Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The way things should work

We lost the TV remote. (I was not the last one who had the remote, but for household definition purposes, “we” lost the remote.)

Priscilla and I looked everywhere, as people are prone to do when looking for something lost. When the remote remained among the lost things, Priscilla called Bright House and was told the company could mail a replacement, which should arrive in four days. Priscilla asked if we could get a replacement at a local office. Of course, she was told.

Priscilla, John and I went to the local office. The line inside reached to the front door. John and I stayed in the car, and Priscilla went inside.

(An aside: While waiting in the car, I saw a young man walk from the office. He had a cable TV box and a remote and several coaxial cables. He dropped all inside a large metal container labeled “Equipment.” I did not know customers could just drop valuable electronic devices into a big metal box. Maybe the devices are not as monetarily valuable as I thought.)

After 20 minutes, Priscilla returned, with a new remote. And batteries. She got in the car. She said, “That was easy.” She said she told a young woman of the lost remote. The young woman said, “No problem,” went to a shelf and returned with a new remote. “Here you are.” My wife asked, “You don’t want any ID or address?” The young woman smiled and said, “Nope. Can I help you with anything else?” Priscilla said, “No. You have been most helpful.”

That happened after the hour-long wait at the tax collector office, where a clerk wanted to see a marriage license as part of proof for getting a drive’s license. The dissimilarity between officious bureaucracy and “Fix the problem” Bright House was amazing.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Loyalty Rangers

William M. Alsobrook enlisted as a Loyalty Ranger on June 1, 1918. “Loyalty Rangers served as volunteers to seek out disloyal citizens during WWI.” On June 16, 1919, he enlisted as a private, “Regular Ranger in Company D and Company I.” On Dec. 8, 1919, Alsobrook was accidentally wounded on a train in Duval County in South Texas. He died the next day in Laredo. He is buried in the Clarksville, Texas, Cemetery.

“Raids and cattle theft had been a sporadic problem along the Mexican border for decades, but in 1915, revolutionaries began to target symbols of American oppression for destruction, including farms, irrigation systems, and railroad lines. Local law enforcement could not cope with the escalating lawlessness. The Texas governor dispatched the Texas Rangers to restore order and chase the revolutionaries back to the Mexican side of the line. (The unrest spanned the terms of three governors: Oscar Colquitt, James E. ‘Pa’ Ferguson, and William Hobby.) As the violence grew worse, the legislature authorized the creation of special companies called Loyalty Rangers to police the border.

“Unfortunately, these Rangers wrote a black chapter in the history of their organization. Not content to police the area, they engaged in heavy-handed bullying of the Tejano population and worse. It is estimated that as many as 5000 Hispanics were killed by the Rangers between 1914 and 1919. (About 400 white Texans were killed in the unrest on the border, and millions of dollars in property was destroyed.) Some shocking atrocities were perpetrated against civilians on both sides.

“In 1918, Texas state representative José T. Canales of Brownsville launched an investigation into the conduct of the Texas Rangers during the border wars and filed nineteen charges of misconduct against the Rangers. The following year, the Texas legislature formed a joint House-Senate committee to look into Canales's charges. They heard testimony for two weeks.

“As a result of the investigation, the Loyalty Rangers were abolished, and the Texas Rangers were reduced in force. Higher recruiting standards were put in place, and the pay of Rangers was increased to attract and retain higher-quality officers. Finally, procedures were implemented to better hear complaints from citizens about misconduct. These reforms helped the Rangers return to a position of respect during the 1920s and 1930s.”

(The site has links to the 1919 Ranger investigation – 1,500 pdf pages.

Roster of World War I Loyalty Rangers.

Something about the Loyalty Rangers seems mixed up, or maybe links don’t tell the story. Why would men join an organization “to seek out disloyal citizens” in World War I wind up in South Texas killing Texans of Mexican ancestry?

General says we must understand ISIS


1. Locate enemy. 2. Kill enemy. 3. Over beers afterward, perhaps attempt to understand enemy. 4. More beer.

‘How to Win Wars’

I see a man beating a woman. I have a gun. What should I do?

“The man with the gun told police that he had seen the other man assaulting a female passenger. When both vehicles stopped, the man with the gun got out and pointed it at the other man and held him there for police, the release said.

“Traffic on Farm Road 1709 stopped in both directions until officers arrived, the release said.

“The man with the gun, who was not identified by authorities, has a permit to carry a concealed handgun, the release said.”

News bloopers

Best: And as for this job … f it. I quit.


Banks, governments use Patriot Act to show us who is boss

My wife went to a local bank to open an account and put in some money. The bank dude wanted to see her Florida driver license. She did not have one, but she did have her Arkansas license and military dependent ID card. Not good enough, the bank dude said. He would have to see a photo ID, plus proof of Florida residence. “It’s part of the Patriot Act,” he said.

My thought: So if somebody wanted to deposit $1 million in that bank, the clerk would say “Sorry” if the potential depositor could not prove Florida residence? And, how come we never had to do than when banking in Texas and Arkansas?

Monday afternoon my wife went to the Tax Collector office to get her Florida license and vehicle plates. She had everything listed on the state web site – photo ID, proof of residence, proof of insurance and birth certificate. The license person noted her birth certificate name was not the same as her now name. “How did you get the last name Merriman?” asked the clerk. My wife replied, “I married my husband 42 years ago.” Clerk: “Do you have a copy of your marriage license?” My wife: “No, I do not. I have an Arkansas driver license with my maiden name and married name. I have a Social Security card, and I have a military ID card.” Said the clerk: “You have to have a marriage license.” My wife: “Is that a Florida law?” Clerk: “It’s part of the Patriot Act. It’s the law everywhere.” My wife: “I never had to show my marriage license in Texas or Arkansas.” Clerk: “Well, some states have opted out.”

And, a week ago, medical admin people said my brother-in-law John could not get treatment unless he had a picture ID. “It’s part of the Patriot Act.”

If the Patriot Act does require picture ID for every transaction and a marriage license, then let’s not have any opt out. Make every state follow the federal law. Make everybody show picture ID for everything. Then stand back and listen to the wailing and gnashing of teeth.

“Under Section 326 of the Patriot Act, banks must have a customer identification program or CIP. …

“Banks must use several documents to verify customers’ identification. Identification information includes the customer's name, date of birth, address and ID number. For U.S. citizens, the identification number is their taxpayer ID number, which is their Social Security number. … CIPs vary from bank to bank, but banks may also require a driver’s license or other form of photo identification for individuals or articles of incorporation, government issued business license, partnership agreement or trust instrument for businesses.”

Banks “may also require …” May, not will or shall or are required. So when a teller says “It’s the Patriot Act,” he or she is stating what a supervisor said. Also, it is quite likely many upper management and supervisory people don’t know Patriot Act requirements and simply repeat what they have heard or what they think.

The more people demand collective security, the less individual security we have.

The law requires: name, address, date of birth and “other information that will allow us to identify you. We may also ask to see your driver’s license or other identifying documents.”

Still, a bank teller is not correct when saying “It’s the Patriot Act.”

And, no, my p. off won’t change anything, but a few hundred p offs might make local changes.,

Monday, December 29, 2014

He is not making this up

“In a much-anticipated decision, a St. Louis County grand jury elects not to indict Darren Wilson, setting in motion a vintage performance of the timeless Kabuki theater of American racial relations, with all parties — blacks, whites, conservatives, progressives, politicians, the media, police, protesters, racists, rioters and of course the Rev. Al Sharpton — playing their traditional roles and delivering their traditional lines, following a script that could have been written five years ago, or 10, so there is no risk that anybody will say, do or think anything remotely unexpected, or emerge in any way changed. (This doesn’t apply to YOU, of course. I’m talking about everybody else.)”

Link at


Sunday, December 28, 2014

Solitaire score and Zip Code 66542

Tecumseh, Kansas; not an incorporated town. Along the Kansas River in Shawnee County. Named for the Shawnee chief, as was William Tecumseh Sherman. The town, unlike the Union general, was pro-South when Kansas was a territory. Wikipedia says, “Once the northern/southern political issues were settled at the beginning of the Civil War, the village rapidly declined, and it survived as a mere ghost of itself for the next ninety years.” That sometimes happens when you back the losing side.

I don’t know how far Tecumseh is from Pratt, Kansas. My father was stationed in Pratt for a time in World War II, and my mother joined him there not long after their marriage. Daddy never had anything good to say about people in Pratt. Jayhawkers didn’t like Texans, he said. In 1944, Momma and Daddy moved to near Seattle, where Daddy was at the Boeing school for B29 flight engineers. They liked Seattle better than Pratt.

I’ve driven through the Flint Hills of eastern Kansas, and if I had to choose between Kansas and Washington as a place to live, I would hope Jayhawkers wouldn’t mind another Texan.

Stuff we’d rather not know about ancestors

“A few did manage to lavish in this luxury a couple times a year.”

