Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Ride, Captain, ride, upon your mystery ship

MV Cape Ray (T-AKR-9769) leaves US for Mediterranean and destruction of Syrian chemical weapons.

Wikipedia says the Cape Ray is a roll-on/roll-off and container ship, built in 1997 by Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd., and acquired 29 April 1994 or 17 Dec 1994 for the Ready Reserve Force, originally called Saudi Makkah and later Seaspeed Asia.

From the conspiracy folks:

“By: Marshall Ramsey II, Worthy News U.S. Correspondent

“WASHINGTON, District of Columbia (WorthyNews) -- The United States government, under President Obama, is acquiring chemical weapons from Syria for use in drone strikes.

“Under the pretense of destroying Syria's chemical weapons stockpile, the United States will begin processing their own chemical weapons on board the MV Cape Ray."

WorthyChristian says the “Cape Ray was built in 1977 by Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd., Japan, and called the MV Seaspeed Asia. It was acquired by the U.S. Department of Transportation, Maritime Administration April 29, 1991, and named the Cape Ray February 1, 1994.” The “1977” is likely a typo; the other dates conflict with Wikipedia, but Wikipedia conflicts with itself, so take your pick.

WorthyChristian does not mention the ship’s original name – Saudi Makkah. If WorthyChristian knew the US was using a former Saudi ship to pick up Syrian chemical weapons, you can bet the mortgage WorthyChristian would be all over that.

Also see:

which speaks of the “massive ship that will destroy Syria’s chemical weapons.”

“The result of this destruction will be 1.5 million gallons of hazardous waste, which a top engineer likened to Drano, that will not be usable for chemical-weapons production, but nonetheless will need to be disposed of at a waste facility of some kind. (Details of disposal have not been worked out yet.)”

Dinar Daily also says: “Built in 1977, the ship was delivered to Saudi Arabia's National Ship Co. as MV SEASPEED ASIA. Later renamed SAUDI MAKKAH, she was purchased by the Maritime Administration in 1993 and was subsequently converted for military use. Renamed MV CAPE RAY (T-AKR 9679), she was assigned to the Ready Reserve Force on December 17, 1994. Since then, she is maintained in reduced operating status in a layberth at Portsmouth, Va. If required, she can be fully activated within 5 days.”

Again, no one seems to know when the ship came to US ownership.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

About that Iranian nuke deal; and, by the way, did the oceans stop rising, as Obama ordered in 2008?

“The Europeans, including our partners in the P5+1, are lifting pressure with reckless abandon.

Ha'aretz reports: ‘France is sending business executives by the planeload to Iran. German and Dutch entrepreneurs are taking courses on how to close a deal in Tehran, and carmakers are drawing up plans for investment. Europe's business community is abuzz with preparations to rush back into Iran, an economic powerhouse in the Middle East, as some sanctions are suspended.’"

The New York Times wrote: ‘Hossein Sheikholeslami has been busy in recent weeks, since the deal was agreed to in principle, shuttling back and forth between the capital and the airport to welcome all the guests: parliamentary missions from old European trading partners like Germany, Italy and Finland, which are eager to renew contacts.’"

The Washington Post headline that said it all: ‘European Businesses Rushing to Find Iran Bonanza.’"

The Los Angeles Times earlier this week quoted Salehi of Iran's nuclear agency, saying on state television, ‘The iceberg of sanctions is melting while our centrifuges are still working.’"

At maggiesfarm.

‘Mr. Lewis, I’m sorry. Miz Lewis is dead.’

“Shawn Michelle Stephens was the fifth (wife). A sharp and spunky twenty-five-year-old from Garden City, Michigan, she thought Jerry Lee was her ticket to the good life. They married on June 7th, 1983, and seventy-seven days later, she was dead.”

How to get peace in the Middle East

“We must encourage education and tolerance if we are to bring about peace in the Middle East and the rest of the world.” – Tony Blair, former British Labour PM.

(Seems like we’ve done that for a number of years, but the other side didn’t listen.)

He does hit the mark here: “Democracy is not only a way of voting. It is a way of thinking. People have to feel equal, not just be regarded by the law as such. Such religious tolerance has to be taught and argued for. Those who oppose it have to be taken on and defeated not only by arms but by ideas.”

The saddest picture ever

SGT. Johnny Edward Brumley

Monday, January 27, 2014

Kim Jong un has uncle’s family killed

“All the direct relatives, including children, of Jang Song Thaek, the late uncle of Kim Jong-un who was put to death on December 12 2013, have been executed in North Korea, according to South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency.

“’Multiple sources’ told Yonhap, a publicly funded news agency, that entire families related to Thaek have been executed.”

From last summer:

“South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo has reported that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s ex-girlfriend was among a group of North-Koreans executed by firing squad on August 20.

“Citing sources from China, the paper said singer Hyon Song-wol and several other performers were executed in public for violating pornography laws.

“The group is said to have included members of the Unhasu Orchestra as well as other singers, musicians and dancers with the Wangjaesan Light Music Band.

“They were found guilty of filming themselves having sex and then selling the videos.
An unconfirmed Chinese source said: ‘They were executed with machine guns while the key members of the Unhasu Orchestra, Wangjaesan Light Band and Moranbong Band as well as the families of the victims looked on.’

“The source also reported that the families of the executed people seemed to have been sent away to prison camps, following the country’s ‘guilty by association’ law.”


Bank gives in to depositors demand for their own money

HSBC statement of surrender to customers’ ire:

“25 Jan 2014

“As a responsible bank we ask our customers about the purpose of large cash withdrawals when they are unusual and out of keeping with the normal running of their account. Since last November, in some instances we may have also asked these customers to show us evidence of what the cash is required for. The reason being we have an obligation to protect our customers, and to minimise the opportunity for financial crime. Large cash transactions have inherent security issues and leave customers with very little protection should things go wrong, by asking customers the right questions, we can explore whether an alternative payment method might be safer and more convenient for them.

“However, following feedback, we are immediately updating guidance to our customer facing staff to reiterate that it is not mandatory for customers to provide documentary evidence for large cash withdrawals, and on its own, failure to show evidence is not a reason to refuse a withdrawal. We apologise to any customer who has been given incorrect information and inconvenienced.”

(Tyler Durden, author of the column, notes: “After all the last thing the bank, which over the past few years has been implicated in aiding an abetting terrorists and laundering pretty much anything, wants is an implied capital shortfall to become an all too explicit one.”

(I wondered about the bank’s on-hand cash. Other than not having enough money, why else would a bank insist on its right to decide whether depositors could have their own money?

(“As a responsible bank …” “… we have an obligation to protect our customers …” We are taking care of you, you inconsiderate oafs!! “We apologise to any customer who has been given incorrect information ...” No one complained of incorrect information. The information was quite clear: We have your money and you may not get any of it until you prove to us your need for it.)

Taking DNA from juveniles

An Arkansas judge last week decided the state’s contract juvenile center went too far when taking DNA samples from a 13-year-old. The youth had committed a felony, and state law says juvenile felons will surrender DNA samples, but only for specific crimes. The 13-year-old’s crimes were not on the state list, the judge noted; therefore, taking his DNA was not justified or legal.

So far, so good. But when the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette asked the state for the number of juveniles whose DNA had been taken since the law was passed, the state responded with this amazing** statement: The request could not be met, since another contract company ran the juvenile incarceration facilities until 2007, and some of those records might have been lost. (** Amazing until you remember (1) the respondent is a government agency; and, (2) it is Arkansas.)

