Friday, February 28, 2014


John Bauer - 1915


Those dark denizens of the internet really are horrible people.  

The research, conducted by Erin Buckels of the University of Manitoba and two colleagues, sought to directly investigate whether people who engage in trolling are characterized by personality traits that fall in the so-called Dark Tetrad: Machiavellianism (willingness to manipulate and deceive others), narcissism (egotism and self-obsession), psychopathy (the lack of remorse and empathy), and sadism (pleasure in the suffering of others).

Of all personality measures, sadism showed the most robust associations with trolling and, importantly, the relationship was specific to trolling behavior.

Science Direct

Administration vs. Legislation

We all know how annoying trolls can be and some in outrage or offense would like to see an end to internet anonymity.  Last year Huffington Post began requiring visitors to identify themselves by name, that is certainly within the prerogative of the owners and administrators of Huffington Post... their site, their rules. I may disagree with Arianna when she says:

"Freedom of expression is given to people who stand up for what they're saying and who are not hiding behind anonymity,"

 And may point to Thomas Paine publishing Common Sense as "written by an Englishman", but as I said, her site, her rules.

More dangerous are those that propose legislating away the possibility of internet anonymity.  First, internet anonymity is superficial at best, none of us have real anonymity.  Your ISP know who you are, leaving the proverbial trail of breadcrumbs straight to your door, back here behind the curtain at Western Hero, I have seen how easy it is to track a commenter back to his lair.   

Internet anonymity provides us not anonymity from our ISP or from the government, it provides us anonymity, for the most part, from each other.  While that anonymity can be abused it also provides a level of comfort or a relatively effective level of non-attribution.  

The best argument for anonymity I have heard is what I'll call the John Smith argument.  The John Smiths of the world are relatively safe, there are 46,000 John Smiths in the United States.  There are 81 other people in the US that share my name... there is one Aloysius Guggenheim.  Do you think Aloysius Guggenheim wants to post comments on an Irritable Bowel Syndrome forum?  It doesn't take a degree from the University of the Obvious to figure that one out.

Suffer the Little Trolls...

and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the Kingdom of Internet.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

GOP: The Anti-Dale Carnege

It's a battle of ideas, and the GOP has lost. Every time they talk about issues they supposedly believe in (morality, capitalism) they worsen their case, most often through their contradictory actions. Even when they say the right things, they manage to say them in the worst possible way. The best thing they could do to help themselves would be to shut up.

Here's how to argue your point:
why go wandering into the psychology of female sexuality in the first place? It’s ridiculous. This is politics. Stick to policy. And there’s a good policy question to be asked about the contraceptive mandate (even apart from its challenge to religious freedom).
It’s about priorities. By what moral logic does the state provide one woman with co-pay-free contraceptives while denying the same subvention to another woman when she urgently needs antibiotics for her sick child? (WaPo - Krauthammer)
Also from Krauthammer:
Yet there is a very simple, straightforward strategy for seizing the high ground on abortion in a way that transcends the normal divisions and commands wide popular support: Focus on the horror of late-term abortion — and get it banned.  (WaPo - Krauthammer)

Here is the sublime statement that all ideological factions, eager to swing the power of the state like Thor swinging a hammer and smiting his enemies, should adhere to concerning any issue near and dear to them, including 'free' government healthcare...
But regarding early abortions, the objective should be persuasion — creating some future majority — rather than legislative coercion in the absence of a current majority. These are the constraints of a democratic system.  (WaPo - Krauthammer)
Victor Davis Hanson on immigration:
So how hard is it for a Republican simply to say, “I oppose illegal immigration because (1) it is illegal. It undermines the sanctity of the law and discriminates against the law-abiding waiting in line to enter the U.S. legally. (2) It benefits corporate grandees at the expense of working people. (3) It is driven by self-serving elites of the ethnic-grievance industry to enhance their own advantage, rather than to help poor folks struggling to find decent wages and schools. 
 Illegal immigration, in short, is the most illiberal issue of our time. (PJ Media - VDH)
My prediction

The GOP will become a minor party, and the democrat party, in its decadent dominance, will split in two: The rich progressive, and the workaday populists. Obama can talk out of both sides of his mouth, but most politicians are not so gifted. Leftwing progressives were onto his game from the start: Spout OWS rhetoric, but keep the fatcats happy while collecting their campaign contributions. It takes great skill to pull that off, and I predict at some point the jig will be up for the Democrats.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

You Can't Fix Stupid

“we are entering an era where American dominance on the seas, in the skies, and in space can no longer be taken for granted,” Chuck Hagel

In order to ensure that, we will be cutting the Armed Forces down to levels not seen since before World War II.

