Friday, January 27, 2017

The Parting Glass



We've had a good long run here at Western Hero so let's end this on a high note: 

Hillary Clinton is not the President of These United States

It's been fun but frankly it's been getting too much like work, work I'm not getting paid for.  So for now, when I come home from work I'm going to kick back, put my feet up, and relax while not thinking about politics. I told Silverfiddle I'd stick around until the inauguration...

So raise to me the parting glass,
Goodnight and Joy be with you All.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Adios, my Friends!


With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations. (President Abraham Lincoln, 2nd Inaugural Address)
We are not emerging from a civil war. Sadly, the cultural and political wars are far from over. Still, the quote is apt.

When I started blogging, I was a flag-waving rabid rightwinger, flaring with righteous anger at the Godless communists in our midst who dared call themselves Americans and who not only stubbornly refused to deport themselves to Cuba or North Korea where they belonged, but had the temerity to vote for an unqualified, Muslim-named street activist from the corrupt Democrat-dominated political sewers of Crook County Chicago.

Obama's election shattered my view of my nation and my fellow Americans, so I lashed out, flaming and blasting domestic enemies everywhere I found them. I was determined to smoke 'em out, chase 'em down, and blast their backsides as they ran like the cowardly poltroons they are. We would Change It Back, Take It Back, Restore America...

... and along the way, I developed a growing distaste for rightwing activism and the "religious right." The media-hogging activists and spokesmouths were ugly, mean, vindictive. Smug, sanctimonious pricks who would rather delight in trash-talking and demeaning than convert one soul. They unyoked Mercy and Justice, thundering the latter while selfishly hording the former for themselves. I could detect no Christian charity (love) there, so I rejected them.

I also gained a more-informed disgust for the putrid left (while gaining a new respect and appreciation for genuine old-fashioned liberalism), so I belong in neither camp.

So, like Frank Zappa, although I conduct my life in a conservative manner, I do not call myself a conservative. I became a libertarian, but still, over ten years of on-line arguing over politics has gotten me nowhere. It turned me bitter, and it corroded my soul. 😩

I also gained respect for opposing points of view and for those who state them with sincerity. I have enjoyed our discussions, I will miss them, but I am burned out on blogging. It takes up too much of my time and occupies too much of my head space.  I hate politics and I'm through discussing it.

God has blessed me with a rich, joyful life.  I still have all my teeth (despite quite a few fights), I'm on no meds, my family still loves me despite all I've done, it's a big, beautiful world out there and I enjoy living in it. On-line activities distract from all that so I'm leaving Right Blogistan behind.

In the end, putting aside all the philosophy, religion, governments and society, it all comes down to what Blondie says to Tuco at the end of that Sergio Leone classic, The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly:

"You see, in this world there's two kinds of people, my friend: Those with loaded guns and those who dig. You dig."

So, with Donald J. Trump now the 45th President of the United States, Kurt Silverfiddle is riding off into the sunset. I'm off to Uruguay, el Paraíso de Mahoma, where I can have multiple wives, smoke pot to kill the back pain, and play guitar and sing to support myself.

With apologies to Ambrose Bierce...

"Good-bye — if you hear of my being stood up against a concrete wall somewhere in South America and shot to rags please know that I think that a pretty good way to depart this life. It beats old age, disease, or falling down the cellar stars. To be a Gringo in Latin America — ah, that is euthanasia!"

Viva La Reconquista!

* - Finntann gets the final word on Friday, so stay tuned...

Buried Treasure

What are your favorite Western Hero memories? Best donnybrooks?

Here are the top 5 Western Hero posts by number of page hits.

Nietzsche is Dead, Jesus Lives - 33,325 (yes, thirty-three thousand page hits!)

This is not a Blog Post - 14,183

Caught Between Libertarianism and Conservatism - 11,798

Porn Nation: Raquel Welch Edition - 11,687

You can't negotiate with rabid dogs - 5,369


Here's Johnny Flynn singing the theme song (that he wrote) to the charming British series, The Detectorists...





Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Beethoven's Sonata #7, with a Twist


We spend our time arguing and flaming one another, but we don't really know one another... That's a fact of virtual life out here in the ether... But we're all flesh-and-blood human beings, with biases, loved ones, avocations... We all live real lives.

Our colorfully opinionated friend FreeThinke may have been at odds with many of our music postings, but he is a well-trained, highly competent classical pianist, organist and composer who knows what he is talking about when it comes to music.  He holds three degrees in the subject from our best Music Schools.

I just wanted you to know that FreeThinke is not just an irascible old blowhard with nothing to back up his opinions (which he calculates and calibrates to jar us out of complacent thinking). Whether you are crazy about Beethoven or not, FreeThinke is very good at doing what he loves most. 

Here’s our friend FreeThinke giving a public performance on the piano (Not joking, this is really him giving a performance in a New York City music hall, accompanied by a famed violinist, whom we cannot name in order to preserve anonymity):

* For some reason, it wants to start at the 5:00 minute mark for me, don't know why, I've examined the html... anyway, if you want to give it a listen, be sure it starts for you from the beginning.

Beethoven sonata #7, Opus 30, #2 in C-Minor for piano and violin



Monday, January 23, 2017

The President's Speech

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

What did you think of President Trump's Inauguration speech? Chris Matthews, proudly clutching the last available Godwin's Law trophy (they're on backorder for the next four years, folks), felt a "Hitlerian" chill up his formerly tingling leg.

I'm in camp with the non-hysterical normals, which includes many who were not fans of his and still are not.
With four of his predecessors on the platform with him, President Trump blasted all those responsible for the recent government of the country as self-interested incompetents, compulsive, impotent talkers who had allowed America to decay and to be out-maneuvered by its rivals in the world and to take leave of the interests of the people of modest means and no influence within America.
It was a forceful message, powerfully delivered with a completely disciplined attachment to his prepared text.
Source: Conrad Black: Without the trite sanctimony, Trump invokes a sacred duty to raise up America’s magnificence
Peggy Noonan describes the scene well:
The inaugural address was utterly and uncompromisingly Trumpian. [...] It was plain, unfancy and blunt to the point of blistering. A little humility would have gone a long way, but that’s not the path he took. Nor did he attempt to reassure. It was pow, right in the face. Most important, he did not in any way align himself with the proud Democrats and Republicans arrayed around him. 
It was an unmistakable indictment of almost everyone seated with him on the platform.
She ends her essay by identifying the principle danger to politically-independent President Trump:
Normally a new president has someone backing him up, someone publicly behind him. Mr. Obama had the mainstream media — the big broadcast networks, big newspapers, activists and intellectuals, pundits and columnists of the left — the whole shebang. He had a unified, passionate party.
Mr. Trump in comparison has almost nothing. The mainstream legacy media oppose him, even hate him, and will not let up. The columnists, thinkers and magazines of the right were mostly NeverTrump; some came reluctantly to support him. His party is split or splitting.
The new president has gradations of sympathy, respect or support from exactly one cable news channel, and some websites.
He really has no one but those who voted for him.  Source: Peggy Noonan: President Trump Declares Independence
Trumpled and Scorned

President Trump dispensed with the soaring rhetoric, and his word usage and unpolished phrases suggest he wrote the speech himself, probably with Steve Bannon's help. He used direct, frank language, and to those just getting their bearings after this unthinkable election outcome, it was one more flash-bang grenade blowing out newly-installed windows, and sending the Trumpophobes back into a queasy vertigo relapse. No, it wasn't a nightmare: The Trumpening really is upon us.

It is refreshing and heartening to hear a president say things like this again:
"Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs, will be made to benefit American workers and American families."
The following broadside against the Dem-Repub DC Establishment was my favorite. President Obama's jaw was clenched and working at this point, senators were squirming, and the former First Lady's eyes were spitting daggers:
"We will no longer accept politicians who are all talk and no action – constantly complaining but never doing anything about it. The time for empty talk is over. Now arrives the hour of action."
I liked this line...
"When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice."
What do you think?


Sunday, January 22, 2017

No Hard Feelings


No Hard Feelings, by the Avett Brothers

Friday, January 20, 2017

This is Not your Safe Space











Suck it up, Cupcake!


Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Slants



An Asian-American band from Oregon is currently battling before the supreme court for the right to trademark the name they've been performing under for the past ten years.  

Denied by the Patent and Trademark office because they deemed the name "disparaging", a ruling is expected sometime this summer.

USAToday

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Only Three More Days






Intending to be legally bound, I hereby accept the obligations contained in this Agreement in consideration of my being granted access to classified information... 

I have been advised that the unauthorized disclosure, unauthorized retention, or negligent handling of classified information by me could cause damage or irreparable injury to the United States or could be used to advantage by a foreign nation. I hereby agree that I will never divulge classified information to anyone unless: (a) I have officially verified that the recipient has been properly authorized by the United States Government to receive it; or (b) I have been given prior written notice of authorization from the United States Government Department or Agency (hereinafter Department or Agency) responsible for the classification of information or last granting me a security clearance that such disclosure is permitted. I understand that if I am uncertain about the classification status of information, I am required to confirm from an authorized official that the information is unclassified before I may disclose it, except to a person as provided in (a) or (b), above. I further understand that I am obligated to comply with laws and regulations that prohibit the unauthorized disclosure of classified information...

I understand that all classified information to which I have access or may obtain access by signing this Agreement is now and will remain the property of, or under the control of the United States Government unless and until otherwise determined by an authorized official or final ruling of a court of law...

Unless and until I am released in writing by an authorized representative of the United States Government, I understand that all conditions and obligations imposed upon me by this Agreement apply during the time I am granted access to classified information, and at all times thereafter. 

SF312

Obama's commutation of Manning's sentence and pardon of Cartwright is an insult to anyone who bothered to keep their word. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Post-Scarcity Economics


Tea, Earl Grey, Hot... is the line from Star Trek The Next Generation's Captain Picard ordering from a replicator, a device that constructs whatever your heart desires from nothing more then energy, energy to matter.  We're not there yet but we're getting closer and some European nations are struggling with or experimenting with what comes after, what happens when labor is no longer scarce and not provided by human beings.

Finland is experimenting with simply giving people $600 Euros a month, no strings attached.  Drawn randomly from the ranks of the unemployed part of the experiment is to see what these people will do, will they sit around scarfing Doritos and Mountain Dew while playing the latest version of Call of Duty (hmm, perhaps that's too American), or will they become productive contributing members of society.  In Switzerland last year they held, and rejected a referendum, to simply pay everyone in the country $2500 a month.



France expects to lose 3 million jobs in the next eight years to automation.  Since the turn of the century the US lost 5 million manufacturing jobs yet during that same time frame manufacturing grew by 17%.  The jobs didn't go to China, they went to robots.  What do we do with people whose economic productivity is replaced with automation?  Robots are estimated to currently perform about 10% of manufacturing and industrial tasks, that number is expected to rise to 25% by 2025.  From 1998 to 2012 the production of computers and electronics rose 829%, using 1998 worker productivity rates today would equate to over 20 million more jobs.

What would you do if all your needs were met?  Suppose for a second that your current lifestyle was maintained free of charge.  Your house, cars/transportation, food, communications, medical, entertainment all cost free.  Would you sit around on your ass or would you start a novel, take up painting, or do something else?

Would you hire this to clean your carpets?

  
 Actually I was eyeing one of these at Costco the other day for $400.

Associated Press

Fortune

The Economics of Star Trek
 

Monday, January 16, 2017

I guess the competition from the Trump was just too much


After 146 years the Ringling Bros and Barnum and Bailey Circus is shutting down, the last performance will be 21 May 2017.



The demise of the circus is a sad story, two years after prevailing against vexatious lawsuits brought by animal rights organizations over their use and alleged abuse of Asian elephants, Ringling Bros voluntarily pulled the elephants from the circus and attendance plummeted, it was the end of an era. 

I saw the circus as a kid, just curious how many others of you out there can say the same?

 

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Wilbur Ross - Commerce Secretary Nominee


Donald Trumps nominee for Secretary of Commerce is the epitome of corporate statism and a great admirer of Mao's Five Year Plans expressing his admiration in a CNBC interview.  When asked if that is something we should do here, "Yes," Ross responded, before lamenting our lack of an "industrial policy... We ought, as a country, to decide which industries are we going to really promote".

