Wednesday, April 30, 2014

What Difference Does It Make?

I'll bet you thought I was going to, once again, write about Benghazi. Although I borrowed Hillary's quote, that is not my intention. But I am pleased that more information is coming out. I read a lot of news on line and watch a lot of TV news shows. The past few days, every new show and a large percentage of the headlines are focused on a fat, homely, arrogant old man who knows how to make money and apparently little else. His money gives him power and privilege and a young, well sort of young, girlfriend who has as much attitude as he does.

Now, my question is, is an old racist fool really that newsworthy? If he didn't own a professional basketball franchise, this would have been a trailer to the real news and forgotten two days later. When I was growing up, a few years later than our subject, casual racism was the norm. He just never learned better. 

While the press is having the screaming meemies over this idiocy, the scandal that needs and deserves their attention is an "also ran". The vicious cruelty to our American military heroes brought about by the criminal mismanagement of the Bureau of Veterans Affairs should be red meat to the hounds of the press. The press should be all over them, taking names and ripping out the causes for this mess. We should be seeing reorganizations, firings, and new faces in charge. Unfortunately, the press turn into lap dogs around anything involving their beloved liberal President's minions and in this administration, no one is held responsible. 

Have you heard that the Democrats are trying to change the Presidential election laws? I'll bet you haven't. They have already persuaded ten blue states to change their Electoral College laws so that the winner of the national popular vote gets all of the states electoral votes. I realize that this is out in the weeds a little bit, but it is important. You see that this would give populous states with big cities added power to select the President. It just happens that the populous states with big cities, tend to be liberal. You don't see this in the main stream media.

There are so many things that an unbiased press should be digging into. The country is in trouble and the power hungry would make it worse. I saw a headline where one columnist said we have lost our Republic and become a nation of oligarchs. That may be true. After all, a big mouthed old rich guy from California is getting more press than the Presidents failed trip to Asia.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Another Week, Another Scandal

If I wanted to hide a tree, I'd consider a forest. Since President Obama took office, it has been one scandal after another. Little scandals, such as when Obama's friend Dr. H.L. Gates was detained by a Cambridge police officer who was properly doing his duty. In spite of the fact that the President had no knowledge of the situation, he publicly announced that "the Cambridge police acted stupidly" and he came off looking foolish. Then there were the huge scandals such as Benghazi where people died and the IRS debacle that illegally deprived people of their Constitutional Rights..

In almost every case, Obama proclaimed himself shocked and dismayed. He would then promise that no stone would be left unturned to get to the bottom of things. Ultimately, he swore, those responsible would pay the price. Now, into his sixth year, they must still be looking for stones to turn because no bottom has been found, no one has been assigned responsibility, and no one has paid any price. Not so much as a nickel. Although, the Cambridge cop that Obama maligned did get a couple of free beers out of it.

The stall was on. Time passed. Tame reporters stopped reporting, if they ever even bothered to start. All of these scandals became a background blur to a public trying to survive in a rotten economy. Few people were paying attention. Few people even cared. When those that did care brought it up, they were denigrated in the most evil terms, up to and including being called racist.

But now we have a scandal that seems to be getting legs. The horrible mismanagement of the Bureau of Veterans Affairs affects large numbers of people who have devoted all or part of their lives to the service of their country. Many of them have paid a huge price. These veterans have family and friends that are also concerned. As they would say in the military, that becomes a force multiplier. The administration has finally come up with a scandal that is so big and so ugly, there is no place to hide it.

Heads must roll. It should start right at the top. A complete reorganization with everything right out in the open. Stop the bonuses and fancy trips for government employees. Stop the feel good team building. Start monitoring job performance. Fire people for poor performance. It is our government. It does not belong to the politicians. We have a right to demand better. And there is no better place to start than by doing the right thing and taking care of our veterans. It is their right and our obligation. The politicians seem to be able to find whatever they need, be it money or services, to take care of themselves. Now they must start taking care of those that really deserve it.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Stop It, I'm Easily Offended

My wife and I were going food shopping the other day. As we were pulling into the parking lot at the SuperDuper Food Emporium I spotted a nice parking space close to the entrance. I was almost there when someone scooted in ahead of me. I was offended. Well, we finally got into the store. I went to the meat counter, one of my favorite places to hang out, and spotted a really beautiful piece of steak. I reached for it but a younger person with quicker hands had also seen it. Bye bye steak. Again, I was sorely offended. Then I overheard a conversation where a man was talking about a neighbor who owed him some money. He referred to his neighbor as a welsher. As I am of Welsh descent, I was extremely offended. 

As you can tell, I am a very sensitive man. I am very easily offended. Apparently that puts me right smack in the middle of mainstream thinking in today's America. Everybody gets offended about something. When did Americans become such sensitive little flowers that our egos are so easily bruised. 

Many get offended for political advantage. Sheikh Mostafa Elazabawy was highly offended by a film scheduled to be shown at the 9/11 Memorial. The Sheikh is the Imam of a mosque in Manhattan. His cause for offence, he claims, is that he fears people will blame all Muslims for the attack and he dislikes using the term "islamist" as people may blame Islam. Imam, the attack was thirteen years ago. The blame has been handed out. And as the attack was by Muslims using the Koran as a justification to attack infidels (anyone not Muslim) I would say that Americans have been more than tolerant. Tell me, Imam, if it had been "infidels" attacking any Muslim country in the same manner, how much tolerance would they be shown?

Some of those so easily offended are just silly. A Dartmouth College fraternity and a sorority had organized a fund raiser for cardiac care. They had labeled this fund raiser a Phiesta, cleverly using the Greek Phi that appers in the name of both organizations instead of an f. A young woman, American by birth, but of Hispanic heritage took immediate offence that those white gringos from New Hampshire were using her word. She made her deeply hurt feelings known. The fund raiser was immediately cancelled, the charity gets nothing, and those dastardly gringos at Dartmouth are forever banned the use of the word fiesta. They may not even think about a fiesta. Will that be a problem on Cinco de Mayo?

