Monday, September 30, 2013

Bonus FOD 2013.09.30

obama likens those who disagree with him to terrorists. He sics the IRS on his political opponents. Meanwhile, he buddies up to muslim groups that finance real terrorism.
Canada's version of the IRS, The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), has revoked the charitable status of The Islamic Society of North America (INSA) over charges that the group has channeled over $280,000 to a group in Pakistan linked to a terror outfit. Shawn Jeffords of the Toronto Sun writes:

In a 71-page "letter of revocation," complete with flow charts which illustrate the alleged link between the Canadian group and the Pakistani terrorist group, the agency lays out its case against ISNA.

However, INSA is a group that President Obama has been quite friendly toward. In fact, he issued a gushing congratulatory video addressed to the group some time ago on the occasion of its fiftieth annual convention.

In Obama's world, tax authorities harass groups supporting the US Constitution and congratulations are offered to groups funneling money to terror groups.
The most disturbing thing is that he repeatedly gets away with stuff like this because no one in the mainstream media calls him on it.

FOD 2013.09.30

Browsing through the news reports of the last few days, I have come to the conclusion (again) that we have either an idiot, a buffoon, a subversive, or all of the above masquerading as the President of the United States.

It is painfully obvious that obama is willing to negotiate with a country sworn to the destruction of not only the United States, but all of western civilization. However, he refuses to negotiate with duly elected officials who have differing political positions.

In short, the SCOAMF currently befouling the Oval Office is willing to negotiate with Iran, but not with the House of Representatives.

Not only that, but he has the unmitigated gall to accuse them of being terrorists.
A top White House aide said Thursday that the White House refuses to negotiate with Republicans over the debt ceiling, likening the GOP to someone with "a bomb strapped to their chest."

"What we're not for is negotiating with people with a bomb strapped to their chest," senior White House adviser Dan Pfeiffer said on CNN. "We're not going to do that."
To put things into perspective:
Well, that’s interesting in lieu of President Obama’s revelation that he phoned Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and plans to pursue a diplomatic effort with the Iranian regime.

The last time I checked Iran is still the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism. This sponsorship has included giving $1 million to the families of suicide bombers in the Palestinian Authority.

It would seem that the Obama Administration would rather negotiate in good faith with Iran than with Republicans. Or put another way, the Obama Administration is more amenable to pursuing diplomacy with actual suicide bombers than imaginary ones.
Reinforcing that point, CNN reports that over the past few days obama has spent more time chatting with Iranian president Hassan Rouhani than with Speaker of the House John Boehner.

Of course, obama and his flunkies aren't the only ones comparing republicans to terrorists. No less a moonbat than al gore has jumped on that bandwagon.
During a speech to the Brookings Institution today, Gore characterized Republican efforts to defund Obamacare as “political terrorism.” This would be the same Al Gore who sold his failed television network to the Emir of Qatar. The same Emir of Qatar who pledged $400 million to Hamas in Gaza several months before doing business with Gore. Now that’s an inconvenient truth.
And my wife wonders why I drink so much...

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Things That Matter Only To Me

I'm batching it this weekend. My wife and high-school senior daughter are on a college visit trip. Here's a sampler of the thoughts that are occupying my mind in their absence. Call it The Four D's.

1.  Daughter

She (daughter, not wife) has 'narrowed' her list of universities she's interested in to eight: two large (Texas A&M; U. of Virginia), four mid-sized (Rice, Duke, Vanderbilt, and Colorado School of Mines), and two small (Rose-Hulman and Goucher).

The good news is that she has done very well in school and on her SATs. Plus, she likes STEM courses (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). Right now she's leaning towards something in the Engineering field.

The bad news is that she's done very well in school and on her SATs, which qualifies her (at least on the first pass) for some top-notch schools. While we're very proud of her, and will support her as best we can in her choice of a university, as you can see from the above list it ain't gonna be cheap.

2. Dog

As previously reported, one of our dogs had ACL surgery last year. She was doing fine until last week, when she decided that she just had to chase some buzzards that were roosting on our roof. Since buzzards fly and dogs don't, that resulted in her running full tilt across our uneven, rocky back pasture, all the while barking her fool head off and looking up. She succeeded in chasing the dirty birds away, but came back limping.

A vet visit revealed that the knee was fine, but she had done some damage to her hip. We're treating it conservatively; no surgery (for now, and hopefully for the future), and limited duty. In other words, every time she goes outside she must be on a leash. Since her bladder and her brain are both about the size of a peanut, that means someone (read: me) gets to take her outside about every two hours. That also means that three times a day she gets anti-inflammatory and pain pills, which she hates. I've tried all the tricks: pill pockets, peanut butter, bacon grease, and so forth. She may not be the brightest dog in the kennel, but she's just smart enough to know when we're trying to trick her. So now three times a day I have to put her in a headlock and cram the pills down her throat. She hasn't bitten me ... yet.

3. Drought

We've been blessed with some rain over the last couple of days. However, Texas is still withering in the grip of a multi-year drought that is approaching catastrophic proportions. Lakes, rivers, and aquifers have dried up to the point that communities are running out of water.
...nearly 750 public water supply systems under some kind of mandatory use restrictions, affecting more than 15 million people, including residents of the San Antonio area. It's estimated that about 30 communities may run out of water before 2014 if the drought doesn't let up.
I'm not jumping on the climate change bandwagon, but the situation down here is getting downright serious.

4. Dismal (the state of Texas football)
  •  The University of Texas
Mack Brown reminds me of John McCain. They both deserve respect and admiration for past service, but at this point in time they're irrelevant and outdated. It's time for them to step down and let others take over who are more in tune with the times.
  •  Texas A&M University
Johnny Manziel is amazingly talented. He's also a 20-year-old who has displayed questionable decision-making and an attitude that rubs many the wrong way. Not that there's anything wrong with that - heck, I'm a 61-year-old who displays questionable decision-making and an attitude that rubs many the wrong way. However, I am not the face of a university. He is, at best, a curious choice to represent A&M's traditional values. Have the Aggies sold their soul for football success?
He has also, IMO, been extremely lucky. Think about his signature Heisman moment from last year, where he bobbled the ball, recovered his own fumble in mid-air, and tossed up a desperation throw that resulted in a miraculous catch by one of his receivers. He's had a couple similar throws this year, when he flung what was basically a jump ball and his receiver bailed him out. Sooner or later the odds will catch up with him and those desperate tosses will fall incomplete, or be intercepted.
  •  Houston Texans
The Houston Texans will remain a good, but not great, team, as long as Matt Schaub is their quarterback and Gary Kubiak is their coach. Neither performs well under pressure.
  • Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys will never succeed as long as Jerry Jones and his offspring continue to think they know what they're doing. Fortunately for those who dislike the 'Boys, that won't change anytime soon.

