Thursday, August 17, 2017

If you drive your car …

Oops. Not allowed today in Ashgabat, capital of Turkmenistan.

To press for physical fitness ahead of the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games, President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov changed traffic laws.

“From 7 am to 7 pm, only public transport – including taxis and emergency vehicles – will be permitted to circulate around the city. Anybody unable to cram into the packed buses or pay for a taxi will be free to cycle, as Berdymukhamedov has advised, in temperatures of around 40 degrees Celsius (105 degrees Fahrenheit). Those who do not own a bicycle – which is most people – will just have to walk.”

More stuff to ban and/or tear down

All statues of Gen. Phil Sheridan -- "The only good Indian is a dead Indian."

All statues of Gen. W.T Sherman -- "Nits make lice," on killing Indian children.

All flags of the states that seceded from the union.

Any mention of "Confederate States of America" or "the Confederacy."

Break up the Choctaw, Cherokee, Chickasaw, Muskogee Creek and Seminole tribal nations. The nations owned slaves and backed the Confederacy 1861-65.

More to come.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Just about ready to give up

I'm coming closer to not reading any more news stories. The stupids are on the verge of winning. Not that the majority of Americans agree with the stupids, but idiocy gets news coverage. Giving up is not the problem it might seem. I am working on at least five stories about transfer to other worlds or times, worlds like Earth, but not altogether the same. There are pretty women with guns, good guys and not good guys, army trucks and pickups. Main characters fight Nazis and Red Commie hordes, as well as alien invaders. The worlds are mine, and I am welcome to them. Lock and load, Galina. Today is a good day for a fight.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Otis, Louisiana

Otis is in Rapides Parish and is surrounded by woods. Surrounded.

Here is a link to a satellite photograph of Otis and its surroundings:,+LA+71466/@31.215459,-92.7454346,5185m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x863ac0920b88a579:0xf99a7c5e3853f72f!8m2!3d31.2154607!4d-92.727925

See? Surrounded by woods. Louisiana Highway 121 makes a line through the woods, but other than that highway and a few dirt roads and drives, not much else. Alexandria is a few miles to the northeast.

Wikipedia says this: “Otis is an unincorporated area in Rapides Parish, Louisiana, United States. Its Zip Code is 71446.”

Rapids Parish is pretty much in the center of the state. For people who are not from around there, Wikipedia helpfully informs that Rapides is the French spelling of “rapids” and is pronounced “Ra-peeds.”
Wikipedia also notes Rapides’ 2010 population was 131,613. Of those, 66.51% are white; 30.43% Black or African American; 0.74% Native American; 0.86% Asian; 0.04% Pacific Islander; 0.42% from other races; and 1.01% from two or more races. 1.38% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. The parish had its largest population in 1980 – 135,282.

The Otis Facebook page has no listings or posts.

gives Otis’s 2010 population as 591 and says they all are white. The median age is 39.7. Sex breakdown shows 54.3% women and 45.7% men.

A lawyer website has no (zero, 0) lawyers practicing in Otis.

Monday, August 14, 2017

'The Left Owns Racism'