How some are offended is just confusing. Back a few years ago, I was watching a TV political panel show. Talking heads doing what talking heads do. The ethnicities involved went across the board. One of the speakers, not wanting to use the word cheap to describe a public policy that cut back spending, used a synonym. He used the word niggardly. This is a perfectly good word that has been in the dictionary forever. No hidden meaning, just cheap. The silence was deafening. The shocked and stunned looks on every face except the speaker let you know immediately that big trouble was brewing. The speaker was accused of racism and for the next week it was news in all the media. I don't think the poor schmuck that just wanted to exhibit his command of the language has ever been seen again.

So, I suggest we all man up. Yes, you ladies too. Let's not be so quick and easy to be offended. It hampers communication and makes the complainant look like a frumpy little old lady. OK, so now I'll get nasty letters from any little old ladies I've offended. I think I'll quit while I'm ahead.   

Friday, April 25, 2014

Two Wrongs, No Right

A lot of people, myself included, supported Cliven Bundy as a hero. That was before he opened his mouth. What he said was wrong and coarse. It has caused great emotional distress among those political types that were quick to tie their wagon to his star. Truth be told, those political types wouldn't care two figs if they weren't in the public eye and looking for votes.

It is absolutely wrong but I take it a little more in stride. The man is old. He is closer to my fathers generation than he is to mine. To those of that generation his words would have passed for thoughtful analysis. Back in the day, my generation would have thought it over the top but would have been exposed to a lot worse. In today's politically correct generation, it is a death sentence. Careers have ended for less.

With all of that, he and his supporters stood up to a small army of government agents, who were heavily armed, and appeared ready for battle. A small army that initially lied about their reason for being there. A small army that was there to collect a bill that could have and should have been collected in the courts. A small army that cost more to send than the amount of the bill.

So which side was more wrong? To quote a famous American, "at this time, what does it matter". But for my money, the government was far beyond Mr. Bundy in evil doing. Mr Bundy made a stupid mistake and let his mouth run wild. The government plotted against a citizen and took it a long mile into overkill.

There were reasons for this siege. We do not know what they were. It is obvious that the government wants this land for some other purpose. There have been things bandied about regarding Harry Reid being involved, a possible sale to the Chinese, and a solar farm. But nothing has been proven. You can be sure that there was an ulterior motive.

So Mr. Bundy and his associates stood firm against an illegitimate government action. For that they are heroes. It appears to me that, day by day, the government is treating us more like subjects than citizens. The brakes had to be applied at some point. Recently Michelle was sent packing when she invited herself to give a speech to high school grads. AG Holder was rejected as a speaker to a police group. Maybe the worm is starting to turn. Maybe the pols should start fearing us.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Has Anyone Noticed?

Things seem to be getting a little bit crazy in this country. And, Yes, it has been over the last five years. Think back to scandal after scandal. Even a few that have passed under the public's radar.

The ATF allows weapons to go into Mexico and on to the drug cartels. The administration won't do a proper job of protecting our borders. Illegal immigrants commit crimes but are allowed to stay to commit more crimes. The New Black Panthers are given a pass by the justice department for intimidating voters at a polling place. Terrorism in the United States is called anything but terrorism by the administration. The IRS is being used a a weapon against political rivals.

Government agencies that, never in their histories, had armed agents, now have standing armies. The EPA claims control of any land that has water on it or may have water on it at some point. They also actively destroy the coal industry. The BLM sends a small army to collect a bill and kick a rancher off of grazing land. And they initially lie about it claiming they are protecting the desert tortoise. Now they are going back after more land on the Texas Oklahoma border.

Worse yet, heavy handed efforts are being made against the Bill Of Rights. The First and Second Amendments are under intense fire. This has to be more than ineptness and a lust to control. There is huge discontent in the land and we have a President that acts like all is well. While the pot is approaching a boil, he is on cruise control.

The incident in Nevada came too close to a shootout between free citizens and Obama's civilian army to be good. The government, I think, was intentionally provoking.

Over the first four years of his Presidency, Barack Obama created and armed his private army. He put Presidential orders in place allowing him to declare martial law and to take complete control of all aspects of government and commerce in a national emergency. Then they stockpiled the necessary hardware. Semi automatic pistols, fully automatic rifles, billions of rounds of ammunition, and armored troop carriers. Finally they opened FEMA internment camps and stocked them with hundreds of thousands of plastic coffins.

If all of that doesn't scare you, go back and read it again. It appears to me that Obama is a man with a plan to control the country. The question being, can he carry it off, if that is his plan? For a complete take over, he would need the cooperation of the regular military. Military officers are sworn to uphold the Constitution. Would they break that oath for the President?

I would be the first to admit that I may be all wet here. I certainly hope that I am, but all this circumstantial evidence makes me worry. We have already had enough harm done to the country. If we start to reverse things immediately after the next election, it will take a decade or more to repair the damage. That is bad enough. We cannot afford worse.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Dishonorable Dishonor The Honorable

There is no life so honorable as living to serve one's country. From the day one enters military service they make sacrifices to uphold that honor. It is a proud profession and should receive nothing but respect from those that they protect. Full disclosure; I did not serve. A hearing problem prevented that. In twenty-twenty hindsight, I wish I could have.

Through both my business and my social life, I have known a small number of military officers. Mostly Navy. I have found them to be honest, straight forward, companionable, and smart. Their service provided for their education and allowed them advancement as the military at it's best, is a pure meritocracy. So by the time these people leave the service they have a proven ability to perform their duties at their level of rank. Otherwise, they would not have attained that rank. Those that leave the service are usually smart and competent.

