Saturday, November 30, 2013

The End of Movember

(C) Finntann

Western Hero ~ Western Mustache

Moustache + November = Movember

Started in Australia in 1999 Movember seeks to raise awareness of issues such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and other men's health issues. To increase awareness and provide a visual cue, Movember as you might have guessed, involves growing a mustache in November.  So far Movember has spread throughout Australia, South Africa, Europe and North America. 

In 2011 Movember merged with the UK based Tacheback (Cashback + Moustache), a charitable event to raise money for the Everyman Campaign a UK male cancer fundraiser.  Movember's US partners are The Prostate Cancer Foundation and LIVESTRONG.


Friday, November 29, 2013

Women and Men

As some of you know, I semi-retired from blogging to pursue fiction writing.  I have learned much about the craft of storytelling in the past two years, and unfortunately, it was after I wrote my stories, so I have been busy revisiting them.  I am at the tail end of rewriting my first novel, which has been a long time in the making.  After putting that to bed, I have a trio of novellas to edit, and then I plan on converting another novella into a full-length novel.

I do a lot of reading about writing, and in my meanderings, I came across a funny piece of wisdom written by a professional writer named Chuck Wendig.  This is good for various reasons, but principally because it states a truth in a novel and entertaining way.  I also admire how he avoided using vulgar terms.

Ever told someone to "grow a pair?"  After reading this excerpt from Chuck Wendig's talk on overcoming the fear of failure, you'll never hear the phrase in the same way again:
You: You’re saying I should grow a pair of balls and get it done.

Me: Balls are actually notoriously weak, far as parts of the body go. I mean, I could catch a wiffle ball in the crotch and double over in misery. The testicles are very sensitive and about as strong as a couple of raw quail eggs rolling around in a set of fishnet stockings. You wanna be hardcore, dang, grow a vagina. Those things are built Ford tough, man. The vagina is like the Incredible Hulk of the human form. It does all the heavy lifting. You ever see a woman give birth to a child? You see that, you’re like, “That thing could lift a burning car if it had to.” If anything, the entire scope of masculine history has been an epic attempt at trying to convince the world that the vagina is tissue paper and our balls are titanium. It’s a huge and ugly ruse.
Chuck Wendig, Terrible Minds

Thursday, November 28, 2013

A Simple Thanksgiving Hymn

Give Thanks

This Thanksgiving, ask yourself not only what you give thanks for, but who you give thanks to.

I was going to disallow commenting on this post, but I'll trust you to remain civil and set aside your differences on this day.  Please don't prove me wrong.


From the authors and moderators here at Western Hero.


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Vampires on the Potomac

Three Related Stories...

Two Americas: Now more than Ever
The income gap in America has been widening for decades and the modest three-year recovery did little to change that, according to new Census data.

The new data suggest that despite modest recoveries in many states, the middle class has been shrinking while households have been added in the lowest and highest income brackets. In many states and nationally, the highest income brackets saw more growth than the lowest, but households in the middle brackets continued to decline. (WaPo)
From one Branch of Government to Another
Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner will join the private equity firm Warburg Pincus. [...]

Geithner becomes the latest former administration official to head to a private equity firm, a common practice through many administrations. (The Hill)
D.C.: 1%'er Capital
The avalanche of cash that made Washington rich in the last decade has transformed the culture of a once staid capital and created a new wave of well-heeled insiders. [...]

During the past decade, the region added 21,000 households in the nation's top 1 percent. No other metro area came close.

The share of money the government spent on weapons and other hardware shrank as service contracts nearly tripled in value. At the peak in 2010, companies based in Rep. James Moran's congressional district in Northern Virginia reaped $43 billion in federal contracts — roughly as much as the state of Texas.

At the same time, big companies realized that a few million spent shaping legislation could produce windfall profits. They nearly doubled the cash they poured into the capital (StL Today)
Yet, despite all those 'entrepreneurs' and super-smart educated parasites attaching themselves to government's inner court, they can't even design a website...

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Government Unchained

From the New York Times...

Congress, Courts Weigh Resraints on NSA Spying

The intensifying push against the N.S.A. on both the legal and legislative fronts reflected new pressure being put on the extensive surveillance effort in the wake of revelations by the former N.S.A. contractor Edward J. Snowden...

Members of both parties are making a push for laws that would rein in N.S.A. data collection programs... (NY Times)

Question: How would they know the NSA is complying?

Monday, November 25, 2013


"It's a Macho Thing"

The male victim was riding his bike along the 900 block of Catherine Street in the Bella Vista section of the city just before 8 p.m. on Friday when he was randomly punched by a group of teens,  police said.  After being hit, police say the cyclist asked the group -- made up of five teen boys and three teen girls -- why they hit him. Without answering, the group then continued beating the man.  Story here

It's Twice in the Chest, not Twice in the Ass

Marvell Weaver, 17, was playing a variation of "knockout," a brutal and senseless game in which an assailant sucker punches an unsuspecting person with the intention of knocking him unconscious with one blow. The difference was that Weaver decided to attack his victim with a stun gun.  Weaver approached the victim and turned, pressing the stun gun into the victim's side repeatedly. The weapon misfired, and Weaver turned to flee.  The victim thought he had been stabbed, drew his weapon and fired two shots, striking Weaver in the buttocks. Story here

5 Deaths Attributed to "Knockout" Game

At least 5 deaths have been attributed to the "knockout" game in New Jersey, New York, Minnesota, Missouri, and Massachusetts.  Undoubtedly there have been more that weren't recognized as such.  Another death was attributed to the game, called "Bombing" in England, in Manchester.  