“While this smaller capacity entails some added risk if we execute extended or simultaneous ground operations our analysis showed that this force would be capable of decisively defeating aggression in one major combat theater, as it must be, while also defending the homeland and supporting air and naval forces engaged in another theater against an adversary,”  

How many of you think we can "decisively defeat aggression in one major combat theater" like Iraq and Afghanistan now?

Lessons not learned

If we have learned anything from our experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan it is that you can't win wars with high-tech weaponry.  Sure you can blow shit up, but it takes boots on the ground to take advantage of it, otherwise it's nothing more than a very expensive fireworks show.  High tech weaponry is a lot like a ribbed condom, it is a force multiplier and force protection, but it's useless unless you're willing to go in the bush.  The defense cuts proposed are, in my opinion, backasswards.  No one in the field is saying "You know... we're really at a significant technological disadvantage here!" No, they're asking for more boots on the ground.

Size Matters

When looking at the total force structure (Active, Reserve, and Paramilitary) there are eight nations with a larger armed forces component than the United States. They are in order from largest to smallest the North Korea, China, Vietnam, South Korea, India, Bangladesh, Russia, and Iran. As far as risk goes, we probably only need concern ourselves with North Korea, China, Russia, and Iran.

The US military is 1/3 the size of China's and 2/3 the size of Russia's, and about the same size as Iran's.  Iran, I think, we can dismiss as little more effective than Iraq.  Which leaves China and Russia.

People like to point out that China spends much less than the US does on its military.  The 2013 'published' Chinese budget was roughly 120 billion dollars (720 billion yuon) compared to the US spending 672 billion.  But there is a reason you find practically everything marked "Made in China"... it's called purchasing power parity.  120 billion in China is worth much more than 120 billion in the US, you get more bang for your buck, so to speak.  SIPRI, RAND, CIA, and DIA put that purchasing power disparity at anywhere from 4:1 to as high as 6:1.  In effective purchasing power China is spending effective the equivalent of anywhere from 480 to 720, or roughly...parity. Slave prison labor anyone?

You Can't Fix Stupid

Hagel's proposal is too tech centric at the expense of boot centric, fancy toys for fancy boys.  We maintain a distinct military technical advantage over most adversaries, remember that Force Multiplier bit, although China is rapidly catching up.  Chinese military related patents have increased 35% over the past decade. China can put three times the boots on the ground than the US can, do you think we have better than a 3:1 tech advantage?

The US has had great difficulty maintaining the necessary boots on the ground especially with high-demand, low-density capabilities.  If Iraq and Afghanistan (third-world) has taught us anything, it is that short of a nuclear exchange, we are ill prepared to engage a first world power.

Remember that Selective Service Administration card you filled out when you turned eighteen?  Hang on to it.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Good Riddance!

Photo: Dr GL Johnson
“Look, I am a British guy debating American cultural issues, including guns, which has been very polarizing, and there is no doubt that there are many in the audience who are tired of me banging on about it,”

He's got that right, at least he is aware of his shortcomings.

The New York Times pegged it with this description:

Mr. Morgan’s approach to gun regulation was more akin to King George III, peering down his nose at the unruly colonies and wondering how to bring the savages to heel.  


Monday, February 24, 2014

Al Gore is an ass, and idiot, and a liar

Global Warming:

Perhaps it's due to all the hot air you're spewing.

In Kansas City

To those attending the Folk Alliance International conference, he noted examples of flooding in locations both remote and closer to home, such as in Manitou Springs, Colo., where high water barreled down mountain highways last year, carrying cars along with it.
“They had never seen anything like this in Manitou Springs,” Gore said.

Kansas City Star

They had never seen anything like this, except for...

1864, 1882, 1885, 1886, 1921, 1929, 1935, 1965, and 1999

In 1864 the level of Fountain creek, which runs through Manitou Springs, rose 20-30 feet.

In 1882 a flood swept out of Williams Canyon following a storm, destroying bridges and railroad tracks.

In 1885 a storm dumped 16 inches of rain, washed away homes, people, and livestock, destroying the railroad bridge in Manitou Springs.

In 1886 was a virtual repeat of the 1885 storm.

In 1921 Fountain Creek crested at over 15 feet.

([Manitou Springs Flood] by Harry L. Standley, ca 1921. Courtesy of Special Collections, Pikes Peak Library District. Image Number: 001-143.)

In 1929 a fifteen foot wall of water washed down Waldo Canyon, wiping out the nearby town of Crystola and the Midland Railroad tracks. The storm also washed Emma Crawford out of her grave on Red Mountain, casket and all, an event now commemorated annually in Manitou Springs in the Emma Crawford Casket Race and Sidewalk Estate Sale. 

In 1935 was what is classified as a 500-year event, meaning you can expect to have a flood of this magnitude once every 500 years.  Where I-25 now lies, near America the Beautiful Park, Monument Creek became a raging river, 32 feet deep. The Fountain Creek channel can handle a flow of 1000 CFS, in 1935 it peaked at over 50,000 CFS.

