Monday, June 30, 2014

Fool Me Once

Ten years ago, in June 2004, Marine Cpl. Wassef Ali Hassoun disappeared from his base in Fallujah, Iraq. Within days he appeared in a poorly-staged hostage video, and within a month he mysteriously showed up unharmed at the U.S. embassy in Beirut. After a five month investigation back in the United States, military prosecutors accused Hassoun of faking his kidnapping and charged him with desertion and theft of a Humvee, which he allegedly used to drive off his base in Fallujah.

In Jan. 2005, Hassoun fled the U.S. through Canada, returned to Lebanon where he was born, and the Marines charged him with a second count of desertion. Ten years later, Hassoun turned himself into NCIS investigators in Bahrain. Officials say Hassoun is willing to return to the U.S. because he reportedly fears for his life in Lebanon. 


As my father used to say, fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.

Am I the only one that thinks justice will be best served by leaving his butt in Lebanon?  Besides, do we really want this ------- inside the United States?

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Minimum Wage

There were 127,000 fewer working-age natives holding a job in the first quarter of 2014 than in 2000, while the number of immigrants with a job was 5.7 million above the 2000 level.

Because the native-born population grew significantly, but the number working actually fell, there were 17 million more working-age natives not working in the first quarter of 2014 than in 2000.

The Wages of Progressive Sin

You want wages to go up?

Stop importing labor... or allowing it to cross the border unimpeded

Progressives chasing their tails

The Massachusetts House passed a bill that will raise the state’s minimum wage to $11 an hour by 2017. The Senate already passed that wage level, and after a procedural vote there it will head to Gov. Deval Patrick (D), who is expected to sign it into law. 


The simple truth of it is that this cost is simply going to be passed along to consumers of goods and services, and offset by cutting employees.  The cost of living is going to go up and the value of a dollar is going to go down, those who are going to shoulder the greatest burden are the poor, whose purchases of goods and services represent a greater portion of their income than the middle class and wealthy.  The income gap will grow simply because this action won't lift people out of poverty, it will have the opposite effect as prices increase to offset decreasing profit margins.  In the end the wealthy will be wealthier and the poor poorer, do you think that those now making $12 will see a raise anytime soon?


What will their answer be?  To pass another wage increase.


The CBO examined the budget impacts of raising the minimum wage to $9 and $10.10. The report concluded that a $9 increase would lift 300,000 workers above the poverty line, but cost 100,000 new jobs as employers are expected to reduce workforces to make up for higher wages. A $10.10 increase would lift 900,000 workers above the poverty line, but cost 500,000 jobs.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Friday, June 27, 2014

You're not my nanny...

and, You're Fired.

Information compiled by data brokers from public records and credit card transactions can reveal where a person shops, the food they buy, and whether they smoke. The largest hospital chain in the Carolinas is plugging data for 2 million people into algorithms designed to identify high-risk patients, while Pennsylvania’s biggest system uses household and demographic data.



Is this really where we want to go?

Do you want your healthcare provider monitoring your purchases?  If my doctor called to discuss say, the amount of bacon I purchased, or alcohol, or even cigars, that would be it.  End of business relationship, and I would tell them in choice words that shouldn't be reprinted here.

We really need to stand up and let these companies know we are not going to tolerate these practices and are not going to do business with them if that is the way they operate.  Of course, the vast majority of us are mere lemmings, enthralled by the convenience of a Visa or Discover card, so you know nothing's going to happen and nothing's going to change.  Mores the shame. 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Jack Booted Thugs

Photo: Sean Kendall

Meet Geist

He was home alone in his backyard when Salt Lake City police came in and shot him in the head.

A Salt Lake City family called police to report that their three year old was missing.  Police proceeded to conduct a house to house search, knocked on the door of Sean Kendall's house and when no one answered, entered the private, gated, backyard without a warrant. When the dog exited his kennel the officer felt threatened and shot the dog.

Now in my opinion the police officer was not in hot-pursuit, and a mere missing child does not qualify as exigent circumstance.  In order for exigent circumstances to apply the officer would have had to have some reason to believe the child was present, which is unlikely since he was found asleep in his home.

The Police are there to help?

I grew up around police officers, went to barbeques, worked on cars, went fishing with them, even worked for a retired police officer for a time.   Now there are two possibilities, either I was extremely naive, or the police have changed a lot,  I think the latter is the case.

I even have a few friends who are cops, but the advice I give friends and family now is have nothing to do with them without a lawyer present.  Some kids in my neighborhood had broken into a house and the deputy sheriffs were apparently looking for where they stashed the loot.  They asked kindly if they could look in my barn, I declined.  I offered to look myself and let them know if I found anything, they declined.  I never would have dreamed of doing that twenty-five years ago, but times change, and if you ask me law enforcement has changed.

