Friday, October 31, 2014

An All Day Sucker

For those that do not know what an all day sucker is, it is a lollipop that is so big that it takes all day to eat it. So long, in fact, that you can almost feel your teeth rot. They were around when I was a kid. I don't know if they still are. 

But, I fear that the United States has become a sucker, all day, every day, in the eyes of the leaders of other countries. That is except for Israel, our greatest ally in the Middle East, that we now treat like a rented mule.

In Iran, the Ayatollahs pretend to negotiate and claim that they just want nuclear power. They smile and stall. We ease off on sanctions. They stall some more. Meanwhile their centrifuge farms get bigger and better. More uranium gets refined. And they bury their "secret" laboratories deeper under the mountains to prevent an attack. They will have a nuclear weapon.

Saudi Arabia pretends like they love us. They sell us some oil. Their decadent royalty gets fatter and more decadent while we protect them. Even though they fund terrorist organizations and anti-western madrassas around the world, we are in fact their army, navy, and air force. But they're our good friends, right.

France, our bon amie in Europe, has a deal with Russia to sell them advanced warships. The same Russia that publicly spits in our face. At least the Russians are up front about it. 

Our close friend and neighbor, Mexico, where law is controlled by who has the most money and the most guns, keeps a sick American marine in prison for making a wrong turn. They claim that they must abide by the rule of law. That would be a first in Mexico, but we still are unable to get him released. Meanwhile, we have a revolving door for Mexican criminals.

The Chinese take our money all day every day and we act like they are doing us a favor. Meanwhile their military is hacking our computers and stealing what ever technology they can get their hands on.

Diplomats from every nation come to New York City to the United Nations where they have so little respect that they rack up millions of dollars in traffic tickets and never pay a penny. Polite people don't treat their hosts that way. Our government should deduct that money from what we give the UN and turn it over to New York.

It goes on. Most of the leaders of South American countries are playing footsie with Russia, China, and/or the drug cartels. 

If you don't get any respect, you get treated like an all day sucker.  

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Random Thoughts - Forty-Seven

I have been paying particular attention to the political ads in my home state of Rhode Island. In almost all cases, if these ads are to be believed, none of these people should be allowed to hold political office and many should be brought up on charges. The ads by non-candidate groups are particularly vicious.

Just remember the White House motto: "When in trouble, when in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout!"

I admit I was wrong. At the beginning of the season, I thought Tom Brady had lost a step. His eye wasn't as sharp. His arm had lost a degree of the precision which made him excel. Wrong! He must have found the "fountain of youth". He has been amazing. And the team is coming together around him. Next Sunday's game against the Broncos should be epoch!

I saw a replay of Obama's famous "the waters will recede and the earth will start to heal" speech. At the time I thought it was ludicrous. Now I just think it was pathetic and beyond egotistic.

Don't fool yourself. Hillary meant it when she said, "corporations and businesses don't create jobs". Remember her book, "It Takes A Village"? She is a collectivist in no uncertain terms. 

The one thing that should not, under any circumstances, become politicized, is becoming the most politicized issue of this administration. That is ebola. To understand how little importance President Obama puts on ebola, he appointed a lawyer political hack as ebola czar and has him report to Susan Rice. This will not go well.

So if you own a small store or restaurant and deposit receipts a couple of times a day to reduce the threat of robbery, the IRS can just assume that you are a criminal without doing any investigation and confiscate your money and freeze your accounts. When did we turn into North Korea. We have to turn this country around or we are doomed.

On a more pleasant note, next week the election will be over. Oh, wait, that means we swing right into the next Presidential screaming match. Life is harsh.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Boehner Rhymes With Failure!

The Republicans will probably win the mid-term election. Let me correct that. The Democrats will probably lose the mid-term election. The Republicans, as a party, have done nothing to win except stand by and watch the Democrats implode. If Obama were even half competent, the Republicans would be losing.

The Democrats and the mean stream media (not a misspelling) have labeled the Republicans as "do nothing" and "the party of no". In my humble opinion, the problem has been John Boehner. Since the days of Teddy Roosevelt, it is said that the President has a "bully pulpit". True enough. But the Speaker of the House has a pretty good pulpit too. Lord knows that the "Mad Woman of Chaillot", Nancy Pelosi, used it effectively when she was speaker. Boehner has been nearly mute. 

The Republicans had programs and passed bills in the House that died in the Senate under Harry Reid's evil ministrations. It has been the Democrats that have been the "party of no". Every time Reid killed a bill, Boehner should have been in front of every microphone available screaming about the injustice of it all and scourging the Democrat Senate.

So let us say that the Republicans control both the House and Senate in the next session. They can walk into a trap that can put Democrats back in power in 2016. They can pass all of the bills they want. Those bills still have to go through Barack Obama, who will be sitting there with his veto pen clamped tightly in his hot little hand. He will veto every Republican bill that hits his desk. I doubt that the Republicans will have enough votes to override a veto.

The only way that Republicans can beat this trap is to have a bright new Speaker, who is articulate, knowledgeable, and can speak at length and convincingly on the issues. To do this they will have to buck the tide of the Republican establishment. The old guard are so afraid of offending anyone, they are more bland then a glass of tap water. And shine with about as much light.

The country badly needs a change in the White House. Not just a change of person, but a radical change of philosophy. First of all we need someone who wholeheartedly believes in America. This person must believe in equal opportunity not equality of results. This person must believe that Americans can succeed if government gets off their back. This person must love success better than failure.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Rights Are Not Wrong

I just read an article that said many people are not aware of their rights. Being a Constitutional Conservative, this bothers me greatly. The Constitution is the greatest and most important political document in history, in my mind. It is the first document that acknowledged that the rights of man are God given and no government may take them away. 

