Wednesday, July 31, 2013

My Favorite Apostle

I have a favorite apostle. (Doesn't everyone?) He would be Saul of Tarsus, later called Paul. Saul had an interesting life. He was born a Jew in Tarsus, Turkey. His father was a Roman citizen. Apparently, they were a family of some means and stature. His parents sent Paul off to the school of a famous rabbi named Gamaliel. Saul was educated and a Pharisee. He devoted his early religious life to trying to destroy the newly forming Christian Church. As it was with most people in those days, they had to work at a trade to support themselves even as they did religious work. Saul learned the trade of making mohair cloth and using that to make tents.

Saul was a traveler. He traveled all over eastern Asia and into Europe. Starting his life campaigning against Christianity. As both a Jew and a Roman he could travel unhindered. Saul"s life changed on the road to Damascus. He had his epiphany. It is said that he heard Jesus voice asking Saul why he persecuted Christians. Paul was struck blind during the encounter and had to be led by the hand into the city. Three days later his sight was restored by Ananias and his conversion was complete. Many people think that this was the point where he changed his name to Paul. Actually Paul was the Roman equal to the Hebrew name, Saul. He actually went by both names through much of his life.

After his conversion, Paul traveled the known world tirelessly founding many Christian Churches and writing epistles to his fellow churchmen. Some of those epistles helped to form much of what today is the new testament.

So why is he my favorite apostle? Here was a man who was going full bore in the wrong direction based on his early education and training. I suspect that today some would describe him as "thick as a stump". But he got a major slap in the head that caused him to look at things differently. He realized the error of his ways in the persecution of Christians.

Now, realizing that his life and thoughts were on the wrong path he did a complete one-eighty and went off in the other direction repairing what he had done and trying to make the world better. In other words, Paul, Saul of Tarsus, is an example for our time.

There are those out there in government and the media today that do this country more harm than good. The race baiters, those with a social agenda that hurts the economy, those that would destroy the free enterprise system, those that seek equality of results rather that equality of opportunity. They need their epiphany. They need their slap in the head. We need them to reverse their course before they do more harm.  

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Detroit: A Perfect Case Study

Detroit is a perfect case study because it may be your own town, writ large, or it might be our country, writ small. Detroit is a city where liberals or progressives or what ever name they pick today have had total unrestrained power. The leadership, if it can be called that, supported the public employee unions and the public employee unions supported the political leadership. And the rolls of public employees unions increased because it was a money machine for both the union leaders and the politicians.

In the glory days of Detroit it was truly a shining city on the hill. With General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler selling cars like Dunkin sells donuts the city was flush with money. The auto business made big bucks and paid big bucks. The citizens of Detroit could afford the high property values and high taxes. That is, most of them could. So Detroit thrived.

There was always a soft underbelly to Detroit. There were people that didn't or couldn't make it. They lived at or near the poverty line. They survived by welfare checks and other, sometimes more nefarious, means. There was always a lot of crime. Not unusual in big cities. There were neighborhoods crumbling and ignored. Again, not unusual. These areas were ignored by the politicians because there was little to be had there in terms of either money or power. Let the rotten areas rot was the order of the day.

That was the first leak in the boat. More leaks were to come. They had names. They were called Datsun, Honda, Toyota and after them a flood of cars from the orient. The first ones were small, cheap, and lacking in quality. But they did give good gas mileage. That became very important during the gas shortages of the seventies. Then these companies increased the size and quality of their imported offerings. America fell out of love with Detroit and in love with the new wave of foreign automobiles. The Detroit manufacturers tried to respond but they could not or would not get their hearts and minds into small cars with economical high performance engines. They lost market share and Detroit wasn't so successful any more.

The politicians that ran Detroit, like the executives that ran the American automotive giants, thought that they were entitled. They just loved to spend other peoples money. So as the exodus out of Detroit started, they just raised taxes because they would no understand austerity. They had the power and felt that they had the right. So as Detroit's market share went down, many of the good jobs went away. Plants closed. Buildings stood empty. The run down areas of the city expanded. But the short sighted politicians went on with business as usual. They continued to give sweetheart contracts to the unions and raising taxes on those that remained behind. They had put the city in a death spiral that is just now coming to completion. Detroit is a dead city.

And so it is going with our country. The government is spending more and more money on things that give no benefit or even do harm. While the national debt increases astoundingly, economic growth is so low as to be unsustainable. There are fewer people working in this country than since the seventies. The stock market is floating on an unsustainable bubble. Forty-six percent of Americans get food stamps. The middle class income is going down.

Are we Detroit yet? No. Not yet. But unless we mend our spending habits and rein in our spendthrift politicians, we will be. We are just at the beginning of the death spiral. If we all keep our eyes closed, like the politicians that ran Detroit, we will get there. Study Detroit and learn.

Monday, July 29, 2013

More Thoughts On Phony

President Obama floats above the current and past scandals denying their validity. "They are phony" he states. Since his fingerprints do not appear on anything, there is nothing there. Only things that directly involve him, and can be proven to directly involve him, are real.

The President has taken a page out of the mob's playbook. The Don stands respected and isolated from the more earthy aspects of their business. Under the Don is a capo di tutti capi. He is the boss of all bosses. He is the first level of cutout. Beneath him are individual capos. Still very powerful individuals but also the second level of cutout. Beneath them are the lieutenants that run things on the street. They represent the third level of cutout. The Don is so isolated and so powerful that his protection is virtually unbreakable.

So it is with the President. He has his Chief of Staff as the first cutout. The holder of this position is extremely powerful. He controls access to the President and speaks with the Presidents voice. He is expected to know the Presidents wishes so well that they need not be spoken. Next in rank are the senior advisers. They are the second cutout and are allowed to function independently as they understand the President's agenda in detail. Below them are the department heads who are the third cutout and the first to go under the bus. And of course if all else fails they can always revert to blaming George Bush. 

