Monday, November 30, 2015

An appropriate Christmas present

My wife bought a nice Christmas present for our exchange student of two years ago. "That's a nice present," I said when she said, "Here's what we are sending K for Christmas." I also said, "We should send her a pistol, a couple of boxes of ammunition and a terrorist recognition handbook." That wouldn't work, though. K lives in a European country, where individual ownership of firearms is illegal, because civilians with guns represent a threat to common peace or something.

The arrogance of some veterans

Each quarter I get a magazine-style newsletter from a Vietnam veterans organization. The group is not a large organization like VFW or American Legion, but limited to soldiers who served with the unit or its attachments in Vietnam and/or in Cambodia.

In the latest edition, a member wrote: “In September 2014 about a dozen members … were returning to the Tampa, Florida area on a Southwest Airlines flight after attending our reunion. One of our members … mentioned to one of the flight attendants that she might want to let the other passengers know we were on board the plane.”

When reading that, I thought: What? She might want to let the other passengers know …”

I wondered: Does he not recognize the arrogance in that statement? Why did the speaker or the writer believe they need special recognition?

When someone asks me, “Were you in Vietnam?” my thought is: Damn straight. My answer is: “Yes, I was.” I don’t need any special recognition; I don’t want any special recognition. I don’t even want a “Thank you for your service,” although if someone says that, I reply, “Thank you.”

“You might want to let the other passengers know we are on board the plane.”

That is an arrogance we can do without. That is arrogance that lessens all veterans.

You can find ‘em, but we’ll kill ‘em

Civilian contractors flying Air Force drones on combat patrols.

“Contractors control two Reaper patrols a day, but the Air Force plans to expand that to 10 a day by 2019. Each patrol involves up to four drones.

“Civilians are not allowed to pinpoint targets with lasers or fire missiles.”

The Air Force gives a BS answer:

"Planning and execution of these missions will be carried out under the same oversight currently provided for military aircrews, and the resulting sensor information will be collected, analyzed, transmitted and stored as appropriate by the same military intelligence units."

(Isn’t a non-uniformed person who engages in armed action susceptible to military trial?)

Sunday, November 29, 2015

This blog is killing the planet!!

From a bat-**** crazy, got to be one of the dumbest things I ever read:

A long list of seemingly harmless everyday actions contribute to emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other climate-altering greenhouse gases.

Driving a car and flipping a light switch have a clear ‘carbon footprint’ -- much less obvious is the harm caused by sending a simple text message or opening a bottle of water.

Here is the environmental impact of some common activities:

Digital footprint

Sending even a short email is estimated to add about four grammes (0.14 ounces) of CO2 equivalent (gCO2e) to the atmosphere.

To put this into perspective, the carbon output of hitting "send" on 65 mails is on par with driving an average-sized car a kilometre (0.6 of a mile).

The culprits are greenhouse gases produced in running the computer, server and routers but also those emitted when the equipment was manufactured.

It gets worse when you send an email with a large attachment, which puts about 50 gCO2e into the air. Five such messages are like burning about 120 grammes (0.27 pounds) of coal.

Receiving a spam message - even if you do not open it - has an environmental impact of 0.3 gCO2e.

Paper or plastic?

The global carbon footprint from spam annually is equivalent to the greenhouse gases pumped out by 3.1 million passenger cars using 7.6 billion litres (two billion gallons) of gasoline in a year.

Here is something to keep in mind the next time you type in a non-essential Google enquiry: A web search on an energy-efficient laptop leaves a footprint of 0.2 gCO2e. On an old desktop computer, it is 4.5 gCO2e.

And that text message? It comes at a cost of about 0.014 gCO2e.

Plastic grocery bags each have a carbon footprint of 10 gCO2e, but the paper ones are even worse at 40 gCO2e each.
Store-bought bottled water has nearly 1,150 times the emissions attached to it than a glass poured from the tap.

Leisure time

A 500-millilitre (one-pint) bottle is responsible for 160 gCO2e compared to 0.14 gCO2e for tap water.

A large cappuccino comes with a footprint of 235 gCO2e, partly because of the emissions from raising the cow which produced the milk. For a cup of home-made black tea or coffee for which just enough water was boiled, the figure is 21 gCO2e

The bigger the TV, the bigger the cost in greenhouse-gas emissions.

Watching two hours of tube on a 24-inch (61-centimetre) plasma screen pumps out 440 gCO2e - about the same as driving a car for 1.6 km.

The footprint is 68 gCO2e and 176 gCO2e respectively for two hours watched on a 15- or a 32-inch LCD screen.

A mile of cycling fuelled by a meal of bananas would be responsible for 65 gCO2e, compared to 260 gCO2e for a mile powered by cheeseburgers.


- "How Bad Are Bananas?" by Mike Berners-Lee
- Fifth Assessment Report of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
- McAfee study, "Carbon Footprint of Spam"

I opened my eyes this morning, and … OMG!! I put 1.475 gCO2e into the atmosphere! I killed a butterfly in a rain forest in Indonesia! Or Brazil. Or maybe the Congo.

The only team he could beat, beat him

With the Boston/Milwaukee Braves and Chicago Cubs 1950-54, pitcher David Cole’s won-loss record was 6-15. On March 19, 1955, Cole was sold to the Philadelphia Phillies.

“That’s too bad,” he said. “They’re the only team I can beat.”

With the Phillies in the 1955 season, Cole’s won-loss record was 0-3.

In Cole’s first major league game (Sept. 9, 1950), he pitched one inning of relief, giving up two hits and one earned run. He was the losing pitcher. Against the Phillies. So, his first loss was against Philadelphia, and his last loss was while playing for the Phillies.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Forget nukes. What about that Iranian fried chicken?

Pizza Hat? Hash Donald’s? Finger-biting good.