I was disturbed when I read that Douglas Gansler, a Democrat candidate for governer in Maryland claimed that his opposition candidate in the Democrat primary, Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown was unqualified because of his military service. Mr. Gansler claims that Mr. Brown is not up to handling a "real job".

I find this particularly troubling as Mr. Gansler comes from a political family and the closest he has come to a "real" job is as a clerk to a judge on the Maryland Court of Appeals and for a short time as an attorney. Mr. Ganslers career is, certainly, no more honorable than a man who served in the military.

Recently the New York Times has run an opinion piece by Kathleen Belew linking returning veterans to the white supremacist movement. If a complete statistical analysis were made, would the percentage of veterans exceed the non-serving population. I doubt that it would be. In fact, I expect it would be less.

Last month Macy's refused to hire a young woman who had just returned from military service. Their claim was that she would not be able to handle angry customers.  What did they expect she would do? Snap under that intense pressure? People in the military face a lot more pressure than some diva whose Jimmy Choos don't fit.

It was not too far back when employers were happy to get ex military because of their work ethic. The work ethic has not changed but for some reason the attitude toward these fine people has. I personally believe that when a vet returns home, if he can't find work within three months, the government should offer him or her employment. God knows that the government doesn't mind growing it's labor force. Maybe something good and useful could be done with this.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Incompetence Is The Only Excuse

Most Americans, even most of those in Congress, if they would only admit it, believe that the Keystone XL pipeline would be good for the country. The State Department has been studying this proposal for five years now. They have produced a report that is positive on the advantages of building this pipeline, while showing no negative effects.

It only stands to reason that the report would be positive as the alternatives are thousands of railroad tank cars going over the rails or tens of thousands of tanker trailers going over the roads. Railroad cars sometime leak or even derail and burn as has happened recently. There have been four such derailments in the last four months. Tractor trailers have all kind of accidents. Especially on the ice covered roads in the northern states and Canada in the winter.

But, apparently, President Obama is unsure of the competence of those in the State department who are charged with doing this study. Otherwise why would he have sent the study back once again to be redone? Personally, were I in his position, I would fire the lot of them and their leadership. If, after five years of intensive study, they are unable to make their point convincingly, it speaks a lack of understanding. There is no reason for the American taxpayer to continue subsidizing them. Simply hire capable replacements. Problem solved.

Now if I were a skeptic, I might think there is the possibility of another reason that our, oh so studious President, wants another study. Dare I accuse the Democrat administration of playing politics? Of course I would. I would be a fool not to.

My first thought is of one hundred million reasons to block the pipeline. There is an evil Democrat billionaire by the name of Tom Steyr, who wants to buy control of the government for cash money. He has offered the Democrats one hundred million dollars to block the Keystone XL pipeline. I do not know whose interests he serves, but certainly not the interests of middle class Americans. It seems we are breeding a new crop of American oligarchs. 

Then there is Barack Obama's good friend and supporter, billionaire Warren Buffett. Mr. Buffett just happens to own the railroad that hauls most of this Canadian oil across the country. No politics in play there, right?

So, I guess incompetence is not the only excuse. Good old fashioned politics, greed, and crony capitalism goes a long way with those, supposedly, idealistic liberals. They say, money talks. It seems that when money talks, our President listens.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Random Thoughts - Thirty-Four

On this Patriot's Day, God bless the people of Boston. God bless the runners in the Boston Marathon. Boston Strong!!!!

Al Qaeda just had an open meeting in Yeman. I do not know how many attended. From the pictures, at least multiple hundreds. Right in the middle of everything was Al Qaeda's number two man, Nasir al-Wuhayshi. As part of his speech, he said, "We must eliminate the cross..... The bearer of the cross is America." This considered, I must ask, why does our administration  constantly appease those that would destroy us? Why do we continue to send American dollars to the mid-east to buy oil when we could be self sustaining?

Where was our sharp shooting President and his drones while this meeting was happening? Take a pass on this one Barack? You could have really had them on the run. 

I see where Nancy Pelosi got involved in a religious foot washing ceremony on Good Friday. Could she be practicing, in case she gets elected Pope. I wonder if she can spell "political opportunist". Oh, wait. That's redundant.

So the acid mouthed Harry Reid spews more bile by calling American heroes terrorists for standing up to a government out of control. Is there a more hate filled person in Washington than this man?

Many people, such as social security recipients rely on cost of living increases to allow them a reasonable life. This is based on the Cost of Living Index, as calculated by the bureau of labor statistics. Being the government, they tilt the field. In other words, they leave out a few things. What do they leave out, you may ask? Well the last calculation left out the cost of food, the cost of housing, the cost of fuel, and the cost of health care. Wow.
What is left? Not much.

I see where New York City is going back to politically correct law enforcement. Good luck with that.

Once again the President shuffles paper on the Keystone XL pipeline. Remind me again, of what country is he President?

Friday, April 18, 2014

Death Panels Not Required

Sarah Palin was the first public person to accuse Obamacare of supporting death panels. She was wrong. She did not give the administration enough credit. They are far more devious then we could have ever predicted. Death panels are not required. They have a far more insidious way.

A doctor that I know treats many patients in nursing homes. A large number of them are covered by one insurance company. We will call them Excited Health Care, just to put a name to it. While they kept the patients, the dropped the doctor from their system. So hundreds of people that cannot care for themselves must find new medical care within the system. A system that is dumping doctors by the hundreds. 

One local hospital is also now out of the Excited Healthcare System but their employees are insured by Excited. And to make it even more fun, the hospital's lab takes only Excited Health Care.

Many people suffering from cancer go to regional hospitals that specialize in cancer treatment. Many if not all of these hospitals are being forced out of Obamacare, leaving these people very much in need of their support network, out in the cold.

