Thursday, July 31, 2014

Another Victim In The War On Women

Stephen A. Smith is a sports commentator on ESPN. I don't like him. IMO he is arrogant, overbearing, condescending, and flat-out obnoxious. But at times I agree with him.

In this case, the topic was the NFL's treatment of Ray Rice. Rice, a running back for the Baltimore Ravens, was recently handed a two-game suspension after being charged with domestic violence.
Rice allegedly struck (his girlfriend) unconscious on Feb. 15 while in a casino elevator in Atlantic City. Video surfaced online showing Rice dragging an apparently unconscious Palmer out of the elevator.
To put this into context, the NFL suspends players caught smoking marijuana for four games.

Smith appropriately condemned Rice for his actions. He went on to, again appropriately, chastise the NFL for its ridiculously lenient punishment of Rice. But it's what he said after that, and how he said it, that caused an uproar.
"But what I’ve tried to employ the female members of my family, some of who you all met and talked to and what have you, is that again, and this what, I’ve done this all my life, let’s make sure we don’t do anything to provoke wrong actions...

... In Ray Rice’s case, he probably deserves more than a 2-game suspension which we both acknowledged. But at the same time, we also have to make sure that we learn as much as we can about elements of provocation. Not that there’s real provocation, but the elements of provocation, you got to make sure that you address them, because we’ve got to do is do what we can to try to prevent the situation from happening in any way...
(Full transcript here.)

Not the most articulate statement, but keep in mind that this was on live TV, and Smith was speaking off the top of his head. To me what he said was common sense. He pointed out that if you are dealing with a volatile person, it just makes sense to refrain from provoking them. He didn't blame women, he didn't say it was their fault, he just said "let’s make sure we don’t do anything to provoke wrong actions."

Feminists and other PC types somehow interpreted his remarks as "blame the victim." Their howls of outrage led to Smith's suspension.
(ESPN president John Skipper) explained the decision to suspend Smith until Aug. 6 came as the result of discussions with ESPN's women's employee resource group.
I oppose violence and all other types of abuse and oppression against women. (I suppose that makes me an islamaphobe, but that's a topic for another time.) But I'm evidently not sensitive enough to the plight of womyn, because I fail to comprehend the crime for which Smith has been charged, convicted, and sentenced.

Am I missing something here, or am I really a misogynistic Neanderthal male chauvinist pig...?

Go West, Young Man

If all has gone well we are now winging our way westward for our annual stay in the Wyoming mountains.

We go every year. Our destination of choice is outside of Sheridan, at a ranch nestled into the Big Horn Mountains.
Conveniently located halfway between Mt. Rushmore and Yellowstone National Park, the Big Horn Mountains are a headline attraction themselves. A Wyoming vacation all by themselves, the Big Horn Mountains offer a more diverse landscape than anywhere in Wyoming — from lush grasslands to alpine meadows, from crystal-clear lakes to glacial carved valleys, from rolling hills to sheer mountain walls.
It's a remote destination, and the accommodations are rustic. We stay in a log cabin that's over 100 years old. It does have electricity and indoor plumbing (I'm too old to sleep on the ground and squat over a hole like I used to) but no TV or phone. There is spotty cell phone reception and iffy internet service available in the general area, but for the most part we're out in the boonies.

What do we do way out there in BFE? Here's a typical day.

Eat a hearty breakfast (and I mean HEARTY - cowboys like to eat like lumberjacks) around 8:00.

After breakfast we waddle up to the corral, grab a horse, and literally head for the hills. The ranch is at around 5000 feet elevation. It seems like every direction from the main ranch complex is uphill. That's why we ride horses. I'm too old to climb everywhere I go (again with the "I'm too old" thing...).

We spend most of the morning wandering around the mountains. There are streams to swim or fish in, cliffs to climb (yeah, I know - uphill), forests to explore, and places to just sit and drink in nature.

Speaking of drinking, that's what happens after dinner. It's a relaxed, social kind of drinking. With no TV or internet people rediscover the lost art of conversation. Small groups will wander from cabin to cabin, sitting on the porch and visiting while enjoying an adult beverage or two.

In between breakfast and dinner is lunch and naps. Or if you're the active type you can hike, fish, play softball, volleyball, ping-pong, horseshoes, cards, checkers ... or go into town. There's even a very nice golf course about 30 miles away. Most folks have an early dinner around 6:00 p.m. and squeeze in a quick evening ride before the porch-hopping begins.

It's a very relaxing, low-key way to unwind and relax from the stress and demands of retirement.

We'll be gone around 10 days, but I have some stuff already scheduled to appear here, and I will have occasional internet access, so drop by every once in a while to see what's going on.

See you later...

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

That's Dumb Even By Democrat Standards

Under obama, this dingbat would be a leading contender for SecDef.
“The Iron Dome has been a big reason why Israel has been able to withstand the terrorists that have tried to tunnel their way in.” — Alison Lundergan Grimes, Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, Kentucky.

The “Iron Dome” is an anti-missile air-defense system that shoots down incoming rockets, similar to the Patriot-missile batteries that the U.S. used in the Persian Gulf War.

It does not work underground.
Sadly, this is the caliber of people that often get elected to Congress.

On a serious note, if she does get elected this twit will be voting on military issues and matters of national security - two things she clearly knows little about. We need some sort of standard for common sense and knowledge of current events to qualify people running for public office.

And a similar test to screen potential voters...

Alison Lundergan Grimes, military expert and democrat candidate for the U.S. senate

Class Act

I've mentioned before that I'm a Charles Barkley fan. I like his style, not just on the basketball court, but off it.

Here's a recent example.
NBA legend and former Philadelphia 76er Charles Barkley has offered to pay for the funerals of three young siblings killed after a carjacking went awry in the city last week, according to District Attorney Seth Williams.

Ten-year-old Joseph Thomas Reed, his 15-year-old sister Keiearra Williams and their 7-year-old brother Terrence Moore were struck and killed Friday when a carjacked SUV plowed into the church-run fruit stand where they were volunteering on a street corner in the Tioga section of the city.