By Golnaz Esfandiari
November 04, 2015

Nothing says "America" quite like the opening of a bogus Kentucky Fried Chicken in the Iranian capital.
Too American, it seems, for Iranian authorities, who apparently spoiled the grand opening of a Turkish-born, Muslim-focused, "KFC Halal" restaurant in Tehran because they considered it a serious cultural threat.

Just two days after it opened, potential customers were greeted on November 3 by locked doors bearing an announcement that the restaurant had been closed down.

No reason was given, but criticism on hard-line websites suggested that the restaurant -- whose signage includes images of the American chain's iconic mascot, Colonel Sanders, before a red-and-white striped backdrop that some suggested resembled the U.S. flag -- could be viewed as American influence on Iranian culture, and thus is a grave danger to the Islamic republic.

It was a sharp reversal from the fanfare that accompanied the restaurant's November 1 opening, when pictures posted on the store's website showed customers lined up to get a taste of southern fried chicken.

In reporting the closure, Tasnim described the restaurant as the first branch of the U.S. fast-food chain Kentucky Fried Chicken.

But that was news to KFC's parent company, Yum! Brands.

"We are shocked with the news that an illegitimate KFC outlet has opened in Tehran, Iran," the Kentucky-based company said in a statement sent to RFE/RL. "No franchise rights have been granted to any party in Iran. We are in contact with local authorities and external advisers and will be filing a legal action against any company or individuals claiming to have rights to open KFC."

Tasnim and other Iranian media reported that the restaurant did not have a license to operate in Iran, but the restaurant's manager has said a mistake has been made.

"The shutting down of KFC Halal was due to a misunderstanding," the store's manager, Abbas Pazuki, was quoted as saying by Tasnim. "We are part of a brand known as KFC Halal, which comes from Turkey. It belongs to Muslims and its target market is Muslim nations."

Lest there be any doubt, Pazuki clarified that KFC Halal was indeed a rival of the American chain. "We as Iranians didn't like to work with Americans, [so] we worked with Turks."

In the "about us" section of KFC Halal's website, the company draws on mythology and Iran's history of overcoming its enemies, and characterizes the opening of the new restaurant as an example of a modern, scientific business model.
Ali Fazeli, the head of Iran’s chamber of commerce, confirmed that KFC Halal has no connection with the U.S. fast food chain.

"In accordance with orders from the Supreme Leader, we do not give any authorization to Western brands" in the fast food sector, Fazeli was quoted as saying by ILNA news agency.

The restaurant’s closure comes amid growing warnings in Iran by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and other senior hard-line officials over alleged efforts by the United States "to infiltrate" the Islamic republic following the landmark nuclear deal reached in July.

Khamenei was quoted on November 1 as telling officials to be to "be watchful about irregular imports after lifting sanctions and seriously avoid importing consumer goods from the United States."

On November 3, Iranian media reported that 16 lawmakers had issued a letter to the interior and commerce ministers, warning against the opening of "Western-style" cafes and restaurants, particularly fried chicken restaurants.

Iran already has numerous Western-style restaurants that operate under names such as "Pizza Hat" and "Mash Donald's." In other cases, such as with the Starbucks impersonator Raees Coffee, company logos closely resemble those of American brands.

With reporting by RFE/RL's Radio Farda

Islamic radicals in Georgia and Azerbaijan

“One issue is that Syria has activated a more sectarian understanding of Islam in Azerbaijan. Usually, many Azerbaijanis just say ‘we are Muslims’ but do not actually have a good concept of what that means. Now, some who were ostensibly Shi’a became Salafis.”

Countering terrorism: “Specifically, authorities sought to bring mosques under greater control by installing cameras inside, replacing Salafi clerics with moderate leaders, forbidding Salafis from taking leadership roles in mosques, banning books promoting extremist views, and increasing control over public television.” – U.S. State Department Bureau of Counterterrorism.

(Freedom and Democracy Watch is supported by Open Society – funded by George Soros – and Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation, named for the first Weimar president who was originally a supporter of the Freikorps.)

It must be over

Nine weeks ago, news organizations said Yogi Berra had died. I’ve been waiting for a retraction, but it has not yet been made.

Berra was more than a Hall of Fame, All Star player. He represented his generation. He was the man who went to work every day, did his best, and looked to tomorrow when maybe he would do better.

More than any other player, Berra was the New York Yankee on a team of DiMaggio, Mantle, Ford and Stengel.

On June 24, 1962, Berra caught all 22 innings of the Yankees’ game with the Tigers in Detroit. In 10 at bats, he had three hits and one run batted in. Twenty-two innings behind the plate, squatting, standing, walking to the mound, three times a base runner. He was 37 years old.

An amazing statistic -- In 1950, Berra hit 28 home runs, drove in 124 runs, played in 159 games, scored 116 runs … and struck out 12 times. Twelve strikeouts in 159 games.

I saw Berra on the field in Arlington Stadium on April 9, 1980, the day before Opening Day. The Yankees were working out that afternoon. I got home from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram just after 3 p.m., got Michael, who was almost 3 years old, and drove 10 minutes to the stadium. Michael and I sat in the second row behind the Yankees dugout. Berra was on the field, taking grounders at third base. He was around 55 at the time. He short-hopped every grounder hit to him.

Friday, November 27, 2015

What difference does that make now?

Answer to question: Why is the country at this point in history?

Question asked in reference to Princeton president’s decision to erase any and all official mention of Woodrow Wilson, former president of the university and of the country; of “the recent decision by UNC-Chapel Hill’s School of Media and Journalism to eliminate requirements that journalism majors take certain basic courses in economics, U.S. government, and American History since 1865;” and of a so-called historian’s attempts at correcting long-dead Judah P. Benjamin’s status as U.S. senator and C.S.A. secretary of state, because said Benjamin owned slaves.