I'd Call Them Animals, but...

It would be an insult to animals everywhere.  I have zero tolerance or compassion for this depraved and sociopathic behavior.  In Syracuse, a man exiting a grocery store was attacked and later died... the vermin that killed him got 18 months for manslaughter.  I say...

Hang Them from the Frigging Lamposts!  

Just for the Fun of it though.


Sunday, November 24, 2013


The American people want less partisanship in this town, but everyone in this chamber knows that if the majority chooses to end the filibuster, if they choose to change the rules and put an end to democratic debate, then the fighting, the bitterness, and the gridlock will only get worse. ~ Barack Obama 4/13/05

Isn’t what is really going on here that the majority does not want to hear what others have to say, even if it is the truth? Senator Moynihan, my good friend who I served with for years, said: You are entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts. The nuclear option abandons America’s sense of fair play. It is the one thing this country stands for: Not tilting the playing field on the side of those who control and own the field. I say to my friends on the Republican side: You may own the field right now, but you won’t own it forever. I pray God when the Democrats take back control, we don’t make the kind of naked power grab you are doing. But I am afraid you will teach my new colleagues the wrong lessons.

For 200 years we’ve had the right to extended debate. It’s not some procedural gimmick. It’s within the vision of the founding fathers of our country. They did it; we didn’t do it. They established a government so that no one person and no single party could have total control. Some in this chamber want to throw out 214 years of Senate history in the quest for absolute power. They want to do away with Mr. Smith, as depicted in that great movie, being able to come to Washington. They want to do away with the filibuster. They think they’re wiser than our founding fathers. I doubt that that’s true.

So this President has come to the majority in the Senate and basically said: Change the rules. Do it the way I want it done. And I guess there were not very many voices on the other side of the aisle that acted the way previous generations of Senators have acted and said: Mr. President, we are with you. We support you. But that is a bridge too far. We cannot go there. You have to restrain yourself, Mr. President. We have confirmed 95 percent of your nominees. And if you cannot get 60 votes for a nominee, maybe you should think about who you are sending to us to be confirmed because for a lifetime appointment, 60 votes, bringing together a consensus of Senators from all regions of the country, who look at the same record and draw the same conclusion, means that perhaps that nominee should not be on the Federal bench.

The Full Monty: A Montage of Hypocrites



In 2005 Democrats warned then Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist that if he used the "nuclear option" they would shut down the Senate and prevent consideration of all routine and legislative Senate business. Sounds like a plan!  It's not the act itself, eliminating the filibuster, that I find most repugnant, but the hypocrisy and duplicity of the players. The Republicans got theirs with the elimination of the filibuster, now it's time for the Democrats to get theirs.


Saturday, November 23, 2013

Friday, November 22, 2013


The Nuclear Option

Honestly, I'm not that concerned.  The changes made while contrary to precedence are within the purview of the Senate making its own rules.  The five constitutional supermajority requirements stills stand:

1. Overriding Presidential Vetoes
2. Removing Federal Officers
3. Ratifying Treaties
4. Removing Members
5. Proposing Constitutional Amendments

Goose, meet Gander, Gander, Goose.

Some things democrats ought to consider:

Conservative US Court of Appeals nominees filibustered by Democrats.  Now you might think by the length of this list that the list is comprehensive, it isn't, it only includes nominees from Bush I and Bush II.

Miguel Estrada, Priscilla Owen, Charles Pickering, Carolyn Kuhl, David McKeage, Henry Saad, Richard Griffin, William Pryor, William Meyers, Janice Brown, Thomas Griffith, Terrence Boyle, William Haynes, Michael Wallace, Peter Keisler, Robert Conrad, Steve Matthews, Glen Conrad, William E Smith, Debra Ann Livingston, Loretta Preska, Shalom Stone, Gene Pratter, Paul Diamond, Claude Allen, Rod Rosenstein, Robert Conrad, Susan Neilson, Stephen Murphy, Jeffrey Sutton, Deborah Cook, Philip Simon, Randy Smith, James Payne, Jerome Holmes, William Steele, John Roberts, Brett Kavanaugh.

Conservative District Court Nominees filibustered by Democrats.

Lincoln Almond, Mary Donahue, Thomas Marcelle, Carolyn Short, Colm Connolly, Thomas Farr, David Novak, William Powell, David Dugas, J. Richard Barry, Daniel Ryan, Gustavus Puryear, John Tharp, Timothy Dugan, J Mac Davis, James Rogan, Fredrick Rohlfing, Marco Hernandez, Gregory Goldberg, Richard Honaker, William Jung, Jeffrey Rosen, Michael O'Neill.

