Friday, December 30, 2016

Auld Lang Syne

Rabbie Burns

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and auld lang syne*?
For auld lang syne, my jo,
for auld lang syne,
we'll tak' a cup o' kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.
And surely ye'll be your pint-stoup!
and surely I'll be mine!
And we'll tak' a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.
We twa hae run about the braes,
and pou'd the gowans fine;
But we've wander'd mony a weary fit,
sin' auld lang syne.
We twa hae paidl'd in the burn,
frae morning sun till dine;
But seas between us braid hae roar'd
sin' auld lang syne.
And there's a hand, my trusty fiere!
and gie's a hand o' thine!
And we'll tak' a right gude-willie waught,
for auld lang syne.

Have a Haggis New Year

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Watership Down

(C) Richard Adams

Lost amid the brouhaha of George Michael and Carrie Fisher's death, WWII veteran and child's author Richard Adams passed away on Christmas Eve.  As a British civil servant after the war (Assistant Secretary for the Ministry of Housing and Local Government) he created the tale to entertain his daughters.  It was not your typical children's book and after many rejections Rex Collings agreed to publish the book and it exploded selling over a million copies worldwide.

Richard Adams

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Open Thread

Well, it's halfway between Christmas and New Years...

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Monday, December 26, 2016

Happy St Stephen's Day

Somewhat of a tradition here at Western Hero:

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Friday, December 23, 2016

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Who's Free?

EU member states cannot force internet companies to keep email data on a "general and indiscriminate" basis, the European Court of Justice has ruled. The EU's highest court found that only targeted retention aimed at fighting serious crime could justify serious interference by the state.  SKY


Yahoo Inc's secret scanning of customer emails at the behest of a U.S. spy agency is part of a growing push by officials to loosen constitutional protections Americans have against arbitrary governmental searches. "Computerized scanning of communications in the same way that your email service provider scans looking for viruses - that should not be considered a search requiring a warrant for Fourth Amendment purposes," said the general counsel of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), Robert Litt.  Yahoo

Remember when America was the bastion of freedom? The fact that a computer is reading your email rather than a person shouldn't matter given that the results are a stack of emails with keyword hits for a person to read.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Hacking our Constitutional Foundations

For every shady hacker beating the e-mail leaves, there are millions of politicians, bureaucrats, corporations, foreign agents and lobbyists hacking at the foundation of our constitutional republican democracy.

Here's a good article on the alleged Russian Hacking kerfuffle...

An excerpt:
We should recognize this attack for what it is: an assault on our shared constitutional foundations, which require fair elections, free from foreign interference. That is not a partisan issue.
The stakes involve not only the 2016 election, but future ones, not only the U.S. election but those in other democracies. Since Russia, China, Iran, and other nations have stakes in those, they will be tempted to interfere. The tighter the election, the greater the chances cyberattacks could change the outcome -- and throw that country into disarray.
All true. Having said that, the following thoughts creep in:

* We are so big and so powerful, the entire world has a stake in our elections

* Tempted to interfere? Governments and organizations from all over the world already interfere here, lobbying our government and bombarding us with propaganda. Noisy activists with globalist agendas and petty pamphleteers with narrow nationalist or ethnic sloganeering blast their complaints, bigotry and arguments from here in the US, the world’s biggest stage with the biggest megaphone.

* Are you so naive as to believe domestic and foreign news outlets do not curate the news they aim at America in the hope of nudging us to make the “correct” choice?

* How long before the crafty ones on the left use this "hacking" "scandal" to relaunch their battle against Citizens United and to call for speech restrictions, “for the safety of our elections... democracy..."

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Ich bin ein Berliner

The German government spokesman said Merkel is in mourning,  me? I say she's responsible.

What do you say? 

P.S: Yes I intentionally used the Bundeswehr Flag.


Monday, December 19, 2016

Electoral College Day

Today is the day the Electoral College votes to install Donald J. Trump as America's 45th President. God bless our democratic republic of these 50 United States, and God bless the US Constitution, screaming progs be damned.

Here's a YouTube hack of that self-important and unintentionally funny Hollywood appeal to the Electors...

H/T and a big Western Hero Gracias to Farmer for turning us on to this...

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Hackers: Doing the Job the Press Just Won't Do

The Russians are Coming! The Russians are Coming!