Or: “Doesn’t our epidemic dumbing-down have undeniable advantages for those institutions (the media, the advertising industry, the government) whose interests are better served by a population not trained to read too closely or ask too many questions?”

This one is OK

make me
get the
flying monkeys.

Police are to blame. ‘They wouldn't leave the boy alone’

“Saydulla refuses to believe that his son, who left behind a 2-year-old son and a newborn daughter, would join the Islamist fighters on his own, and he blames officials for not stopping him.”

(Sounds as though the police are leaving Saydulla’s son alone. They did not stop him from leaving. Of course, the writer, Nataliya Vasilyeva, was completely objective in her reporting, presenting equal statements from both sides.)

Link at

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

‘Historical archive found in Russian bird nests’



The Zman’s theory of everything, Parts II and I


“Hearing a guy like Paul Ryan say, ‘proactively leverage other’s high standards in infrastructures’ generates warm thoughts of Gavrilo Princip.

“Anyway, I slowly came to the conclusion that the whole Right-Left dynamic was just a myth. One of things about working in Washington, even briefly, is you learn quickly that politics is nothing like you see on TV. Two people on a show ripping one another apart will be at the bar after the show yukking it up like old pals. That’s because they are old pals. The Right-Left narrative has simply become a convenient framework for the reality show called politics. This has been true since the 80’s.”

“The men of the Tidewater who crafted (the Constitution) understood that we needed a strong central government for managing trade, national defense and the courts. At the same time, they knew the Puritan lunatics in New England would immediately try to pervert the national government so they could dominate the rest of the country. James Madison had no illusions about the nature of John Adams. The result was a government based on Negative Liberty.”

Supports the ideas that talking/writing heads in DC/NYC talk and write to each other, and, American history is the story of competition between Virginia and Massachusetts.

If you were thinking about turkeys …

'How wily wild turkeys struck it lucky in America'

WE HUMANS have a fondness for calling someone or something we consider inept a “turkey”. Could turkeys talk, they might be inclined to throw the insult back the other way.

Ecologist Michael Chamberlain of the University of Georgia has witnessed the bird’s ability to outsmart people at first hand. He was in the field tracking a mother turkey and her poults. Thanks to the micro-GPS units he co-developed, he knew their exact whereabouts, and sent a fieldworker into the forest to find them. His colleague walked around for almost an hour trying to track them down, and never once spotted them. Chamberlain did, though. “I was sitting in the truck,” he says. Through the windshield, he saw the turkey sneak across the road with her brood, right in front of him. The fieldworker had been behind her the whole time, but she was clever enough to keep out of sight.

“Smart” isn’t a word most of us associate with the bird that graces many a Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner plate. Yet it is the domesticated cousin of the wily wild turkey, Meleagris gallopavo, which without its guile might well have gone the way of the passenger pigeon. However, in a heart-warming success story for conservation, this native American has made it back from the brink of extinction. Better yet, while many other species are feeling the heat of climate change, the wild turkey is going from strength to strength.

Turkeys are native to North and Central America, with six regional subspecies. Although domesticated by the indigenous peoples of Mesoamerica some 2000 years ago, the wild variety was an important resource for many Native American peoples, not just for its meat and eggs, but also for feathers, bones and spurs, which were used to make clothing, spoons, musical instruments, arrow tips and more. Estimates put the wild turkey population before Columbus arrived at some 10 million, though no one was counting. Around 1600, when Europeans first began settling in North America, the wild birds were so abundant they could be seen in flocks of hundreds.

Ironically, early settlers brought domesticated turkeys with them – these were the descendants of Mesoamerican poultry that had been introduced to Europe by earlier explorers. But turkey farming was small-scale and settlers soon learned that wild turkeys were good tucker and easy prey, owing to their habit of roosting in large groups in trees. Turkeys became so established in the pioneer psyche that in 1784, commenting on the choice of the bald eagle as the national bird, Benjamin Franklin quipped: “The turkey is in comparison a much more respectable bird, and withal a true original native of America…He is besides, though a little vain and silly, a bird of courage, and would not hesitate to attack a grenadier of the British Guards.”

Despite such affection, the hunting of wild turkeys continued unregulated. And the birds faced another threat, too. Turkeys aren’t particular about where they live, but they do have one requirement: trees. As settlers crossed the country, logging for timber and clearing forest to create farmland, suitable turkey habitat diminished. All this unfettered felling and trapping meant that by the end of the 19th century – around the time that passenger pigeon populations began to plummet – the wild turkey was in trouble. By 1920, it had been eradicated in 18 of the 39 states it had once occupied, and had also disappeared from Ontario, Canada.

Estimates of the population size at its nadir range from 30,000 to 200,000. Yet, as the passenger pigeon was sucked into the vortex of extinction, concern arose about the disappearance of wild turkeys. This was especially fervent among those who liked to hunt them, and efforts were launched to bring the birds back from the brink. In 1937, these came to fruition when a new excise tax on guns and ammunition generated revenue earmarked for wildlife management and restoration. The wild turkey was to get a share.

Armed with conservation dollars, wildlife agencies in several US states began collecting turkey eggs from nests in the wild, bringing them into captivity to rear for later release. Two decades of time and money later, nothing had changed. Almost all of the efforts were “dismal failures”, says Tom Hughes, a biologist with the National Wild Turkey Federation – most of the young turkeys didn’t survive once released. “They hadn’t grown up under the direction of a wild hen,” says Hughes, so they had no idea how to behave in the wild. “They didn’t know what to avoid. They didn’t know what to look for.”

By 1960, most wild turkey breeding had been ditched. Instead, wildlife agencies used spring-loaded rocket nets to capture whole flocks and relocate them to a suitable turkey-free habitat. Bingo! Turkeys began spreading like wildfire. Able to adapt to new settings before potential predators had learned to hunt them, they enjoyed a honeymoon period in many places that enabled populations to establish and thrive, says Hughes.