Every American should bless the founders for their historical knowledge, thoughtfulness, and legal expertise. The Constitution is as close to a perfect framework for the government as the human mind can conceive. 

The Constitution is a short document. The copy that I keep on my desk is a pamphlet where the body of the Constitution only takes up twenty pages. Imagine that twenty pages of print to create the first government "by and for" the people.

A group called the anti-federalists felt there were additions needed to the original Constitution, actually listing the rights of the people. Hence, the first ten amendments, The Bill Of Rights. If you haven't read them, you should. Go to and you can read them on-line.

Pay particular attention to the first, second, and fourth amendments. They are targets. Greedy and power hungry politicians are trying to destroy these rights to serve their own interests. They use words like "fairness" and "even playing field". But as politicians do, they lie. They want power and control and do whatever it takes. They are no longer Americans. They are merely Democrats, or Republicans, or globalists. 

They separate us into groups. Buy our votes. Make promises they do not intend to keep. They steal our money. If we complain too loudly you will have some government agency giving you a proctological examination.

We must learn to understand them and our rights. Listen to real news. Find multiple sources. Send the connivers and charlatans back home. We need term limits. We need to eliminate the professional politician. Getting and keeping our rights is not wrong. 

Monday, October 27, 2014

The Great White North

On both sides of my family the blood flows through Canada. Riviere on my mother's side and Morang on my father's. So I have an affinity to Canada, although not so much of an affinity toward Quebec. On a vacation there we were treated more rudely than we were in Paris. But, Quebecois will be Quebecois.

The Canadians are decent, hard working people. Even if they are a little too liberal for my taste. They have come a long ways from the tough Canadian voyageurs, who, with rifle, canoe, and snow shoes, would live off the land, trapping, and hunting. Or the old Mounties that brought law and order to the Canadian back country. One man. One horse. The law.

Today, Canada is not quite France in it's liberalism. But it is no longer the Canada of the old days. Except for a few strong men who understand their duty. One such man is Sergeant at Arms Kevin Vickers. The Sergeant at Arms position is largely ceremonial, but he is also the man responsible for the security of the Canadian House of Commons. A job that Sergeant Vickers seems to do with quiet dignity and strength.

When gunshots were heard in the Parliament building, Sergeant Vickers immediately shed his ceremonial role, drew his firearm, and took extreme and appropriate action. He simply tracked down the shooter and shot him to death ending the siege. Like brave men do, he moved toward the gunfire.

Sergeant Vickers is eminently qualified for his position as he is a twenty-eight year veteran of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. It has been said that in his twenty-eight years he never fired his service weapon in anger. I suspect, however, that he fired many many rounds on the range to attain the degree comfort and skill that he displayed under extreme pressure.

There is no doubt that Vickers is a hero of the finest sort. He is a man that fits the image I had as a child of Canadians. Tough, competent, and unafraid. (Confession. I grew up listening to the old radio show, "Sergeant Preston of the Yukon". It may have molded my thinking about Canada.) Have no doubt, Sergeant Vickers is a Canadian treasure and a hero of the "Great White North".

Friday, October 24, 2014

See No Evil

As is usual, those that are put in office to maintain and protect our nation have been outstripped by reality. So, they either lied to us to protect our tender psyches, ignored the blatant facts in front of their collective noses, or have the most incompetent intelligence gathering network since the day after the Church hearings. (If you don't get that, Google it. Interesting history)

I don't believe it is an intelligence gathering problem. However, it still may be an intelligence problem. Most Americans with any basic awareness, knows that our southern border is so porous that it practically doesn't exist. Most Americans are aware that Islamic jihadism does exist and that we, as "the Great Satan",  are primary targets. 

Most Americans know that, between our native Muslim population and those that have crossed the border illegally, we now have a substantial number of radicalized Muslims within our borders. Not quite as many Americans are aware that there are at least twenty-two jihadist training camps and possibly more, within the forty-eight contiguous states.

So, the problem isn't intelligence gathering. So are we being lied to so we wont panic, take our bibles in one hand and our guns in the other, and take to the streets on a murderous spree. Those may be the tactics of Al Qaeda and ISIS, but not Americans. We will protect our homes when the need comes. But we are too mature and thoughtful to run amok. We leave that kind of action to the the savages of the world.

We are being lied to all right. The lie starts with a President who will not lay any responsibility at the door of Islam. Even in the face of obvious jihadist killings like the Fort Hood shootings or the Oklahoma beheading he continues the fantasy of "work place violence". He has an apparent love of Islam and insists that it be a religion of peace even when it is not. His administration is presently in a "stand down" mode regarding native jihadists to the point that those training camps are being ignored by the FBI.

The freedom of religion, endowed on us by our creator and honored in the first amendment of our Constitution, does not give any religion the right to kill, beat or stone women, mutilate genitalia, behead, or bury alive. It is a freedom to worship God. If your God is different from mine or even if you have none at all, we honor and respect our differences. We do not take to the sword.

But it seems that the administration betrays their oath and ignores reality to the furtherance of their almighty agenda. So watching the TV news today and seeing the killings over two days in Canada, my first thought was "here we go again. Will the President still 'see no evil?"

Thursday, October 23, 2014

I'm Confused

Some people just need to buy different underwear. It seems that they're always getting their panties in a twist about something. But some of their demands confuse me. Let's start with the obvious. The Washington Redskins. Now when team owners name a new team, it is pretty much never named in order to denigrate or insult some person or group. It is always intended to be done to honor the person, group, critter, or whatever. So some tight minded dork got his panties in a twist and the press, in the full blown silliness that only the press can provide, jumped right on that trolley car. 

