Sunday, November 30, 2014

My wife's takeaway from How to Train Your Dragon, 2

"We are against war. Totally against war. But we have all the dragons, and if you try to start something, we will come and kill you."

The answer is, she said, "Make sure you have some dragons."


While searching for photographs of rural Ukraine, I came across Voinyliv. Wikipedia says:

“Prior to World War II, Voinyliv like most of western Ukraine, belonged to Poland and had ab. 1000 inhabitants.

“The book Where Once We Walked states that before the war Voinyliv had a Jewish population of 944 persons."

By my math, if the town’s population was about 1,000, and 944 of those were Jews, that sort of makes Voinyliv a Jewish town.

Now, Voinyliv’s population is around 2,700, “nearly exclusively Ukrainian.”

As with other towns of eastern Poland, Voinyliv’s population disappeared in ghettos and death camps. Victorious Russia populated the area with Ukrainians.

Wikipedia has a picture of the newly built (2004) “Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church” in Voinyliv.

The town is in Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast.


*There are various spellings.

’23 Toughest Militaries in the World’

Think the French Foreign Legion (#22) believes it is not as “tough” as Mexico’s army (#19)?

From the list: “Surprisingly our neighbors to the south have a very competent army. If only they could control their drug problems.”

“If only …” Right.

The list sucks. My computer went into slowdown mode at #12, a sure sign I did not need to read the remainder. There are not 23 armies capable of handling true military matters on their own. Suppressing citizens, maybe, but nothing else.

Link at dougrossjournal.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Cops and muggers

In The Bonfire of the Vanities, Tom Wolfe notes that all cops become Irish. Black or white, Catholic or Protestant, in NYC all cops become Irish. That is, of course, a way of identifying a group of people as having not just a similar identity, but the same culture. In other words, Cop is its own ethnicity.

From a Georgetown University mugee, who, along with a friend, was held at gunpoint while being robbed: “Not once did I consider our attackers to be ‘bad people.’ I trust that they weren’t trying to hurt me. In fact, if they knew me, I bet they’d think I was okay.”

‘I Was Mugged, and I Understand Why’

Link at

OK, Meathead. You just proved: All Progressives become idiots.

The real scary part, though: “The millennial generation is taking over the reins of the world, and thus we are presented with a wonderful opportunity to right some of the wrongs of the past.”

Yeah, that’s never been tried before.

Switch pitcher

Tony Mullane -- Batted both, threw both. Five consecutive 30-win seasons; 1890 Red Stockings – 25 games as pitcher, 1 game at first base, 28 games in outfield, 21 games at third base, 10 games at shortstop, batting average .276. In 1889, he hit .290 while pitching and playing first, third and the outfield.

Mullane’s overall record was 284-220, with a .305 ERA over 13 years. The Irish-born baseballer started 504 games and completed 468. In 1884 his record was 36-26, ERA 2.52, 567 innings pitched.

After retiring in 1894, Mullane joined the Chicago Police Department, retiring from there in 1924. Mullane is not in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Statistics from

Friday, November 28, 2014

Oh, shut the **** up

Insulted, victimized pain-feelers rip Malaysian Airlines advertising tweet: “Want to go somewhere, but don’t know where?”

‘Cruel tweet sparks outrage’

Idiots. Idiots, idiots, idiots

Washington’s NFL team tweets Thanksgiving message, immediately hammered by … See headline.

Or, Democrats. Democrats, Democrats, Democrats.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Not yet assimilated

A block over, the sounds of a nail gun and an electric saw rip through the morning air.

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Aghan women defend post against Taliban

By Farangis Najibullah and Ahmad Fitrat
November 25, 2014

An Afghan mother has described how her son's killing at the hands of the Taliban spurred her to fight off the insurgents in a gunbattle that left more than two dozen militants dead.

Rezagul says she grabbed a gun and hand grenades to help police fend off a Taliban assault after her son, a 27-year-old police officer, was killed by militants who raided a security checkpoint in western Farah Province on November 17.

"I was so enraged that I took a gun and started firing at them, and I kept throwing hand grenades," Rezagul told RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan. "I was hitting anyone who was coming at us. They were firing and firing at us, we were firing back."

Rezagul, who goes by one name, estimates that she alone "must have killed some 10 Taliban" in the fighting in Farah's Bala Buluk district.

The Ganjabad checkpoint -- adjacent to Rezagul's house -- was being manned by Rezagul's husband, Abdul Sattar, their son, and two other police officers when the insurgents launched their assault early in the morning.

Local officials said the attack on Ganjabad was part of a broader offensive by the Taliban that launched several simultaneous attacks on Bala Buluk that day.

"It started around five in the morning. They were attacking with Kalashnikovs, hand grenades, and all kinds of different weapons," Rezagul says. With two police officers in her family, the housewife was familiar with weapons, although she says she had never used them before.

Rezagul says her daughter, daughter-in-law, and youngest son also joined her in fending off the assault. "I was helping [policemen] to put bullets into their Kalashnikovs," says Fatima, Rezagul's daughter-in-law. "And I was also throwing hand grenades. I was wounded in my leg. My husband was martyred that day."

The women say the fighting continued until late in the evening when the militants withdrew.

Local security officials said a total of 27 militants were killed and 32 others wounded in the Bala Buluk fighting.

Farah police chief Abdul Razzaq Yaqoobi corroborated Rezagul's account and praised the family, "especially the brave Afghan women," for their "exceptional courage and heroism."

Mullah Said Mohammad, the district governor, said Taliban militants had also stormed the headquarters of the regional government and district police, as well as several security outposts, prompting heavy clashes with security forces.

The officials claim some 700 Taliban fighters took part in the attacks. The figures cannot be independently confirmed.

There's been no comment from the Taliban. Officials say the militant group, which swiftly claims deadly attacks, stays largely silent when its raids fail.

Rezagul says her family house was almost entirely destroyed in the fighting. "We lost everything: our money, the dishes, windows, everything was burnt down," she says. "Everything was leveled."

"But we defended the outpost," she says proudly. The family now lives in a one-story mud-brick house, provided for them by provincial authorities.