5. Dry

All this thinking has made me dry - very, very dry. There's a Shiner in the fridge that's calling my name...

The Madness Continues

I posted something a few days ago regarding three seventh-graders from a school in VA who were suspended for several months for the 'crime' of playing with airsoft guns on private property.


Now we have this bit of insanity from Rhode Island.
Yet another student has landed in trouble for having something that represents a gun, but isn’t actually anything like a real gun.
This time, the student is 12-year-old Joseph Lyssikatos, a student in advanced math who had perfect attendance last year. The seventh-grader made the mistake of bringing a ridiculously small, silver keychain shaped like a gun to Alan Shawn Feinstein Middle School in Coventry, R.I, reports local NBC affiliate WJAR.

After another kid picked it up and displayed it to other students, a teacher intervened and impounded the keychain.

Apparently fearing that the roughly quarter-sized hunk of cheap metal was somehow a danger to life and limb, school officials sprang into action. They suspended Lyssikatos for three days. He has also been banned from an upcoming class field trip.
This is the keychain that caused all the trouble. Looks pretty threatening, doesn't it?
Lyssikatos noted that he got the tiny keychain at a local arcade with go-karts and such in exchange for 25 tickets.
School officials have clammed up concerning the incident, according to WJAR. The school released a brief statement saying: “Because this is a student discipline issue, we cannot comment on any specifics.”

Someone called a behavioral specialist at Feinstein Middle School informed the boy’s parents of the suspension. The parents say the principal and the school district superintendent won’t return phone calls.

The boy’s father, Keith Bonanno, claimed on WPRO radio that the behavioral specialist told him his son was “lucky that he didn’t get suspended for 10 days, or even worse expelled.”
The kid gets good grades, has perfect attendance, and there are no indications of disciplinary problems. Does any of that mean anything?

Hell no.

All that matters is that he showed up with some trinket he won at an arcade that scares the bejeebers out of the cretins running his school, who are too cowardly to explain their actions to anyone - or even speak with the parents.

And let's not forget the 'behavioral specialist.' When I was a kid the 'behavioral specialist' was the vice-principal. He was the equivalent of the XO in a military unit, responsible for administration and discipline. The biggest difference was that our vice-principal, unlike an XO, carried a paddle and administered 'licks' as needed to keep the students in line.

It worked pretty well. We didn't have any shootings or knifings during the entire twelve years I was in school.

Sometimes the old ways are best...

Sunday Funnies 2013.09.29

Government shutdown looming ... I hope...

A lot of people wonder what a government shutdown would be like. I think a lot more people wonder what a government running properly would be like. – Jay Leno

The shutdown would mean that all non-essential workers would stop coming to work. I’m OK with that. Why do we even have non-essential workers? – Jimmy Kimmel

It looks like we’re heading for a government shutdown. And you thought Joe Biden had nothing to do before. – Jay Leno

We're heading for a government shutdown. This is serious. Without the government who will fail to inspect our airplanes? Who will fail to secure our borders? Who will put us 14 trillion dollars in debt? – Jay Leno

Members of Congress will still get paid if there's a shutdown. So it will be just like it is now. We'll be paying them to do nothing. – Jay Leno

My local post office has been rehearsing for a government shutdown for years. –  Andy Borowitz

Congress will still be paid during a shutdown. That’s like eliminating the fire department and sending checks to the arsonists. –  Andy Borowitz

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Preaching To The Choir

When it comes to obamacare, the White House is employing the Groucho Marx defense: "Who you gonna believe, me or your lying eyes?"
White House spokesman Jay Carney denied the evidence that Obamacare is inflicting economic harm, and dismissed the proliferating data as mere anecdotes or as normal churn in the economy.

“The aggregate truth … does not bear out claims that the Affordable Care Act is causing employers to drop employees from insurance,” he told skeptical reporters at the daily White House briefing Thursday.
“You have anecdotes… There is no systematic evidence… That has not been happening across the country in any systematic way,” he insisted.
Well, here's an anecdote for that lying little weasel.
Workers in low-wage industries clocked the shortest average workweek on record in July, new Labor Department data show.

Have you heard anything about this in the so-called mainstream media?

I didn't think so...

Open Letter to Hertz

Sent to Mr. Mark Frissora, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, Hertz:
Mr. Frissora:

I rented a Hertz car from the Boerne TX location on Tues. Sep. 17 (contract # xxxxxxxxxxx). When I went to return it on Thurs. Sep. 19 it would not start. I called the rental location and informed them of the problem. They said they would send someone out to pick it up.

They didn't.

I called them again on Friday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Each time I was assured that the car would be retrieved. As I write this email one week later your rental car is still sitting in front of my house.

To make matters worse, I have begun receiving robocalls from the Hertz Vehicle Control Department threatening me with legal action unless I return the car. When I try to return the calls I either get a busy signal, or I get put on hold, and then I get disconnected. I've mentioned this in my conversations with the local rental agency. They told me that they've informed the appropriate internal Hertz departments, and the car should have been picked up, and the calls should have stopped.

The car is still here. The calls keep coming.

I am a Hertz Gold Plus Club Member (#xxxxxxxx). I paid the premium to join because I was impressed by the service and courtesy shown by your firm. I am beginning to question the wisdom of that decision.

Since it is proving impossible to talk with a human being at the Vehicle Control Department, I am contacting you. Please take whatever steps are necessary to retrieve your car and to end the phone calls.

Thank you.
There are plenty of other rental car companies out there with vehicles that run and customer service departments who answer the phone.