Of course every Don has a consigliore. A trusted person that is apart from the mobs day to day business but is there to supply advice to the Don and from time to time supply some restraint. The President has the Attorney General. The difference being that our AG does not understand restraint in the political process.

So what is the ultimate difference? If we had proof of the actions of a criminal enterprise sometimes referred to as the"mob" we could apply RICO statutes, make arrests, and bring them to trial. In the case of the Obama administration, all we can do is wait and vote them out of office.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Phony, Really?

Benghazi. Four men were killed on American soil including a sitting ambassador. This ambassador was refused additional security when he requested it. Troops were ordered to stand down rather than make an attempt to rescue American heroes under fire. The administration was able to get two drones overhead to monitor the battle but claim they were unable to supply air support to protect the consulate. Finally they cooked up a story about some dumb movie rather than admit Al Qaeda was responsible. And Obama calls this a phony scandal.

The IRS. The most feared and most powerful organization in government singles out conservative and religious groups to audit. They involve, not only the officers, but the entire organization. They ask intrusive questions well beyond the scope of their mandate, including their prayers and future political plans. They tie these patriots up in paperwork so deeply that they cannot function. They drive many of them to quit rather than go forward. When does this start? Two days after William Wilkins, IRS Chief Counsel and Obama appointee, visited the White House. And Obama calls this a phony scandal.

The NSA. The NSA is the most secretive and the most hi-tech spy organization in the world. They are presently building a new headquarters bigger than the Pentagon. It was leaked that they are monitoring and recording, without warrant, all telephone calls and emails generated in the United States. This is totally against the Constitution. The Fourth Amendment is supposed to protect us from this sort of intrusiveness. And Obama calls this a phony scandal.

"Fast and Furious". This goes a way back in time. Contrary to the administrations hopes, many of us have not forgotten this debacle. The Justice Department encouraged firearms to be smuggled across the Mexican border. The intent was to monitor where they went, make arrests, and recover the firearms. First they forgot to tell the Mexican government. Then they forgot to monitor the guns. Whoops. Two Americans and one Mexican mayor along with numerous civilians were killed by those guns. And Obama calls this a phony scandal.

Now I will tell you what is really phony. We have a President that travels all over the country and all over the world bragging about all of the great things that he has done. Actually, all that he has done is talk about these things. His actions belie his words. I have stated many times, don't listen to what he says. Look at what he does. And the Cranky Conservative calls this a real scandal. 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Kill the Eagles

There are beaches that cannot be used by people because they are being used by the Piping Plover. The nesting ground of this, not particularly attractive, not terribly rare, bird outweighs human desire to use these beaches for recreation. There are areas in Texas where they are not allowed to explore for oil because some little newt lives in the area. Logging is not allowed in areas of the northwest for fear of scaring the Spotted Owl. Now none of these critters is in danger of extinction but the government figures they got there first or something.

Now lest you misunderstand I am all for preserving nature. I just think some folks get a little driven on the subject. Some of these folks organize and raise money. Lots of money. They use that money to bend politicians to their way of thinking. Some politicians are easily bent. and fortunately for them, hypocrisy in not in their vocabulary.

Some of this money is used to convince politicians that fossil fuels are evil. So coal mines are shut down. That means that power plants are shut down. We are forced to buy oil from the middle east when we own vast pools of oil that we are prevented from using. We are prevented from building the Keystone XL pipeline, but a pipeline will be built across Canada and the product that we could use will be shipped to China.

The solution that those that think green propose to fill the gap in our need for power is renewable power, that doesn't produce carbon dioxide. In other words, wind power and solar power. That solution creates a few problems of it's own. First of all, these two power sources are not available in the required capacity. Second, they are a blight on the landscape. Third, they are extremely high and expensive maintenance and will ultimately fail and be left behind. Fourth, they are a huge exercise in hypocrisy.

If a businessperson had a business that put eagles, hawks, or migratory game birds in danger, and if that business caused the death of one of these birds, the business would be sued by the government and hit with confiscatory fines. Did you ever look at one of those wind farms? They have those huge blades swinging through the air like great long knives. They are proven bird killers. It is known but not reported as it goes against an agenda. Eagles and hawks are frequent victims. But this is OK with those in power because it fits their model.

From the air, to a bird, those big shiny solar farms look like a lake. The problem is that when they try to land on those lakes it is a hard landing that causes injury or death. But, I guess, that since it fits in with this administration's plans it is OK. So, as usual, there are two sets of rules. The Obama administration sets their rules as no rules. To them it is all right to kill the eagles. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Blogging Is A Tough Job

Sixteen months ago I decided to start a blog. I'm retired and needed something to do. I used to spend my time fishing and honing my shooting skills, but that became difficult. I had to move on to something else less physical. I have always enjoyed writing. A couple of times I was a flak for local political campaigns. Sitting at my computer in my skivvies and opining felt like a good game plan.

And so it began. I never look back at some of my initial efforts. I do not deal well with embarrassment. But I trudge on through the thicket of news looking for something that people would read about and where I can add to the subject at hand.

I have written about politics. I have written about economics. I have written about the "good old days". I have tried to keep moving the target so I would not get trapped, as some do, always writing about the same worn out subject. When criticizing politicians, a favorite pastime I admit, I have tried be even handed when I felt they had gone off on the wrong track. 

I have run into a massive stumbling block. First of all, it is normal to more heavily criticize the party in power because they make more headlines. They have more to lose, so they tend to go quickly to the cover up. Secondly, the party that has been in power since I started this effort and I have huge philosophical differences. Hey, I'm a conservative. I admit it. Thirdly, the present administration is generating scandals at a rate that would require a support staff, which I most assuredly do not have, to keep up with all the details.

So that is my problem. When I sit down to write it is hard to avoid writing about President Obama, his administration, his policies, his endless campaign speeches, his endless scandals, his inept support staff, or something else having to do with the happenings in our nations capitol. I really try not to be redundant. That is with the exception of Benghazi. I will forever be redundant about that, until we know the whole story or we have a new administration.