The children's mother, 34-year-old Keisha Williams, was critically injured, and their 65-year-old neighbor Thelma Brown broke an ankle.

The children had all been selling fruit as church volunteers to raise money for a community park at the corner of Germantown and Allegheny Avenues. Eagles Wings Evangelistic Church used the fruit stand on that corner to raise money for the park.

Barkley confirmed his intentions to on Tuesday, but declined to comment further saying he did not want to take attention away from the victims.
Class act.
The two suspects in the deadly carjacking and crash – Cornelius Crawford, 23, and Jonathan Rosa, 19 – were charged Monday with second-degree murder, robbery, carjacking, sexual assault and other counts.
Lock 'em up and throw away the key...

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Have We Really Sunk This Low?

I realize the obama administration has a bee in its bonnet regarding the Boy Scouts and their policy that prohibits homosexuals from being Scout Leaders
Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said Tuesday that the Boy Scouts of America perpetuates “the worst stereotypes” by barring gay people from becoming Scout leaders.
However, regardless of whether or not one agrees with that policy -- one which, by the way, has been upheld by the Supreme Court -- the following story is disturbing on many levels.

Customs and Border agent held Boy Scout at gunpoint
A Boy Scout troop from the nation’s heartland is demanding answers and a U.S. senator is expressing outrage after a group of scouts was detained by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents, with one child allegedly held at gunpoint.

Jim Fox, the leader of the Mid-Iowa Boy Scout Troop 111, said the incident occurred earlier this month at a checkpoint along the Alaska – Canada border. The scouts and their leaders were on a 21-day trek from Iowa to Alaska – a trip that had been three years in the planning.

As their vans were moving through a checkpoint into the United States, one of the scouts snapped a photograph. Agents stopped the van and ordered all the passengers to get out. They told the underage photographer that he had committed a federal crime...

“The agent immediately confiscated his camera, informed him he would be arrested, fined possibly $10,000 and ten years in prison,” Fox told Des Moines television station KCCI.
I don't know if that's true or not. There seems to be some gray area here.
Attorney Angela Campbell said the fine and decade-long prison sentence isn't accurate, and that snapping pictures of border patrol is an evolving area of the law.

"There are some border control policies that are in question as to whether or not it’s a crime to take pictures," Campbell said.
Nevertheless, a little common sense would seem to be appropriate. A bunch of kids in Boy Scout uniforms going from Alaska to Canada don't seem to pose much of a terrorism threat. A responsible response would be to delete the picture, give the kid his camera back, and let them go on. But nooo ... the feds get all Gestapo on the scouts.
During the search, one of the scouts tried to retrieve a bag from the roof carrier. When he turned around, Fox said an agent had a loaded pistol pointed at the child.

“He heard a snap of the holster, turns around, and here’s this agent, both hands on a loaded pistol, pointing at the young man’s head,” Fox told the television station.

... He said he tried to watch the agents search the van but was ordered to return to his vehicle. An agent followed him and told the youngsters “that the next one to leave the van would be handcuffed and detained.”
Fox said he and another member of the troop were interrogated by agents – forced to answer questions about their background.

They also wanted to know why the Boy Scouts were hauling “excessive amounts of lighters, matches and knives,” Fox said. After a lengthy delay, the Scouts were released without any charges being filed.
“excessive amounts of lighters, matches and knives” ... GMAFB! They're Boy Scouts on a camping trip. What did those fools think they were going to do? Attack the Alaska Pipeline with pocket knives and matches?
“The boys were unnecessarily frightened and intimidated,” Fox wrote. “When do we Americans decide enough is enough? The TSA and border guards are a valuable asset to the safety of this country, but to have such Gestapo tactics against a teenage scout is uncalled for.”

Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, agrees.

“It’s outrageous that a border patrol agent would point a gun at a boy scout just for taking a picture,” he told the television station. “It just doesn’t make sense.”

The senator’s office said they are looking into the matter.

Robert Hooper, the scout executive for the Mid-Iowa  Council of the BSA, told me they, too, are upset and disturbed by the allegations.

“The guys were in scout uniforms,” he said. “I would like to know what caused this to happen. It does sound pretty extreme.”

Indeed, it does. It’s not like they were attempting to cross into the United States illegally. (emphasis added)
Here's a thought. Why not draw weapons on the illegals currently flooding across our southern border, and leave Boy Scouts on camping trips to Alaska alone?

Maybe because Boy Scouts will probably grow up to be responsible and productive members of society, and illegals will go on to be democrat voters...

Monday, July 28, 2014

Another Baby Step

Over the weekend residents of D.C. got some of their Second Amendment rights back.
A federal judge has declared that one of the District’s principal gun control laws is unconstitutional and ordered that its enforcement be halted.

The ruling by Judge Frederick J. Scullin Jr., made public Saturday, orders the city to end its prohibition against carrying a pistol in public.
I characterized that as a baby step - one small step for free men, as it were.

Now comes news from Florida of another baby step forward.
A federal appeals court has upheld the state's "docs vs. glocks" law, overturning an earlier court ruling that had blocked part of the measure from being enforced.

In a 2-1 ruling last week, a three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the Florida Legislature had the right to pass the law, which includes provisions restricting doctors and other medical providers from asking questions about gun ownership during medical visits.
The court ruled that "the practice of good medicine does not require interrogation about irrelevant, private matters." In other words, health care professionals can't ask patients about things that are none of their business - including whether or not said patients owns firearms.

The decision will, of course, be appealed by the losing side. They can't stand the thought that there is some aspect of our lives which they can't control.

I just wish they'd put as much time and effort into doing their jobs as they do into curtailing our freedoms...

FOD Part II 2014.07.28

Following up on this morning's post regarding the growing case of obama-fatigue (we're tired of him, and he's tired of pretending to be the leader of the free world), here's several additional recent articles on the topic. In the interest of brevity I've just excerpted the highlights.

The first one is notable because it quotes an on-air personality from Air Obama, aka MSNBC, as saying We the People are "fatigued" of him.

Americans Are ‘Fatigued’ from Obama, Have Lost Confidence in Him
MSNBC host Chuck Todd said the American people are “fatigued” from President Barack Obama Monday on Morning Joe, in the wake of a poll showing Republican Mitt Romney would trounce him in a rematch of the 2012 election.