Ross' biggest complaint about Obama?  He is too laissez-faire. 

A former Chinese apologist, "“China has become the whipping boy in the U.S., just as Japan was some 15 years ago. This certainly is intellectually wrong.”, "Chinese currency is overvalued, not undervalued".  He was also one of the signatories of a letter in Huffington Post support the Trans Pacific Partnership: “Trade experts and economists agree that the TPP would be a catalyst for creating new jobs in the United States, attracting more foreign investment to this country, and benefitting American workers in a broad range of industries,”

He has since done an about face on China and the TPP, and became a registered Republican in November of 2016.  Perhaps he has seen the light, or perhaps he simply knows which side his bread is buttered on.

 What do you think?

Politico 

Bloomberg 

Forbes 

Reason

 

Friday, January 13, 2017

New Age

Considered by many to be the first "New Age" album, Music for Zen Meditation by Tony Scott came out in 1964, below is the first track: Is all not one?



I probably shouldn't admit this but I've probably got this CD by Andreas Vollenweider buried in a box somewhere from a time long past when I knew a girl with purple hair and purple crystals who thought she was a witch.



Now, to be honest I wouldn't have been able to tell you if people were still recording New Age music until I Googled it.  Here is a selection from the 2016 Grammy winner in the New Age category. Paul Avgerinos' Grace.



Thursday, January 12, 2017

Neither Intelligence Nor Journalism

One can now see how deep liberal acceptance of alternative lifestyles really goes and for the LGBTQIAPKMOUSE endorsement seeking crowd, it's apparently pretty shallow.  You'd think they'd be overjoyed that they've got a Golden Shower loving President in the Oval Office, I mean isn't it one of those letters already, the G... or no, maybe it's the P, I don't know... I'm so confused.

You've got to love journalistic integrity when an article opens with:

"The allegations are unverified, and the report contains errors."

Followed by:

"The dossier, which is a collection of memos written over a period of months, includes specific, unverified, and potentially unverifiable allegations"

Let's not let truth get in the way of a good story eh? A story that apparently many mainstream news outlets chose not to run with, including the New York Times, probably because it was just too damn legally risky.  Even CNN hedged its bets when it published its story that there was this document out there with some you know, really bad unverified stuff in it, that we can't tell you about lest we get sued, but well you know, we wanted to let you know it was out there anyway.

Let's face some facts here... nothing in the dossier is actionable intelligence, none of is corroborated, and the few things so far that seem readily verifiable such as the Prague Meeting have been deemed false, not only by those journalists that bothered to look into it by also by the FBI. An anonymous source, allegedly  Christoper David Steele, Director of Orbis Business Intelligence Ltd. (yeah two can play a that game), provides anonymous intelligence to a paying client looking for dirt.  Well I suppose he has to provide them something otherwise he wouldn't get paid, would he? I've read the full document and with a passing familiarity for what passes for modern intelligence, can say I can understand why he's an "ex" intelligence agent as it is sloppy and full of errors.

Journalism?  Here are a few points from media helping media about the importance of fact checking. 

Are you preventing thorough fact checking? Are you investigating the situation because you have a desired outcome in mind? Are you trying to make the facts fit a headline you have already prepared in your head? If so, you may have compromised your objectivity which will make it difficult to produce a piece of journalism that is strictly factual.
The Two reliable sources rule. Most media organizations have a rule that all facts should be confirmed by two reliable sources. Often the wires will be counted as one source. The journalist then has to find another source that is willing to go on record to verify the information.
Who can a journalist trust? Well, the truth is, nobody. A journalist must never accept what they are told without scrutinizing the information. Journalists should take a skeptical view of every piece of information shared with them. They should not blindly trust contacts – even if those contacts have proved reliable in the past.
Which is probably why the NYT didn't publish it, or the other legitimate news outlets that it was shopped to.  The question is then why did those who did publish it, do so?