And what was that “luxury?” Getting in a tub of hot or warm water, bathing, and using real soap.

Link at

There was a regional aspect to bathing, of course. A part of that Massachusetts vs. Virginia conflict that has permeated American history: “In New England states bathing was not even a thought.”

I went about a month without a bath or shower in early 1967, northwest of Tay Ninh City, not far from Cambodia. I don’t recommend anyone go that long. Luckily, the Army had not changed from steel helmets, so we all had a pot for at least a cat’s bath now and then. And shaved every day.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

What I want

World peace?

Phflltt. Get serious. Georgia vs. Russia. Ukraine vs. Russia. African factions vs. each other too numerous to count.

Peace in the Middle East? (See above “Phfllt.”) “Peace in the Middle East” used to mean Arabs vs. Israel. Then the phrase meant Israel vs. Palestinians.

Now … Who knows?

Shia vs. Sunni, ISIS vs. everybody they don’t like. Syrian Al Qaeda vs. Assad. Saudi Arabia vs. Iran. Since we kicked out one dictator (Saddam Hussein) and then declined to support another friendly dictator (Hosni Mubarak), things have become a bit snizzy.

Common sense from CNN and both main political parties? Yeah, right.

We’ll go back to Israel vs. Palestinian (whatever that means, since Palestine existed roughly 1920-48), peace there will arrive when: (1) Israel moves every Arab from its own borders and from Gaza and the West Bank, or (2) Messiah arrives and everybody in the world has an “OMG! The Jews were right!” moment.

That’s all fine and good for the world, but here is what I want: I want to wake up every morning and not hurt. I want to be able to do yard things. I want to walk three or four or five miles and enjoy the scenery and weather. I want my mind to have the same imagination it had five or six years ago, giving me new ideas for stories. I want to realize God likes me. He might chastise me, continue to make me wear concrete shoulder pads, have me question my morality (thoughts, not actions), load me with incidents requiring a patience I do not have …

Yeah, that pretty much sums it up.

And if world peace should break out … The world will become a boring place, and I will hope to shuffle off this mortal coil.


Brother-in-law John watching an ad with Kenny Rogers: That’s a old man.

My wife: That’s Kenny Rogers, John.

John: He’s a old man.

My wife: It doesn’t matter how old he is, John; he’s still Kenny Rogers.

(My wife was trying to get John to associate the last name – Rogers – with John’s – Rodgers. But John saw only a gray-haired man, and words would not alter what he saw. When his attention is fixed on one subject, having him change attention is almost impossible.)

Third Mexican priest murdered, probably by drug cartel

“Reverend Gregorio Lopez Gorostieta is the third Catholic priest killed in the region this year, and the first to die since the federal government launched a thorough security operation in the area following the disappearance of 43 college students three months ago.

“Bishop Maximino Martinez from Gorostieta's church said a group had been seen lurking around the seminary where the priest taught in the outskirts of Ciudad Altamirano, Guerrero, on Sunday and Monday.”

Hey, Sarasota Herald Tribune columnist Jeremy Wallace!

In your Dec. 27 column about Charles Krauthammer, you wrote: “Krauthammer came to national notoriety …”

Learn the language, dude!

Synonyms for notoriety – disrepute, infamy, dishonor, unsavory reputation, bad name, ill repute.

You are from New York, but that's no excuse.

Danish couple beaten by diversity/culturally-enriched gang

On Christmas Eve, in the Vesterbro district of Copenhagen, a group of teenaged culture-enrichers set upon a young Danish couple and beat them severely for no apparent reason. The young woman, Nanna Skovman, suffered serious damage to her face and head.

She decided to post the story of what happened on Facebook, and from there it made it into the newspapers and Internet news sites. The story is currently “most read” on both of the main tabloids BT and Ekstra Bladet, as well as on the TV2 news site.

Below is the Facebook entry on which the news stories are based. Many thanks to Haensel Klein for the translation:

"Christmas Eve. The day which has joy, roast pork and presents at the centre. But that wasn’t to be for me and Mads. I’d like to tell you how our Christmas was turned into a nightmare.

"After getting out of a taxi, we’re walking along our street when a young second-generation immigrant approaches us. He is very unappealing and clearly wants conflict. Without any reason at all, he hits Mads on the head with a bottle. Mads defends himself, but now two or three more second-generation immigrants come running towards us along with a Somali. They are coming out of the basement of a building carrying the kind of chain locks used for scooters and motorcycles. The are attacking Mads together, kicking him and hitting him with the chains. Mads screams that I must run away.

"In the end they get him down on the ground, and at this point I start panicking. I believe they are really going to kill him. So, I jump in and try to drag Mads away. I shouldn’t have done that… This little creepy, cowardly boy who started it all pushes me head first into the tarmac and begin to hit me in the back of the head repeatedly with an iron chain. Then everything turns black.

"As I regain consciousness I find myself in a big pool of blood. My blood. And I can feel that there is something wrong with my face, something is in the wrong place, but I don’t dare to look. Blood is running out of my mouth, from the back of my head and from other injuries.

"My lip is ripped into two pieces all the way up to my nose. 16 stitches. I lost a tooth and two are rocky. I have had the back of my head glued up and there are a lot of scratches in my face.

"I am dumbstruck with disbelief… Sitting back with a whole lot of questions. Why? Why us? What’s the meaning of all this extreme violence? What’s going on in the heads of these immigrants, beating up a loving couple on their way home from Christmas Eve? I am filled with hatred, frustration and sorrow. I don’t want them in my neighbourhood, in my town or in my country. I don’t want this to happen to anybody else. Ever.

"The first picture is of myself right after I had the lip stitched. The second one [shown above] is how I look now. I’ll have to wear the bandage for a whole year."

Welfare recipient/ISIS education minister gets final payment

(Well, his kids in Germany will continue to receive monthly payments from working Germans, but baby-daddy Dhul Qaranain was killed 6 December – St. Nicholas’ Day – in fighting at Mosul, Iraq.)

Cold rain

Cold rain fell from gray clouds that hung less than one hundred feet above the sodden ground. Two men sat in chairs in the second floor attic room of the old stone farm house. The chairs were behind a table and deep within the room, in shadows never reached by light coming through the large eastern window.

One of the men rested his elbows on the table as he stared through binoculars and through the open window and across the flat field, toward the forest more than eight hundred meters away. The second man sat behind a rifle that rested on its bipod on the table. The rifle had a short telescope.

“I would like to smoke my pipe,” the second man said.

“Margal,” the first man said, not looking up from the binoculars, “you cannot.”

“Of course I can.”

“All right, then. Margal, you may not smoke your pipe.”

“Well, that is a different thing altogether.”

“I would like to smoke a cigarette.”

“Rimon …”

“I would like to have Daviel here, in this room, on this table.” He rapped with the knuckles of his left hand. “Right here.”

“She would not like this house.”

I do not like this house,” Rimon said. “It is here, at a crossroads, between them and us. Yesterday it was our command post. Tomorrow it could very well be their command post.”

“The lieutenant said it is an important house.”

“The lieutenant … Aha!”

Margal brought the rifle to his shoulder. “What?” He looked through the telescope. Green of the far away trees filled his sight.

“The white blaze on the big oak?”

Margal moved his shoulders slightly to his left. “Yes,” he said. “I have it.”

“Ten degrees left of the mark,” Rimon said. “A man stands between two poplars.”

Margal told his heart to slow its beat as he moved the rifle slightly. “I … Yes.” He turned the focus ring. “Very good, Rimon. He is almost part of the shadows.”

“Almost,” Rimon said. He positioned the enemy soldier between marks within the glasses. “Eight hundred twenty-five meters.”

“Eight twenty-five,” Margal said. He turned the elevation knob until a brown mark rested on the enemy’s forehead.

“There is no wind.”

Margal said nothing. He took a breath and exhaled, then took another breath and let out only some air.

Rimon looked at his friend and then returned his attention to the enemy scout. Or officer about to position soldiers. Or perhaps he was a sergeant. Rimon shrugged. It made no difference.

Margal suddenly raised his head.

“Are you all right?” Rimon asked.

“Yes. I was about to jerk the shot, that is all.”

“Do you want me to take it?”

“No. Thank you, but no.”

Margal again positioned the crosshairs. He breathed as before, holding his breath as he gently squeezed the trigger.

The shot was loud in the confined room. Both men’s ears rang.

Margal worked the bolt, ejecting an empty cartridge, chambering another live round.

“He is down,” Rimon said.

Margal swept the scope right, then left. He saw nothing, not even the movement of bushes. If other enemy were approaching their dead compatriot, their movement did not show. “They are experienced.”

“Or frightened,” Rimon said.

“Do you see anything?”

“No. Say, do you remember that major who ran the range at Camp Fostel?”

“Yes,” Margal said. “He is on brigade staff.”