The Colorado Avenue Bridge was wiped out by the Memorial Day flood of 1935.

In 1965 following 9 inches of rain, 10 bridges were washed away

In 1999 following 12 inches of rain a 20 ton boulder swept out of Williams Canyon crushing a Manitou Springs home.  US 24 was closed at 21st Street for three weeks as the bridge over Fountain Creek was repaired.  1999 was classified as 10-year event.

 Where's Waldo?

In 2012 on the mountain slopes above Manitou Springs, Colorado was the start of the Waldo Canyon fire. Fire baked soils are water repellant, and the fire charred more than 18,000 acres of heavily forested mountain terrain above the city. Restoration work has been underway for months, but wildfires create hydrophobic soils, almost impervious to water. Imagine the effects of paving 30 square miles of mountain backdrop, and it’s easy to understand how flood events can threaten Manitou Springs.  


Manitou Springs 2013

In the event referenced by Mr. Gore  an inch and a half of rain fell quickly across hillsides scorched by last year's Waldo Canyon fire. With few trees or plants to absorb the moisture or slow the runoff, an avalanche of water, mud and grinding rocks came crashing into town from the hills.



LA Times

And Warmist wonder why people don't believe them...

It's because you constantly lie out your ass in an effort to further your own agenda without any basis in fact or reality. 

The flooding in Manitou Springs in 2013 was a direct result of a normal North American Monsoon rainfall event on an area that was burned by a human caused fire. Nothing to see here, move along.

Denver Post

Those who fail to study history are doomed.. believe folks like Al Gore, and Al Gore is obviously talking out his ass.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Selfie

Robert Cornelius

The photo above is presumed to be the first "Selfie" taken in 1839 by Robert Cornelius.  With the advent of the Kodak box camera, Selfies moved from the realm of the professional to the amateur.

It wasn't until the advent of the internet and the camera phone that things really started to go downhill.

Child Pornography

A sixteen year old girl in Virginia takes a nude selfie of herself and shares it with her friends on Twitter.  Someone notifies a school resource officer who talks to the girl, her parents, and then notifies the authorities.  The authorities then charge the girl with one felony count of possession, reproduction, distribution, solicitation, and facilitation of child pornography.  The minimum sentence associated with the charge is five years.  Had any of her friends retweeted the image, they would also be guilty.

CBS News 

Rare but increasing

Involvement of the authorities is a rare but increasing phenomena.  Two teens in Los Angeles have been charged after swapping nude photos, two teens in Florida have also been charged.  In the worst case among the many I stumbled across browsing news stories was that of the State of Tennessee stamping out a "child pornography ring"... 24 teens who were swapping nude selfies amongst themselves.

Misapplication of the Law?

Laws that were written and implemented to protect children from adult predators are being used to prosecute, some say persecute, the children themselves.  Not confined solely to the United States there have been similar cases in Canada and Australia, as far as Europe goes I found one case in Malta (although that was a case of reposting by a third party).  

Of Questionable Taste

Other selfie phenomena that have manifested in our digital age are funeral selfies, including selfies with the deceased, homeless selfies in which one intentionally captures a homeless person in the background, and accident selfies in which one captures oneself in the aftermath of tragedy. One woman even captured a selfie with a man attempting to commit suicide off the Brooklyn Bridge.


Saturday, February 22, 2014

Olympic Music

Olympic Fanfare & Theme

Pretty much all of us are familiar with John William's Olympic Fanfare and Theme composed and arranged for the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles


Bugler's Dream

What many don't know is that John William's composition is based on an earlier one by Leo Arnaud from The Charge Suite used first by ABC in the1968 Olympics.

Salut aux étendards

Fewer still know that Arnaud based his work on a composition by Joseph-David Buhl composed in 1829.

But officially...

This is the anthem of the olympics, The Olympic Hymn, it is what you will hear as they raise and lower the Olympic flag.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Right-of-Way and Eminent Domain

(C) Finntann


The West

is a patchwork of public and private, state and federal land.  Here in Colorado the Forest Service controls 22% of the land and the Bureau of Land Management controls another 15%.  

When it comes to the forests of Colorado 68% are in federal ownership; the USFS controls 47%,  the BLM controls 17%, and the National Park Service 2%, the other 2% is controlled by various other federal agencies such as the Department of Defense and the US Fish and Wildlife Service.  The Colorado State Land Board owns another 2% and the remaining 30% is in private hands.  

Throughout Colorado are thousands of properties that are known as enclaves or inholdings, that is property completely surrounded by public land ranging from single private property holdings, developments and communities, to entire cities and towns.

