Friday, October 30, 2015

Music to Trick or Treat By

But when all is said and done...

Thursday, October 29, 2015

The M.I.C

That's the Medical Industrial Complex folks.

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.  

We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.  

Eisenhower warned us about the military industrial complex, but then that was in his  January 17th, 1961 farewell address.  He had no idea what was coming a mere five years later.

The Medical-Industrial Complex was first examined in 1980 in The New England Journal of Medicine by Arnold Relman in a paper of the same name. 

In a 2014 list of the 15 most profitable industries there wasn't a defense contractor to be found.  Dentistry was #5, Physicians were #7, Other Health Care Practitioners were #9, and Outpatient Care Centers were #11.

In 2012 we spent 676 billion on defense and that includes 118 billion in funding for the war in Afghanistan, that same year we spent 2.8 Trillion on medical care. In 2014 we spent 3.5% of our GDP on defense, in comparison in 2014 we spent 17.4% of our GDP on healthcare.

In 2013 Boeing made 4.6 billion dollars while Pfizer made 17 billion, and not all of Boeing's profits come from the military. 

Any big business can be accused of influencing government to act in their favor and defense is no exception, the question you need to ask yourself is who has more influence today? The military-industrial complex or the medical-industrial complex?

Some accuse the military of bankrupting the nation, but did you know that 62% of all bankruptcies are medical related? In 2013 18% of federal spending went to defense while 32% of it went to major healthcare programs. Both healthcare and defense are valid expenditures and we can quibble all day about whether we're spending at the correct ratio, but do one thing... look at where the profit is.

Maybe there's good reason that's a snake. 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Crapitol Hell

Rep Trey Gowdy and his committee have shown us what we already knew: Hillary is a liar. Unfortunately, outside of very narrow circumstances, lying is not a crime.

Also, her culpability in the American deaths in Benghazi do not constitute a crime, although they do call her and President Obama's competence into question.

I was disappointed to see no one called her out on the European refugee crisis her rash actions caused...

Clinton crony Sid Blumenthal's war profiteering dovetailing with Hillary tipping over Libya seemed like fertile ground, but that somehow got lost in the noise...

Most shameful, is how many millions of people vehemently defend--in Jersey-Style ALL CAPS--that inept, soulless monster whose only skills are reptilian calculation and self-preservation.

Hillary Rodham Clinton could murder an immigrant child on CNN International, and millions would line up to defender her. Imagine the excuses... was the child's fault, he attacked her first...

... the child was a shaved down midget who was an agent of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy...

... Fox News and James O'Keefe sneaked into CNN and selectively edited the footage...

... It was George Bush's fault! ...because climate change!

...That wasn't Hillary; it was Louie Gohmert in a Hillary costume

Can you come up with more excuses you think we would hear from the Hillary High-Steppers and her flying monkeys in the press?

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Refugees or an Army on the March?

In the end, what difference does it make?

Monday, October 26, 2015

My Apologies

It seems that today's post didn't post.  Well, you'll get to see it tomorrow then.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Why Clinton gets a Pass

Photo: Mariomassone

There once was a politician who was bored as he sat on the Hill watching the village sheep. To amuse himself he took a great breath and sang out, "Scandal! Scandal! The President is sexually harassing the interns!" The village sheep came running up the Hill to help the politician impeach the President but when they arrived at the Hill, they found no scandal. The politician laughed at the sight of their angry faces.  "Don't cry 'Scandal', politician," said the village sheep, "when there's no Scandal!" They went grumbling back down the Hill. 

Later, the politician sang out again, "Corruption! Corruption! The Congressman is taking illegal campaign contributions!" To his naughty delight, he watched the village sheep run up the Hill to help him drive the corruption away.  When the village sheep saw no corruption they sternly said, "Save your frightened song for when there is really something wrong! Don't cry 'Corruption' when there is NO corruption!" But the politician just grinned and watched them go grumbling down the Hill once more. 

Later, he saw an embassy overrun by protesters. Alarmed, he leaped to his feet and sang out as loudly as he could, "Mismanagement! Mismanagement!" But the village sheep thought he was trying to fool them again, and so they didn't come.  At sunset, everyone wondered why the politician hadn't returned to the village with their benefit checks. They went up the Hill to find the politician. They found him weeping. "There really was Mismanagement here! The embassy was overrun and four were killed! I cried out, "Mismanagement!" Why didn't you come?" 