Like me, you might say, “Wait a minute! The state did not require or even ask for records kept by the previous contractor? And some of the records might have been lost? You either have them or you don’t.”

The problem the State of Arkansas faces is, for a long number of years, DNA was taken illegally from juvenile felons. That fact brings the likelihood of law suits.

And … The state lab that processes and stores DNA samples says it never got samples from the 13-year-old. A lab spokesman said there is no record of anything on the boy.

The juvenile prison contractor said the samples were sent by FedEx. That is good to know. Having a non-governmental company involved in the process means somebody might find out who’s not exactly telling the truth.

But then, it is in Arkansas, and the rug under which stuff is swept is a big, big rug.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

We know it’s your money, but we are the bank and we say you can’t have it

“Stephen Cotton went to his local HSBC branch this month to withdraw £7,000 from his instant access savings account to pay back a loan from his mother.

“A year before, he had withdrawn a larger sum in cash from HSBC without a problem.

“But this time it was different, as he told Money Box: ‘When we presented them with the withdrawal slip, they declined to give us the money because we could not provide them with a satisfactory explanation for what the money was for. They wanted a letter from the person involved.’

“Mr Cotton says the staff refused to tell him how much he could have: ‘So I wrote out a few slips. I said, “Can I have £5,000?’ They said no. I said, “Can I have £4,000?” They said no. And then I wrote one out for £3,000 and they said, “OK, we'll give you that.'"

“He asked if he could return later that day to withdraw another £3,000, but he was told he could not do the same thing twice in one day.”

Yeah, it’s at

This just in from our breaking news desk …

Coffee in France sucks.

“You know there’s cafes everywhere … but the sad thing is those cafes actually suck at making coffee. They’re not about coffee. They’re about getting a beer or getting a glass of wine.”

Also at fark.

New Zealand drops stupid ‘safe’ playground rules, gets better behaved kids

“Ripping up the playground rulebook is having incredible effects on children at an Auckland school.

"Chaos may reign at Swanson Primary School with children climbing trees, riding skateboards and playing bullrush during playtime, but surprisingly the students don't cause bedlam, the principal says.

“The school is actually seeing a drop in bullying, serious injuries and vandalism, while concentration levels in class are increasing.”

“Mudslides, skateboarding, bullrush and tree climbing kept the children so occupied the school no longer needed a timeout area or as many teachers on patrol.

“Instead of a playground, children used their imagination to play in a ‘loose parts pit’ which contained junk such as wood, tyres and an old fire hose.”


Ani, city of 1001 churches

On my bucket list for next time around. Until today, I had not heard of the place.;_ylt=A0oG7pq.nOVSTkYAwCxjmolQ;_ylu=X3oDMTBscWN2ZnBjBHNlYwNzYwRjb2xvA2FjMgR2dGlkAw--?_adv_prop=image&fr=goodsearch-yhsif&sz=all&va=ani+city

The city was fought over by Armenia, Georgia, Byzantium, Seljuk Turks, Mongols and others.

Harbingers of The End Times?

What else could it mean, Alfie? Football-game-predicting camel dies just weeks before Super Bowl, and New Year's celebration strawberry smashes during fall? What shall we do?

New Year's jam: Pa. strawberry busted in test drop
Published: December 30, 2013 10:31AM

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) -- An 80-pound illuminated strawberry that's lowered every New Year's Eve in downtown Harrisburg has ended up in a messy jam.

The berry fell three stories and smashed during a practice run at the Hilton Harrisburg on Friday. Officials say a faulty harness clip is to blame.

The Hilton is working to build a new strawberry for revelers to ring in 2014 on Tuesday night.

The strawberry drop started in 1989. The berry that broke Friday had been used for around 10 years.

NJ's pigskin-picking camel dies before Super Bowl
Published: January 20, 2014 7:20AM

LACEY TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) -- New Jersey's pigskin-prognosticating camel has died just weeks before the state is set to host its first Super Bowl.

Princess was a fixture at the Popcorn Park Zoo in Lacey Township for 10 years and gained fame for picking winners.

Zoo manager John Bergmann tells the Asbury Park Press ( the 26-year-old Bactrian camel was euthanized after arthritis made it impossible for her to stand.

Princess made her picks with graham crackers. Bergmann would hold one in each hand, marked with the names of the competing teams. Whichever hand she chose was her prediction.

Princess correctly picked the Baltimore Ravens in last year's Super Bowl. Her best run came in the 2008 season, when she picked 17 of 22 games correctly, including the Pittsburgh Steelers to win Super Bowl XLIII.

Wanted guy to police: Na, na, na, na, na, na. You can’t catch … Oops.

Police in one northeastern Pennsylvania town really "liked" this Facebook post.

Officers in Freeland arrested 35-year-old Anthony Lescowitch on Monday night, less than two hours after he shared a wanted photo of himself and taunted police for not being able to find him, the (Wilkes-Barre) Times Leader ( reported Tuesday.

Lescowitch shared the wanted bulletin minutes after Freeland police posted it on the department Facebook page Monday night, authorities said. He was being sought on assault-related charges.

An officer pretending to be an attractive woman then messaged Lescowitch, according to police. Lescowitch refused the offer of a drink but eventually agreed to meet for a cigarette, and was arrested at the agreed-upon location.

After the arrest, police posted this message: "CAPTURED!!!!!! SHARES OUR STATUS ON FACEBOOK ABOUT HIMSELF, CAPTURED 45 MINUTES LATER."

Lescowitch, of Drifton, remained in the Luzerne County Jail Tuesday. Court records don't list a defense attorney for him, but show he faces a preliminary hearing Jan. 29 on charges including aggravated assault, reckless endangerment and disorderly conduct stemming from an incident July 14.

(I can’t meet you for a drink, but I will meet you for a cigarette?? Cheap, dude. Really cheap.)

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Unknown Franklin, 1884

Unknown Franklin, 1884 Washington Nationals. One game, center field, 2 total chances, 2 putouts. Born in, at, died at, date, buried at, height, weight, bats, throws – Unknown.

The 1884 Nationals also had an Unknown McRemer in the outfield and 26 other players with Unknown height, weight, bats, throws. Fifty-one players took the field for the Nationals that year. Stability was not the team’s hallmark.

Most games by position:

C Chris Fulmer (34)

1B Phil Baker (39)

2B Tom Evers (109)

3B Jerry McCormick (38)

SS Jim Halpin (39)

LF Harry Moore (102)

CF Phil Baker (32)

RF Fred Tenney (26)

Harry Moore batted .336 that year, the only year he played in the majors.

Hugh Daily pitched in two games for the Nationals. Of Daily, the Biographical Encyclopedia says: "Hugh Daily lacked a hand and a personality. He lost his left hand in an accident and was surly and uncommunicative and had no friends among teammates or fans. When he left baseball he disappeared completely. What he did, where he lived, and when he died remain a mystery." - The Biographical Encyclopedia (2000)

Robotic warfare laws great for science fiction, not so much in the real world

Unless we insist. And insist and insist.

“The best known set of laws are Isaac Asimov's "Three Laws of Robotics". The Three Laws are:

1. “A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.

2. “A robot must obey the orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.

3. “A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.”

“’(T)he dominance enjoyed by the United States in the late 1990s/early 2000s in the areas of high-end sensors, guided weaponry, battle networking, space and cyberspace systems, and stealth technology has started to erode. Moreover, this erosion is now occurring at an accelerated rate.’” Work and Brimley, quoted at:

“All of our technologies [today] rely on a reliable, redundant, and secure network….If we lose that, we lose all the advantages.” -- TRADOC Col. Christopher Cross, quoted in same reference.