Harry Reid's Rules

Under the new Senate rules, all of these conservatives would have been judges.

What goes around, comes around.  Enjoy!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Skinny Turkeys

Photo: Yathin S Krishnappa

Butterball, We have a problem.

Butterball it seems, has as shortage of fresh turkeys at or over 16lbs.  Frozen birds, which are slaughtered earlier in the year, apparently are unaffected.  Butterball also has no idea why.

Other producers and purchasers such as Cargill and Whole Foods have reported no such problems.

Wild Turkey Unaffected

Photo: Craig L Duncan

Thanksgiving Approaches

With the shortage of large fresh birds to feast upon, we offer you this recipe that predates our traditional Thanksgiving.  Served on Forefather's Day (The anniversary of the Mayflower landing), December 21st 1769

1 quart “large white beans (not the pea beans)” (or 6 one-pound cans of beans)

6 quarts white hominy (12 16-ounce cans)

6-8 pounds corned beef

1 pound lean salt pork

4-6 pound fowl

1 “large white French turnip” (or four smaller purple-top turnips)

8-10 medium potatoes

1.  Soak beans overnight in cold water. If using canned beans, go on to Step 4.

2.  In the morning, drain the beans and bring to a boil in fresh water to cover.

3.  When beans have boiled a few minutes, pour off the water, and again bring them to a boil in water about an inch over the beans. Let simmer until beans are soft enough to mash to a pulp.

4.  About four hours before the stew is to be served, put corned beef and salt pork on to boil in a lot of water in another large kettle.

5.  Two hours before dinner time, put the beans, mashed to a pulp, and the hulled corn [hominy] into another kettle, with some of the fat from the meat in the bottom to keep them from sticking. Take out enough of the liquor from the meat to cover the corn and beans, and let them simmer where they will not burn.

6.  Clean and truss the chicken as for boiling, and put it with the meat about an hour or a quarter before dinner time.

7.  Peel the turnip and cut into inch-thick slices, add it to the meat pot about an hour before serving.

8.  Peel and sliced the potatoes, and add them to the meat pot about half an hour later.

9.  Remove the chicken as soon as it is tender (or a meat thermometer in the thigh indicates 170 degrees.)

10.  The chicken was served from a platter, with another platter for the meats and vegetables. The beans and corn were served from a soup tureen, so succotash was both a thick soup, and a boiled dinner


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Greenies Fool With Mother Nature

It's not enough for the leftwing Gaia-worshipers to starve people to feed cars via biofuels programs, now they are destroying the planet by encouraging farmers to tear up virgin prairie.
What the green-energy program has made profitable, however, is far from green. A policy intended to reduce global warming is encouraging a farming practice that actually could worsen it.

That's because plowing into untouched grassland releases carbon dioxide that has been naturally locked in the soil. It also increases erosion and requires farmers to use fertilizers and other industrial chemicals. In turn, that destroys native plants and wipes out wildlife habitats.

It appeared so damaging that scientists warned that America's corn-for-ethanol policy would fail as an anti-global warming strategy if too many farmers plowed over virgin land. (
Starving people to feed cars is immoral, as is the destruction of our lands and habitats for crazy statist schemes. The federal government eggs this on with billions in subsidies to "green" industries.  Where are the "Not in My Name!" People?

See also: Renewable Energy Sources Receive 25 Times More in Taxpayer Subsidies

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A Class Act

Photo: David Shankbone

Please Stop Embarrassing Mr. Weinstein

“This is the only country in the world where we don’t have a health-care,(Sic)”  “Countries embarrass us around the world — this is the only country in the world where we don’t have a gun law.”  “Obama’s not embarrassing — the country’s embarrassing,”

Video Here

Well Mr. Weinstein, the door's open.  Don't let it hit you on the ass on the way out.

P.S The scruff works on someone like George Clooney, you however look like you slept in the back alley behind a bar. Two words of advice: Bic, Tailor.   

An even Classier Act



Martin Bashir, in a long, rambling and roundabout way by means of a story about Thomas Thistlewood (BRITISH Overseer) in Jamaica (BRITISH Slave Colony) stated on national television that Sarah Palin deserved to have someone defecate and urinate in her mouth.  Well Sir, aside from being an uncouth cretin, you are also British and perhaps a more appropriate target.  It might also be an appropriate time to consider revoking this yahoo's work visa.

NO WAIT!  I got it... no American wants the job, it is after all MSNBC.

I must add however that Mr. Bashir was at least man enough to apologize.  American journalists with the need to apologize could learn a valuable lesson from Mr. Bashir.

P.S Could you give Harvey Weinstein some fashion tips?