Fast-forward to today, and wild turkeys are abundant across the continent, with numbers estimated at over 6 million. One factor that limits their northward expansion is snow. “When the snow is really deep, turkeys can’t move through it, and can’t find their food,” says Britney Niedzielski. While at Trent University in Peterborough, Canada, she found that many wild turkeys don’t survive the winter at the northern limits of their range. However, those hanging out near farms can often get enough spilt grain and corn to see them through.

And with a helping hand from climate change, wild turkeys are likely to spread further north, says Niedzielski. So, in a warmer world we can expect to see more of these canny birds… and fewer frozen ones.

Link at

(The writer, whoever it was, just had to get "climate change" in the story.)

Something is wrong here

Driving east through Alabama on Monday, we passed a flatbed loaded with 50-pound sacks of onions from California, headed in the direction of Georgia, home of the Vidalia onion.

As a patriotic American (Go, Continentals!), I want to know from where comes my food. At a local (Parrish, Florida) store were packages of grape tomatoes marked “Product of Canada.”

A couple more internet … somethings

“Behind my smile
“Is something you will
“Never understand”

(Well, then, I guess you’ll have to eat your lunch all by yourself.)

The quoted material is from something called “Hurting on the inside Facebook Pro…” Good grief! How about “Things to say while slitting your wrists.” Like a Rod McKuen vinyl record, “Poems to Hear While Putting the Muzzle Against Your Temple.”

Here’s another from a different web site:

“will heal


Has to be from a liberal Progressive.

If I accept you are a murderer or a racist or an anti-Semite, are you healed, or am I?

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Let’s see – What is it happens in war?

“Human rights activists have accused the Russian government of stepping up its campaign of killing insurgents since the leaders of the scattered bands of fighters first began announcing their loyalty to the Islamic State a year ago.”

Oh, yeah. People get killed.

Armenian vote could limit evangelism from West

Like other former Soviet republics, Armenia finds democracy limits incumbent power.

“Constitutional amendments proposed by a commission working under President Serzh Sargsyan’s office would provide for freedom of religion and ban religious discrimination, yet article 41 stipulates that such freedom could be restricted ‘with the aim of protecting state security, the public order, health and morals, or the fundamental rights and freedoms of others.’”

The established Armenian Apostolic Church has a “privileged place” in Armenian society, and “has an ‘exclusive mission’ as ‘the national church in the spiritual life of the Armenian people, in the development of its national culture, and in the preservation of its national identity.’”

Any attempt at converting Armenians from the national church to a “perverse” Western “sect” could be detrimental to state security.

Armenians running the government need to remember their political and diplomatic efforts last year at gaining international recognition for genocide by the Turkish government 100 years ago.


Woodrow Wlson, Black Justice League and A. Hitler

My wife’s and my trip to Texas last week took us through Jackson, Miss. That state’s capital is not the only city in the U.S. named for President and Gen. Andrew Jackson. Most are in the South, but there also are Jacksons in New Jersey, Ohio, Michigan, New Hampshire and other states.

Given Princeton University’s decision to eliminate references to former university and U.S. President Woodrow Wilson, alleged racist, would it not be more logical to change names of all cities named after an actual owner of slaves?

And from the Fuehrer Bunker:

Moving John to John's town

My wife and I brought her brother John from Texas. Priscilla and I were on the road 4.5 days of the six-day trip. One-way to Texarkana is 1,022 miles.

I have written about John before. He had his 59th birthday a couple of weeks ago. His mental cognitive age is 5 or 6. For more than 35 years, John worked at Resources Texarkana, with 40 other disabled men and women. (I know -- The proper term is “people with disabilities,” not “disabled people,” so the advocates of disabled people say. “People are not disabled; they have disabilities.” I’m not supposed to say John is mentally retarded or physically handicapped, but he is. His mental and physical abilities were retarded at birth and never developed beyond what is normal for a 5- or 6-year-old. Years ago, “mentally retarded” changed to “mentally challenged” by decision makers who decided “retarded” is a bad word. No one would remember when “challenged” was “retarded.” But, people deemed “mentally challenged” are not challenged at all; they produce to the best of their abilities. If I were in an office with Albert Einstein 60 years ago, I would be, in modern description, mentally challenged because some things he could do, I could not. To go further back, “afflicted” was the term once applied to people who were mentally and/or physically retarded.)

Resources Texarkana had a retirement party for John. Everybody was happy. People celebrated John’s retirement. There were tacos, refried beans and Spanish rice and cake and extended lunch time.

John says Resources will move to Florida. Priscilla and I tell him it will not, but what John truly believes is locked in place and will not change.

John calls this part of Florida “Kathleen’s town” because our daughter Kathleen lives nearby. Priscilla told John this is now John’s town. I don’t know if that will take. Resources is not in John’s town.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Fourth European ancestor added to mix

“Research shows Europeans are a mixture of three major ancestral populations - indigenous hunters, Middle Eastern farmers and a population that arrived from the east in the Bronze Age.

“DNA from ancient remains in the Caucasus has now revealed a fourth population that fed into the mix.

“The first layer of European ancestry, the indigenous hunter-gatherers, entered Europe before the Ice Age 40,000 years ago. But 7,000 years ago, they were swept up in a migration of people from the Middle East, who introduced farming to Europe.

“About 5,000 years ago, herders called the Yamnaya entered Europe from the eastern Steppe region - in present day Ukraine and Russia.”

Army unit commander caves, removes image of Crusader warrior

“A sign outside an Army training center at Fort Shafter, Hawaii, that featured a knight with crosses on his breastplate and shield was taken down Monday afternoon, hours after the head of a religious-freedom advocacy group called for the image’s removal.

