Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Looks like a Civil War ironclad

DDG-1000, stealth destroyer.

Scroll way down for picture of ship floating.

Observations concerning a necessary event

There arrives a time in life when you should not sit on or in anything that places your knees above your waist. Like Neil Sadaka said, “Getting up is hard to do.”

Peter Ustinov knew, too. When he received word of pending knighthood, he was asked, “Can you kneel?” The question, he said, should have been, “Can you get up?”

Or, John Pinette’s response when a personal trainer mentioned situps: “I don’t do ups.”

All of that has to do with a rather unmannered subject: Bathroom facilities at my in-law’s house.

This happened more than twenty years ago, but the reality still exists.

For some reason, my in-laws decided anyone using the sit-down appliance should do so about 18 inches from the floor. I am 6-feet, 1½ inches tall. Placing the lower part of my body in a sitting position 18 inches from the floor is not comfortable.

Not content with lowering the height of the necessary facility, my in-laws also equipped their commodes with padded seats. And, the maker of those seats had decided an average American backside is 12 inches across. I say, Nay, nay.

When my wife decided to replace the sit-down facilities at our house, she chose the right size – waist level with knees and width to fit older Americans.

Distasteful, I know. But words of advice anyway.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Maybe we’ll stop doing it; we haven’t yet decided

‘US weighs ending spying on allied heads of state’

“WASHINGTON (AP) — Faced with a flood of revelations about U.S. spying practices, the White House is considering ending its eavesdropping on friendly foreign leaders, a senior administration official said.

“A final decision has not been made and the move is still under review, the official said.”

Sen. Diane Feinstein, who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, said “the White House” told her "collection on our allies will not continue." The “senior administration official” said Feinstein’s
statement “was not accurate.”

(When caught with your hand in the cookie jar, you say: (1) I’m sorry. It won’t happen again; (2) I didn’t know I wasn’t supposed to get cookies; (3) What cookie jar?

(You do not say: Yeah, you caught me. Maybe I won’t do it again. I’m thinking about it.)

Monday, October 28, 2013

Air Force gives extra benefits to homosexuals

The Air Force has followed the Army in giving “administrative absence” to homosexuals who want to get married. Air Force homosexuals living in a state that does not allow men to marry men or women to marry women may get seven to 10 extra days absence from duty if “located more than 100 miles from a U.S. state, the District of Columbia or other jurisdictions that allows the couple to marry. According to the policy, if two servicemembers are part of a couple and desire to get married, both members may be granted an administrative absence if qualified. Members may be granted up to seven days if stationed in the continental United States, and up to 10 days if stationed overseas.”

An Air Force man who wishes to marry a woman or an Air Force woman who wishes to marry a man must take normal, charged leave.

Of course, neither the Army nor the Air Force gives or denies extra privileges based on heterosexuality or homosexuality. All Soldiers and Airmen are treated the same.

‘Perks of the ruling class’


This article was published October 27, 2013 at 3:11 a.m.

America has a two-party system. But it’s not Republicans versus Democrats. It’s the ruling class-Republicans and Democrats-against everyone else. Consider how President Obama gave Congress its very own Obamacare waiver in August.

Obamacare includes a provision that should cost each member of Congress and each staffer $5,000 to $11,000 per year. Needless to say, the ruling class was not pleased.

Congress wasn’t about to try to exempt itself from this provision explicitly, though. If John Q. Congressman voted to give himself an Obamacare waiver that his constituents don’t get, he wouldn’t be John Q. Congressman much longer. What’s an aristocrat to do?

On July 30 I predicted that even though he had no authority to do so, President Obama would waive that provision at taxpayers’ expense. On August 1, he ignobly obliged the aristocracy by decreeing we peasants give each member and staffer $5,000 or $11,000, depending on whether they want self-only or family coverage. It’s good to be the king.

The president’s supporters, like courtesans of old, are trying to quell a peasant uprising by denying there were any special favors. These denials ring hollow.

Obamacare imposes two costs on members of Congress and their staff. First, it kicks them out of their current health plans, leaving them to buy coverage on Obamacare’s health-insurance exchanges. Second, it makes no provision for the federal government to keep paying $5,000 or $11,000 toward the cost of their insurance as the Treasury does today.

The second cost is by far the larger one; it amounts to a pay cut of $5,000 or $11,000. Many staffers were threatening to quit or retire early.

When the president’s supporters claim that Congress isn’t being exempted, they mean that Obama didn’t exempt them from Cost No. 1. Which is true. But he did exempt them from Cost No. 2.

Rescinding that pay cut may or may not have been the right thing to do.But it’s still a break that ordinary Americans like Kevin Pace, an adjunct music professor at Northern Virginia Community College, doesn’t get. To avoid penalties under Obamacare, his employer cut his hours-sticking Pace with an $8,000 pay cut.

Supporters say President Obama merely held Congress harmless. Exactly. Kevin Pace and countless others like him aren’t being held harmless, because they’re not members of Congress. As Pace put it,
“This isn’t right on any level.” Things would be unseemly enough if Congress’ Obamacare waiver was unquestionably legal.

But some experts say the president had no authority to grant it.

That didn’t stop even Republicans from praising him. Tin-eared Rep. Chris Stewart (R, Utah) gushed: “There’s no question it was the right thing to do. Not just for me, but for my staff. Heavens, I have staff who don’t make much money.This would be a really big bite for them.”

Congressman, you also have constituents who don’t make much money, and who can’t make it appear out of thin air. Enjoy your waiver.

How was I able to predict the president would grant illegal subsidies to members of Congress? He’s a repeat offender.

Obamacare kicked members of Congress out of their current health plans and imposed that $5,000 to $11,000 pay cut immediately upon enactment in 2010. But President Obama just ignored that part of the law. He let members and staff stay in their current health plans and kept the taxpayer money flowing in their direction.

I predicted President Obama would give legally dubious health-insurance subsidies to members of Congress because he is already in his fourth year of doing it.

Nearly all Americans can point to some part of Obamacare that they hate. Seniors hate the Independent Payment Advisory Board, which even Howard Dean calls “a health-care rationing body.”

Unions, teacher assistants, bus drivers, cafeteria workers, and other school employees hate how the law is cutting their pay. Private-sector unions despise the “Cadillac tax” that forces them to fund subsidies their members don’t receive.Young adults hate the penalties for not buying health insurance.

Okay, everybody hates those. In fact, a majority of Americans oppose the entire law.

But only Congress gets relief. Why?