An old Supreme Court Justice tried to comfort the politician as they walked back to the village. "We'll help you find out what went wrong," he said, putting his arm around the politician, 

"Nobody believes a liar...even when he is telling the truth!"

Friday, October 23, 2015

Goodbye Joe

America doesn't know what it'll be missing!

Wouldn't this have been a kickass campaign song?  Hell, with a campaign organized around this theme and his middle-class Scranton roots I could get Republicans to vote for him ;)

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Joe Says No!

With 101 days until the Iowa caucus and over a year until the election (note that Canada just conducted a campaign and election in 78 days)... Joe Biden bows out citing a lack of time. For the man who would be president...
One has to wonder if there is more to it than time. One has to wonder what the Clinton machine has.

One thing to note is that Joe Biden hasn't endorsed Hillary Clinton, another is his multiple jabs at her being proud of having Republicans as enemies.

"I still have a lot of Republican friends. I don't think that my chief enemy is the Republican Party."
 "The other team is not the enemy, If you treat it as the enemy, there is no way you can ever resolve the problems we have."
"I don't consider Republicans enemies — they're friends"

"I believe we have to end the divisive partisan politics that is ripping this country apart, and I think we can. It’s mean-spirited, it’s petty, and it’s gone on for much too long. I don’t believe, like some do, that’s it naive to talk to Republicans. I don’t think we should look at Republicans as our enemies. They are our opposition, they are not our enemies. And for the sake of the country, we have to work together." 
Full Text of Biden Speech

Lest you think this is the viewpoint only of the conservative right, even old tingly leg Matthews took note:

So, it was pretty tough on Hillary, going after her implicitly on things like treating Republicans as the enemy, raising big money, looking down at regular Joes like him as unsophisticated. There was a lot of attitude in that speech today and it wasn't very positive towards the Clintons.

He may be clumsy, he may be gaffe prone, but he is still the greater statesman.  Good luck to old Middle Class Joe:

The Onion
 Oh, and if you're not familiar with The Onion, a satirical news site... check it out.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Today is the day!

(C) Universal Studios (fair use)
Released by Universal Pictures on November 22, 1989, Back to the Future II became the third highest grossing film of the year with $331 million worldwide. 

The day in the future they traveled to?  October 21, 2015

Well we don't have flying cars, hover-boards, and food hydrators we do have cameras everywhere and flat screen TVs.  Regrettably, we also still have lawyers.

Did you ever thing you'd make it to the future?

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Registration and Background Checks

The Transportation Department wants to require recreational users to register their drones, which would dramatically increase the number of drones registered with the government, compared with the FAA’s proposed rules. While the FAA has issued nearly 1,900 approvals to companies for commercial-drone flights in the U.S., industry officials estimate that there are hundreds of thousands of recreational drones in the country. One FAA official said last month that some officials expect more than 1 million drones to be sold around Christmas this year. WSJ

And how much is this going to cost?  Not just to drone owner/operators but to the taxpayer as well?  I've seen registration fee estimates ranging from free to $5 but nothing on how much it's going to cost the government to keep track of all these drones (anyone looking for a database manager position? Information Security?).  Seriously, it's going to be a database filled with names, addresses and who knows what other data, what the government refers to as personally identifiable information (PII), all of which require expensive security protections mandated by federal law.

Good idea? Bad idea? Or would just banning recreational drone use within X feet of an airport, building, highway, etc. and leaving it to local law enforcement be a better option?  

Monday, October 19, 2015

Helicopter Parents and the Worlds Longest Umbilical Cord

Are we creating a generation incapable of taking care of itself?  Former Stanford Dean Julia Lythcott-Haims thinks so.  

“We want so badly to help them by shepherding them from milestone to milestone and by shielding them from failure and pain. But overhelping causes harm,” she writes. “It can leave young adults without the strengths of skill, will and character that are needed to know themselves and to craft a life."
 She also attributes the rise of depression, mental and emotional health problems to overparenting.  MSN

A study at California State University Fresno, by two management professors found:

The study showed that those college students with “helicopter parents” had a hard time believing in their own ability to accomplish goals. They were more dependent on others, had poor coping strategies and didn’t have soft skills, like responsibility and conscientiousness throughout college, the authors found. 