Mind you, I am not complaining. I love my blog. I truly enjoy writing and it is my fervent hope that people enjoy reading it. I think they do. I'm working up to twenty-thousand hits from seventy-five countries. So I must be doing something right. I thank those of you that read my blog for my small success. If you are of a mind, pass the link along to some of your friends. I'd love to have more readers. OK, I admit it. I was kidding when I said blogging is a tough job. It isn't. It is just a lot of fun.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Franchises Available

There is no such thing as terrorism. It was struck from the governmental lexicon over four years ago. And if there were such a thing as terrorism, Obama destroyed it. He sent out his Seals to kill Bin Laden. (I admit, I'm not totally convinced he is dead.) Then he sold the Seal Team to his friends in Hollywood so they could make a movie. Figuratively not literally. Even Obama couldn't get away with that. Then he sent out his drones to mop up some of the lesser lights of terror, along with those that were in the immediate area, to finish off that which is "not really terrorism".

We won! Al Qaeda is defeated. The "not a war on terror" is over. Except the war is not over. It is very not over! The heavy thinkers in the administration can call it what ever they wish, "work place violence", "man caused disaster", whatever the euphemism of the day provides, but we are still being attacked by terrorists and will continue to be. 

Obama did not defeat Al Qaeda, as he would have us believe. He rid the world of one man that was, at one time, the guiding star of Al Qaeda. That man ended up living in isolation with little or no power. His communications with the outside were verbal carried by couriers. His messages took days to deliver. Slow communications, in this day and age, ruins a leader's effectiveness. He had become a figurehead, no more.

Meanwhile, through the rest of the mid-east and Africa, Al Qaeda was becoming a franchise business. One of the first and most successful of these was Al Qaeda in Yemen. It then spread to the Islamic Maghreb, the area from Libya to Morocco. They are gaining strength daily in Iraq since we have abandoned that country. There is not a country, today, that has a strong Islamic population where Al Qaeda isn't organizing, recruiting, and growing in strength.

Unlike many other Islamic terrorist organizations, it does not appear the the immediate goal of Al Qaeda is the restoration of the Caliphate. They seem to understand the advantages of incrementalism and distributed effort. Trying to defeat them is like playing "whack-a-mole". One doesn't have enough hands to put them all down at once. They want to win one country at a time, while causing death and destruction to there enemies.

It is difficult, make that impossible, to defeat an enemy if you don't have the courage to name him. Our government has spent years trying to convince us that our terrorist enemy is the Tea Party, right-wing Evangelical Christians, returning veterans, anybody but Islamic jihadists. They have even built the beginnings of a domestic army in case we citizen terrorists get out of hand. Insanity, yes. But that is their mind set.

It is my true hope that some day sanity will return and we will have a government that is proud of America and it's people. A government that realizes that America wasn't built on the European model and that it will not work here. We need free enterprise and less government. We need a President with the courage to name the enemy and go to war against him when we are attacked. Until then, remember people, there are franchises available.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Random Thoughts - Twenty-one

Kirsten Powers is a liberal columnist. She is one of the few who try to be realistic and write with a fair hand. With all the demonstrations about Trayvon Martin, she commented on Fox News Watch that conservatives only discuss "black on  black" crime when they are trying to attract the attention of the black community. Not true. Many conservatives would love to have open and honest discussions about what is one of the great tragedies of our time. If we make that attempt, we are accused of being a bunch or white racists trying to tell black people how to live. 

So the Consumer Financial Protection Agency is recording all your financial transactions. They have cameras that are tracking your movements. The NSA is recording all your phone calls and email. The IRS through Obamacare is tracking and keeping a database of your lifestyle and health information. The DHS now has a virtual domestic army, including armored troop carriers. The media is ignoring this. The Justice Department and Congress are allowing, maybe even encouraging, this. Does this not make people nervous? It scares the hell out of me.

The country has some real problems. Not the least of these is the scandal of the IRS being used for political purposes. Congress is investigating and every congressman, regardless of party, should be concerned with getting to the truth. It seems, however, that certain congressmen are more concerned with obscuring the truth or even shutting down the investigation.There is one with extra power of position that seems to lead the way to leave Americans in the dark. Shame on you Isiah Cummings.

There is a man in Washington named Ben, that has a tiger by the tail. Every day,  that tiger gets bigger and stronger. In spite of his sappy smile, Ben would love to let go of the tiger's tail, but he doesn't know how. He knows that when he does let go, it will be very messy, and he may get eaten in the process. Don't worry Ben. Your liberal friends will take care of you. It is the rest of us that will be the tiger's dinner.

I have never seen an infield like this year's Red Sox plug and play infield. They are a treat to watch even when the Sox lose.

If you are interested in the Whitey Bulger trial and mob activity in Boston, search out material written by Howie Carr. No one knows more and no one has written better about the whole of both the Irish and Italian crime families.

Please, stay on top of Benghazi. Americans were killed on American territory. That is huge and the administration wants to pretend it is nothing.

If you have an email account and a good imagination, you can make up an accusation against George Zimmerman and send it to the Justice Department email hotline. They are pretending that this is an investigation. Please, is this what this country is reduced to? Is this the best we can expect from this Attorney General? 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Profit, Good - Rolling Stone, Bad

I am an old fashioned American. I like profit. The profit motive is what allows the country to flourish, when the government has the good sense to get out of the way and let people run businesses unmolested. Almost everyone wants to succeed, have a nice house, and give their kids a better life than they had. That is a good and admirable state of mind.

Each individual has to decide for themselves how they will try to, successfully, make a profit. Some will work for others. Some will wish to start their own business. If you are inclined to start a business a big decision will be what type of business to go into. If you are a doctor, dentist, or lawyer, the decision is pretty obvious. If you just have a need to be your own boss, it is way more complicated.