Simple. President Obama doesn’t want Congress to re-open Obamacare. A significant share of congressional Democrats just voted to delay the individual mandate. With once-loyal Democrats now upset over how the law hurts them personally, who knows what else Congress would discard?

President Obama circumvented a potential legislative defeat by giving each member and staffer thousands of taxpayer dollars he had no authority to touch. He’s using taxpayer funds to quiet congressional opposition to Obamacare.

Michael F. Cannon is director of health-policy studies at the Cato Institute and co-editor of Replacing Obamacare. A version of this article originally appeared in

More Civil War research

On Oct. 2, I posted:

“In 1862, H.H. Johnston, my wife’s great-great-great-grandfather, walked from Fort Worth, Texas, to Little Rock. That is 321 miles straight-line, 353 miles by today’s highway.”

I was wrong. It was Pvt. M.H. Johnston, 10th Texas Infantry, and he did not walk from near Fort Worth to Little Rock. Johnston was from the Parker County/Tarrant County area when he enlisted in Co. E, 10th Texas. Co. E walked from the enlistment area to Millican, Texas, in Brazos County and then to Shreveport, La. From Shreveport, the regiment traveled “by water to their destination.”

I assume the water route was down the Red River to the Mississippi and then to the Arkansas River and upstream to the Little Rock area. That’s just a guess, though, based on today’s roads and riverways.

Pvt. Martin H. Johnston died in September 1862 in the Little Rock area.

The last war veterans

In The Guns at Last Light, Rick Atkinison says: “Of the 16,112,566 Americans in uniform during the Second World War, the number still living was expected to decline to one million by late 2014, and, a decade later, 2024, to dip below a hundred thousand. By the year 2036, U.S. government demographers estimated, fewer than four hundred would remain alive, less than half the strength of an infantry battalion.”

I wondered, when did the last veterans of the Civil War, Spanish-American War and World War I die?

I thought the answers would be clear. I thought wrong.

“Last Union veteran, Albert Woolson, died 8/2/56, age 109.

“The last authenticated Confederate veteran was Pleasant Crump, who was 104 when he died on December 31, 1951.

“There is controversy over the Confederate one but Mr. Crump is the ONLY one whos (sic) age AND participation in the war are confirmable.”

But, see the monument for “Walter Washington Williams who was recognized by the government of the United States as the last surviving Confederate Veteran died 1959 at the age of 117 years.”

Now, those folks who insist on paper documentation, are they saying Johnny Horton was a liar when he wrote the song for Mr. Williams?

“You fought all the way Johnny Reb, Johnny Reb,
“You fought all the way Johnny Reb.”

The last Spanish-American War veteran was Nathan Edward Cook, Navy, who died in 1992, or maybe Jones Morgan, 9th Cavalry, who died in 1993.

Frank Buckles, corporal, World War I, and captured in the Philippines in 1942, died in February 2011. He was 110. No one questions Mr. Buckles. Not yet, anyway.

I remember newspaper and TV stories about Walter Washington Williams, and at the time (1959), no one challenged the old man.

But today, given the great number of phony Vietnam veterans and SEALs and Army Special Forces and Army Rangers … Sometimes, you just don’t know.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

A groan joke

Back before “freedom from religion” idiots decided to tell everybody how to run their lives, a city asked a Catholic priest, a Baptist preacher, and a rabbi to come for the dedication of the volunteer firefighters' new fire truck. The Catholic put some holy water on it and blessed it. The Baptist laid hands on it and prayed for it. And the rabbi walked all around it, took out his pocket knife, and cut a quarter inch off the hose.


Let’s go 60 miles behind German lines

GS Patton 2’s idea, but he had no idea LTC John K. Waters, his son-in-law, was in the prison camp.

LTC Creighton Abrams wanted to use all his Combat Command B, 4th Armored Division, so says

except maybe he didn’t: “What the hell is this all about?” he demanded. “It just doesn’t make sense.” (Rick Atkinson, ‘The Guns at Last Light.’)

Abrams first choice to lead the charge was LTC Harold Cohen, commander of 10th Armored Infantry Battalion. Cohen had a bad case of hemorrhoids, so command went to battalion S3, CPT Abraham J. Baum. Accompanying Baum was MAJ Alexander C. Stiller, one of Patton’s aides, 52 years old and a former Texas Ranger.

“Cohen joined the army in 1942 as a private. Two years later, he was a major and a Battalion Commander. He would eventually be promoted, in field, to Lt. Colonel.

“In addition to the Distinguished Service Cross, Cohen received four Silver Stars, three Bronze stars, three purple hearts, and the Legion of Merit.”

“In 1945 a recommendation was made for a Distinguished Service Cross for his bravery during fighting. Somehow, it was lost. In 1996, General Abrams´s biographer mentioned Cohen´s story to Lt. Colonel Fred Borch, who reopened the case, resulting in the awarding of the medal.”

Baum and Stiller were awarded the DSC for the attempted rescue.

“Born March 29, 1921, Abraham J. Baum dropped out of high school in the Bronx to help support his struggling family. He made patterns for women's blouses, which convinced the Army that he was an engineer, he joked years later. He enlisted shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor.”

(There are enough Jews involved there to make a movie about a bunch of American GI Jews operating behind German lines …)

Friday, October 25, 2013


CORRECTION: Originally, the lead said "Fifty-something," but that was wrong. John is 57 and would not have been in a high school eduation class 50 years ago.)

Forty-something years ago, John’s special education teacher decided her kids needed more than classroom studies and keep-busy work.

The more she decided on was bowling.

Bowling is a big undertaking for kids with limited physical abilities and even more limited intellectual capacity. The teacher persevered, though, and with the help of parents and a bowling establishment, she soon had 20 or so students bowling every Monday.

The bowling now is every other Saturday morning. For some kids, bowling is the highlight of their social activities.

OK, we’ll get it out of the way. The bowlers range from around 30 years old to John’s 57, with intellectual and emotional ages 5 and up. Physically, none is a kid. Realistically, none will ever be anything but a kid. They will never be older than they are now.

If you saw these kids bowl, you would see dedication and intensity. Every bowler takes the game seriously. Each intends to knock down every pin. Scores are automatic, but not one kid ever says anything about “I beat you.”

Not one has any animosity when inside the bowling alley. No one says anything bad about anyone else. No one argues.

The teacher more than a half century ago had an idea, and her idea has proved more successful than she thought.

Ribs, meet concrete

Priscilla and I took the dogs to a park, since they had been riding in the back of the car for a while. They liked the park.

Back at the hotel we let the dogs out of the car. I walked forward and Charlie walked forward and I lost my balance and started to fall. I almost caught my balance, but close doesn’t always count. I impacted concrete with right elbow, lower right rib cage, right knee and left wrist.