What do you think of this? Was the cop justified? How do you feel about law enforcement today?

Deseret News

Salt Lake Tribune

If you ask me, they're public servants and they need to be reminded who's master.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Dirty Politics?

So, why are DemocRATS running ads about Republican candidates in a Republican primary?

The ads are being run by a group called "Protect Colorado Values", a partnership between the independent expenditure committee of the Democratic Governor's Association and other Colorado based progressive organizations. KDVR

The registered agent of Protect Colorado Values is Jim Alexee, Director, Business Development & Strategic Planning, Project New America. 

Project New America is a progressive organization with clients such as: American Bridge, America Votes, the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (DLCC), the League of Conservation Voters, the National Education Association (NEA), ProgressNOW, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), and Sierra Club, 9 to 5, Climate Action Network, National Association of Working Women, National Council of La Raza (NCLR), PICO National Network

Dems try to manipulate Colorado GOP Primary

For Dems Tancredo is the new Dan Maes

Democrats help extremist to set up GOP Loss

In the last link besides calling Tom Tancredo an extremist, Rachel Maddow explains the democratic party strategy, calling it genius.

Now of course this is all legal, the question of whether or not it is ethical remains.

What do you think of opposition parties (either) running ads in the other party's primary in an attempt to influence who they must run against?

Tuesday, June 24, 2014


Ideomotor Response or Spawn of Satan?

There was a recent article  in the Daily Mail of three Americans hospitalized for possession after using a Ouija board in San Juan Tlacotenco in SW Mexico.

The Spiritualist theory is that you're talking to the dead, Evangelicals may tell you you're talking to Satan, indeed most Christian religious denominations will answer with:

"Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord" (Dt 18:10–12, NIV)
Scientists may tell you it's a subconscious ideomotor response, although scientific experiments have yielded some interesting results.  In one study participants asked to simply answer a series of questions answered correctly about 50% of the time, with a Ouija board their success rate climbed to 65%.   The scientific explanation is that we know the answers, but self-doubt or other emotions may cause us to answer incorrectly, something along the lines of the advice given to test takers to always go with the first answer that pops into mind.

Additionally, there are many scary stories floating about regarding Ouiji boards.  Initially there wasn't much negative ascribed to Ouija boards until the movie the Exorcist came out, and from there the scary stories just blossomed.

I've never put much stock in them, subscribing to the ideomotor response theory, although I have some faint memories of someone from my young teen years having one, perhaps an aunt.

What do you think?

Monday, June 23, 2014

An Oxymoron?

Or just a plain moron?

I stumbled across this headline browsing through the news:

"Video game athletes battling it out in California"

I paused, scratched my head, and consulted a dictionary.

"A person who is trained trained or skilled in exercises, sports, or games that require physical strength, agility, or stamina" - Merriam Webster

"A person possessing the natural or acquired traits, such as strength, agility, and endurance, that are necessary for physical exercise or sports, especially those performed in competitive contexts." - Free Dictionary

So, what do you think? Is there any such thing as a "Video Game" Athlete? It does require, sometimes, some level of hand-eye coordination.  But on the other hand, I've never seen anyone running the 440 with a bag of Doritos in one hand and a Mountain Dew in the other?

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Obama's Hunger Games

I am sympathetic to the plight of those pouring across our borders, but I don't understand why we are blowing billions to warehouse them, feed them cold eggs, entertain them and provide them free bus fare to join their family members who are also here illegally.  Why not simply fly them back to their respective nations' capitals?  That is the humane response.  It sends a message quickly and decisively that if you risk robbery, rape and murder to come here, we'll just turn you right around and you'll be back home, poorer but wiser.

The next step in US policy needs to be a coordinated effort with the governments of Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, focusing on economic development, law enforcement and criminal justice.  

We also need to dispense some tough love and let those nations know that we will not be their safety valve.  They've got to clean it up:  Their governments are corrupt.  Of course, our own moral standing has been eroding beneath our feet for over a decade now, so we're not really possessed of the gravitas to deliver that message, are we?

An Obama Trifecta

But it is clear that this vast migration north is a win-win-win for:
1) The Central American Governments;
2) The criminal gangs and corrupt Mexican officials who usher them through Mexico and exploit them in the process, and;
3) The Democrat party vote harvesters, the US government poverty pimps who need to keep their numbers up so they can continue to devour their share of taxpayer money, and the Chamber of Commerce low-wage exploiters.