Co-host Thomas Roberts called the poll evidence of “voter’s remorse” for sending Obama back to the White House...
Regarding obama being "fatigued" of his job, take a look at these numbers.

Obama played 81 rounds of golf and attended 75 fundraisers since re-election
While domestic crises simmer and international conflicts flare, President Obama can be counted on to pitch and putt.

The duffer in chief has played 81 rounds of golf and had attended 75 political fund-raisers in the 628 days since his 2012 re-election, a Post analysis of his schedule found.

The president is on pace to double the 104 days he spent on the links during his first term.
That's a pretty good indication of someone who is tired of his day job.

Finally, Matthew Continetti has written an in-depth column opining that obama's post-presidency has already begun 2 1/2 years early. It's on the lengthy side, but it's worth reading in its entirety for the insight it provides into obama's state of mind.

Dialing It In
... I find nothing paradoxical about Obama’s recent pattern of behavior, nothing mysterious about the golfing, partying, traveling. It is quite obvious: Obama has given up.

He knows that his agenda is now limited to executive orders and bureaucratic regulation, and that even these measures are likely to be in the courts for years. He knows that his foreign policy agenda of engagement with the enemies of America will prove controversial and unpopular. He knows his staff has been ducking-and-covering ever since Lois Lerner announced the IRS had targeted Tea Party groups, and that they have been playing defense through Edward Snowden and Syria and and Crimea and the VA and now Bowe Bergdahl. He knows there is a chance that the Republicans will control Congress next January, and he has said, according to Politico, that this “would make his last two years in office unbearable.”
That's only fair. His first six years in office were unbearable to me.
Obama is golfing more than at any point in his term. In March, as Vladimir Putin launched the newest phase of his quest to recreate the Russian Empire, some in the White House had the temerity to suggest that it might not be a good idea to fly to Key Largo for a long weekend of golf and relaxation. Obama disagreed. “Obama sticks to Florida vacation schedule,” read one headline. This was one commitment on which the president would not renege. “I needed this,” he told guests, including his new friend Alonzo Mourning, over dinner at the Ocean Reef Club. “I needed the golf. I needed to laugh. I need to spend time with friends.” I am sure the Ukrainians understand.
Nice to know he has his priorities straight...

FOD 2014.07.28

Last week featured a spate of articles echoing the same theme - barack obama has gone ROAD (Retired On Active Duty). That's a derogatory term for someone who is nearing retirement and has decided to sit back and do as little as possible in the meantime.

The first article pointing this out appeared in the Wall Street Journal.

July 23, 2014

Obama to World: Drop Dead
As the world burns, the president spent this week fiddling at fundraisers in the living rooms of five Democratic Party fat cats in Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles. As White House communications director Jennifer Palmieri famously explained, changing the president's fundraising schedule "can have the unintended consequence of unduly alarming the American people or creating a false sense of crisis."
That's one heck of a way to justify continuing to rake in the bucks. A false sense of crisis? JHC, what world are those morons living in?
Alarmed? Who's alarmed? What false sense of crisis? Vladimir Putin's masked men in eastern Ukraine shot Malaysia Airlines Flight 17's 298 people out of the air just about the time Israel and Hamas commenced their death struggle, not long after the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham occupied a third of Iraq within seven days. Now ISIS is cleansing Mosul of its Christians.
Nope, no crises there.
If news coverage defined reality, you'd think the civil war in Syria was over. There just isn't space to fit it all in. The homicidal Islamic fanatics of Boko Haram may soon establish statelike control of northern Nigeria, as ISIS has in Iraq. Last week the April kidnappers of the world's now-forgotten "our girls" gunned down another 44 Nigerians, then days later killed 100 more in villages abandoned by the Nigerian army.
Funny, isn't it, how the press and our elected 'leader' has forgotten about Boko Haram and the "Bring Back Our Girls" Hashtag. I guess the thugs running that particular terrorist group are feeling neglected, because they've stepped up their level of violence in the past week. And there are now reports that they've kidnapped the wife of the Cameroon's vice Prime Minister.

obama's reaction to all this?


A second article reinforces the notion that our pal barack now views being president as a burden - an unwelcome distraction from his parties and rounds of golf.

 July 24, 2014

The Vacant Presidency
The president’s demeanor is worrying a lot of people. From the immigration crisis on the Mexican border to the Islamic State rising in Mesopotamia, Barack Obama seems totally detached. When he does interrupt his endless rounds of golf, fundraising, and photo ops, it’s for some affectless, mechanical, almost forced public statement.

The preferred explanation for the president’s detachment is psychological. He’s checked out. Given up. Let down and disappointed by the world, he is in withdrawal.

The world is aflame and our leader is on the 14th green...
That last sentence pretty much sums up the whole rotten situation.

They've even noticed over in the U.K.

July 26, 2014

Barack Obama has already checked out of his job
President Obama has emotionally checked out of his job a couple of years early, it seems. How can one tell?

Candidates for president who brazenly assume they are the inevitable victor are sometimes accused of “measuring the drapes” for the White House.

Obama, conversely, seems to be prematurely packing his bags in hopes for an early departure.

... (there are) multiple reports from outlets such as The New York Times and Politico, detailing how Obama has increasingly been spending his time at trendy restaurants and fancy, late-night dinner parties with celebrities and various intellectuals.

Rubbing elbows with the rich and elite is fine enough. Unfortunately, the work suffers. The degree to which Barack Obama is now phoning it in – sleepwalking perfunctorily through his second term, amid golf rounds and dinner parties – is astonishing.

... it seems as if “No Drama Obama” is no longer even worried about keeping up appearances; he doesn’t care enough to fake it.

Consider this: In recent days, a) Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down, apparently by Russian separatists in Ukraine, b) In the Gaza strip, the numbers killed continued to mount as Israelis and Palestinians exchange rocket fire, c) a huge influx of children fleeing Central American poverty and gang warfare swamped America’s southern border, creating a humanitarian crisis. And, oh yeah, d) Christians living in Mosul were given the choice to either convert to Islam or flee the area they have inhabited for nearly two thousand years.