So does this mean that the Atlanta Braves are next? Will the Cleveland Browns change their name to the Cleveland Neutral Colors? If PETA gets on their high wooden replica of a horse, will the Carolina Panthers have to change their name to some species that is not endangered? 

Will Squaw Valley have to be renamed Indigenous Married Woman Valley? Should Death Valley be changed to something less threatening? I know this is getting a little silly. But the whole thing is silly. There are so many serious problems in our country, never mind the world, that we would all be better served by keeping our eye on the serious targets. That goes double for the press. 

Those in our political community, when they are not outright lying to us are mangling the truth to death with their spin. As serious as ebola might turn out to be, the Presidents newly appointed ebola czar is nothing more than a glorified spin doctor. He is so far down the food chain that he reports to Susan Rice instead of Barack Obama.

Obama's coalition against ISIS is another well spun figment of the Presidential imagination. If anyone is willing to take his phone calls, a list that diminishes by the day, he counts them in. A simple good luck with that Barack, and they become part of the coalition. 

After six years, the economy and jobs are the two problems that are mainly effecting American families. But through all this we are surrounded by silliness and spin. And I'm confused why.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Slide Kelly, Slide!

No one talks about it much. Especially in the main stream media, as some call it. But the economy is sitting on a powder keg. We have seen the stock market on a roller coaster ride over the past few weeks. That is small change compared to what could happen.

How can that be you ask? Isn't the economy gaining strength? Well, the President brags about how strong he has made the economy. Isn't the unemployment rate down to 5.9%? Yes. But that is not the whole story. When they figure the unemployment rate, those people who have run out their unemployment benefits are no longer counted. To the government bean counters, they no longer exist. So the rate goes down. 

A more accurate way to gauge the employment picture is the Participation Rate. That is the percentage of people that could work, that are actually employed. That has gone down steadily and is now lower than when Jimmy Carter was President.

The President also says that he has created jobs. Well, Presidents don't create jobs. They create an atmosphere where private industry will hire. That certainly hasn't happened in the last six years. We lose more jobs, on average, than are created. Those that have been created tend toward part time and low paid service jobs. 

But isn't the stock market doing well? Yes. And now we are getting to the point that I wish to make. The one percenters have done well under Obama. The middle class and poor have not done well at all. In fact they have lost ground, and continue to suffer. Those who are elderly and those who are trying to save have been hit hard by low interest rates. Bank accounts do not grow under the Obama economy.

To be fair, it is not Barack Obama who has done this directly. It is the Fed that sets money policy. This Fed has gone where no Fed has gone before. They dove into uncharted territory to shore up the economy under Obama. They brought interest rates to historical lows to prevent inflation. An artificial construct that also stifles growth. They started printing dollars at an unconscionable rate and used those dollars to buy back bonds. They called it Quantitative Easing or QE for short.

Because of QE the banks are stuffed with dollars that they are afraid to loan because they fear the future. Money poured into the stock market because it was the only game in town. Stocks climbed while business languished. To keep profit levels up, businesses downsized. The Fed created a bubble. I have often referred to it as the Bernanke bubble because it was of his devising.

So now the Fed is trapped. If they try to change policies that must be changed, the bubble may blow up. Just as an aside here, the government is talking about renewing the home loan policies that blew up the housing market, just to make matters worse. But the Fed would dearly like to terminate QE. 

So I say, "slide Kelly, slide". Quietly and without fanfare ease out of easing. Slow down the presses. Purchase fewer bonds. Let interest rates move. It must be done. But if it is done badly, the explosion could be horrific. If it is not done, the dollar will suffer. They built this financial Golem. Now it holds them prisoner. So, "slide Kelly, slide".

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Our Lives, Our Fortunes, And Our Sacred Honor

"Our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor." These are the last eight words of the Declaration of Independence. This is what the signers pledged, to gain the freedom of the thirteen colonies from a tyrannical despot who lived an ocean away. Would people today, upon their sacred honor, pledge their lives and fortunes, to accomplish anything. 

The world in those miserable days was ruled by royalty. There were the lords of the realm who received much but contributed little. There was a small class of successful trades people and skilled artisans. Then there were the rabble. The lowest class in England in those days lived a life worse than the most desperate of the homeless of today. They lived in disease, filth, and squalor, surviving on cheap gin.

In the American colonies, it was different. In spite of still being under the thumb of George the Third, a man could sail from England or the continent and make his own way. Most became farmers. Some went off into the wilderness to hunt and trap. There was room enough for all to make a new life.

As tyrants are want to do, George wanted to increase his piece of the pie. Hence the Stamp Act. This brought about the "Boston Tea Party". Which brought about the "Boston Massacre". Which brought about "Paul Revere's Ride". Which brought about the "Shot Heard Round the World".

Suddenly, America had something new to the world. Free men with guns who wished to remain free. A revolution of the common man against a tyrant. This had never happened in the world before. But, at this point, was it a true revolution? It was really a Massachusetts revolution for the most part. If it did not grow, and grow soon, it would die.

Most Americans know the name Thomas Paine. Some recall that he wrote a small book called "Common Sense". The leaders of the revolution and those that eventually became signers of the Declaration were educated men. Many were gentlemen farmers and lawyers. Washington and Jefferson were wealthy men with fine estates. Thomas Paine was English, a low class failed tradesman, and a lifelong drunkard. 