Ace’s Prologue before links to news.
“Good morning kids. The good news is the hair-trigger tensions on the Korean peninsula are off the headlines for the time being. The bad news is, violent, racists rioting in the streets of Charlottesville, VA and elsewhere have taken its place. Let me say in no uncertain terms that what happened on Saturday is the direct result of the rhetoric spewed out from the cake-holes of the ex-president, ex-attorny general, scores of racialist crackpots and terrorists in politics and the media and in virtually every college campus across the country. Just last week alone, Maxine Waters opined that it might be time to form a blacks-only political party. La Raza, literally ‘The Race’ preaches the reconquest of the southwest and the banishing of all non-Latinos. And on and on and on.
Whether they are ‘neo-Nazis,’ the KKK, the Aryan Nations etc. etc., who they are and what they believe in have absolutely nothing in common with who we are and what we believe in (and please do not get me started on Timothy McVeigh). Racism, racialism and identity politics were, are and always will be the stock in trade of the Left. The attempt to paint what happened over the weekend as the fault of President Trump, his supporters, conservatives and others is a blood-libeling of epic proportions. Bereft of ideas, with a record of societal and economic destruction spanning decades and culminating in the lost years of 2009-2016, the only thing they have left is to lash out violently, foment hatred and use am incident that in fact was started by the direct inheritors of their own ideology as a pretext and distraction to somehow regain relevancy if not the levers of power. This is going to be milked for all its worth to further delegitimize us and our agenda. What is even more detestable is that the NeverTrumpers will join forces with the Left to use this as a ‘see-we-told-you-so’ moment." I'm looking directly at your fat f**king face John Podhoretz.
Lest we forget, it was a dyed-in-the-wool Democrat who attempted to assassinate Steve Scalise and a couple of dozen other unarmed Republicans at a softball practice, while only a few days ago a rabid anti-Trump activist shot and killed a GOP leader in PA and the reaction from all quarters on the left has been nothing or worse; blame the victims.
I am sick to death of this. And frankly, I am sick to death of the statement and proposition of ‘condemning the violence on both sides.’ Our side had nothing to do with what happened at Charlottesville. There is no morally equivalency, because there is no Left-Center-Right paradigm. You either believe in the principles of America as founded or you do not and want to seek its dissolution and/or destruction ‘by any means necessary.’ The latter is the Left, and I reject the premise of their arguments now and always. "F**k you. War."

(If you “condemn the violence on both sides,” you are standing in the middle of the road where traffic is non-existent. In other words, you are doing nothing. At Charlottesville, the Left got what it wanted –a dead body.)

Blair, Oklahoma

Blair is in far southwest Oklahoma, in Jackson County, not far from the elbow of the Texas Panhandle. The 2010 population count was 818, an 8.5 percent drop from the 2000 census.

In three consecutive census counts, Blair posted increases in its citizens – 1950, 22.8 percent; 1960, 27.6 percent; 1970, 24.7 percent. Now Blair is about back to where it was when it first started growing.

2000 Census demographics showed a population of 894 -- 86.69% White; 1.79% Native American; 0.34% Asian; 0.11% Pacific Islander; 7.49% from other races; and 3.58% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 10.40% of the population.

(The feds fudge on the “Hispanic or Latino” counting. In the Western part of the United States, the term fits mostly citizens and non-citizens of Mexican ancestry. Other parts of the country slot persons whose ancestry is Puerto Rican, Dominican, Mexican, Colombian, Venezuelan – Any place south of the US of A.)

In Blair, almost 12 percent of families, 14.6 percent of the overall population and 16.4 percent of people 65 and older are beneath the federal poverty line.

Wikipedia lists two notable natives of Blair – executed murderer Clarence Ray Allen and former major league baseball player Bob Stephenson.

Allen was a bad dude, who got the needle at age 76 at San Quentin State Prison in California.

Here is a link to a satellite image:,-99.3259181,5983m/data=!3m1!1e3

Just about in the middle of town you’ll see a baseball field and a softball field. A civilized place.

There are pictures here of Blair and other Oklahoma places:

We believe in free speech. You’re fired.

AUGUST 14, 2017 8:31 AM

A hot dog restaurant in Berkeley, California, fired one of its employees after a photograph circulated of him reportedly marching alongside white nationalists during the unrest in Charlottesville, Virginia, that left three dead and dozens more injured.

The restaurant, Top Dog, posted an orange sign on their front door that announced the firing of Cole White, who was reportedly photographed carrying a flaming tiki torch during a gathering of white supremacists and neo-Nazis.

“Effective Sat. 12th August, Cole White no longer works at Top Dog,” the sign read. “The actions of those in Charlottesville are not supported by Top Dog. We believe in individual freedom and voluntary association for everyone.”

Twitter user @YesYoureRacist first posted zoomed-in pictures of white nationalists gathering in Charlottesville, asking others to identify those in the photographs. Some users asserted that White was one of those pictured, according to SFgate, and they had seen him working at Top Dog in Berkeley.

@YesYoureRacist later celebrated the firing of White, posting the image that allegedly shows White in Charlottesville alongside a statement from Top Dog announcing his dismissal.

Ansel Deng, a student at U.C. Berkeley, stopped by Top Dog to take a picture of the brightly-colored sign, according to ABC7.