(From a non-robotic source: Planners, scientists, technicians and bureaucrats should not forget low-level technology that might be able to defeat super electronic/computerized weapons systems. Night vision devices did not see every guerrilla in the jungle, people sniffers did not find every VC/NVA, seismic probes dropped in Laos and Cambodia did not count every person who walked by. Serbs in the NATO bombing campaign used open-door microwave ovens to mimic antiaircraft radar. Every system has an operational weakness or two. Or three.)

Friday, January 24, 2014

There’s stupid and then there is …

Send this f’n guy back home now!!

‘Pakistan guards die escorting Spain cyclist Javier Colorado’

“Several hours after the attack, a message attributed to Mr Colorado's family was posted on the Facebook page devoted to his trip, Colorado on the Road.

"’First of all, we want to thank the Spanish consulate in Pakistan for all their help. We've received a call from the embassy and they have informed us that Javier is well and not hurt.

“’Today he will fly to Lahore, on the border with India. His initial intent is to continue his trip.’"

Who does Javier Colorado think he is? Oh, I am world famous cycler and I do not care for politics.

Well, dude, the people who killed six of your 12 guards do care about politics and soldiers driving through their territory and especially about dumbass foreigners.

And what’s this “First of all, we want to thank the Spanish consulate in Pakistan …”? Why not “first of all” say something about the men assigned to protect you?


Progressive Millenials easy lays for Democratic propagandists

Disenchanted dreamers voted for “a charismatic, appealing candidate who gives verbal endorsement to the frustrations of ill-treated progressives, promising a rejection of traditional political quid pro quo, the end of wars and privacy invasion and Gitmo and lobbyists in government, and a new aspirational and transparent communitarian approach to policies that achieve positive change… and then, once elected, reveals these to be words, just words.”

“Today, it’s clear progressives have turned out to be as easy to command as their caricatures of backwards evangelicals. Today, one out of three of Millennials aged 18-31, the young progressives who gave Obama’s campaign its inspirational heart and voted for him overwhelmingly, are living at home with their parents. They put their heart and soul into campaign after campaign, believing they could change the country and the planet. And after all their effort, what do they have to show for it? ‘Free’ birth control that you have to pay for in higher premiums to big insurance? Talk about a cheap date.”


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Which is more frightening?

That we are not the only senient bipedal race in the entire span of stars?

Or that we are?

A black Republican Christian changed America

‘Call Him Reverend King’

Kevin Jackson

“You probably don't know who Reverend Michael King, Jr was.
“That's because Reverend Michael King, Jr is the only private citizen to have a national holiday in his honor, and is Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“King's father changed his and his son's names to Martin Luther in honor of the German reformer, Martin Luther.


“Like his namesake, Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr fought against the systems of his day. King used religion and God as his tools. And as a good friend and fellow black Conservative said to me recently, ‘God will free people who believe from slavery. And that's exactly what happened. Black people escaped bondage once again, as racist Democrats led by a racist government were forced to bend to the will of God.

“So why is Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr, now referred to as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr?

“It's simple.

“The Left wants no remnants of the Christian revolution that changed this country. They want to make people forget that the biggest change to happen to American since the Civil War was led by a black Christian who was also a Republican.

“Referring to King as ‘Dr. King’ implies that the Civil Rights movement was led by an academic, that academia brought us ‘change we can believe in.’

“Liberals believe in their educations, even if they have not a lick of practical experience or even common sense. Ph.D. King can lead a revolution, but a Republican pastor cannot be put in charge. That role is exclusively for black demagogues and fake reverends.

"’Reverend’ Jesse Jackson has no degree in Divinity. Jackson is a theology school dropout, having left the Chicago Theological Seminary in 1966 to ‘focus full-time on the civil rights movement.’ I think he meant the Civil Unrest movement.

“As for ‘Reverend’ Al Sharpton, he never even attended seminary. Sharpton attended Brooklyn College and dropped out in 1975, after just two years. But Sharpton did something better. He was befriended and mentored by ‘Reverend’Jackson.

“Here is a quote from black Liberals' holy man Sharpton about his influences:

"’What I do functionally is what Dr. King, Reverend Jackson and the movement are all about; but I learned manhood from James Brown. I always say that James Brown taught me how to be a man.’

“Two college dropouts who have ‘honorary’ titles. With credentials like Jackson and Sharpton, anybody can call themselves a ‘reverend.’ Hell, even Elizabeth Warren can be a reverend, as I'm sure she has thought about church or driven by one on her way to the university.

“Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr was a real reverend, pastor, and a true theologian.

"King received a degree in Sociology from Morehouse. After graduation he attended Crozer Theological Seminary in Chester, PA, where he graduated in 1951 with a B.Div. Degree. King then began his doctoral studies in systematic theology at Boston University where he obtained his Ph.D in 1955.

“Unlike the ‘reverends’ of the Left, King didn't drop out. He stayed the course, no matter how difficult things may have become.

“And King had no outside mentor, choosing his father as his role model.

“Michael, who became Martin Luther, was his own man. And unlike the false prophets of the Left who have profited on the back of the Civil Rights movement and the good works of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr, Reverend King made the ultimate sacrifice.

“Be proud Bible-thumpers. It was a black Republican Christian who changed America.”

"Kevin Jackson is a best-selling author and syndicated radio show host."

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

OK, so I paid attention to college nonsense

Three entries on college education below, all from Maggies Farm.

I got a degree in journalism because newspapers required a piece of paper. A union card, really, although just about any editor would loudly decry the idea of a newspaper union card, since the print field fights tooth, nail and claw the mere idea of a reporter's union.

Priscilla got a degreee in journalism because she wanted to work on newspapers. She did work for a newspaper, but then followed me to Grand Prairie, Texas, when I changed newspapers. She worked for a major insurance company in Dallas, had Michael, went to work for U.S. Rep. Dale Milford and then worked at home for a yearbook publisher. She followed me to Sulphur Springs, Texas, when I decided to go back to soldiering, although that time with the Texas Army National Guard. We had Kathleen and Casey by then. Priscilla did parttime work for Girl Scouts for a time and then became a full time field executive. She took over the Paris, Texas, YWCA for several years, in her first year doubling the council's cash assets. She worked again for Girl Scouts, then for Texas A&M University-Commerce. From March 2005 until October 2008, she was CEO of Girl Scouts council in Central Akansas, and then COO/senior vice president of the combined council until just before Christmas 2013, when her new CEO decided to get rid of everybody she could not control and mold into another her. Three senior VPs were tossed out.

Was the degree worth 4 1/2 years sitting in classrooms? Of course. I was paid GI Bill money, and college wasn't like real work. Priscilla earned a 3.85 GPA. I got a 3.0.

Comes a time when you really have to get a job, and maybe the degree helps, maybe it doesn't.

A degree in American Studies with a focus on the politics and culture of food

‘Why I Let My Daughter Get a “Useless” College Degree’

“My oldest child, Emma, just returned to campus after a long holiday break to finish up her last semester of college.

“But even before she has put the final period on her senior thesis, friends and family have been bombarding me with one question: What is she going to do after graduation?

“The job market is, after all, awfully tough. Just this month the Federal Reserve Bank of New York released a study showing that ‘recent graduates are increasingly working in low-wage jobs or working part-time,’ if they’re lucky enough to find work at all.