“The image represented the ‘Fighting Knights’ of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 8th Special Troops Battalion. Members of the unit recently transformed an unused motor pool area into a warrior training center, 8th Theater Sustainment Command spokeswoman Sgt. 1st Class Mary Ferguson told Army Times.”

Link at

(The unit, or Fort Shafter, caved, naturally, to charges by Military Religious Freedom Foundation that the sign “enrages our Islamic allies” and “emboldens our Islamic enemies.”)

Monday, November 16, 2015

Climate change causes terrorism, or something

So says a man who would be president.

“In fact, climate change is directly related to the growth of terrorism. And if we do not get our act together and listen to what the scientists say, you’re going to see counties all over the world…they’re going to be struggling over limited amounts of water, limited amounts of land to grow their crops, and you’re going to see all kinds of international conflict.” Bernie Sanders, Independent/Socialist/Progressive/DumbAss.

Story here:

(Assume, for a moment, there is a cause-effect between climate change and terrorism. Assume. Would it not be the other way around, that the growth of terrorism is related to climate change? How can terrorism cause climate change?)

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Jewish holiday

They tried to kill us, we survived, let’s eat.


A Jewish lady's grandson is playing in the water, she is standing on the beach not wanting to get her feet wet, when all of a sudden, a huge wave appears from nowhere and crashes directly over the spot where the boy is wading.

The water recedes and the boy is no longer there. He simply vanished.

The grandmother holds her hands to the sky, screams and cries, "Lord, how could you? Have I not been a wonderful mother and grandmother? Have I not given to Bnai Brith and Haddasah? Have I not tried my very best to live a life that you would be proud of?"

A few minutes later another huge wave appears out of nowhere and crashes on the beach. As the water recedes, the boy is standing there, smiling, splashing around as if nothing had ever happened.

A loud voice booms from the sky, "Okay, okay, I have returned your grandson. Are you satisfied?"

She responds, "He had a hat."

You can put away your guns -- White House says we're safe

Last year the president termed ISIS “al Qaeda JV.” Two days ago, he said we had “contained” ISIS in Syria and Iraq. Today, the White House decided ISIS “lacks capability” of attacking the U.S.

“Antalya, Turkey (CNN) President Barack Obama's national security team is sending a message Sunday that might lend at least a glimmer of reassurance to Americans traumatized by the terror attacks in Paris.

“Saying that while the ISIS ambition is certainly there to launch similar attacks on U.S. shores, the capability is not great.

“Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes told reporters that one big difference between the situation in Europe and that in the U.S. is that ‘thousands’ of fighters have traveled to Syria and then returned to Europe. That number being tracked in America is far smaller-- around 40, according to the Director of
National Intelligence James Clapper earlier this year.”

Also, Rhodes told Jake Tapper we are safe because the US will do deep background vetting on all Syrian/other refugees fleeing ISIS. Rest assured, no one who is not really, really, really a war refugee will get past our security.

In the feelings department, the White House might consider hiring a couple of counselors to care for “Americans traumatized by the terror attacks in Paris.” Or make hot chocolate available for everyone.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Saudi smuggler had 48,000 cans of Pepsiken

(Heineken wrapped in Pepsi labels,)

“A smuggler tried to bring about 48,000 beer cans into Saudi Arabia from the United Arab Emirates, al-Arabiya News reported.

“The man was caught at the Al Batha border crossing in Saudi Arabia. What makes the situation amusing, but certainly not for the smuggler, is the fact that the cans of beers were disguised as Pepsi cans.

‘A truck carrying what first seemed to be normal cans of the soft drink Pepsi was stopped and after the standard process of searching the products, it became clear the alcoholic beer was covered with Pepsi stickers,’ border General Manager Abdulrahman al-Mahna said, according to al-Arabiya News.’

“It remains to be seen what punishment the driver of the truck will face, as often the degree of punishment depends on who commits the offense. The man might be lucky and get away with the smuggling attempt if the beer was intended for one of the rowdy Saudi princes. If not though, well the best of luck to the smuggler, as alcohol is illegal in Saudi Arabia.

“Nevertheless, it certainly looks like despite being criminalized in Saudi Arabia, beer is in high demand in the Wahhabi kingdom. With the beer now having been confiscated, someone's bound to get real thirsty, real soon.”

Link at

(Grain of salt note -- Sputnik News is run by an agency owned by the Russian government.)

Eradicating ISIS ‘in a matter of weeks’

“’The terrorists don’t know what a real war is, because they have only been subjected to airstrikes. They don’t have experience of real military action,’ said Kadyrov in an interview to a Russian news agency earlier this month. ‘If our request is granted, it will be a celebration for us,’ he said. ‘But it’s a decision for the commander-in-chief to take.’ According to Kadyrov, if Moscow would allow Chechen elite units, spetsnaz, to participate in the Syrian Civil War, the terrorist organization calling itself the Islamic State (ISIS) would be eradicated in a matter of weeks. Kadyrov himself would be happy to enter the battlefield in the first ranks of Chechen units if Putin orders him to do so.”

“Several military commentators have expressed doubts over the Russian air force’s capacity to deal a decisive blow to the Syrian insurgents, whether secular or jihadists. To acquire control over the territory, especially key infrastructure and transport hubs, Russia will at some point also need to deploy ground forces. Over the years, Syrian President Al-Assad’s army has proved incapable of eradicating the insurgents and has for some time been on the defense. It has been largely dependent on support from Moscow and Teheran and pro-Iranian armed groups such as Hezbollah. Having deployed its military to Syria, Moscow will find it increasingly difficult to withdraw from the war. If or when necessary, it will have to increase its support for the al-Assad regime to ensure its survival. A failure to do so would be regarded by many Russians as a matter of national humiliation – and as Putin’s personal fiasco.”