Colorado State University

The Barrie's

In 2011 the Barrie's purchased the Hunter Mine Parcel south of Breckenridge, 10.3 acres with a cabin surrounded by USFS land in the White River National Forest and an adjacent home in a subdivision below the property, the two properties came with an ATV and were connected by an old mining road dating back to the 1890's.  In 2012 the Barrie's were informed that they could no longer use the ATV to access their property under the White River National Forest Traffic Management Plan.

The Barrie's countered that the road, built under the 1866 Revised Statute 2477 constituted a legal right of way.  R.S. 2477 was a simple law from a simpler time:

 "the right-of-way for the construction of highways across public lands not otherwise reserved for public purposes is hereby granted."  

While RS 2477 was repealed in 1976 by the Federal Land Policy and Management Act, it was repealed subject to valid existing rights.  

"Nothing in this Act, or in any amendment made by this Act, shall be construed as terminating any valid lease, permit, patent, right-of-way, or other land use right or authorization existing on the date of approval of this Act"

When it appeared that the Barrie's might have a case for access Summit County switched tactics, claimed the previous owner made unpermitted modifications and threatened to seize the property through eminent domain, offering them first $30,000 and then $50,000 for their 10.3 acre parcel.  If you're not familiar with the area I can assure you, $50,000 an acre outside of Breckenridge is a steal, $5,000 an acre is downright robbery.

A Matter close at heart 

The photo above isn't the Barrie's cabin, it's mine and while I don't live in a private inholding, the town I live in and even the one next to it are enclaves within a national forest.  You cannot get to or from where I live without driving through national forest, national monument, or state park.  It is ridiculous that Summit County would strip the right of access from a property well over 125 years old.


Summit Daily

Summit County Eminent Domain Claim  

Because 2.3 million acres just isn't enough 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

You're all a bunch of Microracists

Microaggression, Microassaults, Microinsults, and Microinvalidation


Would you ask an Asian student: "Can you help me with this calculus problem? I just can't figure it out." (You're a racist: Implies Asians are good at math.)

Is your office decorated in Danish Modern? (You're a racist: One’s racial identity can be minimized or made insignificant through the sheer exclusion of decorations.)

Would you make this statement? “I believe the most qualified person should get the job.” (You're a racist: Implies minorities receive an unfair benefit.)

Do you believe we are all human beings and skin color is unimportant? (You're a racist: You deny  the racial and experiential reality of people of color.) 

Would you correct spelling and grammar errors on a submitted college paper? (You're a racist: Creating a hostile campus climate by "correcting perceived grammatical choices that in actuality reflect ideologies".)

Would you correct the use of capitalization of the word "indigenous" in a term paper? (You're a racist: Disregarding the writer's scholarly advocacy and ignoring other ideological implications.)

Want to have a discussion? (You're a racist: Creating a hostile climate by questioning and allowing classmates to question the epistemological and methodological commitments of other students.)

Wait... It gets better; in the Catch-22 department:

Microaggressive acts can usually be explained away by seemingly nonbiased and valid reasons... but they're still microaggresive acts.   No matter what your thoughts, feelings, or underlying motivations, conservative or liberal... if you're white, you're a racist.

It appears that modern and symbolic racism are most closely associated with political conservatives, who disclaim personal bigotry by strong and rigid adherence to traditional American values (individualism, self-reliance, hard work, etc.), whereas aversive racism is more characteristic of White liberals (Dovidio & Gaertner, 1996, 2000).  Aversive racists, are strongly motivated by egalitarian values as well as antiminority feelings. Their egalitarian values operate on a conscious level, while their antiminority feelings are less conscious and generally covert (DeVos & Banaji, 2005)

Somehow, I can't shake the feeling that this entire concept is racist.


Seriously, I can't make this shit up:

Psychology Today 


National Review 

Fordham University


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

or of the Press

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Reporters without Borders is a non-profit NGO that promotes and defends freedom of information and freedom of the press.  Every year they publish the Press Freedom Index, an annual ranking of countries  based upon the organization's assessment of the countries' press freedom records in the previous year. It reflects the degree of freedom that journalists, news organizations, and netizens enjoy in each country, and the efforts made by the authorities to respect and ensure respect for this freedom.

The United States

While the US has been consistently exceeded by the Nordic and Low Countries in freedom of the press rankings, we were 17th in 2002, this year we have fallen to 46th.  This puts us behind countries such as Romania, South Africa, Slovenia, Uruguay, and Namibia.  Makes you proud, don't it?

Countries that pride themselves on being democracies and respecting the rule of law have not set an example, far from it. Freedom of information is too often sacrificed to an overly broad and abusive interpretation of national security needs, marking a disturbing retreat from democratic practices.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Five Eyes - Burglars and Spies


Sorry, I couldn't resist that pun

Recent disclosures have illustrated the vastness of the surveillance network of the UKUSA agreement, a joint comprehensive electronic intelligence agreement, amid the fallout from Edward Snowden's revelations.  How does an attorney maintain attorney-client privilege amidst the writhing tentacles of the all-knowing Oz?  (I know, another bad pun).