“I didn’t know that,” Rimon said. He continued watching the forest. “Two years ago, when you and I fired in competition, the major said when we reported in that we could go and have a good time in town, drink wine or beer if we wanted, but stay away from coffee. He said coffee would make a tremble in our hands.”

“I remember,” Margal said. “He was sheep dip.”

“He was,” Rimon agreed. “But he could shoot.”

“That he could. Why did you think of him?”

“Oh, because you and I each had four cups of coffee at breakfast the first morning of competition, yet we had no tremor of any kind.”

“As I said, the major was sheep dip.”

“Yes,” Rimon said. “Also, I thought of him because when we return to the company, I will go to the mess hall and … Movement. Left of the white blaze.”

“Got it,” Margal said.

“More movement,” Rimon announced. “There are many of them.” He slid the binoculars into a carrying case on his belt and picked up his semi-automatic rifle.

Margal said, “Fire all of your magazine and I will fire my remaining four rounds and then we will leave.”

“Yes,” Rimon said. “We …”

Both men ducked as a mortar round exploded at the crossroads, twenty meters from the house.

“Or,” Margal said, “we could leave now.”

“Yes,” Rimon said.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Sheldon’s research papers?

Direct Evidence of Gravitational Waves in Polarization Data from the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation.

Lasers Ignite Supernovae in the Lab. (Uh, wouldn’t a true supernovae set off fire alarms or sprinklers or something?)

Wakefield Particle Accelerators on a Tabletop achieve new world record for compact particle accelerator, which means that Cheap Compact Particle Accelerators May Be Our Physics Future. (OK.)

Scientists at University of Göttingen and the Institut Laue Langevin Come Up With Ice XVI, A New Form Of Ice. (I’ll have bourbon and Coke and that new kind if ice, not that frozen water stuff.)

New Paper Explains How To Make Supermaterial Graphene In A Blender. To wit, per Nature News: Place 0.5 l water, 10-25 ml detergent, 20-50 g graphite in 400W blender, and run 10-30 min. Nature paper: Scalable production of large quantities of defect-free few-layer graphene by shear exfoliation in liquids.

(There are more.)

Link at

35 untrue stories that went viral in 2014

I was going to link to the story, but it was full of stupid stuff.

Thirty-three of the stories I had not heard, but I don’t look at stuff with the word “viral” anywhere in the title or in the explanation. “Viral” is too close a word to “virus,” and I avoid those when possible.

Picking news to support agenda

“These stories about the killings of African-American men by police officers (or by a ‘neighborhood watch captain,’ in Trayvon Martin's case) are all what my long-time radio and podcast partner Brian Ward calls ‘stories of choice.’ They are plucked from a nearly endless supply of sad events that occur daily in a nation of 315 million, and are promoted because they further a political narrative. An unholy alliance of activists and newspaper reporters and editors tries to distort our perception of reality by giving undue emphasis to them. Then, of course, reality begins to catch up with perception, and we have riots, murders of police officers, and so on. But understand that the decision to promote these stories, in preference to others that are equally or more newsworthy, is a choice that is consciously made by people with a political agenda.”

(Now and then search for black police officer kills man, or even black police officer kills white man – or teenager. It happens, but is not in CNN’s hate program. Now, if someone should tell CNN a white cop shot down that Malaysian airplane …)

Oceanographer takes unusual step to find out thickness of Antarctic ice

He measured it.

“Ted Maksym, an oceanographer at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts, conducted a study in which he sent an underwater robot into the depths of the Antarctic sea to measure the ice.

“His results contradicted previous assumptions made by scientists and showed that the ice is actually much thicker than has been predicted over the last 20 years.”

(Apparently “The polar bears are melting” crowd had not thought of that.)

"We do not know what the climate will be in 10, 20 years."

Link at

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

‘And the Europeans need to know that when we come, it will not be in a nice way.’

“It will be with our weapons. And those who do not convert to Islam or pay the Islamic tax will be killed.”


Author’s journey inside ISIS: They’re ‘more dangerous than people realize’

Posted on Monday, December 22, 2014 by CNN in International News

Juergen Todenhoefer’s journey was a tough one: dangerous, but also eye-opening. The author traveled deep into ISIS territory — the area they now call their “caliphate” — visiting Raqqa and Deir Ezzor in Syria, as well as Mosul in Iraq.

Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, was taken by ISIS in a Blitzkrieg-like sweep in June.
Todenhoefer managed to visit the mosque there where the leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Bagdadi, gave his only public address.

And he saw the realities of daily life under ISIS, with all shops having to close for prayers in the middle of the day.

“There is an awful sense of normalcy in Mosul,” Todenhoefer said in an exclusive interview with CNN.

“130,000 Christians have been evicted from the city, the Shia have fled, many people have been murdered and yet the city is functioning and people actually like the stability that the Islamic State has brought them.”

Nonetheless, he says, there is an air of fear among residents: “Of course many of the them are quite scared, because the punishment for breaking the Islamic State’s strict rules is very severe.”

According to ISIS’s leadership, the group’s fighters managed to take Mosul with only about 300 men, even though more than 20,000 Iraqi army soldiers were stationed there when the attack was launched.

Todenhoefer spoke with several ISIS fighters who took part in the operation.

“It took us about four days to take Mosul,” a young fighter told him.

“So you were only about 300 men and you defeated 20,000 troops in four days?” Todenhoefer asked.

“Well, we didn’t attack them all at once, we hit their front lines hard, also using suicide attacks. Then the others fled very quickly,” the fighter explained. “We fight for Allah, they fight for money and other things that they do not really believe in.”

Glow in their eyes

Todenhoefer told CNN the enthusiasm the ISIS militants showed was one thing that stood out.

“When we stayed at their recruitment house, there were 50 new fighters who came every day,” Todenhoefer said. “And I just could not believe the glow in their eyes. They felt like they were coming to a promised land, like they were fighting for the right thing.

“These are not stupid people. One of the people we met had just finished his law degree, he had great job offers, but he turned them down to go and fight … We met fighters from Europe and the United States. One of them was from New Jersey. Can you imagine a man from New Jersey traveling to fight for the Islamic State?”

He went on to say that one of ISIS’s main points of strength is their fighters’ willingness — even their will — to die on the battlefield.

Todenhoefer met one somewhat overweight recruit in a “safe house” who said he wears a suicide belt to every battle because he is too chubby to run away if he is cornered and would choose to blow himself up, rather than be captured.

ISIS also has a track record of abusing, torturing and executing prisoners of war. Todenhoefer was briefly able to speak to a Kurdish captive while in Mosul. The captive claimed he had not been tortured, but Todenhoefer said he found that hard to believe.

“This was a broken man,” Todenhoefer said. “It was very sad to see a person in this state. He was just very weak and very afraid of his captors.”

Todenhoefer conducted the interview with the prisoner while several ISIS fighters stood guard. He asked the man whether he knew what would happen to him.

“I do not know,” the captive told him. “My family does not even know I am still alive. I hope that maybe there will be some sort of prisoner exchange.”

Child ISIS fighters

Todenhoefer was also taken to see child soldiers outfitted with Islamic State gear and brandishing AK-47s. One of the boys seemed very young but claimed he had already gone to battle for ISIS.

“How old are you?” Todenhoefer asked.

“I am 13 years old,” the boy replied — though he looked even younger than that.

One of the most remarkable episodes of Todenhoefer’s trip to the ISIS-controlled region came when he was able to conduct an interview with a German fighter who spoke on behalf of ISIS’s leadership.

The man — clearly unapologetic about the group’s transgressions — vowed there was more to come; he also issued a warning to Europe and the United States.

“So you also want to come to Europe?” Todenhoefer asked him.

“No, we will conquer Europe one day,” the man said. “It is not a question of if we will conquer Europe, just a matter of when that will happen. But it is certain … For us, there is no such thing as borders. There are only front lines.

“Our expansion will be perpetual … And the Europeans need to know that when we come, it will not be in a nice way. It will be with our weapons. And those who do not convert to Islam or pay the Islamic tax will be killed.”

Todenhoefer asked the fighter about their treatment of other religions, especially Shia Muslims.

“What about the 150 million Shia, what if they refuse to convert?” Todenhoefer asked.

“150 million, 200 million or 500 million, it does not matter to us,” the fighter answered. “We will kill them all.”


The interview became testy when they reached the topic of beheadings and enslavement, especially of female captives.

“So do you seriously think that beheadings and enslavement actually signal progress for humanity?” Todenhoefer asked.

“Slavery absolutely signals progress,” the man said. “Only ignorant people believe that there is no slavery among the Christians and the Jews. Of course there are woman who are forced into prostitution under the worst circumstances.

“I would say that slavery is a great help to us and we will continue to have slavery and beheadings, it is part of our religion … many slaves have converted to Islam and have then been freed.”

The ISIS spokesman blamed the beheading of captured Western journalists and aid workers on the policies of the United States.

“People should really think about the case of James Foley,” he said. “He did not get killed because we started the battle. He got killed because of the ignorance of his government that did not give him any help.”