Difficult to imagine what life would have been like had she not been white

The girl is not all here. But, given her upper-middle-class, liberal Democrat, progressive background, her mental state is understandable. I feel sad for her. And just a little pissed.

(It is difficult for me to imagine what life would have been like had I been born a dolphin.)

This is one of those ‘It gets even better’ stories

“Working class” activist a one-percenter.

“By Evan Lips

“BOSTON – Northeastern University undergraduate Keely Mullen, the social-justice activist who spearheaded a series of marches Wednesday as part of a movement demanding free public college education, cancellation of student debt and a $15 minimum wage for all campus workers, told Fox News in an interview that “America’s 1 percent” should fund the students’ demands.

“Mullen’s online profile at Shiftgig says she graduated from Francis W. Parker High School in Chicago. According to the Francis W. Parker School website, it offers kindergarten through 12th grade classes for which tuition tops out at $34,560.

“Assessor records show that Mullen’s family has a home on West Wabansia Avenue in Chicago’s north side that carries a value of $989,990. According to BlockShopper, the student’s father, Steven Mullen, paid a little more than $1 million for the home in 2005.”

Although she told Cavuto her family was working class, “Mullen previously described her family as ‘a white, upper middle class family’ for the ‘Privilege Project.’" – Renee Nal.

(Most early links said Cavuto “embarrassed” Mullen or “educated” the young woman, but those words are not accurate. She does not show the slightest embarrassment in the video, and tells Cavuto “You’re wrong” and “I don’t believe you” when he backs a statement with facts.)

Friday, November 13, 2015

Who’s going to pay for your free educayshun?

The 1 percent “hoarding all the wealth.”

Count the replies that begin, “Oh, yeah, absolutely. I mean, …”

“Keely Mullen is a national organizer for #MillionStudentMarch, a movement that demands ‘tuition-free public college, cancellation of all student debt, and a $15 minimum wage for all campus workers’ in response to the crisis caused by rapacious corporate education.

“’#MillionStudentMarch is a movement for a more equitable and fair system of education as opposed to the really corporate model we have right now,’ Mullen said.

“Mullen is a graduate of the prestigious Francis W. Parker School and political science student at Northeastern University, according to her LinkedIn profile.

“Cavuto asked how this agenda would be financed.

“’Great question, I mean, you know, so—I’m not sure if you’re talking about a national level or per school?’ Mullen said.

“When pressed, Mullen said that the top one percent of earners needed to pay tax rates upwards of 90 percent, a rate 10 percentage points higher than that proposed by socialist Thomas Piketty. Mullen said it was worth it.

“’I live in a world and I see a system around me where there is a population that is doing nothing to contribute to the progression of society,’ Mullen said …”

The video is hilarious and sad.

We don’t need no educayshun*

Leave those kids alone.*

Link at

*Pink Floyd, 1979.

It’s a generational thing, the end of education as we know it. This time around, though, the end seems much nearer.

Sixty-plus years ago, modern education was ruined with ending Latin and Greek studies in the schools. Funny thing, my parents’ and grandparents’ schools did not offer any dead language studies.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Thieves and bigger thieves

“The reason conservatives hate evolution so much is they have seen too many of their guys evolve into liberals as soon as they hit Washington.

“One of the things I find baffling about so many Republican voters is that they can’t seem to learn this lesson. They pour their heart into the party only to have the party crap all over them.”

(I don’t “hate evolution,” it’s just that its cardinals, bishops and lay persons are so close-minded.)


On range, firing

Syrian army.

The ZSU shows up around 3:10.

Syrian rebels.

Back into field, fire four rounds, pull forward and clear stoppage, fire four rounds, repeat.

The dude with his “Allah Akbar.” Every time I hear that, I want to put a bullet in the speaker’s head.

Dream failure

Woke up this morning after being thrown out of an Army NCO school for failure to meet standards. It was the third time in about two months. As with the other times, the HMFIC would not hear my explanation why I failed to meet standards. Also as with the other two times, I do not know which standards I failed to meet.

When it really happened 26 years ago (Advanced NCO Course, Fort Benning, Ga.), I knew the reason – I failed to complete the night land navigation course in the prescribed time, third attempt. I was 10 minutes over standard.

Army NCO schools are pass/fail. There is no box to check for “Failed to meet standards in only one area, so we’re going to give the NCO a completion certificate.”

I had a 92 academic score, and somewhere among the 120 other students someone with a 70 academic rating got a certificate. I understand. The Army sets standards, and it cannot bend or waive standards because of mental and/or physical disabilities. Not yet, anyway.

I haven't figured out how to edit the About Me stuff ...

... so here it is as a post.

I'm supposed to say something here. It's all on my first post, but here goes: Retired Army sergeant (including Active Guard/Reserve), infantry mostly; some military intelligence, armored cavalry and flight operations. 11th Armored Cavalry in Vietnam. Married to Priscilla on Aug. 2, 1972. She is a retired Girl Scout. Three children -- Michael, retired Army aviation platoon sergeant, two Iraq tours with 4th Infantry Division, two Afghanistan, one with 4th ID, second with 1st Armored Division; Kathleen, retired Air Force officer, RC-135 navigator, five deployments to a desert location we're not supposed to identify; and Casey, two Iraq tours with 3d Stryker Brigade, 2d Infantry Division, drill sergeant for three years at Fort Benning, now with an infantry battalion at Benning. More me: BS journalism. Worked for five daily newspapers in Texas, fired by three, so I must have done something right. Fifth generation Texan, living in Florida until the final trip home.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Wear this sign around your neck …

… printed in block letters, your choice of colors:


More of those me/me/me things:

I’m afraid all of the
‘I’m on my period’
Whispers will cause
Everyones cycle to
Sync and we will live
In a world where all
Women are on their
Period at the same

And you are worried
About zombies?