Many of you in comments here, have expressed acceptance of surveillance in the pursuit of that holy grail; Counter-terrorism.  The question now is where do you draw the line?  Is blanket surveillance acceptable in the pursuit of trade negotiations?  Criminal proceedings?  More importantly, can you have one without the other?

I must reaffirm Ben Franklin's sentiment that "They who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."  How about you, how far are you willing to go?

Monday, February 17, 2014

Presidents Day... Isn't

Gilbert Stuart - 1797

It's George Washington's Birthday

and has been since 1879.  A draft of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act that renamed the holiday Presidents Day never made it out of committee and the Act as passed kept the federal holiday as Washington's Birthday which it remains as to this day on the Federal Calendar.  Lincoln's Birthday has never been a federal holiday.

Washington's Farewell Address

Since 1862 there has been a tradition in the US Senate of reading Washington's Farewell Address on or near his birthday.  I suggest that perhaps this year instead of just reading it, they listen, here are some highlights:

All obstructions to the execution of the laws, all combinations and associations, under whatever plausible character, with the real design to direct, control, counteract, or awe the regular deliberation and action of the constituted authorities, are destructive of this fundamental principle, and of fatal tendency. They serve to organize faction, to give it an artificial and extraordinary force; to put, in the place of the delegated will of the nation the will of a party, often a small but artful and enterprising minority of the community; and, according to the alternate triumphs of different parties, to make the public administration the mirror of the ill-concerted and incongruous projects of faction, rather than the organ of consistent and wholesome plans digested by common counsels and modified by mutual interests. 
It is important, likewise, that the habits of thinking in a free country should inspire caution in those entrusted with its administration, to confine themselves within their respective constitutional spheres, avoiding in the exercise of the powers of one department to encroach upon another. The spirit of encroachment tends to consolidate the powers of all the departments in one, and thus to create, whatever the form of government, a real despotism. A just estimate of that love of power, and proneness to abuse it, which predominates in the human heart, is sufficient to satisfy us of the truth of this position.
As a very important source of strength and security, cherish public credit. One method of preserving it is to use it as sparingly as possible, avoiding occasions of expense by cultivating peace, but remembering also that timely disbursements to prepare for danger frequently prevent much greater disbursements to repel it, avoiding likewise the accumulation of debt, not only by shunning occasions of expense, but by vigorous exertion in time of peace to discharge the debts which unavoidable wars may have occasioned, not ungenerously throwing upon posterity the burden which we ourselves ought to bear.
In offering to you, my countrymen, these counsels of an old and affectionate friend, I dare not hope they will make the strong and lasting impression I could wish; that they will control the usual current of the passions, or prevent our nation from running the course which has hitherto marked the destiny of nations.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Neither are Free


In Russia, you can't advocate for the gay lifestyle.

In America you can't advocate against it.  Sam Wheeler a sophomore and Kent State wrestler has been indefinitely suspended for 'anti-gay' tweets.

"I can't even watch Sports Center today cause all there (sic) talking about is Marcus Smart or that fag from Mizzou."

"Don't Tweet me you Queer"

"O geez I got all these fag boys mad at me now." 

Kent State responded with:

"On behalf of Kent State University, we consider these comments to be ignorant and not indicative of the beliefs held by our university community as a whole," Kent State athletic director Joel Nielsen said. "This is an educational opportunity for all of our student-athletes." 

It sure is an 'educational opportunity', that'll teach you to speak your mind, express your feelings, and deviate from the herd. Valuable lesson there!

His coach expressed his outrage:

"As an alum of Kent State University and as Sam's head coach, I was surprised and offended by what I read on Twitter," Golden Flashes coach Jim Andrassy said in a statement. "I have spoken to Sam personally, and while he is remorseful, he will be suspended indefinitely while we determine the best course of action moving forward." 

Obviously, you're on the right track Jim.  Since we can't burn him at the stake the only logical choice is to shun him, it works for the Amish.  After all the primary objective of the higher education system is and must always be to teach conformity and group-think.  There is no greater goal in life than to become nothing more than a social insect, beholden to the swarm, to live and die for the swarm.

Outside of the first obviously juvenile tweet regarding Sports Center, I would be curious to see the intervening tweets... what was the text that Sam Wheeler was responding to?  Kind of a one sided presentation isn't it?  But then again, all lynch mobs are pretty much one-sided.

