Wednesday, July 31, 2013

I am going after the thieving bastards

An attorney recommended I contact the attorney general’s office about the thieving bastard letters, so today I called.

To the woman who answered the general line I said, “My mother-in-law has been defrauded and scammed of more than $20,000 and I need to know what we can do to get her money back.” The woman asked what kind of scam? I replied, “Political lobbyists who say she will lose Social Security and Medicare if she does not send them money.”

I kind of overwhelmed the woman with information, so she transferred me to consumer protection. I began the same talk with that woman, who said, “Oh, my,” and such when I got to the amount of money. I mentioned contacting USPS and my two senators and U.S. representative.

That’s when we got to the “You need to fill out a form” part of the conversation. I tried to steer the talk back toward the intimidation and fear concept, but the AG’s representative was not having any of that.

It comes down to this: the AG’s web site has a pdf form I can fill out and print and mail in. I cannot copy and paste the form, nor can I save a completed form. I can only fill in the form and print it, or print it and then fill in the blanks.

And, each complaint must be accompanied by a completed form. And, each form must be accompanied by an actual document, not a copy. There are 15-20 thieving bastard organizations, so I have some work to do.

Here is what I am going to do: I will complete and print a form for each thieving bastard organization. And, since I have two overfull 30-gallon trash bags containing four months of letters, I will sort and stack and rubber band each organization and attach the properly completed form to each stack and then take all that to the attorney general’s office.

I think I will notify TV stations and set a time for delivering the 1,000-plus letters.

What I have received so far I would not term a run-around, but rather a dismissal of importance. I want to change that outlook. These thieving bastards run a national, multi-bullion-dollar scam on old people, and they must be stopped.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Why we need women in combat arms

In North Korea, “more than ten per cent of the army is made up of women — indeed some reports from defectors suggest the figure could be as high as 40 per cent.

“Given that the army boasts a total of 1.2 million troops, this means that, in theory, there could be close to half a million women in service.”

A woman soldier who recently escaped the North “told a newspaper women were being deployed in frontline units.

“‘Most of the artillery units along the North Korean coasts are manned with women, and there are independent women’s regiments and more women battalions,’ Kim said.”

(If our all-men combat arms have to fight the Norks, some might have a problem killing 500,000 women. We must have same-gender encounters.)

Link from

Veterans now can have Hammer of Thor on grave marker

VA recognizes a bunch of religious groups.

Link from

The FARK headline pretty much tells the story

“Police couldn't find man who led them on high speed chase because most of him ended up 400 yards from his crashed motorcycle”

The online story fills in a few details.

“Family members find body of motorcycle crash victim.”

Not surprisingly, the dude was a frequent flyer in the criminal justice system.

Civilian fascination with the game of war

Headline: “Confirmed kills: A solemn secret for military snipers is becoming a pop-culture hit.”

“Inside one of America’s most select clubs, the tally known as ‘confirmed kills’ is revered yet rarely discussed — meant to be carried silently, worn proudly and certainly never hyped.”

“But to a growing audience of civilian consumers, the stat is pure mystique, darkly enticing, packed with alpha swagger. And to publisher HarperCollins, director Steven Spielberg, and an Iraq veteran-turned-author who bills himself as ‘one of the deadliest American soldiers of all time,’ the grisly total also equates to money.”

Funny that to “a growing audience of consumers,” a “confirmed kill” is OK if done from long distance and with a single shot, but “body count” is not … sporting? That’s not a good comparison. War games’ success, from what I’ve seen at advertisements, is number of dead left in the wake on the way to a goal; the number of dead and the method of killing.

“The public has had a fascination with battlefield exploits from Homer’s Iliad to Sergeant York to Chris Kyle.”

Anybody know without searching, how many Germans did Corp. York kill the day he did his Medal of Honor deed? The civilian is talking about three different things – Aegean war, 20th century war, and snipers.

The whole idea just kind of struck me as a manufactured story.

It's just all too complex for us simple Americans

“A Tom Franklin photograph of firefighters raising an American flag in the midst of the rubble of Ground Zero … was nearly excluded from the 9/11 Memorial Museum for being too ‘rah-rah America,’ according to the museum's creative director Michael Shulan, as quoted in Elizabeth Greenspan's book "Battle for Ground Zero." ‘I really believe that the way America will look best, the way we can really do best, is not to be Americans so vigilantly and so vehemently,’ Shulan said. Eventually, three different versions of the photograph were shown. Somewhere, Toby Keith's America-sense is tingling.”

Shulan: “My concern, as it always was, is that we not reduce [9/11] down to something that was too simple, and in its simplicity would actually distort the complexity of the event, the meaning of the event.”

(The simplicity of the picture would distort the complexity of what happened. Hey, we Americans are pretty much a simple people. We don’t like complexity. We used to see right vs. wrong. People like Shulan operate in an in-between area where there are no finalities. People like Shulan want to control other’s thoughts and perceptions.)

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Earth to the Rev. Jackson: STFU

"If we can boycott South Africa and bring it down, we should boycott Florida and bring it down." – The Rev. Jesse Jackson.

My wife and I are going to Florida for Labor Day weekend with our daughter, who is a fulltime resident of the state, armed as she sees necessary and planning to be more armed and ammunitioned.

Admittedly, the Rev. Jackson will say BS sayings so he can get air time and space. Still … I got your “bring it down,” Rev. Jackson. In several calibers.

Found at ‘Boycott Florida,’

So despite all this Progressive talk about "Stop Bullying," I am supposed to run away if confronted by a bad dude. I am 67 years old. My legs don't run.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

It’s 2013. All ocean charts are accurate. Well …

“WASHINGTON: The January grounding of the minesweeper USS Guardian in a Philippine coral reef was caused in large part by a National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA) map that was, quite simply, wrong by eight nautical miles, Breaking Defense has learned.”

I think I’ll rob that gun store. I’ve got a baseball bat. Yeah, that’ll work.

As This Ain’t Hell puts it: Derrick Mosley is “about the dumbest criminal on the face of the earth …”



Register your storm shelter

One of those “sounds OK” stories, except when the reporter says permits are free. If a permit is involved, somebody will attach a “fee” (AKA “tax”).!/weather/stories/Rowlett-Plans-for-Storm-Shelter-Rescues/217169761

Mos Def (Yasiin Bey/Dante Terrell Smith) most likely full of it

Rapper “struggling and weeping” during video; medics say portrayal “ridiculous.”

“Some detainees drink the liquid meals, usually Ensure, directly from the can, the medics said. All of them eat some regular food some of the time, but in small enough quantities to maintain their status as hunger strikers …”

(Option other than force feeding: Let them starve and then tell everybody to STFU. Damned if you feed them, damned if you don’t.)

Friday, July 26, 2013

Questions for the age ...

… or, Why I am waiting for the ship to take me out of here.

1. Virginity and Value: When did it suddenly become cool to be a slut? How did feminism come to embrace promiscuity as a form of empowerment? Is the “adventurous” woman treating her HPV really happier than the biblical feminist who resisted the culture and waited until marriage to have sex?

2. From Working Moms to Non-Moms: Have we entered a new era of child sacrifice? Has career-worship become an idol inspiring generations of women to sacrifice parenthood?

3. Girls or boys, who really “wears the pants” in Millennial and Gen-X relationships today? How have decades of free internet porn transformed the sexual dynamics of modern dating? How do secular goddess values differ from biblical values in balancing masculine and feminine in monogamy and marriage?

4. How deeply does the cult of goddess feminism impact our understanding of the individual woman? How does the idea of goddesses, reinvented in our popular culture today, undermine rather than enhance women’s happiness in their practical, day-to-day lives? How do women’s lives fall apart when they choose to idolize aspects of their feminine identity and parts of their body? And what do race and skin color have to do with idolatry?

5. Postmodern Porn: Is Girls pornography or art? And how does a biblical feminist discern the difference between the two? Today is there really a meaningful difference between HBO and the Playboy Channel? When does art about sex become porn?

6. Conclusion: Pop Culture, Polytheism, and Postmodernism. How does the America of today compare with the ancient Canaan of the Bible? Is respecting everyone’s feelings as equally legitimate the same as having to respecting everyone’s gods and laws? What lessons can we learn from ancient times about how to overcome the urge to enslave ourselves to idols?

(Please understand, it is not the questions but the necessity of asking those that sews closed another part of the funeral shroud almost enclosing Western (what passes for) Civilization. Ms. Goldberg does an admirable job as “biblical feminist” versus “millennials.” Someone needs to ask the questions, and as an old(er) male-type-person, I am not qualified to opinionate concerning a TV show I will never watch while living in a part of the country fringed by modern hedonism.)