Just sayin'...

Friday, September 27, 2013

Friday Follies Happy Hour 2013.09.27

It's Friday, so mellow out with Mel Waiters at the Friday Night Fish Fry.

Mel is a local boy - and I mean 'boy' as in a person native to a given place, not in the racial sense. It's absurd that we've reached a point in racial relations where we have to tread so lightly around certain words and behaviors. Whatever happened to context and nuance?

Anyway, I'll get off my soap-box. Kick back and enjoy the music ... and your weekend.

Zero Tolerance = Zero Commonn Sense

Words fail me...
Three Virginia Beach seventh graders learned their fates Tuesday morning when they were suspended for shooting airsoft guns on private property.
Got that? Private friggin' property! What business is it of the school district's concerning acts that take place on private property?
During a hearing with a disciplinary committee Tuesday morning, Aidan Clark, Khalid Caraballo and a third friend were given long-term suspensions in a unanimous vote. The suspensions will last until June, but a hearing will be held January 27 to determine if they will be allowed back in school sooner.

Like thousands of others in Hampton Roads, Caraballo and Clark play with airsoft guns. The boys were suspended because they shot two other friends who were with them while playing with the guns as they waited for the school bus September 12.

The two seventh graders say they never went to the bus stop with the guns; they fired the airsoft guns while on Caraballo's private property.

The bus stop in question is 70 yards from the Caraballo's front yard.

"We see the bus come. We put the gun down. We did not take the airsoft gun to the bus stop. We did not take the gun to school," Khalid explained.

Police are not charging anyone in this case. They would not discuss the specifics of their investigation because the people involved are juveniles.

Khalid said he's concerned for his future with the suspension on his school record.

"It's terrible. I won't get the chance to go to a good college.  It's on your school record. The school said I had possession of a firearm. They aren't going to ask me any questions. They are going to think it was a real gun, and I was trying to hurt someone.  They will say 'oh, we can't accept you.' "

Virginia Beach School Board Chairman Daniel Edwards attached a letter defending the school's disciplinary actions against the boys: "Yet somehow student safety has taken a back seat in the intense media coverage of this case. This is not an example of a public educator overreaching. This was not zero tolerance at all. This was a measured response to a threat to student safety."
Oh please! A threat to student safety?!? From an AIRSOFT gun!?! GMAFB!!! If the police aren't concerned about it, why is the school?

And since when does the school board oversee student behavior on private property. If one of those kids smooched a girl in his back yard would the school district charge him with sexual harassment? Where do they draw the line? When does this nonsense stop?

There are, of course, two sides to every story. The full article goes on to make some points that at least partially run counter to the above comments. But when you boil it all down, three kids received excessively harsh punishment from the school district for minor mischief that took place on private property.

Should the kids get 'counseled'? Sure.

Should they be suspended? Hell no.

I've said it before, and I'll probably still be saying it as I'm lowered into my grave:
There is nothing so uncommon as common sense.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Shut The Damn Thing Down - Who Cares?

The October 1 deadline for congress to prevent a government shutdown is fast approaching. Both sides are finger-pointing and posturing. Many Americans are fed up with the ineptitude on both sides of the aisle. As for me, the image below captures my feelings about the whole mess. (H/T iOwnTheWorld)


Stories like this one make me wonder how the hell we got to this point.
Over the Labor Day weekend, police say, more than 300 teenagers broke into the vacation home of former NFL player near Albany, N.Y.

Holloway was away and the teens decided that his house and barn — located on a 197-acre piece of property — were perfect places to party.

They caused more than $20,000 worth of damage ... the miscreants "found it acceptable to trash the house and steal some of its contents. They broke windows, spray painted and made holes in the walls, urinated on the carpets, scarred the wood floors by dragging kegs across them. They left their party garbage behind."

The teens also thought it was a good idea to Tweet and Twitpic and Instagram about the party — and that helped enormously when Holloway launched a where he's posted many of the things that were shared on social media.

His site includes youngsters' names, or at least what they call themselves on social media. It's helping local police in their investigation.
It's also upsetting to the parents of those punks.
Parents of the hundreds of teens who broke into and destroyed former NFLer Brian Holloway’s upstate vacation home are threatening to sue him for outing their brats on Twitter...
Ignoring the fact that all he did was repost what the little shits posted in the first place.
“You would not believe the calls that have come in, threatening to firebomb me or hurt or sue me — any manner of things,” the stunned Holloway told The Post Thursday as he toiled away cleaning up the damage at his 200-acre spread in Rensselaer County.
Really? The parents are threatening him with bodily harm or more property damage, all because their little angels don't know right from wrong?
"Parents are upset with me when their child was in my house ... taking drugs, using roofies and drinking, and they're going to be upset with me?" he said in disbelief.

One other important note:

Holloway had been planning — and says he will still go ahead with — a "family reunion of champions" for active and retired military personnel and their families. It's set for Saturday and about 1,000 people are expected.
Those derelict parents and their misbehaving brats could lean a lot from Mr. Holloway. He's a better person than they and their misbegotten offspring will ever be.

I don't know whether to weep or drink heavily...

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

When The Law Of The Land Isn't The Law Of The Land

Yesterday Ted Cruz launched his filibuster against obamacare. For a variety of reasons, most having to do with the arcane rules of the senate, Cruz was doomed to fail. However, that doesn't mean he was wrong. For all the blather from obamacare supporters that it's 'the law of the land,' it's a badly flawed law that has even its supporters and the people who voted for it clamoring to be exempted from it.

That doesn't sound like something that should be 'the law of the land' to me.

First, the pragmatic arguments against obamacare:
The doctors are leaving in droves because of Obamacare. The IRS doesn’t want Obamacare for its employees even though that agency will administer it, Congress just got an exemption from Obamacare from the president, hundreds of politically connected companies and unions have gotten exemptions, the Teamsters have warned that Obamacare threatens the middle class, the law is so complex that an army of “navigators” must be hired to sign people up, and the Democratic Senator Max Baucus, who is the outgoing head of the Finance Committee referred to the effort to administer the law as a potential “train wreck.”
(If you're interested, here's a list of the 729 unions and companies exempted from obamacare - so far...)