Rezagul's youngest child, 15-year-old Sardar Mohammad, who helped the women by carrying them bullets and hand grenades, told local media, "We will never let the Taliban win."

Written by Farangis Najibullah based on reporting by RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan correspondent Ahmad Fitrat in Farah


U.S. needs more rich liberals

“I believe that the economy can potentially absorb five million additional gardeners and nannies. The challenge will be to create a corresponding number of rich young liberals to hire them.”

Link at maggiesfarm.

Why shouldn’t Buc’s bar serve fake tequila?

Those guys on the field masquerade as a football team.

“Aramark's Freireich explained colored water in liquor bottles for display purposes is a fairly standard practice.”

Link at

Thinking at McDonald's

Late Monday afternoon, somewhere in Western Florida, we stopped at a McDonald’s for a bathroom break and for coffee for John and me. Priscilla said, “With John’s coffee, tell them to leave enough room to put in lots of cream to cool it down and for lots of sugar.”

I went inside. A possibly 18-year-old woman at a register said, “Thank you for choosing McDonald’s. How may I take your order?”

“I would like two medium coffees,” I said. “With one, please leave about this much at the top … (I held a thumb and index finger about an inch and a half apart) … for lots of cream and sugar. It’s for a child.”

The young woman stared at me a moment and then pressed the proper parts of her register and announced: “Two dollars and fifty-seven cents.” I slid a credit card along the proper part of the machine and then got a receipt.

A different young woman appeared at the counter. She set two medium coffees on the counter. She asked, “Would you like cream and sugar?”

For a moment I was just a bit confused. I had specified a specific order, yet now I received the generic, scripted McDonald’s response.

Quickly recovering from my confusion, I said in explanation, “I requested space at the top of one coffee for lots of cream and sugar. It’s for a child.”

The young woman stared at me for a moment. Then she reached beneath the counter and got a McDonald’s sack. Into the sack she put 15 small containers of cream and 15 small sugar packets. She set the sack on the counter. She said, “Thank you for choosing McDonald’s.” She turned and walked away.

Walking to the cold drink machine, I poured out some of John's coffee and put in three creams and two sugars, stirred everything, and then went to the car.

I told all that had transpired to Priscilla. She said, “You deviated from the standard order.”

I said, “They didn’t know how to think!”

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Missing from the move to Florida

Thumb drive containing novel manuscripts of 230,000 words, 92,000 words and 86,000 words, as well as a few dozen somewhat completed short stories and a few novel outlines and chapters. But, I had fun writing all the stuff. And, maybe the drive will turn up.

In the middle of an old man’s afternoon nap …

… my phone went Brriinng! Brriinng! Voice mail announcement.

I woke up and pressed the “Listen now” prompt and then “Please enter your security code.” I then heard “First missed message.”

VOICE: Um, hi. This is Aaron with Once Driven. I thought I would reach out to you one more time. I haven’t seen your vehicle listed on line recently …

ME: Pressing 7.

PHONE: Message deleted. To hear your deleted messages …

I closed the phone and went back to my old man’s nap, thinking: Maybe you should have saved the message and called Aaron and said, “Have you wondered why I have not called you back since your first call three weeks ago? Did it not occur to you: (1) I did not want to be involved with an organization about which I know nothing; or, (2) I am not as dumb as you hope?”

For anything you want to do, there are hundreds of people trying to steal your money.

The number is not on my missed calls list or receive calls list.

The right minority

We all know this. Ivy League schools want rich white students, and maybe a few students from specific minorities so the all-white photographs don’t look too bad.

Bob Gibson mentioned applying at Indiana for a basketball scholarship, only to be told, “We already have one.” Gibson did not need to be told what the “one” was. He went to Creighton in his home town, and in his team picture, he is the only “one.”

Link at maggiesfarm.

Thanksgiving at Cracker Barrel

“But as I watched people come and go—the big family with rambunctious kids, the college-age goth couple, the woman with a newborn trying to explain the menu to her Korean-speaking mother—it struck me that there are plenty of people who don't care about the craft of the meal, who don't spend the weeks before Thanksgiving embroiled in heated arguments over whether or not to brine their turkey, or whether to mash potatoes or run them through a ricer. There are people who wake up on the fourth Thursday in November and want a slice of turkey with gravy and cranberry sauce and stuffing, and sides of mashed potatoes and green beans, and pumpkin pie at the end, and they want it because that's what you're supposed to want on Thanksgiving, and they don't care if it comes from a home kitchen. Even if you can afford to buy a turkey, even if you have the time to cook and are healthy enough to do so, even if you have a family large enough to eat all the leftovers, making a Thanksgiving dinner is still seriously a pain. Of course people are eating Thanksgiving at Cracker Barrel! Why wouldn't they? Why wouldn't everyone?”

Link at maggiesfarm.

(There were relatives I did not like, cousins who took after their cowardly, bullying almost illiterate parents, cousins to whom a book was something put under a table leg to keep the table level. Real maroons, as Bugs Bunny would say. But Thanksgiving at my father’s parents’ house – the food, the food.)

Immigration numbers don’t add up

Over the last decade or so, 12 million is the number thrown around as the number of illegals living in the United States.

News people say President Obama has deported 6 million illegals.

Obama’s immigration reform protects 5 million illegals from deportation.

That leaves 1 million at risk.

Except news people said last week there are 12 million illegals in the United States. So were there actually 17 million before Obama began deportations?


The dumbest remark on CNN last night was from a reporter who asked Robert P. McCulloch if the district attorney would support a measure making illegal the killing of young men in Missouri. The reporter prefaced his question by saying Missouri presently has no law making illegal the killing of young men. What the reporter so obviously meant was: Missouri presently has no law making illegal the killing of a young black man by a police officer. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Breathing old air

“Somewhere in Mississippi,” I intended to write Saturday night, but after leaving Parrish, Fla., around 10 a.m. and stopping in Laurel, Miss., around midnight, tired overcame me.