But Paine got to America. More specifically, he got to Philadelphia. After a period of wastrel living, he was given work by a printer who saw some potential through Paine's boozy haze. He got Paine cleaned up a taught him to set type. Paine started writing and discovered that he had a talent for words. But he wrote in the harsh language of the common man. He explained the revolution in words that would move the common man to understand what American freedom was worth to him, in this book. 

In a day when many people could not read at all, it is said that fully one third of the American population had read "Common Sense". By his efforts what had started out as a Massachusetts revolution became the American Revolution. There were still Tories and naysayers. But the fire was lit and he kept it stoked with pamphlets that he titled "Crisis".

Much of what went into the Declaration of Independence was inspired by Paine's writings. He was a man that truly gave his life for our country. He couldn't give his riches, for he had none. All he did get went into his one man campaign. And I think it is fair to say that without Thomas Paine, the United States of America, as we know it, would not exist today  

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Wreck Of The Hesperus: An Allegory

I was thinking about a poem I remembered from my youth. It is Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's "The Wreck of the Hesperus". So I Googled it and just finished rereading it. It is a dead on allegory for the last six years in the life of our country. 

The Hesperus was a strong and seaworthy sailing craft. A schooner in fact. A type of ship known for strength and speed, just as the United States has been respected or feared by either friends or enemies for it's power and adaptability.

The ego driven captain of the ship brought his young daughter along on a voyage for the pleasure of her company. American citizens have been brought along on a voyage of change for the last six years by an ego driven President. 

In both cases, having embarked on the voyage, the passengers lost control and suddenly realized that they weren't even sure of the direction the voyage would take, or what the final destination would be. 

As in the poem there were dissenting voices of experienced people that disagreed with sailing that particular course in those weather conditions. But the self-assured captain sailed on in spite of good and solid advice, seemingly more interested in the pleasure of his pipe than the dangers ahead.

But, as predicted, the weather did turn ugly. So ugly that the captain lashed his daughter to the mast restricting her movements and sailed on heedlessly into the storm.

In the end, the captain died, frozen to the wheel. The ship broke up on the rocks. The daughter drowned still lashed to the mast with stout cord.  The final words are poignant: Christ save us all from a death like this, On the reef of Norman's Woe.

No matter who you pray to, or even if you don't pray at all, turn your thoughts to the fate of our country and hope or pray that we don't end up on "the Reef of Norman's Woe".

Friday, October 17, 2014

The Trouble With Turkey

One of the things that I love about blogging is the freedom to speculate on current events. Now I do not speculate capriciously. I read the news. I study the people and the situations involved. Then I use my life's experience to opine what may happen. On occasion I come close.

For some days now I have been thinking about Turkey's situation. Turkey has a definite problem. It could be a big problem, as problems in that part of the world often are. I think President Erdogan has made a mistake. I completely understand and am in sympathy with why he made this mistake. He is a proud man from a proud country and should have been treated with more respect.

He should have teamed up with the United States. I think if he were brought more into the fold, he may have. He is not a man to be dictated to nor to be taken for granted. But his position becomes more precarious every day.

The major problem is ISIS. They have proven that they are not a bunch of undisciplined rabble. They are, in fact, an army. Their leaders understand strategy, tactics, and military command. They have taken over parts of Kobani in the north and are almost into Baghdad in the south. They know how to "stretch the field" and fight on two fronts. 

As they refer to themselves as the Islamic Caliphate, they will want Baghdad above all else. That is the traditional capital of the Caliphate. But Turkey was also part of a traditional Caliphate. So there ISIS sits with Iran to the east and the Levant to the west. If they attack Israel or Jordan, in the Levant, they will force the hand of the United States. Bad move. If they were to attack Iran they would suffer serious damage and probably be defeated at this point. 

So we have Turkey. A secular Islamic country.  With an Islamic army. Some of those in the Turkish military will be torn between fighting for their secular government or for ISIS and Allah. My opinion. Many will cross the line. 

Looking at a map of Turkey, one sees that the area above Syria is fairly flat, ringed in by mountains. Once ISIS gains Baghdad they could commit to a push into Turkey and probably take the area up to the mountains. Once they do that they could go back to geographic incrementalism. Every victory is a recruiting poster. It appears that young jihadist wannabe soldiers are flocking to the call. 

Meanwhile the rest of the world sits by and discusses long term plans while tossing a dart or two here and there. How many pick up trucks need be sacrificed before we take these killers seriously.

Thursday, October 16, 2014


Remember the old song by the Coasters? There are some lyrics that seem so appropriate today.  Think on them for a minute or two.

Get all that garbage out of sight

Or you don't go out Friday night
Yakety yak
(Don't talk back)

The first duty for anyone in the Obama administration is to "get that garbage out of sight". Deny, deny, deny. Stall forever on "Freedom of Information Requests". When required to comply, redact, redact, redact. Erase the hard drives. Ignore Congressional subpoenas. If caught, take the fifth. Get your "partners in crime", so to speak, to scream politics, politics, politics. Whatever it takes. But "get that garbage out of sight".

"Or you don't go out Friday night." Or any other night as a member of the Obama administration unless you sacrifice your name and reputation to protect the boss. The man is brilliant and never makes a mistake. So the fault for all crises, scandals, and faux pas must lie with his underlings, who are only human and therefore prone to error. So make the sacrifice. You may be hidden in a back room for a while. But given time and luck you may be able to resurrect your reputation in the future. But, if not, hey, your just one of the little people. 