Me I tend to believe Trump when he says he previously cautioned other people that you're never alone in Mother Russia.  It's pretty much taken as fact and given as a warning to government personnel traveling to more countries than just Russia.  

What do you think?








 

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

For those opposed to the death penalty

photo; pretzelpaws

I present you with the best argument I've heard for it in a long time:

Photo: Charleston County Sheriff's Office

Yesterday Dylan Roof was sentenced to death by a federal jury for the massacre at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.

Any dissenters?

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Somebody just grew a set...


After issuing radio and visual warnings to remain clear the USS Mahan fired three warning shots at Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy vessels on high speed approach.  Upon firing of the warning shots the Iranian vessels arrested their high speed approach.

The Mahan was escorting a fleet replenishment oiler the USNS Walter S. Diehl and the Wasp class amphibious assault ship the USS Makin Island.

MSN

Might I say it's about frigging time. 

Monday, January 9, 2017

Hacked

Our nation's alphabet soup of intelligence agencies agree:
Putin developed “a clear preference” for Trump to win, the agencies said in a declassified summary of their findings. The agencies said they “assess Putin and the Russian government aspired to help President-elect Trump’s election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton and publicly contrasting her unfavorably to him,” according to the report.

“All three agencies agree with this judgment. CIA and FBI have high confidence in this judgment; NSA has moderate confidence,” the report said. “Moscow will apply lessons learned from its Putin-ordered campaign aimed at the U.S. presidential election to future influence efforts worldwide, including against U.S. allies and their election processes.” (Bloomberg)
One or more of these leaky agencies--which Bush-Cheney demonstrated can easily be politicized--let the press know of their conclusions before they briefed the President-elect, but we'll set that aside for now.

I wish Obama and his bureaucrats had gotten as upset at China hacking the OPM, since it was far more damaging (I was a victim. I can tell you all about identity theft).  Better yet, did Obama fire any of the inept bureaucratic bumblers who failed to protect the social security numbers of millions of veterans with security clearances? 

The "hacking" which was not unprecedented--everybody does it--even the US--involved showing us just how nasty and corrupt Hillary's Democrat party apparatchiks are by publishing their private e-mails. Would any of it have mattered if Hillary and her syndicate didn't have a well-earned reputation for lying, dissembling, legalistic verbal gymnastics and an above-the-law arrogance?  But let's leave that aside for now.

Obama's intel bureaucrats also allege Russia inserted "fake news" into our national thoughtstream. They didn't say whether Russia hacked Hillary to make her cackle, have brain glitches, and put on those crazy eyes...  But let's get to the point.

What is the logical consequence of this conclusion?

America is the Social Media Stupidity capital of the world.  We are the Global Infotainment Media Complex offering the world bubble-butt fake plastic sluts and their brain-dead boy toys, songs glorifying crime and the degradation of women, a constant parade of human oddities and freak shows, and the gushing Hollywood sewer pipe, poisoning the entire world with our fetishes for over-the-top sub-moronic action, more and more grotesque forms of violence, and twisted flavors of sex unrecognizable by everyday practitioners.

Americans are noisily bombarded by a 24/7 Social Media Circus that explodes in paroxysms of outrage and ululations over the fate of Harambe the Gorilla or Cecil the Lion but is uninterested when teens torture a mentally disabled man or light a playmate on fire. Our Pop Media "culture" is a brain poison that sacrifices eternal truths for the latest celebrity brain droppings and "official news"-fomented hysteria. 

How in the hell do we prevent "the wrong people" from dumping their own poison into this toxic waste dump of useless information and alt-reality we have created?

In Summary...

US Intelligence bureaucracies allege Russia planted "fake news" and "propaganda" into our ramshackle and untrustworthy noise-blaring Infotainment Media Complex.

What do we do about it? How in the blue blazes could we set up some kind of filter without silencing the entire enterprise?

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Hate Speech

There goes Pastor Kim Burrell's Oscar...

