Monday, December 31, 2012

Actors demand gun control …

… while killing hundreds on film.


(Or something.)

Of course, movies have no influence on people’s actions.

(I didn’t watch all of the video. The celebrities were killing way too many people.)

Are so-called Republicans the only ones doing this?

My 87-year-old mother-in-law is the target of fear-mongering demands for money from organizations claiming conservative, small government philosophy.

A letter from United States Health Congress told my mother-in-law she had to sign and send a “personal petition” to Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) supporting a bill that will end “the Job-Killing Health Care Act.”
And, of course, “with your signed Petition to your Senator, also include your most generous financial gift to the United States Health Congress.”

Then there is a letter from American Federation of Senior Citizens, signed by a Wanda Powe, mailed in a “secure black tube and TWO CONFIDENTIAL labels.”

I am so angry at the people who run those organizations, people who prey on the upbringing of older men and women. My mother-in-law reads all her mail, from beginning to end. She is from the generation that was taught to respond to letters, from a time when almost all mail was from friends. She also believes she has to talk to money-grubbers who call on the telephone because it would be bad manners to refuse. She is a target. The bastards who prey on older people know how to get money, and they are adamant in their determination.

A letter from United States Health Congress contained the name “Lori Klein, Arizona Senator.” There is an Arizona state senator by that name. Today I sent this email to Sen. Klein:

“Sen. Klein:

“If you are the person identified as part of the United States Health Congress in a fear-mongering letter sent to my 87-year-old mother-in-law, then I must chastise you for betraying Republican Party principals, as well as American philosophy and morality.

“Those who feed on the fears of senior citizens are the lowest of politicians and charlatans. Those who seek power and money from women and men who worked all their lives and now have only retirement funds with which to feed, house and clothe themselves … Mere words cannot describe the loathing I hold for those politicians.

There is a special place in hell for those who take advantage of the

“If you are not the “Arizona Senator” in the letter, then I suggest you take measures to stop Policy Issues Institute from using your name and reputation in frightening old people to give up their money.”

(My name in original.)

Real property and the means to protect it

“What is the essence of freedom? Property and a gun.

“I never met my grandfather, but that's the lesson I took from his life. He was one generation out of slavery and bought property and guns.”

Nyet to adoptions, Da on mailorder brides

“Russia's Vladimir Putin announced Thursday he will sign a law banning Americans from adopting Russian orphans, but they will still allow you to order Russian brides on the Internet. It's just as well. Most of these girls don't look like they'd make good mothers.” – Argus Hamilton

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Hidden animals

They are hard to see, but when you do spot one, you will wonder how you missed it.

Link from

Not winter wonderland

When the water is hot, I will have a shower, my first since Wednesday. Later, I will cook all the thawed vegetables in the freezer and boil several chicken thighs and brown 2 1/ 2 pounds of hamburger and cook a lot of rice and combine it all for dog food. Things in the freezer are not frozen, and meat bought Wednesday is on the edge of not fit for human-type people.

Electricity went out around 11 p.m. Dec. 25, returned at 2 p.m. Dec. 26, left again at 11 a.m. Dec. 27 and returned just before 11 a.m. today. A neighbor stopped by Thursday morning and said our cul de sac of seven houses is on a separate grid and does not have any kind of priority for reconnection.

If not for the fireplace and a lot of wood, we would have been very cold and probably forced to spend most of the week at a hotel. As it was, things were bearable, but not by much.

I considered lining several boxes and emptying refrigerator and freezer contents into the boxes and mailing it all to the president of Entergy, as an example of what happens when company crews leave a section of customers without power for all or parts of six days. The company probably would say loss of electricity is an act of God, but that is an empty argument. An ice storm falls within God’s purview, but God did not make the electricity, nor deny my access to the power because of downed lines. Entergy, not God, failed to check all power lines for overhanging tree limbs or trees likely to fall across lines. God did not return power for 15 hours and then take it away again for almost four days. God did not place my neighborhood in a low priority for repair.

Here is a truth: Houses within 200 feet of mine had power returned on Dec. 27, for good.

Yesterday, my wife, my youngest son, his wife and his daughter drove 140 miles to my mother-in-law’s, to visit and exchange gifts and to take showers. My wife went first. She noticed the shower did not drain properly. She told Casey. He got a plunger, but when attempting to dislodge the clog, instead pulled up brown water and all it entails. That was just after noon. Sometime around 6 p.m., a plumber arrived and ran a device down the line and cut roots that clogged the pipe. We drove the 140 miles back home, having had a good visit but only one shower. With three dogs in the house since 9 a.m., we did not stay longer and have more showers.

People say you appreciate a thing when you have to do without it for a time. Here is what I know: My house was cold for several days. We could not cook. We could not bathe. We were cold. And there were the lesser things – no internet or TV. Do I appreciate electricity more now? No.

Here also I know: I will consult an electrician and determine what size generator I should buy. Also, I will buy a drip coffee pot or a boil-on- the-fire coffee pot and maybe a set of cast iron utensils to use on the propane grill.

We will not be caught in this sort of thing again.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Winter wonderland

Electricity absented itself from my home around 11 p.m. Christmas night. Power returned about 15 hours later.

Our all-electric house has good insulation, so Priscilla, Michael, Kathleen and I were not cold. Five inches of snow on the roof might have helped, but I am not too much informed on the R factor of snow.
The house has a fireplace insert. We packed it with wood cut and split from last year’s wind that knocked down several trees. The wood was well-seasoned (meaning dry) and burned nicely.

I thought we would breakfast on cold cereal and milk, but Priscilla reminded me of the propane grill. I then remembered the grill has a separate burner. Bacon and eggs cooked in a cast iron skillet in 25-degree weather … is not any better than that cooked inside in a 68-degree kitchen.

Having power back is good.

In 1961, Northeast Texas had a big ice storm. I was 15. Six years earlier, my parents rented a house and five acres just north of Rocky Branch, Texas. Rocky Branch “is a populated place located in Morris County at latitude 33.112 and longitude -94.698. The elevation is 348 feet.” So says

Texas State Historical Association has a bit more. “Rocky Branch is on U.S. Highway 259 five miles northeast of Daingerfield in east central Morris County. It was named for the site of a sawmill and gristmill established in the late 1870s. A post office opened in 1890 and remained in operation until 1904. In 1896 the community had a population of fifty. By 1915 it had a population of 100, the sawmill operated by Nat Wright, and a general store operated by J. P. Forsyth. By the 1930s the population had declined to fifty and the businesses to two. From 1974 through 1986 the population of Rocky Branch was reported as 120. The community had two churches and a community center but no businesses. Nearby was the Primitive Baptist Church of Christ, which was organized in April 1854. The church obtained a building that year that was used as a meetinghouse and school and was still in use as a church in 1989. In 1990 the population of Rocky Branch was 135. The population remained the same in 2000.”

Rocky Branch was at a fork in the road, U.S. Highway 59 leading northwest to Omaha, and State Highway 338 going northeast to Naples.

The winter storm of 1961 encased everything in ice. Ice covered the ground, the roof of our house, the cars, limbs and trees.