Couldn’t Obama just close the place?

"By Jim Miklaszewski and Becky Bratu, NBC News

“The United States intends to transfer two additional detainees from Guantanamo Bay to Algeria as part of its effort to close the military prison in Cuba, the White House said Friday in a statement.

"’We are taking this step in consultation with the Congress, and in a responsible manner that protects our national security,’ the statement from White House spokesman Jay Carney read. ‘We continue to call on Congress to join us in supporting these efforts by lifting the current restrictions that significantly limit our ability to transfer detainees out of Guantanamo, even those who have been
approved for transfer.’"

(Obama could have closed the place, but political reality checked his running-for-office statements that closing Guantanamo prison was of the highest priority. Then in 2011, Congress stepped in and “began restricting transfers out, saying the Defense Department first had to certify a number of things, including that the destination country was not a state sponsor of terrorism and would take
action to make sure the individual would not threaten the United States.”

(So for two years Obama did nothing, and then Congress gave him an out. Now, though, it’s back to Blame Congress.

(Why two releases now and shots at Congress? Maybe because “legal restrictions on transfers” expire Sept. 30? If Congress does not renew restrictions, Obama has no rug left, and will have to decide which decision will cost him the fewest political points, or as is paramount in Obamaland, which
decision will make him look the lesser bad.

(Jay Carney takes a cheap shot with his “calling on Congress” to lift “the current restrictions,” since those restrictions end in two months. Then, too, Obama’s people might just be trying to get ahead of the curve when arguments begin.)

This Ain't Hell has a couple of really good posts today

What was the mission again?

“To put in place a training regimen that is ill-suited to maximizing the success of women is not really the outcome any of us want to see.” – U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas, House Armed Services Committee.

‘Pentagon discusses separate training for female soldiers’

118 lies in 18 minutes

I listened to 22. Couldn’t take any more.

Video numbering lies reportedly pulled from You Tube.

‘Don Shipley meets Nikko “Kaha” De’Lozada’

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Early in basic training I learned to recognize Army BS as BS

“We’re not going to lower standards,” said Juliet Beyler, the Defense Department’s director of officer and enlisted personnel management. “It’s not a matter of lowering or raising standards. The key is to validate the standard to make sure it’s the right standard for the occupation.”

Translation: We’re going to lower standards.

‘Services promise combat roles for females by 2016’

And know what? When it's all done, the services will say, "No, we did not lower standards. We tested existing standards and determined the standards were not validatiable, so we developed standards that could be validated as correct standards."

I would have killed him, calmly, cooly, with no remorse

In late December 1966, after almost a month in Vietnam, soldiers in Air Cav Troop began receiving mail on a regular basis. Two or more letters a week were good, but more letters would be better.

That thought led me to write a letter to the editor at the Dallas Morning News, the largest paper by far in North Texas. In the letter I said that we would always welcome more mail, and people who wanted to write could address letters to Air Cav Troop, 11th Armored Cavalry, and then APO SF and the number. A soldier, I said, would answer every letter.

I figured it was a good idea, because soldiers would get more letters, and civilians back home would be connected with soldiers. I expected the letter to be published. I expected letters to begin arriving at the regimental mail room in such numbers that would require pickup in a three-quarter ton truck, rather than the mail clerk using a quarter-ton jeep.

I was wrong. One letter arrived, addressed to me.

The editor who replied referenced my letter and then said, “We recommend you buy an ad.”

I read the letter again. I said, “Huh.” I thought: I sent the letter to a Texas newspaper because I am Texan, and I figured another Texan would understand my suggestion and agree.

At that point, I knew that if the man who suggested I buy an ad were standing there in front of me, I would calmly, without any anger whatsoever, put my hands around his throat and strangle his life from him. Calmly, coolly, completely absent of anger.

I do not remember the man’s name. He was a worthless person, an oxygen thief.

“We recommend you buy an ad.”

Monday, July 22, 2013

Training for terror

47 percent of US offenders received formal training; 28 percent in UK.

68 percent of American offenders were trained in Afghanistan before 9/11; of UK offenders, 21 percent trained in Afghanistan, while 55 percent trained in Pakistan.

1 percent of US offenders had additional training here; 40 percent of UK offenders got training in the UK.

18 percent of US offenders had overseas combat experience; 4 percent of UK offenders.

“Between 1997 and 2011, individuals who committed al-Qaeda–related offenses in the US killed a total of 3,223 people, of whom 2,996 died on 9/11 (the total figure does not include either the 2009 Fort Hood shooting, which the Obama administration has designated as ‘workplace related violence’ and as of yet has not led to a conviction, or the Boston bombings). Prior to the recent murder of a British soldier, in the UK, fifty-two have died—all on 7/7/05.”

On warnings about the Tsarnaev brothers: “But the Russians have their own agenda about ethnic Chechens, none of whom have ever before been convicted in US courts for al-Qaeda–inspired offenses, let alone engaged in a terror attack.”

(Yes, Russian intelligence did send information, but the Tsarnaevs were Chechen, and you know how the Russians are about Chechens.

(Comment: So the number of Chechens killed in Afghanistan and Iraq while trying to kill Americans … All those just fly away somewhere when Russian intelligence gives a warning?)

Sunday, July 21, 2013

‘The British … behave the worst’

(But their money still spends.)

At sunrise in Marmaris “devout worshippers walking to the ten mosques in central Marmaris found themselves having to negotiate pavements filled with bleary-eyed young Brits.

“Fathers with young children pursed their lips as they stepped over piles of vomit and broken glass, or were forced to side-step barely-coherent youths stumbling through the town’s historic central marina.

“Modestly-dressed local women looked to the floor as they passed gangs of boys singing British football chants, or scantily-clad groups of young women clutching drinks, handbags and high-heeled shoes.

“Turkey is the only Mediterranean country where package tourism — and its excesses — have taken hold in a society that is predominately Muslim.

“Little wonder, perhaps, that in Marmaris, the cheapest and most popular resort for UK tourists, tensions between God-fearing locals and hedonistic visitors have started to simmer in the summer heat.

“‘These people want to drink and then behave like animals,’ said one worshipper, Sedat Cir, outside the Eski Camii mosque. ‘Of course, we try to ignore them. But they are rude and in this location, it’s just disrespectful.’

“At the dockside, a group of men with Birmingham accents stripped to their underwear and jumped into a fountain. On the beach, dozens of couples lay canoodling, in various states of undress, as they awaited the sunrise.

“‘We get visitors from all over: Russia, Holland and Scandinavia. But the British are the biggest group, and they behave the worst,’ said another passer-by, Cihan Bahik, 37. ‘They drink and drink until they lose their minds.’”


Stalin says, ‘Visit USSR!”

Soviet art deco tourism posters from the 1930s.

Tobacco out; sugar, lollipops, milk in

“Before the end of 2013, the Russian Defense Ministry is going to stop giving cigarettes to conscript soldiers. Today the norm is 10 cigarettes a day for all conscripts, cadets and students of military schools who don't have officer ranks. Instead, soldiers can choose: 700 grams of sugar a month, 600 grams of lollipop or the same amount of condensed milk in tubes. The tradition of tobacco rations in the Russian army originated about 100 years ago.”

News writing 101

First reference to someone, use first and last names.

George Zimmerman. Trayvon Martin.

Second reference, use last name.

Zimmerman. Trayvon.

Wait, wait.

Oh, that’s right. Martin … uh, Trayvon, was a child, so writers use his first name.

I have not seen one news story refer to Martin by his last name.

Carrying a fake gun to a home invasion = ventilation

“Since the earlier Saturday feel good story actually happened on Tuesday, you get a bonus today along with some chuckles from Land O’Lakes, FL. It seems that two men tried to turn their lives around with someone else’s property, but I guess the initial investment in their start-up business wasn’t quite enough, so they took a fake gun to their first cold call visit:

‘The sheriff’s office said two men went into the cottage armed with a fake gun and tried to rob the people inside. Someone inside then pulled out a real gun and shot the suspects, deputies said.

‘Both of the injured men ran outside and collapsed on the sidewalk by the road.

‘A registered nurse, Jennifer Price, was driving by with her daughter and stopped to help.

‘“When I stopped, I said “Somebody needs to get that gun and move it, I don’t want to get shot,” she said. “One of the boys that I went to had about four or five gunshot wounds and I just tried to help him as much as I could. The other fellow they moved off and he had several wounds to but he wasn’t conscious at the time.”’