“It's good that Top Dog is taking a stand against this kind of stuff,” Deng said. "It's crazy it's 2017 and we still have people who are just so backwards who just can't seem to wrap their heads around inclusivity.”

Melissa Caen, a legal analyst for KPIX5, told the media outlet that Top Dog had a legal right to fire White.

“It’s not a First Amendment issue,” she said. “Remember, that only protects you from actions by the government based on your speech. It doesn’t protect you from actions by your private employer. It’s also probably not a discrimination issue, because going to a rally like this, participating like this, doesn’t make you a member of a protected class.”

The unrest in Charlottesville began with a Friday night demonstration against the city’s decision to remove a statue of Robert E. Lee, a Confederate general. A crowd of white nationalists marched on the University of Virginia campus with tiki torches, which some viewed as an homage to the Ku Klux Klan.

Tensions were high the following day, when counter protesters descended on the city.

Later that day, a car sped into a crowd of protesters Saturday, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injuring 19 others. Two police officers also died when their helicopter crashed as they were surveying the riots, according to East Bay Times.

Link at

(Yep, the hot dog stand you work at can fire you for anything, anytime. Unless you are a woman or a government-recognized minority. But any business that then says “We believe in individual freedom and voluntary association for everyone” – Are the bosses so stupid they don’t see the outright bullshit in that statement?)

Saturday, August 12, 2017

A scary letter


WARNING: $2,000 fine, 5 years imprisonment, or both for any person interfering or obstructing with delivery of this letter U.S. Mail TTT 18 U.S. Code

To be opened by addressee only.

(My goodness! I must open this letter! It is a FINAL ATTEMPT! And such punishment if anybody interferes with delivery.

(Okay. Here goes.

(“This letter is to inform you that your factory warranty may be expired.”

(Ya think? I’d bet the 185,000 miles on the odometer was a dead giveaway. Except the sender of the letter has no idea of the odometer reading, only that my wife bought the 2010 Ford Flex seven years ago. How does the scary letter company know that? We are supposed to call an 866 number and speak with a vehicle coverage specialist. Nah. We’ll pass.)

Friday, August 11, 2017

A military disaster by natural means

“On Easter Monday, 13th April 1360, a freak hail storm broke over English troops as they were preparing for battle with the French during the Hundred Years’ War. So brutal was the storm that over 1,000 men and 6,000 horses lost their lives that night. Convinced it was a sign from God, King Edward rushed to pursue peace with the French, marking the end of the first phase of the Hundred Years’ War.”

The Hundred Years’ War lasted 116 years and, like other wars of the time, caused by two guys who both wanted the same throne.

Link at

Thursday, August 10, 2017

War on Christians all made up, huh

Not if you are a North Korean Christian.

“Documented incidents against Christians include being hung on a cross over a fire, crushed under a steamroller, herded off bridges, and trampled underfoot. A policy of guilt by association applies, meaning that the relatives of Christians are also detained regardless of whether they share the Christian belief.”

Link at

(Yeah, but, you know, those North Korean Christians should remember they live in a country that was predominantly Buddhist until the Stalinists took over. Christianity is a Western religion and has no place in Asia. Because, as everybody knows, Buddha was Asian. Indian, Chinese, Tonkinese, Japanese, Indonesian, Korean … Something like that.)

(And: All Communist governments are run by criminals.)

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Don’t try Danish

The language. The pastry you can try.

A Facebook post from a Danish friend, referencing a friend of hers who had updated her profile. In Comments was this: “Smukke pige.” Okay. I would never call an attractive woman smukke pige, but my ancestors left that part of the world more than three centuries ago, maybe longer, on their way to becoming Scots-Irish and eventually American. So, I clicked “Translate.” Smukke pige translates as “Pretty girl.” Another nice Danish phrase: “Flotte smukke dig.” Means “Beautiful beautiful you.” So Facebook says.

3 Florida dumbasses killed after wrecking stolen cars

Mugshots on all six "teens."

“Several teenagers who were involved in a deadly crash after stealing two cars had a whopping 126 arrests between the six of them.

“Keontae Brown, 16, Jimmie Goshey, 14, and Dejarae Thomas, 16, died after allegedly racing a stolen car through a red light going 100mph and smashed into another car.

