more than 100 million Americans already successfully successfully enroll in the new insurance plans.”
Of course, I'm sure his media lapdogs will parrot the usual excuses: 'he misspoke'; 'it was a typo in his speech copy'; 'the teleprompter made a mistake'; or, my personal favorite, 'he made an inaccurate promise.'


Coverage For All - Except Those Who Really Need It

Under obamacare, men are required to buy maternity insurance. I know there's quite a bit of gender confusion out there these days, but as far as I know men (or at least people with male parts) still can't get pregnant. So I'm not sure how beneficial this particular coverage is for about half the population.

But wait! It gets better worse more confusing.
...it's not only men who are forced to buy maternity coverage they are physically incapable of using. So are women in the stage of life between childbearing age and Medicare eligibility.

Second, under-30s are exempt. That's right, the geniuses who wrote ObamaCare are forcing everyone to buy maternity care except the age cohort that includes women at peak fertility.

Flashback: ‘When it’s working and everybody is really happy with it, the Republicans will stop calling it Obamacare’

The failed president said this just over a month ago.
“My suspicion is what is going to happen is when it’s working and everybody is really happy with it, Republicans are going to stop calling it ‘Obamacare,’” the president said Tuesday in an interview with New York’s WABC TV station.
Well, guess who’s stopped calling it ObamaCare?
President Barack Obama and loyal Democrats once embraced the term Obamacare to sell the American people on health care reform.
Not anymore.
With the president’s approval ratings at record lows, a broken website and Obama under fire for his pledge that people could keep their plans, the “Affordable Care Act” has returned.
The president didn’t say “Obamacare” once during his nearly hourlong news conference last week, while he referred to the “Affordable Care Act” a dozen times. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi went so far as to correct David Gregory on “Meet the Press” Sunday on the proper terminology. And White House talking points distributed to Democrats and obtained by POLITICO repeatedly refer to the Affordable Care Act in suggested sound bites, not Obamacare.
Since ObamaCare is now synonymous with failure and disaster, even Obama doesn’t want to call it ObamaCare.


There's so much, much more out there. Pundits haven't had this much to write about since the Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky days. The difference is that l'affair Monica didn't destroy a healthcare system that made life better for millions of Americans.

That's not funny. That's sad...


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Serious Accident

Blogging may be a little slow for the next few days. Some moron was texting while driving, ran a red light, and T-boned me. He hit me so hard I lost consciousness.

I woke up swathed in bandages, in a hospital ICU, tubes entering different parts of my body, with wires monitoring every function. The only good news was that a gorgeous nurse stood hovering over me.

It was obvious I'd been in a serious accident. That was confirmed when she spoke to me.

I heard her say, "You may not feel anything from the waist down."

Shocked and disappointed, I managed to mumble in reply, "Can I feel your tits, then?"



UPDATE: I wasn't really in an accident. I was just trying to set up the joke. Sorry if I confused anyone.

He Gave A Hoot

Randy Burbach is - or rather, was - a volunteer football coach at a middle school in Corbett, Oregon. To celebrate a successful season, Burbach offered to treat the team to a season-ending party. Sounds pretty harmless and routine, right? He certainly didn't expect to wind up in the national spotlight and to be dismissed from his volunteer position.

But that's exactly what happened.

Of course, there's a little more to the story. The fly in the ointment was the location chosen for the party - the local Hooters 'breastaurant.'

For those of you who've never been to a Hooters, it's basically a PG sports bar. Waitresses wear tank tops and tight shorts. The outfits are a little tacky and slightly on the revealing side, but most middle-school boys have seen more skin on cable TV than is flashed by the Hooters waitresses. However, as might be expected, an outcry arose over exposing impressionable youth to the objectification and exploitation of women.
Corbett Middle School’s athletic director sent a letter to parents saying he didn’t support the decision because he feels Hooters objectifies women.
Despite opposition from the school, and the dismissal of Burbach from his coaching position, the party went on as planned - with one significant change.
Hooters stepped in and said they'd pay for the party, donate $1,000 to the Corbett Middle School sports program and contribute 20 percent of store revenues on Saturday as well.

The 23-member team wasn't fully represented Saturday. Some had other commitments, some chose not to come out of moral concerns, Burbach said. He said he respects those who didn't attend, for standing up for their values...
Corbett Middle School football players arrive at Hooters for the team party.