Priscilla and I were going to Texarkana to get her brother John for Thanksgiving and likely all of December. The end date depends on doctors’ decision concerning John’s clogged carotid artery – surgical or chemical cleaning. We hope doctors do not decide on surgery.

History, not John’s medical condition, is the point of this writing.

Big green road signs announce the nearness of Mississippi towns. Laurel, Hattiesburg, Jackson, Philadelphia. If you are around 60 or older, you might remember those towns from black and white TV news stories. Bad things happened in those towns and in other towns in other states – Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana.

Laurel, Hattiesburg and Philadelphia were location slugs on more newspaper stories than in TV broadcasts.

The names don’t go away. You remember.

There was one other sign, a brown sign noting a nearby park as we drove west on the four-lane highway. Ross Barnett Reservoir, the sign proclaimed. If you look on-line, you will see a sign at the reservoir site: Barnett Reservoir.

Maybe a reminder of which Barnett the lake is named for is too remindful of a previous Mississippi.

Friday, November 21, 2014

How do you KFC?

Priscilla and I opened our dinners from Kentucky Fried Chicken. I had the ordered big bowl – mashed potatoes and gravy, with cheese and chopped pieces of fried chicken. Priscilla opened her box of …

“I got biscuits,” she said. “A box of 12 biscuits.”

A far distance from the three-piece meal she ordered.

We got in the car and drove the three miles to the KFC. As we went in (Priscilla carrying the dinner box of a dozen biscuits), a worker called to someone in back: “Tisha! They came back. The people you gave the biscuits to by mistake, they came back.”

Someone explained the biscuits were supposed to go to the people who were behind us in the drive-through.

I said, “I know mistakes happen, but how does someone mistake a box of 12 biscuits for a three-piece dinner?” There is a bit of a weight difference.

No one said anything. Tisha said we could keep the biscuits. “We’ll have to throw them away.”

“No, thank you,” Priscilla said.

I thought the dogs would like the biscuits, but it was not my call.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Studies show experts have much to say, research tells us

“A few years ago, interior decorators across Europe and America began painting corporate headquarters and work spaces green after researchers ‘discovered’ that green was the color most conducive to creativity. (The evolutionary explanation: On the prehistoric savannah, our ancestors learned to associate green with water, nutrition, plant life, and, of course, fertility.) The painters had to be called in again after a year or two, when other researchers (working on a different group of undergraduates, no doubt) found that exposure to the color blue ‘can double your creative output.’ (The new evolutionary explanation: Our cleverest ancestors were stimulated by the cerulean sky, the azure sea…)”

(To experts: “Yeah, that’s all well and good, but does it put gravy on the biscuits?” What we already knew about studies and experts and, above all else, follow the research and advertising money. The column is about politics and economy and experts who don't know diddly about people.)

Link at maggiesfarm.

Backyard alligator

A neighbor said the alligator was sunning on the bank for a while yesterday. The pond is less than 50 feet from our back windows. I haven't yet seen the critter. It will be the first wild alligator I have seen. When I see it. If it decides to surface near my back yard.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Suffer the women

With female genital mutilation, “(a) woman is meant to suffer—little enough punishment to pay for the crime of being born female.

“It does not matter that she will probably be in agony each time she urinates, has sexual intercourse or, given the massive scarring involved, gives birth to a child. It does not matter that she may develop a fistula and become incontinent, that she may also smell ‘bad’ and for this reason, be shunned by her family. It does not seem to matter that she may later die from an infection.

Female genital mutilation is a crime against civilization. It is not practiced only in Muslim countries, nor only in Africa and the Middle East. As with other sexual abusers, the practitioners should be executed.

Societal study (Updated)

Got it figured out. Back Home (as is said in some places) the population is composed of homogenous Southern whites, homogenous Southern blacks and (increasingly) homogenous Southern Mexicans. Here in South New Jersey, there ain’t no homogenous anybody. The di-ver-sity of the population causes clashes of manners, if some had any to start with. Not that people from North New Jersey don’t have manners; you get your smiling gregarious “How ya doin?” at Lowe’s and Home Depot just as you get “Excuse me, can you tell me where I can find a dryer power …” “Onaisle35,” with a frown and a look that conveys, “Hey! Whatsa matter? Ya can’t see I’m workin hea?”

In a furniture store, a saleslady three times said “I’m from New Jersey, and …” One time I said I am from Texas. That’s as many times as necessary. If the speakee didn’t hear, he/she needs to listen better.

A friend from high school said many people do not understand manners and saying “Yes, ma’am” and “Yes, sir” are not indicative of fealty or weakness. Indeed, showing good manners is like heaping burning coals onto the heads of sinners.

Kinky Freidman intended to dewussify Texas one wuss at a time, if necessary. I’ll just deYankify my surroundings with one “Excuse me” at a time.

There was war here once

Twice, actually, but most of the pictures are of the one that stayed in the same place for more than four years.

Link at

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Fox hunting should be compulsory

Today marks the 10th anniversary of the passing of one of the most iniquituous, divisive and unnecessary pieces of legislation in recent parliamentary history: the 2004 Hunting Act, which effectively made hunting with hounds illegal in Britain. Here are ten reasons why the ban should be repealed now.

1. It's unworkable. Foxhunting (and staghunting) are as popular as ever, with at least 45,000 people a year either riding to hounds or following by car or on foot. To comply with the law, hunts now have to go through the rigmarole of following a trail created by a rag soaked in fox urine. But sometimes - whoops - the hounds have a terrible accident and follow a fox, opening the hunt up to the risk of prosecution. Every week and especially every weekend inordinate amounts of police (over)time are wasted pursuing country folk who just want to be left alone to enjoy a sport that has been part of rural life for centuries. The state has no business preventing them from doing so now: this is the Tyranny of the Majority of which John Adams first warned.

2. It's character-building. Hunting is one of the world's most dangerous, exciting sports and encourages: courage, endurance, horsemanship, good manners, personal responsibility, quick reactions, an ability to read the landscape, a love of and kinship with nature. Never mind banning it: it should be made compulsory for every teenager in the land. Not only would this enable us to win every war going (the Duke of Wellington insisted that his officers should be foxhunting men) but it would also create the sense of national pride and cultural cohesion that Britain sorely lacks.