The lawyers are really cleaning up, since Obama set up a federally-funded jobs program that pays slip-and-fall shysters to sue the Federal Government on behalf of people who crossed our border illegally.  Is America a great country, or what?

An added bonus is that it pits groups against one another, and that is what the DC politicos do best.  It's great for fundraising and getting out the vote.

Obama's Progressive Hunger Games

Most immoral of all are those who think this is OK, that anyone who can navigate the gauntlet of violent gangs and corrupt police, and who risk robbery, rape and murder to get here, should get to stay.  This encourages a real-life Hunger Games of sickening dimensions.

Obama caused this, and he did it on purpose.  Newspapers in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala are full of news that his government has waived all restrictions and is granting free passes to women and children.  A responsible government with a useful State Department would have embassies that read the press in their host nations and issue clarifications, but ours is not a responsible government.  The Obama Administration has willfully misled poor Central Americans, and now, here we are.  I would like to know how many died trying to make the journey.    

If the situation in these nations to our south really are so bad that it warrants granting people refugee status, then the humanitarian thing to do is to pull a reverse Berlin Airlift, flying planes in 24/7 to evacuate any and all and bring them to the US.  Anything less would be cruel and inhumane.

* Late Breaking Update:

When you hear rabid leftwing La Raza Democrats talking like this, you know their sick and cynical strategy to lure people here has backfired on them politically:
“I do not see the countries of Central America stepping up to take responsibility for the danger, dysfunction, death and despair in their own cities and towns,” Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez, Illinois Democrat, said Thursday.

Mr. Gutierrez pointed to “the insatiable appetite for drugs on our streets” that is feeding into drug gangs’ power in Central America. (Washington Times)
It's amazing. Of course, he's dodging and deflecting, but he does sound rational for a change. Could it be that Americans are overwhelmingly pissed off at Barack Obama about this humanitarian nightmare, and that they overwhelmingly blame Democrats?

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Saturday Sessions: The Groobers

The American missile forces have been in the news lately, and repeatedly...  Here's a little Americana Militaria for their side of the story.

I couldn't embed the videos, so you'll have to do a little work and click the links.


On The Line

The Born Loser

There are no Missilemen down in Hell

Little Boxes 

If this doesn't work, or you want more, just search for The Groobers on Youtube.


Friday, June 20, 2014

The Dogma of Democracy

"Democracy has its faults, because people have their faults. Like owner, like store." Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk

The Dogma of Democracy doesn't always make the world better:

The break-up of the Soviet empire and the “shock therapy” that followed it produced new oligarchies and kleptocracies that have at their disposal innovative tools of finance and communication; the advance of political Islam has placed millions of Muslims, who make up a quarter of the world’s population, under more restrictive theocratic rule; tribes, clans, and sectarian groups have become the most important actors in the post-colonial states of Africa and the Middle East; China has brought back despotic mercantilism.

A good, albeit somewhat long read can be found here: The Truth About Our Libertarian Age, Mark Lilla

Our hubris is to think that we no longer have to think hard or pay attention or look for connections, that all we have to do is stick to our “democratic values” and economic models and faith in the individual and all will be well.  

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Le Camp des Saints

Every few years, when immigration explodes upon our national consciousness, I am reminded of the novel Camp of the Saints, written by Frenchman Jean Raspail. Many consider it a racist work, but polite outlets still sell the prophetic novel that was written in 1973.

Here's a brief description, written by a reviewer in 1995. If I hadn't just told you that, you would think this was a contemporaneous account of Western Civilization:
For some years now the West has lost all sense of belief in itself and, because of this, has lost the will to defend itself. Such a clever and inventive civilization, this Western culture, but the things it creates are ugly. They destroy the self-respect of those who make them and of those who buy them. And the ideas it produces are worse. The biggest idea that this West of 1973 has produced is "the beast," the idea of "world conscience." This beast is made of two parts, one of guilt and one of anti-racism. The guilt portrays Third World poverty as a consequence of Western greed, while the anti-racism condemns any attempt by the guilt-ridden to protect themselves against the Third World retribution that is to come.

The ugly material goods, the objects that corrupt their makers and consumers, are produced by capitalists. But the ideas come from the critics of capitalism, from left-wing activists and journalists, and from churchmen. And here is a nice paradox the left dominate the media, but the right have to tolerate them because, without the audiences that left-wing broadcasters attract, the capitalists would have no means of selling their tawdry goods.
In France, in particular, a proud tradition has deteriorated. A limping, ramshackle culture, full of self-interested cant, shot through with veins of self-hatred, is to be tested. A mere hundred unseaworthy boats will bring a million uninvited immigrants from the other side of the earth, and France will be found wanting. It will fail the test and all of the West will fail with it.  (The Social Contract)
We're All (fill in the blank) Now
Here's an interesting tidbit from the same review:  In the book, a radio journalist coins the slogan "We're all from the Ganges now."