(And here's a link to a couple of charts illustrating more of obamacare's failings - thanks to the Whited Sepulchre.)

Now the moral arguments against it:

James Madison, in Federalist Paper #57, said, "(Congress) can make no law which will not have its full operation on themselves and their friends, as well as on the great mass of the society." This was intended to protect the American people from the emergence of an authoritative ruling class.

Fast forward to today.
Under pressure from Congress, the White House has carved out a special exemption for Congress and its staffers from ObamaCare—the law it recently deemed necessary for the entire country. No Republicans voted for ObamaCare. Yet it appears that some of them support the exemption President Obama approved on his own—so they would not have to go on record with a vote for or against it.

This is the height of hypocrisy, and worse, a trampling of the Founders' code of equal application of the law. Having forced a health law on the American people, the White House and Democrats now seek to insulate themselves from the noxious portions of the law, and from the implementation struggles, indecision and uncertainty that many other Americans face today.
Congress's health care premiums will not rise, but ours will.

Congress can keep their health plan, but more and more of us are losing ours.

Congress can keep their doctors, but we may have to find new ones.

Sounds like an authoritarian ruling class to me.

A few congresscritters (Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) and Senators David Vitter (R-LA) and Mike Enzi (R-WY)) -- whether out of moral outrage, political considerations, or a guilty conscious -- have introduced legislation to end Congress' special exemption from obamacare. Their reward?
In response, several Democratic senators have reacted by drafting legislation that would punish anyone who votes for Sen. Vitter's plan by permanently blocking an exemption from them and their staff, even if Mr. Vitter's law doesn't pass. It doesn't get more vindictive and petty than that.

Here's the backstory:
All this began when Congress passed the Affordable Care Act in 2010. It compelled Congress and its staff to participate in ObamaCare and its insurance exchanges like other Americans who don't have employer-provided plans. But in their haste and confusion over legislation so long that few even read it all, some members of Congress voted for the law without realizing that the final bill had no mention of the very generous premium contributions the government makes to federal employees as part of the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program.

Imagine the horror when these elected officials, who make $174,000 a year, realized that not only must they and their staffers be subject to inferior-quality health exchanges like the millions of ordinary Americans, but they might also have to shell out thousands of dollars for increased premiums if they exceed the subsidy income cutoff.

The White House, under heat from Congress, directed the Office of Personnel Management to carve out special rules so that the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program can continue to contribute to the health plans used by Congress and congressional staff.

Congress complains that without its special subsidies the Hill will suffer a "brain drain" as staffers leave their jobs because of increasing out-of-pocket insurance costs. Heaven forbid Congress suffer the same fate as private companies like UPS, which recently had to cut health-care benefits entirely for employees' spouses; or labor unions, like the 40,000 International Longshore and Warehouse Union workers who recently left the AFL-CIO citing as one factor ObamaCare's tax on their "Cadillac" health-care plans.
Bottom line: If Obamacare is so good why were members of Congress which wrote the legislation so desperate to get out of it?

Because they can.

And we can't...

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Connecting The Dots - Part II

In an earlier post today I speculated on the role home-grown terrorists might have played in the Kenya mall terrorist attack, and the possibility of a similar style attack here in the U.S. As is so often the case, a little later I ran across this story. It's a few months old, but IMO still (disturbingly) valid.
The White House assures that tracking our every phone call and keystroke is to stop terrorists, and yet it won't snoop in mosques, where the terrorists are.

That's right, the government's sweeping surveillance of our most private communications excludes the jihad factories where homegrown terrorists are radicalized.

Since October 2011, mosques have been off-limits to FBI agents. No more surveillance or undercover string operations...
Before mosques were excluded from the otherwise wide domestic spy net the administration has cast, the FBI launched dozens of successful sting operations against homegrown jihadists — inside mosques — and disrupted dozens of plots against the homeland.

If only they were allowed to continue, perhaps the many victims of the Boston Marathon bombings would not have lost their lives and limbs. The FBI never canvassed Boston mosques until four days after the April 15 attacks, and it did not check out the radical Boston mosque where the Muslim bombers worshiped.

The bureau didn't even contact mosque leaders for help in identifying their images after those images were captured on closed-circuit TV cameras and cellphones.

One of the Muslim bombers made extremist outbursts during worship, yet because the mosque wasn't monitored, red flags didn't go off inside the FBI about his increasing radicalization before the attacks.

This is particularly disturbing in light of recent independent surveys of American mosques, which reveal some 80% of them preach violent jihad or distribute violent literature to worshippers.

What other five-alarm jihadists are counterterrorism officials missing right now, thanks to restrictions on monitoring the one area they should be monitoring?
There you have it. Because of the obama administration's politically correct kowtowing to a cult of bloodthirsty savages we missed an opportunity to potentially prevent the killing of four victims and  the wounding of hundreds of others in that islamist terrorist attack.

Anyone care to guess if the FBI is prohibited from conducting surveillance operations in Catholic churches or Jewish synagogues...?

(Image courtesy Hope n' Change.)

At least the NYPD has the right idea...

Connecting The Dots

Thoughts that came to mind while reading about the terrorist attack on the mall in Kenya:
  • Minnesota is home to the largest Somali community in the United States, numbering at least 32,000...
  • Minnesota’s large Somali community has been a fruitful source of new recruits to Somalia’s al Shabab terrorist group...
  • Al Shabab is responsible for the ongoing terrorist attack on the shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya...
  • Mall of America is located in Bloomington, Minnesota - just a short drive from downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul. It has over 520 stores, employs 12,000+ people, and attracts 40 million visitors annually.
A ‘Soft’ target is one which has little or no military protection or security and hence is an easy option for a terrorist attack. This includes commercial shopping centres, power stations, and leisure facilities such as football grounds and sports stadiums.
You can see where I'm going with this. A community full of potential muslim terrorist recruits. A soft target with the added plus of an irresistibly symbolic name: Mall of America. And a gun free zone to boot.