Monday, November 18, 2013

A Bridge Too Far

"If I like your plan, you can keep it"
Uh Oh! This in the wake of the government's dismal response to Hurricane Sandy and now the Titanical rollout of Obamacare.
A new Quinnipiac University poll this week found for the first time that a majority of Americans — 52 percent — say Obama is not honest or trustworthy. (WaPo)
To be fair to President Obama, it is the entire government that is not honest or trustworthy. Honesty and trustworthyness are virtues. Impersonal, soulless organizations cannot by definition possess them. There can be honest and virtuous individuals, but in any bureaucracy, the drones owe allegiance to the hive, not to you or me.
A Stone Tablet Government in an iPad Era

Which brings me to my next point. We are a large, diverse population. As Scott Rasmussen recently wrote, A One-Size-Fits-All Government Cannot Survive in the iPad Era.  (RCP)
Arrogance and Incompetence: A Dangerous Combination

Anyone who sets out to construct such a central planning monstrosity as Obamacare is either naive or power-mad. In this case, I think it's a dangerous combination of both.
“Why can’t we call people who know how to do these things, who do it for corporate America, and say, ‘We have a website, fix it,’” said Rep. José E. Serrano, D-N.Y. “Maybe I’m being simplistic, but can’t we call Bill Gates up and say, ‘Take care of this?’ Or go to a college dorm and say, ‘You guys, you invented Yahoo, can you take care of this?’ (Rollcall)
Indeed. The Socialist from New York's plaint could be better stated thusly:

Why can't government bureaucrats and shyster politicians who know nothing about these things keep their grubby dick skinners off of our lives, and leave it to the experts, the people?

This is Progressivism's Bridge Too Far.


Sunday, November 17, 2013


Photo by: cyanocorax


NO! Not that kind... this kind:




Earworms are those pesky songs that get stuck inside your head, repeating themselves over and over again.

Boston University defines an earworm as:   “the inability to dislodge a song and prevent it from repeating itself in one’s head." and calls the effect a "phonological loops" occurring in the primary auditory cortex as shown below:

Scientific American conducted a poll in which Disney's It's a small world after all was the obvious winner.  Now It's a small world doesn't do anything for me, not even a hint of an echo... but don't you dare play 88 Lines About 44 Women by the Nails or I'm Gonna Be by the Proclaimers.

I would walk 500 miles and I would walk 500 more... DAMMIT!

Different songs seem to do it for different people, although there is a lot of commonality between us.  WebMD in their Top 10 list left number 1 as "Other, because everyone has his or her worst earworm." The rest of their list consisted of:

Chili's "Baby Back Ribs" jingle.
"Who Let the Dogs Out"
"We Will Rock You"
Kit-Kat candy-bar jingle ("Gimme a Break ...")
"Mission Impossible" theme
"Whoomp, There It Is"
"The Lion Sleeps Tonight"
"It's a Small World After All" 

We Must Find A Cure

Sadly, I have a coworker who is infested with earworms, just this past week he was caught whistling "Zippety-Do-Dah", "If I only had a brain", "Entry of the Gladiators", and "A Spoonful of Sugar".  Left to his own devices he his likely to start humming anything, but his repertoire leans  towards Warner Brothers cartoons and Disney children's movies.


Because I don't feel like talking about politics.  

What's in  your ear? 

Saturday, November 16, 2013


Following my post on the Pen American Center report on the influence of NSA surveillance on writers, I was looking for some music to post for today and stumbled across this from the Capital 4th, 2013, I hadn't heard it before so I decided to give it a listen:

Taken in context with current events, the words somehow seem hollow and empty, as if we were simply going through the motions without meaning.


I think we meant it when this was recorded:

 Do you feel freer now, 12 years later?

 As Free?

Friday, November 15, 2013

I assume everything I do electronically is subject to monitoring



NSA Surveillance Drives Writers to Self-Censor

Is the title of Pen American Center study and report examining the influence and side effects of revealed NSA surveillance.

The PEN American Center is the largest branch of PEN International, the world’s leading literary and human rights organization.

Some interesting findings about writers


28% have curtailed or avoided social media activities

24% have deliberately avoided certain topics in phone or email conversations

16% have deliberately avoided writing or speaking about certain topics

16% have refrained from conducting internet searches or visiting websites on topics that may be considered controversial or suspicious

13%  have take steps to disguise or cover their digital footprints

Read the whole report Here

Is This your America? Is This the America you want?

The findings of this survey and subsequent responses from PEN writers substantiate significant impingement on freedom of expression as a result of U.S. Government surveillance. While it may not be surprising that those who rely on free expression for their craft and livelihood feel greater unease about surveillance than most, the impact on the free flow of information should concern us all.


Thursday, November 14, 2013

"An Absolute Coup for Wall Street"

Here's a Damning indictment of Quantitative Easing (Printing Money), which was supposed to boost the economy and make more money available to loan out to the American people:
Despite the Fed's rhetoric, [the] program wasn't helping to make credit any more accessible for the average American. The banks were only issuing fewer and fewer loans. More insidiously, whatever credit they were extending wasn't getting much cheaper. QE may have been driving down the wholesale cost for banks to make loans, but Wall Street was pocketing most of the extra cash.