"Yakety yak." Get out there on those Sunday talk shows. Get in front of reporters microphones. (Not Fox News, please.) Then, spin, spin, spin. Obfuscate, twist, and even lie if you must. Destroy the oppositions name and reputation if you can. Bury the whole thing in words. Give it a few weeks. Another scandal or crisis will come along and this will be old news and long forgotten. 

"Don't talk back." Remember, those that talk back have visitors. Maybe the FBI, more likely the IRS. The administration has the tools of your destruction and is not afraid to use them. Just ask any "whistle blower" who in now out of work with his prospects in tatters.

I know that this is not what is expected in American government. But the people voted for "cool". The people voted for change. This is what they got.

This Whole Thing Is Making Us All A Little Blue!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

I Had To Snicker

I'm sure that you heard the story. It has been all over the internet. Yesterday, Sunday, the President got himself all gussied up in his Sunday casual attire. Including his very Presidential jacket. Grabbed his Presidential golf bag. Jumped into his limo. The press was herded into whatever they use to tote the press around in. The the President got out of the limo. Went back into the White House. The press were released from their container or whatever.

Apparently the President had a sudden need to be briefed on the ebola situation by the Secretary of Health and Human Services. The President gave the Secretary a list of steps to be taken to keep the situation under control. Being world's greatest expert, our fearless President knew exactly what was required. Sure he did.

He then loitered around the office for a little while. Had the members of the press re-herded. And broke for the golf course for the two hundredth time. What a guy! About twenty minutes of work then six hours of golf with crisis after crisis staring him in the face.

When I read this story as it was written by Joseph Curl in the Washington Times, I had to snicker. "All the world's a stage." That was never more true than in Washington D.C. today. Everything that comes out of Washington today is spin. Facts are as rare as hens teeth. And they get away with it. The press doesn't even throw softballs anymore. They toss Nerf balls underhanded. Then the administration flaks tap them gently back to the press so they don't hurt their tender hands.

The ebola crisis is a real crisis and we deserve honesty from, what used to be, public servants. They do us no service by covering up the truth and not making us aware of the dangers. For the most part, we are adults and can handle it. 

The same is true about ISIS and the infiltration of jihadists into the United States. This administration seems to have a need to cover for radical Islam. And that is just wrong. Their efforts are so amateurish that anyone with the least insight can see right through them.  If the things they lie about weren't so serious, I'd have to snicker.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Any News On The Vets?

The question in the title was rhetorical. I know there is no news on the shoddy, no, make that abominable, treatment our hero veterans have received at that hands of the, so called, Veterans Administration. Miserable administration and a "don't give a rap" attitude have turned this department into a workday country club for greedy and uncaring low level (in more ways than one) political appointees.

For years it has been no secret that vets were not getting proper care. Talk to any doctor or nurse within a twenty mile radius of a VA hospital. They knew. The press knew. Just about anyone that paid attention knew. But it has gone from "failed" into "corrupt". I'm sure this was a gradual transition. But it finally got so bad that the news finally broke. 

Everyone was up in arms. The President gave his usual "not rest until this is fixed" and "no stone unturned" speech. Weeks later in a blaze of glory, a new director was appointed. Bob MacDonald, former CEO of Proctor and Gamble, took the reins. Here was a man that had the skills and experience to run a giant organization with multiple work sites worldwide.

On October 7 of this year it was announced that four, count them, four senior officials have been fired from the VA. That's the news folks. That is all of the activity that we have seen to straighten out an absolute trainwreck of a government organization. As they say on Monday Night Football, "C'mon man!"

Back in the good old days, when the press was more interested in news than opinion, the New York Times and the Washington Post plus the major services all would have had teams of reporters on this with weekly articles, sidebars, and Sunday features. The press would have held everyone's feet to the fire, including the President. Today they don't even shine a weak flashlight on the problem.

One reason for America's greatness has been a Constitutionally protected press that had the guts and the wherewithal to go after government when they misstepped. They are the court of last resort for the citizens of this country. It would appear that the glory days of the press are not so slowly disappearing. I don't think it is a lack of courage in the individual reporter. I see reporters in war zone with bullets flying giving their reports. 

I think it is three things. An acceptance of the liberal point of view. A fear that going against the political power base will freeze them out of accessibility. And management that is more interested in moving opinion than informing the public without prejudice. 

We need the Fourth Estate as it has been, not as it is today. They need to adjust their business plans to today's economics. We need for them to go back to getting news not taking news releases. We need real news.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Why Change?

I'm old. There's no getting around it. I'm coming up on my seventy-sixth birthday. (No presents, please.) It got here a lot faster than I expected. As the body ages and things start falling loose or shrivel up or just operate in an erratic manner, the smart thing to do is adjust. To adjust one must make changes.

When you're old you don't like change. You hate to leave your comfort zone. Then you realize that your comfort zone is no longer comfortable. So you make the dreaded changes. 

Some give up. They spend their days sitting in their most comfy chair frying their brains on the rude and crude that makes up daytime TV. I feel bad for those folks. Their brain has died and they are just waiting for their bodies to catch up.

During my working life I had to use what passes for my brain. It was good enough to get me by and support my family. During off hours I tried to give my body equal time. I liked sports and took part in a lot of them from time to time. The only sports that I stayed with through my life were fishing and shooting.

When I could no longer play tennis or golf or do centuries on my bicycle, fishing and shooting were always there for me. But I can no longer wade trout streams or clamber over the rocks that line the edges of Narragansett Bay. My knees and back have convinced me that I can no longer police my brass at the target range.

Once again I had to adjust to the demands of time, the Ruler of All Our Plans. So, just over two years ago, I had a conversation with myself about what would be next on my calender. When I had a real job, there were times when I had to do some writing. From business letters to training courses. I always enjoyed putting words together to try to inform and, hopefully, entertain at the same time.