How long before a Kenya-style attack takes place here in the states? And will the reaction be to rally against the savages that perpetrate such cowardly acts, or will it result in even more appeasement of a bunch of uncivilized pedophile-worshiping scum? Will the people of this country finally wake up and realize that we must take responsibility for our own self-defense, or will they crawl cringing to their political masters and beg for more police, more spying on citizens, and more gun control?

I'm afraid I know the answer...

Monday, September 23, 2013

FOD 2013.09.23

Last Monday, while SWAT teams were searching the Washington Navy Yard for a killer and the bodies of his victims were still laying on the floor, barack obama made a deliberate decision to proceed with a harshly partisan political speech.
Barack Obama is unqualified for his office by ability, experience and temperament, so maybe he can’t help being a bad president. But he is a divisive president–the most viciously divisive in my lifetime, at least–by choice. Many Democrats criticized him for launching a partisan attack on Republicans while the bodies were still warm at the Navy Yard.

That's not an isolated incident. Below is a list highlighting obama's twisted sense of priorities.
Fifty-three weeks ago when four Americans were murdered by terrorists in Benghazi, Obama appeared after a good night's sleep, bemoaned the loss, vowed to deliver justice to the killers (still unfulfilled), then flew off for fundraising parties in Las Vegas. Hey, they're still dead anyway, and there was big campaign money waiting.

When a 133-foot-tall wall of tsunami water rolled 10 miles inland to kill 16,000 in Japan two years ago, Obama expressed his sorrow, then went golfing. When bad weather canceled his trip to the funeral of Poland's president, Obama paid his respects by golfing.

As the Gulf coast economy struggled back from the nation's worst environmental disaster ever, Obama urged all Americans to vacation there. Then, he took his family to the New England coast.

Or our personal fave, his 2012 Virginia campaign speech when the audience began fainting from the heat. So, instead of cutting it short, Obama offered advice on hydration and how to stand properly while he finished reading his prepared text.

So, it should not be surprising that as heavily-armed SWAT teams combed the Washington Navy Yard Monday for at least one deranged killer, Obama took the occasion to proceed with one of his harshest partisan speeches in months.

Aides maintain it never crossed Obama's mind to cancel the political speech as a gesture to the violent deaths of a dozen federal employees across town and their about-to-be-grieving families and co-workers... (emphsis added)
What a self-centered egotistical narcissist. The guy is obviously incapable of understanding that the world does not revolve around him. He has no empathy or compassion for others. 

I thought I couldn't be more disgusted with obama than I already was.

I was wrong...

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Blownstar 2013 Update

Blog meet.

My head hurts, my feet stink, and I don't love Jesus.

Other than that I'm having a great time.

What To Do, What To Do?

In the aftermath of the Washington Navy Yard shootings we're being treated to another act of Kabuki theater. Similar to what happened after Columbine, Aurora, Newtown, Fort Hood, and other tragedies, the anti-gun crowd is clamoring for more gun control, and the pro-Second Amendment folks are responding with variations of "Guns don't kill people - People kill people."

Isn't it about time we go beyond those knee-jerk reactions and ask ourselves why 'people kill people' - especially in the context of mass murders?

Kathleen Parker of the Washington Post addressed that very issue in a recent column.
About 30 years ago as a young reporter in Florida, I was assigned a series on gun control in response to gun violence, which had peaked in the U.S. in 1980.

I began the series with profiles of three gun users, including a woman who had killed her would-be rapist, the owner of a sport shooting club and a convicted murderer on death row at the Florida State Prison in Starke.

Most dramatic was the woman, who was attacked as she entered her apartment after work one evening. She had just moved in and boxes were stacked floor-to-ceiling, nary a broom nor a pot to use in self-defense.

In her panic, she suddenly remembered the small derringer in her purse, which still hung over her shoulder. Already, the man had her pinned against the wall. Reaching into her bag, she grabbed the gun, pressed it to his side and, boom! He died instantly. To my question, she replied: “Hell, yes, I'd do it again in a New York minute.”

Or words to that effect.

Most chilling was the murderer, whose name I no longer recall. I do remember that his fingertips were oddly flared and he pressed them together, expanding and contracting his hands like a bellows. No doubt aware that I was nervous, he seemed amused by my questions.

“Sure,” he chuckled. “I'm all for gun control. Because that means you won't have a gun. And I will always have a gun.”
Score one for the Second Amendment supporters. I'd also argue that sentiment extends to gun-free zones, which by definition are target-rich environments for anyone deranged enough to embark on a slaughter of innocent strangers. They may be crazy, but they aren't stupid. How many mass murders have there been at NRA meetings, shooting ranges, or police stations?

Anyway, back to Parker's column:
All of which is to say, the conversation we're having today about how to avert the next act of gun violence is nothing new. Yet, we seem always to fall into the same pro-con template when a fresh shooting occurs.

It is easy to become cynical when there's nothing new to say and when, we know, nothing new will come of it. Gun control activists will push harder for tighter restrictions; Second Amendment champions will push back...

...the reflex to make tougher laws may be missing more important points. As my guy in Starke suggested, there's little comfort in forcing law-abiding citizens to submit to tighter controls knowing that criminals will not.

As for the crazies who go on killing sprees, rules don't apply.

Thus, what we're really fighting about in our national debate about guns is how to stop mentally ill people from wreaking havoc on society. And what are the causes that lead to the breakdowns that lead to the slaughter?
That's the $64,000 question. Unfortunately, it's a complicated and complex issue. There are no easy answers. And as a country, we're not very good at dealing with messy issues.

Is it the increasing violence in our popular culture? Is it a failure in our mental health system. Is it the breakdown of the traditional family? Are there other factors in play here?

IMO the answer is "All of the above."

So what can we do about it? That's a topic for another day. Right now I'm going to kick back and enjoy the weekend.

And continue to exercise my Second Amendment rights...

Friday, September 20, 2013

Friday Follies Happy Hour 2013.09.20

Today's Happy Hour is a twofer to mark the start of Blownstar 2013 - a blogmeet rife with (to steal borrow from Animal House) "such acts of perversion so profound and disgusting that decorum prohibits listing them here."

Brace yourself, Bandera...