A person must balance the own skill set, availability of financial support, public need, location, and a thousand other things to come to a good decision. Even if one does all the homework, the odds are against success. One of the items that need consideration is the way your business will appear to the public. In the mind of those that know you, you will be your business and your business will be you. I see a gentleman on TV on occasion who owns and operates a bordello in Nevada. He is unabashed, proud of his business, and entertaining to listen to. Most people could not be him. I will admit, I always wanted to run a bar/restaurant. I never got the courage to try. It takes a special person to take that chance.

So, assuming you picked a business, had adequate capital, went through the paroxysms of getting said business up and running, now you need customers. Let us suppose that this little business that you started is a magazine. Maybe you felt that a narrowly targeted magazine appealing to a special group that are interested, motivated and are willing to spend money is the business that suits you. So you advertise. Give special offers on subscriptions. You arrange distribution. And you put the best, most attractive, artwork that you can afford on your cover. You want people to love your product. You want them to love it so much that they demand it. 

Older people will remember Life Magazine. They were enormously successful for many years partly because their cover pictures attracted readers. And those covers were all black and white photos. The covers of an equally successful Saturday Evening Post were often reproductions of paintings by the inimitable Norman Rockwell. Both magazines played to their audience perfectly. In their day, their readership numbers proved it.

So along comes Rolling Stone. They took their name from an eternally popular rock band. I assume they felt this would give them instant creds in their target demographic. It seems that it did. In the liberal rock genre they were the bible. Their covers were artistic renditions of rock royalty. They became iconic. Then some genius decided to try to make a god of a jihadist Muslim terrorist who killed Americans with bombs. In my estimation that one cover destroyed any credibility they had. They are now the magazine that celebrates evil on their front page. Some people will do anything to make a buck. They will even destroy their own image. My deepest respect goes to those retailers that had the integrity to refuse to display or sell this loathsome product. I hope everyone refuses to buy it.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Stand Your Ground - Or Not

I want to weigh in on the "stand your ground" laws. I also want to make this a logical discussion apart from the politico-media frenzy that has taken over insane TV. The race baiters are race baiting. The politicians are kissing up to their group du jour. The left leaning media is locked in a hard left turn. The right is doing just the opposite. I will try to do noneof that.

Stand your ground laws were written because people were getting prosecuted for protecting their own homes with legal firearms. Prosecutors seemed to feel that if someone invaded your home that you should run out the back door or hide under the bed. For some reason there are prosecutors out there that seem to take pleasure in going after reasonable people trying to behave reasonably under very difficult circumstances. They do not seem to understand that a person's home is their castle and not to be breached with impunity.

It is only with strict adherence to the Second Amendment that an individual has the full option of opportunities to protect home, property, and family. That is another reason that I am against restrictions on magazine size. To some people home invasion is a present threat. A five shot magazine is less helpful when six bad guys are kicking down your door. Honest people treat weapons in an honest manner. Criminals don't care about the law. That's why they're criminals.

When one is out on the street, "stand your ground" is a little bit more problematic.  On the street, your first line of defense should be situational awareness. Know what is going on around you, front, side, and back, at all times. Don't be walking down the street texting. Get those ear buds out of your ears. Be awake and be safe. Avoid confrontational situations. Just because you have a right to stand your ground doesn't make it mandatory.

If you are confronted try to open up space. If your attacker is within ten feet you will no have time to react. Under ten feet a knife or club is faster and more effective than a gun. Action will trump reaction every time. Unless you are a highly trained professional this is a dire circumstance. If you can turn and run, do it. It may save your life.

Good sense and precaution is better than "stand your ground". But "stand your ground" laws should remain on the books because there are times when that is the only option.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

I Still Like Ike

I was in junior high school when Dwight Eisenhower was elected to America's highest office. Eisenhower spent his life in the military from the time he graduated from West Point as a second lieutenant until he retired as a five star general. He ran the European Theater of Operations, during WWII, until the defeat of Germany. After the war he became President of Columbia University and later, NATO Supreme Commander. He was a brilliant, educated, and highly skilled man. 

Through his military training and career he learned the skills of leadership, responsibility, and persuasion. He had the military traditional sense of honor. To succeed under the responsibilities that were his burden he could not be a humble man. He was never seen to be arrogant or boastful.

In 1952 Eisenhower ran for President and won. The eight years that he spent in the White House were great years for the United States. We had a President that was used to power and knew how to use it effectively. He ran an administration that was open to the press. He gave 200 press conferences in his eight years. Imagine that, one Presidential press conference every two weeks. I don't remember if he even had a press secretary.

As an experienced war-fighter, he realized that our country would have severe logistic problems if we were ever attacked. The highway system was old, out of date, and in bad repair. If there were a need to move goods or troops at emergency speed, it would be impossible. It was his initiative that got the interstate highway system built. A system that, with some exceptions, is still effective today.

Eisenhower also new how to use power effectively behind the scenes. When he took office, the Korean war was at a stalemate. He made quiet promises to the Chinese about what would occur if the situation didn't get resolved soon. From others these might be taken as hollow threats. Not from Ike. Although the Korean war has never formally ended due to the intransigence of the Kims, military action was ceased and an armistice was signed.

The Eisenhower years were fairly peaceful and very successful. Vets coming home from WWII and Korea, married, bought new homes, started businesses and families. The suburbs blossomed. In those years, I went from junior high school to planning marriage. It was a great time  to grow up in. The country and it's people flourished. When I compare it with what is going on today, it makes me sad. That is why I still like Ike.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Benghazi Once Again II

I said I would keep re-posting my original Benghazi blog until we started getting answers. In my total naivete, I stopped because I thought the process was under way. I was wrong. As the politocrats wanted, the Benghazi scandal is being lost in the fog of new scandals that hit closer to home. The IRS and the NSA affect people directly in their daily lives. That gets their attention. In other words the politocrats have pulled the curtain back over what they don't want you to see. The scandal seems to be going away again so here's my re post.