“The article goes on to say that there were five people in the house at the time including a 2-year-old. Both of the ventilated entrepreneurs are in serious condition and probably looking forward to their well-earned retirement from the property-ownership-transfer business.”

Those who do what?

MSN page has a story from a Little Rock TV station about a veteran who is walking to the capitol buildings of each of the lower 48 states in an attempt to convince legislators to approve a new holiday. The TV station writer said the man wants the holiday for those “… that dawn the uniform …”

I created a little note, consisting of the above quote and: "How about those who don the uniform, as in 'put on'?"

In order to send the note, I had to register with the TV station's page. I filled in the requisite boxes and then read the terms of usage, including: "You can access this content and use for educational purposes only personal. You may not modify or use the Content for any other purpose without the written permission."

I have a strange feeling that whoever wrote the terms of usage also writes signs found at

Saturday, July 20, 2013

And then what??

From ‘Springdale family goes to war with mosquitoes’

“Horror stories exist from days past when DDT was applied massively and when communities ran fogging trucks in warm weather evenings with children running behind and playing in the pesticide vapor.”

(And what happened then, all those children running behind and playing in the pesticide vapor? Did they all drop dead from DDT poisoning? Did they all have horrible physical deformities within a year? Did their children all suffer terrible birth defects? Or … Or is it possible nothing happened? Rachel Carson was not a paradigm of honesty.)

Michigan judge fixes the fixers, for now

"A Michigan Circuit Court Judge ruled Friday that Detroit's bankruptcy filing is unconstitutional and ordered the case be withdrawn from federal bankruptcy court.

"But Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette said in a statement soon after the decision that he intended an immediate appeal to the Michigan Court of Appeals and would seek to block this latest order from taking effect while the appeal is heard.

"The order came in response to motions by lawyers for retirees and pension funds for city workers, who argue the state constitution prohibits cutting pension and retirement benefits, as has been proposed in the bankruptcy case."

“’It’s cheating, sir, and it’s cheating good people who work,’ the judge told assistant Attorney General Brian Devlin. ‘It’s also not honoring the (United States) president, who took (Detroit’s auto companies) out of bankruptcy.

“Aquilina said she would make sure President Obama got a copy of her order.

“’I know he’s watching this,’ she said, predicting the president ultimately will have to take action to make sure existing pension commitments are honored.”

Remember -- Obama is watching.

Who are these people?

Oh. The lawmakers.

“Military service was once a very common experience for members of Congress, but it’s far more the exception than the rule these days. From the end of World War II until the close of the Gulf War, a majority of members in the House and Senate had served in the military. Today, barely a fifth can count themselves veterans. The 83rd Congress (1953-55) had 309 veterans among its ranks. The current Congress has just 109. The implications of this change — from congressional attitudes toward war, to the military, and to American internationalism — are profound, as is the sense of commitment to a team and a hierarchy of leadership.”

(Just one example of who decides what we do.)

More partisan, more likely to filibuster and requiring more money to get elected. Changes … Well, at one time many congressmen owned slaves.

Two- Pakastini sisters shot for dancing in the rain

(I did some searches and found out the killings happened three weeks ago. I had heard nothing about the barbarism.)

Their mother was killed for making a video of her daughters.

“Two teenage sisters have been murdered in Pakistan after they were accused of tarnishing their family's name by making a video of themselves dancing in the rain.

“The girls, aged 15 and 16, are seen running around in traditional dress with two other younger children outside their bungalow in the town of Chilas, in the northern region of Gilgit.

“The sisters, named as Noor Basra and Noor Sheza, appear to break into dance and one even flashes a smile at the camera.”


‘Sharknado’ rerun storms into higher SyFy ratings

“Due to popular demand -- and a surge of Twitter activity -- Syfy re-aired its original movie "Sharknado" on Thursday night.

“The rebroadcast averaged 1.9 million total viewers, 701,000 of those in the advertiser-sought 18-49 demographic.

“The encore was also the most tweeted program on cable Thursday, excluding sports and special events.

“The special encore presentation of the Ian Ziering/Tara Reid thriller hit the airwaves at 7 p.m. Anyone who missed it the first time got a chance to see what all the fuss was about -- a tornado full of sharks attacking L.A.

“Compared to other recent Syfy original movies, those numbers put "Sharknado" in mixed standing. It had a larger audience than June's "Independence Day-Saster," which drew 1.3 million total viewers, though it was less-watched than April's "Battledogs," which drew 1.5 million total viewers, and the March classic "Chupacabra vs. the Alamo," which also took in roughly 1.5 million total viewers.”

(‘Chupacabra vs. the Alamo’? How did I miss that??)

‘Sharknado’ even came up in a Mississippi literary suit.

“’The court has viewed Woody Allen's movie, 'Midnight in Paris,' read the book, 'Requiem for a Nun,' and is thankful that the parties did not ask the court to compare 'The Sound and the Fury' with 'Sharknado,'" the judge (U.S. District Judge Michael P. Mills) wrote.”

Friday, July 19, 2013

Obama: doesn’t know, doesn’t care, doesn’t hear

When President Obama on his African trip praised his opinion on homosexual marriages, at least two African leaders said that kind of thing might be OK in the United States, but the president should not expect to force his philosophy upon other countries.

The president brought anger to the Dominican Republic with the same sort of in-your-face social demands.

“Cardinal Nicolas de Jesus Lopez Rodriguez of Santo Domingo has expressed his extreme displeasure with the appointment of an openly homosexual US ambassador to the Dominican Republic.

“The Dominican cardinal had asked the country’s President Danilo Medina to reject the nomination of Wally Brewster as the American envoy. When it became clear that the Dominican government had already acceded to the appointment, the cardinal said with disdain that ‘we can expect anything’ from Washington.”

A year ago, Trayvon Martin could have been Obama’s son. Today, Martin could have been Obama, 35 years ago.

Obama “sidestepped the idea of demanding a new, national conversation on race …” That’s good of him, since a “conversation on race” would lead to the same faces popping up in front of cameras in all the TV news studios, the faces saying the same words as five or 10 or 15 years ago, with the same result – people first angry because we’ve been through this all before, and then attention turning to the next blonde missing somewhere or a cruise liner throwing up passengers like Pinocchio’s whale. And just where would a president get the authority to “demand” a conversation?

“(T)he speech was the usual narcissistic insertion of himself into the story in order to generate a crisis.”

(To Obama there are two Americas – him and people who think the way he does. The rest do not matter.)

It looked like a dove

“WASHINGTON (AP) — People who fire guns at drones are endangering the public and property and could be prosecuted or fined, the Federal Aviation Administration warned Friday.

“The FAA released a statement in response to questions about an ordinance under consideration in the tiny farming community of Deer Trail, Colo., that would encourage hunters to shoot down drones. The administration reminded the public that it regulates the nation's airspace, including the airspace over cities and towns.”

“The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, a drone industry trade group, was concerned enough last year about people threatening to shoot down drones that it issued a statement warning that such comments were ‘irresponsible, dangerous and unlawful.’

“Michael Toscano, president and CEO of the group, expressed similar concerns Friday, saying drones ‘are being designed to serve the public good....The myriad of important uses will be imperiled if they become targets. ...’”

(Drone shooters endanger “the public good.” Oh, well, that’s a whole ‘nother discussion, because, after all, the children are our future.)

Fixing other things

While searching for resettlement during the Depression, I came across an example of how a national park came into existence:

“Laws were passed in Virginia and in Congress that mandated the forced selling of mountain acreage to the state government for later donation to the federal government to allow for the development of the national park, igniting a controversy that lives to this day among descendants of the families that have to give up their homesteads for pennies on the dollar.”

Also, I came across a present government agency, the Office of Refugee Resettlement, a Health and Human Services department hiding as an “Office of the Administration for Children & Families.”

Included is the Wilson/Fish program, “an alternative to traditional state administered refugee resettlement programs for providing assistance (cash and medical) and social services to refugees.

“The purposes of the WF program are to:

“Increase refugee prospects for early employment and self-sufficiency

“Promote coordination among voluntary resettlement agencies and service providers

“Ensure that refugee assistance programs exist in every state where refugees are resettled.”

Back to Detroit: Another plan calls for destruction of about one-third of Detroit’s buildings and letting nature grow trees and grass.

Fixing Detroit

Fox News this morning had a segment on Detroit’s bankruptcy filing. Fox ran its “ALERT!” streamer, but the only new news was the city actually filed. Stories about intent to file had been around for a while.