Got bleeding stopped and cleaned up in room.

Priscilla and I both intended bowling with John’s group Saturday morning, but now we will just wait and see.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Proposed USMC covers ‘would make the French blush,’ except maybe the story isn’t … true

“’We don’t even have enough funding to buy bullets, and the DoD is pushing to spend $8 million on covers that look like women’s hats!’ one senior Marine source fumed to The Post. ‘The Marines deserve better. It makes them look ridiculous.’

“The thin new covers have a feminine line that some officials think would make them look just as good on female marines as on males — in keeping with the Obama directive.

“’The Marine Corps is being ‘encouraged’ by DoD to standardize on a unisex/universal dress and service cap,’ Marine brass noted in an internal memo obtained by The Post.”

(Wondering: Does the new uniform include the skirt, as worn by the woman Marine?)

Found at

This Ain’t Hell says: “I’m not saying this is something, I’m just addressing it because the media is addressing it. But the New York Post writes that it’s Obama’s fault that the Corps might change their head gear, which makes me think it’s just a line of shit. I don’t think that the president has anything to do with it. … (T)he whole thing sounds like New York Post horseshit to me.

Marine cover controversy at

(I agree with TAH. Presidents don’t tell uniformed services what to wear. Belly button washers in the Pentgon ... That's another story.)

Memphis VA hospital deaths

Associated Press

MEMPHIS — The Veterans Health Administration says inspectors have investigated the deaths of three patients who died in the emergency department at the Memphis VA Medical Center.

The administration said Wednesday that one patient was administered a medication, in spite of a documented drug allergy, and had a fatal reaction. Another patient was found unresponsive after receiving multiple sedating medications.

A third patient had critically high blood pressure that was not aggressively monitored and experienced bleeding in the brain.

The investigation showed that the facility had completed protected peer reviews of the care for all three patients. But the report also recommends that the hospital strengthen root cause action plans, improve monitoring of emergency department patients and complete competency assessments for emergency department nursing staff.

(Never been there; don’t know anything about the facility. Dallas VA closed its psychiatric department for a time. A regional VA examiner at Waco in 2002 or 2003 told me more complaints were lodged against Dallas psychiatric department than all other Texas regions combined. The Dallas shrinks were inattentive, had pre-determined conclusions and often did not follow protocol. Psychiatric nurses, however, followed guidelines and procedure. Here, I have not had problems with appointments or 25,000-mile checkups, but in some depatments, quality is not what it should be.)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Woman thanks Soldiers who saved her life

Near El Paso, Linda Hartman was bleeding from a femoral artery nick. An unheated ambulance could not take Hartman to a hospital; fog kept a medivac helicopter from landing. But Soldiers knew what to do.


And I thought things could not get stupider in California

If two homosexual persons cannot make a baby with each other, California now has insurance for that.

"Carlos Alcala, spokeperson for Assemblyman Ammiano clarified the bill’s intent.

“'Anything that is covered by an insurance plan must be covered for everyone,' he said. 'If a plan covers egg donation costs for a heterosexual couple unable to conceive without it, it would have to cover those costs for a gay male couple as well.'


“'The way the law works, gay and lesbian couples would simply have to testify that they have been having sex for a year without producing a child to be considered ‘infertile,’ which is [100% of the time], since baby-making requires necessary components missing in homosexual activity,' comments writer Ben Shapiro.

“'It doesn’t mean situations in which two gay men are both infertile and incapable of impregnating a surrogate mother,' he continued. 'It means situations in which gay or lesbian couples can’t make a baby by having sex with each other. In other words, every single gay and lesbian couple on the planet.'”


(And for everybody who says, well, it’s at Christian News, so you can’t trust accuracy or even honesty, Huffington Post and other “real” news places have the story, too.)

Hey, it’s from Europe! Maybe we should copy the idea!

‘Former heads of state call on EU to set up state surveillance of “intolerant” citizens’

ROME, October 16, 2013 ( – A council of former heads of state and government leaders has called on the European Union to establish national surveillance units to monitor citizens of all 27 EU member states suspected of “intolerance”.

The council, which includes former presidents of the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Albania, Latvia, and Cyprus, and former prime ministers of Spain and Sweden, made the proposal in a report delivered during a 45-minute speech to the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties (LIBE).

“There is no need to be tolerant to the intolerant,” it states, especially “as far as freedom of expression is concerned.”


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Italian retiree overpaid by euro penny; social security wants it returned

(ANSA) - Rimini, October 21 - Italian social-security agency INPS demanded that an 84-year-old retiree return one euro cent, local press reported on Monday in Rimini, a coastal city on the Adriatic. INPS claims the pensioner received a cent in excess of what was owed her for the period beginning January 1, 1996 and ending December 31, 2000.

The registered letter also indicated "the possibility to pay reimbursement in installments".

The son of the retiree, a man named Claudio, criticized the money spent on the official notice, and added, "I won't pay - or I'll ask for the installment plan".


Monday, October 21, 2013

Stupid Barbadian

Although she might claim to be a citizen of the world.

‘Rihanna asked to leave Abu Dhabi mosque over photo shoot’

‘Pop star Rihanna was asked to leave a famous Abu Dhabi mosque complex after posing outside the building for an unauthorised photo shoot.’

The singer tweeted pictures of herself in a black jumpsuit and headscarf on photo-sharing site Instagram.
A statement from the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Centre, said she was asked to leave after "inappropriate pictures" were taken.

The photos "did not comply with terms and conditions" of organised visits.

Rihanna performed live in the capital of the United Arab Emirates on Saturday.

The mosque said Rihanna, 25, first arrived "at an entrance that was not designated for visitors".

"She was confronted by the mosque officials and directed to the appropriate entrance to the mosque, to carry out a visit under the normal conditions."

She was asked to leave after striking a series of poses for the photo shoot.

The statement claimed Rihanna turned up at the mosque "without any previous co-ordination with the administration".

Several of the photos could be construed as suggestive, with one showing the pop star lying on her back in the mosque's courtyard.

The mosque is a major tourist attraction and had more than three million visitors last year.
Rihanna's publicity team have yet to make a comment.

Found at


The recipe worked, even with pork steaks thicker than pork chops, dill pickles rather than cornichons, water rather than white wine and French’s yellow mustard rather than dijohn. I had to cook the steaks longer than the recipe stated.

Even with vinegar, dill pickles and mustard, the dish had a taste approaching sweet.

The recipe is not one I would fix more than once or twice a year. Next time, I’ll use specified ingredients.