Make no mistake, the Benghazi scandal is the one this administration fears most. The Benghazi scandal taints two people primarily. That is the President and the woman that would be his replacement. It is their lack of pride and lack of decisiveness along with a fear of political fallout that caused, directly or indirectly, the debacle in Benghazi. I may not be the loudest voice to express deep concern about the failure of our government to protect Americans on American soil. But I am a voice. If all that are like minded keep up the struggle for honesty and justice we will ultimately prevail. So my re-posts start again and will continue.

Below, I've repeated my sixth update. I will move on from there. Please friends, talk this up. 
be a voice make those that are unaware, aware.

Sixth Update

It has come out that the people that were safely liberated from Benghazi have been kept under wraps and told not to speak out. Those that are CIA or State Department Intelligence should remain silent. Those that are civilian employees must be allowed to testify before Congress and tell the world about their experience, if they wish. It seems that Hillary Clinton's e-mails regarding Benghazi have been hacked. They will trickle out. Patience and pressure will bring results. Covering up a tragedy is not like taking a Mulligan. Nixon learned the hard way. Is it now Obama's turn?

Remember Benghazi

The holidays are here and everyone is busy with their preparations. The newspaper, if they report at all, are reporting the crisis of the day. The president is heading to Hawaii in a week. Most politicians have lost interest in anything that matters. There are distractions galore. But through all this, we must remember Benghazi.

The administration, every person in it, hopes that the American people will just move on and call it done. Over. Old history. We must not do that. Benghazi is a big deal. Benghazi is not just one scandal. It is four separate scandals. Every one of them deserves our close attention.

The first scandal is that Ambassador Stevens called for more security and it was denied him. That is unheard of. An ambassador is the highest ranking American in any foreign country. He is the direct representative of the President. Normally when an ambassador makes a request it is granted without question. There are only two people in government with the power to deny an ambassador. That would be the Secretary of State and the President. So who made that decision and why? Was it made on political grounds? Was it made to appease someone in the Libyan government? After all this consulate had been attacked before. Weren't there enough warning flags up? Why was the Ambassador even there? Was he sent there secretly for a meeting? Why was he sent with insufficient personal security?

The second scandal is the attack on the consulate itself. This was an attack on sovereign American soil. When the consulate came under fire they called out for help. None was forthcoming. The people calling for help were experienced military. They had a drone overhead monitoring the situation. The battle lasted over seven hours. Help was available. Even a single C-130A sent from Italy could have been there in an hour. Four honorable Americans lost their lives while serving their country. Why? Was this also a political decision? Do we now sacrifice our people for political reasons? Who was monitoring the feed from the drone? Who did they report to? We need answers. We deserve answers. Whatever was or was not done occurred in our name.

The third scandal, of course, is the pack of lies that the administration put out to cover this debacle. The stories had not even a bit of truth to them. It was not about some movie upsetting a flash mob. Any person with more than two active brain cells knew they were lies. But for weeks after, coincidentally right through the presidential debates, the administration stuck with the story. Week after week, on the Sunday talk shows and in the news papers the media allowed this story when they must have known it was a fabrication. A man in California was jailed for his part in inciting a riot that never happened. In America? Please. That is just wrong. When did our country come to this?

The fourth scandal is a little more difficult for me.  I have a tendency to accept the military as straight forward and honorable under any and all pressure. As back in Caesar's day, they would fall on their sword rather than dishonor their uniform. General Petraeus initially mouthed the party line as to the cause of the attack on Benghazi. He reiterated the obvious lies that were played to protect the administration. It is my opinion, and mine alone, that he wanted to tell the truth. Again, my opinion, he was told that if he went public, his private misfeasance would be made public. Being an honorable man who made a mistake, he did the right thing and resigned. We, as American citizens, need his testimony as to what transpired throughout this whole mess.

I am writing this piece on the evening of December 9, 2012. I plan to publish it tomorrow. I feel it is so important that I will republish this essay periodically as a reminder to those that read my blog that the administration has not answered our questions, until we finally are told the truth or have a new administration.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Fishing For Publicity - Use Race Bait

Although he is referred to as the Reverend Al Sharpton, I have never heard him preach a sermon or even express a true Christian thought in public. The Reverend Al Started his career in 1969 under the tutelage of another race opportunist, Jesse Jackson. The activities of these men has worsened relationships between racial groups through pure exploitation.

In 1989 Sharpton came into his own as a race baiter when he sided with Tawana Brawly against a white law enforcement officer. He was in front of every camera he could find screaming for justice. When it was revealed that Tawana made up the whole sordid story, Sharpton was unabashed and carried on as if nothing was wrong. Look up shameless in the dictionary. You may see his picture.

Every time a person of color is accused of a crime or find themselves in a high visibility situation, within hours you will find the Reverend Al leading parades, shouting diatribes, and fanning the flames of human misery. Al has never let a good riot go to waste.

Al cares not how much damage he causes. The point is to keep him well publicized and the focal point of all things racial. If people get hurt and property gets damaged, so be it. That is just the price one pays for Reverend Al's support.

His latest crowning achievement was turning a terrible situation that had nothing to do with race into a racial catastrophe. He is so good at what he does that he even hoodwinked the President of the United States into helping him fan the flames even more. I believe that we only have the family of Trayvon Martin to thank that there weren't riots all over Florida. Thank God those kind and level headed people came out and publicly said riots would tarnish Trayvon's memory.

What is amazing is that the media continues to give the Reverend Al front page space along with camera and microphone time. MSNBC has even given him his own daily television show. Even more bizarre is that, contrary to network rules, he is allowed to take a personal part in the various situations he reports about. He has become a walking "self-fulfilling prophecy".