The morning of the first day of the storm, my father decided he, my brother Bill and I should look at ice in the woods west of the house. My mother told us to dress warm. Bill and I both put on two T-shirts, two flannel shirts two pairs of jeans, two pairs of socks and some kind of scarf for our heads and ears. My father did the same, except he had a hat and did not wear a scarf.

That day was the coldest I had ever witnessed. Ice on the ground crunched underfoot. Daddy broke ice from the barbed wire gate in order to get the gate open.

When we got to the top of the small rise just south of the barn, the view was amazing. Trees had become ice sculpture, every red oak and pin oak and white oak encased in an inch-thick clear coating. Pine trees bowed under the weight of ice.

We walked along the two-rutted path into the woods. Now and then a loud “CRRAACK!” sounded from far inside the trees.

“What’s that?” I asked at the first sound.

“Limbs breaking,” Daddy said. “The ice is too heavy for the limbs to bear.”

I thought, Wow! Ice that breaks limbs.

There have been many storms since then – ice storms and snow storms, thunderstorms and heavy rain. But none had the originality, the sense of wonder of that first ice storm.

The storm was cold, it was deadly, and it cared nothing for people or cattle or trees. It was nature.

Coast Guard finds gill net, 345 dead sharks

“BROWNSVILLE, Texas — A Coast Guard crew found an illegal gill net with hundreds of dead sharks Dec. 24, 4 miles off the Texas coast.

“The crew of a Coast Guard Station South Padre Island response boat spotted the gill net approximately 17 miles north of the U.S. – Mexican maritime border. The gill net was 5 miles long and was loaded with 345 dead sharks.

“The species of shark seized included 225 black tip, 109 bonnet, and 11 bull sharks.

“’Gill nets indiscriminately kill any fish or marine mammal it snares across miles of ocean, often leaving much of the catch spoiled by the time it is hauled in,’ according to Cmdr. Daniel Deptula, the response officer for Coast Guard Sector Corpus Christi. ‘Mexican fisheries have been depleted due to wasteful fishing methods such as gill netting and over fishing, which is why there has been increased illegal fishing activity into U.S. waters.’”

“Typically, catches of shark such as this are also only harvested for their fins, and the rest of the shark is discarded. During calendar year 2012, Coast Guard Sector Corpus Christi seized more than 49 miles of gill net from illegal fishing activities.

“Gill nets are illegal throughout Texas and devastating to the marine environment.

“’We hope our efforts continue to disrupt and dissuade this illegal enterprise along our South Texas shores,’ said Deptula.

“On a national level, the Coast Guard is the leader in at-sea enforcement of U.S. living marine resource laws designed to protect fish stocks and protect marine species to healthy, sustainable levels, ensuring a level playing field in the legal fishing industry.

“The Coast Guard works closely alongside the Texas Parks and Wildlife agency, the Department of State, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to enforce domestic fisheries laws and protect the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone from foreign encroachment.”

Coast Guard press release at

(I am not a believer in "Sharks are just like people," but killing 345 sharks in the ocean is barbaric. There is a place for sharks and a place for people, and as long as sharks stay away from people, let them alone.)

Sunday, December 23, 2012

A four-hour ATV ride

Priscilla, Michael, Kathleen and I drove ATVs on cross-country trails for four hours yesterday at Mount Magazine State Park. The trails were rock-filled, curved, uphill and downhill, none very steep.

Priscilla, Michael and I had driven much the same course last August. At that time I told Priscilla the ride was the most fun I’d had since the last time I drove an M113 APC cross-country, in 1989. Driving an APC is a lot less work than driving an ATV, but more dangerous.

At the end of the ride in August, Priscilla said I had not kept up with her. That was true, in a sense. I had not maintained highway distance, but as I mentioned to her yesterday, “I kept you in sight and was in position to give covering fire, if necessary, and I checked the hillsides for bunkers or other sign of enemy.”

Which leads to a thing I wrote about a dozen years ago.


Sometimes when I’m driving along a highway and see a particular piece of terrain, I put together a defense plan or an attack plan. In a defensive plan, I look at the hillside or hilltop and figure out where I would put machine guns to cover likely avenues of approach and where to place grenadiers to cover dead space. Dead space consists of those areas covered from fire of flat-trajectory weapons -- rifles and machine guns. A small fold in the ground is dead space, as are gullies and ravines, clusters of boulders. A grenadier, with a high angle-of-fire weapon, can place HE rounds in or on areas of dead space.

In a defense plan, I also try to figure out where the enemy will come from, how he will approach the hill, and where I can begin engaging him with fire. You want to engage the enemy as far out as possible, to begin attriting his numbers before he can adequately engage you. An enemy attacking on foot is at a disadvantage, unless he has sufficient supporting fire from artillery and mortars and can force you to remain under cover. If you have to remain under cover, you can’t place fire on the enemy.

There comes a time in any attack, though, when enemy artillery and mortars have to stop firing on your defensive positions. That is an aspect of timing. If the support fire stops too soon, you can leave covered positions and begin engaging the enemy infantry. If the support fire stops too late, the enemy infantry will run into their own fire, or they will stop advancing.

Planning an attack on a piece of terrain, I try to determine the best avenues of approach. Covered and concealed avenues are best, of course, but seldom available. I study the terrain, determining dead space and if I could use that space to approach the position.

A basic problem in an infantry attack for the last two hundred years is found in the final four hundred meters. At that point, defensive fires are most intense, because four hundred meters is about the maximum effective range of almost all rifles – the range at which a marksman can hit a target. Machine guns can cover to just over one thousand meters, but a defender will not fire his machine guns at that range. Infantry doctrine states machine guns are not fired until the enemy threatens to overrun a position. That threat occurs around four hundred meters.

If the enemy attack is with tanks and mounted infantry and you are dug-in infantry, all bets are off.

The kind of defense and attack I sometimes plan were almost never a part of my war, but I consider them anyway. I often wonder if others from my war consider such things, and if they don’t, why not?


“This is a backyard brawl now.”

Link from

John Kerry for … Whatever he wants!

“The following day, the decorated Navy lieutenant lobbed his ribbons over a fence in front of the Capitol during a demonstration he orchestrated. The events instantly catapulted Kerry to national fame.

“’That was a seminal moment which showed John Kerry’s odyssey from volunteering to be a part of the war to having learned the horrible lessons of war,’ said Cleland, a Vietnam veteran who lost both of his legs and his right arm in combat.

“Four decades later, Kerry proudly displayed his war medals, pinning them to the breast of his tuxedo at the white-tie Gridiron Club dinner in Washington last March.”

link from

‘He’s what a real soldier is about’

The president honors Medal of Honor recipient

with talk about himself.

“Now, even though my mother and grandparents took great pride that they had voted for him, I confess that I wasn’t paying much attention to the United States Senate at the age of four or five or six. It wasn’t until I was 11 years old that I recall even learning what a U.S. senator was, or it registering, at least.”

“So we flew over the ocean, and with my mother and my grandmother and my sister, who at the time was two, we traveled around the country. It was a big trip. We went to Seattle, and we went to Disneyland — which was most important. We traveled to Kansas where my grandmother’s family was from, and went to Chicago, and went to Yellowstone. And we took Greyhound buses most of the time, and we rented cars, and we would stay at local motels or Howard Johnson’s. And if there was a pool at one of these motels, even if it was just tiny, I would be very excited. And the ice machine was exciting — and the vending machine, I was really excited about that.