I had forgotten that line. I guess it didn't start with 9/11...

Cultural Preservation = Nativism = Racism?
I can understand immigrants, especially Indians, calling the book racist, but in Raspail's defense, unless he went sci-fi, he had to pick somebody to play the poor, stinking hordes, and in 1973, India fit the bill. Also, before wielding the timeworn racist argument, consider the plain fact that other nations and peoples have leveled the same charge at the white Europeans who invaded them, swamped them demographically, or who simply had the temerity to vacation in their lands.

Putting that aside this is a crackling good story with a moral to it. It also raises the question, is it racist to want your culture to remain unadulterated by outside influence? Or to at least choose, rather than have it foised upon you? Raspail is a "traditionalist" who "dislikes the incursions that Anglo-Americanisms have made into the French culture. Though he once knew some English, he no longer wishes to use it."

What's racist about that? And if any and all resistance to outside influence is racist, then the only right action is to stand aside while aliens dismantle your culture and change the face of your nation.

Nothing Stands in the Way

As Border Patrol agents are pulled off the border so they can change diapers and make sandwiches for future Democrat voters, ask yourself this question:
What would prevent millions of illiterates from crashing our borders?  Castoffs from around the world, an international Mariel boatlift from over 100 countries dispatching 'undesirables.'  It could happen easy enough:  Shipped to Mexico by people who hate us, facilitated from Mexican ports to our borders by criminal gangs and corrupt politicians.  A polyglot sea of humanity, in waves of hundreds of thousands, demanding to be granted entry in the name of human rights and all that is holy.  What could we do about it? 

Answer:  Nothing

Anyway, if you feel dirty or guilty after reading Raspail's book, I suggest T.C. Boyle's excellent portrayal of illegal immigrants (and American hypocrisy) in 1990's California, The Tortilla Curtain.

See also
Familiarity Breeds Tolerance and Respect
Western Hero - Camp of the Saints, Europe's Nightmare

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Wither Iraq?

Fight 'em over there so we don't have to fight 'em here!

Ask the people of Boston how that turned out, or the people of London who witnessed bloodthirsty Islamists run down a British soldier and decapitate him in the street. Despite President Obama's empty boasts, we are not decimating the terrorist factions.

What do we do about the Middle East?

We need to draw a few lines of defense, I'm thinking of Iraqi Kurdistan, Israel, the Gulf, including UAE, Qatar, etc, and leave the rest alone.

Mighty ISIS is planning to attack New York? Pffft... BFD. Who doesn't hate the US now?

How do we defend ourselves? We tell our massive multi-billion dollar Intelligence Industrial Complex to knock off the digital upskirts of ordinary Americans and our allies and turn their assets outward.

How did we get here?  A little history...
America’s turn to jihadi proxies did not start with Bush’s strategic malpractice in Iraq. It was born on July 3, 1979, when President Carter signed the first directive to arm jihadists in Afghanistan, before Soviet forces invaded the country. For U.S. policymakers, collaborating with Riyadh to launch transnational jihad in Afghanistan seemed a clever way to undermine the Soviet Union—by goading it into a draining occupation of Afghanistan, which Carter’s national security adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, hoped to make Moscow’s Vietnam.

Ultimately, Red Army garrisoning of Afghanistan contributed only marginally (if at all) to the Soviet Union’s dissolution. But U.S. support for the mujahideen and cooperation with Riyadh contributed critically to al-Qa’ida, the Taliban, and 9/11—which opened the door for Republican neoconservatives and Democratic fellow travelers to unite behind attacking Iraq." (National Interest)

Blowback: Obama's Chickens Come Home to Roost
ISIS’s current offensive across Iraq’s Sunni heartland is an apotheosis of the trifecta that Bush’s ill-begotten Iraqi campaign and Obama’s catastrophic decisions to overthrow Qadhafi and make Assad’s removal the goal of America’s Syria policy have collectively wrought. (National Interest)
Amateur Hour

This is what happens when amateurs grasp the levers of power. Foreign policy is hard and there are no solutions, only strategies and tactics designed to cope with an ever-changing global landscape.

So now, we have Iran and their Hezbo proxies propping up Basher Assad (who we want gone), so we armed the rebels, who are now running through Iraq like crap through a goose. These sunni extremists are funded by the rich gulf states (our "allies") in an effort to push back on Iran (an enemy who helped kill US soldiers in Iraq), who Obama and Kerry are foolishly talking about 'cooperating' with.