“The bright spot, according to the Fed analysis, students who majored in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics—areas in which recent graduates ‘have tended to do relatively well, even in today’s challenging labor market.’ But Emma is a student of the much-maligned humanities—an American Studies major with a focus on the politics and culture of food at a small liberal arts school.

“For quite a while, I tripped all over myself to describe how her field of study is so trendy right now that I’m not the least bit worried she will find a decent job. ‘Emma’s concentration and interests could lead her in any number of directions,’ I would tell people. ‘Writing for a food blog. Working at a nonprofit that improves health and nutrition for the urban poor. Managing social media for a food-related startup.’”

“Clearly, I wasn’t just explaining; I was over-explaining in an attempt to rationalize how Emma’s chosen path will turn into a steady paycheck. It’s as if her employment status were a referendum on the choices that my husband and I have made about her education. In retrospect, I’d hit a common pitfall: equating Emma’s personal success with my own success as a parent.

“Yet the more I’ve thought about it, the more I’ve decided to be honest. ‘I’m not sure what Emma is going to do,’ I now say. ‘But she’s gotten a great education and has really found her passion—and I know those things will serve her well over the course of her life.’”

(Here’s what I get out of the mother’s writing: Oh, my god, I have so failed to teach my daughter! Her degree in … Oh, my god, American Studies with a focus on the politics and culture of food!!! She will starve!)
At maggiesfarm.

And then, there is this guy

“The fact is that I do so horrible in the job market that in my case I took the easy way out and became a professional student at modest pay. I did not have to attempt the futility of scattering resumes and selling myself to an employer or guess what questions they wanted me to ask that all the hundreds of other applicants know to ask at the rarely achieved job interview with perfect strangers; the person who put me on the payroll to teach as adjunct was on the dissertation defense committee.

“I barely get by with what I make but at least, in part because my 500 square foot house is paid for I don't have to become homeless and freeze to death in winter.
“That is how I protect myself the best I can from a hostile economy.”

(So many things the dude needs to think about, but if permanent student is his shtick and it works, stick with it. And, the dude is "so horrible in the job market" because he is the smartest person in the world and should not have to do applications and resumes and such.)

Why do we pay attention to college nonsense?

Really, most people don’t. What goes on in college classrooms and dorms and faculty offices matters to very few Americans.

What goes on does matter to makers and shapers of opinion and to politicians.

When college graduates can’t find jobs in their degree fields, commenters and politicians start making noise. And when politicians make noise, few good things happen.

During the great unemployment period that has or has not lessened over the last two years, stories abound about of out of work college graduates. Those degrees in comparative religions/women’s studies, psychiatry, anthropology meant little, other than proof of sitting in classrooms for four years.

For a time, there were lots of whiners, now former students complaining they had been shortchanged, misled, lied to by college guidance counselors.

Degrees that showed ability to do things were what was needed, but too many people went in to feel-good areas.

Much of the whining comes from this: 60 percent of college students are women, and women are more likely to focus on feel-good courses, areas in which “I can help people. I can make a difference.” Men are more likely to look at “Things I can do,” because men fix things.

Jane S. Shaw says here

“It is hard to find a legitimate justification for women's studies.”

Amen, Sister.

At maggiesfarm.

Monday, January 20, 2014

States with highest percentage of million-dollar households

“Maryland was No. 1 for the third consecutive year, with 7.7% of households holding more than $1 million in assets. New Jersey, Connecticut and Hawaii followed. Those four states, in various orders, have led the rankings every year since 2006.”

“Maine climbed 11 spots over a single year to No. 25 in 2013. Louisiana jumped 10 to No. 32. Meanwhile, Nevada fell 20 spots to No. 39. Arizona, Florida, Idaho and Michigan all fell by more than 10 positions. From 2011 to 2012, no state changed its rank by more than two positions.”

Found at maggiesfarm.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Some young'uns weren't taught manners

Bliss cartoon: Man and woman sitting at restaurant table, man says to waiter, “I’ll have the filet mignon, and she’ll have the chef whip up something with no meat, dairy, wheat, soy or flavor.”

Several months ago my wife decided to reward her office staff with breakfast for completing an important project. She spent several hours making a breakfast casserole and several other dishes. She took the dishes to to the office. She had announced the breakfast a week before. When she put the dishes in the kitchen and was in her office, a twenty-something lass approached and said, “You know Mary is a vegetarian.” My wife said, “She can eat the (no-meat dish).” Another twenty-something entered the office and said, “You know Jane is gluten-free.” My wife said, “She can eat (this other dish).” When eating time arrived, two twenty-somethings looked in and said, “No. We’re not hungry.”

Friday, January 17, 2014

I must go down to the sea again …

Holy Whatever! Look at the size of those waves! We’re all going to die!!

The video is 7:26, and, admittedly, that is a long time to watch a boat tossed up and down and sideways and sort of disappear now and then. To sea fisherfolk … Dude!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Post-literate society -- It’s a long read, but worth the time

On the post-literate subject: “His world is a purely personal world; he is ego-centered and yet his ego is a strictly limited one in correspondence with his limited intellectual horizon; he does not precisely lack objective standards, but he tends to resent and therefore to reject them as infringements on his libido. Like the oral subject, the post-literate subject communicates through what Ong calls the verbo-motor activity of gestures, body-language, and face-making. He is demonstrative and body-centered. Like the oral subject, the post-literate subject thinks not for himself but with the group. Like any tribesman or clansman, the post-literate subject is quick to be ‘offended.’” …

And: “… ‘tweeting,’ (with) its acronyms and facial ideograms, abandons the abstraction of phonetic characters for the limitations of hieroglyphic and rebus-type writing systems.”

Yet another find at maggiesfarm.

And we, Mr. President, have a Constitution

“’We’re not just going to be waiting for legislation in order to make sure that we’re providing Americans the kind of help they need. I’ve got a pen and I’ve got a phone,’ Obama said Tuesday as he convened his first Cabinet meeting of the year.

“Obama continued: ‘And I can use that pen to sign executive orders and take executive actions and administrative actions that move the ball forward in helping to make sure our kids are getting the best education possible, making sure that our businesses are getting the kind of support and help they need to grow and advance, to make sure that people are getting the skills that they need to get those jobs that our businesses are creating.’”

(Ignore all after “move the ball forward.” It’s all BS, every time Obama says “kids” and “education” and “businesses” and “jobs.” He left out “the middle class.” It’s BS when he says that, too.

(Obama has told us what he will do. “If Congress won’t act, I will,” he said last year. And now, “I’ve got a pen and I’ve got a phone.” He also has a Congress that all too often seems self-emasculated.)

Again, maggiesfarm.

Here is a piece on 40+ years of feminism, which leads to …

… Why is everything a problem to be solved? Why do we need experts and/or the government to show us the right path?

Also at maggiesfarm. (The farm is doing good stuff today.)

Obama’s war on charities

“Obama’s not the only Democrat to propose reducing charitable deductions; this has gone on for quite some time, mostly because Democrats are upset that ‘rich’ people give money to organizations instead of Government, which, in Liberal minds, should be the entity providing charity. And liberals tend to be less charitable than Conservatives when it comes to ‘giving back. As one of the comments at the story notes ‘Charitable giving is about people deciding for themselves how their tax money is going to be spent.’ Liberals do not like that. They do not like charities in direct competition with Government.”

At maggiesfarm.

Why do birds fly in a V formation?

Catch the upwash, avoid downwash. Saves energy.