Gen. Lucian K. Truscott and tonight's supper

In The Guns at Last Light, author Rick Atkinson wrote about Lucian Truscott, commander of the 3d Infantry Division, VII Corps and 15th Army in World War II. I was interested that Truscott was born in Texas, raised there and in Oklahoma, enlisted in the Army in 1917 and was commissioned a lieutenant of cavalry.

I Goodsearched the general, read the Wikipedia article, and then found a reference to his grandson, Lucian V. I went to V’s blog and read of a French dish – pork chops piquant -- cooked by V and a friend when both shared a place in New York City. It sounded good. I already planned on cooking pork steak tonight, and searched “pork chops piquant” for a recipe that maybe I could use pork steak instead.

The first reference returned by Goodsearch was

and the lead said this: “Novelist and screenwriter Lucian K. Truscott, who gave us this recipe, didn't remember the title of the French cookbook where he first found it. However, he did remember finding it ‘so extraordinary’ that he had it at least twice a week for almost a year.”

I printed the recipe after reading, and, yes, pork steak will substitute.

Amazing what you can find after reading about World War II.

A letter from Allen West

My mother-in-law today got a letter from “Congressman Allen West R-Florida, 2011-2013.” West wants Mrs. R. to give money to the Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation.

By its name, the foundation seems to have something to do with a prayer caucus in Congress. A “petition” accompanying West’s letter, though, indicates the “foundation” has nothing to do with a Congressional “caucus,” but instead says Congress should d whatever is necessary to “Defend Religious Freedom.”

West uses six pages denoting his service in the Army and in Congress, as well as various accounts of attacks on Christian ideals. The former Lt. Col. West was a tried and true soldier; of that I have no doubt. He also was a credible congressman, but the voters in his district did not return him to office.

Atheists and others mentioned by West would like nothing more than to see the end of churches, synagogues, mosques, temples and the religions that practice in those places.

But just as Army officer West took care to know his Soldiers, so should he know the citizens from whom he asks money.

I don’t know how much money, if any, West is paid by the Foundation, but I do not think he or any other former congressman or present lobbyist lends his name and picture or free.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Florida, right?

Where else would you find an alligator at a WalMart?


(A complaint. “A 6-foot gator was found by the sliding glass door at the Wal-Mart on Orange Blossom Trail in Apopka.” Sliding glass doors do searches in Florida?)

Take a break, too

Places that take real good pictures.

Also at

("... you didn't know existed." A bit conceited.)

Take a break

Anglesey, Wales.

Found at

North Korea’s water park

(No, that is not a joke.)

"The water park is the edifice built thanks to Korean Peoples' Army service personnel’s spirit of devotedly carrying out any project and their fighting traits as they are ready to flatten even a high mountain at a go in hearty response to the order of the supreme commander." – Premier Pak Pong Ju.


You are dealing with Russia, Toto

Peter Wilcox’s family didn’t expect “the 60-year-old mariner to end up languishing in a Russian jail in the Arctic, facing up to 15 years in prison on charges of piracy.

"’The situation he's in now is just way too extreme," said his wife, Maggy.”

(A rule of life: Always know where you are.

(Sun Tzu: If you know your enemy and you know yourself …

(Somebody: If you dance to the music, you have to pay the piper.

(And a whole bunch of other clich├ęs people don’t take into account when doing something in somebody else’s country.)

Friday, October 18, 2013

The absolute dumbest (and probably successful) fraud sent by thieving lobbyists

Picture a red cardboard tube, 16 inches long and 3 inches across, about the size of a 75mm shell, and each end with a white plastic cap. White letters on a red bumper-sticker-size application proclaim “EVIDENCE” and “TO BE OPENED BY AUTHORIZED PERSONNEL ONLY.” The return address is:

United States Investigative Unit
5405 Alton Pkwy. Suite 5A # 369
Irvine, CA 92604

The letter inside the tube is bold all-caps on yellow paper and notes “HIGH ALERT”.

“DEAR (MRS. R.),






The letter is four pages and is signed by Douglas Ramsey. Also, a recipient can check a box noting $5,000 donation or $2,500 donation.

As angering as the downright dishonesty of those people is the disdain for which they hold their victims. Those people believe their victims stupid.

As I have said before, there is a special place in Hell for those who hurt children and who steal from the elderly. I would like to see those people pushed into that corner soon.

Early man was a single species

Washington (AFP) - A stunningly well-preserved skull from 1.8 million years ago offers new evidence that early man was a single species with a vast array of different looks, researchers said.

With a tiny brain about a third the size of a modern human's, protruding brows and jutting jaws like an ape, the skull was found in the remains of a medieval hilltop city in Dmanisi, Georgia, said the study in the journal Science.

"We conclude that diversity within a species is the rule rather than the exception."

Under that hypothesis, the different lineages some experts have described in Africa -- such as Homo habilis and Homo rudolfensis -- were all just ancient people of the species Homo erectus who looked different from each other.

But not all experts agree.

"I think that the conclusions that they draw are misguided," said Bernard Wood, director of the hominid paleobiology doctoral program at George Washington University.

(See post below, ‘Are the laws of the Nature we see applicable to whatever else is out there?” and the note: “God exists. Simple, but not simplistic.”)

Thursday, October 17, 2013

I was in an army that did this

This Ain’t Hell links to the Army Times article ‘Army memo: Soldiers to replace contractors for dining, security services’ with subhead ‘Leaders target civilian contractor services to save money, keep soldiers busy’

Used to, I got somewhat p(erturbed) every time I saw an Army stakebed truck easing along a highway on post and Soldiers picking up trash from the roadside. I was in the National Guard back in the day when the Regular Army was starting to get lots and lots of money and M1 tanks and M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicle(s) and M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System. With all that money for weapons systems, I wondered why the Army didn’t spend some of it making jobs for out-of-work civilians while Soldiers polished and honed their MOS jobs. I had thought the same back in 1964-68, when I wore a uniform every day.

Back in that day, Soldiers “manning dining facilities” were cooks or KPS, and Soldiers “performing security guard duties” were on a guard roster from individual units. The Army Times article suggests adoption of a new “keep the troops busy” program will take Soldiers from their units and put them into permanent KP and/or guard duty.

Wonder where these KPs and guards will come from? Data processing units? Intelligence units? Vehicle maintenance units?

Or – The Poor Bloody Infantry.

No voting necessary. I think we know the answer.

And that “keep soldiers busy” stuff – If you have good NCOs, Soldiers will be “kept busy.” At their jobs.