Trading for the first round of QE ended on March 31, 2010. The final results confirmed that, while there had been only trivial relief for Main Street, the U.S. central bank's bond purchases had been an absolute coup for Wall Street. The banks hadn't just benefited from the lower cost of making loans. They'd also enjoyed huge capital gains on the rising values of their securities holdings and fat commissions from brokering most of the Fed's QE transactions. Wall Street had experienced its most profitable year ever in 2009, and 2010 was starting off in much the same way.
So, who wrote this? A fiery, class-warrior marxist? A marijuana-fuelled OWS rabble rouser?

No. It was written by Andrew Huszar, a former Federal Reserve official who quarterbacked the Fed's 1.25 trillion bond purchases during the first Quantitative Easing.  Here's more, from the same article:
Having racked up hundreds of billions of dollars in opaque Fed subsidies, U.S. banks have seen their collective stock price triple since March 2009. The biggest ones have only become more of a cartel: 0.2% of them now control more than 70% of the U.S. bank assets.

As for the rest of America, good luck. Because QE was relentlessly pumping money into the financial markets during the past five years, it killed the urgency for Washington to confront a real crisis: that of a structurally unsound U.S. economy.
Despite these indisputable facts, partisan democrats still dutifully play the old game of "blue team good, red team bad," defending President Obama by crowing about how great the stock market is doing. Does anyone else find this absurd? I thought the Democrat party was for the people, and the GOP for the fat cats?

Don't blame President Obama. He's just faithfully carrying on previous Demican-Republicrat policies of taking care of DC's #1 political constituency: Wall Street.

H/T to Jim at Conservatives on Fire.  He blogged on this first.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A “More Governable” GOP

Liberals show us how incoherent, nut-filled thinking brings you to an intellectual cul-de-sac. Leftwing Ducky laughed the other day that Big Business had turned against the tea party.  I investigated, and he is right.  All quotes are from the article, Business Lobby Seeks a More "Governable" GOP
Even before Democrat Terry McAuliffe narrowly defeated Republican Ken Cuccinelli in the Virginia governor’s race, lobbyists representing the business community were rethinking their relationship with the GOP and planning to challenge conservative incumbents in next year’s primaries.

Their goal: to replace principled conservatives with candidates who will be more protective of Big Business interests. As U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue put it, his group will get involved in primary races to produce a “more governable Republican party.”
Why are committed leftists sneering at tea partiers who are fed up with government-sponsored crony crapitalism? Perhaps it’s because Big Biz has already bought a “more governable” (and more progressive) DC corporatocracy, and they don't want the GOP screwing it up.  The GOP may have been the party of the plutocracy 100 years ago, but now, both parties are bought and paid for, with the possible exceptions of Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.
Conservatives are ready to double down in their war against out-of-control-government spending and corporate welfare. All Americans -- including those in business -- should join the battle. A GOP "more governable" by special interests is not a vision of a great future; it’s the beginning of the end.
So Ducky’s on the side of big business, now? Actually, he’s not. He’s on the side of a corporatist Big Government that strolls through the neighborhood of our lives, rolling with its Big Business gangster cronies. If you are for Big Government, you are de facto for Big Business.  They are locked in an inseparable pornographic embrace, and both stand firmly against free market capitalism.
In the real world, however, entrenched corporate elites have always viewed conservatives with some trepidation. Now their lobbyists are readying for war against those who promote principles like limited government, free enterprise, and individual liberty. And liberals are cheering them on.
Conservatives are standing against Big Corporations and their crony crapitalism. If liberal democrats could grow a set and join us, we could fundamentally change the country.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Satan Claus

The voice of a generation:

"I was all for ObamaCare until I found out I was paying for it."
Another Obama Voter:

"Of course, I want people to have health care. I just didn't realize I would be the one who was going to pay for it personally."
I still think we are on the road to hell with a cinderblock mashing down the gas pedal, but if there is a chance at turning the car around, Obama and the Democrats have provided it with their unilateral, hyper-partisan, non-consensus, multibillion-dollar barbed-wire suppository up the collective wazoo known as Obamacare.

Paging Dr. Santayana!

Robert Tracinski lists 10 Lessons Learned from Obamacare, and what strikes me is that these are timeless lessons. Nothing new. Many are axiomatic, like “There is no such thing as a free lunch.”

Others lessons have been gleaned from the manifold disasters of socialism and various collectivist systems that ignored human nature, or worse, thought they could change it. Thanks to our progressive public school system, successive generations have not learned from such disasters, so people eagerly vote for social engineers with crackpot ideas.

A corollary lesson from Obamacare:
the more you are productive and self-supporting, the more likely you are to end up paying the freight for everyone else. 
Bureaucrats are not accountable to We The People
[Sebilius says] "I'm responsible" for its results--so long as she doesn't have to resign or suffer any actual personal consequences. This is a bureaucrat's conception of "accountability."
On Republican “Sabotage:”
You can use this story to blame the Republicans for "sabotaging" ObamaCare, if you like, but that misses the point. If the government cannot successfully build something when there is political opposition, then the government of a free society cannot build anything ever, because there is always political opposition.
The Law of Intended Consequences

Tracinksi reminds us of Hairy Reed’s famous quote:
"'What we've done with Obamacare is have a step in the right direction, but we're far from having something that's going to work forever,' Reid said.