Found at maggiesfarm.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Progressives loovvve Bismark

“Homeschooling terrifies the Left because the Left is at its core totalitarian, seeking to bring political discipline to every aspect of life — and control of education is essential to that project. The public school is in miniature what the Left believes the world should look like: Everybody arranged in orderly rows and moving about on an orderly schedule punctuated by bells, being taught about diversity and climate change by nice union ladies who also lead them to their federally subsidized lunches.”

Horace Mann and Chancellor Bismark gave to us the Prussian education and social security systems.

“W. E. B. DuBois, Charles Beard, Walter Weyl, Richard Ely, Nicholas Murray Butler, and countless other founders of modern American liberalism were among the nine thousand Americans who studied in German universities during the nineteenth century. When the American Economic Association was formed, five of the six first officers had studied in Germany. At least twenty of its first twenty-six presidents had as well. In 1906 a professor at Yale polled the top 116 economists and social scientists in America; more than half had studied in Germany for at least a year. By their own testimony, these intellectuals felt ‘liberated’ by the experience of studying in an intellectual environment predicated on the assumption that experts could mold society like clay.”

(T.R. and Wilson were early advocates.)

(At maggiesfarm.)

Countries ranked by econimic freedom

U.S. … U.S. …

What?? No. 12?? You don’t mean Obama policies, which have caused “the national debt to skyrocket” and “runaway government spending” and the continual shackling of “entire sectors of the economy with regulation,” impeding “both personal freedom and national prosperity.” … You mean those Progressive policies actually have negative consequences?

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

What is really, really, really important in the US?

A $1.1 trillion spending bill that will “fully restore cuts to Head Start, partially restore cuts to medical research and job training programs, and finance new programs to combat sexual assault in the military.” Oh, the bill also gives “all federal workers a 1 percent raise.”

That is a spending bill. That is not a budget. Which is easier to do, work on a budget, or nail together something that doles out $1.1 TRILLION for the remainder of the fiscal year? That’s eight months and a couple of weeks.


Coming to a country near you, at some point

“Since this year, the Federal Protective Service (FSO) will conduct daily monitoring of all publications by Russian bloggers on their attitude to the government. ‘Powers’ will create a special database of negatively minded citizens who post on their Internet sites publications of opposition (dissident) leaning. At the same time representatives of FSO intend to follow not only known bloggers from the capital, but also control web users from the regions. This was told to Izvestia by a source close to FSO.

"’It is not about control or tightening some nuts. It is just that when we'll be able to monitor bloggers and create a database, it will become easier to track and prevent many egregious incidents. For example, before the two activists of the banned National Bolshevik Party pelted with tomatoes the King of the Netherlands in the Grand Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, the information on the preparation of this act has been already on the web. If it were followed, then this would not have happened,’ said the anonymous source.”

(Yeah, it’s Russia, so what’s the surprise? It’s not like the US of A gob-ment has anything like the FSO to keep track of negatively minded citizen tomato throwers.)

When I'm Sixty-Eight

My wife will be 62 in May. She planned to work until she was 67, but she got a new boss who is a real, certified, Class A, bona fide beech, so now my wife does not have a job. I figured since we will be at home together all of the time, maybe we should be like we were when first married, when she was 20 and I was 26, and we didn’t really know that much about how the other went about her and his daily schedule. We both were in college at the time, so classroom stuff took a lot of our days. Now, there are no classes; it’s just us. And, quiet frankly, abilities of the 20s are not the same as (for me) the late 60s. I have all the equipment to do jobs that need doing, but not the energy. For example, the back part of our place needs underbrush cleared out, and I have a new chain saw, but I can’t even get the damn thing started. There is other yard work that needs doing, and I have a nylon string weed/grass cutting device, but it is a big heavy thing and wears me out after about a half hour. I have a cord of round, fireplace-sized logs lying about and an axe, but after about 15 minutes with the axe, I am done.

Getting old sucks. That’s S-U-C-K-S.

Monday, January 13, 2014


Every day, same names and pictures of politicians/celebrities doing the same things.

Poster/billboard at

“Make Chelsea Clinton the new ambassador to Libya.

“What difference does it make?”

Facts and truth and the hand of G-d

“”What is even more impossible than this utter impossibility is the fact that you see it too.”

At maggiesfarm.

(Parts of the nighttime sky show G-d passed his hand across the darkness and left sprinkles of silver. That is not a fact, but to the miracle of mind, it is truth.)

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Change is a-comin' to healthcare dot gov or whatever it is

“The Obama administration has decided to jettison from the IT contractor, CGI Federal, that has been mainly responsible for building the defect-ridden online health insurance marketplace and has been immersed in the work of repairing it.

“The administration’s decision to end the contract with CGI reflects lingering unease over the performance of … “

(“lingering unease.” HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!)

(The gob’ment is giving a company called Accenture $90 million to do the job. CGI won’t go broke though; it has $37 million in other gob’ment contracts.)

Lingering unease. Giggle.

Found at drudge.

That gurgling sound you hear

is civilization being flushed down the toilet of stupid.


Saturday, January 11, 2014

Today's rant

While backing out of a parking slot at the East End grocery store this morning, I looked left just in time to see a black car entering the lane, from the WRONG WAY even though all parked cars were opposite the driver’s direction of travel, and the lane was plainly marked ONE WAY in yellow letters on the black asphalt.

I stopped; the other driver stopped, but he didn’t look at me. He backed up. I figured he would take a lane marked in the direction of travel, but he stopped after giving me just enough room to get by. Then, he started forward, headed for the WRONG WAY lane.

My window was down, and I said, “It’s still the wrong way! (Pause) D—k!”

All that reminded me of an incident around 30 years ago, another example of Why People Should Listen to Bob.

It was a Sunday in Sulphur Springs, Texas, just before noon. My family walked from the church building, to our car. Priscilla and I got the kids buckled in, and as we were getting in the car I heard a large engine revved loudly. I looked up as a young man backed his pickup from a parking slot, then sped down the parking lane, leaving rubber as he drove around the back of the building. I thought, “I should go cut him off and have a talk with him. But I would have to speed across the parking lot, and that would mean I’m doing the same thing he’s doing.” The pickup appeared from behind the building and sped to a front exit.

I said to Priscilla, “Somebody needs to talk to him.”

She agreed, saying, “He’s liable to run over a kid.”

Next Sunday we were all in the car and I had the motor started when the same young man did the same thing – revved his engine and sped toward the back of the building. I eased across the lot and parked in the lane he was coming up. I got out and walked to his pickup. His window was down.

“What?” he said.

I said, “You need to slow down. There are kids here and you never know when one might run in front of you.”

He just grinned and gave me a F--- you look and revved his engine.

Next Sunday morning I was sitting in a pew. A woman came up from behind me and stopped beside me. She said, “You need to take care of your own children and leave other people’s kids alone.” She walked off.

I asked Priscilla if she knew the woman. Priscilla said it was the grandmother of the young man.

Several weeks later, around supper at home, Priscilla said, “Do you remember that boy you talked to about speeding on the parking lot?” I said I did, and that he didn’t speed any more.

“Well,” she said, “he was killed in a traffic accident last night.”

He was speeding, she said, and failed to make a curve on Highway 24. He ran off the road and into a ditch. He was dead at the scene.

I wondered what his grandmother had to say about that.

Frenchy should have been promoted

In 1968 2nd Squadron commander inspected F Troop 6th Armored Cavalry at Fort Meade, Md. After the inspection, the squadron commander had everyone gathered in the Troop day room so he could give a little speech. He gave a little speech. Then he asked, “Does anyone have any questions?”