Fish wrap or donkey food

You know what they say …

Uh, about a jacka$$ and a newspaper? Not really.

The soldier on the let was business manager for the Daily-Index when he died in 1976.

We are becoming a nation of dumba$$es

So…Are you a Hutu, an invader or … Wow! American soldiers are just like them!

“The Hutus in Rwanda called the Tutsis cockroaches, the Nazis depicted the Jews as rats. Japanese invaders referred to their Chinese victims during the Nanjing massacre as ‘chancorro,’ or ‘subhuman.’ American soldiers fought barbarian ‘Huns’ in World War I and godless ‘gooks’ in Vietnam.”

quoting a New York Times article.


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

‘Pakistani Muslims Act as Human Shields for Christian Church’

“Muslims in Pakistan formed a human shield Sunday at a church in Lahore to protect Christians from terrorist attacks. It was the second such demonstration in the past week, following a similar display of Muslim-Christian unity in Karachi.”

Another Israeli spy bird killed

Israeli spy eagle shot in Lebanon

The bird was “wearing a GPS transmitter and a leg bracelet engraved with the ‘Tel Aviv University’ logo. The website that posted the story claimed said that the device attached to the eagle, was obviously being used for the purpose of spying on Lebanon by the Mossad, and such birds were spotted in KSA in 2010, Turkey in 2012 and Egypt this year.”

How my 87-year-old mother-in-law got satellite television

She had cable, with which she was pleased, but one day: “This man came in and did something with my TV. I signed some papers and I no longer had cable.”

The “something” was disconnection of cable and installation of receiver dish and coaxial lines. “This man” also left two recording devices, with instructions, which, of course, any 87-year-old non-technical person can easily understand.

With my mother-in-law now in an assisted living facility and no longer using the satellite system, the company said it would charge her credit card $360 for early cancellation and $600 for receiver boxes if my wife and I did not return the devices by Oct. 24.

I find it infuriating that a company representative can take advantage of an elderly woman living alone, but then the company insists we take time and 40-miles driving to return pieces of metal and plastic. To the company’s credit, it made available a postage-paid box. I took the box with devices inside to UPS on Monday.

I wonder how often that sort of thing happens? How many times a day do salespeople and others take advantage of elderly persons’ good manners or confusion? And we, sons and daughters and in-laws, do not know until it is done.

We don't need no stinkin' math. We're reporters.

“The unconscionable, unacceptable use of language, the word ‘default,’ when the borrowing we need for 2014 is we’re 16 percent short on revenue. To use the word ‘default,’ to scare the markets—are politics really that important to this administration that it ignores basic math?”

“[T]here is no such thing as default unless there is an actual evil attempt from the administration. When you have 18 percent of GDP coming in in cash, less than 2 percent going out in debt coverage—I’m stunned you all fall for it in the press. None of you were math majors, were you?” – Rep. David Schweikert (R-Ariz.)

(The ill-begotten use of language. Government shutdown. Default. What was that earlier thing ... Fiscal cliff. Words words words words words. Of course both houses of Congress will deal. They used another crisis, both as-of-yet-unplagued houses, and the only thing left to do is Let's Make a Deal. Behind Door No 1 is "U R A Dipstick 2.)

If it’s good enough for Europe, surely we can copy it

‘Europe Tries Welfare Reform’!

Our Danish exchange student this year said Danes on welfare have to work at something. Our Swedish exchange student last year was quite proud that everything was free. Well, some things, anyway. Doctors, medicines, college, and if someone didn’t want to work, he didn’t have to.

For a long time, American Progressive Democratic Socialists said, “Look at the way they do it in Europe. No one lacks for anything.”

Apparently someone lacked, or people wouldn’t have elect governments that promised less.


Another taxi story

A woman in her 60s walked to my cab from a beauty salon. I got out to open the passenger door. The woman held out her hand and said, “Gif me tin dollahs.” I thought: What? And, Dispatch sent me here to pick up a fare, not to give away money.

“Pardon?” I said. Two women stood at the window in the beauty salon, waiting, I suppose, to see if the older woman was going to get in the cab and leave.

“Gif me tin dollahs,” the woman said again. “I pay here. My son pay you back.”

Okay, I thought. She’s not going to run away.

She took the bill and went back to the salon and gave the money to a hair dresser. I had the door open when she returned to the cab. She got in. I closed the door and got behind the wheel. She gave me an address. “Is my son’s restaurant,” she said.

I drove to the restaurant, parked, opened the passenger door and followed the woman into the restaurant. The woman talked to a man in his 30s. Like the woman, the man had black hair and olive skin. He glowered at me. I thought, Hey, dude. I’m not the one letting his mother go out with no money.

The woman walked toward me. “I haf money,” she said. “You take me home.”

Glad to. Maybe my next fare will be something simple. Somebody wants a ride to the liquor store.

I drove the woman to the address she gave. There was a brick house, a yard with grass about a foot high, bushes growing wild … and a two-foot-wide hole in the shingle roof. An all-the-way-through hole.

I got out and opened the door. The woman got out. She gave me a ten-dollar bill and the fare. She said, “You nice boy.”

I made a silent request: Please do not call for me.

“Thank you,” I said.

An opinion

ABC's Dancing With the Stars is the height of American TV ignorance. I have not watched: Honey Boo-Boo; any of the Amish shows; no pregnant teenagers; one wedding dress show; not one Dog bounty hunter; one Duck Dynasty; maybe six Cajun Pawn episodes; not one Hardcore Pawn or whatever it is; one episode of gold miners in Alaska; maybe two Alaska outback episodes; 10 minutes of Mountain Men; one Ghost Hunters; not one episode of The Great Race ... There are more still-broadcast-for-some-unknown-reason shows I have not watched, but they are so important I can't remember the titles or plots. Oh. Not one Jersey whatever that assault on decency was. Yeah, I am a TV snob.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Today's threats from thieving political lobbyists

American Freedom Law Center, Ann Arbor, Michigan: "U.S. judge enforces sharia law by allowing Muslims to stone Christians for preaching the Gospel! But we are fighting back!"

Citizens United Against Government Waste, Washington, D.C.: "Citizen's Demand to Slash U.S. Funding of the United Nations!"

Freedom Watch, Washington, D.C.: JUSTICE! Judge's ruling puts Obama on the ropes with Freedom Watch ready for criminal knockout!

Ed Meese, American Civil Rights Union, Washington, D.C.: "Quietly, while the country argues about Healthcare and taxes, the ACLU is winning the war to outlaw your values. Will you continue to ignore this war on our heartland?

American Criminal Justice Center, Washington, D.C.: "FINAL WARNING." (This is the fifth final warning in the last five weeks.)