3. Women just look really hot in hunting kit. Even the hairnets are sexy, somehow.

4. Apart from darts, hunting is the only sport where your performance is actually improved by alcohol consumption. Drinking cherry brandy followed by sloe gin followed by kummel followed by port at 11am isn't normally recommended. But on a bitter day in November in a frozen saddle surrounded by like-minded convivial folk it makes total sense.

5. No one loves and respects Charlie (that's the fox, btw, not the stuff townies hoover up their noses) more than hunting folk. It's just that, being country people rather than ignorant, sentimental townies they recognise that it is perfectly possible to be a magnificent, splendid fellow with a bushy tale while simultaneously being a terrible, chicken-eating pest. Most foxes get away: respect and fair play. Some (usually the unhealthier ones) don't: and that is nature, red in tooth and claw.

6. Hunts bind rural communities; enable farmers to dispose of deadstock; repair fences; create rural jobs (kennelmen; huntsmen; vets; farriers; stableyards, etc); provide entertainment in places where entertainment is often sorely lacking.

7. It's thanks, in part, to hunting - and similar country sports - that the British landscape looks as beautiful as it does. It's why we have stone walls and hedges, for example, rather than wire fences; covert for foxes and game birds.

8. The "animal rights" argument against hunting presumes that wild animals are sentient beings like humans. But they are not. Foxes do not have sleepless nights worrying about the imminence of death. They live in the moment. When chased they are responding to atavistic stimuli, nothing more. It is absurd, mawkish and dishonest to grant a pest - whose numbers must perforce be controlled in one way or another - should be granted the same rights as humans.

9. Foxhunting is the greatest sport ever devised. It takes place on a wildly uneven pitch perhaps 100 miles square, in often fiendish weather conditions, involves extraordinary team work and cameraderie between man and beast, with, instead of a football or a rugger ball, a living, intelligent quarry often more than capable of outwitting its pursuers. If you haven't hunted, you really haven't lived.

10. The best advert for hunting are the people who are against it: joyless vegans; vindictive class warriors; the noisome RSPCA; dreadlocked inner city crusties with dogs on ropes; mimsy unmarriageables with a dozen cats; Nick Clegg; Ed Miliband; the Green party; everyone who works at the Centre for Alternative Technology in Machynlleth, Wales; townie tossers.

Does Obama not realize how stupid he sounds?

Commenting on Tuesday’s attack at a Jerusalem synagogue:

"too many Palestinians have died," as well as Israelis …

"I think it's important for both Palestinians and Israelis to try to work together to lower tensions and reject violence."

“We have to remind ourselves that the majority of Palestinians and Israelis overwhelmingly want peace."

Oh, and there are these Obama pronouncements:

“If the sun comes up in the morning, then we will have another day.”

“The fish that bites a hook is usually caught.”

“We must remember that most buffalo have no idea they could become a tepee.”

(OK, so he didn’t say those.)


Behind the house is a small pond, maybe two acres. This morning while I was standing on the lanai watching rain fall, a white crane flared its wings and landed near reeds on the far side of the pond. The crane then strutted around, probably looking for food. Last week after inspecting the house, my wife saw an alligator on the grassy bank just behind the house. When she walked toward the alligator, it eased back into the pond and submerged. The alligator was about four feet long, my wife said.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

I am tired

It is only 9:40 p.m. (Central), but I am tired. My wife and I spent most of today packing boxes for movers to load on a truck on Friday and take to Florida.

Tired, tired, tired.
Liars, crooks and radical leftists – today’s Democratic Party.

The thieves “will say absolutely anything to get elected.” The Progressives’ goal “is to transform the country.”

Monday, November 10, 2014

More on why Democrats lost

“Appearing as a panelist on the November 6 Hardball, liberal talk show host Joe Madison offered his assessment for why Democrats lost the 2014 midterms: Liberals, being the intellectuals they are, talk above the heads of the average voter, rather than communicating their ideas in an accessible manner for the layman to understand. They need to ‘put it where the goats can get it,’ as Madison's grandfather would say.”

Map of the US, with NE, Chicago area and West Coast all Democrat blue (America) and the remaining red part – Dumbf***istan.

Florida Congresswoman on-call just like a doctor …


In all 57 states.

Why are we not all dead?

Everything is dirty, anything can and will kill you.

Bacteria-ridden stuff you touch every time you go to a restaurant: menus, ketchup bottles, lemon wedges.

Everything associated with food contains E. coli. Live with it. Or don’t.

Link at

He’ll be using his flippers for something other than begging for fish


Roger sends us a link from WFFA in Dallas/Fort Worth where Carlos Felipe Luna-Gonzalez was scooped up by Texas Ranger Anthony Bradford, an Army veteran when they set up a “sting” operation to roll up Luna-Gonzalez and his pretending ways. According to the article, Mr SEAL had been parading around town in a Navy uniform wearing the rank of a Lieutenant Junior Grade as well as a Special Warfare Badge and some medals, including the Purple Heart. He also had photos posted on social media.

Someone made a report to Ranger Bradford who enlisted the support of a local gun shop owner and tricked Luna-Gonzalez into showing up to accept a “firearm of appreciation” for his phony service. Of course, being a phony, and in the whole fake SEAL thing for the attention, Luna-Gonzalez fell for it and showed up in his phony uniform.

Gonzalez came to the meeting Saturday in dress blue Navy uniform with an officer’s insignia, the Navy SEAL Trident and a Purple Heart, and told the store’s owner about how he had been shot in combat.

He was presented with a rifle worth $2,300, which he accepted, and was taken into custody and charged with theft, tampering with a government document, and for presenting a fraudulent military record.

He was released after posting $18,500 bond.

In reality, Luna-Gonzalez had been sent home early from the Navy with a general discharge as a seaman apprentice, and of course, he wasn’t a SEAL nor had he been wounded in combat. I hope it was all worth it, buddy. Thanks to the Texas Rangers and all of the folks involved.

Take that, Li’l Kim!