“But this is at a time when you didn’t have 600 stations and 24 hours’ worth of cartoons. And so at night, if the TV was on, it was what your parents decided to watch. And my mother that summer would turn on the TV every night during this vacation and watch the Watergate hearings. And I can’t say that I understood everything that was being discussed, but I knew the issues were important. I knew they spoke to some basic way about who we were and who we might be as Americans.

“And so, slowly, during the course of this trip, which lasted about a month, some of this seeped into my head. And the person who fascinated me most was this man of Japanese descent with one arm, speaking in this courtly baritone, full of dignity and grace. And maybe he captivated my attention because my mom explained that this was our senator and that he was upholding what our government was all about. Maybe it was a boyhood fascination with the story of how he had lost his arm in a war. But I think it was more than that.

”Now, here I was, a young boy with a white mom, a black father, raised in Indonesia and Hawaii. And I was beginning to sense how fitting into the world might not be as simple as it might seem. And so to see this man, this senator, this powerful, accomplished person who wasn’t out of central casting when it came to what you’d think a senator might look like at the time, and the way he commanded the respect of an entire nation I think it hinted to me what might be possible in my own life.”

And: “Someone needs to tell Barack Obama—it must get particularly confusing this time of year—that his own birth is not Year One, the date around which all other events are understood. His much-noted, self-referential tic was on cringe-worthy display Friday when the president gave his eulogy for the late Sen. Daniel Inouye, who served in Congress for half a century representing Obama’s birth state of Hawaii.”

Friday, December 21, 2012

Arabs want our shale gas

"’We have to participate in the shale gas business and we have to participate in other sources that can also be competitive,’ said CEO Mohamed al-Mady, who expects a short-term slowdown in the growth of the sector in Saudi Arabia.”

Link at maggiesfarm.

Calvin Graham

“All Graham had wanted was an honorable discharge so he could get help with his medical and dental expenses. ‘I had already given up fighting’ for the discharge, Graham said at the time. ‘But then they came along with this discharge program for [Vietnam-era] deserters. I know they had their reasons for doing what they did, but I figure I damn sure deserved [an honorable discharge] more than they did.’”

Link from

Say it ain’t so!

Michael Moore body guard arrested on gun charges

“Filmmaker Michael Moore’s bodyguard was arrested for carrying an unlicensed weapon in New York’s JFK airport Wednesday night.

“Police took Patrick Burke, who says Moore employs him, into custody after he declared he was carrying a firearm at a ticket counter. Burke is licensed to carry a firearm in Florida and California, but not in New York.”

Story has many incidents concerning Moore's intellectual honesty.

Link at

Why is this Marine a threat to public safety?

“I am a Commissioned Officer currently serving on Active Duty in the United States Marine Corps. I have deployed five times in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. I have been granted a Top Secret security clearance three times during my career after thorough background investigations (and polygraph tests) by various Federal agencies. I have never in my life been treated for any type of psychological disorder.

“I am also the owner of several firearms; I own two "assault" rifles, a shotgun, and three handguns. Each of these weapons is secured by a trigger lock and stored in a locked safe. I have a concealed weapons permit in my home state; a permit granted to me after demonstrating weapons competence to a state-certified instructor and a comprehensive background check by the State Police. I have never in my life violated any firearms-related law.”

(Well, Sir, you answered the question with the opening of your second paragraph. You own guns. Like you, I was granted a Top Secret clearance. I was trusted with the lives of soldiers, both in peacetime and in war. And, like you, as the owner of several rifles and shotguns and one revolver, I am, according to some Americans, a threat to public safety.

(In reality, you and I are threats only to those who would threaten us and our families and other citizens. We would even protect those who disagree with us, using whatever means necessary.

(That is a difference between us and them. We know they have a right to opinion. They, however, think all should believe as they believe. That is not the America whose Constitution you and I and millions of others swore to uphold and defend.)

Iraq veteran, Congressman says ‘No’ on Hagel to lead DOD

(U.S. Rep.-elect Tom Cotton will represent Arkansas’s Fourth District when sworn in next month. Cotton is a veteran infantry officer with tours in both Iraq – 2006 -- and Afghanistan 2008-2009).

“Chuck Hagel, who is reportedly on the White House’s shortlist of nominees for secretary of defense, served our country admirably in Vietnam. But he is not the right person for the Pentagon.

“Our fighting men and women deserve a leader who will not only honor their service, but also advocate for them and honor their accomplishments. Regrettably, the former senator’s dismal record on Iraq suggests that he will do none of those things—for he abandoned the very troops he once voted to send to war. I would know, because I was one of them.

“Over Thanksgiving weekend in 2006, two years before his retirement as the Republican senator from Nebraska, Mr. Hagel penned a column for the Washington Post entitled “Leaving Iraq, Honorably.” He asserted that ‘there will be no victory or defeat for the United States in Iraq,’ and ‘the time for more U.S. troops in Iraq has passed.’ Rather, Mr. Hagel argued, we ‘must begin planning for a phased troop withdrawal.’

“Imagine my surprise at the senator’s assertions, having just returned that week from combat in Baghdad as an infantry platoon leader with the 101st Airborne Division. My soldiers had fought bravely to stabilize that city, protect innocent civilians and defeat al Qaeda. Those soldiers were proud of their accomplishments.

“No one had told us during our time in Baghdad that we would achieve ‘no victory.’ Readers might have shared my surprise at Mr. Hagel’s words if he had mentioned his earlier vote supporting the war.

“The troops recognized the folly of Mr. Hagel’s proposed withdrawal. The fighting in Baghdad that year had certainly been hard, with progress slow and frustrating. Yet the solution to those of us on the front lines was plain. We needed more troops and a new strategy focused on securing the civilian population. That counterinsurgency strategy would help win the support of Iraqis, who would then help flush out terrorists and militias and allow for political reconciliation.

“We needed, in other words, the ‘surge.’ In his lowest political moment, President George W. Bush had his finest hour. He kept faith with the troops he had sent to war. Mr. Hagel, on the other hand, called the surge ‘the most dangerous foreign policy blunder in this country since Vietnam’ and broke faith with those troops. In the Senate, he helped in early 2007 to delay emergency funding for the war. He then voted for a measure to force withdrawal from Iraq.

“Perhaps most astonishing, Mr. Hagel voted in 2007 against designating Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist organization. The IRGC was directly responsible for the deaths of numerous American soldiers in Iraq. In addition to its terrorist attacks around the world, the IRGC smuggled a particularly lethal kind of roadside bomb into Iraq known as an explosively formed projectile, or EFP.

“An EFP consists of a tube packed with explosives and topped by a metal plate. The heat from the explosion inside the tube turns the plate into a molten slug, which could penetrate not just the Humvees in which my soldiers and I rode, but even an M1A1 Abrams tank.

“The use of EFPs in Iraq more than doubled in 2006, making them among the most feared enemy weapon during our tour. For example, two new soldiers arrived in my platoon and received the usual on-boarding brief. One soldier asked about roadside bombs. I told the two new men to stay alert for indicators and to trust their armor; my platoon had hit numerous bombs, but we had all survived to that point. The other soldier then asked, ‘What about EFPs?’ I paused and could only respond: ‘Just hope it’s not your day.’