Bottom line: 
These are proxy wars, and we need to stay out of them. There are no good guys worthy of our support. They all hate each other over there, and the smartest thing we can do is to stay out of the way as they burn, bomb, maim, decapitate and murder one another.  It is delusional to think any outsider can "manage" any of this.

I admit I had to stop and reevaluate my thinking when I found myself agreeing with progressive pontificator Thomas Friedman:
Maybe Iran, and its wily Revolutionary Guards Quds Force commander, Gen. Qassem Suleimani, aren’t so smart after all. It was Iran that armed its Iraqi Shiite allies with the specially shaped bombs that killed and wounded many American soldiers. Iran wanted us out. It was Iran that pressured Maliki into not signing an agreement with the U.S. to give our troops legal cover to stay in Iraq. Iran wanted to be the regional hegemon. Well, Suleimani: “This Bud’s for you.” Now your forces are overextended in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq, and ours are back home. Have a nice day.  (New York Times)
Obama and his foreign minister Heinz-Kerry, should  be leaving Iran to bleed out, not extending a helping hand.

Hopefully, the fighting will attract all the jihadi wannabes lounging around in the west and they'll join the fighting and be killed. As a bonus, western governments can redline those individuals who survive the fighting and refuse to allow them back within the gates of civilization (I know, I know... but I can dream).

So, I don't agree with the authors of the National Interest piece when they suggest we cozy up to the Iranian mullahs, but I do agree with this:

Looking forward, American policymakers should start observing the Hippocratic injunction, “first, do no harm.”

To help yourself further along the path to understanding the Middle East madhouse, see Wider War, by Dexter Filkins

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

It's futbolístic

US defeats Ghana 2-1

I have to admit I'm not the world's, country's, or even county's biggest soccer fan.  I wasn't even all that interested in it when my wife was playing competitively at the state level.  Sure, I went to her games, but it was about as interesting to me as watching paint dry.  My kids also played but there's something just not right with a game that can end 0-0.  Believe it or not, I've never even played a game.  Growing up it was Hockey, Football, and Baseball in that order, perhaps a game of stickball here and there.  Soccer was the game the immigrant kids (mostly Greek) played.

I work with a woman whose daughter plays well enough to have colleges courting her and there are a few other fans in the office, so once again the World Cup is on TV in the office everyday.  Sure I'll stand up and check out the replays, but frankly I'm not that interested.  Soccer in America has an image problem, it's improving, but it's still a problem nonetheless.  One executive even asked why people were watching it, "it's not an American sport".

So what about you?

Do you watch? Do you care?  I've lived in England, I even lived in Korea when they co-hosted the cup with Japan (best thing that came out of that was street signs in English), but I just can't seem to muster any excitement over the games. Right now the best thing I can say about it is it's not politics... it's futbolístic.


Monday, June 16, 2014

Politics Never Change

I stumbled across the bearded gent and minor footnote to history above simply because he was a representative from Virginia's 7th District, Eric Cantor's district.

Meet the Honorable Nathaniel Claiborne in office from March 4, 1825 to March 3, 1837 as both a Jacksonian and Anti-Jacksonian.

Somethings never change.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Isn't that Convenient

18 Minutes

of missing audio brought down the Nixon administration.

28 Months

of email are what the Obama administration claims it lost in relation to the IRS targeting investigation.

The emails lost are those between Lois Lerner and the White House, Justice Department, Treasury Department, Federal Elections Commission, Democratic Congressional Offices, and outside parties.

In the Nixon case, White House lawyers didn't turn the subpoenaed tapes for more than a week after they knew that 18 minutes were missing.

In the Lerner case, the IRS didn't turn over the subpoenaed emails for more than a year, and now claim more than two years worth of data is missing. 

Isn't that Convenient?

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Saturday Sessions: Alanis Morissette

This next one is kind of unique as it is a cover and parody...

of this song...

The explanation: I was in the studio with Guy Sigsworth and he would say, "What horse from the apocalypse are you bringing in today, Alanis?" Because every song was this tsunami of emotions. So I said, "I wish I could just write a really simple song, a song like 'My Humps.' " Then we had a pregnant pause, looked at each other, and said, "All right, let's do it!" Within moments we were recording the piano version of it, and within a week we were shooting the video in my garage here at my house. However it's been interpreted has been entertaining for me to watch."  