Race baiting is cruel. Race baiting is harmful. Those that do it, do it to line their own pockets and to keep themselves in front of the camera. As long as these race baiters are believed they will destroy more than they will help. The Reverend Al has long ago passed his "sell by" date.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Another Tale Of Two Cities

This is a tale of two cities ( I know. I've done it before.) and both cities are Washington D.C. I love Washington. It is a great city. The architecture, the monuments, the history makes it one of the worlds great cities. But anyone who has spent any time there realizes that there are two cities with one name on the banks of the Potomac.

Half of Washington has the highest per capita income in the country. It is a town filled to the brim with lobbyists, consultants, government contractors, politicians, and lawyers. Property values are through the overhead if you can find any property available. And if property comes available, I think you have to know the secret handshake to get a shot at it. This is the land of personal chefs and bespoke suits.

The other half of Washington is a town of minorities that live around or below the poverty line.The transition is so sudden and so sharp it is hard to believe both areas are contained in the same sixty-one square miles. This is an area only slightly bigger than Staten Island, NY.

The poorer section of Washington suffers from many problems typical of communities in need, such as crime and drugs. They also suffer from a lack of jobs and simple services such as stores that carry affordable products. The people that live here have to leave the Washington city limits to get to any of the big box stores. For some that is an unendurable hardship.  

The people of Washington were presented a great opportunity when Walmart planned to open three stores immediately with three more planned. This would have given the cities residents a neighborhood source of food, clothing, medicines, hardware, all sorts of good products sold at reasonable prices. Walmart said that, above and beyond the construction jobs, building the stores, they would be hiring eighteen hundred employees. This would have been nothing but good for the community.

But these benefits to the community were not enough  for the D.C. Council. They immediately passed a law where the minimum wage for Walmart was to be fifty percent higher than the minimum wage for everyone else. Council member Vincent B. Orange stated "We're at the point where we don't need retailers. Retailers need us." Well apparently not so much. Walmart immediately stopped construction on the three stores that had been started and cancelled plans for any more. The councilors claim they did this to assure their constituents got a living wage. Well now they won't be getting any wage.

I cannot know what was in the minds of those that stopped this project. I do know that Walmart is a decent neighbor. Their hiring practices are fair. I also know that every job they offered would have had applicants lining up. Well, it looks like another lost opportunity ruined by short sighted politicians.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

None So Blind

Success is a sometimes thing. As much as we all strive for it we don't always make the grade. Personal success is most difficult. We are expected to start setting our sights in our early teen years. Then we must get a proper education. Along the way we must develop a work ethic, learn human interaction, and build an appropriate personal life. If your family is financially stable, psychologically stable, and fully supportive. It is a little easier as long as you play within your game. As these support factors are unavailable, it becomes much harder. Sometimes it becomes impossible.

Political success is another matter entirely. Once one is elected to political office, be it City Councilman or President of the United States, there are road maps that can be used that will bring a willing follower right to the center of the success target. Of course, it helps if you can put your ego aside and actually learn from those that went before.

The bigger the job, the harder it is to succeed. But also the clearer the road map. One of the most challenging jobs in politics today, is that of big city mayor. But we can look at New York City for a road map. The mayoral careers of Ed Koch and Rudy Giuliani are good examples. Neither man was a humble man. They both knew to succeed their city had to be more important that their egos. Both men worked long hours and made good decisions. Perfect, no. But you don't have to be perfect to do good. 

Obviously these two men have laid out a better road map than, say, any mayor of Chicago, or Washington D.C., or Detroit. That is a list of low performance that goes on forever.

As for states, one might look at the aftermath of Katrina and compare Alabama and Louisiana. For overall success, how about Texas. The summers are ungodly hot. The winters can be about any kind of weather. They get hit with hurricanes and tornadoes on occasion. But businesses are flocking there. Employment is up. The middle class thrives and is upwardly mobile. That sounds like a good road map to follow. North Dakota also is thriving. But the states that are dying look at these success stories and do just the opposite.

If you should happen to acquire the job of President of the USA there are some outstanding maps to follow. Should you follow Jimmy Carter or Ronald Reagan? Reagan would get my vote every time. But being President is a complicated job. There might be some small inset maps for special use. Like Teddy Roosevelt's, "Walk softly and carry a big stick." or Harry Truman's "The buck stops here." Should one follow Neville Chamberlains policy of appeasement or Winston Churchill's "Blood, sweat and tears."

So the maps and the signs are all out there and available. One need only read history and learn from it without ego or agenda. But as always, "There are none so blind as they that will not see."

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Support Your Local Lawman

I am almost always a supporter of the cops. They have a difficult, sometimes dangerous, almost always unappreciated job. I have interacted with some of our local gendarmes, myself. Sometimes these interactions were social, a couple of times they explained to me the error of my ways while driving. They have almost always been calm, polite, and business like. But mostly they have been right. Hey, I was in a hurry.

But I am seeing a trend that troubles me. There seems to be a feeling of them versus us cropping up in law enforcement. Recently, a man,standing on his own property, was roughed up and his dog was shot. His crime was video recording the officer in question. A fifteen year old boy was arrested in his school without his parents present. He was charged with obstructing a police officer. This charge could have led to a jail term. His crime, exerting  his first amendment rights by refusing to take off a shirt that offended a teacher. A younger child, I believe he was ten, was questioned by police, in his school, again, without parents, for hours until he wet himself. His crime, he had a cap pistol, an obvious toy, in his pack because he wanted to show it to his friend. Incorrect behavior? Yes. Wouldn't a call to the parents be sufficient?

A man in Nevada was asked by police if they could use his house for surveillance of another home. He refused his permission. Then police in military regalia battered down his door and roughly ejected him from his own home. They then went to his parents home nearby and did the same thing. When they left the houses they had been trashed. There is now a Third Amendment lawsuit against that police department. Two women in Texas are suing police as they were forced to subject themselves to body cavity searches at the roadside after a traffic stop.

It seems that there are police out there today that think a badge allows any behavior they deem necessary or maybe just to show they have the power to do as they wish. What happened to "Preserve and Protect". Police want and deserve respect. But when their own go over the top with their behavior they damage the respect for every officer out there. Public perception paints with a very broad brush.