Even with recent gains by Kurdish forces against ISIS in northern Iraq, Todenhoefer sees the extremist group as entrenched, building state institutions, and that it shows no sign of losing its grip in the main areas it controls in Iraq and Syria.

“I think the Islamic State is a lot more dangerous than Western leaders realize,” he said. “They believe in what they are fighting for and are preparing the largest religious cleansing campaign the world has ever seen.”

Link at

Yet another Zip Code/solitaire score


There is no 65149 US Zip Code, but the same code is for Sukun, Malang, East Java; Vakari, Haanja, Vorumaa, Estonia; and a Bloomingdale’s Bra and Hipster Underwire model number, which, says the Bloomingdale’s web site, “cannot be shipped to the United States.”

Not to be outdone by Bloomingdale’s, Her Room advertises the Walcoal Halo Lace Seamless Underwear Bra model #65149 … but “No Longer Available.”

Is “No Longer Available” a more careful, legalistic way of saying “This item cannot be shipped to the United States”?

There is a Rizq Decoration Est in Abu Dhabi, Zip Code 65149.

I think there is some kind of conspiracy here. An American company can no longer receive an underwire brassier, nor is the same coded brassier in stock at another company, possibly because the Indonesian manufacturer has some kind of deal with an Abu Dhabi decorating company. Well, Indonesia and Abu Dhabi do share the same majority religion.

Just saying.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Taliban take part of western Afghan province

Turkmeni soldiers and border police prepare for fighting.

Women professionals in danger.

“Gurbandurdy said, ‘The situation in Khamyab has seriously deteriorated. The number of Taliban has increased and they now set the rules in the area.

“And those rules are all too familiar.

“One woman, whose name we will not reveal, recounted her story to Azatlyk. This woman was a doctor at a hospital in Khamyab until the Taliban started taking villages in the district. She started receiving phone calls.

“’We are the Taliban,’ the callers said, then warned her that they did not want female doctors at the hospital.

“The callers said she could stay in Khamyab district but that she was not to practice medicine. She fled to Mazar-e Sharif.

“A schoolteacher still in the district said he also received phone calls from people identifying themselves as the Taliban. These callers told him the local school principal, who was a woman, had to quit and that all female teachers had to, as well.”

Georgian soldier dies fighting for Ukraine

Aleksandre Grigolashvili died in Lugansk on Dec. 19. He joined the Georgian army in 2007 and fought in Afghanistan and South Ossetia. Family members said he went to the Ukraine two months ago to fight for the pro-Kiev forces against pro-Russian militia.

Lugansk was formerly called Voroshilovgrad. Pro-Russian forces declared the Lugansk People’s Republic last May and announced merger with the Donetsk People’s Republic.

That a former Georgian soldier went to Ukraine to fight against pro-Putin militia, after fighting Russians in South Ossetia and Taliban in Afghanistan, shows the problems of the area far exceed Ukraine and Russia.

Grigolashvili’s death is being used by political factions in Georgia, but that should not surprise anyone. Politicians are quite adept at using dead soldiers for political benefit.

Abu Omar al-Shishani, another former Georgian soldier, is a commander of ISIS in northern Syria. Although al-Shishani, as Tarkhan Tayumurazovich Batirashvili (his Georgian birth name), fought Russia in the South Ossetia war, he now leads Chechens in ISIS.

None of these wars is truly local. All forces have soldiers who have fought each other in other countries.

'If 2014 had a grand theme, it was testicular absence'

“(S)tudents at Harvard Law want ‘trigger warnings’ on criminal-law lectures covering sexual assault; some students have requested that such questions be excluded from exams on the grounds that the subject is so traumatic as to cause them to perform less well; others have gone so far as to advise students to ditch classes when the subject comes up and to advocate that sexual-assault law be excluded from the law-school curriculum; other sensitive souls have for similar reasons asked that that the word ‘violate’ be excluded from conversations at the law school – not merely in the sexual context but in the context of statutes and contracts as well. If we call law-breakers ‘violators,’ some are sure to feel offended; but it is as sure that if we called them ‘offenders’ some would say they felt violated. Trying to use the English language to communicate under the conditions these people imagine is like trying to communicate in sign language while wearing oven mitts.” – Kevin D. Williamson, “The United States of Anxiety”!

Link at maggiesfarm.


Zip Code for Rockville, Mo., and my current solitaire score.

Rockville is in Bates County. As of the 2010 census, 166 people lived in the town.

No one lives in my solitaire score, but adding the numbers gives 25. That was Frank Howard’s number when he played for the Dodgers. Howard took number 9 when the Dodgers traded him to Washington.

Rockville was named for nearby white sandstone quarries.

Frank Howard hit 122 home runs with the Dodgers, 1958-1964. He hit 240 home runs with the Senators/Rangers, 1965 to Aug. 30, 1972, and 13 with the Detroit Tigers, Sept. 1,1972, and all of 1973.

In his best years with the Senators, 1967-70, Howard hit 36, 44, 48 and 44 home runs.

Howard was traded with Phil Ortega, Pete Richart, Ken McMullen and a player to be named (Dick Nen) for Claude Osteen, John Kennedy and $100,000.

Howard went with the Senators to Texas and became a Texas Rangers. The Rangers sold him to the Tigers.

Howard was 6’5” and weighed around 250.

"One of these days (Frank) Howard will unleash a line drive at the opposing pitcher and the only identification left on the mound is going to be a laundry mark." - Fresco Thompson in Every Diamond Doesn't Sparkle: Behind The Scenes With The Dodgers (David McKay Company, 1964, Page 44)

At old Arlington Stadium, someone in the late 1970s pointed to the big scoreboard at the top of the left field wall and said Howard hit a home run off the scoreboard.

Rockville has a 95.8 percent white population. The median age was 45. By the 2000 census, 33.3 percent of families and 32.1 percent of the overall population was below the federal poverty line.

Bates County borders Oklahoma and is the sixth county up from Arkansas. Jim’s Village Meats is listed on the internet, but one site notes: CLOSED.

There was a big to-do two years ago on plans by a horse slaughter company opening a plant in Rockville.

Two people writing at say the Old Rock Tavern is “hands down” the best eating establishment in Rockville, plus “no Lady Gaga” but George Strait and David Alan Coe.

Well, shoot, it don’t get any better than that. As long as they aren’t killing horses for shipment to France.

Stats on Frank Howard from

Rockville info from Wikipedia, Yelp and Topix.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

From Brandeis University on murdered police officers

Following the execution of two New York Police Department officers, a Brandeis University student leader wasted no time in making it clear that she did not care that they were murdered.

“i have no sympathy for the nypd officers who were murdered today,” Khadijah Lynch, a junior and an Undergraduate Department Representative in the African and Afro-American Studies Department, wrote on Twitter.

i have no sympathy for the nypd officers who were murdered today.
— Khadijah (خديجة) (@punQros3) December 20, 2014

lmao, all i just really dont have sympathy for the cops who were shot. i hate this racist f***ing country.
— Khadijah (خديجة) (@punQros3) December 21, 2014

Khadijah has also announced “I am in riot mode. F*** this f***ing country,” that “the fact that black people have not burned this country down is beyond me,” and that “amerikkka needs an intifada.”

She is not just another sociopathic moron allowed to enroll in a prestigious university in order to fulfill Affirmative Action quotas, but a designated representative of the liberal establishment:

“She’s a UDR, which means she’s a leader on campus responsible for advising younger students,” a recent Brandeis graduate told TruthRevolt.

Also from the president

“It used to be folks would say, well, maybe blacks are exaggerating, maybe some of these situations aren’t what they describe. But we’ve now seen on television for everybody to see — gives us an opportunity, I think, to finally have the kind of conversation that’s been a long time coming.”

(Cops are liars; blacks arrested always tell the truth.)

Why people sometimes don’t like the po-leece

HOUSTON (FOX 26) - Chad Chadwick has something many citizens can only covet - a spotless record.

"These cops are out of control. They are ruining good people's lives. I am a good man. I have done everything I can to show that, as a father, as a citizen, as a worker," said Chadwick.

But on the night of September 27th, 2011 Chadwick's commitment to living within the law did him no good at all.

It started when a friend concerned for Chadwick's emotional well-being called Missouri City police to Chad's Sienna apartment where he'd been distraught, drinking and unknown to anyone, had gone to sleep in the bathtub.

A SWAT team was summoned.

"They told a judge I had hostages. They lied to a judge and told him I had hostages in my apartment and they needed to enter," said Chadwick.

Chadwick did own a single shotgun, but had threatened no one, not even himself. Chadwick's firearm possession apparently prompted SWAT to kick in his door, launch a stun grenade into the bathroom and storm in, according to Chadwick, without announcing their identity.

"While I had my hands up naked in the shower they shot me with a 40 millimeter non-lethal round," said Chadwick.

A second stun grenade soon followed.