“The Iranians continued smuggling explosively formed projectiles into Iraq well after my platoon departed in 2006, but apparently Mr. Hagel deemed these acts of war insufficient to call the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps exactly what it is—a terrorist organization. (Though his vote, it must be said, is of a piece with his long-standing dovish views toward Iran.)

“Even after the surge had succeeded, Mr. Hagel could not bring himself to celebrate our military’s accomplishment. In late 2008, with casualties down by 85%, Mr. Hagel still questioned the surge’s success. He credited the Anbar Awakening of Sunni tribal leaders against al Qaeda (as if the surge didn’t encourage them), Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr’s stand-down (as if the surge didn’t scare him) and improved intelligence systems (as if the surge didn’t introduce them).

“Though his record on Iraq alone should disqualify Mr. Hagel from leading our troops in a time of war, his views on current issues are no less alarming and show he has not learned from his errors. Unlike the current secretary of defense, Mr. Hagel seems willing to accept devastating cuts to defense spending, calling the U.S. military ‘bloated’ and in need of being ‘pared down.’ He also has expressed a desire to accelerate the troop withdrawal from Afghanistan (a war for which he also voted).

“This is not the record of a leader who can be counted on to stand by our armed forces. While Mr. Obama has every right to choose his secretary of defense, I urge him not to nominate Mr. Hagel. If he is nominated, I urge the Senate not to confirm him. Our fighting men and women deserve so much better.

Uzbekistan raids Christian services

"Uzbekistan continues to raid people exercising freedom of religion or belief without state permission.

"When asked why the authorities would punish people whose only 'offence' was to read their Bibles and sing Christian songs on holiday, a police representative stated that people 'must do it only in registered places specifically set up for religious purposes.'”

(Arrests, harrassment in other countries covered.)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

A case for public stoning

LITTLE ROCK — Authorities have arrested a man on accusations he stabbed a woman and then raped her 12-year-old daughter Tuesday in Searcy.

The Searcy Police Department said Aaron Ray Rash, 29, was taken into custody by the White County sheriff's office about 4 p.m. Wednesday. Rash, a Level III registered sex offender, faces charges of rape and first-degree battery.

Brittany Eacret, spokesman for the Searcy Police Department, said the attack happened about 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at an apartment at 2001 Quality Drive.

Eacret said the mother was stabbed multiple times, including at least once in the neck, and was hospitalized with serious injuries.

Police say the mother was attempting to stop a man later identified by police as Rash from raping her 12-year-old daughter when he attacked her. He then raped the girl and fled on foot, police said.

Eacret said the mother had just met Rash, but that he had been invited into the residence before the attack occurred.

(He stabbed the mother, and she lay on the floor, bleeding, unable to stop Rash from raping her daughter.

(I know all about the “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone,” but some crimes override a nice philosophical statement.)

What to do in Israel

Ess, ess.

“The Jews wandered in the desert for 40 years because they couldn’t decide where to eat.” (Sounds like a Jackie Mason joke.)

“’Civility is not a high priority,’ as Barry Rubin delicately phrases it …”

From Comments:

Old joke:

An Israeli, a Brit, a Russian, a Vietnamese, and an American are sitting in a restaurant. A reporter comes by and asks, “Excuse me, but can I get your opinion on the recent grain shortage in the third world?”
The Brit asks: “What’s a ‘shortage’?”
The Vietnamese asks: “What’s ‘grain’?”
The Russian asks: “What’s an ‘opinion’?”
The American asks: “What’s the third world?”
The Israeli asks: “What’s ‘excuse me’?”

Gun store full

“Made a quick stop at my favorite firearms shop today just to see what was in stock. The store was fully staffed, with a help wanted sign on the door.

“Every salesman, the owner, his wife and all 4 of his children were waiting on customers. The place was packed. Sure enough, they had a great price on a 9mm that I had been considering acquiring. As has been reported, the Federal Background Check system is severely stressed in the last few days. So, while you’re enjoying your complimentary sandwich and soda you get to do some people watching….. and I swear I can’t make this up….

“A priest and a rabbi came into the shop to look at CCL Firearms. The owner of the store waited on them personally, determined exactly what their needs and comfort levels were and made a couple of great recommendations. Both made purchases. The owner comped both men free memberships to the local range as well as lessons.

“Before I left, I gave my salesman a list of pistols and rifles that I would be interested in acquiring in the near future – He added it to their very long list of orders.

“Times are becoming quite interesting.”

(My daughter arrived last night after a 16-hour drive. After being here for about 15 minutes she said, “I’m going to get a handgun.” Last year I bought her a 20-gauge coach gun and a few boxes of 00 buckshot. The shotgun isn’t exactly handy for carrying in her car, though.

(Strange how every time Obama says anything about guns, sales go up.)

Would you buy a used government from this man?

“President Obama ‘saved the auto industry’ just enough to win Ohio and Michigan on Election Day, but his win means an initial $5 billion loss for taxpayers with the news announced this week that the Treasury Department plans to sell its remaining stake in ‘Government Motors’ back to GM.

“However, that $5 billion loss is only for the stock Treasury will sell by the end of this year. It is estimated that when Treasury sells GM back all its remaining stock in 2013 or 2014 the net loss to taxpayers will be $10 billion to $12 billion.”

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

If this is true ...

“Deep beneath Africa, under some of the hottest and driest places on earth, lie vast reservoirs of fresh water. According to geologists, these ‘aquifers are some 410,000 cubic miles thick and contain 100 times the freshwater that exists on the continent’s surface.’ Tapping that water could transform dry and barren land in places like the Sahel into wet and fertile oases.” (Emphasis added.)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The answer to everything

“The Higgs boson is the only particle left in our understanding of particle physics (called the Standard Model) that we haven’t discovered. We think it exists — there’s math that postulates it does — it simply has never been observed.”

Aaannndd: “… CERN has announced that its observation of the Higgs boson (or a particle that is Higgs-like) is now approaching 7 sigma certainty.

“5 sigma — 99.9999% certainty... — is the threshold for an observation to be labeled a scientific discovery.”

CERN passed 5 certainty this past summer.

To recap: Scientists are on the verge of explaining everything. Until the next explanation comes along from a scientist who said of Higgs boson, “Wait a minute. Let’s look at …”

Can a scientist say, “We know with certainty …”?

From maggiesfarm.

Elections have consequences. So suck it up and own it, America.

Link from maggiesfarm.

Remember your country

“If you must die, die with honor.” – Daniel K. Inouye’s father, 1943.

From You Tube video at

Why Grant gets a raw deal from historians

“The historian is usually liberal, more often than not a Democrat. ... The post-Civil War period stands for all the historian opposes. It was an era of Republicans, of big business domination, of few and ineffectual attempts at government regulation, of weak executives, and of an essentially nonprofessional civil service. The historian naturally dwells upon the shortcomings of the period.”

Grant said of Democrats and moderate Republicans:

“During my two terms of office, the whole Democratic press and the morbidly honest and ‘reformatory’ portion of the Republican press thought it horrid to keep U.S. troops stationed in the Southern States. And when called upon to protect the lives of negroes – as much citizens under the Constitution as if their skins were white – the country was scarcely large enough to hold the sound of indignation belched forth by them for some years.