The Russian Hacking Hysteria is reaching a fevered pitch. If they hacked the election, that would be an act of war, but so far, we only have evidence of them providing us proof of what horrible people Hillary and her staff are.

From the linked article...

“ the heart of Russia's campaign was collecting secret information, such as private communication among political operatives, and then disclosing that material selectively”

So, in other words, they did the same thing our Infotainment-Media Complex does, only unlike the “news media,” they jobbed Democrats instead of Republicans.

The Russians allegedly *GASP!* planted disinformation accurate information:
“The impact of cyber espionage on the 2016 election came through information, not direct manipulation of the results. The information, dribbled out through WikiLeaks, was apparently accurate. The targets never contested any major disclosures as false or fraudulent, though that is certainly a danger in future elections. So far, U.S. spy agencies have not established that the WikiLeaks material came from Russia—or, if they have, they have not shared that nugget.”
Hyperventilating Hillary voters need calm down and consider...

No one knows what the Russians’ motive was.

More importantly, no one can demonstrate how this helped President-elect Trump. Was Comey in league with the Russians? Hillary's Campaign staff, who wouldn't allow her in a situation where she had to answer a real question, feeding the notion of an out-of-touch, aloof, perhaps-sick, shifty politician?

No sane person is alleging any votes were changed. Sure, some leftwing kook fringies are babbling all sorts of tinfoil hat nonsense, but they're way out there in Alex Jones territory. Only apparently, the nutballs and kooks on the left don’t need an Alex Jones to light their imaginations afire--they cook it all up in their own fevered brains, mingle with other leftwing wackadoos at their own crackpotlucks out in Left Kookville where the streetlights are busted and the buses don’t run.

Here’s the most important question:

If Hillary were a paragon of candor and honesty, her candidacy buoyed by a sea of trust and goodwill, does any reasonable person believe any of this would have mattered?

Friday, December 16, 2016

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Babies on a Plane

Living in post-election America is like being a beleaguered passenger trapped on a long airline flight plagued by crying babies.

Ever get a song stuck in your head? How about crappy pop music in general? Shopping, in the car, on the street, sometimes it seems you just can’t escape it. You want ear plugs. Well, life in America these days, you can’t escape the whiny, howling chorus emanating from that latest Progressive Pop act, The Butthurt Bawlers from Hilloonville.

They still refuse to grasp reality and admit Hillary lost. President Obama said she was on the right side of history! So they comfort themselves with alt-reality fairy tales about how Russian Spymaster Boris Badinoff “infiltrated” and “hacked” the election with “fake news” while Steve Bannon rallied the millions of Klan voters.

Like a poo-throwing child in a tantrum, they fling blame in all dirctions: Racism, sexism, old white people, that recently-uncovered secret cabal called the Electoral College…

Anybody else remember when the red scare came from the right, not the left? Anyone else recall that Soviet propaganda and misinformation was just fine when spewed from the mouths of leftwing Hollywood actors and socialist singers?

Diaper rash Democrats blame everyone but themselves. Like shell-shocked victims knocked on their asses by a runaway parade float, latte splattered on the sidewalk, they scream themselves hoarse shouting irrelevancies like “Hillary won the popular vote!”

Leftwing progs at Mother Jones shriek about a looming dictatorship… after cheering when their strongman hero Emperor Barack, phone and pen in hand, issued imperial decrees, bureaucratic dicta and made law out of whole cloth. Alas, now they quail and wail at the looming Trumpian Totalitarianism.

The most irritating (and un-American of all) tantrum is the “JUST YOU WAIT AND SEE! NYAH!!!” In spastic, spiteful fits of premature schadenfreude, they go all giddy at the fevered imaginings of Trump wrecking America as they dream of sticking out their tongues at the stupid grubby hordes who voted for Trump and telling us “SEE!!! Told ya so!”

Delegitimizing President Trump
Most insidious are the Establismentarian insiders like Hillary, Podesta, Pelosi, Obama and their minions essentially saying President-elect Trump’s election is illegitimate and fanning the flames by egging on the handful of kooks, nuts and flakes sprinkled among the 535 Electors. Their actions are irresponsible, insidious and have a corrosive effect on our democracy.