The police must police their own ranks. They must do it stringently. I understand the concept of a strong and solid blue line. But it would be so much better if the undesirables were filtered out before it got to the media and the courts. Then we could take pride in supporting our local lawmen and women.  

Monday, July 8, 2013

May The Cloud Be With You

The latest greatest thing in the computer world, seems to be, the"Cloud". A, fix everything on your computer, program advertises on TV that it works in the "Cloud". I'm thinking about buying a Google Chrome to back up my desktop computer. It is getting a little long in the tooth, so to speak. I find that the Chrome saves to the "Cloud". OK, no hard drive to crash. Sounds good. The best part is that I am isolated from the technicalities. This "Cloud" works automatically somehow. Well, I am sure it is not automatic. There are people out there someplace making it work. I know not who. I know not where. But they will be my new best friends because they protect me from the toil and tribulation of  daily routine file maintenance. No more de-frag. My life has just improved.

Computers are not the only thing that operates in the cloud. Different cloud, same principle. We have a President that works in that cloud. It suits him well. There are people in the West Wing that examine every bit of data that others would input to our cloudy President. They filter out the irrelevant and the annoying. Incoming data is homogenized to a soothing ego boosting pap. One does not want to overly trouble what has been purported to be the greatest mind in this or any other century.

Operating in the cloud allows him to stay above the fray. Responsibility never reaches this high in the sky where clouds reside. Results of policy are softened and fed in bite sized pre-masticated chunks. Blame is to be taken by those of the more common masses. Trips under the bus are frequent and painful. But under our benevolent leader, seldom terminal. People are moved around, job titles shifted, new ever subservient tools are moved into critical positions with small qualification or experience, and life goes on. Very seldom is a paycheck missed even if the "guilty" party stays home for an extended period.

The biggest advantage for the President that operates in this cloud is that he has risen to a level where he is alone with his contemplations.  For example "leading from behind" is at least equal and possibly better than leading the charge just saying "follow me boys". Not everyone may see it that way, but I am sure the President has just set new standards for the world. Certainly most Americans are unhappy that the President is so close to the Muslim Brotherhood. I know that I am. But as he is in the cloud, the opinions of others do not matter. In his highly evolved intellect it makes perfect sense that the rest of us more common folk are unable to grasp.

The one negative that should be mentioned, is that when the President has his head in the cloud, he does not have his feet solidly on the ground. Our problems today are the real, basic problems of no jobs and a poor economy. After Friday's economic figures came out the Presidents people once again tried to put lipstick on the pig and blame a President that has been gone from office for almost five years. All of them really need to get their feet on the ground. But, hey, may the cloud be with them.

I am happy to say that the first family was able to take a long weekend at Camp David to recover from their African vacation and in preparation for their summer trip to Martha's Vineyard. God bless the USA!!!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Two Brief Points

Egypt is in for a long hard slog, but what the military did was needed to prevent the destruction of a great ancient country which is also a historical artifact beyond price. It will also prevent the wholesale slaughter of Coptic Christians and other non-Muslim minorities. I have heard this action casually called a military coup. It was not. It was a coup d'etat (literally, change of state) performed by the military.

The military is the only group in Egypt with the power, organization, and honor to do this successfully. They immediately installed a civilian government to transition back to the freedom that was taken away when the Morsi government wrote the new constitution.

Unfortunately our own government seems to be joined at the hip with the Muslim Brotherhood. This is bad politics and bad foreign policy. Appeasement never works. Now, more that ever, Egypt needs the prayers, support, and the watchfulness of the rest of the world.

Big Brother is bad enough. Now it seems that we have Big Brother and Big Sister double teaming us. First there is big brothers projects. He has the Post Office Department keeping a record of all first class mail. They are photographing both the mail to address and the return address. He has the NSA recording for posterity all telephone calls and emails. They also have immediate intercept capability on both. He has the IRS, the most feared organization in government, investigating and intimidating any person or group that disagrees with him. He has no opposition, just enemies. Finally, he has the FBI delving into reporter's protected business even to the point of threatening indictment. He also prevents the FBI from investigating anything that could cause him embarrassment.

Then there is Big Sister. Big Sister is building a domestic civilian army. There are hundreds of thousands of people employed by Homeland Security many of whom are trained and authorized to carry a firearm. As part of the program DHS is in the process of building a federal police force. They have ordered millions of dollars worth of new police like uniforms for TSA. They have purchased billions of rounds of hollow point ammo. They have ordered thousands of fully automatic assault rifles. They have purchased 2,500 armored personnel carriers. Now, to put the cherry on the sundae, Big Sister has apparently reached an agreement with a branch of the Russian military called EMERCOM to bring 15,000 trained Russian troops into the United States to assist her personal army under emergency conditions. Russian troops on American soil. That is insane.  And who decides what constitutes an emergency of that nature?

If these things don't get the hairs on the back of your neck tingling you are either very brave or very numb.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Random Thoughts - Twenty

The country is in serious trouble. There are not enough jobs. We are borrowing and spending money we can't afford on projects that we shouldn't be involved in. The government is turning into "Big Brother" on steroids. But the press keeps the focus on abortion, immigration, and gay marriage to cover for Obama and the Democrats. They do not understand that the country they will get is not the country they want.

Keep your eye on the Bernanke Bubble. They ran up a trial balloon last week and the market quivered and quaked. Now the Feds know that they have a tiger by the tail and have to continue what they are doing until after the next election or the Democrats will be destroyed.

Fox news did a great job with their Benghazi special. It was one of the best hours of news TV that I have ever seen. 

It was my understanding that Obama and his extended family were spending $100,000,000 of our money on a vacation business trip to Africa to bring back gazillions in new business opportunities for America. Really! I heard someone say that. I guess Mr. President didn't get the memo. But to make up for his huge expenses, military heroes and their families will not have fireworks on their bases to celebrate Independence Day. "Let them eat cake."