What appears to be happening, is that the healthy people in their productive years are having fewer problems. The older, less productive, more fragile, are going through the Obamacare wringer. Personally, I was cut off from my cardiologist, then I was cut from my insurance. I was lucky. I found a way to keep my cardiologist and get new insurance. Not everyone is so lucky. People that live in rural areas seem to be hit the hardest.

This was not about improving health care. It has always been about controlling health care. With anything controlled by the government, there are bound to be inequities. The pull, the drag, the power, the money will always get the best. And the hindmost for the rest. So death panels will not be required.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Am I Too White?

Like everyone who has been through the American school system, I know exactly what is wrong with it and how to cure all the problems. I also know that that is a ludicrous statement as no one person has all of the answers. I do have some observations to make, however.

What started me on this subject is an article that I just read where a state university in the "great northwest", would like to shed some of their whiteness and add some diversity to their over all appearance. I suspect that part of their problem is that the area that they primarily serve, "the great northwest", is whiter than granny's picket fence.

But under our "post racial" President, is this an appropriate goal. Should they not be admitting students while wearing a figurative blindfold. I understand that state schools do not want to be too parochial, but they were established to serve the citizens of their state first and foremost. I believe that eventually a level playing field would solve diversity concerns. 

The problem here is that politicians want to tilt the field to someone's advantage to solve all problems tomorrow. To do this they create the misery of unexpected results and things seldom go as planned.

Years ago I came upon a test that was given back in the late 1800s. To graduate from high school one had to pass this test. It would be the exceptional college graduate today that could get a passing mark. Back then they believed in rote learning based on facts and practicality. Social engineering and political correctness did not exist yet, and the schools were better for it.

I saw an add for the "Common Core" program on TV. In this add some bright looking youngish actresses pretend to be teachers and tout this questionable program to the public. One of the features that they promote is the end of rote learning. This is not good. If you have to make a little drawing with dots and lines using happy numbers rather than real numbers you will never be mainstream. The ability to do basic addition, subtraction, and multiplication is a core value that must be learned young or the student will suffer the consequences.

There are people, unfortunately including politicians and teachers union leaders, that despise magnet schools. These schools actually give kids, mostly kids of color, a chance to get an education that will qualify them for college and give them a chance to compete. But because they show up the shortcomings of the public school system the leadership will try to destroy them. 

Magnet schools and parochial schools have one great advantage. They do not have to deal with students who do not wish to learn and prefer to disrupt everyone else. This is the biggest problem in city schools. If the parents don't care and the kids are out of control no learning can take place. Solving this one problem would go a long way in solving the bad school syndrome.

If we really want diversity, pushing under qualified kids into awkward situations is never going to get it done. Give the disadvantaged kids a shot at a real education and we might actually see some progress.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

No More Military Action

The governments actions at the Bundy ranch disturb me greatly, as it should any American. The government has taken a position that may or may not be sound. They have won their points in court. But that road has not yet been fully traveled. There are still higher courts that could get involved. With the decisions that have been made in their favor so far, they could get a judgement that would be filed and would have to be satisfied before that property could be sold or passed on through inheritance. 

Both the State of Nevada and the Bundy family have taken the position that the land is still owned by the state. This is understandable. There is much discontent among the citizens living in the area with the constant federal land grab. The random taking of public land by the federal government may not be Constitutional. So there is much room for argument on both sides of this question. It should be resolved in the courts, not at gunpoint.

So, what is the hurry? Why after all these years does that land have to be cleared of cattle now? It, most certainly, has nothing to do with the desert tortoise. Most of all, why has Harry Reid got his knickers in a knot? Previous directors of the Bureau of Land Management were professionals with years of experience. The shiny new director is Neil Kornze. He has been with the BLM for about a year. His qualifications are that he has been a career politician and was a staff member for Harry Reid.

I watched the action on TV, as most Americans did. The BLM sent storm troopers into the situation with, what they thought was, overwhelming numbers and overwhelming weapons. When faced with real Americans expressing their real American rights, as given them in the Constitution, the government backed down.

I believe when someone with the character of Harry Reid announces that "this is not over", it is good to watch ones back and hunker down for trouble. Mr. Reid has power. When someone like him has power, he is not averse to using it. He wants control of this land. And whatever Harry wants, like Lola, Harry gets. 

They have gone after these people with countless troops from their new civilian army. They showed up with automatic weapons, tasers, dogs and SWAT teams and failed. What is next? They own armed and armored troop carriers. Not quite war tanks, but we are getting close. I noticed that the government took some Apache helicopters back from the National Guard last week. Is that part of their plan?  

A note to the administration. What ever the plans are for this land, put them aside. Leave these good people in peace. A lot of people are already unhappy with the excesses of the federal government. Deal with this through the courts. If it takes years, so be it. The hunger for power in Washington and the lack of respect for the American people is ruining this country. End it now. Anyone with a lick of common sense can see that if the government pushes this farther, it will not end well.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Cranky Conservative Golden Balls Award

I am awarding the first Cranky Conservative Golden Balls Award to the Bundy family and all of those that stood with them in the face of an over reaching government. They showed courage and perseverance to the face of, what could have been, overwhelming government power. They showed the politicians that the true power in America lies with it's citizens and the power of the politicians is on loan from us.

I have read that someone said that the only reason that this wasn't the worst massacre of American civilians in history was that it is an election year. I cannot prove that this was actually said. If it is true, our elected official had best re-examine their attitude regarding how they govern. It has also been said that government snipers had free citizens in their sights. Again, unproven. ( Since I originally wrote this I have confirmed, not only snipers, but artillery.) If this is so, it is a sad commentary about where the last five years have brought us.