United States Justice Foundation, Houston, Texas: REVEALED: The REAL reason Obama is using the NSA to spy on you ... national gun owner list is being compiled now!

Freedom Alliance, Merrifield, Virginia: "FIRST MEMBERSHIP REMINDER." (They have to "remind" someone to sign up for the first time?)

No return address: "The New Obamacare Medical Rationing Board; Urgent Health Care Impact Information Enclosed."

American Federation of Senior Citizens, Alexandria, Virginia: "Due within ten days. Your Social Security File for Congress Enclosed For Immediate Signature For Congress."

No return address: "YOU AND OBAMACARE: Urgent, New Obamacare Impact Information Enclosed." (Suspicion: Nothing new is enclosed.)

AND FINALLY: No return address: "A sinister new tax that targets seniors." (I had to open this one. How many times will you learn of a "sinister new tax"? Here it is: "My Dear Fellow American, Are you willing to pay taxes to the United Nations?" And: "Please take a minute to complete the U.N. Tax Notice I have sent you today." The thing is a petition, a thieve's favorite. The petition will be "hand-delivered to Sen. Rand Paul." I don't need to know anything else.)

Taxi driver

In the summer of 1973 I drove a taxi in Texarkana.

One day, dispatch sent me to pick up a fare at the bus station. When I got there, a woman waved from the sidewalk. She was fortyish, slender, wearing a brown-gray jacket and skirt and white blouse.

I stopped and got out and opened the passenger door. She said, “Thank you.” I put her suitcase in the trunk and got back in the cab. She told me her address.

Just as I was about to back out, I heard a man calling. “Hey, hey, hey!” I stopped and rolled down the window. A black man in his early 40s said, “Can you get them to send a colored driver? He’ll know where I want to go.”

“Sure,” I said. I radioed to dispatch, “Cab 17. A man at the bus station wants a colored driver.”

Dispatch replied: “Ten-four.”

I said to the man, “The cab will be here in a couple of minutes.”

“Thank you,” the man said.

When I rolled up the window, my passenger said from the back seat: “Prejudiced m-----f-----.” I kind of chuckled.

The woman said she lived in California, but owned a house in Texarkana. She inherited the house when her parents died. I don’t remember what she said she did in California. Maybe she didn’t say. I wondered, though. An attractive, well-dressed black woman taking a bus from Los Angeles to Texarkana and she talked as though her travel was a common occurrence … It was rather mysterious.

I took her to her house and opened the cab door and got her suitcase from the trunk. “Thank you,” she said.

The strangest thing was the dispatcher’s voice when I said a man wanted a “colored driver” – “Ten-four,” as though it was a common, everyday occurrence. Maybe it was.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Science fiction short-short story


Background: Attack Transport AK-1124 was part of Task Force Slate, 21st Fleet, enroute to reinforce OP Garnett, an outpost on the planet Ophelia V. On 21 Fulcrum last, Task Force Slate came under attack by ships yet unknown. Other data indicate enemy utilized a tight-beam weapon to take out gun stations on AK-1124, beginning with Station One and working aft. The following is a transcript from Gun Station Four and is from the only voice recorder so far recovered. Voices have not been identified; however the nature of the conversation led analysts to conclude one speaker is a young sailor and the other is a chief gunners mate.

VOICE ONE: Chief, are they going to hit us?

VOICE TWO: Given the previous strikes, yes.


VOICE ONE: Will it hurt?


‘We are bringing Western civilization to its knees’

Obama worker appointee bureaucrat redsitributor change everything forever woman actually said that.

Just as candidate Obama in a televised interview said he was not interested in history, he was interested only in redistribution.

That is why he listens to no one in domestic concerns. He knows what he intends to do; he knows he can get by with illegal actions, so he has no need to care about a less than 50 percent approval rate. The rate doesn’t matter. Nothing matters, except whatever he wants.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Turning in the thieves

Political lobbyists after my mother-in-law’s Social Security and Teacher Retirement money call themselves patriots, but they do not know what the word means. Not in the sense Mrs. R.’s family knows.

On 9 February 1776, Martin Johnston, Mrs. R.’s great-grandfather times five, enlisted in the 3rd Virginia Line. Johnston was eight days past his 18th birthday. Johnston served two years a private in the 3rd Virginia. He fought at the Battle of Princeton. He took his discharge at Valley Forge, Pa., and returned to Virginia, where he was in the militia. He died on 3 July 1820 in Kentucky. In her petition for widow’s pension in 1821, Sarah Wright Johnston stated that Johnston was in Morgan’s Rifles for a time and also was at the Battle of King’s Mountain.

On 21 September 1861, a son, a brother and a nephew of Mrs. R.’s great-great grandfather Zebulon Raley enlisted in an Arkansas company of what became the 40th Tennessee Infantry. Beloved Raley was 18; Williamson Raley was 40; and James Raley was 21. Forty-seven days later, Beloved Raley was dead from measles and pneumonia at Fort Johnson, Tenn. Williamson Raley died 10 March 1862 at No. 10 Island. James Raley died 6 June 1862 at Des Arc.

In 1862, H.H. Johnston, another of Mrs. R.’s great-great grandfathers, walked from near Fort Worth, Texas, to Little Rock, as a private in a Texas infantry regiment.

In April 1940, Mrs. R.’s brother Murray enlisted in Co. B, 153rd infantry. He was discharged a sergeant in late August 1945.

Mrs. R.’s husband, Lawson, entered Europe at a Normandy beach on 7 June 1944, as a soldier in Co. C, 509th Military Police Battalion.

Military service by itself does not make someone more a patriot than someone else. But, Mrs. R.’s ancestors, a brother and her husband put in many years and walked many miles in defense of this country. What would her Revolutionary War and Civil War families make of thieves who are trying to steal her money?

Mrs. R. is at an assisted living facility. She has Alzheimer’s and has been a prime target of political lobbyists who prey on the fears of elderly people.

On Tuesday, I will deliver to the attorney general’s office 65 complaints of consumer fraud against the thieving political lobbyists.

Are the laws of the Nature we see applicable to whatever else is out there?

“This is said to be the golden age of cosmology and it is from an observational point of view, but from a theoretical point of view it's almost a disaster.”

“Feynman ends up saying, ‘Maybe there is a historical component.’ And then in the conversation his interviewer says, ‘But how do you do it?’ And Feynman goes, ‘Oh, no, it's much too hard, I can't think about that.’"

Here is an/the answer: God exists. Simple, but not simplistic.