I just wish I could release
Myself from this
Relationship. It’s not love if
He hits you it just isn’t. It
Happens every day and I
Can’t take it I want out
But every time I try to
Leave it gets worse. I am
Such an idiot.

(Note to above woman: Shoot
The SOB.)


I’m so done.. I’m really not a
People person … But I
Honestly try to be nice to
Everyone… Even when they
Talk bad about me. So yeah
I’m done. I’m done trying to
Make everyone happy.

Palestinian terror not major issue of Union for Reform Judaism

“The Union for Reform Judaism, this nation’s largest Jewish group comprising 1.5 million members, issued a major statement at its annual conference this week. Was it a renewed dedication to helping Jewish students combat the stigma and fear of being pro-Israel on campus? Was it a resolve to join with other anti-discrimination groups to combat the anti-Semitism that results in physical violence as well as intimidation by harassment? Was it a resolution to organize its congregants to send moral support to its brothers and sisters who are being murdered in Israel? Not exacty. Instead, Rabbi Rick Jacobs, the president of the URJ, jumped trendily onto the LGBT bandwagon, pledging to reach out to transgenders, refer to them by their pronouns of choice and alter the wording of prayers to make them gender neutral. How’s this for improving the Psalm of David: ‘ The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. Ne maketh me lie down in green pastures; Ve leadeth me beside still waters. Ze restoreth my soul.”

(Eighty years ago: That guy, Hitler? Don’t worry your mind about him.)

It’s a good thing she is wise, ‘cause she ain’t too smart.

“I mean most of the common law rights, like property rights are given to you by statute. They are not given to you by the common law.” – U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

(It’s called H-I-S-T-O-R-Y.)

Monday, November 9, 2015

‘ICC Prosecutors Allege U.S.-Trained Georgian Units Committed War Crimes’

In August 2008, an International Criminal Court prosecutor says, small units of the Georgian army attacked Russian army units in South Ossetia after the Russo-Georgia war was officially over. Between 2012 and 2015, soldiers from those Georgian units “took part in 35 American training classes.” Therefore, says, the US is complicit, and the complaint “is forcing the U.S. to answer some awkward questions about their training of the Georgian military..”

So … By some grand logic, the U.S. is guilty for actions taken by the Georgian army four years before the training.

Two male ‘parents’ to daycare workers: Call her John; she is a boy

Two workers fired for refusing to accede to homosexual agenda.

Link from


Saturday, November 7, 2015

‘I am very, very tired.’

19-year-old Ukrainian soldier in village of Pisky, where war continues, despite official cease fire.

Another soldier: “You have no second chance here.”

(Seldom are soldiers as angry as portrayed in movies. Mostly, soldiers are tired. You can get angry at the enemy for forcing you to dive into mud or dirt or when his fire interrupts your meal. Eating is a major part of a soldier’s day, especially the evening meal, when maybe you have a chance to wash your face and hands before eating, at the least using canteen water to wash your hands. Interruption of the evening meal brings a special kind of anger, but it lasts only as long as the interruption.)

Friday, November 6, 2015

My, how we have grown

The 1876 Boston Red Caps’ roster contained 17 players. The tallest player was Foghorn Bradley, 6’. The other players ranged from 5’7” to 5’10 ½”.

Through the 19th and early 20th centuries, major league baseball players height averaged around 5’8”.

The average height of a Union Civil War soldier was 5’8”. Average height of a World War I American soldier was 5’8”.

In 1554, the British warship Mary Rose sank off Spithead. The ship was raised in 1982. Studies of recovered remains shows average height of crew members was around 5’7”.

Archers, though, presented a different story.

“They were 6ft 2in or 6ft 3in, and strapping individuals,” Mr Owen said.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Stupid teens

But I repeat myself.

“The Cañon City football team will forfeit their next game after district officials discovered that a number of students took nude and partially clothed photos of themselves and sent them to classmates, according to a news release from the school district. The news release says that a tip to Safe2Tell on November 2nd resulted in an investigation by law enforcement into the photos. The news release didn't specify whether the football players were the ones taking or exchanging the photos.

“The district says that the number of football players involved was high enough that the coaches and administrators decided to cancel Saturday's football game against Discovery Canyon.

"’We concluded it was impossible to safely field an entire team representative of the personal qualities and characteristics that truly represent the history of the Cañon City High School football program,’ the news release said.

“The investigation has been turned over to the Cañon City Police Department. Police will be focusing on determining whether adults were involved or if any of the photos were coerced.”

I’m having a difficult time lining up ideas of sending nude pix = forfeiture of a football game.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

M42 Duster

With two 40mm Bofors antiaircraft guns, the M42 Duster was a good machine for base camp/fire support base defense and for fire support in convoys.

When the Army decided it needed a fire support vehicle in Vietnam, someone recommended the Duster. Problem was, there were none in Active Duty units. So, the Army borrowed Dusters from the Army National Guard.

In early 1967, a Duster platoon was at a small fire base in Tay Ninh Province, where Air Cav Troop’s gunships and slicks operated during daylight. One Duster set up right next to Aero Rifle Platoon’s part of the perimeter. The vehicle was older than anything else around.

One night the nearby Duster opened up, firing into the treeline about 300 meters away. The tracers seemed to change colors going into the night – red to white to green. It was one of those things civilians would pay money to see.

Wikipedia says “… the Duster's high ground clearance and excellent suspension-system design gave it an ability to withstand land mine explosions with minimal crew casualties.”