I felt sorry for Hillary and her voters after the election. The result--not just a Trump win, but a near electoral college landslide--was a shock. But like the airplane passenger--who is a father himself and at first smiles at the poor parents with the baby who won’t stop bawling--my patience wears thin as the interminable crying turns to a purple-faced tantrum without end.

Butt-hurt Hillary voters are the kid who gets walloped in the head with a ball and won’t stop crying. Rub some dirt on it and shut up already!

They are the spoiled brat who breaks her toy and won’t stop being a pestering pain in the ass until daddy goes out and buys her a new one.

Leftwing progs who can’t shut up about this election and face it like mature men and women are a howling chorus of crying babies on a plane. 

They are immature, un-hinged and yes, un-American. We are made of sterner stuff. We survived eight years of President Obama’s vapid, destructive reign; We will survive President Trump. After all, Donald Trump is more qualified to be chief executive than Barack Obama was when he entered the Oval Office.

So knock it off, already. We’re tired of your ranting and raving. The rest of the world is watching and you’re embarrassing us.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Liberal Dreams, Liberal Nightmares

What are these morons thinking?  This, from Huffpo:

Russian Interference Could Give Courts Legal Authority to Install Clinton.

A petition signed by more than 4.3 million people, encourages members of the Electoral College to cast their votes for Hillary Clinton when the college meets on Dec. 19. The petition argues that Donald Trump is “unfit to serve” and that “Secretary Clinton WON THE POPULAR VOTE and should be President.” 
USA Today

Let us suppose for a second a Federal Judge orders Hillary Clinton installed as President, or the Electoral College actually votes for Hillary rather than simply tossing it to the House?

What happens the next day? 

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Constitutional Cure for Polarization

Here's an interesting read from Truman Democrat Joel Kotkin. Still suffering aftershocks from "The Trumpening," some on the left are embracing "local control."
What Americans across the political spectrum need to recognize is that centralizing power does not promote national unity, but ever harsher division. Enforced central control, from left or right, polarizes politics in dangerous ways. The rather hysterical reaction to Trump’s election on the left is a case in point, with some in alt-blue California calling for secession from the union.
He're right. We are a fairly-evenly split country. Whichever side is in charge just ends up pissing off the other 50%.
The ever worsening polarization of American politics—demonstrated and accentuated by the Trump victory—is now an undeniable fact of our daily life. Yet rather than allowing the guilty national parties to continue indulging political brinkmanship, we should embrace a strong, constitutional solution to accommodating our growing divide: a return to local control.
Such an approach would allow, within some limits, local constituencies to follow their own course, much as the Founding Fathers suggested, without shaking the fundamentals of the federal union. Localism, as I label this approach, would address the sentiments on both right and left by reversing the consolidation of central power in Washington.
...localism is widely embraced by a broad majority of the American public. By 64 percent to 26 percent, according to a 2015 poll—Americans say that they feel “more progress” on critical issues take place on the local rather than the federal level. Majorities of all political affiliations and all demographic groups hold this same opinion.
I agree. I came to the conclusion long ago that the only way to break the left's love affair with a strong central government was to put the GOP in full control of it.

What do you think?

Monday, December 12, 2016

Dakota Access Pipeline: Inconvenient Facts

North Dakota Congressman and former member of the North Dakota Public Service Commission (2003-12) has written a piece in the WSJ, What the Dakota Access Pipeline is Really All About.

He presents the following inconvenient facts:

* The pipeline does not cross any land owned by the Standing Rock Sioux

* Two federal courts have rejected claims that the tribe wasn’t consulted

* Other tribes and parties did participate in the process

* Years before the pipeline was announced, the tribe was working with the Bureau of Reclamation and the Army Corps to relocate its drinking-water intake. The new site sits roughly 70 miles downstream of where the pipeline is slated to cross the Missouri River. Notably, the new intake, according to the Bureau of Reclamation, will be 1.6 miles downstream of an elevated railroad bridge that carries tanker cars carrying crude oil.

* Other pipelines carrying oil, gas and refined products already cross the Missouri River at least a dozen times upstream of the tribe’s intake. The corridor where the Dakota Access Pipeline will run is directly adjacent to another pipeline, which carries natural gas under the riverbed, as well as an overhead electric transmission line. This site was chosen because it is largely a brownfield area that was disturbed long ago by previous infrastructure.