Undercover FM

Friday, June 13, 2014

Our Future

President Obama reminded Democratic donors that “our future rests” on the success of people brought to the United States illegally as children, who would qualify for citizenship if Congress had passed the DREAM Act.

“About 30 to 40 percent of the kids in this school, by the way, are DREAM kids,” Obama said Wednesday evening.

National Review 

Remember the good old days?

When our future rested on the success of people born in the United States, citizens of the United States, or those that emigrated legally to the United States?

Worcester Polytechnic Institute or Woostah Polly as Ducky would call it has a student population of 5,778 students, so ask yourself, who's really paying the tuition for those 2300 Dreamers? Then answer this question, should we paying for the education of 2300 illegals or would that money be spent more wisely paying for the education of 2300 Americans?

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Iraq Falling

Fallujah... Mosul... Tikrit...

ISIS, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (or the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant), a group kicked out of Al-Qaeda for being too extreme (so extreme Al-Qaeda was fighting alongside moderates in Syria against them) is marching across Iraq and is now just 95 miles outside of Baghdad. 

Having taken the Turkish Consulate in Mosul, they now hold some 80 Turks hostage.  Turkey has called for an emergency meeting of NATO. The Turkish Foreign Minister threatens military action if any Turks are harmed, and Iraq is "open to US airstrikes" (Open or requesting?... The NYT is reporting that the Iraqi Prime Minister secretly requested airstrikes from the Obama administration on militant staging areas.)

Should we care? Do we have any obligation to assist?

What are your thoughts?

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Eric Can'tor



Well, Dave Brat is so new I couldn't find a copyright free portrait of him.  Dr. David Brat is a Professor of Economics and Ethics at Randolph-Macon College, a liberal arts college in Ashland, Virginia.

It is fairly rare for political leadership to get so soundly trounced in an election, let alone in their own party. Those who pronounced the Tea Party dead may have been a bit premature, rumors of their death have been greatly exaggerated, especially in VA's 7th District.

As it stands now, it's 55.6 to 44.4 with 96.7% reporting. Having raised just $200,000 compared to Cantor's $5.4 million, with the PACs on Cantor's side, and going in 52-39 down in the polls, Brat with the voter's in VA's 7th has pulled off a stunning upset. As of May 21st according to the FEC, Cantor had outspent Brat $1.9 million to $123,000.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

A US-Sponsored Humanitarian Crisis

Our United States government has created a humanitarian crisis
A mother and child told CHANNEL 5 NEWS that the message being disseminated in their country is, "go to America with your child, you won't be turned away."

The woman, Nora Griselda Bercian Diaz, from Guatemala, said she endured threats from the Zetas and extortion from corrupt Mexican police. She eventually crossed the Rio Grande with her 6-year-old Delmi Griselda Paul Bercian by her side.

The woman said she wants a U.S. education for her daughter.

Bercian Diaz said they found corruption in the Mexican government.

"They were asking for 500 pesos, 600 pesos. The federals took that money from us," she said.

She said the Mexican federal police and immigration officers asked for money to "turn the other way."

"The immigration officers took 1,500 pesos," Bercian Diaz said.

She said the threat of rape and kidnapping haunted them every day.

Source:  KRGV 

The bloodthirsty US Torture Chamber of Crony Commerce, in cahoots with cynical politicians looking to pad their voting rolls, have encouraged the ongoing human rights abuse known as illegal immigration.  The result is a flashing neon Welcome sign at our border.  This didn't start with Obama; he's just turbo-charged it. 


Obama's sin is that he purposely provoked this all-out humanitarian crisis.  He raised expectations by policy and by pronouncements in a cynical gambit to overwhelm our immigration system.  And it worked.  People were robbed, beaten, raped and murdered trying to get here, eager participants in the United States of America's Hunger Games, the finish line plastered over with corporate logos, and your prize?  Grinding poverty, cramped apartments, low pay and abuse from criminal employers who do not want to pay a living wage.


What is the root cause?  Why are people from Mexico and Central America coming here?

Poverty and corrupt institutions are easy answers, but they don't tell the whole story.

We have a conveyor belt of criminality running between the US and Central America.  Refugees poured into the US from the wars of the 1980's, many of the youth got a college-level education in criminality from US gangs and from our prison system, and took it back home, and it continues today. 

American nativists see these people as corrupting and dirtying our society, but it's the other way around.  I've known people from all over Central America since the 1980's.  We corrupted them.  The criminal activity in their nations paled in comparison to our gang-fueled violence.  And that's quite an accomplishment when you consider these people have seen civil war and death squads. 