ROK army buying 800 Samsung EVO-105 howitzer system.

EVO-105 –Automatic aiming, calculating 105mm howitzer on a five-ton truck. Still requires somebody to slam rounds and snatch a lanyard. By Samsung. (I hope TO&E calls for a couple of fuel trailers for each battery.)

Link at

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Cable news

Dish and Turner are in a “Did, too” “Did not” pi$$ing contest over money (what else?). MSNBC is in the CNN slot, with Al Jazeera taking HLN’s channel. Glenn Beck’s BLAZE has a spot somewhere in the neighborhood, but he and his minions are certifiably nutso crazy and do not win a stop when the remote is activated. The lineup shuffle has brought about a good opportunity for comparison, thusly:

MSNBC and RT are equally propagandist, as well as meeting no standards for professional journalism. CCTV continues to use on-camera reporters who speak English words and phrases, but the reportage often indicates the reporters do not know what the words mean. RT is less obviously government dominated than is CCTV, but you know RT would not be so anti-West if not for some Putinists or former Commies involved somewhere. FOX has its blonds and blondes and retains a fondness for making stories out of nothing.

And TV and newspapers wonder why so many people get news and opinions from the internet. (Of course, it helps greatly if one has at least a bit of critical thinking, as well as the ability to spot BS.)

Europe according to Vikings, 1000 A.D.

Three kinds of Vikings: explorers, traders and looters, the latter Danes.

1866 court case disproves feminist accusations

Every time a supposed historian talks about how women had no rights in 19th century America, I wish the educated class of propagandists would just take a look at laws and court cases in the backward Southern and Western states.

What those propagandists mean is that in the states that mattered (the Northeast ones), women’s rights were quite limited. In most of the backward states, though, women had the same property rights as did men, could and did file for divorce, and often listed personal property before agreeing to marriage.

In Red River County Texas in 1866 occurred a case that encompasses all of the rights women are supposed not to have had. On Nov. 15, 1866, a man who had been gone from home in Confederate service, filed for divorce, claiming that while he was gone, his wife went to live with another man and had a child by that other man.

Showing legal and moral statements were hardly the province for men only, the wife filed six days later filed her own suit.

Reading papers in Sixth District Court records, one realizes neither Thomas J. nor his wife Hester Ann lacking in accusatory nature.

Thomas and Hester were married July 1, 1847. He claimed theirs was a good marriage, but Hester said different in her suit.

In 1863, Thomas answered the call, entering “the military service of the Confederate States and so continued serving said forces until the close of the existing war.” When Thomas returned home in spring 1865, he discovered a new addition to the household, Hester having delivered a baby that February.

Thomas claimed his investigation of the matter showed that “while your petitioner was serving with his command on the Rio Grande in this state,” Hester “committed and was taken in the act of adultery with (a named man).” And, Thomas said, the affair “was kept up until the year 1865.”

Thomas also said he “has not admitted the said Hester to his conjugal society or embrace and … he has not carnally known any other woman since this marriage.”

Thomas asked for dissolution of the marriage, custody of his and Hester’s three children (ages 16, 14 and 8) and division of community property. Hester, he said, was “not a fit person to have control or education of said children.” He also said Hester “has separate property of the value of ten thousand dollars.” Their community property was less than that, he said.

In two pages, Thomas’s suit spells out his accusations; Hester’s Nov. 21, 1866, suit fills seven pages. Hester says she and Thomas were married “__ day of __ 1848.” Shortly afterward, she discovered Thomas possessed of “quarrelsome disposition.” As a good wife and “desiring to discharge her duties, (she) made every effort to overcome his violent disposition.”

“His whole nature seemed to be changed,” she claimed. “He became a tyrant.” Thomas also used abusive language toward Hester: “’You damned old bitch, you damned hellion,’ and other language too indecent and disrespectful to be written.”

In 1861, Hester claimed, Thomas left her “with several little children” and “encumbered with debts.” She discharged all the debts which came to her knowledge. Two years later, Thomas returned “and resumed his former treatment of her.”

Matters came to a head in 1866. That year, Hester said, her husband “attacked her person and threatened to murder her. She lives in dread of her life.”

In her petition, Hester lists community property of 500 acres, of which 30-40 acres were in cultivation; 13 horses; 50 head of cattle; 30 head of hogs; a small lot of household items and furniture; and farming implements, of a total value of $2,000. She asked for division of community property and custody of her three children by Thomas. She made no mention of her other child, nor of the $10,000 in personal property Thomas said she had.

In court records, Thomas’s suit never made the court docket, nor is there evidence that he dropped his suit.

Hester’s case came before the district judge on April 1, 1867. Court records say that “at the suggestion of the plaintiff’s attorney,” the case should be dismissed at Hester’s cost.

“It is ordered by the court,” records state, “that the Defendant have and recover of the Plaintiff all the costs in this behalf expended.”

So what happened? Did Hester and Thomas settle their dispute? Did they decide to go their separate ways without divorce? Did they decide division of 500 acres and livestock would leave both in reduced circumstances? Records do not say.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Jocko Flynn, one-year wonder

Looked up Cap Anson and the 1886 Chicago White Stockings and I saw strange statistic for Jocko Flynn, a right-handed pitcher. Flynn was 21 when he made his first start for the White Stockings on May 1, 1886. Flynn started 29 games that year and completed 28. His record was 23-6. He pitched 257 innings in his only year in the major leagues. One year. Wikipedia says Flynn developed hip problems and could not pitch after that initial stint with the club.

Even more amazing, in two minor league seasons, Flynn had a 0.85 earned run average. No telling how good he might have been had he been able to stay healthy.

Flynn was 5-6 ½ and weighed 143 pounds. Teammate Cap Anson was 6 feet tall and weighed 227 pounds. Most other White Stockings players were 5-10 or 5-11, two and three inches taller than the average baseball player of the late 19th century.

Statistics from


This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

-- T.S. Eliot, The Hollow Men, 1925

Or, 2014 version:

“It’s, like, scary. It really is. Because if you say one wrong thing your life could be over, basically.” – Brooklyn Reiff, 15, whose tweeted picture of a Target cashier went globally viral. (Whatever any of that means.)