“Keontae Brown's younger brother Keondrae, 14, was also in the car but survived after the vehicle was launched into the air before bursting into flames in Palm Harbor, Florida on Sunday morning.

“They were allegedly playing a 'cat-and-mouse' game with Kamal Campbell, 18, and Deyon Kaigler, 16, who were in a second stolen car, police said.

"The three surviving boys were arrested and could face murder charges over their friends' deaths, as new reports reveal the teenagers had 126 arrests between them.

“Police released video from the horrific car accident on Monday, revealing the final moments of three of the boy's lives.”

Link at

Just some kids out for fun, you know? To quote the cousin of another Florida dumbass, shot and killed a few months ago by a woman he tried to rob: How he suppose to get anything, he ain’t got a job?

Baby rattle snakes and eye glasses

My parents moved to a house southwest of Boston, Texas, in 1953. The house was the newest we had ever lived in. There were two bedrooms, a kitchen and a living room. There was a well out back, and an outhouse rather than a bathroom. We didn’t yet have television. I didn’t know anybody who did. There was radio, but I spent most of my time outside.

The land sloped west into a pasture, with a cow pond not far away. There was a sand road in front of the house, leading from the paved road about a mile north, curving through some trees, and then up a hill and into woods to the south.

Northeast, a big house sat on a hill. The house was not painted. A lot of houses weren’t back then. Paint cost money most people didn’t have. Our house was yellow, but it was a rent house, and the builder had painted it. A widow woman, or maybe two widow women, lived in the big house on the hill. I was never invited into the house, so I don’t know what it was like inside.

Just south of the house, the hill sloped sharply down, making about a 10-foot cliff. At the top of the hill there were cans and jars thrown out over several decades. I used to climb the hill and go through the cans and jars, looking for anything interesting.

One day I found three eye glass cases with eye glasses inside. The glasses were wire framed. I don’t know why the glasses had been thrown away. Maybe whoever used them had died and the family saw no reason to keep the glasses.

I walked down the hill and to the road and put on a pair of the glasses. The sand road seemed to split in two, with one side falling away, like a cliff. That was unsettling. I took off the glasses and let the road come back together and then put the glasses on again. The road split again, so I took off the glasses.

I figured Moma and Daddy would make me throw the glasses away if I took them home, so I climbed the hill and just below the top dug out a small place (a cave, I called it) and put the three cases inside and covered the opening. After that, I went to the cave just about every day and took out the glasses and put on each pair. The world looked different with each one, a different-different.

One summer day I went up the hill and pushed the dirt away and then quickly backed up and almost went rolling down the sharp incline.

A snake sat on my three cases of eye glasses. I crept back and looked. The snake just sat there, its serpent tongue flicking in the warm air. My mind decided it was a baby rattle snake. I knew poison from a baby rattle snake was worse than from an adult, because it was more concentrated.

I did not stick my hand inside and get the snake out. I pushed dirt into the hole and walked away and never looked for the glasses again.

That fall, my parents moved again, to a big old house west of Omaha, Texas. There weren’t any houses around or hills or cases of eye glasses or baby rattle snakes. There were tarantula spiders, though, bigger than my hands. But they were out in the tall pasture grass, along with ground bees.

Somebody is always looking to make money after a storm

We had quite a bit of rain a week ago when Tropical Storm Emily made landfall at Anna Maria Island, a few miles up the coast. Growing up in Texas, my wife and I saw a bunch of thunderstorms every year, so heavy rainfall was nothing new.

What was new to us was receipt of a card from Florida Water Analysis, out of Winter Haven. This company, through its altruistic benevolence, warns me that because of “flooding, contaminated runoff, and water main breaks, it is recommended you have a water quality inspection as soon as possible.”

The Florida Attorney General’s office says: “Fraudulent sellers that advertise ‘free home water testing’ may only be interested in selling you their water treatment device, whether you need it, or not.”

Well, golly, Florida Water Analysis wanted to test my water for free. Do I think the “free” offer might be a scam?

At least one Florida resident is dissatisfied with FWA, stating he is “stuck with a reverse osmosis system costing me 1,700 PLUS interest!!!” (I guess that means FWA was happy to fund his purchase of their system, plus a bunch of bucks carrying charge and administrative costs.)