Drugs and people come north because we demand them.  We snort the drugs up our noses and outsource the training of the young men to street gangs and prisons, and then we send the hyper-violent graduates back south to prey on their societies who do not have the law enforcement and criminal justice resources to handle the unprecedented levels of criminality.

We are an open sewer pipe, dumping our cultural sewage on people not prepared for it.  We are a sick and violent nation.  Our popular culture celebrates wealth, crime, gangs, misogyny and violence.  We've been dumping this garbage on our neighbors to the south for decades, and now we're reaping the results.

Nothing less than coordinated government action between the US and the nations of Mexico and Central America will get this under control.  We are providing limited law enforcement assistance, but a social conflagration of this magnitude requires a Marshall Plan.  
It's a complex issue, and I could go on forever, but here are some links that discuss how this happened.  Please read them, and you will gain some understanding of the roots of this crisis as well as its magnitude.

How the Street Gangs took Central America

Making Sense of the Central American Maras

LA Times - Gang Uses Deportation to its Advantage

Monday, June 9, 2014

Signing Statements

James Monroe was the first president to add a signing statement to legislation.  In the beginning they were simply rhetorical and between James Monroe and Ronald Reagan only 75 had been done.

Between Reagan, Bush, and Clinton they more than tripled that number.  Now of course, some signing statements are still rhetorical, but of Reagan 34% objected to some portion or all of the legislation passed by congress. George H.W. objected to 47%, Clinton issued more signing statements, but only 18% were in objection.  George W's objections rose to a whopping 78%.

When running for office Obama was asked about the use of signing statements:

"when congress offers you a bill, do you promise not to use presidential signing statements to get your way?" Obama gave a one-word reply: "Yes."

Obama issued his first signing statement in 2009 but to date has only used the signing statement 27 times. While he hasn't used it to the extent of his predecessors, he has used it.  Most recently in association with the trading of Taliban prisoners in exchange for Bergdahl.

The American Bar Association has released the following statement on the subject:

The use of signing statements to modify the meaning of duly enacted laws serves to "undermine the rule of law and our constitutional system of separation of powers"

What is your opinion?


Sunday, June 8, 2014

21st Century Tyrant: The Government

Photo: Duncan Rawlinson

Progressive Noam Chomsky on Obama

It is of no slight import that the project is being executed in one of the freest countries in the world, and in radical violation of the U.S. Constitution's Bill of Rights, which protects citizens from "unreasonable searches and seizures," and guarantees the privacy of their "persons, houses, papers and effects." 

Much as government lawyers may try, there is no way to reconcile these principles with the assault on the population revealed in the Snowden documents.
 Read the rest Here

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Live and Die

It's all about relationships, interactions with fellow human beings, some we love, others we struggle to not hate, but it's mostly out in the middle somewhere.

Relationships take work, and that is what this Avett Brothers song is about.
Do you love somebody? Tell them. Are they a pain in the ass? Do it anyway.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Gender Illusionists?

Gay activist and sex columnist Dan Savage committed the ultimate liberal faux pas while speaking at the University of Chicago by referring to those that are he that dress like they're she as "Trannies"... Or is it "Trannys"?

The incident occurred when, according to several sources, Savage and [the event hostess Ana Marie] Cox began discussing [Savage's] personal history as a gay man. According to a first-year student and member of the LGBTQ community who asked to be identified as Hex, Savage used the slur tranny

“That was one of the most hurtful parts,” Hex said, explaining the perceived insult was that Cox used the slur to refer to the group of people she joked about. “In that context, it was like being applied to all transgender people,” it said. (“It” is Hex’s chosen pronoun.)


Illinois Review

[ For future reference, my chosen pronoun is "Hisself" ]

The famous transvestite pop star RuPaul said:

“those offended by the use of the word “tranny” “are fringe people who are looking for story lines to strengthen their identity as victims.”

Not to be outdone in the offended department, parents at a Bellingham, Washington High School awards ceremony are upset at a drama teacher who told a joke (among other things) at an awards ceremony:

"I sat there with my mouth open in shock and the final straw was when a joke was told on stage about a teacher, a lawyer and a priest on a plane. The plane was going down and the teacher says we have to save the children. The attorney says "F*** the children!" and the priest says "OOOOH..Do we have time for that???"


Now while entirely inappropriate for an audience consisting of high schoolers and their parents (although I'm sure both have heard and told worse), the joke itself is funny.

I agree with RuPaul... people need to just get over themselves. 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Impersonating a Cell Phone Tower

When this


 Looks like this

Photo: Joe Ravi

We've talked about this before

In an ACLU case in Florida, in order to prevent access to records and in violation of both Florida law and the courts, the US Marshals Service swept into a Florida police station and seized records pertaining to the use of Stingray.