* My present solitaire score. Also Zip Code for Amboy, Minn., 2010 population 534.

Isn't it just loverly when predictions from 40 years ago come back?

“If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but 11 degrees colder by the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us in an ice age.” -- ecology professor Kenneth E.F. Watt, University of California, 1970.

(Watt has an out, though. “If present trends continue…” Always hedge predictive statements. Of course, global warming climate change believers would say trends got worse. Or maybe not, since things kind of stumbled along as always, although fear mongers and pushers of big government don’t subscribe to the “stumble along as always” theory of civilization.)

Then there is Stanford professor Paul Ehrlich, who said while pushing The Population Bomb: “By the year 2000 the United Kingdom will be simply a small group of impoverished islands, inhabited by some 70 million hungry people. If I were a gambler, I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000 and give ten to one that the life of the average Briton would be of distinctly lower quality than it is today.”

(I hope he knew when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em.)

Lots of “He said what?” quotes.

Link at maggiesfarm.

Been deported? Not a problem. ICE can help you get back in

After all, a deportee has just as much right to the court system as does a citizen.

‘Great: New ICE Website Advises Deported Illegal Aliens On How To Get Back Into the US …’

Link at maggiesfarm.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Immigration reform, immigration reform, immi …

Why? What exactly is needed? No one has explained why the country needs … something no one seems to understand.

So: ‘Why Should We Bother Stopping Obama’s Executive Amnesty?’

Somebody’s missing

Photo of WH meeting. Busts in background – Lincoln and MLK. No Churchills need apply for space.

Of course a president may have any kind of art he wants in his house, but the Churchill bust thing from 2009 was indicative of Obama, because there had been the English Empire, which became the British Empire and conquering much of the world, including most of Africa, which included Kenya, and eventually a political-terrorist movement – Mau Mau – sprang up, which led to lots and lots of fights and killings, and Churchill was, in Obama’s mind, representative of the Empire.

However, Lincoln was a Republican, as was Jackie Robinson.

Hawaii spreading lava pictures

A whole bunch of them.

Nature wins.

Link at maggiesfarm.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Why Democrats lost (as told by Democrats)

They failed to tell their story; corporate media did Dems in; wave of 65+ voters put wingnuts in control of Senate. Those and other Progressive excuses at

Link at

(It’s OK for -65 liberal/progressives to vote, but not old traditionalists?)

Stick around for other hoistings and petards.

For additional lullaby land rhetoric, see

All I want is to sell the pickup

You place an on-line ad and people come out of the trees. Two people called and said they could, for a modest fee, take care of all aspects of selling, including advertising and financing. One even said the company she worked for. I searched and got a Las Vegas address. At the same address are 55 other companies. Real people (I think) want a bigger engine than 4.6 liter, or a club cab rather than just extended, or think 60 miles is too far to drive. I think maybe I’ll have the movers tow the thing to Florida.

The good news is, Democrats lost the Senate; bad news …

… Republicans now in power must tread carefully, lest they step on their privates, as happened when Newt Gingrich ran things.

‘Republicans, be not proud’

“Republicans, tread lightly and be not proud, take your victories with a measure of humility. Congratulating yourselves on the running of brilliant campaigns and of having the best candidates will not endear you to the American public: the American people didn’t necessarily vote for you, they voted against the man in the Oval Office.

“The Republicans can restore faith in the damaged American system or contribute to the destruction. Choose a direction for prosperity or expect to be decimated at the 2016 election.”

Haven’t you figured it out by now, Democrats?

David Krone, Sen. Harry Reid’s chief of staff, says President Obama’s White House is “difficult” to work with, and the president’s “electoral operation is more for his benefit than the party’s.”

Mr. Krone, why has it taken six years for you to determine that? Nothing has changed in Obama’s approach to politics. It’s all about him. Say aloud, rinse, repeat. It’s all about him.

Link at

It’s like, culture, so you can’t say anything bad about it

“Eleven people have been arrested in eastern China for allegedly stealing women’s corpses for use in ‘ghost marriages’, it’s been reported.

“They’re accused of exhuming a woman’s body from a village in Shandong province and selling it on the black market, the South China Morning Post reports. The ‘ghost marriage’ ritual requires bachelors who have died to be buried next to a woman’s body ‘so that he won’t be alone in the afterlife’, the website says. It’s an increasingly rare practice in modern China, and now mainly happens in rural areas.”

“One of the accused was shown on Shandong’s local state TV channel saying a corpse could be sold for between 16,000 and 20,000 yuan ($2,600-$3,300; £1,600-£2,000), and that bodies are only valuable if they have been recently buried. ‘A body buried for years is worthless,’ he says.”

Link at

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Meanwhile, in peaceful Sweden …

‘Swedish police have ceded control over 55 “no-go zones” to predominately Muslim criminal gangs’

“A pair of policemen in May were in pursuit of a suspect and unwisely entered the no-go zone of the southern city of Landskrona. Their car was rammed and the officers were forced out of the car. They were cornered by a crowd of some 50 hostile thugs and drew their weapons to hold them back and called for immediate backup.

“Several nearby patrol cars responded to the call and sped towards the scene, only to be ordered to stop half a mile away — just outside the no-go border. The police commander didn’t send the backup units in, fearing escalation and all-out war. The cornered police officers were left to fend for themselves. As luck would have it, one of the officers knew a few residents who interfered and convinced the thugs to let them leave.”

If I were a rich man ... Oh, I am?

A streamer on RT TV the other day noted that SUVs, “once an example of American excess” are now the most popular vehicle in the world.

Now comes this: “Extreme poverty fell to 15% in 2011, from 36% in 1990. Credit goes to the spread of capitalism.”

Some months back, a cable news network story mentioned the challenge caused by global obesity.

What all that says to me is, a lot of the world’s population has money to spend, and it’s spent on food and big cars. Rather like the American way.

Link at maggiesfarm.

But wait! There’s more!