Whoever wrote that part about withstanding mine explosions with minimal crew casualties should have seen the blackened steel mass hauled into Lai Khe in the spring of 1967. The remains were recognizable as a Duster, but a Duster that had been ripped open at the bottom center, a two-foot hole that bent the deck into the crew area. I don’t think anyone could have survived the blast. Maybe the driver.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Jay Leno one night …

… had a newspaper ad for a “Saddle Light dish.”

Some almost as good.

A State Sale. (For broke states, maybe not a bad idea.)

Pop Tards.

More fun less taxis. (Uber fan?)

Farwood for sale. (The trees were a long way off.)

Our teachers make a diffarance.

Respect Are Country Speak English.

Unions Our My Cup of Tea. (Should have met with the English one.)

Sorry Their Are No Shakes Their Are Ice Cream And Sundaes.

Shoplifters Will Be Prostituted. (Whatever pays the fine.)

Women in Combat Arms part of dangerous American culture change

(Probably not all that much Hope, though. Only Change.)

“Early this year I talked to another military buddy who had just left the Pentagon. His comments were even more troubling. ‘I used to think the Pentagon was divorced from the reality of the combat arms side of the military- that it was so out of touch with the average infantryman that it made me sick to work there,’ he let on. ‘But that was when I first got there,’ he continued. ‘Today it is times a hundred. The advocates of the women in combat arms are basically part of a larger effort to change the military culture- which they call a “rape culture”- and these folks are really linked close to the wider effort to change American culture.’”

Monday, November 2, 2015

When the need to move was great

Looking at ancestors and considering the times in which they lived shows some families have a need to move.

In the 1850 federal census, Great-great Grandfather Jeremiah Ward lived in Fannin County Texas. He was born in 1788 in South Carolina. His wife, Nancy Ward, was born in 1806 in Kentucky. Their oldest child, Jeremiah Jr., was born in 1832 in Illinois. Son Lewis, 16, was born in Missouri. Their other children -- Andrew J., 12; Ellen and Sarah, 9; Amanda, 7; James, 5; and John, 3, were born in Texas.

Track that route on a map – South Carolina to Kentucky to Illinois to Missouri to Texas – in the 1820s and 1830s, by horse and wagon and on foot … That equals several hundreds of miles, the crossing of rivers and making one’s way through forests and across plains.

Someone who thinks she is thoughtful and funny but only misses the point …

… and should research things before making guesses.

“The biblical account of Noah’s Ark and the Flood is perhaps the most implausible story for fundamentalists to defend. Where, for example, while loading his ark, did Noah find penguins and polar bears in Palestine?” – Judith Hayes

First, Palestine did not exist until Romans gave the area the name Philistia.

Second, the bible does not say where Noah was born or where he built the ark or where the animals were loaded.

All I could find on Judith Hayes is, GOOGLE says she is a “celebrity atheist.” From a few sentences in links, I gather she revels in her disbelief.

A Shakespearean motel?

I thought the name -- As You Like It Motel – a statement of, well, whatever one’s hopeful rendezvous. But it is Shakespearean, after a fashion, located two kilometers from the Stratford Shakespearean Festival. I decline to link the site, free advertising and all. Listed price is $1.199, 900.

A Midsummer Night's Dream also could be a motel for one's hopes.

Meanwhile, in South Caucasus …

29 October – “Armenia violates ceasefire with Azerbaijan over 90 times.”

30 October – “More Armenian ceasefire violations, says Azerbaijan’s defense ministry.”

1 November – “Armenia violates ceasefire with Azerbaijan over 100 times.”

2 November – “Armenia violates ceasefire with Azerbaijan 95 times.”

Just today’s violation: “Armenian armed forces have broken the ceasefire with Azerbaijan 94 times in various parts of the contact line between Azerbaijani and Armenian armies in the last 24 hours, Azerbaijani defense ministry said Nov. 2.”

The defense ministry said Armenian forces fired into “Qazakh and Gadabay districts, as well as Aghdam village of Azerbaijani Tovuz district.

“Azerbaijani positions also underwent fire from the positions located near the villages of Talish, Tapqaraqoyunlu, Gulustan of Goranboy district, Chileburt, Yarimja, Chayli and Gekarkh of Terter, Javakhirli, Kengerli, Sarijali, Shuraabad, Merzili, Novruzlu, Shikhlar, Garagashli, Bash Gervend of Aghdam, Kuropatkino of Khojavend, Horadiz, Garakhanbeyli, Gorgan of Fizuli and Mehdili of Jabrayil district.

“Another ceasefire violation came from the positions located on the nameless heights of Goygol, Khojavend, Fizuli and Jabrayil districts.”

The site has these ceasefire violations every day. The violations seem to be an accusatory number of rounds fired from Armenia into the disputed area.

In retaliation, or defense, “Azerbaijani armed forces carried out 95 strikes on enemy positions.”

Sunday, November 1, 2015

What happens when there is no Daddy

I don’t mean a Baby Daddy. A Baby Daddy is nothing but a sperm donor and maybe someone a mother can point to with pride or, disapproval, depending on the donor’s creds.

A Daddy is a man who is married to the mother, who lives with the mother and their children. Without a husband, but with a son, the happening is the mother wishes she had a daughter. So, she makes her son into a princess.

“I pictured Oct. 31: my handsome, sturdy brown-skinned son in a flowing wig and poofy dress, tiara sparkling atop his head. I saw us trick-or-treating in our New Jersey suburb, going from one colonial to the next, our neighbors asking ‘And what are you, uh, little girl?’ as they dropped candy in his bag after a curious glance at me.”

The last part of the sentence tells it all – A woman using her son as a prop on the stage of queer.

Yesterday at the beach …

… a woman in Muslim garb was taking pictures of signs and approaches from the ocean. I think she was reconnoitering for invasion.

Japanese Panzerfaust 1945

And a bunch of other weird explody things.

She are?

As posted:

Different girls have
different flavors. One
girl I are out tasted like