In other cases the federal government has invoked the Homeland Security Act to prevent the release of records, despite the fact that the use of Stingray had nothing to do with homeland security.



Stingrays “emulate a cellphone tower” and “force” cell phones to register their location and identifying information with the stingray instead of with real cell towers in the area.

Stingrays can track cell phones whenever the phones are turned on, not just when they are making or receiving calls.

Police State

From cellphones to landlines, Google to Facebook, Twitter to email, the NSA to the US Marshals Service, each perhaps taken alone seemingly innocent and reasonable, you need to ask yourself one question...

When do all of these small individual acts become " a long train of abuses and usurpations, each pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under Absolute Despotism"?

Justice, Integrity, and Service my Ass!


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

There may be hope

By George I Think They've Got It

I stumbled across the following article on truthout and thought I'd share it:

Yes Virginia, Obama and the Democrats are Mussolini-Style Corporatists, Just Like the Republicans. 

Truthout is a 501(c)(3) non-profit progressive news organization

Some highlights below, but I heartily recommend reading the entire article.

There is an entire large, well funded, and extremely effective business apparatus that extracts lucrative programs, explicit subsidies, guarantees, and various other gimmies from government bodies at all levels. 

One suspects the reason for the sensitivity within the ranks of the Democratic party water-carriers to the “corporatist” label is that Obamacare is a textbook case. 

Obama’s incentives are to come up with “solutions” that paper over problems, avoid meaningful conflict with the industry, minimize complaints, and restore the old practice of using leverage and investment gains to cover up stagnation in worker incomes. 

As I've been saying, the only difference between R's and D's is window dressing.  While I don't think I'll ever be in agreement with the folks over at truthout as to a solution, recognizing the problem is a good first step.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Got Milk?

Parenting Patch

Not what you were expecting from the headline, huh?

In an unusual twist, some men are turning to human milk in a quest to bulk up or improve their health, believing all the benefits it provides to infants can produce similar effects in adults. Some men think the nutrient-rich liquid is the secret to their success at the gym.


The Ewww! Factor is kind of high, not so much from the breast milk per se, but from the concept of buying and consuming a bodily fluid over the internet from someone you don't know.

So, Who wants to hit the gym?

Monday, June 2, 2014

Fiction vs. Reality

Negotiating with Terrorists?

Like the fictional character Brody in Showtime's Homeland, Bowe Bergdahl is a person of questionable status.  Did Obama just trade our top five Al-Qaeda prisoners for a deserter? A sympathizer? A Traitor? Or is he just a dumb kid who got in over his head?

Three days before he went missing from Afghanistan Bowe Bergdahl had this to say:

“I am ashamed to be an American. And the title of US soldier is just the lie of fools,” he concluded. “I am sorry for everything. The horror that is America is disgusting.”


One night, after finishing a guard-duty shift Bowe Bergdahl asked his team leader whether there would be a problem if he left camp with his rifle and night-vision goggles — to which the team leader replied “yes.”  Bergdahl then returned to his bunker, picked up a knife, water, his diary and a camera, and left camp, according to Rolling Stone.

Bowe Bergdahl... Hanoi Jane or John McCain?

What do you think?

NY Post
Washington Post 
NY Times
Rolling Stone

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Swilling the Planters

We have a tradition in my demense of picking a drink each summer to be served throughout our brief but glorious summer season.  This season we have two candidates currently vying .


The first, also known as Bombo or Bumboo, was popular with pirates and colonial politicians.  George Washington's papers state that he used 160 gallons of rum to treat 391 voters to bumbo during his campaign for the Virginia House of Burgesses in 1758.  It was so popular in colonial electioneering that the practice of rewarding voters was known as "swilling the planters with bumbo".

2oz rum (amber or dark preferably)
1oz chilled water
2 sugar cubes
Up to 1/4 tsp cinnamon to taste
Up to 1/4 tsp nutmeg to taste
1/2 tsp Grenadine
splash and garnish with lime

Surprisingly, despite the Christmasy ingredients, this goes quite well in the summer heat, although you may wish to consider that summer 'heat' in my neck of the woods is somewhere in the 70's.

Papa Doble

This drink was supposedly the favorite of Ernest Hemmingway from the El Floridita Bar in Havanna, hence its other name... the Hemmingway Daquiri

2 oz Agricole Rum (can substitute Cachaca)
1/4 oz Maraschino Liquer (no, not the juice from the cherry jar)
3/4 oz fresh lime juice
1/4 oz grapefruit juice
Shake with ice, strain and serve.

What are you drinking this summer?