My hand shot up. The commander said, “Yes, Sergeant?”

I shot up and stood at attention. “Sir, I would like to know why one of my sergeants had highest marks at the recent E6 board but someone else got the stripe?”

The squadron commander said, “You will have to take that up with your troop commander. Does anyone else have a question?”

My sergeant was Robert LaMontagne, of Salem, Mass. All NCOs called him Frenchy. What else do you call someone named LaMontagne?

Frenchy was a good sergeant. He didn’t mess around when a job needed doing. Everybody liked Frenchy, but like should not play a part in promotion.

Frenchy had done three years in the Air Force and then transferred to the Army for two years. He went through Army basic training and infantry AIT. He went to Vietnam, where he was assigned to an infantry company in the 25th Infantry Division. After a few months, he was an infantry squad leader. He once said, proudly, that when he was squad leader, none of his soldiers was killed. One was wounded. That is a good accomplishment, because the 25th was in some heavy stuff.

The guy who got the E6 stripe was the Troop finance clerk. He was drafted. He did a good job, but a troop finance clerk should not hold E6 rank over a qualified combat arms soldier who has a Combat Infantryman Badge.

That is what it was, though; the finance clerk was promoted, Frenchy was not.

Within 15 minutes of the squadron commander leaving the Troop area, I was told to report to the Troop commander. I did, in the proper manner.

The Troop commander said, “Sergeant Merriman, are you familiar with the provisions of Article 31 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice?”

I had an inner smirk. So, Captain, you are pissed because I asked a question, and you are going to use the UCMJ as a threat, but you and I both know no provision of UCMJ applies here. Or, you think I am dumb enough to believe your empty threat. Or, you can’t do anything to me, and you know it, but you’re pissed and don’t know what to do.

He asked the question. I said, “Yes, Sir, I am,” with only a hint of smirk in my reply.

“Well, let me reacquaint you with them anyway. You have the right to remain silent. Should you give up the right to remain silent, anything you say can and will be used against you in a trial by court-martial. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed to you. …”

That was where I could have stopped him. I could have said, “Sir, I wish to speak to an attorney.” He then would have had no recourse but to shut up.

I didn’t say that. I let him go on. I think he attempted to chew me out, but I don’t remember a word he said. At the conclusion, he said, “That is all.” I saluted, conducted a sharp about face and left his office.

I still have an inner smirk from that day. And I still know Frenchy should have been promoted.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Conviction? We don't need no stinkin' conviction

A proposed bill in Michigan would rein in asset forfeiture abuse by prohibiting it unless there is a conviction:

“[T]he primary goal of asset forfeiture is “to deter and punish drug criminals by taking away the goods, property, and money obtained through illegal activity.” But… it can also serve as an ‘important supplement’ to police funding.

“‘Police departments right now are looking for ways to generate revenue, and forfeiture is a way to offset the costs of doing business,’ Sgt. Dave Schreiner, who runs Canton Township’s forfeiture unit [said]… ‘You’ll find that departments are doing more forfeitures than they used to because they’ve got to — they’re running out of money and they’ve got to find it somewhere.’”

Effect and cause

Effect: “Gonorrhea and syphilis are on the rise in the U.S., mostly in men who have sex with men …

Cause: “… a trend the government said is linked to inadequate testing among people stymied by homophobia and limited access to health care.”

Found at ‘Promotion of Homosexuality Leads to Rise in Gonorrhea and Syphilis’

What “the government said” – nonsense and balderdash and bullshit, that homosexual men are stymied by homophobia and all that other stuff.

Here’s what I judge from watching acknowledged homosexuals cavorting on TV comedy shows: A homosexual does not give a flip about anyone but himself. He is psychotic and a sociopath.

We are paying now for allowing 2 percent of the population to demand and get special treatment, and we will pay even more in the coming years.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Western Kazakhstan

One of the places I will visit next time around.

Kazakhstan is the size of Alaska and Texas, plus another Texas.

There are steppe areas, too.

That area looks like parts of Texas, and the traffic sign has bullet holes.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Here's a happy

‘Lincoln waitress receives the tip of a lifetime’

January 05, 2014 6:00 pm • By PETER SALTER / Lincoln Journal Star

The Cracker Barrel customer had a checkbook, and what he wrote in it after lunch Thursday would make his happy server even happier, but first he and his friend had a few questions.

They asked the hostess: Can you give us your grumpiest server? We want to make them laugh.

Sorry, the hostess said. Nobody grumpy here. I’ll seat you with our happiest.

At Table 222, they asked Abigail Sailors for the special -- turkey and dressing -- and for eggs and sausage.

Then they asked the 18-year-old why she was so happy.

And over the course of their meals, she told them.

About her childhood. The youngest of five from Falls City was just 7 months old when her parents crashed their car on the back roads to St. Joseph, Mo. Her mother never fully recovered from her brain injury, and her father wasn’t fit to be a father.

They were scattered to three foster homes, then reunited under the same roof. They endured abuse there for years, said Abigail’s older sister, Sydnie Murphy. That foster father is still in prison.

“All the horror stories you hear about foster care,” Sydnie said, “we lived through it.”

The state split them again -- some to other homes, Abigail and Sydnie and a brother eventually to their father’s house. But then he was arrested for abuse, too.

They didn’t find real stability until about nine years ago, when John and Susi Sailors took them in. And kept them. And raised them. And loved them like they love their own five children.

“It’s a great home, great people, amazing,” said Abigail, who took their last name. “I don’t know how I would have turned out if I didn’t have them. They shaped the person I am today.”

Abigail still sees her birth mom. In fact, she and Sydnie were picking her up at her rehabilitation home in Omaha and taking her out for pizza Thursday night.

After she talked about her past, Abigail told her customers about her future. Which was on hold. She had just finished her first semester at Trinity Bible College in North Dakota, where she’s studying youth ministry and psychology.

But she’s paying her own way, and didn’t have enough money for the spring semester. So she was saving her wages and tips to add to her financial aid, and planned to return next fall. She was thinking about taking online courses until then.

“She’s always been a good worker and paid her own bills and saved her money,” her foster father said. “She’s a great girl. It’s amazing where she is from, what she’s been through.”

And that -- all of that -- was why she was so happy, the server told her customers.

Her life could be worse. But it isn’t.

“I’m just thankful. Everything we went through, my attitude is: God blessed me with a lot of things. I’m doing good. That’s all that matters to me.”

The customers -- one older, one middle-aged -- kept asking questions. Abigail kept answering. She didn’t know them. They weren’t regulars at the north Lincoln restaurant. She did learn they were from Nebraska, and she learned their names, but didn’t feel right sharing them.

When the men were finished eating, one told her he had graduated from Trinity.

He opened his checkbook.

He wrote one check to the college for $5,000, for her tuition.

He wrote one check to her for $1,000, for whatever she needed.

He left a $100 tip she split with another server.

And Abigail, who’d felt like she already had so much, now had even more.

“I couldn’t believe it. I tried to thank them, and they said, ‘thank God.’

(All over the internet, but found at

On a menu in Paris (France)

Thigh of frog has the Norman.

Soup of fish served with its croutons and rusted limited company.

Gone through by poppy in snails.

Baluchon of salmon marinated in the fresh (cool) goat (tackle).

Or: And now from BBC.

Marcel has a white shirt.

Jean-Louis sold an antique violin.

Marie lost her white dog.

The Americans and the English will stomp the cabbage on Sunday.

A place in time for a young man

I would choose 1940.