You know what else has happened during this time? a) Obama played many rounds of golf, b) he attended numerous fund-raisers, c) he dined on barbecue in Texas and burgers in Delaware, and d) he almost appeared on the comedian Jimmy Kimmel’s late-night television show in Hollywood.

I say “almost” because the White House finally relented. “We ultimately elected not to have the president do that interview over the course of this trip,” the White House press secretary, Josh Earnest, conceded. “And that is at least in part related to the challenges of doing a comedy show in the midst of some of these other more serious matters that the president’s dealing with in the international scene.”
It's mind-boggling that they even had to think about that decision.
Obama’s not dumb, and he’s clearly capable of marshalling an effective propaganda campaign when he wants to. So what explains this series of bad optics, which might be described by PR professionals as political malpractice?

The only thing that makes sense is that he is exhausted and, perhaps, has checked out of the job early.

If Nero fiddled while Rome burned, then Obama is dining out, golfing, and raising money while the world collapses.
Just to top things off, he's also preparing to head off for a 16 day vacation with the rich and famous in Martha's Vineyard - again.

5 Months Off: Martha's Vineyard Break Will Put Obama Over 140 Days On Vacation
When President Obama wraps up his 16-day summer break next month on Martha's Vineyard, Mass., he will have taken all or part of 141 days of vacation, time split between summers on the island, winters in his native Hawaii and birthday weekends at his Chicago home.

Obama has been criticized for taking costly and lengthy vacations, especially compared to the short trips most Americans take. The U.S. Travel Association told Secrets that the average American vacation lasts just 3.7 days.
Forget income inequality. We've got a problem of vacation inequality.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Baby Steps

One small ray of sunshine in an otherwise gloomy political climate. Amazing how this story has managed to stay under the radar all weekend long.

Federal judge declares D.C. ban on carrying handguns in public unconstitutional
A federal judge has declared that one of the District’s principal gun control laws is unconstitutional and ordered that its enforcement be halted.

The ruling by Judge Frederick J. Scullin Jr., made public Saturday, orders the city to end its prohibition against carrying a pistol in public.

The order was addressed to the District of Columbia and Police Chief Cathy Lanier, as well as their employees and officers and others “who receive actual notice” of the ruling. But it could not be determined Sunday who had received notice. Also unclear was whether the city would appeal and what effect that would have on the enforcement ban.

Ted Gest, a spokesman for the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia, which defended the city’s ban, said the city is studying the opinion and its options, which include appealing the judge’s ruling and asking the judge to stop his ruling from going into effect during any appeal.

A spokeswoman for the police department said Saturday night that she was not aware of the ruling. On Sunday, Delroy Burton, the head of the D.C. police union, said that police officers had not received official instructions about whether to enforce the handgun law in light of the ruling.

The case was heard by Scullin, a senior U.S. District judge who normally sits in New York. In his ruling, Scullin said that, based on recent decisions, “there is no longer any basis” to conclude that the city’s “total ban on the public carrying of ready-to-use handguns outside the home is constitutional.”

Scullin said he was stopping enforcement of the law “unless and until” the city adopted a constitutionally valid licensing mechanism.
I'm sure there are several more rounds of appeals pending, but this, along with the overturning of a similar ban in Chicago, are small steps in the right direction.

Sunday Funnies 2014.07.27

As I mentioned yesterday, I had a wee bit too much to drink Friday night.

Saturday morning I was convinced that chirping birds are Satan's pets.

Trying to gain control of the situation, I commanded the bedroom to "stay still."

I had to wear sunglasses when I opened the refrigerator.

Here's a description of what it was like to wake up that day.
From somewhere in remote distances, muffled beyond sight or sound, his soul crawled back painfully, through subterranean corridors, up into his body again. Toward the last it moved to a cacophony of hammers and lights.

Then he was awake.

The first eye was bad enough. But when he opened his second eye, such a rush of anguish flowed through his brain that he hastily closed them again.
― John Dickson Carr

The next one really resonated with me. Although I didn't teach physics, I did have days like that...

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Hair Of The Dog

My wife invited a few friends over yesterday. It started off as just five women - sort of a ladies happy hour. The plan was that they would have a couple of glasses of wine, nibble on some cheese and crackers, and then head home to fix dinner for their families. No big deal. I could putter around in my study for an hour or two until they left.

Remember that saying about "no battle plan survives contact with the enemy?" Well, there was no enemy here, but the plan died an early death just the same.

It started when one woman showed up with her husband. They had been out running errands and it took longer than expected, so he was going to drop her off and come back later to pick her up. As long as he was here, I invited him in for a quick one.

As often happens, one turned into two. Then two turned into three. At that point we figured it would be a good idea to call the other husbands and invite them over.

You can guess the rest.

Happy Hour turned into Good Time Friday Night. I vaguely remember the last guest leaving around midnight. The women were in pretty good shape. They must have more self-discipline than us men. Anyway, there are several abandoned pickups at our place this morning, because the men rode home with their wives. As I type this it's 10:30 Saturday morning and no one has showed up to claim them yet.

I blame it all on the lack of food. If you're going to drink for several hours you need more to munch on than grapes and carrot sticks.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go add more Kahlua to my coffee...

Friday, July 25, 2014

Friday Follies Happy Hour 2014.07.25

I've got a smidgeon of a beer gut, and I like to think I rock it pretty well (my wife may have a different opinion). Anyway, I can identify with this video.

Harry Reid Is An Idiot - Part II

Not only is harry reid an idiot, he's also a flaming hypocrite.

(H/T Roger for the second image)

Our Tax Dollars At Work

In a previous life I made a pretty good living managing the design and implementation of large-scale information systems. Several of my projects were multi-year multi-million dollar systems for a large international financial corporation. That's why I was so interested in this story.