“Twenty-five years on (from the collapse of the Berlin Wall), many of the capitals of Eastern Europe are now richer than their counterparts in the West. With freer markets, lower levels of state spending and debt, and mostly outside a dysfunctional eurozone, they look set to easily outstrip them. Since the Wall came down, most of the East has been moving in the right direction, and the West in the wrong one, with a dramatic impact on prosperity.”

Link at

In journalism classes, this headline would not have passed muster

From Tuesday’s Arkansas Democrat-Gazette:

‘Low-price diesel under holiday shoppers’ trees’

Having diesel under a Christmas tree is dangerous and in case of fire most likely would negate insurance policies.

Was there not an editor around who understood placement and use of words?

Monday, November 3, 2014

I’m drinking wine and eating cheese, and catching some rays, you know

Not really. I watched a couple of 3-year-old videos of Mitch Ryder doing “Jenny Takes a Ride” and “Devil with a Blue Dress.” And listened to “Mississippi Queen.”

Ryder is about a year older than I am, which means he was 66 three years ago. He did OK on “Jenny” and “Devil,” but those songs take a lot of energy.

Reading about Felix Pappalardi. His wife shot him in 1973. He died.


The best part of Kelly’s Heroes.

Oddball: Hi, man.

Big Joe: What are you doing?

Oddball: I'm drinking wine and eating cheese, and catching some rays, you know.

Big Joe: What's happening?

Oddball: Well, the tank's broke and they're trying to fix it.

Big Joe: Well, then, why the hell aren't you up there helping them?

Oddball: [chuckles] I only ride 'em, I don't know what makes 'em work.

Big Joe: Christ!

Oddball: Definitely an antisocial type. Woof, woof, woof! That's my other dog imitation.

(How many times have you ever said that last line just to see the “What?” expressions? Never? Man, you live a sheltered life.)

NYT op-ed calls for election changes

It’s that Constitution thing. The writers say mid-term elections once made sense – “at our nation’s founding, the Constitution represented a new form of republican government, and it was important for at least one body of Congress to be closely accountable to the people.”

But this is the modern age, and “we do not need an election every two years to communicate voters’ desires to their elected officials.”

Well, why not get rid of the House of Representatives altogether? A unicameral legislature would be a lot cheaper. Just have six-year elections for the Senate.

(At maggiesfarm.)

I have a sense that the op-ed writers do not understand the Constitution or American history.

‘It was on the Jimmy Kimmel Show’

You could go anywhere and get the same not-answers to “Who won the Civil War?” and “Who is the vice president?”

‘Completely Clueless Week at College Insurrection’

Where exactly does the money come from?

Ohio University student senate voted to raise campus minimum wage to $15, but … “Senate Vice President Caitlyn McDaniel said she is trying to find someone who understands the university’s budget…”

Also at legalinsurrection.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

William Becknell – pioneer entrepreneur and criminal defendant

On Christmas Day 1843, somebody beat the tar out of Henry Wagner. Not satisfied with doing bodily harm to the Red River County man, the assailants then threw Wagner out of Texas, presumably casting him onto the north side of the Red River, then the border between the Republic of Texas and the Choctaw Nation, United States of America.

Those days, near the end of the Republic, Texas was becoming a bit more civilized than it had been during the days when big government was in Mexico City. Possibly taken up in civilized manners, Wagner did not take pistolero justice. Instead, he did what most modern-day Texans do – he sued.

On Feb. 23, 1844, apparently recovered from injuries and having returned to Texas, Wagner filed suit in Sixth District Court.

In Wagner vs. Becknell and Guest, Wagner’s attorneys Martin and White alleged that “on the twenty-fifth day of December eighteen hundred and forty-three defendants did with force and arms commit trespass upon the person of your petitioner by beating wounding and otherwise misusing him and then and there with force of arms to wit sticks staves and fists beat bruise wound and greatly abuse said petitioner and afterwards to wit on the day and year last aforesaid the said defendants did falsely imprison tie and confine and carry beyond the limits of this Republic your said petitioner with other wrongs to him then and there done whereby your petitioner was greatly injured and hindered in his business contrary to the laws of said Republic …”

(Almost all writers of 170 and more years ago were not yet aware of the invention of the comma.)

Wagner considered his injuries serious, which comes as no surprise, “to the damages of your petitioner five thousand dollars …”

The men Wagner sued, though, were two of the most influential people in Red River County. Becknell was so well known, he had a prairie named after him – Becknell’s Prairie west of Clarksville, county seat. In 1936 the State of Texas put up a monument near the Becknell burial grounds, a few miles west of Clarksville and south of U.S. Highway 82, at the edge of a clump of trees.

The Encyclopedia Britannica 13th edition has this to say in its article on the Santa Fe Trail: “The earliest successful commercial expedition was that of William Becknell, who in 1821 made a profitable journey with $300 worth of goods on pack animals and returned the next year to open the trail with wagons.”

The Santa Fe Trail then ran from Independence, Mo., in almost a straight line for 800 miles. Becknell was the first trader to take wagons the entire length of the trail, and in so doing amassed a considerable amount of money, measured in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Guest, while not as well known as Becknell, was of local fame and later became county sheriff.

Wagner would have been better off had be been beaten by lesser-known men. Be that as it may, he filed suit for $5,000 damages, and law officers were bound to carry through.

Maybe not pressing too much, though.

With suit filed, District Court Clerk W.H. Vining on Feb 26, 1844, wrote summonses on Becknell and Guest. County Sheriff Edward West got the paperwork the same day. West did his duty, at least to a degree. Written on the back of the summonses is: “Traveled twice to Becknell and Guest residence neither found.”

The case came up for trial on March 19, 1844, but District Judge John T. Mills, ruling the accused had not received notification, ordered trial continued until the fall session.

It might seem strange that Becknell and Guest, as well known as they were, knew nothing about Wagner’s suit, nor did Sheriff West know of the accused’s whereabouts between Feb. 26 and the beginning of court.

Sometime between spring and fall court sessions, clerk Vining received an undated note.