Speaking of values, I can understand the objections of those opposed to the location. I have a daughter, after all. But I was impressed by the thoughtfulness and maturity shown by some of the attendees.
"It's unfortunate that it came to this," (Constantine Leontescu, parent of one of the players) said, witnessing the media cameras hovering around the team. His family was initially surprised at the location, Leontescu said, and decided not to go. But they changed their mind. They had a family talk, he said.

The talk was about how (their son Matei), 14, needs to look at women, how he needs to respect women while in public. Leontescu wasn't concerned Saturday would change his son's life.

"He just wants to be with his teammates mainly and have a good time," he said.


Another parent had a similar outlook.
Michelle Rolens, the mother of one of the players and the co-president of Corbett youth football, said she was OK with her son going to Hooters for the unofficial trip.

"I feel like this has gotten totally blown out of proportion," she said on Tuesday. "I hope that if anything I've taught my kids that I'm a very strong woman. I'm the primary breadwinner in my house, and I don't find it offensive to go to Hooters and see a little skin."
Even if you object to how Hooters 'uses' women, don't you think it's better to have a frank, open discussion with your kids about it than to stick your head in the sand and pretend such places don't exist.

Besides, their wings are pretty good...

Monday, November 18, 2013

FOD 2013.11.18

From the "One picture is worth 1000 words" file:



(H/T BMEWS)

Just for fun, here's a few words to accompany the above picture - sort of like the cherry on top of the sundae.
Aside from the question of whether it is legal or right for the president to decide arbitrarily which elements of legislation to faithfully execute, it is also a sort of new way of ad hoc governing: The president grandly introduces a new piece of unworkable legislation, does not know or care much about the consequences of implementing it, demagogues the bill, demonizes the opposition, gets it passed, uses the passage for political purposes, and then waits to see what happens in the real world. (Source)
What a SCoaMF...

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Oops

Today's bit of good news:
In a sickening video posted on YouTube, soldiers from the Syrian-based group Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) were seen holding up the decapitated head of a soldier they believed was a supporter of President Bashar al-Assad.

But, after the footage was made public, the victim was recognised by an extremist as a fellow rebel fighter who had been wounded during a battle.

After an investigation the soldier was identified as Mohammed Fares, a commander of Ahrar al-Sham, a group who fight alongside the ISIS.
What's Arabic for "My bad..."?
The militant group tried to explain their error by referring to a story in which the prophet Mohammed said Allah would forgive a man who killed a believer by mistake.
Oh, well, if Allah says it's okay then it's not a problem ... except perhaps for the unfotunate Mr. Fares.

muslim terrorists proudly display the severed head of their comrade before an admiring throng. Notice that several 'people' are taking pictures, presumably for their personal enjoyment late at night when camels aren't available.

Sunday Funnies 2013.11.17

Hunting season is in full swing. Amongst the trophies on my wall is this plaque.



A group of deer hunters are in camp when they realize that they are running low on provisions.

The group appointed Joe to get supplies.

Joe went into the store and bought 10 bottles of whiskey, 12 cases of beer and 2 packages of hotdogs.

When he returned to the camp the group looked in his truck and they asked, "Joe, what in the world are we gonna do with all them damn hotdogs?"


It was Saturday morning and Bill, an avid hunter, woke up ready to go bag the first deer of the season. He walks down to the kitchen to get a cup of coffee, and to his surprise he finds his wife, Susan, sitting there, fully dressed in camouflage. Bill asks her, "What are you up to?" Susan smiles and replies, "I'm going hunting with you!" Bill, though he has many reservations, reluctantly decides to take her along.

They arrive at the hunting site. Bill sets his wife safely up in the tree stand and tells her: "If you see a deer, take careful aim on it and shoot. I'll come running back as soon as I hear the shot." Bill walks away with a smile on his face knowing that Susan couldn't bag an chicken, let alone a deer.

But not 15 minutes pass when he is startled as he hears several gunshots. Quickly, Bill starts running back to his wife's treestand. As Bill gets closer, he hears Susan screaming, "Get away from my deer!" Confused, Bill races faster towards his screaming wife. And again he hears her yell, "Get away from my deer!" followed by another volley of gunfire.

Now within sight of where he had left his wife, Bill is surprised to see a cowboy, with his hands high in the air. The cowboy, obviously distraught, says, "Okay, mam, okay! You can have your deer! Just let me get my saddle off it!"