BSA motorcycle, 250 cc or 350 cc.

Graham automobile.

Bossi-Higgins helicopter.,_1940s_a.JPG

Packard 160.

Buick Roadmaster

Chevrolet Master 85 Business Coupe. $659 (plus transportation, taxes, optional equipment, etc.)

BMW 328. Yes, there was a war going on. Somewhere.

Fairey Swordfish.

A man and a woman.

(I wanted a street scene with attractive women, but the only one at goodsearch was from something called teen girl mag, and that sounds just a bit in the "I'm not going there" area.)

Central Arkansas weather, Part 2

The kitchen pipes unfroze five minutes ago.

Sounds like a good idea, swap Jewish land for Arab land, right?

Problem: Anti-Israel Western governments and groups are upset because Jews built communities in land deemed part of a future Arab Palestine.

Fact: Israel contains towns and communities that are Arab.

Proposal: Trade Arab land in Israel for Jewish land in Palestine.

Reaction from Israeli Arabs: Oh, no, you don’t!

‘Israeli Arabs: We Do Not Want to Live in Palestinian State’


Found at

China's military will continue to plod along as always, thank you

No centralized structure necessary.

“BEIJING (Reuters) - China denied on Tuesday a state media report that said its military will establish a joint operational command structure for its forces to improve coordination between different parts of the defense system.

The English-language China Daily newspaper reported last week that the government would implement a joint command system ‘in due course’ and it had already launched pilot programs to that effect.

"’With regards to this, the Defence Ministry has clarified that the relevant report is groundless,’ the ministry said in a statement on its website.”

(The explanation sounds as though a semi-war lord arrangement is still in effect.)

Headline fix

Yahoo headline: ‘Amtrak trains headed for Chicago stranded in snow’

Suggestion: Chicago-bound Amtrak trains stranded in snow

Or: Snow traps Chicago-bound Amtrak trains

No payment necessary.

Central Korea weather

The winter wind from Siberia was called “The Hawk.” The term originated from Chicago, where skyscrapers wind-tunneled gales blowing from or to Lake Michigan.

The Siberian Hawk was merciless, without feeing, without awareness of its effect on people, animals and the land. The Hawk was part of God’s plan – “This is how I want dead of winter weather in Korea.”

Every foreign soldier in Korea learned about real winter -- American, British, Turk, Australian, Greek.

I was a dog handler in Korea from March 1965 – March 1966, north of Seoul. My dog was named Duke. Duke and I and the other seven handlers and dogs in Sentry Dog Platoon walked guard, sometimes seven or 10 consecutive nights. The upside of the job was, we were not at the DMZ.

The Army gave every soldier sufficient winter clothing to stay warm, as long as we were dry.

I wore it all – cotton boxers and T-shirt; wool longjohn shirt and drawers; OD wool trousers and OD wool shirt; field trousers with liner; OD wool cap with flaps; parka with liner and hood; mittens; and Mickey Mouse boots.

The parka hood was rimmed with fur and had a piece of wire inside so you could adjust where the fur fit your face. I had the fir down to my eyebrows and up to my nose. Many nights my breath condensed and then immediately froze on the fir.

Duke had his German Shepherd fur coat. He never complained about the cold.

Central Arkansas weather

The temperature is 10 degrees F. Kitchen water pipes are frozen. Others are not.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Progressivism takes over weather forecasts

Sunday morning, with record cold temperatures forecast for much of the United States, I decided to find out how cold the day would be in this part of the country.

Here is what I learned: Feeling has replaced reality in weather forecasting.

Of the first four stations with weather maps, not one forecast actual temperatures. Not. One.

What each map showed and what each map explainer quoted was how the temperature would “feel.” Not one weather reader cared to mention an actual air temperature. Only “feel” mattered.

Last night, too, a local TV station flashed a map with areas of the state marked “Wind Chill Warning.”

That carried over into today, when a weather reader said that although the high temperature in Milwaukee would be 0 (as in Zero), “it will feel like 40 degrees below zero.”

What we have here is substitution of “feel” for “real.” Progressives/Democrats are big on feelings. Listen to just about any TV reporter: “How did you feel when …?”

Here’s the thing on wind chill and freezing: Water freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit. If air temperature is 34 degrees, even with a 25-mile-per-hour wind, the water will not freeze.

So, weather person, don’t tell me how the temperature “feels” outside. Tell me what it is.

But the government told me I was signed up!

'It's not fair – you know, I signed up last week like I was supposed to.'

'Why is this so complicated?' she asked. 'I had my own private insurance last year, but they cancelled me in November. I'm not sure which end is up.'

“It's unlikely that a valid insurance card would have changed Galvez' fortunes, however.

“Her Carefirst plan, identified on the Obamacare website as BlueChoice Plus Bronze, carries a $5,500 per-person deductible for 2014 – an amount she would have to pay out-of-pocket before her coverage would apply to medical expenses.”

(Reckon Ms. Galvez knows about her policy’s $5,500 deduction? A guess: Nope.)


Saturday, January 4, 2014

What’s it all about, Alfie?

"Moderate Flare Detected"

"A slow eruption peaking at M4.0 in the vicinity of regions 1943 and 1944 was detected on Saturday afternoon. The event was associated with a 10cm Radio Burst (TenFlare) measuring 550 sfu and lasting 28 minutes, along with a Type IV sweep frequency event. More updates to follow regarding any possible coronal mass ejection (CME).

"CME Update: Although hard to tell in this STEREO Behind COR2 image, a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) is visible following the M4 eruption on Saturday afternoon. A majority of the cloud looks to be headed south, however there may be an Earth directed component. More updates once Earth facing LASCO coronagraph imagery becomes available."

(“Earth directed component.” Got that part.)

Ace of spades says: “Keep an eye on the sun. Big ass sunspot 1944 is rotating into geoeffective position for Earth directed CME's.”

(I think maybe Ace is showing off. I don’t know jack about that sort of thing. There is a sun and now and then it does stuff and sometimes the stuff has a big effect on communications and weather on Earth, sometimes not so much.)

Friday, January 3, 2014

Remember this in 2016

“With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided that they’d they go kill some Americans? What difference at this point does it make?”

As Dr. John points out, the secretary then said: “It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again, Senator.”

As Dr. John also says, if it doesn’t matter, why should we “figure out what happened”?

“This is classic Clintonism- take your query, stop it, seize it, take control of it and turn it around and escape the noose of responsibility.”

Same family killed in Syria and in Gaza

First link found at maggiesfarm.

Second because I wanted more than one source.

Well, let’s not say the Palestinians lied …

… they just changed the story about the guns and stuff.

A couple of days ago a Palestinian representative to the Czech Republic got himself blown up while moving a safe. First suspect:

That’s too easy. Palestinian diplomat blown up in a foreign country … Mossad killers! Zionist assassins!

How often do people get blown up in an office while moving a safe?

‘Arms cache found at Prague home of dead Palestinian envoy’

“A large, illegal weapons stockpile was found Thursday at the home of the Palestinian ambassador in Prague, Jamel al-Jamal, Czech media reported, a day after al-Jamal was killed in an explosion there.

“Respekt, a Czech weekly newspaper, reported that the arsenal was enough to arm a unit of ten men.”

At simplyjews blogspot.

The armorer of New York City

When movie and TV people need a mean ol’ nasty gun, they go to a little shop in SoHo.