“Detroit has been spending on average $100 million more than it has taken in for each of the past five years. The city’s $11 billion in unsecured debt includes $6 billion in health and other retirement benefits and $3 billion in retiree pensions for its 20,000 city pensioners, who are slated to receive less than 10 percent of what they were promised. Between 2007 and 2011, an astounding 36 percent of residents lived below the poverty line. Last year, the FBI cited Detroit as having the highest violent crime rate for any major American city. In the first 12 years of the new century, Detroit lost more than 26 percent of its population.” – ‘Obama to Detroit: Drop Dead’

Here is a Progressive suggestion for Detroit’s insurmountable problem: Move everybody out.

It’s been done before, by a president who could fix everything. In the mid-1930s, the Agriculture Department’s Resettlement Administration moved thousands of farmers, and planned on moving more.

”The goal of the Resettlement Administration was the relocation of impoverished farm families and poor city families. … Like many other New Deal agencies, it was founded on the belief that a control of social conditions would produce better lives for American citizens. . . .”

Resettlement czar Rexford G. Tugwell’s plans included moving 650,000 people from 100 million acres. – “Resettlement Administration,”

Congress balked, though, so Tugwell managed to move only a few thousand citizens from 9 million acres.

In one example in Arkansas, farmers were moved from their land on Mount Magazine to what the government considered more practicable land. The several thousand acres freed from human occupation became Mount Magazine State Park.

So, there is modern-day precedent for government moving people from an unsuitable location.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Cleaning for the roach man

Around noon today I sat in Mrs. R’s den, eating my Sonic lunch and watching roaches run across the kitchen floor – six at first, then eight, 10 and 12. Once in a while a roach would stop running, just stop and do nothing. After a few seconds another roach would approach, do a feeler bump or something, and then both would run off in opposite directions. Probably, Roach #2 was checking to see if #1 was dead. If so, #1 was fair game for eating.

My job today was to empty and clean out the cabinets so the bug dude would have a clean place to spray. Priscilla and I had emptied cabinets a couple of weeks ago, so I thought my main job today would be cleaning – you know, sweeping with a paper towel.

The second cabinet I opened contained over-the-counter medicines, all past best-by dates, some never opened. I put those in a box. Then I opened a cabinet of three shelves – full. Spices and … I don’t remember what. I didn’t even look at best-by dates on the spices – Into a trash bag they went, along with whatever else was there.

The next cabinet contained canned goods, boxed food and gelatin desserts. Many of the canned foods had best-by dates of 2014. I put those in canvas shopping bags. Out-of-date stuff went into a trash bag. The gelatin stuff I treated like the spices – into a trash bag.

I wound up with three 30-gallon trash bags full of no-longer-good things, and 2+ much smaller canvas bags with still good canned food.

Then I opened two long, lower cabinets. “Aw, man!” I said. Those were filled with metal and glass pie plates, empty glass jars with lids – eight linear feet by 18 inches twice.

Then I cleaned out the cabinets, using paper towels.

The roach dude arrived at 4, as scheduled. He had been to Mrs. R’s house last year. He told Mrs. R. she needed to empty the cabinets. She said she wasn’t going to do that, and he should spray anyway. He said it would do no good, and he left. Today, with cabinets empty, he sprayed.

He will spray again in four weeks. By then the house should be completely empty.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

I know everything’s bigger in Texas …

…but, 18,000!

‘Texas deer hunters discover 18k marijuana plants’

“MADISONVILLE, Texas — Authorities have confiscated more than 18,000 marijuana plants in Central Texas after a group of deer hunters stumbled into them.

“Madison County Sheriff Travis Neeley says a group of hunters were setting up deer blinds when they discovered the plants on Friday. The sheriff's office eventually confiscated 18,400 marijuana plants with an estimated street value of $9 million.”

“Authorities say they also found 13 bags of fertilizer, 3,000 feet of irrigation piping and a generator. Neeley says hygiene products, tents and batteries were also found at a nearby campsite. He suspects the land was being used for marijuana planting for the past three years.”

Every trial has its stories

The defendant:

“Scott says he acted in self defense when he confronted Cervini and two others saying they were stealing from neighbors cars. He told them he had a gun and ordered them to freeze and wait for police.

“Scott says he shot Cervini twice when the victim charged toward him yelling he was going to get Scott.”

The dead youth’s:

Aunt: "How can this happen to a beautiful, sweet child like that?” asked Cervini’s aunt Carol Cervini. “All he wanted to do was go home. And then for them to say, he was saying, 'Please don't kill me. I'm just a kid,' and he just kept on shooting him."

Father: "The message is that we can all go out and get guns and feel (sic – maybe means “kill”) anybody that we feel is threatening us and lie about the fact,” said Jim Cervini, Christopher’s father. “My son never threatened anybody. He was a gentle child, his nature was gentle, he was a good person and he was never, ever arrested for anything, and has never been in trouble. He was 16 years and four months old, and he was slaughtered."

Jury says: Not guilty.


Any organization whose letter for donations starts this way isn’t honest

“In Iraq, shrapnel ripped through Jeremy’s eye and into his brain, blinding him for life!

“Pain beyond words … seven hours of brain surgery … coma … learning to live in a world of darkness, seizures, and pain. This was what awaited Jeremy Feldbusch when he came home. It was agony, and it never got much easier.

“I write to you in this time of war because heroes like Jeremy need your help as they come home – injured and sick – from the current conflicts.”

The entire letter is two pages, so I won’t transcribe the whole thing. Let’s just say it is two pages of suck.

A little checking shows the non-profit pays out to programs between 62% and 65% of cash donated. An A+ rating would be 80% or more.

Officer salaries for FY2009 totaled $700,301, with FY2010 salaries at 1.02 million. The executive director makes around $340,000.

What kind of pi$$es me off, too, is that “current conflicts” business.

Normandy, Theresienstadt and an Arkansas drive

(I wrote this in early March and posted it for a short period of time, but for personnel security reasons I deleted it. K was an exchange student my wife and I hosted for a time. Her father is an officer in a NATO army, so I thought it best not to mention K, the world being what it is today. She has returned home now and is no longer under my security.)

I drove south on Arkansas Highway 365 after taking K to a sports orthopedist. K injured a knee during soccer practice a few days before. She had not practiced or exercised during her six months in Arkansas, so going all-out at soccer practice was not the wisest decision.

I decided to take Highway 365 because of construction on I-530. Channeling late afternoon traffic onto one lane means slowdowns or even stopped cars for several miles. The state highway parallels 530. It is a longer drive, but we would at least be moving.

When we drew near the National Cemetery with its 31 acres of green grass and white grave markers, K asked, “Is that a cemetery?”

I said it was a national cemetery where soldiers are buried. “It’s depressing to stand there and see all the tombstones,” I said.

K said, “The American cemetery at Normandy goes on and on.”

Her statement surprised me. She is 17, yet she has seen a place where several thousand American soldiers are buried. In that, she is more educated than almost all Americans.

She said, “There are white crosses there, not like this one. You can stand in the middle and not see the end. The crosses go down the hill and into the woods, and you cannot see the end.”

When she was a child, all her family summer vacations were to World War II battlefields, she said. Her father and her grandfather were army officers.

“If there was a place where a battle was fought, we saw it,” she said, with a small laugh. She especially remembered Normandy and Sainte-Mère-Église.

“Auschwitz,” she said, and she shook her head.

“You’ve been there?” Then I remembered the mention of a great-grandmother. “She went into one of the camps and did not come out,” K had said in another conversation.

She nodded. “And Theresienstadt.”

“That was the show camp.”

She nodded again. “There is a shower there, it looks new. The guide said it has never been used. It was for showing the facilities.”

There is great irony there, of course. The Nazis built a shower in a camp filled with Jews, but because the shower was real, the prisoners were not allowed to use it.

While K and I talked, I missed the continuation turn for 365 and now was near the airport. Rather than turn around, I continued on and picked up I-440 and then I-530 South. Within two miles, traffic slowed and then stopped. After a time, cars crept forward. I figured it was the usual construction slowdown.

A flatbed car carrier passed us on the right, on the shoulder. K said, “What is he doing?” Close behind the carrier came a white van with blue lights flashing. About half a mile ahead I saw other blue flashing lights. I told K.

“Do you think there was an accident?” she asked.

“Looks like it.”

Another white van with blue lights passed on the shoulder, and a couple minutes later a third, this one marked “Pulaski County Coroner.”