Ted Nugent, rock star and avid bow hunter from Michigan, was being interviewed by a French journalist and animal rights activist. The discussion came around to deer hunting. The journalist asked, "What do you think is the last thought in the head of a deer before you shoot him? Is it, 'Are you my friend?' or is it 'Are you the one that killed my brother?' "

Nugent replied, "Deer aren't capable of that kind of thinking. All they care about is, 'What am I going to eat next, who am I going to screw next, and can I run fast enough to get away. They are very much like the French.' "

The interview ended at that point.


The Pentagon announced today the formation of a new 500-man elite fighting unit called the United States Redneck Special Forces (USRSF).

These boys will be dropped off in Afghanistan and have been given only the following facts about terrorists :

1. The season opened today.
2. There is no limit.
3. They taste just like chicken.
4. They don't like beer, pickups, country music or Jesus.
5. They are directly responsible for the death of Dale Earnhardt.

The Pentagon expects the war to be over by Friday.









Saturday, November 16, 2013

Late Night

Had a great time yesterday - a beautiful day, a nice round of golf, followed by a few beers at the clubhouse, followed by a few more beers at home on the back porch, followed by a few glasses of wine with dinner, followed by a few after-dinner drinks ... well, you get the idea.

Since it was a late night, I though it would be only appropriate to post a few late-night comments about the fluster-cluck known as obamacare.
"Yesterday at the White House, President Obama met with various leaders of the American Indian tribes. He promised them, 'If you like your medicine man, you can keep your medicine man.'" –Jay Leno

"According to a new report, over a million Californians are losing their health insurance due to Obamacare. In fact, some are so angry they have already gone back to Mexico." –Jay Leno

"You know that smiling woman who was featured on the home page of Healthcare.gov? She asked for her picture to be removed after she was cyber-bullied. She's hiding where nobody can see her – at Healthcare.gov." –Jay Leno

"It seems like everyone's still pretty upset about this Obamacare website. The Department of Health and Human Services emailed 275,000 Americans, encouraging them to give the Obamacare website another try. Then they said 'But one at a time, so it doesn't crash again.'" –Jimmy Fallon

More from Leno:

"The president said yesterday that if it's taking too long and you're having trouble you can bypass the website and enroll by mail. Only the federal government could come up with a website that's slower than sending something by mail.

...he (Leno) doesn’t buy that the site’s glitches will be fixed in a few weeks. “When was the last time the government fixed anything in a few weeks? We still have troops in Korea.”

Friday, November 15, 2013

Friday Follies Happy Hour 2013.11.15

Today was one of those absolutely drop dead gorgeous Texas autumn days. Bluebird sky without a cloud in sight ... crisp temperature with a sun that made it comfortable enough to play 18 holes in shorts and a polo shirt (it's good to be retired!) ... and for some reason the drink cart girl hovered around our foursome all day.

I just can't imagine living anywhere else...

The TopTen reasons I Didn't Sign Up For obamacare

I have neither the patience nor the tolerance for doublespeak, deception, and dissembling that would enable me to watch president pants-on-fire's press conference today where he proclaimed a short-term 'fix' of dubious legality to the abominable piece of crap legislation that will be his legacy.

Rather, being a simple man of simple interests, I chose to go the low-brow approach and post the Top Ten reasons I didn't sign up for obamacare.

10. There was no app for that.

9. Still waiting on my free Obamaphone.

8. Link was from a Nigerian prince.

7. Got suspicious when it asked for payment in doubloons.

6. They used Comic Sans.

5. Couldn’t remember my underwear size when they asked.

4. No cats.

3. Website made by Canadians.

2. Panda Cam came back online.
And the Number 1 reason I Didn't Sign Up For Obamacare...
1. Obama didn’t!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Options

A few days ago Harper, commenting on the obamacare debacle, asked:
"Where do we go from here?  "Here" being the smoldering scene of the Obamacare train wreck."
She went on to say:
"Why don't we have a countermeasure ready to deploy?  Why have we spent the better part of over three years, just bitching about a law without coming up with something better?"
That got me to thinking along the same line - why haven't the republicans offered any alternatives?

It turns out they have. We just haven't been paying attention.