Now I don't care whether Michael Sam is gay or not, frankly I consider the information irrelevant.  But I can understand Sam Wheeler's frustration with Sports Center turning into Sex Center and a discussion of an athlete's "lifestyle".  Michael Sam's preferences off the field are and should be completely and utterly irrelevant to his performance on the field and as an athlete. Sam Wheeler expressed his frustration in quite a sophomoric way... imagine that. 

The idea that all must conform to the larger group, whether that be your employer or educator, is a dangerous trend and nothing more than another form of discrimination.  Conformity has never been the path to excellence or innovation, in education or in life.

Equality doesn't come from acceptance, equality doesn't stem from conformity, equality comes from irrelevance.  For the most part blondes, brunettes, and redheads are treated equally in the workplace, not because we accept blonde hair or brown hair, but because hair color has become irrelevant.  LGBT's won't find equality in acceptance, because there will always be people who won't accept their lifestyle.  They may find equality in irrelevance, when people no longer care what they do and who they do it with.

IMHO the in-your-face activism, the "I'm gay and there's nothing you can do about" group attitude is detrimental to their own objectives.  They are also in my experience a minority of the gay community that get a vicarious thrill from being 'in-your-face'.  I don't like homosexuals who get in my face with their sexuality, but then again I don't like heterosexuals who get in my face with their sexuality.  Having grown emotionally and intellectually beyond the high school locker room, honestly... I don't care.

But back to Sam Wheeler.  Sam Wheeler is not an employee of Kent State University.  He doesn't represent Kent State, nor does he speak for Kent State, he is a student, nothing more.  The idea that Sam Wheeler can be sanctioned for his beliefs, for constitutionally protected speech by a public university is an anathema to the principles this country was founded upon.  




Saturday, February 15, 2014

Heartland Rock

Last Saturday's selection, Bob Seger, falls into a genre of Rock and Roll known as Heartland Rock a genre most often associated with rural and blue collar urban workers.  If there is a national anthem of Heartland Rock it is probably this:

With a wide variety of artists falling in and out of the category, here are a few more notable selections.


Friday, February 14, 2014



I honestly can't decide which is the better story:


1.  An instructor teaching his militant recruits how to make car bombs accidentally set off explosives in his demonstration Monday, killing 21 of them in a huge blast that alerted authorities to the existence of the rural training camp in an orchard north of Baghdad. Nearly two dozen people were arrested, including wounded insurgents trying to hobble away from the scene.


2. Dwayne Ferguson, a community activist and gun control advocate  from Buffalo NY responsible for pushing a restrictive gun control law called the NY SAFE ACT making it a felony to carry a gun on school grounds was arrested on school grounds for carrying a concealed weapon.  He said he frequently carries a pistol. He has a license but the license does not matter under the strict state law Ferguson helped pass.

Daily Caller

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Limousine Liberals & Gauche Caviar

Dr. Vino, This One's For You

Tyler Colman, a "wine educator" with New York University and the University of Chicago, takes exception to the wines served at the White House State Dinner for French President Francois Hollande on his blog: Dr. Vino.

These are odd wines to serve at a State dinner
The wines were:

Morlet “La Proportion Doree” 2011 at around $60 a bottle

Chester-Kidder Red Blend 2009  at around $50 a bottle

Thibaut-Jannison “Blanc de Chardonnay” at around $30 a bottle 

Apparently Dr Vino takes exception to the serving of cheap wine at State dinners.

they are modest... the Obama White House seems to have made a conscious choice to bring down the price of the wines.

God forbid Michelle spill a $30 wine on her $12000 dress!

Dr. Vino needs to pull his head out of his bung hole and come to the realization that the vast majority of his fellow countrymen don't consider $30 - $60 wine to be cheap.

What does Dr. Vino recommend? A Dominus Estate Christian Moueix from the Napa Valley retailing between $300 - $400 a bottle, or go whole hog and by a 3-liter Double Magnum for $1499, a case for $3540, or perhaps a 6-liter Imperial for $4758.62

As far as Western Hero is concerned Dr. Vino's opinion has the intense bouquet of pisse intermixed with notes of ripened merde and the long lingering aftertaste of the bourgeoisie.

Another example of how Democrats and Socialists are the biggest joke ever played upon the proletariat, but I have to give Obama credit... $30 - $60 a bottle for wine for Francois Hollande is more than adequate.

As far as the wine snobs go:

Let them eat merde

And remember what the Western Hero says... Wine is for Women, real men drink whiskey; Scotch, Irish, Bourbon, Rye... just stay away from that Canadian stuff ;)

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Lugers are understandably upset

Me, I think it's hilarious

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Obama's Reset

Did we win the Cold War and Lose the Peace?

Watching the opening ceremonies of the Olympics I was struck by how it underlined that from the Hanseatic League to the February Revolution, Russia is and has been historically a Western power.  77% of the Russian population lives in Europe while 75% of its territory lies in Asia.