One Of THOSE Days

We've all had days like this.
A day where you just want to break something, preferably something that will scream and/or bleed as you do it. You may or may not know of any direct causes, but most often, something bad happened early in the day which started you off in a generally bad distemperment that only got worse as multiple unfortunate events compounded to effectively gang-rape and murder your overall disposition.

Yesterday was one of those days.

It actually started two days before (Tues.), when I took my truck into the shop. The preliminary estimate was that the work would take a couple of days, so I picked up a rental car. Wednesday went okay. Thursday morning started off just fine. Then the car repair place called.
  • The good news - my truck was ready
  • The bad news - the bill was north of $1000
  • The really bad news - the rental car wouldn't start. Dead battery. Guess where my jumper cables were. That's right ... in my truck.
  • The really, really bad news - The assisted living facility where my father lives called. He fell down and hit his head on an end table. Blood everywhere, and I had no way to get there.
I managed to catch a ride to the car repair place, picked up my truck, and zoomed into San Antonio (we live about an hour away from where Dad lives). By the time I got there he'd been checked out by the nurse on duty at the assisted living facility. I also had a bit of good luck for a change. An M.D. happened to be there checking on another resident and he took a look at Dad. Turned out to be 'only' a cut. A few stitches closed it up, but you know how bloody head wounds can be. So it was much ado about (thankfully) nothing, more or less.

But there was still the aftermath to deal with - cleaning up his apartment, washing sheets and clothes, keeping him awake and constantly asking questions to test his mental state (just in case there was a concussion or some other delayed response), filling out medical forms, and on and on. (How many times do I have to tell Medicare and the medical insurance company where he lives? And his birthday? It hasn't changed in 95 years. Why do they think it's changed since the last time I told them when it was?).

Then I got stuck in rush hour traffic leaving the city. I moved to the country to get away from crap like that.

I finally got back home. Dad was fine. My truck was fine. The rental car is sitting in the driveway waiting for Hertz to come haul it off. I settled back into my chair with a big sigh and a cold Shiner. Then I heard my daughter call.

"Daaad, there's something wrong with the computer..."

Thank God it's Friday. I'm going to do some serious 'relaxing' this weekend...

Thursday, September 19, 2013

More Fingers In The News

Two days ago I provided you with information about which finger to tell kidnappers to cut off. As is so often the case, once an offbeat theme pops up in the news, a slew of stories on that same topic follows.

Actually, I'm not sure what number constitutes a slew, but here's two more recent stories about fingers. Even more coincidentally, they both involve animals as well.

Golfer Sues Resort After Crocodile Bites Off Fingers
A Long Island duffer seeking birdies and eagles on a Cancun golf course instead found a crocodile — and lost two fingers in the encounter.

The horror unfolded when Edward Lunger hooked the ball to the left of the fairway at the lush Iberostar Cancun Golf Club in Mexico.
There's his problem right there. If he'd slice the ball like me he could have avoided the whole mess.
“It was in the sand,” Lunger recalled. The 50-year-old engineer took a couple of practice swings and then chipped out of the bunker. He heard leaves rustle.

“All of a sudden, his arm went back, and his head went back,” pal Mark Martin recalled. “I saw the crocodile leap up.”

The angry female chomped down on Lunger’s left arm up to his elbow, using its tail and claws to drag Lunger to the sand, the men said.

“She pulled me back and flipped me, and I went to the ground,” Lunger said.

Martin jumped out of his golf cart and, in an adrenaline-fueled act of courage, grabbed a 40-pound boulder and smashed it onto the monster’s head just as Lunger freed himself.

“That’s when I used the opportunity to run with Eddie,” said Martin, 52, also of Holtsville.

The men used golf towels to make a tourniquet.

Paramedics took Lunger to a private hospital where, he claims, he was forced to pay the $17,800 bill up front before he could get treatment.
Well, this was in Mexico, after all. They don't have free universal health care like we do under obamacare.

Oh, wait...
The men, and two other friends, split the tab on their credit cards.

Doctors managed to reattach Lunger’s index finger, but he lost his middle finger and most of his ring finger.

Not to make fun of the poor guy, but it looks like he'll have a hard time communicating with his fellow New Yorkers without that middle finger.

But wait!! There may be hope for Lunger after all.

Doctor Uses New Technology To “Re-Grow” Man’s Finger
It’s being called a medical marvel. A south Florida doctor used a unique procedure to actually grow back a man’s finger that a horse bit off.
 A horse?!? I didn't know horses were carnivores.
Halpern was feeding his prized, hungry horse when it confused (his finger) for a cookie.
Here's a little tip for those of you unfamiliar with horses. Don't stick your fingers in their mouths.

More seriously, put whatever you're feeding the horse in the palm of your hand and hold it flat. Don't hold the treat like you would if you were eating it.

According to Dr. Eugenio Rodriguez, Paul Halpern, 33, arrived in Delray Beach with his finger in a zip lock bag.
Really? A zip lock bag? Talk about packing your lunch...
The insurance company wanted the rest of the finger amputated. However, a doctor wanted to try a unique procedure.
I wish the story named the insurance company. I want to make damn sure I don't do any business with them. Imagine going in with a head cold and the bean-counters suggest decapitation as the most cost-effective treatment. (obamacare, anyone...?)
“One of the guys that worked with me reached his hand in the horse’s mouth, took the fingertip out, and I jumped in the car, grabbed the rest of my finger wondering what we should do,” said Halpern.

On the way to the hospital, Paul put his fingertip on a popsicle, but it wasn’t enough to save the extremity.

Then, he heard about a Deerfield Beach doctor that might have a way to fix the finger.

Advanced, cutting edge, and without any surgery or amputation, general surgeon Eugenio Rodriguez said he could make the finger grow back.

Using the bladder tissue of a pig, Dr. Rodriguez made a template of Halpern’s finger and attached it to what was left.

The result was astounding.

The finger’s cells, bone, soft tissue, even nail grew into the mold...

It’s a procedure both Dr. Rodriguez and Halpern agree could pave the road for other more complex injuries.
When popsicles don't work, turn to pig bladders.