When I was a child I lived in a neighborhood with an alley that ran in back, all the neighborhood kids played there.  At first, when very small, I was allowed to play on our patio and in the driveway, as I grew older my domain expanded to the alley, end-to-end.  When I started elementary school I walked the three blocks to get there and my realm expanded accordingly.  Soon after I could walk the six or seven blocks to the main shopping district.  In Junior High my friends and I used to ride our bikes twelve miles to a reservoir to hang out and go fishing, in High School we'd take the train into center city. No parents or cell phones were involved.

Do you even see kids out alone today?  

Are we raising a generation incapable of caring for itself?


Sunday, October 18, 2015

We have met the enemy and he is us!

In one of the final questions of the Democratic debate Anderson Cooper asked each candidate which enemy he was most proud of making.  

Hillary Clinton responded "Republicans"
Bernie Sanders answered "Wall Street"
Lincoln Chafee said "The Coal Industry"
Martin O'Malley replied "The NRA"

Senator Jim Webb is a decorated Marine combat veteran, recipient of the Navy Cross, Silver Star, two Bronze Stars, and two Purple Hearts.  He received the Navy Cross for shielding a fellow marine from a grenade blast with his own body and taking out the bunker the grenade came from. The enemy Jim Webb was most proud of making... the Viet Cong.

Of the five Democratic Party candidates four of them cited their fellow Americans as the enemies they were most proud of making.

The left calls him crazy, creepy, sneers at him, and demeans him.

Disturbing, isn't it.

Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Lincoln Chafee, and Martin O'Malley aren't worthy of wiping Jim Webb's ass. 

We have met the enemy and he is us.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Just a little ole band from Texas


Thursday, October 15, 2015

Lets talk media

Photo: Byron Rollins - AP
Are they biased Now?

Pretty much the majority of major news outlets hail Hillary Clinton as the winner of the Democratic debate yet the majority of popular polls indicate that Bernie Sanders won, most by significantly large margins.

How can the press be so disconnected?  Are Sanders supporters stacking the polls? Is the media in the Clinton machine pocket? Are they grading her using college debating team rules? Why do the press and the people have such divergent views of the same event?

Is CNN deleting pro-Sanders posts?  Plenty of Sanders supporters say yes.

I noticed this myself after viewing poll results last night and this morning, then at lunch checking up on the news I was somewhat surprised to see all the Hillary Wins articles.  I watched the entire debate and my impressions were... Webb was the only Republican on the stage, Chafee probably accidentally wandered in from the audience, O'Malley seemed to hold his own and had the most refined presence, Hillary was typical Hillary, and me, I would give Bernie Sanders the win and I despise everything he advocates.

A Bernie Sanders presidency would be a complete and utter disaster, he would have not only all Republicans voting against him but conservative Democrats as well leading to bipartisan veto overides.  My personal opinion is he would get absolutely nothing accomplished and it would be like four years without a President.

What do you think?

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Going to Hill in a Handbag

but at least its a Ferragamo bag!

Well if you ask me anyone who will pay $800-3000 for a bag, or not to be sexist, a briefcase, is preeminently unqualified to be president, and did I mention stupid?

Hillary Clinton in an interview in Harper's Bazaar said:

My view was that I would carry it around only in spring, but it makes me so happy, I'm even now lugging it around in January. I mean, how can you be unhappy if you pick up a big pink bag? 

Out of touch with the American people I think, but that's me, the Democratic Party debate is over... did you watch it?  What did you think? 

Nothing surprising, overall I think O'Malley had the most, shall we call it "presidential" presence.

The most astonishing answer of the night was when Hillary Clinton was asked how her presidency wouldn't just be an Obama third term and replied,  and I'm paraphrasing here...

I have a vagina!

Seriously, her answer was "I'm a woman".

For those of you that missed the debate the following videos provide a concise musical summary of the two top democrat performances:

Hillary Clinton

Bernie Sanders

A quick review of poll data after the debate had Bernie Sanders the clear winner by 60 - 76%, scary, eh?