The Marshall Plan

At the end of WWII we had the Marshall Plan, a coherent politico-economic plan for the restoration and recovery of Europe.  At the end of the cold war we sometimes helped, often gloated, and frequently kicked at the remains of the former Soviet Union, obviously lacking any plan at all.  Twenty years later we still seem to be lacking any rational plan for dealing with the Russian Federation.


Outside of the initial successes of the New Start treaty, Obama's reset with Russia has largely fizzled.  From Egypt to Syria, Snowden to Sochi, America's diplomatic relationship with Russia is zombie-like, stumbling and jerking around reflexively with little apparent cogent thought.  

America and indeed all the western nations need a plan. 

Monday, February 10, 2014

It's the world in one country

If you have a problem with that... watch this:

 Shame on you

While opposed to illegal immigration and blanket amnesty I am a supporter of legal immigration,  I also think that all of you who are complaining and protesting about Coca Cola's Superbowl and Olympic commercial "America the Beautiful" ought to be ashamed of yourselves.  Who here among us is not the descendant of immigrants?  Some of us may have been here longer than others, but all of our ancestors emigrated here, even the Native Americans amongst us.

The woman above is an immigrant, she is also my great-great grandmother who came to this country around 1846.

This woman is also an immigrant and she is also one of my great-great grandmothers and came here with her husband and daughter in 1850.

When you think of immigrants... 

before you open your mouth, think of your immigrants.

They're as American as Apple Pie and Baseball



Sunday, February 9, 2014

GITMO Top 40

Skinny Puppy, a Canadian Electronic-Industrial band has sent a bill for $666,000 to the US government for its use of their music as part of interrogation techniques at Guantanamo Bay detention camp.

ABC News

In statements to the Guantanamo Testimonial Project a guard referred to a well over six foot tall, two hundred and fifty pount interrogator as the "Ogre".

Another time I walked in an interrogation shack and noticed that the ogre was playing TFWO—another Skinny Puppy song. I suspect it came from the Heaven's Trash album.

Not confined to what the majority would probably term "bad music" other music was also used:

Aladdin was a really fun movie when I was younger. I enjoyed it a great deal. But the song A Whole New World from Aladdin became something the ogre would often use. And it would become awful after the thirtieth time I’d heard it straight. 

I can personally attest to the efficacy of music in psychological operationsI was second in command in a combat readiness course and as such was in command for the period from 7pm until 7 am.

It started around sunset, from loudspeakers placed in the trees around the perimeter of our defensive position by OpFor (The opposing force in a training exercise).

At first it was funny but after about five hours of non-stop playing on repeat it starts to get on your nerves.  By two in the morning I was getting volunteers to go out and do something about it and before three had sent out a small fire team.  By three am all was quiet, I was informed and surprised later by Cadre (the folks running the exercise) that we were the first unit that had actually done anything to try and stop it and we were granted a brief reprieve until dawn.


I didn't think so at the time, but then it was an exercise and I knew it was an exercise (perspective is everything), we were outside in the woods not confined in a small room, and there was still ambient background noise... generators, gunfire, and the occasional GBS (Ground Burst Simulator...Boom!).  Honestly it was nothing more than an annoying nuisance, but it did set people on edge. Under different circumstances I can imagine that it could take on a much more sinister undertone.

So what do you think?  Can music be torture? Not in the colloquial sense of "stop torturing me", but in the Geneva Convention sense.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

The Other Seger

Friday, February 7, 2014

Things that make you go Hmmm

Yesterday's Google Search Page for the Winter Olympics:



The LGBT Rainbow Flag:



 Is it me? Or is Google trying to piss ole Vlad off?


He is not amused


Thursday, February 6, 2014

The Sick Perversion of Liberal Logic

The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office gave new fuel to the debate over the Affordable Care Act Tuesday with its estimate that the law will lead to the eventual loss of about 2.5 million full-time jobs.

The Apologists

Wisconsin Democrat Mark Pocan, claimed during Wednesday's hearing that being jobless would be a net positive for many people in his state. 'What that means is instead they might be able to tuck their child in bed at night and read a bedtime story, or go to an activity, which means they’re better off.'

Glenn Kessler in the Washington Post goes to great length to explain that 2.5 million people won't lose their jobs:

"One big issue: the health insurance subsidies in the law. That’s a substantial benefit that decreases as people earn more money, so at a certain point, a person has to choose between earning more money or continuing to get the maximum help with health insurance payments. In other words, people might work longer and harder, but actually earn no more, or earn even less, money. That is a disincentive to work.  Thus, some people might decide to work part-time, not full time, in order to keep getting health-care subsidies. Thus, they are reducing their supply of labor to the market.  Look at it this way: If someone says they decided to leave their job for personal reasons, most people would not say they “lost” their jobs. They simply decided not to work"

Oh yeah, I get it... people won't  "lose" their jobs, they'll just choose not to work, sticking the rest of us with the cost of their healthcare subsidies.  Why didn't you just say so!