Social Security Spent $300M on 'IT Boondoggle'
Six years ago the Social Security Administration embarked on an aggressive plan to replace outdated computer systems overwhelmed by a growing flood of disability claims. Nearly $300 million later, the new system is nowhere near ready and agency officials are struggling to salvage a project racked by delays and mismanagement, according to an internal report commissioned by the agency.
I'm also interested in the story because I'm getting close to the age where I can start drawing Social Security (assuming, of course, that it doesn't run out of money before then).
In 2008, Social Security said the project was about two to three years from completion. Five years later, it was still two to three years from being done, according to the report by McKinsey and Co., a management consulting firm.
We had several projects go over-schedule and over-budget. But none of them missed their mark by over 200 per cent (and counting).
Today, with the project still in the testing phase, the agency can't say when it will be completed or how much it will cost.

In the meantime, people filing for disability claims face long delays at nearly every step of the process — delays that were supposed to be reduced by the new processing system.

"The program has invested $288 million over six years, delivered limited functionality, and faced schedule delays as well as increasing stakeholder concerns," the report said.

As a result, agency leaders have decided to "reset" the program in an effort to save it, the report said.
I hope that works out better than Hillary's "reset" of our relations with Russia.
As part of that effort, Social Security brought in the outside consultants from McKinsey to figure out what went wrong

They found a massive technology initiative with no one in charge — no single person responsible for completing the project...
In our projects, there was always one individual responsible for every single task or action. That individual accountability was a key to our success. It's also something that is sorely lacking in practically all phases of government, not just the Social Security project.
The House Oversight Committee is also looking into the program, and whether Social Security officials tried to bury the McKinsey report...
Gee, that sounds familiar.

The troubled computer project is known at the Disability Case Processing System, or DCPS. It was supposed to replace 54 separate, antiquated computer systems used by state Social Security offices to process disability claims. As envisioned, workers across the country would be able to use the system to process claims and track them as benefits are awarded or denied, and claims are appealed.
In their defense, integrating 54 discrete legacy systems is a mammoth undertaking. We had a few projects like that. Our philosophy was to approach them in a manner similar to eating an elephant: one bite at a time. In other words, decompose the project into smaller and smaller chunks until they can't be broken down any further. Then reassemble the pieces from the bottom up. It's a tedious and complex process, but it works.
But as of April, the system couldn't even process all new claims, let alone accurately track them as they wound their way through the system, the report said. In all, more than 380 problems were still outstanding, and users hadn't even started testing the ability of the system to handle applications from children.
Maybe the system will be ready by the time those kids reach 65. But somehow I doubt it...

Thursday, July 24, 2014


FWIW, here's an unscientific comparison of the happiest and unhappiest areas in the U.S. compared to a map showing which counties voted for either obama or Romney.

Unhappiest Areas (red = unhappiest)

Compare and contrast that with this blended county map depicting the 2012 vote split for Romney and obama.

Blue = obama; red = Romney

It's not an exact overlay, but I think you can draw your own conclusions.

My Hero!

I have a new man-crush. The object of my affections is Paul LePage, the governor of Maine. Why him, you ask?

Because cojones!
The LePage administration is taking another step toward pushing welfare recipients to find jobs. The Department of Health and Human Services announced on Wednesday that, starting October first, "able bodied" adults with no dependents who get SNAP benefits -- often called food stamps -- will have to work 20 hours per week or do volunteer work. There are an estimated 12,000 recipients in Maine who meet that standard.
Needless to say, LaPage is a republican...

Why They Fight

Following up on this morning's post regarding the inexplicable support for the Hamas barbarians, here is an article from the New York Times, of all paces, further documenting Hamas' cowardly and criminal actions.
Militant rockets can be seen launching from crowded neighborhoods, near apartment buildings, schools and hotels. Hamas fighters have set traps for Israeli soldiers in civilian homes and stored weapons in mosques and schools. Tunnels have been dug beneath private property.
Of course, this being the NYT, it must offer some justification for the terrorists.
... There is no evidence that Hamas and other militants force civilians to stay in areas that are under attack — the legal definition of a human shield under international law.
Oh, great - hide behind the fine print. But to the Times' credit, it goes on to state:
... it is indisputable that Gaza militants operate in civilian areas, draw return fire to civilian structures, and on some level benefit in the diplomatic arena from the rising casualties. They also have at times encouraged residents not to flee their homes when alerted by Israel to a pending strike and, having prepared extensively for war, did not build civilian bomb shelters.
That last sentence about encouraging civilians to remain despite being warned that an attack is imminent, and failing to construct shelters, goes a long way towards explaining the “lack of proportionality” in civilian-to-military casualties on the Hamas side.

On a related note, here is a link to an excellent story documenting the ongoing conflict from the viewpoint of Israeli civilians. It reminds me, on a smaller scale, of the stories one hears from South Texas ranchers who are (unwillingly) on the front lines in the struggle against drug smuggling and human trafficking across the Texas-Mexico border. Do yourself a favor and spend five minutes reading it. It will provide insight into the plight of Israel's civilian populace, and some much-needed balance on the reporting coming out of that region.
Why we fight

I Just Don't Get It

Would some one please explain to me why there are so many people in this country -- and around the world -- who support savages that exploit women, children, and even innocent animals for their own gain?

I'm speaking, of course, of Hamas. At least this time it's Hamas. Pick any other conflict involving islamicists (there are so many) and you'll find the same theme being repeated. But back to Hamas. Here's their general modus operandi: hide behind kids.

First they use them as props for their propaganda.
Pictures show that the same family that was killed in Syria by Assad, was also killed by IDF bombing Gaza few days ago, according to Arab media.
Then they literally hide behind children to launch their attacks.

If you care so much about these kids, you friggin’ animals, set up no children zones to launch your “I Hate The Jews” rocket.

(H/T I Own the World for the image and the caption.)

The barbarians use schools to store munitions.
For the second time in less than a week, rockets have been found in a school in Gaza operated by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, the body said.

“Today, in the course of the regular inspection of its premises, UNRWA discovered rockets hidden in a vacant school in the Gaza Strip,” the organization said in a statement issued Tuesday. “As soon as the rockets were discovered, UNRWA staff were withdrawn from the premises, and so we are unable to confirm the precise number of rockets. The school is situated between two other UNRWA schools that currently each accommodate 1,500 internally displaced persons.”
No wonder their kids grow up to be ignorant savages. Their role models, the ignorant savages currently running things, evidently value ammunition dumps over schools.