I had been using computers since they first arrived on the scene as affordable to the individual. I knew about blogging when it first appeared but I didn't pay it much heed. I thought it worth looking at. Of the ones that I checked out, most were pretty poor. So since I felt I couldn't do much worse, I started blogging.

I cannot tell you how happy I am with my choice. My readership keeps going up. I have been read in ninety-five countries. I find that really gratifying. I get few derogatory comments. And I have had some, over the top, complimentary comments. I have never done anything that I have enjoyed more. OK, one thing. But we aren't going there. So, there's the answer. Why change? Because you might find it is the greatest thing you have ever done.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Random Thoughts - Forty-Six

When you train a bonsai tree, the tree actually is training you. It will not be rushed and no matter what you are trying to achieve, the tree will only give you what it wants to give you. If you are very lucky, through the experience the bonsai will teach you patience.

Joe Biden is devolving. It is time for him to withdraw from the international scene.

The administration is wrong in allowing flights into the US from West Africa. They plan to set up screening points in fifteen airports. Who will man these? TSA employees? They have not the training or skill set to do a proper job. Part of the screening is based on a questionnaire. People lie. Doesn't the White House understand that people trying to get into the country will lie. Travelers may be asymptomatic when they arrive, only to get sick days later when they could be anyplace in the country. More stringent rules need to be applied.

In Rhode Island, some creep sent threatening letters  to the schools in three cities. They threatened to behead children on their playgrounds. It was probably not a real threat but the police acted responsibly with an abundance of caution. I just hope they are able to track down the responsible party. And I hope they charge him with terrorism and ship him off to Gitmo for the rest of his miserable life.

They say that Kim Jung Un is amongst the missing. This is another little creep who should rot in hell. If this a coup, I don't see how the North Korean people could be any worse off. So I, for one, hope that Kim has departed this mortal coil. It is none too soon.

Thank you, Leon Panetta. While Mr. Panetta is not one of my favorite people, I commend him for coming out with the truth about the Obama administration. I hope more do the same. I admit that I am suspicious of his reasons, but at least, this time, he stood tall. So to speak. 

Another young black shot by police in the St. Louis area. Justified or not expect more problems. Can Jesse, Al, and Eric be far behind.

I realize that I am being a little snarky today. But, hey, I'm in a snarky mood. I just started training my third bonsai and I'm still working on that patience thing.

The White House covers up the Columbian hooker incident and now the EPA is losing e-mails. The beat goes on.

I hope the Republicans win the Senate in the upcoming election for no other reason than to get rid of Harry Reid as majority leader. He has harmed the Senate and the country with his crude manipulations.

China just passed the United States as the world's largest economy. The stock market is bouncing around like the proverbial "cat on a hot tin roof". Are these "reflections of things to come"?

Why, when you are taking home a few ounces of left over food from a restaurant, is the plastic bag they give you ten times stronger that the plastic bags from a super market where you might have two big cans of tomato juice to carry?

Thursday, October 9, 2014

A World Of Illusion

We live in a world of illusion. Nothing is real except what you can actually see and touch. Daily, we are assailed by words that mean nothing. The television presents a constant stream of talking heads pretending to be news makers and experts. Few of them have the actual expertise that they claim for themselves. But they sit there in expensive suits, with expensive haircuts, and even more expensive smiles, cast their chicken bones like a shaman, and predict the future.

Ebola has been around for forty years or so. For at least the last two decades, parts of Africa have been dominated by a fear of this disease. It was obvious to the casual observer that the disease was spreading. And spreading at an increasing rate. So how have our government experts, who are sworn to protect, allowed us to run out of critical medicines at this critical time. 

Why are we doing a last minute scramble to put systems in place at the last second as we start to see ebola show up here. We have been assured by these experts that if it shows up here, we can control it. Please excuse my skepticism. With up to twenty-one days incubation period, I question their sureness. 

In an administration that has been plagued by scandal and faux pas, there have been "experts" lined up for all the television news shows to select from. They would, without hesitation, tell us that that scandal was no scandal. It was just a political ploy by the opposition. The problem with that is that the opposition is so inept that they can't even get their own story straight, never mind put together an elaborate plot to embarrass the Democrats. 

So believe little of what you hear, but fear what those in power may do. It seems that the agencies of government are no longer there to help the average citizen. They despise our independence even though the independence of Americans is what has made this country great.

Today's government prefers to deal in large malleable groups that they can manipulate for their own ends. So continue to be skeptical. Never accept predictions as holy writ. And realize what those in government say and what the government actually does are two different things. Take care of yourself, for none will do it for you.

The Statue of the Independent Man atop the Rhode Island Statehouse

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

My Computer Told Me

Computer modeling has been used in industry and science since computers were able to be more than complex adding machines. Modeling is an enormously powerful tool. It allows architects and engineers to test their designs before they build them, keeping costs in control and keeping safety and reliability high.

To achieve a sound model the project must be approached without prejudice. Someone has to write a computer program to achieve an accurate simulation of a future reality. That person must not have "a dog in that fight". If the programmer has a desire for specific results, that may show up in the software design. If the programmer has a financial stake, it is almost certain to affect the coding.

When an engineer uses modeling to, for example, design a steel support structure for a building or a machine, the math involved is established and verifiable. It is the type of math taught in "Strength and Materials 101" class in every engineering school in the world.