When President Obama was elected, he stated a need for a civilian army as well equipped and as well financed as our regular army. It seems he has made his wish come true. There are more government agencies with people carrying firearms than ever in our history. Bring them together and you have Obama's army. They have military grade troop carriers, fully automatic weapons, and, I believe Apache helicopters. This is wrong, unnecessary, and should be undone.

The situation in Nevada was not about desert tortoises. They have resided there successfully, along with cattle and horses, for over one hundred years. This was about land use, plain and simple. Someone wants that land. ( Again, since I originally wrote this, I have confirmed the involvement of Harry Reid and the intention to sell this land to China.)  That someone has political support. It is unclear at this time who it is that wants the land. Considering that this is in Nevada and considering the background of the head of the Bureau of Land Management, I think we can speculate as to who is supplying the political leverage. (The head of the BLM worked for Harry Reid.)

We are all thankful that this didn't get into a shooting war. We can also thank God and our founders for the Second Amendment. This is a perfect example of why politicians must keep their hands off of the guns of honest Americans. Without their guns, I can almost guarantee that it would have been the people that were rounded up along with the cattle and the people would, today, be living in a FEMA detention center.

So for there courage and will in the face of government power, I award them Golden

Monday, April 14, 2014

Liberals Against Flatulence

It seems that our all knowing President, in his infinite wisdom, has the ultimate solution for man made (sort of) global warming. It is rumored that he will either appoint a new czar or, perhaps, create a new cabinet post. The new title will be Czar or Secretary of Flatulence.

I think that he may have the problem in hand there. But there are still some things that must be considered. Although the person inhabiting this office should be close to the seat of government (so to speak), the political air in Washington might hamper the ability to sense the country's needs. I would suggest someplace upwind of our capitol to allow proper oversight or oversmell or whatever.

My understanding is that to kick off the campaign for a methane free country the President is going to use his trusty pen to plug the hole. A Presidential Order shall be forthcoming to ban the preparation, sale, and consumption of baked beans. This order will be written on tissue paper just in case. The AARP has already asked for an exemption for senior housing. Another plan is to make passing gas in public building illegal. The attorney General, it is said, did not turn up his nose at this idea.

This is an excellent job creator and jobs creation is sorely needed. Literally thousands of flatulence inspectors will be sent forth to the nations farms, grazing lands, and pastures. They will be known as Federal Area Reconnaissance Teams. Or FART for short. The only job qualifications will be, good rubber boots and a sensitive proboscis. It is unclear at this time what action these inspector are expected to take. By the time they get wind of a problem, it will be to late to do anything about it. Any solution involving round pieces of cork could be very dangerous both to the animals and the inspectors.

Since these critters eat grass, hay, and silage, the baked bean solution won't help.  I suppose we could all go vegan but that would be a hard sell verging on impossible. Since the temperature hasn't risen in seventeen years, we probably have a little time before the methane problem becomes critical. I know that the liberals are against all flatulence except their own. But, I fear this could blow up in their faces.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Brandeis Sharia University

Courage is a commodity that is sadly lacking at Brandeis University. Louis Brandeis, for whom the university is named, was a Harvard educated lawyer. He was a progressive. In Brandeis day, that had a different meaning than it does today. He was a strong believer in personal freedom and the right of free speech. He did pro bono work protecting the rights of average people against the power structure. Ultimately, Woodrow Wilson appointed him to the Supreme Court. He was the first Jewish justice. A man to be honored.

Aayan Hirsi Ali was scheduled to get an honorary doctorate from Brandeis. She is not only an outspoken critic of Islam, she is also a victim of Islam, as so many young women are. As a girl she suffered genital mutilation in the name of Allah. If you do not know what they do to these girls, please look it up. I did. I read it and now wish I hadn't. Water boarding is a walk in the park on a warm summer day in comparison. It is out and out torture. But since, under Islam, a woman is a chattel, no different than a goat or a camel they suffer what no man will ever suffer.

These are things the civilized world needs to hear. Like the beatings that women suffer at the hands of any male family member to discipline them. They do have limits though. If you beat your wife with a stick, it can be no larger in diameter than your thumb. My thumb is a good inch across. How about some of those kindly husbands get beat with a stick that size. Then, of course, there are the honor killings. If your little sister should get raped by a pack of thugs, she has dishonored the family. Not the thugs, her. If there are six of them and she weighs ninety pounds soaking wet, it is her fault. So kill her. Stone her. The family honor must be preserved.

That is the, so called, civilization that Ms. Ali grew up in and she has suffered for it. That is the rule of sharia law. That is how it is done in Muslim countries. This is the law that they wish to spread around the world. This is the law of total intolerance that demands that it be tolerated. This is the sharia that now controls Brandeis University to their shame, for they reneged on their promise to Ms. Ali. They bowed to the screaming mob rather than support truth. 

I suspect, that were Louis Brandeis alive today he would present himself to the directors of that school and demand his name be removed. And who in the civilized world could blame him.

I haven't been posting on Saturday, but this subject is so important I wanted to be as current as possible.

Friday, April 11, 2014

By Any Means

Some people just don't get it. I am really not sure if they really don't get it or if they just are so dedicated to their core beliefs, that they don't want to get it. I am writing, of course, about that tragic rampage in Pennsylvania.

I read a quote where the speaker was happy that the assailant didn't use a gun. I am sorry, but that is beyond stupid. It is the action and what led to the action that are important. The implement used matters not a whit.

The single most important thing is the state of mind of the doer leading up to the atrocity. No one takes action like this without a period of anguish, first. Unless a person is a total psychopath, they must be driven to such extremes by perceived devils, either living in their mind or taunting them in the real world. Such an action is not due to momentary anger.

I cannot help but feel that there has to be warning signs before the action. Unless a person is completely isolated, such warnings have to be noticeable. If a person is that isolated, that in itself should be a warning sign. When I was in public school, we had counselors that talked to each student two or three times a year. As much as they were advising students about classes and colleges, they were also looking for problems that might require intercession. I do not know if these services still exist. If they do not, they should.