* This isn’t about the climate. The oil that will be shipped through the pipeline is already being produced. But right now it is transported in more carbon-intensive ways, such as by railroad or long-haul tanker truck. So trying to thwart the pipeline to reduce greenhouse gas could have the opposite effect.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

A Giant of a Man

John Glen Archives
Photo: Gerry Metzler
John Glenn signed up after the attack on Pearl Harbor, became a Naval Aviation Cadet and then a Marine fighter pilot, he flew 59 combat missions in the South Pacific.

 He flew the F9F Panther on his first tour in Korea flying 63 missions and earning the nickname Magnet Ass for the amount of flak he collected... over 250 holes in his aircraft on more than one occasion. At one point Boston Red Sox Ted Williams was his wingman.

On his second tour in Korea as an exchange pilot with the Air Force's 51st Fighter Squadron (Still there in Korea by the way) he flew the F-86 on 27 combat missions and downed 3 MiGs.

149 combat missions, 6 Distinguished Flying Crosses, 19 Air Medals.

In 1957 as a Marine test pilot he completed the first transcontinental supersonic flight from Los Alamitos, CA to Floyd Bennett Field in New York in 3 hours, 23 minutes.

First American to orbit the Earth aboard Friendship 7, 3 orbits, 4 hours, 44 minutes.

US Senator for 4 terms, 24 years and...

At age 77 in 1998 becoming the oldest person to go into space on Space Shuttle mission STS-95. 

Dutch National Archives
 Perhaps even more amazing in this day and age, married to Annie for 73 years.

Rest in Peace
July 18, 1921 - December 8, 2016


Friday, December 9, 2016

Phil Collins

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Who's Side are They On?

Henry Kissinger, China's Ambassador to the United States

Henry Kissinger has been in and out of Trump Tower a few times since the election, but he is not up for an administration job. He’s a Chinese agent doing the job the Chinese Ambassador to the United States just cannot do.

Bob Dole, Taiwan's Mole

Bob Dole is Taiwan’s paid mole. Supposedly, his law firm set up the phone call between Taiwan’s president and President-elect Trump.

The phone call itself was no big deal, despite what the parrots and trained monkeys tell you in the press.  George Friedman from Stratfor provide a non-hysterical analysis aided by historical perspective and current events.

Government Officials Cashing In

The controversy and arguing sparked by the famous phone call has missed the most important point: 

Former US officials--who still enjoy access to the highest reaches of the Federal Government and to the elite congressional and presidential inner circles--rake in millions acting as foreign agents, peddling their influence and using their access to lobby the US government on behalf of foreign governments.

Does anyone here besides me see anything wrong with this?

Can someone tell me why this practice should not be banned by federal law? I propose a total and plenary lifetime ban on any politician or government official ever representing a foreign government.

Can someone tell me why the same ban should not apply to lobbying for corporations as well?


Wednesday, December 7, 2016

DNC Chair ???

Howard Dean has dropped out and Keith Ellison appears to be floundering. Some other names bandied about have been Ilyse Hogue,  NH Chair Raymond Buckley, Jaime Harrison, Jason Kander, and even Rahm Eamanual.  Feel free to opine.

Meanwhile, don't forget what day it is:

And kick back with a Kamikaze:

1oz Triple Sec
1oz Vodka
1oz Lime Juice

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

The Progressive Inquisition

Adam Farrell

Hans Feine has some wise words in light of the Progressive Pogrom looking to burn Chip and Joanna Gaines out of their rehabbed HGTV home:
“People who give their kids weird names are unsophisticated morons,” I thought to myself when I was 23 years old and busy substitute-teaching a class full of kids named Brysalynn and Traxton.
Clearly these parents have no love for the culture of their ancestors, which is why their kids are probably named after some organic vinegar bathroom scrub their parents picked up at Whole Foods. I have absolutely nothing in common with people this vapid, so clearly I could never be friends with someone who would name a kid something dumb.”
Then, a few years later, one of my closest friends had a kid and named him something dumb. At the moment of said dumb-named kid’s entrance into this world, two options stood before me.

Option A: I was wrong about baby names, and it was, in fact, possible to be an interesting, intelligent person while also being sweet on absurd baby monikers.