I mentioned that one. K asked, “What is a coroner?” I said it is an official who pronounces people dead.

“Oh my goodness,” she said. “I hope no one has been hurt.”

Traffic slowly moved, and after another 10 minutes I saw the wreck. A small SUV was jammed beneath the rear of a bobtail truck, past the driver and passenger seats, windshield gone and the roof pushed to the rear seats.

“Wow,” I said.

“Oh my goodness, oh my goodness,” K said. “That is bad.”

“Yes it is,” I said.

She said, “I don’t think anyone could survive that. Oh my goodness.”

Shooting drones? Good luck.

A resident of Deer Trail, Colo., is circulating a petition that would authorize the city to grant a one-year license for drone-hunting.

My platoon ran a one-day “Engage Aircraft with Small Arms” range at Fort Hood. All line companies in the battalion and some of HHC fired at a plastic foam radio-controlled aircraft about six feet long, using M16A1 rifles and M60 machine guns. The target operator flew the airplane at a designated height back and forth in front of 30 shooters at a time.

How many hits did the target take?

None. Zero.

Maybe Colorado shotgun shooters are better shots than soldiers using rifles and machine guns … but I don’t think so.

It’s a good idea, though, the licensing. Lets the government know what people think about spying on citizens.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Bad taste? Maybe. Something to be offended by? Nah.

The “Dallas Heritage Rifle” has Kennedy Memorial on the stock.

This makes a couple of people mad, because “Lee Harvey Oswald used a rifle to assassinate President John F. Kennedy in Dallas in 1963.”

A rifle. Not the “Dallas Heritage Rifle.”

The President of American Legacy, apparently a Broncos fan, said from his Colorado office: "You know, you think of significant things that have happened in Dallas, other than the Dallas Cowboys.”

Found at

Second-rate TV story here:

Now that Zimmerman has been deemed not guilty …

… the feds want a trial.

Or so DOJ says.

“The U.S. Department of Justice on Monday afternoon appealed to civil rights groups and community leaders, nationally and in Sanford, for help investigating whether a federal criminal case might be brought against George Zimmerman for the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, one advocate said.

“The DOJ has also set up a public email address to take in tips on its civil rights investigation.”

Tom Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice made a conference call, which included “representatives from the FBI, and several federal prosecutors ... DOJ officials also said they would open a public email address so people could send in tips on the case.”

Also involved were “Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund; Laura Murphy, Washington Chapter head of the ACLU; and several national, Florida and Sanford-based ‘human relations’ groups.”,0,4338518.story

(I don’t think Justice really intends to charge Zimmerman with any crime. Obama supporters, however, have to be mollified some way, and announcing a tip hotline and talking with the usual suspects is good PR. Good, one-sided PR. TV news channels will keep harping, as well. The Zimmerman-Martin fight was good ratings and required little actual reporter work. With lawyers feeding releases and now Justice taking over handouts, reporters can go back to camera talk.)

He sort of was a Marine. Sort of.

Here’s a guy bases his physical training business on his recovery from injuries from “a special operations training accident” that left him unable to walk in 2007.

OK. Except that he enlisted in the USMC for officer candidate training on March 14, 2008, reported for training on May 29, 2008, and dropped out July 4, 2008.

(The first story at This Ain't Hell is about a real Marine who admitted urinating on several Taliban bodies. Lesson: If you actually go up against bad guys and kill them, you might wind up without a career, while some wuss fake gets offices and sometimes a bit of money. Real lesson: We know the good guys, the real guys.)

The more you mistrust government, the bigger it becomes

“The idea that the country ought to be run by the people, rather than by the people who know best, lasted somewhere from Andrew Jackson and until shortly after the Civil War. It was buried in an unmarked grave with the political career of Theodore Roosevelt, whose ideas frightened the hell out of both parties.”

“(I)f the political elites woke up tomorrow morning to polling that showed that Congress and the White House were about to be claimed by a new third party committed to closing the border, ending all international agreements, ending Federal control over interstate commerce and shutting down the EPA; there would within short order be a whole bundle of rulings removing the party and its candidates from contention.” The American Deep State.

(National Republicans and Democrats are the same and each party has only one goal – continue running the country. If something threatened both, you could bet the mortgage both would ally to take out the threat.)


A difference between them and us

“MOSCOW — President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday watched Russia's biggest military maneuvers since Soviet times, involving 160,000 troops and about 5,000 tanks across Siberia and the far eastern region in a show of the nation's resurgent military might.

“Russia's Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov assured foreign military attaches Monday that the exercise was part of regular combat training and wasn't directed against any particular nation, though some analysts believe the show of force was aimed at China and Japan.” – Associated Press

If this had been in the US:

“Although Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said the exercise was part of regular combat training, representatives of several groups said they were offended by what one called ‘a blatant example of American force intruding into peaceful nations’ right to live without threat of invasion.’

“The nation’s largest LGBT group – We’re Here and There Ain’t S—t You Can Do to Stop Us – issued a statement condemning the exercises, saying, ‘Not only is the commander not L or G or B or T, he is a known Right-Wing Evangelical Christian-Zionist, and those have no place in this secular country.’”


Sunday, July 14, 2013

'The key to freedom is to be able to defend yourself.'

Swiss army rifles.


Reviewers said, ‘You must see this movie!’

So I watched ‘Sharknado’ on the SyFy Channel. The movie is not the worst I have ever seen – not by a long shot. ‘The World According to Garp’ was many-times-squared worse, as was ‘A Clockwork Orange’ and ‘The Way We Were.’

‘Sharknado’ did get a lot of attention, so much that Ace of Spades HQ links to possible follow-ups, including ‘Bearnami.’

“And TIME pointed out in their article - The Genius of Sharknado - that if you view the movie as a movie about sharks in a tornado, it worked very well.”

It’s good these people don’t make a living using their minds

On the Zimmerman trial:

NY Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz: “Zimmerman doesn’t last a year before the hood catches up to him.”

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Roddy White: “All them jurors should go home tonight and kill themselves for letting a grown man get away with killing a kid.”

Actor/producer/director Marlon Wayans: “Homey don’t play that game.” No, seriously, he said: “The jury just said “fuck nigggggggggggg*s”!!! We are officially game, like deer.”

Actor John Cusack: “the need for justice & civil liberties /rights for all Americans inspires US to reclaim rights so this tragedy cld have positive meaning.”

(Whatever that means.)

Actor Richard Dreyfuss: “It’s 2013 and an American jury just acquitted a man who admitted to stalking and killing an unarmed child.”

AP reporter Cristina Silva: “So we can all kill teenagers now? Just checking.”

‘Moonbats React to Zimmerman Verdcit’

If you wondered how stupid TV news can be …

… KTVU in San Francisco has the answer – Incredibly stupid. Unbelievably stupid.

“Anchor Tori Campbell of KTVU said on the air Friday that the Asiana jet crew, flying from Seoul, consisted of ‘Captain Sum Ting Wong,’ ‘Wi Tu Lo,’ ‘Ho Lee Fuk,’ and ‘Bang Ding Ow.’”

‘Half-assed media’

And then there was Christine …

… to rival Carton de Wiart.

“Christine’s most jaw-dropping act of heroism would occur in August 1944: with a bounty on her head and her face having graced ‘Wanted Dead or Alive’ posters, she strolled into a Gestapo-controlled French prison and, posing as another woman entirely, secured an interview with a corruptible gendarme. Every iota of her charm and resourcefulness coming into play, Christine successfully arranged to break out three colleagues—including her lover du jour, the 29-year-old Belgian-British agent Francis Cammaerts—who were about to be executed. ‘Good reading,’ an SOE officer wrote on the cover note of Cammaerts’ subsequent report, ‘I am going to make sure that I keep on Christine’s side in future.’ ‘So am I,’ another scribbled in reply. ‘She frightens me to death.’”

‘Christine Granville, British Secret Agent’

More on ‘A song before class’

I am sorry that Janis Ian’s high school years sucked. But then, everybody’s high school years suck at some point. The days or week you didn’t want to go to school because you didn’t meet somebody’s expectations, or someone had looked at you and you saw the look as disparaging your very existence. Or the girl you wanted to ask out, you saw walking too close to another guy, and even if you had asked her out before then, she would have said no, because you weren’t handsome enough for her or you didn’t have enough money …

Everybody had times that sucked.

Regardless of what Ian said, even high school girls with clear skin smiles have sucking days. Being always pretty can’t be always easy. Walking just the right way because that’s what pretty girls do, wearing just the right clothes and wearing just the right amount and kind of makeup, smiling just the right way … Belle of the ball is a job.