Ultimately, it is the action that is important, not the tool used to accomplish the action. Timothy McVeigh used a mixture of fertilizer and oil to blow the facade off of a federal building. The Hungarians fought tanks with Molotov cocktails. There are recipes for home made explosives all over the internet.

If it is someones aim to wreak havoc, they will find a way. Some of those ways are far worse than guns or knives. It would probably be better if those responsible focused on the core of the problem rather than the means bad people use to accomplish their ends. They will do it by any means available.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

A Government Of Irrelevancy

I suggested a short time back, that the government could save a lot of money by just sending Congress home, putting the lights out in the Capitol Building, and locking the doors. Maybe they could even rent the space out. Supply some taxpayer relief.

It was my feeling that after Harry Reid started blocking any useful legislation from being legally passed by the constitutionally empowered body and the President announced that he had a phone and a pen and would go around Congress, the Congress had become irrelevant.

The situation has become more extreme. I missed this in my readings of the Constitution, but it seems that the Attorney General has "wide discretionary powers" in enforcing existing law. Who knew? So, over two hundred years of written law mean nothing if Eric Holder disagrees with the need to enforce them. 

Forget the Congress. Forget the Supreme and all lower courts. Forget over two hundred years of great legal minds struggling to get it right. It all comes down to one man with an obvious agenda. One question though, does he also get to ignore the efforts of Barack Obama to ply his will with his trusty pen and telephone. I sill don't understand how the telephone enters into the equation. I'm sure the President, being so smart and all, has that all figured out.

As has often been written, worms tend to turn. Right now the Three Horsemen of the Apocalypse, Obama, Holder, and Reid, have the power. It bothers them, not at all, to ignore the wishes of Congress, the electorate, and anyone else that disagrees with their ultra-liberal agenda. The other elected officials of the Democrat party, not only support, they encourage this over reaching behavior.

When the Democrats lose power and Republicans act in the same manner, will the Democrats not scream? Will they not curse? Will their subservient minions in the press not pen scathing diatribes? You betcha. 

Once again we see the arrogance of small minded people when they are presented with power. They are no better than the adult version of a schoolyard bully. The worm will turn and some of their activities would appear to be criminal in nature. They may wish to consider the ramifications of that before they dig the hole too much deeper. 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

No Jeb, No

I see where Jeb Bush is considering a run for President. It must be tempting to a man who's family is so steeped in politics to get that opportunity. Jeb wants to decide if he can run with joy in his heart and not run a campaign that gets down into the mud.

Having never met him, I like Jeb Bush as a public person. He was a good governor and seems like a good man. But, I am here to say, based on those two statements, Jeb, you would be a terrible candidate. You are in the perfect position to, once again, wrest defeat from the jaws of victory for the Republican party.

If you think that the Democrat candidate will shake your hand and engage you with intelligent debate on subjects that affect the United States at home and abroad, you are terribly mistaken. If you think their supporters will not shred your personal character, and that of those you hold dear,  you are delusional. If you think the phrases, "read my lips, no new taxes" and "Bush lied and Americans died" wont be used to drag the Bush family name down, think again.

Every time a Presidential election gets close the Republican old guard starts to shiver and shake, fearing that if they play real hardball politics they may lose what they have. Their motto is "half a loaf is better than none". So don't push the envelope. Middle of the road. Be gentlemen and walk with your head held high. The theory being, that if you hold your head high, you won't smell what the opposition is throwing on your shoes.

Jeb, you are the latest version of Bob Dole, John McCain, and Mitt Romney. You are the safe, middle of the road gentleman the could get the nomination and lose. Just the fact that you would be the third Bush should give you pause.

The Republicans need a fire breather that is not afraid to battle in the mud and will give as good as they get. War is hell and elections have become war. We need a conservative champion who would rather be carried off of the field of battle on his shield than lose. I do not believe that you are that man.

I have been watching the selection of Presidential candidates for seventy years now. This may be the most important campaign in my lifetime. The country is in serious trouble, both fiscally and socially. We need skills, experience, and strength. We cannot stand much more of an aimless lawless political agenda.

Jeb, find a candidate you like. Hopefully a fire breather. Endorse him. Campaign for him. Raise money for him. But for the good of the country don't run yourself.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Why A Republic?

Our founding fathers were patriots. But beyond that, they were smart, educated, and well read. They had a sense of governing and they had a sense of history. They recognized the difficulties in achieving and maintaining freedom.

 At the time, there was thought that a democracy would be the best form of government for the newly freed colonies. The founders, in their wisdom, and for a number of reasons, decided a representative republic would be more suited to a free country that would grow and expand westward.

Not the least of their reasons was to avoid the tyranny of the majority. They understood that a country this big offering great opportunity to settlers would attract a wide variety of immigrants. The rights and needs of minorities that settled here needed to be respected. With fair laws and honest representation, disparate groups could live together in peace.

No system is perfect. That is why we have police and courts. But the system, pretty much, worked. Not perfect but good. Generally, Americans are hard working people, willing to be fair to everyone. Most are too busy with their own lives to be overly concerned with others. Different lifestyles co-existed.

Today, the pendulum has swung to the other extreme. We are seeing a tyranny of minorities. No one likes to be accused of hate. Hawthorne's Scarlet Letter has become an  H instead of an A. If one takes a moral position on abortion, they are waging war on women. If you support marriage as a religious rite between a man and a woman, you become a homophobe. Speak against the Presidents policies and you will be branded a racist.