The UN isn't without blame here either. What do you think they did with the rockets they found in those schools?
A spokesperson for UNRWA said the organization gave the rockets to “local authorities...”
That's right. The UN returned the rockets to the same thugs who put them in the schools in the first place.



It's not just schools. Hamas also uses hospitals as firing positions.
Hamas has used positions in the Al-Wafa Hospital in Gaza to fire automatic weapons and anti-tank missiles on soldiers...

The IDF Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories has issued repeated and direct warnings to the hospital's manager, and to other Palestinians involved in running the hospital, the army said.
Finally, in the finest tradition of cowards and savages, they enlist innocent animals in their terrorist campaigns.
Hamas militants sent a donkey laden with explosives on a suicide mission in one of the most unconventional tactics yet seen in the fighting in Gaza, the Israeli army has said.

Troops said they were forced to open fire on the animal - blowing it up - as it approached their position in the southern city of Rafah, near the Egyptian border.

"They used this donkey as a human shield, or an animal shield, if you like," said Major Arye Shalicar, an army spokesman. "Anything, an animal or an international building, that can help make use of innocent people or international [citizens], they will use it. We see it time and again."
Where's PETA when you need them?

To recap, on one side we have the only Western-style democracy in the region; one which doesn't hide behind women, children, animals, churches, mosques, hospitals, schools, or any other civilian installation.

One the other hand we have a bunch of savage barbarians who will use anyone or anything in their mindless bloodlust, who stone women to death (or gang rape them, or mutilate them) for trivial acts that in civilized countries go unnoticed, and who are rigidly intolerant of anyone who believes differently than they do.

Children abused. Women treated as property. Animals blown to bits. And yet the left supports these creatures.


Maybe it has something to do with that line about being ' rigidly intolerant of anyone who believes differently than they do.'

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Harry Reid Is An Idiot

Not that we need much reminding of that fact, but here's a refresher.

Reid: Southern border is secure
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Tuesday asserted the southern border is secure despite the massive surge of illegal minors from Central America that has overwhelmed federal agencies.

“The border is secure,” he told reporters after the Senate Democrats’ weekly policy lunch. “[Sen.] Martin Heinrich [(D-N.M.)] talked to the caucus today. He’s a border state senator. He said he can say without any equivocation the border is secure.”
Talk to Ted Cruz, you asshole. He's also a border state senator. He will have a totally different opinion than Martin Heinrich (D-Idiot).

Want more input? Here you are.

High-caliber gunfire sends Border Patrol scrambling
U.S. Border Patrol agents on the American side of the Rio Grande were forced to take cover Friday night when high-caliber weaponry was fired at them from the Mexican side of the river...
The weapons were fired at the U.S. side of the riverbank in the area of the Rincon Peninsula across the Rio Grande from Reynosa, Mexico, at about 8:30 p.m., sources said. Bullets ricocheted into an area where Border Patrol agents were positioned, Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, told
Border Patrol sources confirmed (Rep. Louie) Gohmert's account, and said the shots may have been fired by .50-caliber weapons.

"We don't have any armor that can stop a .50-caliber round, so our Border Patrol agents had to take cover when the rounds were richocheting around them," said Gohmert, who has been in the area for the last week to get a first-hand look at the border situation.
Unlike either reid or obama, who are too busy jet-setting around the country to various fund-raising events.
"When the shooting stopped, about 40 to 50 people came out on the U.S. side and turned themselves in. So clearly the rounds were being fired to suppress every effort to stop anybody intervening with anyone or anything coming across," Gohmert added. "We have no idea what or how many or whom came across with the other illegal immigrants."
And that's the key point being missed by a lot of people. It's bad enough that we're being flooded with a bunch of illegal kids that we aren't prepared to care for. But what is worse is that while the Border Patrol is busy babysitting, the cartels are taking advantage of the lapse in security to run drugs, criminals, and God knows who or what else across the border unimpeded.
Sources said they believe the gunfire came from members of Mexican drug cartels, which include former military members trained in shooting that type of weaponry.

Border Patrol sources said the rounds were clearly identifiable because .50-caliber weapons make a distinctive noise when fired.
They certainly do. Once you hear it, you never forget it.
"I don't know why we're out here like sitting ducks," one Border Patrol source said. "We need help."
I don't know why either. And yes, you most certainly do.

Not convinced yet that the border isn't secure? Here's more.

Smugglers Operate in Plain Sight Across the River
Smugglers are operating in plain view and during the day along the Mexican side of the Rio Grande across the border from Roma (Texas - in the Rio Grande Valley).

A CHANNEL 5 NEWS crew watched as the smugglers blew up rafts, took payments and sent men floating across the river.

The smugglers threatened the news crews.

Dozen of vehicles circled the river bank on the Mexican side all day. Many of the vehicles had Texas license plates.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS cameras witnessed only men trying to cross the border.

Many of the scouts were young boys and teens. The CHANNEL 5 NEWS crew tried to speak with some of them, but they would only say they are affiliated to the Gulf cartel.
Cartels firing heavy weapons at Border Patrol agents. Cartels openly smuggling drugs and people across the border. And that idiot harry reid thinks the border is secure.

As for the SCOAMF squatting in the White House, he's running around turning a blind eye to what can arguably be construed as hostile action by a foreign government. What he should do is respond with overwhelming return fire (can you say "free-fire zone"?). Anyone who makes it to this side gets dumped right back on the other side of the river as soon as they're apprehended. Stop all foreign aid to that miserable failed third world nation currently run by gun-toting thugs. While that's in process, start construction on a barrier that would make the Berlin Wall look like a garden fence. Require proof of legal residency for all government benefits (including public schools) and documents (like drivers licenses). Institute stiff penalties for anyone who hires people without a valid social security card.

At the same time, there is no doubt that our immigration rules and regulations need reform. Keep the criminals and freeloaders out, let in people who want to work, and move on. It's not that tough.

I do it at home with our kids and their friends all the time...