“Now, however, there is no hesitation about exhausting the whole power of the government to suppress a strike on the slightest intimation that danger threatens.”

Grant and W.T. Sherman were the first American generals – maybe the first generals anywhere – who knew how to fight modern war – with all your heart, all your soul and all your might; by not simply defeating the enemy, but by destroying his will to continue; and that those who provide sustenance to an opposing army are targets. Grant was relentless and ruthless, as any successful soldier must be.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Hey, you want to keep that US aid coming in, right?

“Just before the November 29 United Nations vote granting non-member state observer status, the U.S. ambassador to Georgia, Richard Norland, an Obama appointee, met with Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili. During their conversation, Norland recommended that the Prime Minister that Georgia should vote in favor of a Palestinian state.

“It is also interesting to note that a few days before this meeting, George Soros came to Georgia and also met with Prime Minister Ivanishvili, and they agreed to collaborate on various initiatives. …

This governor says it's a Christmas tree

None of that Winter Solstice Tree or Holiday Tree in Austin.

See this:

Psst! Wanna see the future?

Lots of nice colorful grafts and chorps … graphs and charts and numbers and squiggly lines and straight lines …

From COMMENTS: “Science is now able to look deep into the past.”

Argentina -- Equal opportunity employer

The Pulqúi II jet fighter “was designed for the Instituto Aerotécnico (I.Aé.) at Córdoba in Argentina by a German team led by the former Focke-Wulf chief designer Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Kurt Tank. The I.Aé.33 was envisaged as the successor to the Meteor in service with the Fuerza Aérea Argentina and embodied much of the experience gained by the German aircraft industry during WW II.”

As with almost all new aircraft, the Pulqui II had problems. By the time the last prototype flew, Tank’s design team had left Argentina. The development program was discontinued in 1960.

Tank was responsible for the Fw-190, Fw-200 and the Ta-152. With prohibitions against military aircraft after World War II, Tank took his talents to Argentina, as did many other Germans, both legal and otherwise.

Wikipedia says Tank negotiated “with the United Kingdom, the Nationalist government of China, and representatives of the Soviet Union and when the negotiations proved unsuccessful, accepted an offer from Argentina to work at its aerotechnical institute, the Instituto Aerotécnico in Córdoba under the name of (Prof. Dr.) Pedro Matthies.”

When Juan Peron was ousted, Tank moved to India, where he designed the Hindustan Marut. He returned to Germany in the late 1960s.

Also interesting about the Pulqui II is that its predecessor, the Pulqui (Arrow) was designed by French aircraft builder Emile Dewoitine and by Commodore Juan San Martin.

Dewoitine was responsible for the D.520, the best front-line fighter of the French air force in 1940. Dewoitine worked under Vichy France, and after the war went to Spain and then to Argentina. Tried in absentia in 1948, he was sentenced to 20 years for collaboration with Germany. The sentence was later proscribed, and Dewoitine returned to France, where he died in 1979.

In 1925 Dewoitine patented a landing chassis and tail skid in the United States.

And then they came for me

The agenda of Islamic fundamentalists: “First, the Saturday people, second the Sunday people. In other words, first rid these countries of Jews and next go after the Christians. This they do with near international impunity.” The Islamic war against Christians is a war “of murders, church bombings and other anti-Christian atrocities … a human rights catastrophe playing out before our eyes and a world gone mad, indifferent to and largely unaware of the plight of Christians.”

Islamic fundamentalist atrocities “against the Egyptian Copts and other Christians from Nigeria to Iran to Indonesia and Afghanistan” are ignored by Western media because the people killed and maimed are, after all, only Christians, and Christians cause problems.

Link at

Sunday, December 16, 2012

No finger parts were used in making this meal

Today’s breakfast menu was french toast, but I discovered we did not have any bread. Priscilla used the last yesterday when making grilled/oven cheese sandwiches to go with the Campbell’s boxed Thai tomato and coconut soup. That is some good stuff; good enough for an unsolicited mention.

With french toast not possible, I checked the pantry. Hmm. Muffins, maybe. We have Malt-O-Meal. Not this morning. Imagination. Okay. Peanut butter and crushed graham crackers. And chocolate chips. OK. We’ll use the Malt-O-Meal muffin recipe and substitute graham crackers and throw in some peanut butter and chocolate chips.

I got everything together on the kitchen island and then sprayed a muffin pan for six muffins. Then for some reason, I decided to use 1 1/2 cups of regular flour. Arrggh. That’s for a full recipe. (Actually, a full recipe of Malt-O-Meal muffins calls for 1 3/4 cups flour, but you get the idea.) Rather than put back half the flour, I sprayed the other half of the muffin pan and then crushed a few graham crackers (closeable plastic bag and dough roller), exactly half a cup.

Everything mixed together just fine, including a big glob of peanut butter in the flour/baking powder/salt mixture. (I recommend no more than 1 glob. A larger amount might cause difficult stirring.) Chocolate chips next, then an egg, the remainder of a quart of whole milk, the first five-eights of which my wife used in making banana pudding for the office pot luck lunch last week, and a small pouring of 2 percent milk. Then in the muffin pan and into the oven.

I think the muffins will be good.

Supper last night was good, too, although not what I originally planned. From a diabetic menu magazine recipe I got everything needed for what was called “Cajun Stew.” I don’t know why the magazine people didn’t just call it “Gumbo.”

That was to be the third meal of the menu planning, but when I got ready to make Cajun Stew, I could not find the magazine. OK, I decided. I’ll just get the subsequent menu from the downloaded cook book on my Nook.

Not to be. I pressed the upsidedown U on my Nook, as instructed to “wake up” the device. Nothing happened. It has a full charge.

I had chicken to use (soonest), so I went online and found a reported Cajun recipe that called for everything I had. Except the recipe did not use okra or diced tomatoes.

Not a problem. I had a recipe and ingredients. Time for chopping and mixing.

Now, last week, Prsicilla bought a really, really, really sharp kitchen knife, the kind we used to call a butcher knife. This thing is sharp. When I went to slice into a large onion to take off the outer layer, the knife, on its own, sliced through two layers.

I got the onion chopped and was nine-tenths through chopping a Bell pepper and … A really, really, really sharp knife causes no pain when it slices into a finger. That thing sliced through my skin same as an onion. I stopped slicing before the knife took the chunk completely off.

Priscilla completed chopping and all of the cooking. Chicken and sausage in a roux with onion and Bell pepper over brown rice. It was good. And no finger parts were used in the cooking.

People who use stupid to make a point

don’t have a point worth making.

I don’t like stupid. Stupid is intellectual weakness.

So this headline ‘HUH? Obama Army Handbook Blames US Soldiers For Being Killed By Taliban, Says Not to Talk About Women’s Rights, Gays or Oppression’ scored high on the Stupid Meter.

That is the second column I’ve seen giving Obama ownership of the Army’s draft document. The logic (sic) must be, “Well Obama is CIC, so whatever happens is his responsibility.”

Okay. So every medal awarded for outstanding duty performance – Obama must have had something to do with the award. Every medal for bravery, same thing.

Several years ago, following a meeting with a complainant, my wife said, “You can’t argue with idiots.”