Seriously educated people often do this: “The universe is not boring on any scale you look at it. It's very structured. Why?”

Note to seriously educated people: See simple but not simplistic answer.

If you are a cop or a newspaper reporter or radio/TV reporter or intelligence analyst, you learn early to look for the simple answer and go from there.

CNN says veteran protest all about money

It’s a bit more then money. It’s about orders to the National Park Service to close everything, even monuments that are not patrolled by the Park Service. It’s about World War II veterans having to cut their way through barriers in order to see their monument. For some of those veterans, one chance is all they will have. And it’s about Vietnam veterans escorted from their monument because they dared bypass barriers. The only reason we haven’t had World War I veterans cutting through barriers is that the Park Service got lucky. There are no living veterans from that war.

The last paragraph of the CNN story: “The House has passed a bill to fund the VA as part of its strategy to finance the politically popular and necessary parts of the government in a piecemeal approach. The Senate has not voted on that bill because Democrats argue the whole government should be re-opened.”

That reads “Republican strategy is to pay for popular and necessary parts of government.” Democrats argue we should also pay for unpopular and unnecessary parts of government.

Disney shows ‘Avatar’ park plans

Wow. Just like the movie? With war and stuff? Archers on dinosaur-like flying creatures? Mechanized war vehicles spewing out Space Marines who shoot everything in sight?


Saturday, October 12, 2013

Scientists show: How Earth got a core

It was a long and complicated process. (Surprise, surprise, surprise.)

Now for some real confusion:

“It's a theory that has existed for some time …”


“Scientists had said this theory wasn't possible …”

You mean a high school boy would lie just so he could get into the girl’s bathroom?

“A male student at Florence High School who claims to be a transgender has been harassing girls in the bathroom. When parents complained, school officials said the boy's rights as a transgender trumped their daughters' privacy rights.”

Nobody would do that! The rules were made in good faith to protect transgender kids, and no one would take advantage of the rules. No. Those straight girls just don’t want a person confused about his/her gender watching them …


OK, scientist people. Read the post below. The things crossed over.

Giant flying squirrel discovered in Laos. Scientists say it is a new species.

“Biswamoyopterus laoensis is a large flying squirrel that weighs 1.8 kg and measures about 42 inches (1.08 m) in total length – the body is about 18 inches (0.46 m) long and the tail is 24 inches (0.62 m) long.”


When universes overlap

A Discovery Channel program tonight featured a hairless blue-eyed canine seen in Texas over the past few years. Several people have reported the animals in different parts of Texas.

A Texas Parks and Wildlife spokesman said the animal most likely was a coyote with a bad case of mange. People who actually saw the animals up close said the things were like nothing they had seen in their lives.

The canine was said to be a new species. That’s not likely. A 40-pound new species doesn’t just pop up out of nowhere.

An answer is, the animals crossed over when our universe came in contact with another universe.

Lots of things have crossed over. About 30 years ago, a huge bird picked up a boy from a back yard in Wisconsin. The boy’s mother yelled and screamed at the bird, and the creature dropped the boy. A day or so later, a former combat photographer filmed two of the large birds in a tree near a lake.

Some things cross over and then go back. Some things cross over and stay.

Cats crossed over thousands of years ago. House cats, not big cats. Big cats are native to this world. House cats are not.

Sightings of the blue-eyed dogs number more than 120 in Texas. There must be a significant number of them, male and female.

DNA tests on a dead blue-eyed dog show it is not a known canine.

Just keep an eye out for weirdness.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Savage Continent

British historian Keith Lowe’s book is not about the jungles or wastes of Asia, nor the barbarism of pre-history America. Savage Continent is a study of Europe after the end of World War II, when old animosities and hatreds, made almost acceptable by Nazi and Soviet practices, continued in every presumably civilized country.

When the war was done, victors in all countries sought punishment or revenge upon persons and peoples. Poland attempted to make itself Ukranian-free. The Ukraine attempted to deport all Poles. Stalin sent all Crimean Tartars to Central Asia. More than 11 million Germans were deported from Eastern European countries.

Governments, former resistance groups and newly formed guerrilla bands murdered tens of thousands of people.

The end of war did not bring peace.

Savage Continent is a well-researched and well-written book and brings to light a history seldom discussed.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Considering Obama had time to comment

on a former NBA player’s preference of other men for sex, on “If I had a son …” and police were wrong way back for that beer summit …

Has he yet announced a guilty party in the woman ramming White House barriers and later shot dead? Has any reporter asked “Mr. President, how do you feel …”?

The woman said Obama was stalking her, so doesn’t that accusation need a rebuttal?

Move along. These are not the monuments you are looking for

World War II Memorial, Claude Moore Colonial Farm, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, parking lot at Mount Vernon, roads near Mount Rushmore …

Yes, yes, those used to be part of American history.


Words you don’t want to hear …

… following your second move in a chess game:

“This is going to be easy.”

It was, for James Bradley. For me, not so easy. Well, yeah, losing was easy, considering how out-matched I was.

Bradley out-matched just about everybody with things he took an interest in. He was a painter, a musician, a fledgling pistolero. The latter, there wasn’t much call for in the mid-1970s. Not legally, anyway. Nor within Bradley’s ideas of self-discipline. And a shooter has to discipline himself more than do other people.

After graduation, Priscilla and I lost track of Bradley. A book of students said he was a soldier. If so, he picked up more discipline somewhere.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

83 percent of government not shut down

"Based on estimates drawn from CBO and OMB data, 83 percent of government operations will continue. This figure assumes that the government pays amounts due on appropriations obligated before the shutdown ($512 billion), spends $225 billion on exempted military and civilian personnel, pays entitlement benefits for those found eligible before the shutdown (about $2 trillion), and pays interest costs when due ($237 billion). This is about 83 percent of projected 2014 spending of $3.6 trillion."


My daughter is not allowed to work. Her job is not deemed vital to the continuation of the Republic. As she said, though, not-working welfare people are getting paid. I would add recipients of Social Security, SS disability, federal civil service, VA disability, military active duty/Guard/Reserve/retired/disabled. The FAA is still operating, as are FBI, ATF and etc. and etc.

Closing open-air monuments hasn’t exactly made the Democratic administration popular, nor has announcement of closing 1,100 square miles of ocean near Florida.

News persons and politicians, though, will continue to talk about the “government shutdown” and the “debt limit” and whatever that was earlier this year when the economy was supposed to go off a cliff or something.

“Meaningless! Meaningless!”
says the Teacher.
“Utterly meaningless!
Everything is meaningless.”