Time - Sanders 74%

Poll Daddy - Sanders 70%

Slate - Sanders 63%

The Street - Sanders  76%

Drudge - Even Drudge had Sanders emerging as the nights winner at 60%

These numbers were those within the first hour after the debate ended, and were simple who do you think won questions, it'll be curious to see what more rigorously scientific polling reveals.

Who do you think won?

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Is Blogging Futile?

I felt the weight of futility back in January 2013, announced my retirement from blogging, then disappointed many by continuing to stick around.

Is Blogging Futile?

The question has come up in private conversations with fellow Right Blogistanis, and here is my response:

Is it futile to try to save someone when rescue looks impossible?  Is it futile to try to save a house afire?   Is it futile to keep fighting for your people and your nation when your back is to the sea and you're almost out of ammo?

Who are we to give up hope?  Despair is a sin, and I apologize if I spread it to others.

A Dante's Circles of Hell Infinite Loop

Here is why I am upset at our current state of affairs:

The heart of the problem is nobody wants to listen to anything that contradicts their world view.  I think we on the right have gotten much better at this than the left.  We can look back and admit mistakes, but you never see liberals and progressives doing that, and that is a huge problem.  There are still millions of people clamoring to vote for Hillary.  If it were Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld or Condoleeza Rice running for office, I would have the same exact criticism.

All of us must adjust our thinking and our strategies based upon new information.

Why Veterans Detest Politics

I pulled a one-year tour in the Middle East, and my job (among many) was to solve communications problems (technical, satcom, radio,etc) and make upgrades.  Soldiers in the AOR were solving combat and community problems, airplane mechanics were figuring out ways to keep C-130 engines from flaming out in the intense heat.  Every career field was out there on their own assessing the situation and making adjustments.  You can't afford to have biases or pet opinions in that environment.  Peoples lives depend on you.

So you learn to test things, use what works (even if its someone else's idea) and get the job done.  A stupid idea that works isn't a stupid idea; I watched theory die in the jaws of reality.

Lessons Learned

Also, all military branches are big on "Lessons Learned," where you review what you just did, pick it apart and learn what worked and what didn't.  After a big failure, it can be painful, but you face facts, admit mistakes, discuss it and adjust plans so that it doesn't happen again.

That was the process in the CENTCOM AOR, among warfighters as well as support troops like me, and it was a clean, tight feedback loop, since all the headquarters and paper-pusher BS that normally clogs military channels were cleared away.  It was amazing what you could accomplish out there, and add in the camaraderie, and you can see why even combat troops who lost friends wish they could be back there.  For many of us, it is as close to Mazlow's self-actualization that we will ever get.

I did a lot of good work, overcame the impossible, and much of it I did by hook or by crook.  I lied, cheated and stole to get the mission done, because even out there, sometimes the red tape would try to trip you up.  I didn't care; I was doing it for the mission.

So, coming from that environment in Iraq and Afghanistan, can you see why veterans are upset and disgusted with the state of our government?

Politicians and bureaucrats are focused on their narrow self-interests rather than the nation's.

No honest evaluation of the facts on the ground.  No lessons learned.  No adjustment when pet theories crash and burn.  Ever.

Candor and honest self-assessment are impossible in the current political environment.

There is no such thing as an honest and open debate in the American political arena, and we need them. On immigration, Middle East strategy, jobs and the economy.

A Non-Ideological Disgust

So, my disgust comes from a very practical level rather than ideological.  That is what (Good Lord help us) makes a man like Trump attractive.  Who cares if he's not conservative? If he can put people back to work, negotiate from strength with other nations, handcuff the lawyers and unleash an army of green eye shade auditors on our government, reform it and make it efficient while slamming the door on bureaucrats conducting lawfare on the citizenry, then people will pull that lever, dammit all.

So, at some point, you gotta turn off the tv, put down the newspaper and just enjoy life around you. The other side of the coin is, you may be happy in your house, but if the neighborhood's on fire, you can't just sit there playing your banjo; you gotta get up and join the bucket brigade...