Which brings us to the moral of this story. Pigs are fabulous animals. Their bladders enable us to regrow appendages, and they provide us with bacon!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Exceptional Assholes

It's bad enough that U.S. politicians use the tragic shootings at the Washington Navy Yard for political purposes while the bodies are still warm.
Just hours after the deadly shooting rampage at the Washington Navy Yard, gun control advocates tried to reignite the national debate over gun laws that had only just subsided.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, California Democrat and a longtime gun control advocate, denounced “the litany of massacres” over the past few years and asked rhetorically, “When will enough be enough?”

President Obama was one of the first to link Monday’s incident to the larger issue of gun violence and the legislative effort to curb it...
But then some know-nothing russkie, no doubt emboldened by Putin's punking of obama, had to add his two cents worth.

Russian official mocks Navy Yard shooting
A Russian official blasted “American exceptionalism” in a tweet Monday morning, saying the deadly shooting at Washington’s Navy Yard confirms the worst about the U.S.

“A new shootout at Navy headquarters in Washington — a lone gunman and 7 corpses. Nobody’s even surprised anymore,” tweeted Alexey Pushkov, a member of the Russian parliamentary foreign affairs committee.

“A clear confirmation of American exceptionalism,” he added, according to multiple translations of the original Russian tweet.
Well, as far as I'm concerned, American Exceptionalism is alive and well. Just ask yourself where you would rather live - The good ol' U.S. of A. or Putin's frozen wasteland of a mob-ruled country overseen by a former KGB thug.

And a little closer to home, just ask yourself where you would rather live - Kalifornia, Washington D.C., or Texas.

I've already made my choice...

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

You Learn Something New Every Day

This is not something I'd thought about before, but if given a choice by my kidnappers over which finger they would cut off and send to the cops to prove they have me and to hasten the ransom, I would have said the pinky on my left (non-dominant) hand.

Turns out that's the wrong choice. want to give up the first finger on the hand you don't use for writing.

A lot of people think the first, pointing finger is the most important one they have. Wrong! Once it's gone, the other three compensate for it quite well. The second finger, for instance, is already pretty similar to the first finger.

The pinky is actually incredibly important, and it's a keeper. Basically, the reason humans have "opposable" thumbs — the springboard of our evolution from being just another ape —  is that the thing doing the most opposing is the little finger.

According to the assistant chief of hand surgery at the NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases, the little finger does a disproportionate amount of gripping, while all the other guys are its helpers:

The other three digits—the index, the thumb and the middle finger—they fine tune where the tool goes. So if you have your little finger amputated, you're going to lose a significant amount of grip strength when holding everyday small objects. When you talk about utensils—like knives and forks—most of that stuff is fine manipulation rather than strength, so you're typically using the other three digits. You use the thumb, the index and the middle fingers in order to hold a spoon, or to hold a fork, or even to hold a pen and write things.

Take this test: Try doing pull-ups without using your little fingers, and then do the same without your first fingers, and you'll get an idea of how disabling it is to lose the pinky. A New York Times writer described the experience in 2008. It's not fun.
The article also goes on to answer the question "What if the kidnappers offer you the choice of losing a toe?"

The answer isn't as clear-cut as which finger, but I'll let you learn that for yourself.

Monday, September 16, 2013

FOD 2013.09.16 Update

Shamelessly stolen borrowed from BMEWS...

FOD 2013.09.16

Let's do a quick recap of the Syrian fiasco. First barry gets all macho and blustery : "He first drew a “red line” last year, vowing that any use of weapons of mass destruction by Bashar al-Assad would be unacceptable." But after threatening military action, barry quickly discovered that he stood alone. In typical obama fashion he backpedaled so quickly he left skid marks.

Obama’s ‘red line’ starts to fade
President Obama’s “red line” vow of action against Syria turned a lighter shade of pink Thursday, with Secretary of State John F. Kerry saying a U.S. military strike “might” be necessary if talks led by Russia fail to compel Syria to turn over its chemical weapons.

As negotiators met in Switzerland on the unfolding crisis, Mr. Kerry appeared to concede the diplomatic reins to the Russians...

Charles Krauthammer explains what happened next.
...consider what’s happened over the last month. Assad uses poison gas on civilians and is branded, by the United States above all, a war criminal. Putin, covering for the war criminal, is exposed, isolated, courting pariah status.

And now? Assad, far from receiving punishment of any kind, goes from monster to peace partner. Putin bestrides the world stage, playing dealmaker. He’s welcomed by America as a constructive partner. Now a world statesman, he takes to the New York Times to blame American interventionist arrogance — a.k.a. “American exceptionalism” — for inducing small states to acquire WMDs in the first place.

And Obama gets to slink away from a Syrian debacle of his own making. Such are the fruits of a diplomacy of epic incompetence.

To make matters worse, obama persists in arming the al-Qaeda backed Syrian rebels. Meanwhile, stymied in his attempt to start a war overseas, he instead ramps up hostilities against American citizens.

Obama arms Syrian rebels while attacking American gun ownership
The United States government has announced that it is going to begin overtly arming Syrian Opposition Forces, many factions of which are supported by al-Qaeda. At the same time, President Obama and many on the left continue their assault on American gun ownership.

While American tax dollars are being used abroad to fund and train those responsible for thousands of American dead, American tax dollars are also being used to fund government programs and regulations allegedly aimed at keeping military style weapons out of the hands of gang members in the United States.


To boil it down to President Obama’s logic; the taxpayer can’t own an AR-15, and we are arming al-Qaeda with fully automatic weapons bought with tax payer money. Ah, freedom.
At least one congresscritter has the cojones to call him on it.

It's gotten so bad that even Steven Colbert is realizing what a hypocritical incompetent bumbling fool obama is.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Sunday Funnies 2013.09.15

Speaking of funerals...

Three friends die in a car accident and they go to an orientation in heaven. They are all asked, "When you are in your casket and friends and family are mourning you, what would you like to hear them say about you?

The first guy says,"I would like to hear them say that I was a great doctor of my time, and a great family man."

The second guy says, "I would like to hear that I was a wonderful husband and school teacher which made a huge difference in our children of tomorrow.

The last guy replies, "I would like to hear them say ... Look, He's Moving!

My wife turned to me during her mothers funeral and hissed, "When we get home later, I'm going to make you pay for this!"