Ecclesiastes 1:2 (NIV)

Monday, October 7, 2013

Another Special Operations op defunded

(One of my dislikes – When people talk about “special ops.” It’s the “ops” part. Anyway. Whatever.)

‘Government Shutdown Grounds Black Helicopter Operations Near Alex Jones’ Home’

“DALLAS, TX — Citing the government shutdown, the U.S. military has been forced to end its 39-year deployment of black helicopters tasked with monitoring controversial radio host Alex Jones, sources confirmed today.

“The helicopter squadron, first deployed on Feb. 11, 1974 to watch Jones as he was born, has been part of an intergovernmental task force comprised of the 160th Special Operations Air Regiment, CIA, NSA, local law enforcement, and the Bilderberg Group.

“’It’s really a sad, sad day when we have to call off an important operation like this one,” said Pentagon spokesman George Weisshaupt. ‘Especially when we were just days away from deploying the chem trails near his home.’”

Link from ... I don't remember; it's been two or more days since I wrote anything. Maybe or

Friday, October 4, 2013

A difference between US and the others – Government can’t work

“When you look at attitudes toward government-this is going to be a kind of over-generalization-I think in the United States, the starting point of an American is that government can’t really work, and to the extent that it does work, you need to keep your eye on it because of an instinctive distrust of its powers and capabilities. In Australia, people start with the belief that government can work and should work, and to the extent that it doesn’t, it just means that we need some better politicians, but government malfunction doesn’t result in a loss of faith in the institution.” Former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard

Australia was settled by criminals and entrepreneurs; the US was settled by entrepreneurs, criminals and people who wanted their own church services ... Why did the Australians go wrong?

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Is that a gun, or … That’s not a gun

“A 9-year-old boy in Michigan has been suspended indefinitely for bringing a toy that looks like a gun to school.

“Gage, a student at the Creative Montessori Academy in Southgate, reportedly brought the toy to school, showed it to his friends before class, and pointed it at a friend while saying ‘bang, bang.’”

Other students said “Gage never actually said ‘bang, bang,’ and that the teacher who reported the incident was wrong.”

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

‘To my knowledge, there are no other vehicles like this in Siskiyou County’

Yreka, California, population 7,765, gets MRAP.

Ohio State University has one too. (See post somewhere downward.) You know, for when campus police need 43,000 pounds of armor on wheels to subdue and take into custody drunk students who get completely out of hand.

Well, it didn't cost anything. Other than the $600,000-plus the Army paid for it.

Civil War research

In 1862, H.H. Johnston, my wife’s great-great-great-grandfather, walked from Fort Worth, Texas, to Little Rock. That is 321 miles straight-line, 353 miles by today’s highway.

Johnston was a soldier in a Texas infantry regiment. Somewhere in the house office is a transcript of a letter Johnston wrote to his wife and children in late 1862. In the letter, Johnston tells his wife where to send mail.

Yesterday I intended to research Johnston’s regiment. I could not find the letter, nor have I found it so far today.

I decided to search for information on the other side of my wife’s maternal family, beginning with Zebulon Raley, born in South Carolina in 1808. Zebulon married Arney (or Anney or Anery or Irene) Buckelew around 1840. Arney was born in 1820 in Alabama.

Zebulon and Arney had eight children, born between 1841 and 1862. Beloved Raley was their second child and first son. He was born in 1843 in Alabama.

On 23 September 1861, Beloved Raley, in Tyddersdale, Ark., enlisted in an Arkansas company of the Confederate army. His enlistment is not unusual; tens of thousands of young and not-so-young men joined the Confederate army that year, just as more tens of thousands of men joined Union volunteer companies.

Two other Raleys – James and Williamson -- joined the same company the same day. That company, along with three other Arkansas companies and companies from Tennessee and Mississippi, became part of the 40th Tennessee Regiment. All companies of the regiment moved from Memphis to Camp Johnson, Tennessee, for training.

And at Camp Johnson, Pvt. Beloved Johnston died, 9 November 1861, from measles and pneumonia. Forty-seven days military service.

No one knows how many soldiers died during the Civil War. Estimates range from 620,000 to 750,000. More than half were from disease.

Beloved Raley was not the only member of his family to die during the war.

Williamson Raley, age 41, died at Island #10 on 10 Mar 1862.

James T. Raley, age 22, died on 6 Jun 1862 near Des Arc, Ark.

Williamson was uncle to the two younger Raleys.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Shutdown theater


“Shutdown theater is Obama's penchant for making shutdowns worse than they need to be.

“For example, the Capitol Police doing more work than needed to erect barriers to entry to the WWII memorial in the Mall. No one ‘works’ here; there are no Park Rangers. It's a friggin' monument. And it is policed by the Capitol Police, who are, of course, still on the job.

“Nevertheless, Obama is doing Shutdown Theater so he had his Imperial Troops erect barriers to keep people from seeing it.”

Tweet from Leo Shane III: “Honor flight vets just knocked over the barriers at the WWII memorial to get inside, #shutdown or no.”

Also from Ace: “Look at what you've done you stupid Republican a$$holes!” Reportedly, the pandacam at the National Zoo has been shut down.

Nothing happened

I followed my wife to town this morning so she could drop off her car for repair work. Then, I took her to work. All traffic signals worked. I drove home. Workers are still doing highway-worker stuff on I-530. The cleaning lady was just turning into the drive when I got home at 9:30.

Gov. Mike Beebe this morning said 2,000 state employees will be furloughed because of the “government shutdown.” Fifteen minutes later, a state government spokesman said 650 to 1,500 state employees will be furloughed. The statements were on the same radio station. Those workers – 650 or 1,500 or 2,000 are paid by the federal government. I wonder why they are considered Arkansas state workers.

When Hong Scott Joplin comes along, let me know

“China made 379,746 pianos last year, 77 per cent of global output, almost all of it for domestic sale. Multiply that by ten for second-hand sales and you are still nowhere near the popular estimate that 60 million Chinese children are currently playing the piano, equivalent to the entire population of the United Kingdom sitting down every evening and practising scales for two hours.”

(When the best of those 60 million children audition for Western symphony orchestras, will Caucasian musicians demand job protection?)

“Everywhere I go, the talk is of piano playing. Executives in Shanghai tell me they have to rush home to supervise practice. With a one-child policy in force, mothers cannot afford to let their son or daughter fall behind. On a bullet train to Huangzhou, I meet a five-year-old Manchurian boy who is on his way to an international piano contest. A young woman in music administration tells me that, by taking up the piano as a child, she had fulfilled a parental frustration. 'Both wanted to study music but in those times it was not possible,' she confides.”