Another unfortunate violates the hive orthodoxy and is excommunicated...
Burrell launched into a harangue about the “evil” of homosexuality.
“I came to tell you about sin,” Burrell said. She then went on the attack. “That perverted homosexual spirit is a spirit of delusion and confusion and has deceived many men and women, and it has caused a strain on the body of Christ. 
“You, as a man, you open your mouth and take a man’s penis in your face, you are perverted. You are a woman and will shake your face in another woman’s breast, you are perverted.”
The sermon caused a firestorm on social media... (Daily Beast)
Firestorm indeed... 

Christophobia is raging out of control, with followers of Christ being singled out for ridicule and being called a danger to societal progress. The hate speech against Christians and Christianity, to include routine lampooning and demeaning by pop culture music, movies and TVs, is on the increase.

Progressive High Priestesses and Social Arbiters of Right and Wrong have issued their dogma: 

Homosexuality good, Christianity bad. Believers in a higher power are "delusional," are fascists, have Hitlerian tendencies, learned what they know by reading Mein Kampf. 

Christianity = Hate. Got it?

The Exhorters of Contemporary Homo-Centricism  mock all that came before them and egg on their fervid flock to demean Christians by stating their beliefs "sap the intellect," and represent a "mind virus." This dogmatic secular cult routinely compares Christian leaders to Ayatollah Khomeini and other rabid Muslim theocrats while ridiculously defending or ignoring the actions of actual Muslim theocrats who kill gays, stone and mutilate women, and burn people alive.

Angry, intolerant haters have launched a sustained multi-pronged attack on Christians and are determined to demonize and ultimately dehumanize anyone who espouses The Gospel.

I stand with those who made these statements:

“I condemn anti-Christian hate speech. There is no room in this world for any kind of prejudice."

“I unequivocally repudiate ANY AND ALL hateful comments against the Christian community.

"Christophobia is still front and center in our culture, staring us in the face and daring us to do something about it."

"The easiest lie that we tell in America is one that softens our bigotry. And many Americans have gotten very good at telling themselves “I don’t hate Mormons and Evangelicals—I just don’t ‘support’ them,”"


This comment about the intolerant left is spot on: "you don’t want to relinquish your right to feel morally and culturally superior. This is the worst combination of hubris and hate."

Of course, I stand alone, since I doctored those quotes, removing "gay, LGBT, etc" and inserting "Christian."

Reality Check:

There is a sharp distinction between speech and action. Thank God we do not have Christian pogroms hunting down gay people and doing violence.

The law also distinguishes a certain type of speech, incitement, or fighting words, intended to foment violence against the target of the speech. The Christian pastor who made those comments, and Christian pastors all over the US, are not engaging in such speech when they preach the Gospel.
I would like to call upon America to be more careful with its trust and prevent those wise persons who are attempting to establish even finer degrees of justice and even finer legal shades of equality - some because of their distorted outlook, others because of short-sightedness and still others out of self-interest - from falsely using the struggle for peace and for social justice to lead you down a false road. Because they are trying to weaken you; they are trying to disarm your strong and magnificent country in the face of this fearful threat - one which has never been seen before in the history of the world.  -- Alexander Solzhenitsyn
If you hate God or don't believe in Him, ignore him and those who expound his teachings. It's a free country. If we can't learn how to Tolerate a Diversity of philosophy, thought, opinion and religion, we are doomed as a society. 

Warning to the West by Alexander Solzhenitsyn



Friday, January 6, 2017

If you missed it first time around...

It's Christmas Eve again, the Eastern Orthodox Christmas is tomorrow, January 7th. Here is a sampling of Byzantine, Greek, and Russian Orthodox Christmas music.








Thursday, January 5, 2017

Hyperface

Photo: Adam Harvey

The latest in camouflage.  Berlin artist Adam Harvey has developed the above pattern to fool facial recognition software with a fabric that to computer results in large numbers of false hits for facial recognition software resulting in the software being unable to properly interpret what is the proper face and what is not.

Now who can't see the faces in the above pattern?

And you were worried androids were going to take over the world.

The Guardian

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

People have been known to make predictions...


From SF last year:

Dem ticket:  Hillary Clinton and one of the Castro brothers.

Well half right.

Repub Ticket:  Chris Christie/Susana Martinez

And its a long hard ball out into left field.

Next US President:  Hillary Clinton

Next!