Monday, October 12, 2015

Indigenous Peoples Day

Touch the Clouds
Eight more US Cities rename Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day: Albuquerque, NM; Lawrence, KS; Portland, OR; St. Paul, MN; Bexar, TX; Anadarko, OK; Olympie, WA; and Alpena, MI.

Two Questions:

1. Should we have a day recognizing indigenous peoples?
2. Should it supplant Columbus Day as a national holiday?

Sunday, October 11, 2015

American Pornucopia

Drunken SilenusJusepe de Ribera, 1626

Heroin addiction in America is on the increase, as is alcohol consumption, binge drinking and pot smoking.

The percentage of obese and diabetic Americans is also climbing.  Big Pharma markets us pills to mask the symptoms of an overindulgent lifestyle, so let the good times roll!

The Pornification of Everything

You can go read what porn has done to many men (and women). It is a horrible corrosive that peddles an unattainable fantasy and it has rendered many people uninterested and incapable of participating in a normal relationship.  Now, hold that thought, put sex out of your mind for a moment, and apply that concept to every other endeavor

Porn:  It's not just for sex!

The concept of porn can be applied to almost any subject, and that is why I say we are a pornificated society.  Here's a broader definition:

(Silverfiddle's Expanded Definition):  Taking the basic concept as it relates to sex, but applying it to any human endeavor that takes a good or beautiful thing, and then blows it all out beyond any sense of reason or decency, primarily for the purpose of titillating others and/or for craven self-gratification.

Given this definition, we have booze porn, food porn, violence porn, political porn, fashion porn, lifestyle porn, etc.

What's Going On?

Our society suffers from a sickness of the soul. I don't know what's caused it, but we want bigger, better, faster. To quote Jim Morrison:

"We want the world, and we want it now!"

Is it the entertainment culture continuously rolling out bigger bangs, bigger boobs, harder bods? More graphic sex and violence? Shattering all taboos?  

Restaurants clamoring to keep our business by constantly updating menus to keep us stimulated? 

Every industry, including vacation, real estate, fashion, auto, etc is selling us a fake plastic lifestyle.  Are we unwilling to see it is just too good to be true?

I don't know, but too many of us seem way too distracted to enjoy life's simple pleasures.  Go out and look around.  People are walking zombies, starting at little screens, or talking to disembodied lifelines that keep them from being alone with their thoughts or having to talk to the person next to them.

What's Going On?  

Friday, October 9, 2015

Arvo Pärt

Holy Minimalism Batman, it's Arvo Pärt

Born in Estonia in 1935 Arvo Pärt grew up under Soviet communism and was a student at the Tallin Conservatory.  He was alternately praised for his work and condemned for susceptibility to foreign influence by the Soviets before finally emigrating in 1980 to Vienna and then to Berlin.  

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Know Nothing?

Groups of protesters, some of them armed, are planning anti-Muslim demonstrations in front of at least 20 mosques, community centers and government offices across the country on Oct. 9 and 10.  The Global Rally for Humanity

One of the organizers is Jon Ritzheimer, a former U.S. Marine and “Oath Keeper” who gained media attention earlier this year for coordinating the Freedom of Speech Rally Round 2, which drew hundreds of armed protesters and several hundred counter-protesters. Washington Times

On the Phoenix Global Rally for Humanity page, Mr. Ritzheimer alluded to his past protests, writing, “Patriots, Veterans, Bikers, Militia, Reservists, active-duty Infidels and all AMERICANS who still LOVE LIBERTY and cling to the CONSTITUTION!!”

OPEN CARRY anti-mosque pro-AMERICA rally on 10/10!!

As a twenty-five year veteran, a staunch supporter of the second amendment as well as the first... this is just wrong on so many levels it's sickening.  If you want to protest Farrakhan's Justice or Else March fine, if you want to protest CAIR, fine.  Wear your F*** Islam shirt and make doodles of the prophet Mohammad, but if you think gathering armed mobs outside places of worship is faithful to our American heritage and reflective of a love of liberty, I suggest you try reading the fricking constitution rather than just clinging to it.  Oathkeeper my ass, you're nothing more than a jack-booted, publicity seeking thug.  Don't wrap yourself in my flag oath breaker, you're a disgrace to the uniform you used to wear, demeaning to my years of service, and an insult to faithful veterans everywhere.  If I do choose to exercise my second amendment rights I can tell you where I'll be standing... at port arms on the steps of the mosque defending it from the likes of you.