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Sharing Gossip

Normally I frown on gossip, but rules guidelines are made to be broken. Besides, this one is too much fun not to pass on.

Bill’s secret ‘mistress,’ the ‘Energizer’
Bill Clinton reportedly has a buxom blond mistress who visits so often when Hillary Clinton isn’t home in Chappaqua that the former president’s Secret Service detail have given her an unofficial code name: Energizer.

(The source) says none of the normal protocols is followed when Energizer arrives in her SUV, sometimes just minutes after Hillary has left the Westchester house ... “You don’t stop her, you don’t approach her, you just let her go in.”

Energizer, who is described as charming and friendly, sometimes brought cookies to the agents...

One told Kessler: “It was a warm day, and she was wearing a low-cut tank top, and as she leaned over, her breasts were very exposed. They appeared to be very perky and very new and full … There was no doubt in my mind they were enhanced.”

...Hillary’s Secret Service detail informs Bill’s Secret Service detail when the former first lady is coming home, so Bill has time to get Energizer off the property and clean up any evidence.

But once, the warning came late. “The agents had to scramble to get Energizer out of there so there wasn’t some kind of big confrontation.”

... Hillary is routinely rude to the agents who are sworn to take a bullet for her.

“Because she is so nasty to agents and hostile to law enforcement officers and military officers in general, agents consider being assigned to her detail a form of punishment...”
I'd consider it punishment to have to be anywhere around that hag.

Not that I'd wish this on our poor battered country, but just think how entertaining it would be if Hillary got elected in 2016. We'd have at least four years of watching the First Husband tomcat around. It would be so amusing it might almost be worth it having her as prez.

Why (Retired) Professors Drink

Thank God I'm retired. I'd totally lose it if crap like this popped up while I was still in the classroom.

Earlier this year the University of Wisconsin faculty senate adopted something called the Framework for Diversity and Inclusive Excellence. Said framework, among other things, “places the mission of diversity at the center of institutional life so that it becomes a core organizing principle.”

Funny, I always thought that providing students with a high quality education was the 'center of institutional life.' Silly me. But I digress
Although much of the language is a thicket of clichés, no one dared challenge it. Moreover, there was no probing of the ramifications of the plan. Apparently, “diversity” has become such a sacred cow that even tenured professors are afraid to question it in any way. 
Part of the framework includes something laughingly termed "representational equity." Back in the day, that used to be called 'affirmative action' - or, more accurately, the quota system.

Anyway, the University of Wisconsin has twisted this concept in such a way that, under the mantle of "representational equity," grades will be apportioned according to whatever diversity-sanctioned subgroup a student belongs to.
(Representational equity) calls for “proportional participation of historically underrepresented racial-ethnic groups at all levels of an institution, including high status special programs, high-demand majors, and in the distribution of grades.”

Especially shocking is the language about “equity” in the distribution of grades. Professors, instead of just awarding the grade that each student earns, would apparently have to adjust them so that academically weaker, “historically underrepresented racial/ethnic” students perform at the same level and receive the same grades as academically stronger students.  (emphasis added)
There's little doubt the progressives in charge of higher education today are doing their dead level best to destroy what used to be some of the best universities in the world. Sadly, they are well on their way to succeeding...

Monday, July 21, 2014

Country Living

Ah, the joys of life in the country. My day started off with rescuing a mouse from drowning, and wrapped up with shooting a buzzard (no, not a liberal - a bird).

First, the mouse.

Central Texas is still suffering through a multi-year drought. Water, always precious in these parts, has become even more so. One of the things we do to conserve it is to keep a bucket in the shower. We use it to capture the cold water that comes out of the showerhead before it warms up. That water is used on the plants in our garden.

Similarly, when we have a little get-together like we did last weekend, we don't dump the melted water out of the ice chest the next day. Instead, it also serves to water our garden.

So this morning I walked out into the garage to gather up all the weekend's conserved water. When I picked up the ice chest I discovered a very tired-looking mouse feebly struggling to stay afloat. He must have fallen in while trying to get a drink, and ended up treading water for most of the night. After all he'd been through I didn't have the heart to cold-bloodedly kill him, so I scooped him out with an old coffee can and carried him about 50 yards away from the house, where I set him free in the tall grass. I'm sure he'll live a long and happy life out there in Mother Nature's bosom (unless, of course, he gets eaten by a hawk, or an owl, or a feral cat, or a snake, or a raccoon, or a fox, or a coyote, or some other critter higher up in the food chain - on second thought, maybe I didn't do him much of a favor).

As for the buzzard, there's a bunch that roost overnight in a cell tower several hundred yards away from us. When daylight comes several of them fly over and perch on our roof. It's metal, so it raises a ruckus inside the house, plus they drive our dogs crazy. We drive them off by throwing tennis balls at them. I've tried airsoft and BB guns, but the pellets don't seem to bother the birds. And I don't want to shot them with a real gun, because I'd probably end up with a bunch of decomposing buzzard carcasses laying all over our bullet-riddled roof. So we fling tennis balls at them, the buzzards hiss and fly off, and the dogs bark madly and chase them until they sail over the fence. Then the mutts come trotting back with their chests puffed out, pleased that they've chased those dirty birds away.

This evening, however, was a little different. I let the dogs out, they made their usual rush off into the brush, but then all of a sudden a wild commotion broke out. I grabbed their leashes and went down to see what was going on. They had somehow caught one of the buzzards on the ground. It had a broken leg and a broken wing, so it couldn't escape, but it still had a nasty beak. I got the leashes on the dogs and dragged them back inside, then grabbed a .22 pistol and went back to put the buzzard out of its misery. One quick shot and it was all over. The next question was what to do with the dead buzzard.

It was about the size and weight of a turkey, but somehow the thought of roast buzzard wasn't too appealing. If I buried it the dogs would just dig it up again. Plus the ground around here is mostly rock, so digging a hole of any size usually requires a power auger or rocksaw. So I ended up tossing it in the back of my truck and heading for the nearest county road. It didn't take long to find some roadkill - a poor squashed possum. I figured that whatever came to clean up the possum would also enjoy some tasty fresh buzzard, so I dropped it off there. Recycling - the environmentalists should be happy.