Another: “Heads up on this company, they are probably ripping off people for as long as they have been in business. This company is a scam.”

The company’s response: “It is very difficult to please everyone. We try, but in the end, you will find some folks just are unhappy with everything you do.”

That site states it has had 11 reviews of FWA, with $4.8K claimed losses, one company response and 0 issues resolved.

And that response from FWA – you can’t please everybody? Come on. That’s a loser response. That shows you don’t have a defense.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

You had to be from there to know where it was

Old Boston, Texas, is not the same as Boston, Texas, or New Boston, Texas. Each is on Texas Highway 8, but each is an independent community. Coming north along Highway 8 from its intersection with U.S. Highway 67, the first big cluster of houses is Old Boston. Go on up the highway and you will come to Boston. It and New Boston have pretty much conglomerated into one sort-of urban area. But if you are from there, you know the difference.

Boston used to be the county seat of Bowie County, which used to be part of Red River County, as did all of North Texas, all the way out to where Wichita Falls is today. A new county courthouse was built in New Boston in 1986. The old courthouse was not large enough for renovation into a modern facility, and (just a guess) the folks who mattered wanted a new courthouse, preferably near enough Interstate 30 that drivers by could see the progressive nature of Bowie County.

Wikipedia says an arsonist burned the old courthouse on the night of August 13, 1987. The burning solved the problem of what to do with the old white brick building. Preservationists wanted the building restored; others said it was old and would cost too much money, and, besides, the county had a brand-spankin’ new courthouse five miles away.

That fire was about five and a half years before the Hill County Courthouse fire, an event that caused preservationists and the Texas Legislature to get together and put up quite a few hundreds of millions of dollars for restoring old courthouses.

Here is a link to a map of courthouse restoration:

The old Bowie County Jail still stands in the courthouse area.

Here is a link to satellite images of the Old Boston-Boston-New Boston area:,-94.414058,1999m/data=!3m1!1e3

My family lived in Old Boston and Boston. My father’s parents lived in Boston and New Boston. They are buried in a cemetery not far southwest of the old courthouse area. I don’t remember anything about Old Boston and very little about living in Boston. They are okay places to visit.

Not a media-defined hate crime

Two men, ages 73 and 23, beaten and shot to death in home invasion near Piedmont, Ala. Police arrest two suspects – Jeffrey Jamall Briskey and Sicondria Michala Carter. Third suspect Rhimington Otarvis Johnson still evading police.

The victims flew Confederate flag at their house, but if that means anything it is only that the dead men were haters.

Link at

Sunday, August 6, 2017

An insurance company wants to do a favor for me at no obligation

For my last seven birthdays, the government has given me a Medicare update guide, free of charge. I was surprised this past week to receive a nice form letter from somebody called Frank DeJiulio, concerning Medicare update.

Mr. DeJiulio said, “I just received a shipment of the brand new updated free Medicare Guide, and I put one aside for you, thinking you would definitely want to have this.”

Why, how altruistic of Mr. DeJiulio, that he thinks enough of me to save a thick book I get every year for free.

Mr. DeJiulio went on: “Will you please let me know if you want it so I can hold it for you?”

And: “Just send in the RESERVED COPY request below. There’s NO obligation! It’s yours for the asking, no strings.”

Mr. DeJiulio says he is regional sales manager, but he does not say for what or for whom. The “RESERVED COPY request” form mentions American Senior Benefits at “Your Local Office,” 2437 SE 17th St. in Ocala. An enclosed postage paid envelope for the “RESERVED COPY request” goes to Booklet Fulfilment Center, PO Box 289, Mount Laurel, NJ.

Let’s first see if we can find Mr. Frank DeJiulio.

Turns out there are three Frank DeJiulios – An actor born in 1986; an insurance company owner in Ocala, Fla.; and a Frank DeJiulio, Jr., professional baseball pitcher from Florida. My bet is the friendly and altruistic Frank DeJiulio who owns an insurance agency in Ocala sent the letter saying he has set aside a copy of the free Medicare Guide.