Also, every conceivable factor must be included in the model. If the program is to analyze the structure of a proposed skyscraper all external factors such as the wind, it's direction and speed, the makeup of the land on which the building will sit, floor loading, and hundreds of other factors must be brought into the code. There is no room for guesswork.

Which brings us to "global warming" or "climate change" or "global chaos" or what ever name is currently popular with those trying to sell a flawed product. There is no way that we can even know of all of the factors that go into the climate of this planet. It is far too complex. The math to analyze climate might allow meteorologists to tell you to bring your umbrella to work tomorrow. Often they are right on that. But to predict the climate of our whole Earth for years in the future? That just cannot be done.

The other thing is, that those that are touting this, do have "a dog in the fight". A very large financial dog. After all it has made a failed presidential candidate a much richer man then he was before he started selling "snake oil". But this whole thing started in the halls of academe in Great Britain at the University of East Anglia. When things like this come from a University, it is generally because some Phd is looking for a grant. So, as usual, here comes a financial angle. 

But, it seems, that the press and other "Chicken Little" imitators have bought into this completely. I suspect, because it supports the liberal, "man is evil and destroying the planet", rant. There are those who accept these things as absolute truth, never checking the facts. Well here are just a few facts.

The average world temperature hasn't increased in eighteen years.
There are more trees in North America than there were when Columbus landed.
There are more deer and turkey in the United States than when Columbus landed.
If there were a slight increase in temperature it would allow longer growing seasons.
The Connecticut river, which was an open sewer fifty years ago, is now a Class A river. 
They now catch lobster in Boston Harbor.
The Polar Bear population is at a record high.

I am sure there are many more examples. Those are just a few that I am aware of. So maybe we are not doing such a terrible job after all in the US. So go beat on China and India. See if they will clean up their act.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014


When little children and very immature adults don't wish to hear what is being said to them, they put their hands over their ears and sing-song. "lalalalala I can't hear you!" When someone takes that attitude, there is no reaching them. Even if they hear the words, they will pretend not to.

Previous Presidents received a daily intelligence briefing by the highest ranking officers in the intelligence community. They were briefed verbally as well as receiving a briefing book. The verbal brief was important as it allowed questioning and discussion where further clarity was required. It also allowed briefers to emphasize those areas thought to be most serious and make off the record suggestions. In a very troubled world a quality daily intelligence update is priceless.

At least it used to be priceless. Not so much under our present President. President Obama has skipped sixty percent of his intelligence briefings. Apparently he prefers to get his Presidential Daily Briefing on his iPad. Probably so he can glance at it as he checks last night's basketball scores and sets up a tee time. There is no indication of the thoroughness or seriousness that the PDB is accorded.

The only conclusion that one can come to is that Mr. Obama is not terribly concerned with the security of our country, and more particularly, our military. By arbitrarily pulling all of our military from Iraq, he has let that country revert into chaos. By not knowing or not caring about the rise of ISIS, who he honors by calling them ISIL, he has allowed the growth of an international monster. He also claims the "Islamic State", as they refer to it, is not Islamic. Obama has allowed the expansion of the would-be Caliphate so that they now hold more territory than Jordan. So now our military has to go back into danger and re-fight the battles already won. But they must do it without the tools to do the job and with a amateuristic order of battle. A war micro-managed by an unskilled President. Shades of Viet Nam.

On the home front, the President has ignored the danger of ebola. He even assured us short weeks ago that there was no danger of ebola reaching America. Once again he promised what he couldn't predict. Well, now it is here. We were ill prepared for random occurrences. When we could control the entrance and transportation of an ebola patient we were fine. When one walks off a plane, apparently healthy, and shows up sick in some random city two days later, we are just not prepared.

Out of caution, France and Great Britain have banned air flights from ebola countries. Our reckless President says he will not take that step. So off to the golf course or to a campaign trip and let circumstances control themselves. Strangely enough The President cancelled the quarantine rules for ebola just four years ago. I cannot conceive of why he would.

It is Obama's narrative. The narrative that was written in his mind even before he became President. The narrative that has to be correct, because for it to be challenged would be to challenge Obama's worldview. That, of course, is unacceptable so it's "lalalalala I can't hear you!"

Monday, October 6, 2014

Conservative Rap

I had an urge to try something in a different genre for a change. President Obama's favorite phrase has been bouncing around in my brain, so I thought I would turn it into a rap song.

Sing (if sing is the right word) this to a hard rap beat!

Boots On The Ground

                                                                                                            by Cranky

Boots on the ground.
Boots on the ground.
We don't need no boots on the ground.

Planes in the air.
Planes in the air. 
We'll get there with planes in the air.

Kill ISIL. 
Kill ISIL. 
Bombs are meant to kill ISIL.

Ain't no way Obama'll fight. 
Fight'n war, it just ain't right
It was Bush that brought us here. 
Now Obama quakes in fear.

Middle East is not his game.
Obama hides his eyes in shame. 
He just don't want to be here.
The American people, he just wont hear.

Boots on the ground.
Boots on the ground. 
We can't have no boots on the ground.

I don't have the skills or knowledge to produce this. So if someone would like to turn this into a YouTube video, feel free. If you do, please just credit me and send me the link.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Qualified, Sorry

I once had to partner up with sales engineers from another company. We were involved with highly technical products that were used in very complicated systems.The local manager for that company had many Obama-like traits.

When, we will call him John, walked into a room, he immediately knew who the smartest person in that room was. It was, of course, John. That was seldom true, but he was a legend in his own mind.

Part of John's responsibilities was to hire the field engineers that I had to work in partnership with. These engineers that he hired had one universal trait, an underwhelming competence. This habit of hiring in competent people didn't help our sales and made my job much more difficult. I pondered on why he couldn't find better people.