In my last post, I wrote about Brendan Eich, late of Mozilla. Was he more unreasonable than gays that want to be part of parades and display behavior that is inappropriate in front of children.  A group of Muslims got all distraught because flyers for an Easter egg hunt were passed out in a grade school. This is the same group that expects everyone to accept beheadings, stonings, and honor killings without comment as it is part of their religion. Is it not right to condemn as evil and racist black youths "polar bear hunting" without being called racist yourself.

We need to bring back a new era of tolerance before things really get out of hand. Those users that fan the flames for financial or political advantage needs to end. Politicians, by turning Americans against each, other seek to capture a bloc of votes by demonizing part of the population. It is unfortunate that there are those that are more than willing to be manipulated, including the politicians themselves. This must be stopped.  Not by law but by people getting a grip on good sense, getting informed, and to stop allowing themselves to be used.  

Monday, April 7, 2014

Room For Thought

When I was a child, my family took politics very seriously. They purchased newspapers and actually read them front to back. Not just the sports pages. The national and international news, the op-ed pages, everything. There were broad sheets for the elite. there were tabloids for the blue collar class. 

This was before TV, so people didn't get the predigested pap that passes for news today. The big cities had multiple papers of both genre and each paper had multiple editions from each. Evening newspapers were different from the morning papers. For those willing to read, there were reams of information to be had.

When we went to my grandparents house for a family Sunday dinner, the after dinner entertainment was usually a pointed political debate. My grandfather and my uncle were union liberals. By today's standards, that would be middle of the road conservative. My father was conservative. I sat and listened.

I don't know if I was just being loyal to my father or not. It was a long time ago. But I felt that my fathers arguments made more sense. The crux was that I grew up conservative. But, more to the point, the arguments were civil. Everyone got their chance to speak. No one was ever persuaded. No one ever got angry. Nothing ever changed.

Later in life, when I had my own family to raise, the times when I was with my grandfather, we had our own political debates. I value those memories of him and I'm proud to say that, today, my own grandsons challenge me in the same way. Great fun indeed.

Today, many people no longer accept debate. Once they form ideas, the debate is over. Agree with them or they will endeavor to destroy you. Brendan Eich the shiny new and suddenly ex CEO of Mozilla certainly found that out. Six years ago, Mr. Eich donated a thousand dollars to a group opposed to same sex marriage. He did this from a point of moral belief. It was not that he hated gays or wanted to hurt anyone. He believes in traditional marriage and used his First Amendment rights to express his feelings. But the haters on the opposite side of the question went for the throat as they usually do. Mozilla showed no spine and caved like a wet paper bag. For that small donation six years ago, Mr, Eich lost his livelihood. 

It's happening every day. Paula Deen, Duck Dynasty, Robert Bork. The list goes on. Those that tout global warming as settled science want those that disagree arrested and thrown in jail. Ask any scientist, they will tell you that there is no such thing as settled science. Anyone that says there is is scamming you.

Far too many of our population allow no room for thought. They have a position. In their eyes it becomes a moral truth akin to natural law. But they unite and scream and threaten and in too many cases get their way. It is neither good nor healthy. There is not a subject in the universe that doesn't need more room for thought. Tomorrow I will write more on this. I have to go into areas that are difficult and I am sure the hate mail will follow. So be it.

Friday, April 4, 2014

I Am A Chowderhead

No, I am not confessing to being a dolt. I am confessing to an addiction to a meal consisting of chowder and clamcakes. I am sure that many of you from less civilized parts of the world, while having heard of chowder, have never heard of a clamcake. Both of these fine comestibles are made from a hard shell clam called a quahog commonly found in my native Rhode Island waters. 

When I was much younger and dinosauers still roamed the earth, one could not get a clamcake anyplace but Rhode Island. Spies have since stolen the recipe and they are now available in many of the more gastronomically challanged areas like Massachusetts.

But I primarily want to discuss chowder. (Pronounced; chow' dah) There are strange combinations of miscellaneous items and chemicals that may be purchased in cans that claim to be chowder. I am here to tell you, in my world they are terribly mislabeled. In short, that ain't chowder.

Let us here understand what is chowder. First, take a sufficient quantity of fresh large quahogs, not little necks, not cherry stones, big chowder hogs, and steam them in enough water to make your chowder. And when I say fresh, I mean those clams better be still alive when you put them in the pot. If they don't open completely when you steam them, toss them.

Once steamed, chop up the meat fine and filter the liquid through cheese cloth. In an appropriate stock pot render some salt pork. Use the drippings to cook some onions to transparency along with some celery. Add the stock and clams. Cut some potatoes into half inch chunks and add them. Simmer until the potatoes are cooked. Add some dill and you have real chowder.

That's it. Nothing else needed. OK, up in Massachusetts they add milk or cream. They still call it chowder. It's OK, but it's kinda like buying a Bolex instead of a Rolex. It might fool some people, but you know in your soul, you cheated or got cheated.

There is one other topic that I must deal with. It is distasteful, but I must. There are barbarians in New York that make something called Manhattan clam chowder. No seriously. The put tomatoes in it for God sake! Tomatoes! That is not chowder. It is clam flavored tomato soup. Ordering that and thinking that you are getting chowder is like buying a Chinese Rolls Royce. It is just not the same.

Now you know how to make real chowder. You'll have to sort out the quantities. I don't know how much you need. But if you make it, maybe you can find a Rhode Islander to make clamcakes for you.  

Thursday, April 3, 2014

North Atlantic Union

There are times when I just like to sit down and speculate based on the continuing narrative of history. On rare occasion, I even get something right. So, way back in history, just after WWII had settled down, European countries were still separate and apart. Borders existed. Germany had their mark. France had the franc. Italy had the lira. There were officials manning border posts. Passports and visas were checked. Nationalism was rampant.

Then discussions were held and decisions were made. The European Union was born. Borders existed on paper and signposts only. Individual currencies were converted to euros. Laws were passed that affected all continental Europeans equally. Nationalism exists only in insistence on using their native tongue.