Almost all of us made it unscathed through high school. Most of us didn’t and don’t blame others for the way our lives turned out. “If so-and-so had just done whatever-it-was-I-wanted at 17 …”

There is the key – What I wanted.

In the song, Ian hints at what she wanted, but she doesn’t spell it out. She was troubled, she was sad, she was … different?

In coming out press statements and on “woe is me” TV programs, how many times have you heard someone say, “In high school I knew I was different”?

Here’s a clue for you all – In high school, everybody is different. Everybody. Think back. Do you remember anyone who was just like you? Would you have wanted to know someone who was just like you?

You can be sad, you can be troubled, you can believe you aren’t liked. You have those rights.

You also have the right to blame. No one can stop you from blaming someone else, or several someones else.

But at some time, blame has to stop.

If high school girls with clear-skin smiles had not existed, how would Ian have realized a recording contract?

Friday, July 12, 2013

Fark says this is the 'Best opening of a Wikipedia biography ever.’

“Lieutenant-General Sir Adrian Paul Ghislain Carton de Wiart VC, KBE, CB, CMG, DSO (5 May 1880 – 5 June 1963), was a British Army officer of Belgian and Irish descent. He served in the Boer War, First World War, and Second World War; was shot in the face, head, stomach, ankle, leg, hip, and ear; survived a plane crash; tunneled out of a POW camp; and bit off his own fingers when a doctor refused to amputate them. He later said, ‘Frankly I had enjoyed the war.’"

Or: “If you go to Google right now and search 'Adrian Carton De Wiart' you will get less than 2,500 results, are you ******* kidding me? If you go to Google and search 'Cock and Ball Torture' you get 473,000 results, the Internet's priorities are just plain wrong.

“The guy is a ******* war hero, and he negotiated the surrender of Italy, and he told Mao Tse Tung to go **** himself (probably), why isn't his face printed on money? Why isn't his birthday a national holiday? If you've read all this so far then you've now got a valid reason to take a day off on May 5th.

A song before class

One morning before beginning class, I mentioned that a song had come to mind while I was driving to school. “I don’t remember all the words, but the song begins, ‘I leaned the truth at seventeen, That love was meant for beauty queens, And high school girls with clear-skinned smiles, Who married young and then retired.’

“There were other words and then, ‘Inventing lovers on the phone,
Who called to say, ‘Come dance with me,’ And murmured vague obscenities, It isn't all it seems at seventeen.”

“And later, ‘We all play the game and when we dare, To cheat ourselves at solitaire, Inventing lovers on the phone, Repenting other lives unknown … At seventeen.”

“That’s all I remember,” I said, and I heard a girl say, “Huh,” in a voice that said she knew everything the words meant. And I was sad in realizing that a young woman would know, that anybody would know, even Janis Ian.

Ring, Ring, Telephone Ring

My phone talks to me before it rings. It tells me the number that is calling. I don’t know why it does that. I did not tell my phone to talk to me. I do not know how to tell my phone anything.

Here are the things I do with my phone: I make calls; I receive calls; I take pictures.

I do not know what to do with the pictures after I take them. The phone gives me lots of choices – “Options” it says in a corner of the screen. Among the options are “Send,” “Set As,” “Take Picture,” “Get New Picture,” “Manage Pictures,” “Rename,” “Full View” and “File Info.”

I tried to “Send” a picture to my email, but could not figure out how to enter an address. I know what “Take a Picture” means. I took a shot at “Full View,” and sure enough, the picture got bigger. The other stuff, I have no idea. How can I “Manage Pictures” if I don’t know what that means?

Sometimes the phone informs me of a missed call an hour later. In February the phone said I had a voice mail from August.

My wife says I need a Smart Phone. No, I do not.

There is no such thing as a Smart Phone or a Dumb Phone. There are only phones that make some of us realize our limitations and lead others to attempt to exceed their limitations.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

What to do, what to do

Center for Disease Control today said all the talk over too much salt is hokum, or some similar word. And a study says use of fish oil could lead to prostate cancer.

Is nothing sacred?

Next, somebody will say global warming is a hoax.

Hey, we got a virus! Kill everything!

“What happened next, though, demonstrated fascinating ineptitude: Rather than simply identifying the infected computers and fixing them, the agency set about physically destroying its IT hardware — not just computers, but keyboards, printers, digital cameras, and other equipment entirely unrelated to the problem.

“This being the federal government, contractors made a killing: EDA spent a mere $4,300 on the process of physically destroying $170,500 worth of computers and equipment, but spent another $1.4 million on advice from contractors, and another $1 million on temporary computers to use while it was destroying the ones it already had.”


Found at maggiesfarm.

Been there since 1826, not intending to go anywhere

“Remington will not run or abandon its loyal and hard working 1,300 employees without considerable thought and deliberation. Laws can be overturned and politicians voted out of office, but the decisions we make today will affect our people, their families and entire communities for generations.”


(You might say the article is at least a little pro-Remington.)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Wind, solar, seawater, algae power and now … rust?

“Tiny (nano-sized) particles of haematite (crystalline iron oxide, or rust) have been shown to split water into hydrogen and oxygen in the presence of solar energy.

“The result could bring the goal of generating cheap hydrogen from sunlight and water a step closer to reality.

“Details are published in the journal Nature Materials.

“Researchers from Switzerland, the US and Israel identified what they termed ‘champion nanoparticles’ of haematite, which are a few billionths of a metre in size.

“Bubbles of hydrogen gas appear spontaneously when the tiny grains of haematite are put into water under sunlight as part of a photoelectrochemical cell (PEC).”

(The others are nor economical, but by golly we’ll spend billions until we find something that is. Other than oil and other bad things.)

Found at

We’re not gonna feed it anymore!

“New York’s Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake school district has become the latest casualty in first lady Michelle Obama’s preferred lunch plan, dropping the menu after too many students complained of hunger.

“’[Food service manager Nicky] Boehm and her staff worked hard to implement the new regulations, but there were just too many problems and too many foods that students did not like and would not purchase,’ said Assistant Superintendent Chris Abdoo about the National School Lunch Program in a statement reported by ‘Students complained of being hungry with these lunches and the district lost money.’

“The school system decided to instead create its own lunch menu for next year.

“The district lost about $100,000 trying out the federal menu, which offered such meals as ‘part’ of a chicken patty on a minicroissant, reported.

“’Students felt they weren’t getting good value for their money,’ Ms. Boehm said in ‘The high schoolers especially complained the portion sizes were too small and many more students brought in lunch from home.’”

We want jobs! No, no, not WalMart jobs.

“The D.C. Council bill would require retailers with corporate sales of $1 billion or more and operating in spaces 75,000 square feet or larger to pay their employees no less than $12.50 an hour. The city’s minimum wage is $8.25.

“While the bill would apply to some other retailers — such as Home Depot, Costco and Macy’s — a grandfather period and an exception for those with unionized workforces made it clear that the bill targets Wal-Mart, which has said it would open six stores, employing up to 1,800 people.”

(I worked a year at a WalMart. I didn’t particularly like it, but I knew the check wouldn’t bounce.)

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

You are an American. You have rights.

And cops will push as far over the line as you let them.

Asbestos settlement

Going through Mrs. R’s papers, I came across a thick set of lawyer letters concerning a class-action settlement in which my wife’s father was a plaintiff.

One letter noted Mr. R’s part of the settlement totaled $27,000 – minus lawyer fees of more than 30 percent.

Two of the pieces were checks, $5 from Rock Wool Manufacturing Co. Asbestos Trust, and $8 from M.H. Detrick Co Asbestos Trust. Both checks were dated Oct. 4, 2007, with a dead date of Feb. 6, 2008. On the back of each check is written: “In full payment, discharge and release of (company name) pursuant to Second Amended Joint Plan of Reorganization dated November 24, 1999.”

Mr. R died in 2004. I suppose Mrs. R either forgot to deposit the $13, or she decided the money didn’t matter.

Also from 2007 are letters from Baron and Budd, attorneys and counselors from Dallas. Two letters inform Mrs. R of bankruptcy filing by two companies “against which you have an asbestos-related claim.”

In settlement, Fiberboard Corp. agreed to pay $9,500, of which Mr. and Mrs. R had received $2,899.45. Because of bankruptcy, Fiberboard “can only pay 25%” of the remainder.