He is listed at ASB Financial site as regional manager. Surprisingly (not) Frank Jr., the baseball pitcher, is listed at another site as Recruiting Manager for ASB Financial in Tampa.

Okay. Next, we will look for Booklet Fulfillment Center in Mount Laurel, N.J.

Google did not return any hits for that search, but did link to around eight sites for Social Security.

The Post Office Box 289 address is listed for T.H.E.M of New Jersey, a “Manufacturers: Distributor,” and for Universal Synergetics Inc. What those companies have to do with booklet fulfillment is beyond my guess.

At the least, Mr. DeJiulio’s letter is misleading. To claim he “put … aside” a free government publication borders on a mistruth. A lie, in other words.

And I wonder, too, does the federal government ship boxes of Medicare Guide to insurance and investment firms? Your and my tax dollars well spent? I think not.

Antibiotics in your milk less likely than a real 'gluten allergy’

‘There Never Were Antibiotics in your Damn Milk!’

“Maybe the title is a little aggressive. I tried finding a way to get the point across kindly. But, it sure ‘grinds my gears’ when marketing campaigns use hippy language to convince the general public that they have found a NEW idea (that has been a regulation for quite some time). Antibiotic Free! Like the idea of not allowing humans to consume antibiotics given to animals, through their meat or other products, wasn’t something people already thought of.”

Link at

(Marketing has all the honesty and morality of politics and cable news. A cereal manufacture declared “You demanded gluten-free, and here it is!” The cereal was made of oats and had no wheat. Was a time cereals advertised sugar. Kellogs Sugar Corn Pops, for example. Marketing. Another name for lying.)

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Not-hot jalapenos and the demise of Western Civilization

With special emphasis on the not-Catholic Catholic Church.

Selling jalapenos that taste like lettuce because some customers complained about the hot in hot peppers, and the Church follows suit “with managers (who) have been redesigning what they must think is ‘their product,’ for people who don’t like it. It began with a Mass for people who don’t like the Mass. Now we have doctrines for people who don’t like doctrines.”

Link at

(My wife and I attended an evangelical Christian college. A teacher in a bible class one day said that while he (and, by extension, God) found fault with many of the Catholic Church’s teachings and doctrines, “I admire their dedication to their religion, wrong though it is.” Times change. And so do religious teachings.)

Friday, August 4, 2017

CNN made up story on Russia giving arms to Taliban

CNN’s excuse: But the Taliban told us they got the guns from Russia. Why would they lie?

Uh, maybe the Taliban watch CNN?

CNN claimed that “two separate groups of Taliban fighters have received ‘improved weaponry … that appears to have been supplied by the Russian government.’”

“Improved weaponry?” Ah, no.

“’I’ve watched the video and frankly can’t see anything that is particularly unusual,’ James Bevan, a weapons specialist, and director of Conflict Armament Research Ltd, told Task & Purpose in an email. ‘There are Russian weapons, and derivatives of those weapons manufactured in other states, circulating among state and non-state groups in every country in that region.’”

CNN admits “that the videos presented as ‘suggesting’ a link between the Taliban and Moscow ‘don’t provide incontrovertible proof of the trade.’”

The most trusted name in propaganda.

Link at

What to do when you intercept/receive an ET message

1. Is it really extraterrestrial?

2. Get confirmation from other astronomers. (If extraterrestrial, tell your government.)

3. If convincing: announce to International Astronomical Union, Secretary General of the UN, inform SETI groups.

4. Make the first public announcement.

5. Make data available to all.

6. Everyone carefully record & disseminate signals.

7. Protect frequencies.

8. Don’t broadcast back to the ETs! Requires debate.

9. Study signals. The SETI Committee of the International Academy of Astronautics keeps a list of experts to call on.

(As for No. 2, "tell your government," I've seen those movies. That never works out well. And No. 8 -- If I can broadcast back, you better believe I'm sending a "Dude, got your message!" Or, "Dudette." Depending.)

You call it a synagogue; Aussie govn’t says it’s a potential target

Regardless of your religious needs, you can’t just go building something that (an unnamed group) might blow up. It’s just too dangerous.