Or, more likely, we've been brainwashed by the media's endless parroting of the obama party line.

obama and the democrats, aided and abetted by their allies in the media, have been able to perpetuate the myth that republicans are interested only in repealing obamacare, without offering any alternatives or replacement plans.

Like so many other statements uttered by barry and his political hacks, that's an outright lie.

In fact, during the 2008 presidential campaign John McCain offered a version of health care reform that obama ridiculed back then, but that today seems like a stroke of genius when compared to the nightmare that is obamacare.

McCain's plan revolved around considering employer-provided health insurance as a form of compensation, which it clearly is. As such, it would become taxable income. To compensate for that, people would get a tax credit for health care premiums. We would also be allowed to cross state lines when shopping for health insurance, which is now forbidden. That would introduce elements of the free market into the health care equation. The competition would decrease costs and increase quality.

That plan was the basis for the Patient's Choice Act, sponsored by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.). The Act also addressed concerns about portability and pre-existing conditions. It eliminated favoritism (no waivers for unions and other politically connected groups or firms) and minimized bureaucracy (it was only 56 pages long). It was a well thought out alternative to obamacare based on sound economic foundations and equitable treatment for all. It was introduced in Congress in 2009, before obamacare passed, but unfortunately was killed in committee.

A more recent alternative has emerged from the Republican Study Committee. The American Health Care Reform Act is intended to lower health care costs by relying on free market principles. More specifically, it has seven main objectives:
  • Fully repeals President Obama's health care law, eliminating billions in taxes and thousands of pages of unworkable regulations and mandates that are driving up health care costs.
  • Spurs competition to lower health care costs by allowing Americans to purchase health insurance across state lines and enabling small businesses to pool together and get the same buying power as large corporations.
  • Reforms medical malpractice laws in a common sense way that limits trial lawyer fees and non-economic damages while maintaining strong protections for patients.
  • Provides tax reform that allows families and individuals to deduct health care costs, just like companies, leveling the playing field and providing all Americans with a standard deduction for health insurance.
  • Expands access to Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), increasing the amount of pre-tax dollars individuals can deposit into portable savings accounts to be used for health care expenses.
  • Safeguards individuals with pre-existing conditions from being discriminated against purchasing health insurance by bolstering state-based high risk pools and extending HIPAA guaranteed availability protections.
  • Protects the unborn by ensuring no federal funding of abortions.
So why haven't we heard of these alternatives to obamacare? The obvious answer is that the media has bought hook, line, and sinker into obama's message that republicans are only interested in repealing obamacare without offering any other solutions. A secondary reason is that the republicans lack a national spokesman with the presence to command media attention. Who speaks for the GOP? John Boehner? John McCain? Chris Christie? Rand Paul? Marco Rubio? Puh-leaze...

The republicans need to get their act together and agree on a common message related to health care. Then they need to go out and relentlessly hammer that message home every chance they get. Otherwise they'll find themselves in the familiar position of winning the battle of ideas but losing the PR war.

And we'll be stuck with obamacare for the rest of our increasingly short and feeble lives...



Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Men Are Pigs - 2013.11.13

Ladies, please note: the following do not reflect the thoughts or opinions of the management here at Bergheim Follies. We have just reposted them to provide further evidence that men are, in fact, politically incorrect pigs.

Albeit pigs with a sense of humor...
I was devastated to find out my wife was having an affair but, by turning to religion, I was soon able to come to terms with the whole thing. I converted to Islam, and we're stoning her in the morning!
  
The wife suggested I get  myself one of those penis enlargers, so I did. She's 25, and her  name's  Kathy.

Went to our local bar with my wife last night. Locals started shouting "pedophile!" and other names at me,  just  because my wife is 24 and I'm 50. It completely spoiled our 10th anniversary.

My son was thrown out of school today for letting a girl in his class give him a hand-job. I said "Son, that's three schools this year! You'd better stop before you're banned from teaching altogether."

The cost of living has now  gotten so bad that my wife is having sex with me because she can't afford  batteries.

A man calls 911 and says "I think my wife is dead". The operator says, "How do you know?" The man says "The sex is about the same, but the ironing is piling up!"

I was  explaining to my wife last  night that when you die you get reincarnated, but must come back as a  different creature. She said she would like to come back as a cow. I said,  "You obviously haven't been  listening."

My wife has been missing a week now. The  police said to prepare for the worst. So, I had to go down to Goodwill to get all of her clothes back.