Also in settlement, Owens-Corning Corp. agreed to pay $18,000, but, you know what? OC also filed for bankruptcy, and although the company paid $5,553.91, it just doesn’t have the remaining $12,446.09. But because of its magnanimous corporate heart, OC is going to pay 40 percent of what it owes.

“As always, attorneys’ fees and costs will be deducted from the amount received on your behalf,” the letters state.

I am going to frame the checks and collage the bankruptcy notes and also collage the collection of fees and costs “on your behalf,” just to remind me that if I ever become involved in a class-action suit, I might just blow up a guilty company. There can be more justice in C4 than in dollar payments.

All that is in the ballpark of an incident described by a history student. She and her husband were going through divorce. She and her 15-year-old daughter lived in the house bought when the marriage was better. Then, the husband put the house up for sale. She and her lawyer went back to court.

She described the scene on the day of hearing.

“They’re all buddies. Before hearings started, my lawyer and my husband’s lawyer were talking with the judge, all of them telling jokes and laughing. You know they play golf together and they belong to the same country club and they drink together. And I’m supposed to believe the judge dispenses unbiased judgment?”

Pot and kettle and all that

“Some smokers trying to get coverage next year under President Obama's health care law may get a break from tobacco-use penalties that could have made their premiums unaffordable.

“The Obama administration -- in yet another health care overhaul delay -- has quietly notified insurers that a computer system glitch will limit penalties that the law says the companies may charge smokers. A fix will take at least a year to put in place.”


“Premiums for a standard ‘silver’ insurance plan would be about $9,000 a year for a 64-year-old non-smoker, according to the online Kaiser Health Reform Subsidy Calculator. That's before any tax credits, available on a sliding scale based on income.

“For a smoker of the same age, the full 50 percent penalty would add more than $4,500 to the cost of the policy, bringing it to nearly $13,600. And tax credits can't be used to offset the penalty.”

(As Nancy Pelosi’s Republican cousin said, “We need to pass this thing so everybody can see it’s a POS that has a snowball’s chance of working.” And the dude who smokes – the prez – he’s going to be covered anyway, right? Eight years in office, doesn’t he get health insurance?)

But, see, there is a difference between what you want to do and what I think you should do

“After spending the last 25 years defending efforts to purge longstanding Christian symbols, sentiments and prayers from our society by saying that religion is stronger when church and state are separate, (Barry) Lynn (executive director of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State) now believes that forcing religious employers to provide contraception coverage is just peachy keen, no doubt because secularism has become stronger. And when supporting his newfound state-over-church principles he said that the contraception issue should not be a ‘justification for exemption from the laws that apply to the rest of us,’ as it was ‘trivial.’”

$80,000 to the right people goes a long way

USDA is adding Greek yogurt to school lunch menus. Sen. Charles Schumer had pushed for Greek yogurt since last June. Schumer is from New York. Also in New York is Chobani, which makes the number-one-selling yogurt brand in the country.

“So far this year, Chobani … paid $80,000 to Cornerstone Government Affairs to lobby Congress on its behalf, according to federal records. The company first hired the lobbying firm last July, shortly after Schumer petitioned the USDA.”

All USDA has to do now is find a company to make the yogurt. Chobani “owns the largest yogurt manufacturing facility in the world, a nearly one-million-square-foot plant in Twin Falls, Idaho …”

You don’t think … Surely USDA will not pick … No. That’s not the way the U.S. government works.


Monday, July 8, 2013

Guard Soldiers, Airmen face 20 percent pay cut

The story is from Hawaii, but also includes comments from other states. I assume the furloughed people are civil service and not Active Guard/Reserve.

1,100 in Hawaii and 1,000 in Florida.

Like Active Duty soldiers, Guard and Reserve soldiers habitually work until the job is done. Furloughs most likely mean tools are put up at 5 p.m.

“The military's furloughs were only supposed to involve civilians, but large numbers of National Guard members who wear Army and Air Force uniforms full-time will experience them as well. The National Guard added military technicians to the furlough list in May, after Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel gave official notice to begin furloughs for civilians.”

Or, this could be an object lesson. “You want us to cut the work week by 20 percent? OK, here’s your f’n cuts.”

Now, the Lucky Charms leprechaun says d---- and p---- are magically delicious

“From all of the marriage equality celebrations to Facebook's new Pride emoticon, everyone's seeing the colors of the rainbow these past few days and now, to continue celebrating lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Pride, you don't have to look any further than your cereal bowl.

“General Mills has come out in support of the gay community for Pride, and what better way to show their love than with the Lucky Charms marshmallow rainbow?

“The ‘magically delicious’ cereal is serving as the face of the new #LuckyToBe campaign which encourages people with Pride to tweet and post online their reasons for why they're prideful using the hashtag #LuckyToBe.

"’We're celebrating Pride month with whimsical delight, magical charms, and two new rainbow marshmallows... If you're lucky enough to be different, we're celebrating you,’ the #LuckyToBe campaign stated in a press release sent to GLAAD.”

By way of and

Yeah, but what if it is a ‘s—t’ country?

“Rome, 5 July (AKI) — In a landmark ruling on Thursday, the Supreme Court of Cassation convicted a pensioner of ‘contempt for the nation’ and fined him 1,000 euros after he called Italy a ‘s**t country.

The ruling came after Italy’s paramilitary Carabinieri police force took the 71-year-old man to court for saying ‘What a s**t country Italy is..why are you wasting time with such crap,’ to officers who fined him for driving on a single headlamp.

The Supreme Court rejected the man’s claim that his words were a rightful expression of free thought.

“’Freedom of expression cannot translate into coarse and brutal insults that do not correspond to objective criticism,’ it said in its sentence.”

Sec. Mabus: We’re all SEALs now

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus announced today in a hastily-assembled press conference that everyone in the Navy is now a SEAL.

“We’ve had so many people claim to be SEALs in recent months that, in order to avoid costly prosecutions under the new Stolen Valor Act of 2013, we figured that it would just be easier to make everyone in the Navy a SEAL.”

According to the Department of the Navy press release which followed the press conference, a sailor doesn’t have to be a graduate of boot camp in order to win the prestigious title. Drill instructors will now hand out SEAL Tridents as recruits get off the bus when they arrive at training. The distinction is also retroactive – anyone who ever served in the Navy is authorized to write to the Department of the Navy and get their Trident pin along with a spiffy certificate suitable for framing.

All an applicant needs is a DD214 for any amount of time served in the Navy, Maybus assured reporters that even forged DD214s will be sufficient.

When asked if this just wasn’t a morale builder like then-General Eric Shinseki’s awarding Ranger berets to the entire Army, Maybus responded tersely, “Shinseki can suck it. He made soldiers graduate from basic training before they could wear Ranger berets. We’re treating everyone equally, just because they want to be a SEAL, they can now. Hell, even if they don’t want to be a SEAL, they are now.”

The Secretary also said that this would save them a “boatload” of money, trying to find someone who was a cook or bottle washer no one ever heard of to put their name on ships. “We sort of ran out names that piss off people after the USS Jane Fonda” said Mabus.

One man in Florida, Phillip Dale Monkress, reportedly ran over several pedestrians to mail out his downloaded application for his Trident. He was heard to say, “Someone tell my wife that she can call off the divorce now.”

When asked for comment, Don Shipley’s hair responded “Does this mean that I get an afternoon nap now?”

Not to be outdone, the Army has been reportedly planning to hand out Combat Infantry Badges at recruiting stations to anyone who pokes their head in the door.

In other words, Obama had his ‘Oh, s—t’ moment

Just about every president has at least one, that day soon after election when he is briefed by national security people, who say, “All those things you said about Balugastan during the campaign? Here is the real story.” And the president-elect says, “Oh, s—t.”

‘Bush: Obama in office “realized the dangers’ facing US’

“’I think the President got into the Oval Office, and realized the dangers to the United States, and he's acted-- in a way that he thinks is necessary to protect the country,’ said Bush, declining to criticize Obama.”

What Former President Bush did not say: “Bless his heart.” In Southernese, that means, “He tries to do well, but he hasn’t yet pulled his head out.”

Headline: ‘Big Brother “Outs” Two Racist Houseguests to Viewers — Was It Enough?’

Right back to “All the world’s a stage” thingy, and Shakespeare had no idea about television. Unless he was a time traveler who centuries from now or next month decided the world needed some serious play-writing, serious in the sense of “a bunch of” and not “dramatic.”

The Yahoo story is BS. The writers had to write something, and that was all Matt Webb Mitovich and Rebecca Iannucci could come up with.