"I turned away, the explosion went off, I opened my eyes the lights are out and here comes a shield with four or five guys behind it. They pinned me against the wall and proceeded to beat the crap out of me," said Chadwick.

That's when officers shot the unarmed Chadwick in the back of the head with a Taser at point blank range.

"They claimed I drew down with a shampoo bottle and a body wash bottle," said Chadwick.

And it wasn't over.

"They grabbed me by my the one hand that was out of the shower and grabbed me by my testicles slammed me on my face on the floor and proceeded to beat me more," said Chadwick.

Chadwick, who hadn't broken a single law when SWAT burst through his door, was taken to the Ft. Bend County Jail with a fractured nose, bruised ribs and what's proven to be permanent hearing loss.

He was held in an isolation cell for two full days.

"Instead of apologizing to this man and asking let us see what we can do to help you to make you whole again, they concocted criminal charges against this man, one after another, after another," said Quanell X who believes the prosecution of Chadwick was designed to fend off civil liability.

Ft. Bend County District Attorney John Healy sought to indict Chadwick on two felony counts of assaulting a police officer, but a Grand Jury said no law was broken.

It could have stopped there, but Healy's prosecutors tried misdemeanor charges of resisting arrest, calling more than a dozen officers to testify. Those charges were dropped as well.

A month ago, three years after the SWAT raid, a jury found Chad Chadwick not guilty of interfering with police. With tears in their eyes members of the jury offered the exonerated defendant comforting hugs.

"They tried to make me a convict. It broke me financially, bankrupted me. I used my life savings, not to mention, I lost my kids," said Chadwick.

"This type of police abuse and excessive use of force and concoction of criminal charges against innocent people is not just happening to black people, its happening to white people too," said Quanell X who is assisting Chadwick in getting the story of his ordeal to the media.

For Chadwick some of the damage will never be repaired.

"All I could think about is, what are my daughters going to think? My goal in life is to be a father that my kids are proud of. That's it," said Chadwick, a long time manager in the energy industry.

The SWAT team that took Chadwick into custody and testified against him was comprised of officers from Missouri City, Sugar Land, Stafford and the Ft. Bend County Sheriff's Department.

Ft. Bend County District Attorney John Healy declined to comment on camera, but did say he stands by his decision to prosecute Chadwick, despite the multiple no-bills and not guilty verdict.

Asked how much the case cost taxpayers, Healy said "I wasn't keeping a tally."

Link at

Somebody has way too much time on his hands

No, I’m not talking about me.

FARK headline:
Fark Foodie Question: Chicken-fried steak with cream gravy: abomination unto the Lord or the essence of all that is good and true?

Drop that wolf!!

There once was a young person named Little Red Riding Hood who lived on the edge of a large forest full of endangered owls and rare plants that would probably provide a cure for cancer if only someone took the time to study them.

Red Riding Hood lived with a nurture giver whom she sometimes referred to as "mother", although she didn't mean to imply by this term that she would have thought less of the person if a close biological link did not in fact exist. Nor did she intend to denigrate the equal value of nontraditional households, although she was sorry if this was the impression conveyed.

One day her mother asked her to take a basket of organically grown fruit and mineral water to her grandmother's house.

"But mother, won't this be stealing work from the unionized people who have struggled for years to earn the right to carry all packages between various people in the woods?"

Red Riding Hood's mother assured her that she had called the union boss and gotten a special compassionate mission exemption form.

"But mother, aren't you oppressing me by ordering me to do this?"

Red Riding Hood's mother pointed out that it was impossible for women to oppress each other, since all women were equally oppressed until all women were free.

"But mother, then shouldn't you have my brother carry the basket, since he's an oppressor, and should learn what it's like to be oppressed?"

Red Riding Hood's mother explained that her brother was attending a special rally for animal rights, and besides, this wasn't stereotypical women's work, but an empowering deed that would help engender a feeling of community.

"But won't I be oppressing Grandma, by implying that she's sick and hence unable to independently further her own selfhood?"

But Red Riding Hood's mother explained that her grandmother wasn't actually sick or incapacitated or mentally handicapped in any way, although that was not to imply that any of these conditions were inferior to what some people called "health".

Thus Red Riding Hood felt that she could get behind the idea of delivering the basket to her grandmother, and so she set off.

Many people believed that the forest was a foreboding and dangerous place, but Red Riding Hood knew that this was an irrational fear based on cultural paradigms instilled by a patriarchal society that regarded the natural world as an exploitable resource, and hence believed that natural predators were in fact intolerable competitors.

Other people avoided the woods for fear of thieves and deviants, but Red Riding Hood felt that in a truly classless society all marginalized peoples would be able to "come out" of the woods and be accepted as valid lifestyle role models.

On her way to Grandma's house, Red Riding Hood passed a woodchopper, and wandered off the path, in order to examine some flowers.

She was startled to find herself standing before a Wolf. "Hey, little girl," the wolf said. "I'll give you a piece of candy if you let me ... uh, see your basket. I'll bet you have a nice basket."

Red Riding Hood's teacher had warned her never to talk to strangers, but she was confident in taking control of her own budding sexuality, and chose to dialogue with the Wolf.

She replied, "I am taking my Grandmother some healthful snacks in a gesture of solidarity."

The Wolf said, "You know, my dear, it isn't safe for a little girl to walk through these woods alone."

Red Riding Hood said, "I find your sexist remark offensive in the extreme, but I will ignore it because of your traditional status as an outcast from society, the stress of which has caused you to develop an alternative and yet entirely valid worldview. Now, if you'll excuse me, I would prefer to be on my way."
Red Riding Hood returned to the main path, and proceeded towards her Grandmother's house.

But because his status outside society had freed him from slavish adherence to linear, Western-style thought, the Wolf knew of a quicker route to Grandma's house.

He burst into the house and ate Grandma, a course of action affirmative of his nature as a predator. Then, unhampered by rigid, traditionalist gender role notions, he put on Grandma's nightclothes, crawled under the bedclothes, and awaited developments.

Red Riding Hood entered the cottage and said, "Grandma, I have brought you some cruelty free snacks to salute you in your role of wise and nurturing matriarch."

The Wolf said softly "Come closer, child, so that I might see you."

Red Riding Hood said, "Goddess! Grandma, what big eyes you have!"

"You forget that I am optically challenged."

"And Grandma, what an enormous ... what a fine nose you have."

"Naturally, I could have had it fixed to help my acting career, but I didn't give in to such societal pressures, my child."

"And Grandma, what very big, sharp teeth you have!"

The Wolf could not take any more of these specist slurs, and, in a reaction appropriate for his accustomed milieu, he leaped out of bed, grabbed Little Red Riding Hood, and opened his jaws so wide that she could see her poor Grandmother cowering in his belly.

"Aren't you forgetting something?" Red Riding Hood bravely shouted. "You must request my permission before proceeding to a new level of intimacy!"

The Wolf was so startled by this statement that he loosened his grasp on her.

At the same time, the woodchopper burst into the cottage, brandishing an ax. "Hands off!" cried the woodchopper.

"And what do you think you're doing?" cried Little Red Riding Hood. "If I let you help me now, I would be expressing a lack of confidence in my own abilities, which would lead to poor self esteem and lower achievement scores on college entrance exams."

"Last chance, sister! Get your hands off that endangered species! This is an FBI sting!" screamed the woodchopper, and when Little Red Riding Hood nonetheless made a sudden motion, he sliced off her head.

"Thank goodness you got here in time," said the Wolf. "The brat and her grandmother lured me in here. I thought I was a goner."

"No, I think I'm the real victim, here," said the woodchopper. "I've been dealing with my anger ever since I saw her picking those protected flowers earlier. And now I'm going to have such a trauma. Do you have any aspirin?"

"Sure," said the Wolf.


"I feel your pain," said the Wolf, and he patted the woodchopper on his firm, well padded back, gave a little belch, and said "Do you have any Maalox?"

More at:

Of course you can take it with you ...

There once was a rich man who was near death. He was very grieved because he had worked so hard for his money and he wanted to take it with him to heaven. So he began to pray that he might be able to take some of his wealth with him.

An angel hears his plea and appears to him. "Sorry, but you can't take your wealth with you."

The man implores the angel to speak to God to see if He might bend the rules.

The man continues to pray that his wealth could follow him.

The angel reappears and informs the man that God has decided to allow him to take one suitcase with him.

Overjoyed, the man gathers his largest suitcase and fills it with pure gold bars and places it beside his bed.

Soon afterward the man dies and shows up at the Gates of Heaven to greet St. Peter.

Seeing the suitcase St. Peter says, "Hold on, you can't bring that in here!"

But, the man explains to St. Peter that he has permission and asks him to verify his story with the Lord. Sure enough, St. Peter checks and comes back saying, "You're right. You are allowed one carry-on bag, but I'm supposed to check its contents before letting it through."

St. Peter opens the suitcase to inspect the worldly items that the man found too precious to leave behind and exclaims, "You brought paving bricks?!!!"