In 1994, Bill Clinton signed the North American Free Trade Agreement, commonly known as NAFTA. Was this supposed to be the start of a North American Union? I don't know for a fact, but I suspect that it was. Once it was implemented and Americans saw jobs leaving the United States and flooding into Mexico, NAFTA became really unpopular. Especially with labor unions. So if any further movement forward was intended it sort of stopped there.

I said, "sort of". By that I mean that our southern border has become more porous yearly since 1994. Just recently, Joe Biden, our own vice President said that he "considers illegal immigrants to be US citizens". That is bizarre. There is a strange reluctance in the administration to deport illegals even if they have committed crimes.

Now, our current President is a globalist. He does not believe in American exceptionalism. He has been working to remodel the United States in the European image. He is weakening our military and socializing our health care. He has depleted the strength of the economy.

President Obama plans to turn the internet over to international control. Not a good thing. America invented it and it's freedom is protected by our First Amendment. He has expressed agreement with a UN treaty on arms control that is contrary to the Second Amendment to the Constitution.

If you are driving down an unknown road and the shrubbery thins out and you start to see sand. The farther you go, the more sand you see. You don't expect to, suddenly, see mountains and pine trees. What I ask is this. Are we heading for a North Atlantic Union, where the United States, Canada, and Mexico would join with the European Union? Is the intent to sell out the United States, lock, stock, and Constitution? Think about where we are, where we have been, and who is driving the bus. Can you blame me for asking the question?

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Man Who Has Never Failed

In previous generations, there has only been one life that was without failure. And even that man felt, at one point, he had been forsaken by his Father. Today we are blessed to have another man that has never failed. Just to be clear, I am talking in the secular sense. There need be no mistake about that.

Others have acted in a manner that severely hampered the intended outcome planned by our non-failing President, Barack Obama. George W. Bush has been his primary nemesis. The wily ex-President laid political and economic traps in such an underhanded and sneaky way that, five years into Mr. Obama's term, there were failures that every Democrat in Washington carefully explained were the result of Bush deviousness. Yes, many of these explanations were convoluted and defied logic. But, that is so often the way of politics.

You know, if Bush hadn't promised Poland and the Czech Republic anti missile systems, Vladimir Putin wouldn't have been upset. Meetings with Obama would have been all smiles and hugs. The Crimea would still be Ukrainian and Finland and the Baltic States would not feel threatened. Bush's fault. 

Then there's this lack of jobs thing. Mr. Obama knows how to grow jobs. Tax, spend, and regulate. All good Keynesian precepts. I doubt that Mr. Obama ever read any Keynes. I expect old "Turbo-tax" Geithner probably explained it to him. But the economy he inherited from Bush was the worst since the great depression. I must admit that I don't remember it that way. But all those Washington Democrats said it was so. Would they lie to the voters? Once again, Bush's fault.

Sometimes it is not George Bush. Sometimes it is those extreme, hard right, war-mongering, zealots in the Tea Party. They hate women, in spite of the fact that half of them are women, They want dirty air and water, are pro-slavery and say vile things. Don't let them fool you. When you see them on TV, they appear to be nice older people. They don't seem to scream epithets. When they assemble, they leave the area clean. They don't riot and throw unspeakable things at the police.  Don't be fooled.  That is all a disguise. I did not realize that, but I heard those good Dems explain it as only they can.  You can never trust those kindly looking old people. You know how grandparents can be.

But finally, Mr. Obama has pushed everything obstructionist out of the way. Including the Constitution. He now has a major league bragging point. Obamacare. There has never been anything like it. OK, so it got off to a rocky start. And it was supposed to cover thirty-five million uninsured. And six million people lost their health plans. And many more lost their doctors and preferred hospitals. And it is more expensive. And the deductibles are higher. And the website still doesn't work. But they got seven million to sign up. Maybe. And George Bush didn't have a thing to do with it.

Random Thoughts Thirty - Four

Back when Flight 370 went missing, I, like many others, speculated about where the plane disappeared ended the flight. With all the lies and misleading non-evidence, I think my guess may still have some validity.

I know that President Obama thinks that he has powers beyond mere mortals, but now he wants to regulate cow flatulence. Really? Is he going to appoint a Fart Czar? Will his title be Butt Head? Is this just a lot of hot air? Will all this methane blow up in his face? Oh, the late night comics will have a ball with this.

On the final day of Obamcare registration, the website goes down. Maybe he'll have better luck organizing the cows.

Jeb Bush? Really? Another Bush to run for President? If we have a Bush versus Clinton race, I'm going to find a cave in Nepal, shave my head, and become a hermit monk. I like Jeb. If he had run instead of George it might have gone well. But right or not, that well is poisoned. A Bush run would give the race to Hillary if she ran. That is the last thing this country needs.

In ten minutes the Red Sox open in Baltimore. In nine minutes, I stop typing. I like night games better because I have my blog done by then.

I want to make note of the progress John Kerry is making with the Russians. None. 

I just saw on Facebook that people are saying that the Cold War is on again. I is certainly beginning to feel like it. So the obvious course to the administration is to bring the military to it's knees so the Russians won't have to. Now that's a plan Alinsky would be proud of.

So now we have the two Koreas shooting at each other. We are required by treaty to support South Korea militarily if needed. Putin is looking hungrily at Finland whom we are also treaty sworn to aid through NATO. The same is true of the Baltic States. In my not so humble opinion, we should be putting more into the military not less. Maybe the government should learn the meaning of the phrase "fiduciary responsibility".

Once more Government Motors, commonly known as GM, is in the headlines. Four point eight million recalls in the past month. Mara Barra, CEO is to testify before Congress. Think the politicians will throw her under the bus? I'd bet on it. Boy, what a great job the administration did investing your money in that debacle.