“Capt. Vining,” the note begins. “This is to inform you that I stand no longer as security for Mr. Wagoner (sic) for the (unreadable) of a suit he entered against Becknell and others. Respectfully yours J.G. Faucett.”

In the end, Wagner did not get any kind of damage money. On Sept. 28, 1844, court records show, “upon agreement it is ordered by the court that the case be dismissed.”

Wagner paid court costs.

What it was, was whiskey

Elias Miller liked his whiskey, and for good reason.

In 1863, Miller filed a law suit claiming theft of whisky in Clarksville, but not until a second suit 14 months later did Miller spell out reasons his whiskey was so valuable.

Miller filed his first suit in December of that pivotal year of Southern defense against Northern aggression. With the fall of Vicksburg and Robert E. Lee’s defeat at Gettysburg only six months past, a suit concerning whiskey might seem paltry. Soldiers in blue and soldiers in gray were dying by the thousands, and Miller was worried about a barrel of whiskey.

At the end of that December, in what must have been a cold month for Texas secessionists, Miller accused J.N. Nelson of taking a barrel of valuable spirit.

In petition to Sixth District Court, Miller noted he was a resident of Red River County, while Nelson “is a resident of _______ county, but who is now in the county of Red River.” Accusations and declarations filed long ago often lacked specific locations and dates.

Miller claims to be “owner of a certain barrel of whiskey of the value of sixteen hundred dollars.” Miller’s petition does not further identify the certain barrel of whiskey, nor do papers on file speak of the barrel’s volume. Unless the barrel was of extremely large volume, $1,600 seems steep. But, in the third year of the war, inflation had already lessened the value of any money that was not gold or silver.

Miller goes on to say “that upon the 29th day of December 1863 the said Nelson with force of arms seized and took … the said barrel of whiskey … and refuses to deliver the same …”

“Whereupon,” the petition states, “he (Miller) sues and prays that the defendant be cited …”

Miller’s biggest concern, though, was this: “(P)etitioner further alleges that he fears the defendant will waste the said whiskey – or move the same out of the county so that the same will be lost to petitioner.”

One wonders: How would Nelson waste the said whiskey?

In the end, what was wasted was Miller’s time and his legal expense. Written in pencil on the back of the petition is one word: “Dismissed.”

Miller’s second suit over whiskey gives more insight into his concern for spirituous and vigorous liquors.

On Feb. 13, 1865, Miller noted to district court that he “is the owner of a certain house in Clarksville where he is engaged in trade or business as retailer of spirituous … liquors.” As such a retailer, Miller “pays to the State of Texas heavy license tax and to the Confederate States the occupational taxes established by authority.”

As barkeep or saloon owner or peddler of whiskey, Miller might be expected to be concerned about the whereabouts of his filled barrels.

In that second suit, Miller alleges: “On or about the __ day of February 1865 defendants (L.D. Van Dyke and J.H. Thompson) assisted by certain armed men under their control did with force of arms enter the said house of plaintiff and did seize and take away a certain barrel with faucets and appurtenances attached of the value of one hundred dollars and five gallons of whiskey extra of the value of seven hundred fifty dollars.”

As in his suit 14 months before, Miller claimed he had demanded return of the whiskey, but the defendants refused. Loss of barrel with faucets and appurtenances, Miller said, “prevented petitioner from pursuing his legitimate business” and had cost him $1,000 in sales.

That same day, the district judge issued a sequestration order. Written on the back of the order is: “Executed this writ by levying on 1 barrel and 5 gal whiskey … pointed out to me by Elias Miller, done in the presence of W.C. Phillips and John Dickson. J.M. Stanley Shrff RRC.”

Since Miller got his whiskey and appurtenances returned, the case did not go to court.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Yesterday I put my pickup on Auto Trader…

…and just now checked the listings – Man. I should have checked before listing, because comparable pickups are listed at $3,000 to $10,000 more than mine.

That’s all right. All I want is what I listed, or maybe a little less. But not much less.

What it is: 2005 FORD F150 STX 4X4 96K miles, extended cab, tow package, 4.6L V8, tow hooks, bed liner, cruise control, 6 CD player, a/c. Kelly Blue Book $10,500.

If you believe any of the following…

…you might be a Liberal/Progressive/Democrat:

1. Spending more money improves education.
2. Government spending stimulates the economy.
3. Republican candidates always have a big spending advantage over Democrats.
4. Raising the minimum wage helps the poor.
5. Global warming is causing increasingly violent weather.
6. Genetically modified food is dangerous.
7. Voter ID laws suppress minority turnout.
8. ObamaCare is gaining popularity.
9. The Keystone XL pipeline would increase oil spills.
10. Women are paid 77 cents on the dollar compared with men.

‘Top 10 Liberal Superstitions’

Man who confessed to murder he didn’t do released 15 years after convicted murder freed

“Simon's confession 15 years ago led to the release and pardon of former death row inmate Anthony Porter, who was originally convicted as the murderer. Porter's freedom was an important victory for innocence projects that work to overturn wrongful convictions. The Porter case and others eventually spurred Illinois to abolish the death penalty.

“But prosecutors reversed course again and said on Thursday a former journalism professor at Northwestern University, students at the university's Medill Justice Project and a private investigator coerced Simon into making a video taped confession, threatened him with the death penalty, pretended to have a witness to him committing the crime and promised him lucrative book deals.”

Link at

Why not just go ahead and ban air?

EPA plans to ban argon, other inert gasses.

It’s for your protection. The government is looking out for you. And, yes, the government will respect you in the morning.

Link at maggiesfarm.

Oswald GF says truth will surface

She has written a couple of books, too. Surprise, surprise, surprise.

Link at

That brightly colored dog food …

When feeding Charley and Victor this morning, I noticed the various colors of dog food pieces – brown, dark brown, tan and different shades of orange. Quite nice, calm colors, actually.

I thought, “That’s all nice and good and unnecessary, since dogs see only blue.”

The colors are for human-types to appreciate and be attracted by, rather than for canine-types to appreciate.

Sort of. Turns out dogs can see some colors, or so a couple of laboratory studies say.

As with dog food, then, most dog toys are colored for humans to keep track of.