"When then asked by panelist Steve Sebelius whether he meant ultimately the country would have to have a health care system that abandoned insurance as the means of accessing it, Reid said: 'Yes, yes. Absolutely, yes.'"
The Emperor has no Clothes

It's going to take king-sized bong-fulls of medical marijuana and barrels of denial for the true believers to continue ignoring their lying eyes and ears. I don’t delight in the plight of the progressive naïfs. I once believed in Santa Claus, and I remember my tears of a lost childhood when I found out the truth.

Monday, November 11, 2013

On the 11th Hour of the 11th Day of the 11th Month

As there seemed to have been some confusion here earlier over Veterans Day vs. Memorial Day, here is the History Channel's take on it:

Sunday, November 10, 2013

The End of Kindness

I am a libertarian, but I am not an anarchist.  I believe in human freedom, but I also support our constitutional government.  I recognize the protection government provides society, even as I criticize it for being overweening.  Life is full of contradictions. 

In the past, I have railed against government control of the internet, and I still predict that one day, no one will be able to do anything anonymously on it.  Even now, someone who knows what he is doing can find out who you really are, and track you down to your home. 

I predict the day will come when we all must biometrically establish our identity at the on-ramp to the Digital Superhighway.  Would this be a good thing?  Before answering, please read this article from The Verge:  The End of Kindness.

The article tells stories of three classes of man on woman internet abuse:

* Death and Rape Threats.  A male hacker repeatedly threatened a female software expert, revealed her address and social security number, and planted false prostitution stories of her as well as photoshopped pictures.  The incident drove the famous Java programmer and tech book writer off of the internet and into hiding, as thousands of misogynists followed the creep's attacks with those of their own.  

Attack by Criminal Proxy.  Angry ex-boyfriends and husbands who posted Craig's List ads in the name of their ex's asking for men to rape them, leading in many instances to home break-ins and rapes.

* Revenge Porn. Men who post nude photos of their ex-wives and girlfriends.

Big government types see this and recommend more big government.  The answer to this is for on-line communities to police themselves, but the evidence is overwhelming that this has not happened, and anyway, we live in a world where nothing is private anymore. 

This is the point where I should summarize and wrap it all up in an erudite and pithy conclusion, but I am unable.  I could state the obvious about personal responsibility and not giving others sensitive information or naked pictures of yourself.  I could also point our that it is not technology's fault when bad people use it to abuse others.  How about some threadbare platitudes about our sick society and how bad people are everywhere?

I've been sitting on this post for weeks.  I started it in a fever of righteous indignation at the predations these women suffered, but I have no conclusion.  Punish the guilty, shield the innocent, be smart and protect yourself, bla bla bla...

The End of Kindness

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Edie Brickell

If you're like me, you remember Edie Brickell from the 1988 album: Edie Brickell & New Bohemians; Shooting Rubber Bands at the Stars and the hit single What I Am.

I was surprised surfing the Billboard Charts to find her and Steve Martin at #2 on the Bluegrass Charts with the Album Love Has Come For You. That's Steve Martin on the Banjo.

Here is an interview with Steve Martin and Edie Brickell

Friday, November 8, 2013

House For All Sinners and Saints

The House For All Sinners & Saints

Is an Evangelical Lutheran Church in Denver Colorado, the "Pastrix" (a title she has adopted from those who don't think women should be pastors) is Nadia Bolz-Weber and her memoir Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & Saint is a New York Times bestseller.  With the liturgical calendar tattooed on one arm and Mary Magdalene from the St Alban's Psalter on the other, along with a mouth like a truck driver she is not your stereotypical  pastor.



Setting aside politics and theology if you can, for this isn't a post about either, what do you think of her presentation? Her Outreach? For wherever she seems to go she generates controversy and interest in religion. Her congregation spans all aspects of society from ex-felons to state legislators, and she has injected reality into what in many cases for many denominations, can be a stodgy institution.

While we may disagree on politics and theology, I like her and I like what she's doing to the point of, in atypical fashion, I watched the entire hour long interview with her on On Being

For the curious, some of her sermons can be found here:

Nadia Bolz-Weber

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Crack Open A Cold One

The Walking Dead

Twilight, True Blood, and the Walking Dead

Not to mention everything else from Frankenstein and Dracula to Night of the Living Dead and World War Z, and it seems the CDC.  We seem to have a rabid preoccupation with the undead.

AMC's season premiere of The Walking Dead drew 16.1 million viewers beating every other scripted show on TV and in the 18-49 demographic it beat the NFL Washington-Dallas game.

From Monster to Sex Symbol

Rolling Stone

HBO's defining series since the end of the Sopranos has been the eighth highest rated show on IMDb.  A show primarily about vampires, but with fairies and werewolves thrown in for good measure.  USA Today called it a blood-drenched Gothic Romance.

We do watch True Blood, and I have seen all the Twilight movies, but that is really more my wife's choice.  True Blood is tolerable, but I found the Twilight series rather juvenile, which I do believe is its intended audience.