“Side note: Per a TVLine reader poll, 82 percent said that CBS should not edit out all offensive slurs but instead let America see these players for who they truly are.”

Who is surprised? Of course people polled not to edit offensive remarks. That’s one reason people watch drivel, so they can say, “Damn! I’m not that bad. Those people are really sick.” Programs on hoarders, wedding dresses, addicts interventioned … “Damn! I’m not as bad off as they are.”

No recourse over established law and order

“Governments -- Federal and State -- have authority to protect me from crime, and they have authority to prosecute people who commit crimes against me. But they have no duty, enforceable by me, to protect me from crime, nor a duty, enforceable by me, to undertake any particular prosecution.”

In that separate but equal realm, I cannot force the government (police) to protect me, nor can I force government (the prosecution) to charge and try anyone.

Therefore, I am on my own.

The quote is about ObamaCare at

but the idea covers much more.

Drama Drama Drama Drama

All the world is a CNN news cast and we are but digits in front of a camera.

‘Tragic jet crash and then runway horror.’

(Everything is, isn’t it? Tragic.)

‘Asiana 214’s fateful last seconds’

‘Survivor: “I’m dying”’

VA study says 22 veterans suicide every day

In response, VA leaders create “task force to provide recommendations for innovative mental health care." Oh, they’re also hiring more people for the VA crisis hotline.

(People who read the headline will jump on the anti-Afghanistan and anti-Iraq stage and say, “See? This is what happens when we allow a Bush to run the country!”

(Not so fast there, Hippie Dude. The study also says: “Researchers found that the average age of a veteran who commits suicide is about 60.”)

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Another reason the US doesn’t need European football

“Football spectators in northern Brazil decapitated a referee after he fatally stabbed a player for refusing to leave the pitch, officials say.

“An angry mob stormed the field during the amateur game in the state of Maranhao and stoned Otavio da Silva to death before severing his head.

“Police said the murder was in retaliation for Mr Silva stabbing player Josenir dos Santos.”

Other reasons: soccer players make too much money for running up and down a pasture; soccer players fake injuries; they’re sissies; the game is European.

(The fans cut off the referee’s head. Who do they think they are, English fans?)

Global warming responsible for ...

Too many lobsters

And grizzly attack.


You don’t call your mother? Get ready for jail

“Grown children in China must visit their parents or potentially face fines or jail, a new law that came into effect on Monday says.

“China's new ‘Elderly Rights Law’ deals with the growing problem of lonely elderly people by ordering adult children to visit their ageing parents.

"The law says adults should care about their parents ‘spiritual needs’ and ‘never neglect or snub elderly people’".

MIA program ‘dysfunctional’

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon's effort to account for tens of thousands of Americans missing in action from foreign wars is so inept, mismanaged and wasteful that it risks descending from ‘dysfunction to total failure,’ according to an internal study suppressed by military officials. – Associated Press

We expect too much from science and from the military services. That said, the Pentagon's program of finding those missing in action should be above reproach. People in a group do what the leader does. If you don't have good leaders, you have an ineffective group.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Kittens from Hooters

A young woman brought three kittens in a large plastic container into the animal control office. She set the container on a counter.

Miss D, who runs the place, looked up. “Oh,” she said. “You’re the one called the animal control officer and he told you bring the kittens here.” The young woman said she was. “Yeah,” Miss D said. “He’s going to owe me. He’ll be in later and put on the form he brought them in.”

Miss D got a smaller container and transferred the kittens. She then had the woman fill in a form, leaving blank the section concerning who brought in the kittens.

“That’s two for him today,” Miss D said.

The young woman left, taking the large container. Miss D went to do something else. A young volunteer played with the kittens.

Priscilla said, “She was almost in tears.” We were at animal control to place my mother-in-law’s poodle-Chihuahua mix for adoption.

“Who was?” I asked. I had not heard the conversation between Miss D and the young woman.

“The girl,” Priscilla said. “She said they found the kittens near Hooters. They decided the mother had abandoned them, so they called animal control. The mother cat probably had gone off to find food.”

That’s the way it is sometimes with well-meaning people who don’t know anything about animals.

Just like a story I wrote for a newspaper, a woman found a tagged fawn in the woods, decided its mother had been run over or somehow else killed, and the fawn was abandoned. She took the little deer home and fed it and kept it in her garage and let it into the yard during the day.

The day after the story ran I was at the sheriff’s office to get overnight crime statistics. The local game warden was there, too.

“I got a bone to pick with you,” he said.

I figured he might be a little upset about what the fawn-finder had to say about parks and wildlife department. “You’ll notice everything had ‘she said.’”

“That’s not it,” the warden said. “It’s against the law to possess a tagged animal. But that’s not the bad part, either.”

The bad part, he said, was that the woman took a fawn whose mother probably was not far away.

“In fact, the doe might have been watching when people took her fawn,” he said.

Wardens often have to step in between well-meaning people and wild animals.

The three kittens found near Hooters would not be as lucky as the fawn.

Miss D told the young volunteer, “Go find Aunt G.”

A few minutes later, an older woman came in from the indoor kennel area. She looked at the kittens. “Tortoise shell,” she said. “Those two.” She picked up the third kitten, which was all black. The kitten hissed. “You bit me,” Aunt G said. She looked at Priscilla. “He bit me.”

She checked all three kittens, then told Miss D, “Their teeth aren’t big enough for solid food.” She again picked up the all black one. The kitten splayed its paws and hissed as it extended its little claws. She said there were three nursing cats in back, but none could take the three kittens.

Priscilla said, “Will they survive?”

“No,” Aunt G said. “To be honest, no.”

The kittens would be euthanized because a well-meaning human made the wrong conclusion.

Muslims kill Christians, Buddhists kill Muslims

“Dozens of schools have been burned in attacks by Islamists since 2010.

“A reporter from the Associated Press found chaotic scenes at the hospital in nearby Potiskum, where traumatised parents struggled to identify their children among the charred bodies and gunshot victims.

“Survivors said suspected militants arrived with containers full of fuel and set fire to the school.

“Some pupils were burned alive, others were shot as they tried to flee.”


While in another part of the world:

“MEIKHTILA, Myanmar (AP) — Their bones are scattered in blackened patches of earth across a hillside overlooking the wrecked Islamic boarding school they once called home.

“Smashed fragments of skulls rest atop the dirt. A shattered jaw cradles half a set of teeth. And among the remains lie the sharpened bamboo staves attackers used to beat dozens of people to the ground before drowning their still-twitching bodies in gasoline and burning them alive.

“The mobs that March morning were Buddhists enraged by the killing of a monk. The victims were Muslims who had nothing to do with it — students and teachers from a prestigious Islamic school in central Myanmar who were so close to being saved.”

(One has nothing to do with the other, of course, Nigerian Muslims murdering Nigerian Christians, Burmese Buddhists murdering Burmese Muslims. Sometimes, though, there is a bang and not a whimper.)

What kind of weapon was that?

Lead paragraph: “SPRINGFIELD, Ill.—As Illinois prepares to become the last state in the country to allow the concealed carry of firearms, few of its communities appear concerned that the window allowing them to ban assault-style weapons will rapidly begin closing next week.”

(“ban assault-style weapons”)

Second paragraph: “Despite encouragement from Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon—and on the verge of almost-certain enactment next week of a law allowing residents to carry concealed weapons—only four communities have adopted semi-automatic gun restrictions out of more than two dozen taking them up.”

(“semi-automatic gun restrictions”)

Wait. “Semi-automatic” “assault-style weapons.” While the reporters might not know what is is, citizens outside the Chicago area have dictionaries. And guns.

I thought it was just a movie!!

“The male ancient Egyptian skeleton lived more than 3,300 years ago and died at the age of 35-40, before being buried with a ring on his right toe.” – Cutline below picture at

(Skeletons that lived more that 3,300 years ago? What other secrets did ancient Egyptians possess?)

Thursday, July 4, 2013

ObamaCare good for 20-somethings fiscally living with parents

New college graduates still unemployed and covered by parents’ health insurance don’t have to worry while looking for a part-time job that is so totally not close to their major degree.

‘No Job? No Problem. Obamacare Provides Career Options For Young Adults’

ObamaCare allows them to “remain independent” while pursuing “other career development options.”

“Researchers found that the Affordable Care Act was associated with a ‘reduced prevalence of full-time work’ among young adults who were also working fewer hours by about three percent compared to before the law was enacted.”

(I don’t see a benefit in “reduced prevalence of full-time work.”)