The Obama administration is not waging a "war on coal" according to Energy Secretary, Ernest Moniz. They are just forcing coal mines to close and shutting down coal powered electrical generating plants. But lest you worry, the White House has a great back up generating system, so our first family will be fine. I knew you would be concerned.

Nations spying on each other. Even friendly nations. I'm shocked and dismayed over such perfidy. Who would ever have believed it? I hope you got the sarcasm there.

When Hillary first ran against Barack Obama for the Democrat nomination for president, she carried a ton of baggage. As Secretary of State, she accomplished very little. The onus of Benghazi, as the President floats above the fray, adds another ton to the baggage she already carried. Sitting in front of a House committee and screaming in that shrill voice of hers, "what does it matter now?" should sink her ship to the deepest depths of the ocean.

Note to President Obama: We are all still waiting for the firing of those guilty parties in the IRS. I'm sure that will be first priority when you and your extended family get back from your vacatio (whoops) business trip.

Michelle Obama, while on her hundred million dollar vacation to places most of us will never be able to visit, complained that her life is like being in a prison. She should live the life of those whose money she is taking, those who are earning less because of her husbands failed economic policies. Those people that are taking stay-cations this year because they can afford no more than that. That is if they still have a home that hasn't been repossessed. "Let them eat cake."

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Some Musing About The Fourth Of July

I was a young boy, in grammar school, during World War Two. That was the last war where most of the country pulled together to win. Korea was a "police action", so that does not qualify. Of course, those that lost family there, may disagree. Since World War Two wars have belonged to some President and his supporters. The opposition party and their supporters were dead set against it. The independents were torn. Viet Nam was LBJ's war even though it started under Kennedy. Kuwait belonged to Bush I. Iraq belonged to Bush II. The war on an aspirin factory belonged to Clinton. 

During WWII people were tremendously proud of their country. Those that didn't go into the military themselves worked at those jobs needed to support the war effort. Women who had never worked outside their own homes went into factories and did hard manual labor that, until then, had been the province of men. People bought war bonds. School kids bought war stamps with their nickels and dimes to trade for war bonds when they accumulated enough. Citizens did without so there would be enough for the military. People would line the streets for parades. They would stand and cheer when the American Flag passed by them. Those on furlough from the military were treated as heroes.

As everyone knows, the official name for the Fourth of July, is Independence Day. We take the day to celebrate the bravery and wisdom of our founding fathers in wresting the country from George III. There are some that object to taking this great and important holiday and calling it by it's generic name. I am not on of them. Over the decades the Fourth of July has accumulated many additional things to celebrate along with our independence. Victory in the War of 1812, reuniting the nation after a terrible Civil War, two World Wars, and the way the country pulled together after 9/11 and the Boston bombing are but a few examples. No red blooded American will ever mistake the Fourth of July as just another date on the calender.

The Fourth of July has become the symbol for the accumulated greatness shown by our country in less than two and a half centuries of existence. We have nay sayers now, those that would walk on the flag and tear our country down. They cannot bring themselves to see what the world would be like without the United States of America. I can assure you it would be a far different and very dismal place. These pseudo-intellectuals speak of moral equivalence and support an ill founded idea that all nations are equal. If that is so, why do so many that live in the hell-holes of the world risk all that they have, including their very lives, to live in the United States.

All nations have July 4th as a calender date. But only the United States of America has "the Fourth of July". God bless America and all that reside here. 

Have a great "Fourth of July" everyone.  

Monday, July 1, 2013

Conservatives Must Stand Proud

There is a species of politician out in the world that claim to be conservative but they are merely Democrat lite. They have been called RINOs, Rockefeller Republicans, or middle of the roaders. All they are is appeasers. They snuggle up to Democrats hoping to get some droppings from the Democrat table. So, at any time, they will run to an opportune microphone and make a few slightly pointed comments. Finally they vote however their Democrat betters tell them to vote just to get along. They are more interested in keeping the perks of their office than actually digging in and fighting for the people that put them their plush positions. These people are not true conservatives. True conservatives should stand apart from them. Their opinions and their support are not to be trusted.

Under the category of,"if you tell the same lie, loud enough and often enough, it will be believed", liberals sing long and loud that they represent the intelligentsia of our country. Many are well educated. Many are very successful in entertainment. But they all seem to have a problem adding two and two without it coming out three or five. Also they seem to have a problem with complicated. That is why they all agree so readily. They don't seem to recognize all the options when a problem needs a solution. It comes down to tax it, regulate it, make it illegal, or give it away.

The liberals and their abettors in the press try to picture conservatives as knuckle dragging neanderthals. It doesn't help that President Obama refers to conservatives as enemies rather than the opposition. Most recently he referred to conservatives as "flat earthers". Those that disagree with him, and they are legion, are racists, misogynists, homophobes, Islamophobes, or Christian nuts clinging to guns and God. Not a pretty position for a President to take on thirty five percent or more of the population. In his mind, no one disagrees with him from a logical, reasoned, or moral position. His ego won't allow that.

The conservatives that I have known in my life have been educated but don't reside in ivory towers. They have been accomplished, but by doing, going out and creating business, solving problems, and moving the country and the world ahead. If I want a house built I'm going to find a guy that bangs nails for a living, not a guy that thinks profoundly about the physics of the nail. Liberals love committees. Conservatives take personal responsibility. Notice, when the Tea Party brings five thousand people to a park, the park is cleaner when they leave than when they arrived. When Occupy leaves a park, it is a pig sty.

There are some changes conservatives need to embrace. They must learn to love incrementalism. They must leave "my way or the highway" behind. They must unite against the real opposition when the chips are down. They must not allow themselves to be diverted from their objectives. They must play hardball politics every single day. Everyone must be on the same page. No rogues allowed. Above all, Conservatives must stand proud.