“Speaking of current laws, I ask if the SAFE Act has had any impact on their business. Ryder rolls his eyes. ‘I hate it when people ask me about the SAFE Act. Most people haven’t even read it; they just hear things on the internet and assume the worst. But they ask me all the time. We’re licensed as a manufacturer, so most of the rules don’t apply – they only apply to the end user. We can still get things just fine.’ I ask him about standard capacity magazines, since the SAFE Act limits magazine capacity to seven rounds and that might be an issue in an action sequence. He chuckles. ‘I can tell you’re from Texas, you said “standard capacity.” Anyway, we use blanks in our guns and blanks are technically pyrotechnics and not ammunition. The law says we can only load seven live rounds, it doesn’t say anything about pyro.’”


Thursday, January 2, 2014

Surviving a firefight

Lessons learned from a war oftentimes are unlearned during peace and must be relearned when pointy bullets fly at you. Relearning costs lives.

Here is one of the better ones for the war we are in now:

“If you are in a firefight and you wound one of the enemy, don’t let him crawl or limp away to safety. Kill him. These guys are doing holy war and will keep shooting even if wounded. They cannot hurt you if they are dead.”

The most important thing you will do in a firefight: Pull the trigger. After that, you can do everything else that needs doing.

A lesson from North Africa 1942-43. American tankers said they at first thought a German tank was out of action when fired at and stopping. But after those out-of-action Panzers resumed firing, U.S. gunners adopted another tactic. “We shot them until they stopped and then we shot them until they burned.”


Australian snipers kill Taliban leader at 2,815 meters

Or, 1.75 miles, 3,078 yards, 9,234 feet.

“Two marksmen using Barrett M82A1 50 calibre rifles simultaneously fired. The bullets were six seconds in the air. One killed the Taliban commander. It is not known for certain which sniper fired the fatal shot.”

“While British, American and Canadian sharpshooters are often celebrated the Australian Defence Force says nothing. When I sought to check this story I was politely told I could not be assisted. Fair enough. We are not talking about an Olympic event.”


Executive orders coming?

President Obama: If Congress won’t act, I will.

So when Congress does not increase the federal minimum wage, will the president do it by decree?

Stop. The. Presses.

Sea lions defecating on rocks near ocean. Restaurant owner files suit; demands city do something. Environmental laws keep rocks dirty.

At maggiesfarm.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

94-year-old World War II infantry veteran carries flag at funerals

Minneapolis Star Tribune|Dec 30, 2013|by Curt Brown

When the second of 10 services ended Friday at Fort Snelling National Cemetery, Quentin De Nio rolled up his large white U.S. Army flag and shuffled over to the Memorial Rifle Squad's bus.

"We've got some nice young guys who are 68 from the Vietnam era and they push my ass up the three steps and into the bus," De Nio said.

With that friendly shove from a hand on his belt, it was off to the next graveside for the Rifle Squad.

The group has brought honor to more than 64,000 funerals at Fort Snelling National Cemetery since it started providing final salutes in 1979.

"A lot of guys want to fire a rifle because they were in the Navy or Air Force and never got a chance," De Nio said. "I said, 'Just give me a flag.' "

De Nio was part of the Richfield Veterans of Foreign War Post 5555 Honor Guard. "But they all died off, so I came over here to Fort Snell ing in 2000."

He's now the second-oldest among the dozens of buglers, riflemen and flag bearers who make up the Memorial Rifle Squad.

Originally from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, De Nio first came up to Minneapolis in 1939 for a summer job at his father's insurance company. That's when he met Virginia Swinburne, who would be his wife for 64 years.

"She was the 1933 valedictorian at Roosevelt High School," De Nio said. "I realized that's why she was still single: She was too smart -- none of the guys had the guts to date her."

Virginia's sister set them up and they spent their first date in her family's basement in Minneapolis. "I remember they had a black walnut tree out front and we were cracking walnuts in the basement."

They married in August 1941, "like dumb kids," two weeks after he was drafted into the Army.
His 1941 infantry papers included the ominous "Destination Unknown."

De Nio arrived in Hawaii three months after the Pearl Harbor attack. With action on Saipan and Okinawa, he recalls his landing craft "getting peppered" and "the time I was carrying a rifle and a radio and looked up and saw the top of the antenna missing: Someone was aiming at anything shiny."

After the war, De Nio used the GI Bill to attend Dunwoody Institute and he became a printer, opening his own shop -- De Nio Designs -- that made invitations, announcements and envelopes. He eventually added Dayton's as a client.

He and Virginia had four children, 16 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren at last count.

He retired in 2004, selling his shop on Lake Street one year before Virginia died. He still lives in the two-story house in south Minneapolis that he purchased for $15,500 in 1957. He couldn't afford the $19,000 house next door. There's a 457-year-old oak tree out front of his place.

"They said it was 400 years old when I moved in," he said. "And that was 57 years ago."


This isn’t your father’s US of A. Hell, it isn’t even yours

“This is not a nation where people are left alone anymore. This is a nation where they are hounded from the moment they are born until the moment they die by the arms of a regulatory state run by men and women weaned on Cleaver, Alinsky, Fourier, Marx, Wells and countless others. This is a nation where, accordingly, being left alone is the greatest of luxuries.

“It takes a lot of money to be left alone. Regulatory space is much more expensive than physical space, and buying it requires investing in lobbyists, fundraisers and lawyers. If you make the right payoffs, then you can buy the privilege of being left alone, exempted from regulations, going uninspected and protected against the agents of the state. But once you do that, you are no longer neutral. You have bought yourself the privilege of not being considered the problem; instead, you have become part of the solution for the people you are paying off.”

Found at maggiesfarm.

‘In whom can the people trust, when the highest executive authority violates the laws’

Head of Iran[s Administrative Justice Court accuses former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of “lying to the public.”


On Aug. 29, 1949, the Soviet Union detonated its first nuclear bomb. Between then and independent Kazakhstan closing the Semipalatinsk test site, “some 456 nuclear blasts were set off, including 86 air bursts and 30 ones on the surface.”

“When the Soviet Union fell apart without warning, they (Kazakh leaders) found themselves the proud owners of more nuclear warheads and delivery systems than the U.S., France and China combined. The threat of illegal sale or theft involving terrorists was obvious. Nazerbayev and his officials worked closely with the U.S. in securing and disposing of the weaponry.

“One operation, set up under an anti-weapon program by Sens. Sam Nunn and Richard Lugar, involved CIA-sponsored covert flights of gigantic C-5A Air Force cargo planes flying out dozens of warheads. They ended up in the U.S. where they were disassembled and their enriched fissionable was removed and sent for reprocessing into fuel for commercial nuclear plants.”

3,000-year-old inscription …

… indicates Solomon’s soldiers and workers were provided with cheap

Even back then: Nothing is too good for our soldiers, and nothing is what they will get.

Picked up at:

Missing pipe not inventoried for ‘several years’

The new guy running Little Rock’s wastewater system says two employees have “come forward” with information on what happened to $70,000 in missing concrete pipe. The two employees are scheduled to meet with police investigators on Thursday.

John Jarrett, however, also said the two employees “won’t talk to me.”

Wastewater utility executives found out about the 1,900 feet of missing pipe on Dec. 20. The utility also has “no documentation that they weren’t checked during inventories,” said Debbie Williams, the accounting supervisor for capital projects, in a story in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Hmm. We can’t show that they weren’t checked. Maybe I should have tried that explanation during Army annual IG inspections.

INSPECTOR: Where is documentation showing the commander conducted monthly widget accountability?

ME: Well, Sir, I can’t show that he didn’t.