Then it was back home to a cold Shiner... life is good here in the country.

FOD 2014.07.21

I'm starting to feel sorry for poor barack. Things are happening fast and furious around the world (Ukraine, Gaza, Central America -> Mexico -> U.S. border...), while here at home things are falling apart around him (IRS, NSA, that pesky U.S. - Mexico border again...). So rather than bash him today, I think we should all get together and pray for him. In fact, I found a Psalm that is strikingly appropriate.

Psalm 109:8 
"Let his days be few and brief;
And let others step forward to replace him."

And now, on to the main event. I've been kinda busy these past few days, so I asked Newt Gingrich to guest-write today's post. He willingly obliged.

The tranquillity of Obama's mind
When White House press secretary Josh Earnest said this week that President Barack Obama had "substantially improved the tranquillity of the global community," many observers reacted with disbelief.

When the President refused to go to the U.S.-Mexico border last week to see the crisis of young people flooding into the United States because "he's not interested in photo ops," lesser mortals noted he had played pool with Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, dropped by a brewery to have a beer and shook hands with a man wearing a horse-head mask.

When he went to Delaware on Thursday and opened with a few sentences about the shooting down of a Malaysian airliner in Ukraine before joking about Joe Biden and going back to his prepared text on infrastructure, many thought he had failed to take seriously an international disaster. They were even less impressed when he had lunch at the Charcoal Pit and ordered burgers and fries (not a photo op, of course). It was not until 24 hours later that he took to the podium to promise an aggressive investigation.

With the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria causing the collapse of Iraq and continued violence in Syria, the Syrian dictatorship consolidating its power, the Iranians failing to take steps to end their nuclear weapons program and Hamas firing more than 1,000 rockets at Israel, the President and his team have moved decisively to brief The New York Times on his passion for late-night intellectual dinners exploring physics, architecture and questions far more profound than the fate of the Middle East.

It is as though the more dangerous the world becomes the more Obama hides in a fantasy world of avoiding the responsibilities of the presidency. He uses the office to surround himself with court jesters who distract him in an enlightened and noble way from the growing failures of his policies and the rapidly expanding threats to the civilized world.

From his perch in the amazingly Obama-centric world in which our President lives, look again at what the rest of us think of as serious problems.

Have any of the 1,000-plus Hamas rockets been aimed at Obama? No. That is why Obama is tranquil.

Have any of the thousands who are crossing the border tried to move into the White House? No. That is why Obama is tranquil.

Is ISIS an immediate threat to the United States that is likely to blow up the next golf course the President is playing at? No. That is why Obama is tranquil.

This "tranquillity" line was a Freudian slip by the President's spokesman that reveals the deep gap between reality and the Obama White House.

Self-delusion and a rich fantasy life are dangerous in a president. They often lead to disasters that are unimaginable until they happen.
That last paragraph is what has me really, really worried...

Sunday, July 20, 2014

These Are The People Liberals Adore

Like many of you, I was aware that Ted Kennedy basically got away with murder for killing Mary Jo Kopechne. But I wasn't aware of many of the details. Thankfully Brian Cates went to the trouble to document the series of events that dark night long ago. Please go to the link and read the whole thing.

Warning: your blood will boil.

Full story here.

Sunday Funnies 2014.07.20

I had to go to the dentist last week. Not fun...

 A woman and her husband interrupted their vacation to go to the dentist. "I want a tooth pulled, and I don't want Novacain because I'm in a big hurry," the woman said. "Just extract the tooth as quickly as possible, and we'll be on our way."

The dentist was quite impressed. "You're certainly a courageous woman," he said. "Which tooth is it?"

The woman turned to her husband and said, "Show him your tooth, dear."

A man walks into the dentist's office and after the dentist examines him, he says, "that tooth has to come out. I'm going to give you a shot of Novocain and I'll be back in a few minutes."

The man grabs the dentist's arm, "no way. I hate needles I'm not having any shot!"

So the dentist says, "okay, we'll have to go with the gas."

The man replies, "absolutely not. It makes me very sick for a couple of days. I'm not having gas."

So the dentist steps out and comes back with a glass of water, "here," he says. "Take this pill."

The man asks "What is it?"

The doc replies, "Viagra."

The man looks surprised, "will that kill the pain?" he asks.

"No," replies the dentist, "but it will give you something to hang on to while I pull your tooth!"

Q:  Did you hear about the dentist who planted a garden?
A.  A month later he was picking his teeth.

Q:  What does the dentist of the year get?
A:  A little plaque.

Q:  What does a dentist do on a roller coaster?
A:  He braces himself.

Q:  Where does a dentist get his gas?
A:  At the filling station.

Q:  What did the dentist say to the computer?
A:  This won't hurt a bit.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Feel-Good Story Of The Day

Well, the feel-good part is the outcome. I just hope the victim here isn't too traumatized.
A Daytona Beach father beat an 18-year-old man unconscious after finding him sexually abusing his 11-year-old son early Friday morning, police said.

The father called 911 around 1 a.m. after he walked in on the alleged abuse, police said. When officers arrived, they found Raymond Frolander motionless on the living room floor. He had several knots on his face and was bleeding from the mouth.
Child abuser gets what he deserves.
"He is nice and knocked out on the floor for you," the father told the 911 dispatcher. "I drug him out to the living room."

The Daytona Beach News-Journal ( reports that the father — who was not identified by police — told investigators he walked in as Frolander was abusing the boy.

When asked by the 911 dispatcher if any weapons were involved, the father said "my foot and my fist."

The father has not been charged with any crime.
At last. Some common sense in our criminal justice system.
"Dad was acting like a dad. I don't see anything we should charge the dad with," Daytona Beach Police Chief Mike Chitwood said. "You have an 18-year-old who has clearly picked his target, groomed his target and had sex with the victim multiple times."

Frolander is charged with sexual battery on a child under 12. He is being held without bail. It was not immediately known whether he'd hired a lawyer.

According to the arrest affidavit, Frolander admitted the abuse.
That guy got off easy. If it had been my kid, well, I've got guns... and knives... and baseball bats...