Theories Abound

Anthropologists, Psychologists, Sociologists all study it and the theories range from latent necrophilia to our unending quest for immortality.

I have to admit, the wife and I also watch Walking Dead, although it is one of the few zombie shows/movies I've ever watched through, with the exception of the British comedic Shawn of the Dead.  I am not a fan of crude blood and gore horror, although Walking Dead seems to transcend that genre, despite all the blood and gore. 

For those who don't like zombies: Seven Reasons a Zombie Outbreak Would Quickly Fail

They're Everywhere

2012 saw 20 movie releases in the zombie genre, 11 in the vampire genre, and only 9 werewolf films... and three of those had vampires in them.

What do you think? What is our fascination with the undead?

I know, I should have posted this on Halloween, but it was the comments in my November 1st post that got me thinking about it.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Our Best and Brightest

Mickey Kaus, one of my favorite observers on the scene, had this to say about the Obamacare disaster:
The Obama administration is this close to being the object of one of the most vicious forms of condescension in the MSM arsenal: the Call for Wise Men. David Gergen almost gets there in this interview on NPR, and the night is young.
Kaus laments that there are few wise men left who have not been discredited...
Gergen ... too clichéd. Bill Clinton ... wouldn’t take the job anyway. [...] Al Gore has gotten too weird.
Finally, Kaus puts out a call to us, the great unwashed, to suggest wise men and women who should be summoned to help President Obama right his severely-listing ship.

My first thought: Is Doctor Kevorkian still around?

My favorite reader comment:
Ritchie The Riveter
The 300 million problem-solvers who should be handling it among themselves, instead of being subordinated to a small gaggle of alleged Best and Brightest.

Or to put it another way, the Call for Wise Men needs to really be the Call to give this problem back to the REALLY Wise Men and Women who have to live with the results ... and just make sure the way is clear for them to solve this problem, instead of the Best and Brightest trying to jam their socio-economic morality down our throats.
Who or what would you suggest?

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

All Vampires are not Young and Sexy

Vampires Need Fresh Blood

Why do America’s plutocrats and political overlords want Amnesty and a continuing stream of illegal immigrants? (All dressed up as “Immigration Reform,” of course)

Why go overseas to exploit cheap labor when its so much easier to do it right here in the good ol' U$ of A? By importing cheap labor and keeping our underclass just barely above water with government handouts, America's corporatocracy avoids the unpleasantness of bribing their way through byzantine third-word government bureaucracies in poor, corrupt foreign capitals.  Now, DC is the only byzantine, third-word, poor, corrupt government that must be bribed.  Those Ivy Leaguers sure are efficient!

Mark Krikorian, bête noir of the Open Border Stampedists, wrote an article in National Review detailing how America’s billionaires, modern-day robber barons all, and not a conservative in the bunch, are vampirically thirsting for more immigration. Vampires need fresh blood: The bloodsucking crapitalists thirst for cheap labor, and the government vote-buying Ponzi schemes disguised as ‘social programs’ need an ever increasing inflow of rubes.

Krikorian talks about a propaganda video the oligarchs funded...
there were some amusing bits: Al Cardenas, head of the American Conservative Union, said that we need immigration because our population is declining (in fact, even with zero immigration — zero — our population would continue to increase for generations, beyond which projections are meaningless). 

Also, Tony Massif, lobbyist for California agribusiness, said that if we don’t import more stoop labor from abroad, then we’ll have to import more food, meaning our enemies would “control our food supply.” (You know, because all that corn and wheat in the Midwest is being hand-harvested by Guatemalan peasants.) (
National Review)
This is about importing cheap labor to drive down wages. Liberals and labor unions used to call such workers scabs, but because they are undocumented Democrat party voters, it’s all good.

Assimilation? It was a progressive master stroke to mire such antiquated notions in the bog of cultural relativism by asking pensively, “What is an American?” Anyone foolish enough to answer was branded a racist by the Ministry of PC Public Opinion, and that was the end of that foolishness.

Immigrants are not bad people.  I am not one of those who think they come here to mooch off of us. I view them as the Darwinian heroes who have the courage and determination to pick up and make a better life for themselves. But our progressive, Democrat vote-buying nanny state turns these entrepreneurial people with a killer work ethic into typical, grievance-nursing, lazy Americans with their hands out. That is the part that sickens me. We have a burgeoning native-born underclass, dysfunctional and unemployable, yet we import more.

Soros, Zuckerberg, Pelosi and their fellow batwinged oligarchs, fanged plutocrats, and hog-snouted politicians live in their own worlds and don't have to deal with the cultural fallout going on in our working class neighborhoods.

Here is my favorite comment from the National Review article:
Nationalize the Billionaires!
(If you want to be socialist, put your money where your mouth is.)
Until we get off our knees and start despising the rich and powerful as the parasites they are, nothing will change.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Googligan’s Island

What’s up with those Google barges?

Maybe if we're lucky, the CIA will call in a drone strike and we can watch it on cable tv or our smart phones. Spy organizations are very jealous of one another.