For the life of me I couldn't think of what I had done wrong.

Maybe it's because I wasn't sharing my popcorn.

A woman in her eighties made the evening news because she was getting married for the fourth time. The following day she was being interviewed by a local TV station, and the commentator asked about what it felt to be married again at that age and would she share part of her previous experiences, since it seem quite unique the fact that her new husband was a funeral director.

After a short time to think, a smile came to her face and she proudly explained that she had first married a banker when she was in her twenties, in her forties she married a circus ring master, and in her sixties she married a pastor and now in her eighties, a funeral director. The amazed commentator asked her why she had married men with such diverse careers.

With a smile on her face she explained, "I married one for the money, two for the show, three to get ready, and four to go."

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Reflections On A Funeral

I was in Washington D.C. earlier this week for the funeral of my uncle. Today, after a few days have passed, the grief has faded somewhat. He was, after all, 87 years old and in failing health. The end came as no surprise - it was, in many ways, a relief for him and his family. They are all at peace right now. But what sticks in my mind is the realization that he represents values and attitudes that are sadly vanishing. From the obituary:
He is survived by his beloved wife of 63 years...
How many people today remain married to the same person for 60+ years. Or even 50... or 40... or even bother marrying the father/mother of their children?
 ... along with four children, seven grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, and a large loving extended family.
He passed on his values to his kids and grandkids. One son was a police officer, the other a firefighter/search and rescue team member. One daughter works for a security agency (no, not the NSA) and the other is a successful business professional. Most of the grandkids are either recent college graduates or still enrolled, although one is a Captain in the U.S. Air Force (air intelligence officer who cruises around in the back of an AWACS).
He served in the U.S. Navy after graduation from High School. He worked on the Pennsylvania Railroad during his summer vacations from college and graduated in 1950 ... with a degree in Civil Engineering. He worked for the District of Columbia Government, Highways and Bridge Division from 1951 until his retirement in 1989.
He received numerous accommodations and awards during his career. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus, American Legion, and his college Alumni Association. He was active in his Church and with the Boy Scouts of America.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Wounded Warrior Project...
Military service. Steady, hard, dirty summer jobs. Thirty-eight years uninterrupted gainful employment. Community service. All of that brings one word to mind,
Duty to his country. Duty to his family. Duty to his community. Duty to his church. The kind of dedication to duty that we rarely see any more. He did his duty willingly, even gladly.
He came from a generation that believed they had a duty to leave things better than they found them, a duty to ensure that succeeding generations were better off than they were, and a duty to shoulder the burdens necessary to achieve those objectives.

That generation is rapidly disappearing from today's stage. We are the better for their existence, and we are the poorer for their passing.

Rest In Peace, Uncle Gene. Your duty is done.

You will be missed.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Friday Follies Happy Hour 2013.09.13

I feel like some CDB today...

... plus a word from the man himself:

I'm Tired Of Being Good

Eating healthy ... fresh air and exercise ... bah! As Oscar Wilde once said, "Everything in moderation, including moderation."

So tomorrow for breakfast I'm fixing a heaping helping of Chicken-Fried Bacon - with cream gravy, of course.

A majority of health experts suggest consuming this in moderation or not at all.

The following recipe is courtesy of Sodolak's Original Country Inn restaurant in Snook, Texas.

Fried Bacon

1 lb thick sliced bacon, cut in half
1 egg
1/2 cup milk (or cream or half & half)
1/2 cup flour
spices (optional)
oil (for frying)

Cream Gravy

3 tablespoons drippings or 3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
2 tablespoons heavy cream (whipping)
salt and pepper, heavy on the pepper

  1. Heat oil in a frying pan over med-high heat.
  2. Whisk egg and milk together in a bowl.
  3. Place flour in another bowl - season it if you'd like (garlic, pepper, salt, lemon, cajun, etc.).
  4. Double dip - first in the egg mixture, then into the flour and repeat.
  5. Fry in oil until golden brown.
  6. Serve with cream gravy for dipping.
  7. To make cream gravy:
Put drippings or butter in a sauce pan over med-high heat. Whisk in the flour until well blended; cook over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes, until bubbly. Remove from heat and gradually add milk whisking constantly; return to heat & whisk until the gravy thickens; Whisk in the cream, salt & pepper.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

That's One Small Step

... towards reclaiming our country.

Colorado Lawmakers Ousted in Recall Vote Over Gun Law
Two Colorado Democrats who provided crucial support for a package of state gun laws were voted out of office on Tuesday in special elections seen as a test of whether swing-state voters would accept gun restrictions after mass shootings at a Colorado movie theater and a Connecticut elementary school.

While both sides campaigned vigorously, knocking on doors, holding rallies and driving voters to the polls, gun-control advocates far outspent their opponents. A range of philanthropists, liberal political groups, unions and activists raised a total of $3 million to defend Mr. Morse and Ms. Giron. Mr. Bloomberg personally gave $350,000.
Citizens 1, Bloomberg 0
The recall movement drew support from as far away as New York and California. Organizers say it began locally, in living rooms and backyards, as a response to new gun-control laws that were the marquee achievements of Colorado’s new Democratic majorities.

Angry constituents around Pueblo and Colorado Springs started to ask one another what they could do. In living room conversations and on Internet message boards for gun enthusiasts, the idea for a recall campaign against gun-control supporters began to jell.

“We’d never been to a rally or town halls,” said Victor Head, a plumber in Pueblo who borrowed money from his grandmother to kick-start the recall against Ms. Giron. “We’d never done much politically other than voting."
 We're Mad As Hell And We're Not Going To Take It Anymore
Guns are a notoriously touchy subject in America — a supercharged third rail, if you will. But so too is the notion of accountability. The country was founded, after all, by men with guns grumbling about the nature of their political representation. It was in this proud tradition that the disgruntled banded together in Colorado to try to recall two sitting state senators who had not just voted to pass new restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms, but had steadfastly refused to listen to the opposition. The new gun laws, locals in both Colorado Springs and Pueblo told me repeatedly, were “the straw that broke the camel’s back.” Their more fundamental message: “Listen to me, goddamnit!”
Today Colorado. Tomorrow Washington D.C.!!!