You know what is a disincentive to work?

Working so other assholes don't have to.  Long before I reach the end of my productive life and hit mandatory retirement age, I'm going to give Uncle Sugar the middle finger and start handing out happy face stickers at the local Wal-Mart.  Sure I could keep working, keep paying taxes... but why should I?  Me, I'm going  to 'reduce my supply of labor' to the market and the rest of you can go commit biologically impossible acts upon yourselves.  Mind you it will be entirely for 'personal reasons', I think I'd rather just 'go to an activity'... but don't worry, you won't be paying for my health insurance.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Kelo v. City of New London

Photo: Nard

Or how the government tore down a working class neighborhood to build a vacant lot for the public good.

In 2005 the Supreme Court upheld a decision by the Connecticut Supreme Court that the City of New London may seize privately owned real property under eminent domain so that it could be used for private economic development, deciding the tax revenue from the private development satisfied the requirement for public interest for eminent domain.

New London's justification for its use of eminent domain was 3,000 jobs and $1.2M in new tax revenue.

Jobs produced: 0
Tax revenue: 0

Remember... Government knows best

Net Loss: $78,000,000

Weekly Standard

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

None of the Above

Would you vote for None of the Above?

There is a bill in New Hampshire to add "None of the Above" to the ballot to allow voters to express their dissatisfaction with a field of candidates.  If "none of the above" wins, there would have to be a special election. I haven't seen any details on how that would work but have to wonder if those who lost to "none of the above" would be excluded.

None of these candidates

Nevada has had this option on its ballots since 1975 but in the foremost example of government stupidity if "None of these candidates" wins, the election goes to the candidate with the next highest number of votes.

In the 1976 Republican Primary for Nevada's at large district "None of these candidates" received 16,097 votes allowing Walden Earhart to win with 9831.  It has also had a spoiler effect, in 1998 Harry Reid defeated John Ensign by 428 votes while "None of these candidates" walked away with 8125 votes.

Not a bad idea but...

if none of the above wins an election, there needs to be a special election excluding those candidates who lost to none of the above.

CBS Boston

Monday, February 3, 2014

Déjà entendu

1. Controlling the Borders
2. Increasing Work Visas
3. Offering "earned" citizenship for those already here.

Sound Familiar?

It should, those are the "three legs" of the Simpson-Mazzoli Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. It may also sound familiar for another reason.

1. Border Enforcement and Security Must Come First
2. Reforms to Legal Immigration System
3. Individuals Living Outside the Rule of Law

That's from the text of the Republican's Principles on Immigration.  The text also states that our immigration problems cannot be solved with a single piece of legislation and offer a step-by-step, piece-by piece approach.  The problem is that whether you have one piece of shit or ten pieces of shit, in the end... all you have is shit.


Is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. 

One cannot fix the problems with illegal immigration by immigration reform any more than one can fix the problem of bank robberies by reforming our banking and financial regulations.  The only thing that prevents bank robberies is enforcement of the law and the only thing that will prevent illegal immigration is enforcement of the law, whatever that law may turn out to be.

The DHS claims, and many laugh, an 80% success rate at the border (others put that number as low as 40%).  If 2 out of 10 bank robberies went unsolved do you think the number of bank robberies would go up? What if 6 out of 10 bank robberies went unsolved?

We need a completely new approach

I don't claim to have all the answers but I do know doing the same thing over and over again won't work.  In 1986 we had 5 million illegal aliens in the country today we have 11 million illegal aliens in the country.  We don't need a repeat of Simpson-Mazzoli.  

Completely separate work and immigration requirements, move responsibility for work visas to the Department of Labor, leave immigration and enforcement with the DHS.

Work visa reform.  Short of an impervious border, people will continue to cross illegally as long as it is easier than crossing legally.  If you can't walk or drive up to a border checkpoint and get through in no more than a few hours the problem isn't going to go away.

Establish a computer system through the department of labor by which employers with unfillable vacancies can register by category; agriculture, labor, construction, assembly, etc.  You can have a requirement that positions must be advertised internally for x amount of time if you wish to make those positions available to citizens first.  Match vacancies in the system to persons at the border by locale or region, obtain biometric data on the persons entering, run a simple background check and issue a visa/ID.  You can even give them a list of employers with vacancies in the area they want to go to on their way out the door and you can make it renewable with proof of employment. Check in/Check out.

I'm not saying that's the answer, it's a suggestion, a starting point.  What are your suggestions for fixing this problem? As neither the Democrats or Republicans seem to be coming up any new and innovative approaches that aren't going to leave us in the same place thirty years from now.