Now that I've got that off my chest, comments?

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Sacred Cow

There is a goddess among us who shall never be questioned and whose pathways shall always be clear. Anyone expressing doubts about the goddess shall be shouted down as blasphemers, misogynists, haters, etc.

The goddess is known to the Egyptians as Nut, or Neuth

Nut (/nʌt/ or /nuːt/)[n 1] or Neuth (/nuːθ/ or /njuːθ/; also spelled Nuit or Newet) is the goddess of the sky in the Ennead of ancient Egyptian religion. She is also seen as a cow. (Wikipedia)

The Nut who dwells among us is goddess of many phenomena...

* Goddess of the Storm-Blackened Sky...
* Goddess of the Stars we see when bludgeoned over the head...
* Goddess of the Setting Sun, the Werewolf Moon, Flickering Fluorescent Light...
* Goddess of Astrology, the Pentagram, Hades, Foul Air, and Ill Winds...

Can you guess who this goddess is?

Here is the final hint:  This goddess, Nut, who walks among us, is the mother of

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Government Programs that Didn't Work?

I'm not picking on the WPA, it was just a convenient example of a government program.

Of course there have been lots of government programs whose detractors claim didn't work, most probably, but the question is this:

Can you think of a government program that didn't work, that the government actually stood up and admitted didn't work?  In the thousands if not tens of thousands of government programs over the years there had to be some mistakes, some absolute flubs.  Statistically there had to be some failures, can you think of any examples where the government manned up, took responsibility, and declared "Well this was a complete and utter failure, lets try something else?

I'm not talking about agencies that failed in the execution of their duties, such as the VA, or the pre-9/11 intelligence communities, which were management problems.  I'm talking about programs that were not just mismanaged but that were inherently and conceptually flawed.

I've been looking for examples without much success, how about you?

Monday, October 5, 2015

The Truth About Mass Shootings

We are the only advanced country on Earth that sees these kinds of mass shootings, every few months.
At some point, we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries.  It doesn’t happen in other places with this kind of frequency.


Adjusted for population the statement above is patently false.  

The frequency of mass public shootings per million people is .247 in Switzerland, .196 in Norway, .183 in Finland, and .178 in Belgium.  By comparison the rate in the US is .088, in the Netherlands it is .059 and in France it is .047.

It should also be noted that the countries that top the US in frequency of mass shootings also have far more restrictive gun laws then we do.

Murder rates are determined by basic socio-cultural and economic factors rather than the availability of weaponry.  Norway has Western Europe's highest household gun ownership rate (32%), but also its lowest murder rate.  Sweden lies in the middle at 15% ownership and the Netherlands  has the lowest rate of Western European gun ownership rate (1.9%) but a murder rate exceeding both Norway and Sweden.

Here's an interesting statistic to chew on:

Concealed carry permit holders as a group, commit crime (12.5/100,000) at a rate ten times lower than police officers (124/100,000) do. 

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Putin Checkmates Obama

Russia Confounds US with Decisive Action
The week’s big failure was the administration’s, and it was of course Russia’s going full-bore into Syria. This wasn’t Vladimir Putin “enacting” anything. Even the Obama administration didn’t “act,” really. They scrambled, desperately, stung by surprise and humiliation.

Mr. Putin has moved to fill the void left by American inaction; he is attempting to displace the U.S. as the region’s dominant outside power. [...]

Mr. Putin’s move is worse than a snub to President Obama. It’s an insult, a cuffing. (WSJ via RCP)
Making President Obama's humiliating embarrassment extra crispy, rumor has it China could get involved.

“Moderate Syrian Rebels” is a Myth

Perhaps some are personally moderate, but they are like an independent or third-party politician trying to win an election. No affiliation, no funding stream, no support structure. That is why any rebels who may have been moderate at one time ran to Al Nusra, ISIS or one of the other Islamist organizations.

If Obama’s JV Team doesn't understand this, they are criminally incompetent. If they do, they are colossal liars or naïve dreamers who endanger the nation.