He finally said something

For a man who is considered a genius with words, President Obama often knows only how to string together phrases that make good sound bites.

“I unconditionally condemn today’s murder of two police officers in New York City,” the president said in a statement released just after midnight on Sunday morning. “Two brave men won’t be going home to their loved ones tonight, and for that, there is no justification.”

The president continued, “I ask people to reject violence and words that harm, and turn to words that heal – prayer, patient dialogue, and sympathy for the friends and family of the fallen.”

By saying “there is no justification,” Obama admits some people do see justification in murdering two police officers who were sitting in their police car in an area of high crime.

The man who learned tactics in Chicago certainly knows how to justify violence, and “sympathy for the friends and family of the fallen” is nothing but an alliterative phrase.

After the Swedish bikini team, what is there?

‘On the left’s dream of turning America into Scandinavia

The idea has been around since Sweden legislated the best health care system and work system and pay system the world has ever seen.

Or maybe not.

My wife and I were host to two Nordic girls -- one from Sweden, the other from Denmark. The Swedish girl said everything is free there, you don’t have to pay for anything. Many of her friends, after finishing college, do not work, and she plans on doing the same. In school, she said, "If the teachers really want you to learn somehing, they will wake you up." The Danish girl wants to be a lawyer. She was very upset at one time because her grade on a test at the E-STEM school in Little Rock knocked out her overall A average. She made up the grade within two weeks, though. In Denmark, people are expected to get an education and go to work. Not so in Sweden. Both countries had a Homogeneous population before the European Union, but that has changed.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Search results for “obama comments on two nypd officers killed.”

“President Barack Obama was also briefed on the shooting, and White House officials were monitoring the situation closely, the White House said.”

No word yet on whatever Al Sharpton says about officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, you know, members of the majority American ethnic group.

In Minneapolis, “Police Brutality Protesters” were successful in shutting down parts of the Mall of the Americas -- uh, educating the public, organizer Mica Grimm said.

"Our goal is to bring more attention to these issues - and what just happened, nobody can ignore," Grimm said.

Wisconsin man cited for tearing down barn

That’ll teach him.

Wisconsin accuses landowner of “building bridges and dams and enlarging a pond without permits … tearing down a barn without notice of intent and discharging manure into a wetland.”

He tore down a dilapidated barn without the state’s permission? Oh, the horror!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Oh, no! The NorKs might get angry!

Movie theaters in Dallas/Fort Worth, Atlanta and Cleveland planned on showing Team America. “Because AMERICA. F YEAH.” But Paramount pulled the film from showing. Paramount. U SUCK.

It was bad enough when the remakers of Red Dawn kowtowed to Chinese millions and substituted NorKs for the other Reds, but to stumble away whining because somebody made some online threats?

What happened to AMERICAN anti-bullying policy? F YEAH … UH, well…

“Kim Jung Un is a fat little toad with gout who the world would be better off without.”

Art sale would pay a few weeks of defense budget …

… but a museum would keep the art available forever.

Link at maggiesfarm.

Obama’s lies

The president told lies in his speech about Cuba? Really? No, really?

Link at maggiesfarm.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Million-mummy cemetery

The dead were not mummified at the time of burial.

“Where exactly these million mummies came from is an ongoing mystery, and one that the team has yet to solve.”

"’We once found a male who was over 7 feet tall who was far too tall to fit into the shaft, so they bent him in half and tossed him in,’ Muhlestein told the audience in Toronto.”

Blond burials are in one area, redheaded burials in another.

Link at

Stele claims Damascene king killed members of House of David

Steven Fine: “People care about this stuff. They don’t care about the Middle Ages that much. They care about biblical history…and it’s part of the grappling with secularization that makes this so important to some people.”!

“…Rabbi David Wolpe, author of the 2014 book David: The Divided Heart, said in an interview that there was near-unanimous consensus among scholars that David existed. But Wolpe, of the Conservative Sinai Temple in Los Angeles, added that ‘the size and scope of his kingdom were probably far less than was once thought.’”

(“Scholars” discount David’s grand kingdom because of biblical accounts. A “scholar” will believe what is written in Egyptian hieroglyphics or Babylonian cuneiform, but not what is stated in Genesis or Kings or Joshua. Early Bible critics and archaeologists denied existence of the Hittites, claiming lack of physical evidence meant writers of biblical books made up the Anatolian empire. If Hittites never existed, then there could not have been a Uriah for David to send to the forefront of the battle. If one story was not true, then man should not believe any of the Bible.

(Archaeologists also claim Genesis 37 could not have happened as written – Joseph’s brothers saw “a company of Ishmaelites, coming from Gilead with their camels …” – because camels had not been domesticated at the time. Here’s an unsubstantiated guess: Archaeologists have been wrong before, and new finds continually cast doubt on previous theories and statements, so there really is no reason to draw conclusions based only on artifacts.)

Link at maggiesfarm.

We feel your pain

Well, not really; no more than the killer “felt the pain” of the woman he murdered.

Headline: “Doctor: In botched execution, hurt felt.”

“A doctor who examined the body of an Oklahoma inmate who died during a botched execution told a federal judge Wednesday that he is convinced the man suffered after being declared unconscious.”

Clayton Lockett, the murderer who “hurt” during execution, “was convicted of shooting Stephanie Nieman, 19, with a sawed-off shotgun and watching as two accomplices buried her alive in 1999.”

Now that Mr. Lockett’s “pain” has become known:

“OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Lawyers for 21 death row inmates say Oklahoma's bungled execution in April is evidence they likely will experience pain and suffering from the state's lethal injection protocol.”

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Here’s one those ‘No s**it’ stories anybody with some sense already knew

“Study: Your All-Electric Car May Not Be So Green”

“WASHINGTON (AP) -- People who own all-electric cars where coal generates the power may think they are helping the environment. But a new study finds their vehicles actually make the air dirtier, worsening global warming.

“Ethanol isn't so green, either.

“’It's kind of hard to beat gasoline’ for public and environmental health, said study co-author Julian Marshall, an engineering professor at the University of Minnesota. ‘A lot of the technologies that we think of as being clean ... are not better than gasoline.’"

Link at maggiesfarm.

Here’s what you do …

… when reading a story that begins “College students demand …” Use search function. Same thing with “Police violence common …” Or “Veteran kills …”

The headline: ‘Oberlin College Students Demand Black Students Be Exempt From Failing Because of Ferguson And Garner Protests.’

OK. How many students demand? Around 1,300 signed a petition saying President Marvin Krislov should “suspend the standard grading system because students of color, especially black students, are at risk of failing.”

What is Oberlin enrollment? Around 2,900.

Here is where the thing gets good: “I would really like to see the normal grading system suspended for this semester and replaced with a no-fail mercy period.” What kind of demand is “I would really like to see …”? For that matter, how good are the teachers who let students get by with “I would really like to see”? Really? Oh, absolutely.

And: “Basically, no student especially black students and students of color should be failing a class this semester.” “Basically”? I need a John Stossel moment … Give me a f’n break.

The whole thing is here:

Link at weaselzippers and maggiesfarm.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014


I woke up at 2:30 this morning and said, "Idjit! You used the wrong word!" In the second post below, I wrote "emphasizing" when I meant "empathizing." What a dumb mistake!!

Monday, December 15, 2014

The five most over-rated guns of all time

Mosin-Nagant, Luger, AK-47, M-14 and the Springfield XD.

3. The AK47

Ah, the AK47. Beloved by people who want a rifle that holds the same number of rounds as an AR15, but don’t want an AR15 despite it having superior ergonomics, sights, and accuracy. The real legacy of the AK is that it’s a rifle designed to be used by literally the dumbest human beings on the planet, and in that role it excels. But…it’s not really a very good rifle. Its legendary reputation for reliability is mostly grounded in the same ‘Nam era war stories that make people think that M16s aren’t reliable. It’s earned this legendary reputation for mechanical reliability…which turns out to pretty much be just that, a legend. But the internet will tell you forever that “nothing can jam an AK”…until one does malfunction, then they’ll say “well that was a Bulgarian AK, not a true Russian model so it’s inferior garbage.” Whatever you say. Go rewatch Red Dawn (the good one) and tell your AK that it’s “just as good” as an AR15. If you say it enough, maybe you’ll start believing it.