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Two selections from

I really dislike stupid

OK, so the lunch lady broke the rules and fed a kid who didn’t have lunch money.

And she was fired. Really. She fed a hungry kid and her boss fired her.

Update says she’s been hired back. Probably the school got a few phone calls.

Drunk college dude yells at po-leece, is arrested

“Peasants!” And he said he had the backing of his fraternity, “which ‘had money and lawyers to get him out of his situation,’ according to a Tempe police report.”

And he also took a swing at one police, missed, and hit another. Allegedly, you understand. Oh, the two underage girls with him didn't help his case.

Kurds, Sunni, Shi’a and oil

A country invented by foreigners is expected to remain the same?

“I know lots of people in the U.S. government who were involved with the Iraqi reconstruction and democratization effort after the initial fighting stopped back in May 2003. As I have said before, when you are in the government it is your job to make the policy work. That is why, frequently, those who care the most are always the last to know when that policy simply can’t work. Since my job in the government back in 2003 was off to the side of this effort, I was at my ease in playing Team B to my colleagues, teaching them what I knew (and what they usually didn’t) about the history of the country, and suggesting that what they were doing was very unlikely to succeed in the not-so-long run. They told me I was mistaken, but ever since I have been out of government I have maintained my view that the rickety democratic scaffolding we erected in Iraq could not endure long without our presence there to maintain it. It seemed to me like the showy coating of a seedpod in a garden, bound to fall away when the weather turned, leaving the seeds to grow wild according to the only patterns they knew.”

Friday, December 14, 2012

Sinsheim Auto and Technik Museum

I ran across this while searching for a Yugoslav airplane.

Sinsheim is the largest privately-owned museum in Europe, more than 50,000 square meters -- 538,000+ square feet -- inside and outside. Cars, trucks, tanks, motorcycles ... all manner of civilian and military.

Are you breathing? If so, you have a psychiatric disorder

“Here’s how modern psychiatry really operates: A bunch of self-important, overpaid intellectuals who want to make more money invent a fabricated disease that I’ll call ‘Hoogala Boogala Disorder’ or HBD.

"By a show of hands, they then vote into existence whatever ‘symptoms’ they wish to associated with Hoogala Boogala Disorder. In this case, the symptoms might be spontaneous singing or wanting to pick your nose from time to time.

"They then convince teachers, journalists and government regulators that Hoogala Boogala Disorder is real — and more importantly that millions of children suffer from it! It wouldn’t be compassionate not to offer all those children treatment, would it?

"Thus begins the call for ‘treatment’ for a completely fabricated disease. From there, it’s a cinch to get Big Pharma to fabricate whatever scientific data they need in order to ‘prove’ that speed, amphetamines, pharmaceutical crack or whatever poison they want to sell ‘reduces the risk of Hoogala Boogala Disorder.’”

Linked from gatesofvienna.

First there was the Mossad shark, now Israel has a spy vulture

"In the wake of an alleged Israeli attack on a Munitions plant near Khartoum in late October, that may have destroyed Iranian –supplied Fajr-5 long range rockets destined for Gaza, Sudan accuses Israel of sending vultures to spy on it. ABC News reported on this latest accusation by Sudan, an Islamist state sponsor of terrorism and long term ally of the Islamic Republic of Iran, 'Israeli 'Spy' Captured in Sudan'”.

Pentagon protecting political generals? Nah.

“Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Law Center, the public interest law firm representing LTC Dooley, commented, “Any fair-minded person would conclude that Matt Dooley was thrown under the bus to protect the generals who had institutional responsibilities over the course. I believe the Pentagon wanted to curry favor with the White House and the Muslim community, which demanded that all training materials offensive to Islam be purged and the trainers who use them punished. The fact remains that the course and guest lecturers for which LTC Dooley was publicly ridiculed and punished were all approved by senior leaders long before he ever became an instructor at the Joint Forces Staff College (JFSC).”

Linked from

Thursday, December 13, 2012

25,000+ citizens petition White House to build Death Star

“The estimated cost of building the Death Star, by the way, is $15.6 septillion, which is right in the butter zone for an Obama public works project. In an age of drone warfare, why not build the biggest drone of all?”

“Those who sign here petition the United States government to secure funding and resources, and begin construction on a Death Star by 2016.

“By focusing our defense resources into a space-superiority platform and weapon system such as a Death Star, the government can spur job creation in the fields of construction, engineering, space exploration, and more, and strengthen our national defense.”

Catholic Church takes on Obama and is winning

“This is big, big story, involving the largest religious body in the United States, the Roman Church, in legal combat with the United States government, and it is winning. At issue is the biggest new governmental program in decades.”

Federal Judge: “The First Amendment does not require citizens to accept assurances from the government that, if the government later determines it has made a misstep, it will take ameliorative action.

"There is no, 'Trust us, changes are coming' clause in the Constitution.”

(As in, “Trust us; we’re from the government.”)

Barbed wire on windows makes it look like there’s crime or something

The Albuquerque City Council in early December voted to outlaw barbed wire and razor wire.

“The reason is aesthetics: City-code enforcer Brennon Williams testified that ‘[b]arbed wire gives the impression or leads folks to believe that a particular area is not as safe and secure as the council would prefer it to look.’"

Residents have six months to take down any existing wire.

(The council prefers areas to look safe and secure.)

American soldiers at fault for Afghans killing them

“More than three dozen attacks by Afghan soldiers have claimed the lives of some 63 members of the U.S.-led coalition this year.

“’Many of the confrontations occur because of [coalition] ignorance of, or lack of empathy for, Muslim and/or Afghan cultural norms, resulting in a violent reaction from the [Afghan security force] member,’ the Journal quotes the draft handbook as saying.”

Draft manual says don’t say bad things about the Taliban, advocate women’s rights or criticize pedophilia.

USMC general says he won’t support the guidelines.

Linked from gatesofvienna.

How can these people dare tell me I should pay more taxes?

The rapper Jay-Z, net worth nearly $500 million; actor Johnny Depp, 2011 income: $50 million; LeBron James, $53 million; Oliver Stone, approximately $50 million; Michael Moore, approximately $50 million.

Why does Warren Buffett believe he has the right to leave $50 billion to “nonprofit institutions of his choice”?

Victor Davis Hanson, ‘Let the real fat cats pay their fair share,’

Progressive Democrats want the money of only certain people and none from their own kind.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Is nothing sacred?

I am shocked. Shocked, I tell you.

“LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Some of the valuables found hidden in abandoned lockers on A&E's ‘Storage Wars’ have been added by producers to deceive viewers, a former cast member of the show claims in a lawsuit filed Tuesday.

“David Hester's suit claims producers have added a BMW Mini and newspapers chronicling Elvis Presley's death to lockers in order to build drama for the show and that his complaints about the practices led to his firing.”

Next, someone will say House Hunters is faked.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

By his works will you know him

“It really doesn’t matter if Barack Hussein Obama is a Muslim, or an ‘Islamist’, or has ‘Islamist sympathies’, or is merely placating his Arab allies. Like so many others on the Left, Mr. Obama willingly implements policies that are exactly in accord with what the Muslim Brotherhood would prefer. His actions are indistinguishable from those of a devout Muslim committed to the implementation of sharia in the non-Muslim world.”