Russia is Saving Assad

Russia has entered the fray to shore up Bashar Assad’s regime. This after the hapless Obama met with Putin, and the hapless John Kerry brought his marbles to a 3D chess match with Putin’s foreign policy chess masters.

Russia will resupply and revitalize the Syrian military, and they will drive all the terrorists and rebels from Syrian territory, and that's a good thing. What happens after that is anyone’s guess.

Stalinists or Islamofascists:  Take you Choice

Assad is a Stalinist tyrant, but ISIS is an Islamofascist tyranny. Take your choice. While Obama and his fellow weak sisters in Europe dithered, Putin chose sides and rolled in.

Assad, like Saddam, is a secular dictator, but he's not dropping barrel bombs on innocent people for the hell of it.  He is fighting an Islamist insurgency, and that is what governments do to people who are trying to topple them.

The Assad regime’s cruelty is well-documented, but the cruelties were meted out to those trying to topple the regime. Go about your own business, and you are not a target. Christians and other religious minorities who refrained from anti-regime activities lived in peace and relative freedom under the Assad and Saddam Hussein regimes.  Indeed, everyone was safer and better off before we rolled in to "save" everyone.

Europe Bribed Khadaffi

Here's another cold, hard reality: European governments bribed Moammar Gaddaffi to snuff the cross-Mediterranean human trafficking. Obama’s incompetent team of fumblers, bumblers and international firebugs upset all that, after criticizing Bush’s Middle Eastern follies.

End Game? 

Who knows?  If they secure Syria, Russia could convince Assad to ride off into the sunset with a few billion in his pocket, guaranteeing him a dictator’s vacation exile in Bahrain or some remote, exotic location.  This would give Syria's secular regime a complete reset.  They implement some “reforms,” and put the world and regional jihadis on notice that they will deal harshly with any uprisings that threaten the peace and stability of the nation. Calm restored, displaced Syrians can return home.

Related Links:
Bloomberg: Putin Hailed as Humanity's Savior
RT: Russian Air Force Destroys ISIS Command Center

Friday, October 2, 2015

My First Rock Concert

The first rock concert I ever attended was at the old Philadelphia Spectrum way back in... I think November 1980,  I seem to recall it was cold and raining when it let out which kind of rules out August '79 in my mind.  The band was KANSAS!

Quart bottles of Miller in brown paper bags, an old Chevy Nova, and we discovered that if you drove twice the electronically posted speed limit on the streets of Philadelphia you still would hit all the lights green.

What was your first concert?

Thursday, October 1, 2015

The Elites are not like You and Me...

I enjoy reading the much-maligned Peggy Noonan (She enjoys the privilege of being damned by those on both the left and right).

She hits upon an eternal truth in her WSJ piece about the European refugee crisis, The Migrants and the Elites:
But here is a problem with Europe’s decision-makers, and it connects to decision-makers in America.
Damning “the elites” is often a mindless, phony and manipulative game. Malice and delusion combine to produce the refrains: “Those fancy people in their Georgetown cocktail parties,” “Those left-wing poseurs in their apartments in Brussels.”
So far so good... But then this:
"This is social resentment parading as insight, envy posing as authenticity."
At this point, I was ready to heave my laptop into the wall, but they frown on that at work...

My brain barked out an angry rebuttal:

It is not resentment! If you effete progressive elites want to have your fancy dinners and cocktail parties, have a ball. We have a problem when you presume you have the brains, authority and will of the people to go out and screw everything up. That is the problem with the elites.

But then she got back on track and nailed the heart of the matter to the wall:

"Rules on immigration and refugees are made by safe people. These are the people who help run countries, who have nice homes in nice neighborhoods and are protected by their status.
Those who live with the effects of immigration and asylum law are those who are less safe, who see a less beautiful face in it because they are daily confronted with a less beautiful reality—normal human roughness, human tensions.
Decision-makers fear things like harsh words from the writers of editorials; normal human beings fear things like street crime.
Decision-makers have the luxury of seeing life in the abstract.
Normal people feel the implications of their decisions in the particular."
Those statements damn elites everywhere to the hell they richly deserve. She just enunciated a unified field theory of everything that is wrong in this nation and the world. 

How many Somali goat-shaggers is Nancy Pelosi putting up in her house?