While empathizing with our enemies -- Don’t Lets be Beastly to the Germans

By Noel Coward

Don't let's be beastly to the Germans
Now our victory is ultimately won
Let us treat them very kindly
As we would a valued friend
We might them out some bishops
As a form of lease and lend

Let's be sweet to them
And day by day repeat to them
That sterilization simply isn't done
Let's sweetly sympathize again
And help the scum to rise again
But don't let's be beastly to the Hun

We must be kind
And with an open mind
We must endeavor to find a way
To let the Germans know
That now the war is over
They are not the ones who have to pay

We must be sweet
And tactful and discreet
And now they've suffered defeat
We mustn't let them feel upset or ever get the feeling
That we're cross with them or hate them
Our future policy must be to reinstate them

Don't let's be beastly to the Germans
For they're civilized
When all is said and done
Though they gave us science, culture, art, and music, to excess
They also gave us two world wars and Dr. Rudolph Hess

Let's be meek to them
And turn the other cheek to them
And try to arouse their latent sense of fun
Let's give them full air parity
And treat the rats with charity
But don't let's be beastly to the Hun

Don't let's be beastly to the Germans
You can't deprive a gangster of his gun
Though they've been a little naughty
To the Czechs and Poles and Dutch
I can't believe those countries
Really minded very much

Let's be free with them
And share the BBC with them
We mustn't prevent them basking in the sun
Let's soften their defeat again
And build their bloody fleet again
But don't let's be beastly to the Hun

Link at

Understanding the car

“’I don’t believe that young buyers don’t care about owning a car,’ says John McFarland, GM’s 31-year-old manager of global strategic marketing. ‘We just think nobody truly understands them yet.’(Does he mean no one understands a car, or a millennial?)

“All of these strategies share a few key assumptions: that demand for cars within the Millennial generation is just waiting to be unlocked; that as the economy slowly recovers, today’s young people will eventually want to buy cars as much as their parents and grandparents did; that a finer-tuned appeal to Millennial values can coax them into dealerships.

“Perhaps. But what if these assumptions are simply wrong? What if Millennials’ aversion to car-buying isn’t a temporary side effect of the recession, but part of a permanent generational shift in tastes and spending habits?”

Ah, yes. There’s the rub. What if Millennials are different from you and me? What if they don’t want to drive, see no reason to drive? Northeasterners, maybe. And Chicagoans. Maybe some citified Wisconites and more than a few DCers. Southerners and Westerners? Midwesterners? Californians? They are going to drive. Any place that has space, people will own and drive cars. Maybe the car companies are looking in the wrong places for owners of tiny cars.

Link at maggiesfarm.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

200,000 Africans enjoy business in Guangzhou ; Chinese not happy

“In just ten years, nearly 200,000 Africans have settled in Guangzhou. All of them hope to strike it rich by exporting low-cost Chinese products to Africa. And business is booming.

“But the Chinese do not always approve of them, to the extent that they have nicknamed their neighborhood ‘Chocolate City’…”

Surely locals are not racist.

Business is business, but personal ... Well, it’s personal. Once, or twice, upon a time, China wanted nothing to do with foreigners.

Link at gatesofvienna.

Italian bears invade Austria

Still angry because of that 1915-18 dustup?

Link at

Just wondering

From Obama’s first year, reporters asked the president his picks for NCAA basketball championships. Why did reporters never ask Bush his picks for PRCA finals? Bush is a Texan, for goodness sake. A black man is supposed to know all about basketball, it that it?

White, black, brown, red? Nah.

We are a nation of bland, punctuated here and there with some redneck ghettos and Negro ghettos and Mexican ghettos. Enemies of progress are those rednecks and Negroes and Mexicans.

But they are not bland.

For the middleclass among us, or the sort-of middle class, bland rules.

Take a trip on an interstate. Stop now and then for Gas or Food or Lodging. It doesn’t matter which “restaurant” you choose for Food. They’re all the same. Hamburger, fried chicken … Uh, hamburger … Pizza! Forgot about pizza. But pizza isn’t a fast food. Tacos, maybe? OK. But, still, it’s all the same.

Lodging … All the same. The only difference is in what you want to spend.

Gas? Every station/travel center is the same; only size differs.

Want a little change? Stop at a redneck station or a Negro station. (There don’t seem to be any Mexican gas stations along the interstate.) Anyway, at a redneck station or a Negro station, you generally will find dirty bathrooms and floors not mopped in some time, or mopped with dirty water.

Eventually, the redneck stations and Negro stations will go out of business and the empty buildings will sit there, weeds growing, roofs falling in, windows broken by rednecks and Negroes throwing stones. Those stations will go out of business and bland will win.

Greenpeace sucks

So-called “environmental activists” violate law and centuries old site in Peru and then the organization says it is “deeply concerned about any offense” it might have caused.

Typical liberal stuff. “We are sorry if you are angry.” How about “We were wrong, and we apologize for what we did.”

Liberals are never wrong. You are wrong if you do not agree with what they do or say, and they are always “sorry” if you "took offense.”

Agence Presse-France backs Greenpeace with this: ‘Greenpeace apologizes for stunt …’

Highlight “stunt” and then access your online thesaurus. You’ll find “feat,” “exploit,” “spectacular act” and “deed” as synonymous nouns. Are any of those words something someone would "apoloigize" for?

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Why …

(Maybe these are true, maybe not.

1. WHY: Why do men's clothes have buttons on the right while women's clothes have buttons on the left?

BECAUSE: When buttons were invented, they were very expensive and worn primarily by the rich. Since most people are right-handed, it is easier to push buttons on the right through holes on the left. Because wealthy women were dressed by maids, dressmakers put the buttons on the maid's right! And that's where women's buttons have remained since.

(I've also heard some claim that it's to make it easier for guys to unbutton ladies clothing.)

2. WHY: Why do ships and aircraft use 'mayday' as their call for help?

BECAUSE: This comes from the French word m'aidez - meaning 'help me' - and is pronounced, approximately, 'mayday.'

3. WHY: Why are zero scores in tennis called 'love'?

BECAUSE: In France, where tennis became popular, the round zero on the scoreboard looked like an egg and was called 'l'oeuf,' which is French for 'the egg.' When tennis was introduced in the English-speaking world, it was pronounced 'love.'

4. WHY: Why do X's at the end of a letter signify kisses?

BECAUSE: In the Middle Ages, when many people were unable to read or write, documents were often signed using an X. Kissing the X represented an oath to fulfill obligations specified in the document. The X and the kiss eventually became synonymous.

5. WHY: Why is shifting responsibility to someone else called 'passing the buck'?

BECAUSE: In card games, it was once customary to pass an item, called a buck, from player to player to indicate whose turn it was to deal. If a player did not wish to assume the responsibility of dealing, he would 'pass the buck' to the next player.

6. WHY: Why do people clink their glasses before drinking a toast?

BECAUSE: In earlier times it used to be common for someone to try to kill an enemy by offering him a poisoned drink. To prove to a guest that a drink was safe, it became customary for a guest to pour a small amount of his drink into the glass of the host. Both men would drink it simultaneously. When a guest trusted his host, he would only touch or clink the host's glass with his own.

7. WHY: Why are people in the public eye said to be 'in the limelight'?

BECAUSE: Invented in 1825, limelight was used in lighthouses and theatres by burning a cylinder of lime which produced a brilliant light. In the theatre, a performer 'in the limelight' was the centre of attention.

8. WHY: Why is someone who is feeling great 'on cloud nine'?

BECAUSE: Types of clouds are numbered according to the altitudes they attain, with nine being the highest cloud. If someone is said to be on cloud nine, that person is floating well above worldly cares.

9. WHY: In golf, where did the term 'Caddie' come from?

BECAUSE: When Mary Queen of Scots went to France as a young girl, Louis, King of France, learned that she loved the Scots game 'golf.' He had the first course outside of Scotland built for her enjoyment. To make sure she was properly chaperoned (and guarded) while she played, Louis hired cadets from a military school to accompany her. Mary liked this a lot and when she returned to Scotland (not a very good idea in the long run), she took the practice with her. In French, the word cadet is pronounced ‘ca-day' and the Scots changed it into caddie.

10. WHY: Why are many coin collection jar banks shaped like pigs?

BECAUSE: Long ago, dishes and cookware in Europe were made of dense orange clay called 'pygg'. When people saved coins in jars made of this clay, the jars became known as 'pygg banks.' When an English potter misunderstood the word, he made a container that resembled a pig. And it caught on.

At maggiesfarm.

(I knew Numbers 1 and 6. Hoo-ah. There is too much French influence, doncha think? On No. 6 -- If everybody was sloshing wine or mead or whatever around, wouldn't that lead to some mistrust and maybe dirks and daggers drawn?)

Headline you will not see

‘CNN declines to interview woman who never met Bill Cosby’

Saturday, December 6, 2014

John has been 6 years old for 52 years

For a half century, Priscilla’s mother took care of John. John has been six years old for the past 52 years. He can bathe with supervision – “Wash your arms. Wash under your arms. Rinse the soap off.” He can brush his teeth; he uses an electric razor, but must be inspected after shaving.

About five years ago, John went into a group home. Three other men are in the home; two are more physically limited than is John. Until then, John’s mother had done almost everything for John – opening doors, carrying things, wiping him after bathroom visits. Many things John could do, his mother did so much until she decided he was not capable.

I often heard my wife say, “John, open the door” when we were shopping. John’s response was always the same: “It’s too heavy.” My wife would say, “John, take the handle and open the door.” John always replied, “It’s too heavy.”