1 TB, 2 TB and 3 TB solid State computer drives will fall below $200/Terabyte 

A 3 TB drive is available on Amazon for $4995

Assad regains control of all of Syria, including Raqqa, but violent ISIS remnants continue to ankle-bite his regime, while ISIS keeps a firm hold on parts of Iraq. 

Pretty darn close.

US GDP for 2015 will be below 3%

According to US News it was 2.4%, give that man a cigar.

Europe and North America will each experience at least one Islamic terror attack with more than 50 casualties each (I will be happy to be wrong about this one) 

Well that one was kind of like stepping up to the plate with a barn door ;)

GOP House and Senate will approve the Trans-Pacific Partnership and President Obama will sign it.   

Gurgle, gurgle, gurgle...

MORE PREDICTIONS FROM YOURS TRULY

Clinton campaign implodes after charges are filed in re. to >1200 classified emails on her home server. Democrats field a Sanders/Warren ticket.  

I can dream can't I ?

Republicans field a Cruz/Scott Brown ticket in a brokered convention.  

And none of us saw the steam engine barrelling down the track.

Trump runs an Independent campaign, no one gets an electoral college majority, and the House picks Cruz amid a flurry of legal challenges. 

Who'd have ever thunk he'd get the nomination ;)

Oil drops to between $20-25 a barrel for WTI. 

Close but no cigar ($26.56 was the lowest it got).

The government of North Korea collapses, refugees stream both north and south over the border resulting in a Chinese military intervention in the north preventing reunification and raising tensions in Asia to a tinderbox level

Well it's bound to happen sooner or later, let it roll...

AND FROM A FEW OTHERS

Freesoul1957:  Trump will become president

Ducky: Clinton/Julian Castro vs.  Cruz/Ayotte

Ducky: Unemployment will drop below 5% but labor participation will edge down.  (Dropped to 4.9 in October... maybe, sort of)

Jersey: Clinton/Beshear vs.  Christie/Haley

2016 Western Hero Predictions 

Anyone care to go out on a limb this year?
 

 
 

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Guns and Gravity



The first line of this song is critical to the article that follows:

"What goes up must come down".

Texas State Representative Armando Martinez was celebrating New Year's Eve with his wife in their backyard in the rural Texas  town of Weslaco.  Hearing celebratory gunfire as the hour struck, well what follows is better in his words:

"At the stroke of midnight, my wife comes over and gives me a hug and a kiss, and right after that I felt like a sledgehammer hitting the back of my head."

Rushed to the Valley Baptist Medical Center surgeons discovered .223 bullet fragments lodged in the outer surface layer of his brain.

A bullet fired up into the air can in its descent reach speeds of up to 300 feet per second,  bullets fired at less than a 45 degree angle can reach much higher speeds as the course is more ballistic rather than simply affected by gravity.

Come on folks, shooting guns into the air is something best left to the third world... it's a no brainer (too soon?). 

Lubbock Avalanche Journal


Monday, January 2, 2017

Britain Rings in the New Year

Some people won't be having a happy new year! Carnage on the streets of Britain as revellers see in 2017 with a night of fighting, vomiting and a LOT of flesh on show

I'm not making fun of Great Britain. This and worse goes on here in the US. I want to direct your attention to the captions under the pictures. British papers have a refreshing way of frankly stating the scene...

"Celebrations turned ugly in Manchester as a flabby shirtless man kicks out at another man lying on the ground"

"Two men come to blows in the heavy rain in Manchester as a distressed woman tries to break them apart"

"A girl is comforted by a male companion after leaving a nightclub in Sheffield, where bottles of booze were seen on the street"

"Two men were seen lying slumped on the ground in Albert Embankment, central London, as the excitement proved too much"


I am also not moralizing against revelers. Lord knows I boozed my way across The Olde Continent. I got so drunk with a group of Irish men and women one night I don't know how I got home... and that was on a religious pilgrimage.

Also, I want to deplore the trend of tattoos on women. I'm old enough to remember a time when that was confined to circuses. Did the US start that execrable global trend?

Here's a song I've never heard in the US (outside of my house), but used to be popular in Europe and Central and South America in the 90's...