“The Land and Environment Court backed the decision by Waverley Council to prohibit the construction of the synagogue in Wellington St, Bondi — just a few hundred metres from Australia’s most famous beach — because it was too much of a security risk for users and local residents.”

The decision couldn’t be because Jews want to build something, could it? No, of course not. But …

“Its implications are enormous. It basically implies that no Jewish organisation should be allowed to exist in residential areas. It stands to stifle Jewish existence and activity in Sydney and indeed, by creating a precedent, the whole of Australia, and by extension rewarding terrorism.” – Rabbi Yehoram Ulman.

Link at

Wull, damn. Based on Aussie logic, let’s put a stop to airplanes, because, after all, (an unnamed group) might blow them up. Let’s stop everything that moves. Stay home. Do not go outside. You are a potential target.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

I was mean to a woman on the phone this morning

I thought the call was from a telemarketer. We get a lot of those, mostly recorded messages concerning car warranty, insurance and free sea cruises. Sometimes the identifying area code is 501, which is the part of Arkansas in which we lived before moving here. The ruse there is to make us think the call is from a local number.

This morning’s call was from 941, which covers this area. The caller ID also had a name. At first I thought the caller was a recording. The woman said, “Hi. My name is Sherry, and I am calling about a free…” I couldn’t understand what was “free,” but as an experienced recipient of marketing calls, I know there is no such thing.

I said, “I’m sorry, but you are who?”

“Sherry,” the caller said. “I live nearby, and I want to offer you a free bible study …”

I said, “No, you are not. The caller ID says you are Dorothy Smith.”

The woman laughed and said, “Well, I am calling from Dorothy’s house.” She then went into why she offered free Bible study. “People often have questions as to why bad things happen …”

I interrupted. “I have several bibles, the accepted Christian version, and the tanakh, or Jewish texts, and, quite frankly, I don’t have any questions.”

“I see,” the woman said. “I am Jehovah’s Witness, and when we come to visit …”

“No, you will not,” I said.

“Oh,” she said.

“Thank you for calling,” I said.

I was short and at least a little mean spirited. I could have handled the call with patience and grace. I did not. I apologize to the caller for my lack of manners.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

We are the enemy

They are the smart ones.

CNN employee Fareed Zakaria: “The election of Donald Trump is really a kind of class rebellion against people like us, educated professionals who live in cities, who have cosmopolitan views about things.”

“educated” – I have a bachelor’s degree in journalism, completed 27 hours of graduate school and taught freshman history at a Texas university for two years. My wife has a BA in journalism, completed several graduate courses in government and non-profit management.

“professionals” – My wife was CEO of a multi-million-dollar non-profit and senior vice president of another multi-million-dollar non-profit.

“who live in cities” – We did. Now we do not.

“who have a cosmopolitan view of things” – Well, now, there you might have us, Mr. Zakaria. We have a commonsense, experienced-based view, not one in which everybody toes the line.

All those, and yet we voted for Trump. How gauche of us.

The Zakarias of the world are too educated and too cosmopolitan to realize their day is gone. They no longer matter. Except in speaking the same words over and over to each other. No one else is listening.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Russia cracks down on draft dodgers

‘Cossacks to Hunt Down Draft Dodgers in Moscow’

“’Cossacks are concluding deals with [Moscow's military] enlistment offices to conduct raids to bring military conscripts into the army,’ said Sergei Shishkin, head of the Southeast District Cossack Organization, in comments carried by ‘We can join representatives of military enlistment offices and police in going door-to-door to hand the conscripts their draft papers.’

“Some 1,400 Cossacks — members of a quasi-militant group predominantly found in Russia and Ukraine — are available to hunt the draft dodgers, Shishkin said, adding that the group had already made agreements with two of Moscow's 27 military enlistment offices.”

‘Russian Draft Dodgers Banned From Public Sector Jobs for 10 Years’

“Draft dodgers will be barred from working in the public sector for at least 10 years after they fail to join the Army, according to an amendment published on the government's legal portal on Thursday.

“An earlier version of the law passed in 2013 imposed a lifetime ban on draft dodgers.

“Following an appeal by parliamentarians in the North Caucasus republic of Chechnya, however, Russia’s Constitutional Court ruled the measure unlawful in October 2014, demanding a limit to the ban.”