Comment with Andrew McCarthy Responds to Mother Jones

at gatesofvienna.

Oldest pharaoh carvings

The oldest-known representations of a pharaoh are carved on rocks near the Nile River in southern Egypt, researchers report.

The carvings were first observed and recorded in the 1890s, but only rediscovered in 2008. In them, a white-crowned figure travels in ceremonial processions and on sickle-shaped boats, perhaps representing an early tax-collecting tour of Egypt.

The scenes place the age of the carvings between 3200 B.C. and 3100 B.C., researchers report in the December issue of the journal Antiquity. During that time, Egypt was transitioning into the dynastic rule of the pharaohs.

Oldest Pharaoh Carvings Discovered in Egypt

Sweden threatens ‘all out war’

‘Snuff said.

“Sweden’s Trade Minister Ewa Björling said the EU faces ‘all out war’ with Sweden if a new health directive on tobacco being hammered out at the European Commission threatens Swedish moist snuff ‘snus’.”

Link at gatesofvienna.

A kind of friend from long ago

While doing a Google for an artist friend from college, I suddenly thought about another friend, a newspaper reporter I worked with in 1971-72. Considered intelligent, he was really just scratching around the perimeter of whatever he happened to be writing about at the moment. His mind was filled with conclusions; he saw no reason to listen. In 1972 he went to Houston for a few weeks with Scientologist friends, but he never publicly said if anything took. He dropped out of school his junior year and went to work for the city’s daily newspaper. He was a good enough writer at 17. Insight … Not so much. Of course, all this is past tense. I last saw him in 1980; he had applied for a reporting job at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, where I had worked since August 1976. I put in a word for him, but management hired somebody else. Somebody with more of a Fort Worth connection, I believe. Back in 1972, he stayed with my Sheridan gunner and me at a house outside of town, next to the woods and a moccasin-friendly lake. His mother had shown him the door, or he just left home. He had a girl friend, high school, and a 1964 Chevrolet Impala. He might have been as intelligent as he thought. If so, it was the misplaced kind of intelligence, the sort of throw-away kind God often graces people with and they turn out kind of weird. People who get that kind of intelligence most often don’t believe in God. Strange. He wrote a book about the Waco Standoff. I think he works for the Dallas Observer.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Decisions by English kings led to our Second Amendment

“We must first understand that we did not invent the 2nd Amendment; we inherited it. The justification of the 2nd Amendment is rooted in late 12th and early 13th century England with the innovation of the Welsh; later called English, longbow.”

“The 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was derived from our understanding of the British experience that militias were necessary to curb the tyrannical powers of the king. … Furthermore, like the militias of the English barons, these state militias were formed ad hoc from the populace as needed on short notice and therefore depended on the populace being already proficient in the art of arms. The only way the Founders of America could guarantee this capability was to encourage civil proficiency in arms and make private ownership and use of arms a tenet of the constitution establishing the government.”

It's history stuff, and nobody really reads history stuff any more. If it didn't happen in my time, it doesn't matter. I've got too much to do and I can't pay attention to something that happened a long time ago. I mean, what's it got to do with now?

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Political killing gone bad

From 19th century St. Louis Democrats and Republicans, white and black bad men, to Russian rockers – Stagger Lee and Billy have had a strange journey.

Link from maggiesfarm and

Tajikis say goodbye to Russian

Diversity, multi-ethnicity and one language.

When everything falls apart, changes are not always good. As in other areas of the former Soviet Union, Tajikistan finds going it alone can be difficult.

“In June, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law obliging foreign labor migrants to pass a Russian-language proficiency exam. By most estimates, over a million of those migrants are from Tajikistan. They make Tajikistan the most remittance-dependent country in the world, according to the World Bank. Last year, Tajik laborers sent home the equivalent of 47 percent of GDP, the Bank said in November. Most of that cash came from Russia.”

“’I clearly remember my childhood at the end of the Soviet epoch,’ Akhmedov recalls. ‘In Dushanbe [we had] Germans, Koreans, Ossetians, Armenians, Jews. We were friendly. My classmates spoke their languages at home, but in the street and at school we all communicated in Russian; and that always brought us closer together.’”

(When new countries threw out the old Communist masters, the masters’ language often went as well.)

More on Tajikistan labor migration:

Saturday, December 8, 2012

What is that, French for redneck?

Searching for something and came across “The Skies Just Ain’t Friendly Anymore” by Ray Stevens. I clicked, figuring to be amused, which I was, but only after watching part of a Louis Vuitton ad. Louis Vuitton sponsors Ray Stevens videos? What in the wide wide world of sports is a’goin’ on here?

Dope on the other end of the phone

A man in Los Angeles finds about 20 pounds of bagged MJ in his back yard. He does the right thing. No, dorkhead. He called LAPD.

The conversation:

“’I’m sorry, sir, everyone in your district is out on an emergency. Could you drive it to the station yourself?’

“I manage to avoid blowing up at her.’

“’Yeah, uhhh … I don’t think driving around with 20 pounds of drugs in my car is really a good idea.’

“’Oh, sorry, sir, of course not. Well let me see if I can get someone at the desk. Please hang on.’ Another small eternity drips past. ‘OK, we’ll be sending our supervisor out, no one else is available.’”

Also a fark.

By their accent shall you know them

“Children 5-6 years of age from Chicago and a small town in Tennessee were shown pictures of people accompanied by a brief 3 second audio clip of speech in either a Northern or Southern accent. When asked if they would want to be friends with the person, the Northerners overwhelmingly selected the Northern-accented speakers as friends. Interestingly, the kids from Tennessee had no preference based on accent.

“What do you think happened when the young children were asked who was ‘nicer,’ ‘smarter,’ or ‘in charge?’ The children from Chicago attached these positive attributes to the Northern speakers, but the children from Tennessee were indifferent to how these attributes were associated with people speaking with either accent.”

(Wull dayum. Sounds like the Yankees have got themselves a problem with accentaphobia.)


Some interesting stats

Courtesy of

‘A nation of singles’

“23.8 percent of men, and 19 percent of women, between the ages of 35 and 44 have never been married. Tick back a cohort to the people between 20 and 34—the prime-childbearing years—and the numbers are even more startling: 67 percent of men and 57 percent of women in that group have never been married. When you total it all up, over half of the voting-age population in America—and 40 percent of the people who actually showed up to vote this time around—are single.

“What does this group look like? Geographically, they tend to live in cities. As urban density increases, marriage rates (and childbearing rates) fall in nearly a straight line. Carville and Greenberg put together a Venn diagram which is highly instructive. Of the 111 million single eligible voters, 53 million are women and 58 million are men. Only 5.7 million of these women are Hispanic and 9.7 million are African American. Nearly three-quarters of all single women are white. In other words, the cohort looks a lot like the Julia character the Obama campaign rolled out to show how the president’s policies care for that plucky gal from the moment she enrolls in Head Start right through her retirement. You may recall that because of President Obama, Julia goes to college, gets free birth control, has a baby anyway, sends her lone kid to public school, and then—at age 42—starts her own business (as a web designer!). What she does not do is get married.”