One day the answer came to me. It was because John didn't want better people. For two reasons. The people that he hired would never embarrass him by exhibiting more skill or knowledge in front of customers. Or even worse, in front of the corporate bosses. Secondly, they couldn't threaten his position. He would never discover one of them trying to steal his job.

I think that John is an allegory for our nations capital today. Not for everyone there, but for far too many. I noticed that as President Obama appointed people to his various cabinet positions, czarships, and other leadership posts, the little red line on the smarts-o-meter started falling rapidly. 

Once again, I wondered why. Now I know. Obama doesn't want people around him that make things complicated. Tough problems require complicated solutions. That makes governing difficult. It is more important to have a proper number of women, blacks, Hispanics, gays, and other groups represented in power positions. As long as they weren't radical enough to cause disruption or exert any real authority, all was good.

This attitude filters down through the system. Now governing means to go through the motions. Don't rock the boat. Make sure nothing splashes onto the coattails of the inner circle. Let the top tier lead the way. Even if that way takes the country so far left that there is no more right. America has been too much the leader in the world, so let's lead from behind and let others run the show. Show how humble we are.

So here we are after six years of that thinking. The President says we are doing great. But then when all you see is the view from the ninth tee or from the head table at celebrity fund raisers, the country probably seems to be doing great. The President said he never notices any traffic jams. I guess there are many things he never notices. Including the plight of the American people.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Battle Hymn Of The Republic

There is another war going on other than the war on terror. It is a war that the government cannot fight. The battle lines are drawn across the civilian population of the world. Right now, it seems to be that the war is against Christianity and Judaism. They. We, are being attacked by an axis power of atheism on one side and extreme Islam on the other.

It is time for Christians and Jews to come together to form their own unified army against those that despise us. Being mature and peace loving people we are inclined to take a live and let live attitude in the world. We are slow to take offense. And even slower to take up arms in our own defense.

I used the word mature in describing people of our separate faiths. By that I mean our religions, for the most part, no longer have a political component. We have learned to "render unto Caesar". It was not always so. In the Biblical days of the Old Testament, the ancient kings such as David ruled with a strong hand. After the "Dark Ages" and through the Renaissance, the Roman Catholic Church ruled the Holy Roman Empire. The Anglican Church ruled in England. Our more modern churches no longer exert complete control of countries and populations. Influence, yes. But not control.

Islam is both a political system with a religious component and a religious system with a political component. They are so intertwined as to be inseparable. Combine that with a strict dogma that is unchanged since the seventh century and interpreted by many Muslims as violent in the extreme, and you have a religious conflagration. There are over one hundred verses in the Quran telling believers to harm and kill those that do not believe in Islam. The fundamental Islamists attack from one side.

The attack on the other side is from the far opposite end of the spectrum. As I have written before, Atheism has become a religion in it's own right. It is a religion that worships nihilism. And they have adopted the First Amendment as their watchword, shield and sword. Not as that amendment was intended. but as they, with the help of liberal judges, have distorted it. Suddenly, freedom of religion, means freedom from religion. The atheist lawyers are tigers, while those that should defend our religious rights are meek little lambs. In this case the meek will not inherit the earth.

So they have drawn the battle lines. We must change that line from the "Battle Hymn of the Republic" to, Onward religious soldiers, join together and fight a war that should never be.
Stand fast, force attorneys to fight instead of giving in. Protest. Pray that we get Presidents that will appoint more conservative jurists, and work to that end.  

Two Little Miracles 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Half The Lies He Tells Aren't True

"I am a post partisan President." "You will be able to keep your doctor." "Benghazi was caused by a YouTube video." "ISIL is the JV team." "We have essentially destroyed Al Qaeda." "There wasn't even a smidgen of illegality." "ISIL presents no exitential threat." It goes on. And on.

This President lies to us. He has right from the beginning. He relies on short attention spans and an overly kind press to cover for his lies. The most blatant example, lately, was Steve Croft's interview with Obama on Sixty Minutes last Sunday night.

Barack Obama's ego wrote the narrative for an Obama Presidency before he was even elected. It is so ingrained in the President's psyche that he will accept no information contradicting that narrative as accurate.

Add that to the fact that the President appears to be hard work averse, there are problems. It has just come out that he has missed half of his intelligence briefings. With what is going on in today's world, how could he feel comfortable about that. But even if he attended half of those critical meetings he had to know what was going on with ISIL. He chose to ignore it. It didn't fit the narrative of ending hostilities in Iraq. 

Why does the government refer to every domestic atrocity committed by someone of the Islamic faith shouting Allahu akbar, workplace violence rather than domestic terrorism. It is not to keep the public calm. We get it. It is the old "if it walks like a duck" thing. No, it is because it doesn't fit Obama's narrative.

Thankfully the Generals, active and retired, are coming out with the truth and backing the President into a corner where he must act. But he is still doing as little as he can get away with. If I hear him say "no boots on the ground" one more time I will be violently ill. (Not really. I'm just making a point.) What I don't understand is the people dedicated to protecting him. He didn't have to throw James Clapper under the bus last week. Clapper took a running start and dove under the bus unassisted.

These are dangerous times in which we live. It is the Presidents sworn duty to see to the safety and security of the country. Barack Obama has done a second rate job of that. He has done a first rate job of protecting his personal narrative. The American people deserve better. As our quality of life erodes and the reputation of our country erodes, our President stands in front of TV cameras extolling what a great job he has done and how Americans should be grateful to him. I think not, because, come to think of it, all the lies he tells aren't true.