My wife believes in practical application. She would put John’s hand on the door handle and say, “John, open the door.” Eventually, John learned he could open doors and even hold open a door for his mother.

Mrs. R. died on May 30. John sometimes stays with my wife and me, for holidays and such.

Right now, John is in the shower. And I hear my wife – “Rinse off, John. Rinse soap off your legs. That’s the way.”

In Heaven there must be a special place for mothers and sisters and fathers (and often, even the hired help) who care for the Johns of the world.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

So maybe Muslim explorers invented rum?

“President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has heralded a new curriculum for schools, after complaining that Turkish students know foreign figures like Albert Einstein but not Muslim and Turkish ones.

“Last month, Erdoğan instructed Turkey’s educational institutions to adopt a policy of highlighting the contribution of Islam to global science and arts, including ‘the discovery of the American continent by Muslim sailors some 300 years before Columbus.’”

Link at

(And Russians invented baseball.)

‘1,200 Years of History Can’t Make Germans Trust French’

And two world wars in 26 years should make the French trust Germans?

A German: “Europe wants, I think, Germany to be strong; it also needs other countries to be more sensible.”

Just be sensible, necessarily strong Germany tells the rest of Europe.

Link at

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

This ain't the Army

Going on 25 years ago, not long after the Army said “Check’s in the mail. Don’t call us, we’ll call you. So long. Been good to know you. Don’t let the door hit you in the a$$,” my wife, who had a job to go to (and it wasn’t like I hadn’t tried – written dozens of letters listing the abilities and experience gained since leaving high school, but for some reason demand was not high for a 44-year-old Army infantry/cavalry/MI sergeant), handed to me a list. She said, “Do you think you could get to these today?” Just like Robert E. Lee often said to a general, “If you find it in your abilities, I would appreciate it if you could remove those people from that hill,” which every general before Gettysburg knew meant, “Get you’re a$$ up that hill,” although Marse Bob would never say those words. So after Gen. Wife left, I looked at the list, and I said, “If I were still in the Army, I could get this and this done, half of these two, and start on this one, but no way do I get these last two done.” But then I realized I was no longer in the Army, and prioritizing the tasks meant all held No. 1 position. Welcome to Civilianness.

Letters from the jihadist front

"I've basically done nothing except hand out clothes and food. I also help clean weapons and transport dead bodies from the front. Winter's arrived here. It's begun to get really hard." (Tom Paine warned about the sunshine jihadist.)

"I'm fed up. They make me do the washing up." (You’ve got water?)

"My iPod doesn't work any more here. I have to come back."

"They want to send me to the front, but I don't know how to fight." (That’s all right, son. You’ll learn. Or …)

One Frenchman was rumoured to have been beheaded when he explained to the emir that he wanted to follow his friend who had already left. (And you thought the draft board was unfeeling.)

Link at


Alabama grand jury declines to indict black policeman who killed unarmed white teenager.

Searches bring other hits. You would think racist black/white cops are killing white/black “teenagers” all over the country.

Reaction by police varies from neighborhood to neighborhood. Poor folks do not get the same treatment as do middle class and up.

Law schools fighting for students

“Now, financially wobbly law schools are facing plunging enrollment, strenuous resistance to five-figure student debt and the lack of job guarantees — not to mention the need to balance their battered budgets. To entice new students, some middle-tier schools [Arizona, Penn State, Roger WIlliams, Wayne State] have reduced tuition. ...

“The number of first-year law school students fell 11 percent in the fall of 2013 from the fall of 2012, part of a 24 percent decline in just three years, according to the ABA. The incoming class in 2013 stood at 39,675 students, the smallest first-year class since the 1970s, when law school enrollment began to rise substantially. About two-thirds, or 135, of the association’s accredited law schools, registered a drop in first-year enrollment that year — and little has changed this fall.”

Link at maggiesfarm.

(I’m trying to come up with a good Henry 6 comment. “The first thing we do, let’s impoverish the law students.” Not very good.)

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

‘Jihad’ means latrine duty?

“An Indian student who travelled to Iraq to join the Islamic State group has returned home disillusioned after jihadists made him clean toilets and do other menial jobs, according to media reports.

Areeb “Majeed told NIA officers he was sidelined by the jihadists for whom he fetched water and performed other lowly tasks such as cleaning toilets, instead of taking part in the deadly offensive like he wanted, the Press Trust of India news agency reported.”

The father of a friend of Majeed’s reported his son was offered a job in Kuwait, but chose ISIS instead.

“He had got a job offer from Kuwait with a salary of three lakh rupees ($4,800) but he ignored that and instead took up arms. Now what happens to his future?” Sheikh told the Indian Express newspaper on Monday.

“I feel let down by my son. He had a bright career ahead of him but he took advantage of our love and betrayed us.”

(Not only that, but his mother said, “And he never calls. What’s a mother to do?”)

The nutcracker survived the move

It is a nice nutcracker, 33.5 inches tall, black trousers and black boots, a red and green jacket, black Guards helmet.

I wrapped it like Cleopatra's delivery to Caeser.


Here is a representation of Baal, a Canaanite god. The statue was found at Ugarit and is now at the Louvre.

Baal looks alien. It looks evil.

Weird dreams

I was a dog handler in Korea. (I was in 1965, with 1st Cavalry Division and then 2d Infantry Division, but not like in the dream.) My dog and I were assigned to a large city. Our job was to kill rats. Poisoning was out of the question, since the rodents were a primary food source for city people. We killed lots of rats, the dog and I. So many rats that the Army gave me a herd of cats … 20 cats. Each night I released the cats in the city and followed the cats until morning. So in addition to being a dog handler, I became a cat herder as well.

Another: I operated a small front-end loader at a refuge camp in Sudan or Somalia. There were hundreds of tents and thousands of people. I moved dirt from place to place and delivered charcoal for cooking fires. The job was pleasing. I was disappointed when waking up.

Today: With another soldier. I returned from a mission, dressed in camouflage uniform and carrying a rifle, pistol and large rucksack. I had to go into the Fort Worth Star-Telegram office, so I procured cases for the weapons. Still, when I went into the newspaper office, people were all “Oh, goodness! How did those soldiers get in here?”

That religion of peace disovered Earth is a sphere. No, really. Really.

And Russians invented baseball. And electricity. And flew the first powered airplane. Really.

“Speaking at a reception for business leader in the Central Anatolian province of Konya late Nov. 28, Minister Fikri Işık stressed the contributions of the Islamic world to science throughout history. ‘Some 700-800 years before Galileo, 71 Muslim scientists led by al-Khwarizmi convened by the order of the Caliph Al-Ma’mun and revealed that the Earth is a sphere,’ he said. Işık added that a copy of the original document is currently in the Museum of Islamic Science and Technology in Istanbul.”

Link at:

Second link at maggiesfarm.

A sphere? Well …

“What I say is based on Koranic science. He bases his arguments on the kind of science that I reject categorically – the modern science that they teach in schools. This science is a heretic innovation that has no confirmation in the Koran. No verse in the Koran indicates that the Earth is round or that it rotates. Anything that has no indication in the Koran is false.” – frontpagemag link

(Flat Earth stuff you might expect from desert goat herders, but Turks are supposed to have a bit more realization of reality. If the Turks go all goat herder and toss out Ataturk, the world will be in more trouble. Especially Greeks and Armenians and Russians and Azeris and Georgians …)

Monday, December 1, 2014

Nazi assistance to Stalin in the 1940 Winter War

“What was the Nazi reaction to the Soviet invasion of Finland? Most historians simply note that Finland was part of the Soviet sphere of influence in the nonaggression agreement, so Germany could not openly oppose Russia. In fact, Germany strongly supported the Soviet attack on Finland. German media simply reproduced as its own stories the Soviet reporting of the Winter War. The Nazis blocked the shipment of arms to the Finns, threatening Sweden (and also Denmark) with war if Sweden allowed transit of arms from the West, and blocking arms from every other nation that tried to help the Finns.”

Stuck a needle in his eye

Sir Isaac Newton, the 17th century’s smarter Stephen Hawking:

“I tooke a bodkine (needle) & put it betwixt my eye & [the] bone as neare to [the] backside of my eye as I could: & pressing my eye [with the] end of it (soe as to make [the] curvature a, bcdef in my eye) there appeared severall white darke & coloured circles r, s, t, &c. Which circles were plainest when I continued to rub my eye [with the] point of [the] bodkine, but if I held my eye & [the] bodkin still, though I continued to presse my eye [with] it yet [the] circles would grow faint & often disappeare untill I removed [them] by moving my eye or [the] bodkin.”

Castro's plan to blow up Macy's

“Castro’s agents had targeted Macy’s, Gimbels, Bloomingdales, and Manhattan’s Grand Central Station with a dozen incendiary devices and 500 kilos of TNT. The holocaust was set for detonation the following week, on the day after Thanksgiving.”!

Link at faustasblog.