“’Diversity” in college sports’

“Based on 2007 - 2010 data from the 76 institutional members of the six largest athletic conferences, black men were 2.8% of full-time undergraduate students but 57.1% of football teams and 64.3% of basketball teams. 50.2% of black male athletes graduated within six years, compared to 66.9% of student-athletes overall, 72.8% of undergraduate students, and 55.5% of black undergraduate men overall.”

Thursday, December 6, 2012

In a previous post, I said, 'I am a kulak.'

“You are about to be rolled.”

“The people whose wallets will be drained in the new war on ‘the rich’ are high-earning, but hardly plutocratic professionals like engineers, doctors, lawyers, small business owners and the like. Once seen as the bastion of the middle class, and exemplars of upward mobility, these people are emerging as the modern day “kulaks,” the affluent peasants ruthlessly targeted by Stalin in the early 1930s.”

Also from maggiesfarm.

Who elected Obama

“The highest turnouts occurred in the poorest areas, but poverty is not the unifying characteristic of those counties or precincts voting heavily for Obama -- class is. Overall, eight out of the top ten richest counties (based on average per capita income) in the country seem to have voted for Obama -- with almost all of the actual votes involved coming from precincts home to mid- to lower-level government workers and service industry personnel catering to the rich.” (Emphasis added.)

The 3D map is telling. Big-city voters.

No compromise.

Link from maggiesfarm.

Early ultralight

And others. Proof that flyable does not equal practical.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

‘Men Working.’ Sexist! Sexist!

“An Ohio community college forced a construction crew to remove its ‘Men Working’ sign after the sign was deemed sexist and non-inclusive by a college administrator.

‘The controversy started when a female employee took issue with the ‘Men at Work’ sign. Murka said the employee suggested several alternative phrases to the hard hats – including ‘construction zone.’”

How about ‘Danger! Bitchy Women Area!’

Link at gatesofvienna.

Engineers, physicists work together to turn out burger robot

Supreme irony in making a device that will replace people who were working while going to school or were uneducated in other employment fields.

Burger-flipping taken away from the least experienced among us.

“A hamburger-making robot that can create 360 perfectly made burgers an hour promises to usher a new era for fast food restaurants.

“Called Burgeon, the new robot that promises to make fresher, more consistent burgers, could replace thousands of low-paid workers in burger bars across the world.

“Created by Momentum Machines, the team behind the food-bot includes members trained in mechanical engineering, control systems, and physics at top tier institutions in the US; Berkeley, Stanford, UCSB, and the university of Utah.”

"Our alpha machine replaces all of the hamburger line cooks in a restaurant."

Grilled at

Supper’s about done

Pinto beans flavored with chili powder and garlic powder and cubes of ham, cornbread, turnip greens, baked sweet potatoes.

There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth

Maggiesfarm linked a story on a proposed bill that would allow payroll deductions on student loans, said deductions not volunteered by the loanee. My computer froze when I clicked the link. I did a search and found the story, but my computer froze when I clicked the link. I guess I’m not supposed to read the story.

The wailing and etc. will occur when people who voted for Obama start losing more of their before-tax money to such deductions.

To those: Hahahahahahahah X infinite.

When billions of dollars slide over the cliff …

… and the economy plunges into recession and the dollar devalues and employment goes into the tank …

I would like to hear Republicans say, “Hey, we tried to tell what was going to happen, but we couldn’t get our warnings out because you TV and electronic news people and print reporters were too busy telling Americans how Obama is a genius and we Republicans are a bunch of dumbasses. So go suck on the Hopee Changee message.”

Yeah, I’m jumping all over this dude

A West Point cadet quit because he was a victim of Christian proselytizing.

Read the article:

I’ve not been to West Point, nor even close, but reading the dude’s complaints, he didn’t intend to become an Army officer. He said he will probably write a book about his experiences at West Point. No kidding? A victim of Christianity will write a book? Vote on how long before he is on TV talk shows?

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Long live Alanis!

A bunch of Palestinians and fellow travelers told Alanis Morissette she should not give a performance in Israel, given “the recent Gaza conflict and ongoing political situation.”

The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel said, “We would find it especially disturbing should you choose to play in Israel given its recent onslaught on Gaza. Palestinian civil society groups are calling on artists to shun Tel Aviv in the same way that South African activists called on artists to boycott Sun City.”

Palestinians = black South Africans; Israel = apartheid. Oh.

So, did Morissette do as the Palestinians “suggested?”

Not according to The Times of Israel.

“Morissette decided to expedite her arrival so that her family could enjoy a few days in Israel, including a visit to Jerusalem’s Old City.

“The singer … said she was ‘delighted’ to return to the country. ‘I had a great time in Israel professionally, spiritually and emotionally,’ she said in a media statement.”

Found at maggiesfarm.

TSA is dead! Long live … Nothing!

“If you don't believe the TSA is doomed after watching yesterday's House Aviation Subcommittee hearing, then you'll have to at least agree that the agency as we know can't continue to exist as it does.”

(Now, if Congress would do the same to Homeland Security …)

The greatest game ever pitched

"Spahn, 42, entered the game with an 11-3 record, had just set the alltime lefthanders' mark of 328 wins and hadn't surrendered a walk in 18 1/3 innings. Marichal, 25, was 12-3 with a 2.38 ERA and had no-hit Houston 17 days earlier.”

San Francisco manager Alvin Dark kept asking Marichal if he wanted out. ‘Alvin, do you see that man pitching on the other side?’ Marichal told him. ‘He's 42 and I'm 25, and you can't take me out until that man is not pitching.’"

(Marichal remembered a bit differently when talking about the game two years ago during a televised game. After the 13th inning, he said, Dark told him he was coming out. “I told him, ‘You cannot take me out. Do you see that man out there? He is 42 years old. You cannot take me out.”)

Box score and a lot of stats that … are stats.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Vampire alert!

A joke, mebbe? But, what if …

‘Serbian village council issues vampire alert’

Back in a minute. I have several wooden stakes to sharpen.

(Also gatesofvienna.)

Clean up that oil spill? No, no!

“(NaturalNews) The cleanup technique used by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico actually made the spilled oil more than 50 times more toxic than doing nothing, according to a study conducted by researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology and the Universidad Autonoma de Aguascalientes (UAA), Mexico. The findings were published in the journal Environmental Pollution.”

(Another case of “Let nature handle the problem.”)

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Another good one from fark

Eight classic, wonderful toys that were banned forever because children are stupid and hurt themselves with lawn darts

(U-238 Atomic Energy Lab? Writer of story suffers from idea the more smart-a$$y you make something, the funnier it is. Not so, Kemo Sabe.)

And now, a story that isn’t politics or crime

Mass. boy with Asperger’s syndrome saved for two years to buy a Lego Emerald Night Train, only to find out Lego no longer makes the train set. He writes to Lego. So what’s in the box that shows up two days before his 11th birthday? Aw, you guessed right, didn’t you.

POWs in Laos

‘Are there any Vietnam War-era POWs still alive in Laos? – A trip to Sam Neua and Vieng Xai Caves.’

 Pictures of the caves.

 Link at maggiesfarm.

‘Lock your doors and load your guns’

We are running out of police, says San Bernardino city attorney.


I thought everything causes cancer

Apparently not everything at all, so says this WaPo story.

True believers, though, don’t want to hear anything countering their beliefs, as evident from comments.

At maggiesfarm.