Here were two of my favorite reader comments from the article I read about the Google Barges looming off our coasts like enemy warships:

It's "Gooligans Island" they're going to float their data base into international waters to avoid Taxes, Legal restrictions and the NSA. 
Its a huge Faraday Box. They know what is coming
My first thought was tax avoidance...

Those Silicon Valley Moguls are the new robber barons. They lavish millions in campaign donations to progressive candidates, but use their power and privilege to avoid paying progressivism’s prices. Typical liberal hypocrites. How many working class jobs have these millionaires created? Hint:  None, unless you consider peddling their useless crap from a shopping mall kiosk fulfilling work. They give us toys made in China to get us to hold still while they suck us dry.

Let’s state it simply, folks. Google is Evil, as is all of Silicon Valley. They don’t produce anything that benefits mankind, they provide scant middle class jobs, they spy on us, and they provide dictators the technology to quash dissent and tyrannize their people.


We’re already there. It’s the political class, the Hollywood elites and the rich and powerful on that spaceship/barge/gated community, with the rest of us stranded down below/grounded/locked out.

UPDATE: Mystery solved! Google is avoiding California’s crushing tax and regulatory burdens. Typical latte leftists. Talk the talk but won’t walk the walk.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Sexual Assaults on Campus

Emily Yoffee and Amanda Hess have two differing views on a too-common problem in the Twisted States of America:
“a young woman, sometimes only a girl, who goes to a party and ends up being raped.”
Emily Yoffe:
Let’s be totally clear: Perpetrators are the ones responsible for committing their crimes, and they should be brought to justice. But we are failing to let women know that when they render themselves defenseless, terrible things can be done to them.
Amanda Hess:
Rape is a societal problem, not a self-help issue. Parents can tell their own daughters not to get drunk, but even if those women follow instructions, it won’t keep other people’s daughters safe. It will just force campus rapists who rely on alcohol to execute their crimes to find other targets. As Yoffe notes, the research of David Lisak suggests that most rapes are committed by a small group of predators who claim a large number of victims. We can prevent the most rapes on campus by putting our efforts toward finding and punishing those perpetrators, not by warning their huge number of potential victims to skip out on parties.
I get what Amanda Hess is saying, but I see her argument as somewhat of a strawman. It’s not that universities refuse to prosecute rape. It is that often they go unreported. So on that front, I believe women should be encouraged to report it to the police asap, as well as seek medical attention where evidence can be collected. To help in this, if they are underage and were drinking, they should also be told ahead of time that any rule-breaking they were involved in incidental to the assault will be taken off the table.

Yoffee has a valid point:  All of us have a fundamental responsibility for our own safety and well-being. I have always loved to drink, but it was very seldom I got smashed when out in public, because I knew I was opening myself up to being a victim. I did let go more often in Germany, because the places I did get really wound up in were very safe and I was with my German friends. I would never do that in the third-world, which includes American cities.

So, what’s my solution to campus sexual assaults?
Since over 80% of them involve alcohol, I would make college much harder. College should be an intellectually-challenging experience with so much homework required that partiers will soon find themselves flunked out. If you can drink your way through it, it isn’t really that hard, which means a diploma isn’t all that valuable. As it stands now, for most disciplines, college is little more than a box checked and an expensive rite of passage.

Perhaps the bar should be low for rape, to the point where having sex with a drunk woman can get you charged. What this should ultimately do is push people who want to get laid away from drinking (I know, it’s counter-factual. I was young once).

I’ve already had this talk with my teenage son. You shouldn’t be having sex anyway, but most especially with a woman who has been drinking. It could easily become a life-changing mistake you regret for the rest of your life. That advice applies equally to both sexes.

For a more informed treatment of the issue, see Volokh - She Raped Him, Using Guilt and Arguing

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Spooky in 1929

Disney's Skeleton dance was voted as #18 out of 50 by professional animators.

Disney's Haunted House was also released in 1929.  Notice how much more rodent-like Mickey Mouse is as compared to today.

Friday, November 1, 2013


David Castor: Swedish Lutheran Church on All Hallows
The time period around October 31st and November 1st has been a  traditional holiday in western culture celebrated in many incarnations.  Samhain, Calan Gaeaf, Allantide, The Day of the Dead, All Hallows' Eve to name a few are all manifestations of the celebration, many predate Christianity.  All Saints' Day was celebrated in the medieval church on 13 May, closer to the similar Roman festival of Lemuria, it was moved to November 1st by decree of Louis the Pious in 835, although it was already widely celebrated in the Frankish Empire around that date. 

Tomas Castelazo,
Costumes were worn to disguise oneself from the vengeful dead, carved turnips with a candle inside to scare them off, food left on graves as gifts to the departed.  Common to all is remembrance of the dead and the belief that the curtain separating the living from the dead thins, or draws aside. Today, while many dress up in costume and carve jack'o'lanterns from the much larger, and presumably easier to carve pumpkins, outside of Latin culture today, few remember the dead.

Jakub Schikaneder - All Souls' Day