Option B: Despite having a mountain of evidence that my friend was interesting and intelligent, this was all a ruse and he had been a moron the entire time.
Being a reasonable person, he chose Option A.

Folks, the only way we're going to get along is by allowing one another space: To believe differently, to behave differently, and to hold and practice different values.

Like the author, can we approach situations with a little charity, and rather than demonize those who think differently, perhaps reevaluate our own hearts and souls and cut people some slack? This doesn't mean abandoning your beliefs and surrendering to the ideology of others. It simply means tolerating differences of opinion and belief.

Related: Harvard Punishes Thought Crimes

Monday, December 5, 2016


Or just plain Moonbat Crazy?

Nancy Pelosi said that despite Democrats losing the House, Senate, and almost two-thirds of state houses, the American people don't want a new direction.

Uh, yeah.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Our Democratic Republic

We are not a direct democracy, and we are not one big peanut-butter-spread country. We are a federation of 50 states that established a federal government and vested it with powers via the US Constitution.

The 2016 Election results reflected this reality. We are a diverse patchwork. Conservatives are perfectly happy to let Massachusetts and California be as leftwing as they wanna be. Oakland elects an openly-Marxist mayor? Meh... Their city, their choice. I'll never have to go there, so what do I care?

Progressives hate federalism and they hate the concept of a democratic republic. They would eradicate the concept of states, leaving them as little more that quaint geographical areas with a flag. They want to peanut butter spread their ideology all over the US. They abhor those stubborn pockets of dissidents and the socially disinterested. "Conform or Die" is the Progressive chant. Witness how they gleefully rub their hands and chatter on about the demise of the white race in America. Everyone must conform to the hive, and the rest can just die off.

A Plea for Toleration

My prayer is that we can learn to leave each other alone. By all means, continue pushing for the rights of others--they are all human rights. By the same token, religious people have the right to practice their beliefs and speak about them in the public square.

I'm glad Colorado is not Massachusetts, and I think it's cool we have a state like Vermont that features liberal hippies with guns.

Not a Trick Question:

Is there any other nation on earth this big, with this many people, where people enjoy so many rights and so much bounty?

I don't think so, but maybe someone can point one out. My point is, in a large, diverse nation, one-size-fits-all will not work. We are a patchwork of communities and peoples who generally congregate with other like-minded people.

What's wrong with that?

Friday, December 2, 2016

The Decemberists -- We both go down together

The Decemberists have been accused of being "overwrought," "frighteningly dark," and engaging in "digressive excess," based mostly on their earlier work, but few doubt the sincerity of their work and Colin Meloy's talent for writing a song and then wringing every last word, note and emotion from it.

2011's The King is Dead, featuring the song you may have heard on the radio, This is Why We Fight, is a very good CD. As the witty smartasses at The Awl observe, it has "100 % Less Raping," and features "a tamer, more pastoral lyrics and a pared-down, bluegrass-tinged sensibility (with guest vocals from the always-excellent Gillian Welch)."  

Their follow-up, What a Terrible World, What a Wonderful World, further refines and matures their work, satisfying critics and fans alike that they have left the emotional excesses behind while staying true to their sound and still providing moving lyrics that provide insight into everyday life, with all its contradictions, joy and sadness.

Despite all that, their 2005 Picaresque remains my favorite.  It is a musical indulgence in pathos-drenched melodrama, a book of pull-you-in-close short stories in song. Intricately woven and full of subtlety, you want to listen and re-listen to soak it all in as you re-experience the emotions. 

My favorite song from that CD is also the most easily-understandable song, one of tragic love and moral ambiguity.  Put on headphones, give it your full listening attention, and you will not remain unmoved.

Note from the man behind Silverfiddle: 

This is me. This is who I am.  Music is magic. Writing a song and then jamming to it with other musicians at a microbrewery and seeing people there enjoy it is magic. Playing music here in town with fellow musicians is the genuine me, it brings me true joy, and it resonates with my heart and soul.

Support Indy Music. Support your local artists.  Peace Out

Thursday, December 1, 2016

The Cabinet; So Far

Treasury: Steven Mnuchin
Justice: Jeff Sessions
Commerce: Wilbur Ross
HHS: Tom Price
HUD: Ben Carson?
Transportation: Elaine Chao
Education: Betsy DeVos 
Veteran Affairs: