Thursday, May 31, 2012

Muscle Car

If you ever stumble on Channel 60 "Outlaw Country" on Sirius/XM you may hear Elizabeth Cook hosting a couple of hours. She's got a bit of a mouth on her, but she plays some funky country. Occasionally she will talk about being on the road and doing some gigs with other country folks. I wondered what she looked and sounded like. Then yesterday I caught this one.



I'm not sure I like her.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Perpetuating Power

When you are in the palace, it is pretty easy to get the Praetorians to impose your will upon the people. Who is going to charge you with using tax dollars for your own benefit? Who is going to complain about selective categorization of groups? Who will notice a breach of the establishment clause of the First Amendment? Who will refute the logic of identification being equivalent to racial discrimination?

Explaining IRS Nuances to Black Pastors

Will this road show also gather Jewish rabbis? How about suburban Methodists? Catholic priests anybody?

Where are the limits for this man? Are there any left?

The Gang Still Misses the Target

The gaffe-prone administration is running just as fast as their pasty little legs will carry them to touch base with all voting blocs in the nation. On Memorial Day it was the pandering apologia to Vietnam Vets rendered before The Wall. Despite his campaign claims that vets love him, the preponderance of poll data give the Bamster a two-to-one deficit against his opponent among vets. We simply don't think much of him and it isn't without good reason. Dismantling the military, abandoning two theaters of conflict, sneaking a 40% increase in co-pay for prescriptions into healthcare, and repealing the arguably effective DA/DT policy all tend to grate with us.

So far I've gotten a dozen emails from military folks in the DC region ranging from Special Forces senior NCOs to NamPOWS to major and lieutenant generals, all complaining that the President's campaign events at Arlington and The Wall denied them access to these locations on a special day. Security for previous Presidential wreath-layings had never done that before. Reagan, Clinton, and both Bushes all managed to conduct a remembrance without locking out the very people who are most vested in those sacred places.

Yesterday it was a White House Medal of Freedom ceremony. That's where he blindly followed Mr. Teleprompter down the Rose Garden path to offending a large population demographic and a NATO ally as well:

"Polish Death Camps..."

(Note to Presidential Re-Election Campaign Staff: The Polish demographic in rust-belt cities in your strong areas is quite large. The Nazi demographic in America is very small and your loyal media minions normally characterize them as Republicans generically and Tea Party proponents specifically.)

To get the African-American poetry demographic he hung a ribbon on the neck of Toni Morrison, but that was already pretty well sewn up since she read at the first Clinton inauguration.

And in an apparently choreographed historical amnesia topper, the Bamster decorated that great American dope-smoker and mono-tonal rambler, Bob Dylan. Mr. Dylan appeared in large sun-glasses to hide his widely dilated eyes and wearing a tasty black suit decorated with silver buckles and straps, apparently a Goodwill store find from Michael Jackson's wardrobe discards.

You will recall Mr. Dylan's greatest work included Tambourine Man, an acknowledgement of gratitude to drug pushers of the nation as well as Blowing in the Wind, which provided the name for Bamster supporter Bill Ayers' patriotic organization, The Weathermen.

With that award, the Messiah effectively denies the pot-smoking anarchist vote to Romney.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Late To The Party

I try to keep up, but in the modern info-centric world beyond mainstream media it is difficult to stumble upon every significant story. I've been seeing the name Brett Kimberlin popping up on a lot of my regular stops. I haven't gone there to explore, generally relegating the issue to a urinating competition between bloggers with flame-throwers.

This morning curiosity got the better of me. Here's a pretty good summary of what this is about.

Kimberlin SWATting, Bombing, SLAPPing and Soros

There are way too many links there to get them all finished in a quick exploration, but there's a deja vu about a Bill Ayers character implementing "change" through creative chemistry, a connection to socialist financial angel, George Soros, some incredibly dangerous exercises of America's convoluted legal process, and a raft of credible bloggers looking at the situation.

Do I believe it all? Some is irrefutable. Some is questionable. Is there enough there to be worried? Will the MSM assuage my doubts with some quality journalism?

Monday, May 28, 2012

Simply MSNBC

Yes, you can be certain he never served. Yes, you can conclude he is a pompous ass by language such as "rhetorically proximate." The poor baby feels "uncomfortable" speaking of men and women who have fallen in defense of their nation.

The Wall



Washington D. C. is a city of beautiful buildings and soaring monuments. The capital dominates with its majestic dome and broad stairways. The Supreme Court similarly rises among the stately trees with strength in its columns and classic fa├žade. The memorials to the greats of our nations are white, broad and tall befitting the stature of the military and political leaders which they honor. But, the Wall is black and buried, a depression in the ground symbolizing the depression of the nation that did not win the war or respect the men who fought it. You can see the Washington Monument from miles away and you won’t need a map to find Lincoln or Jefferson or the World War II memorial, but you could walk within a hundred yards of the Wall and never see it. We seem to want to hide it, maybe hoping that an obligation has been fulfilled but no one wants to admit that the obligation existed in the first place.

The names are listed in a paper directory, dog-eared and dirty from thousands of hands searching through it for a name of a friend or family member who was lost. It’s chained to a plywood pedestal like a small town phone book at a gas station pay-phone, almost as an afterthought by the government that maybe some visitor might want to know where on the wall among the 58,000 names their special person is memorialized. But, they do want to know. They come from across the country to see and to feel and to remember. Some say they come for closure or to heal, but that is only a few. More come for respect and to belatedly honor the fallen. And some come out of guilt that they hadn’t gone or hadn’t done the right thing at the time.

The sidewalk along the brooding black marble wall slopes gradually, there are no steps along the way. It’s almost a metaphor for the gradualism that led us to failure. It marks the descent into the immorality of sending men to die for a cause that the nation wants to ignore. But when you reach the deepest point, the walk rises again and gradually, over time returns to the level of the street and the city. All things pass and maybe this represents a return to normalcy and patriotism and honor; belief in your country’s might and the principles that the other soaring white monuments of Washington commemorate. Maybe.

Children visiting the Wall from the inner cities of America laugh and tussle on the grass, showing little of the solemnity that we might wish for this spot. They don’t know these many years later exactly what this is all about. They don’t make a great distinction between Verdun and Vietnam. But, that guy over there, the one in the dark suit with the sunglasses, he knows the difference. The gray-haired fellow coming down the walk with his grand-son holding his hand, he knows many of these names. The heavy-set fellow in the West Point sweatshirt, sitting on the park bench with the cane by his side was there. The one in the tattered field jacket, with the beard and dirty matted long hair? No, probably not. Odds are he’s ten years too young and simply another poseur and “wannabe.” There are a lot of them these days. You can buy the jacket in any town and the medals can be found on eBay. But, that’s the stereotype; the homeless, drug or alcohol addicted hulk destroyed by the war. The reality is that the great majority of the survivors of the war are just quiet old men, living out their lives and remembering.

"Palace Cobra" Chap. 14 
St . Martin's Press, NYC NY, 2006 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Seemed Like A Good Idea

Face it, tats do not exude an aura of professionalism. The fad du jour is not going to be around forever, but the tat will almost certainly be with you for the rest of your life.

Night of the Iguana

"Mommy, what is that funny writing Grandma has on her back?"

Memorial Day

Dead On Arrival

This is one proposal that shouldn't even be seriously considered. It is abrogation of our national sovereignty and clear erosion of our First Amendment protections. It is opposed by the Republican-controlled House, the Democratic-controlled Senate and even the Marxist-controlled administration.

Turn Over Internet Regulation to UN?

There are far too many instances of governments large and small in the UN that are averse to freedom for us to even have this proposal on the table.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Friday, May 25, 2012

Fundamentally Flawed

Sometimes you simply gasp at the ridiculousness of the crap that is put forth as a technological improvement. Then you ponder it for a moment and suddenly you realize that the concept being touted is incredibly dangerous. That's where this goes in a hurry.

First take a look at this and see if you can see a violation of the most fundamental rule:

That's right fans! Booger hook off the bang switch until ready to fire. Now go read the whole concept here:


Had you been wondering how the Confiscation Corps was going to harvest all of the millions of guns in the possession of law-abiding Second Amendment fans? With gadgetry like this it suddenly becomes a lot easier to simply shut down the opposition doesn't it? 

Private or Public?

The news of the last week has been about the President's decision to focus on Mitt Romney's tenure at Bain Capital. The characterization is that the operation was a rape/pillage/plunder shop which bought up distressed companies, displaced thousands of workers, destroyed what was left and somehow made immense profits from the activity. Disgruntled former workers have been dredged up to look pathetic and rail against evil capitalists.

We've already discussed the economics of the situation. Sometimes you simply can't find a market for buggy whips any more and have to let those specialists go. But  private equity operations don't make big bucks by operating corporate estate sales. They succeed by being successful in reshaping a company and making it profitable again.

To be fair that is also what occurs with corporate bankruptcies quite often. The company has lost focus, the debt has piled up and a time-out to reshape the operation results in an improved and more efficient business model. So far a case can be made that is what is shaking out in the Government Motors dealing. Not all of the story has been written at this point, but GM may survive. Chrysler remains to be seen.

The Washington Post takes the time to aim the mirror back at the administration on the question of equity investments. If it is fair to look with skepticism at Bain Capital and lay job losses at Romney's doorstep, then what about the prominent government involvement with public funds over the last three and a half years?

It would not be fair to resurrect the Solyndra, Volt and Fisker stories here. We all know them already. But we shouldn't be surprised to find a few more skeletons in the Messiah's financial closet:

Public Equity Bamster Busts

When a private equity operation succeeds or fails it is really the business of the investors. When you are given control of the nation's treasury then success or failure is a valid measurement of your stewardship. Piling up lists of bad investments in which public dollars are squandered to allow political cronies to grab the cash and run makes worthy news in a political season.

Stumbling

Politico is not a particularly right-wing blog. They tend to be moderate, occasionally supportive of the left and frustratingly balanced for those who demand ideological purity in their news sources. In other words they report what they find. That gives a lot of folks reason to hate them and gives me reason to respect them.

Reading the Race So Far

He's an incumbent president. He's got incredible assets at his fingertips. Romney is still reeling after a brutal primary race. But, the pompous pronouncements, the politically blatant pandering, the unmitigated class-warfare message don't seem to be resonating recently. Hard to reach any conclusion other than that the Bamster isn't doing well.

Could the American electorate be seeing the quality of the emperor's new clothes finally?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Book Signing

Been there, done that:

The Machine In Action

Next week's New York Times Best Seller list will be led by a book that releases that week. It's the sort of think that isn't uncommon. J.K. Rowling did it several times with Harry Potter sequels and political memoirs like Bill Clinton's paperweight of note and Dick Cheney's droning recount of his years in the second seat. Opening at number one is powerful stuff, but it's been done before.

This book is "The Amateur" by Edward Klein. The title comes from a conversation between Bill and Hillary Clinton, folks who are obviously credible to comment, on the President of the United States. Bill calls the Bamster an amateur. That is the sort of comment that is influential, deeply critical, and obviously cannot be tolerated in America today. A book which fails to swoon over the incredible leadership of our campaigner-in-chief must be discredited. So, we get this:

NYT Shifts Title to Author

One can hardly put faith into the journalistic credentials of someone that the Gray Lady classifies as a hack. Make the messenger into a dull tool and the message can be comfortably ignored.

Who is this guy Klein? Where has he been and what has he done?

Edward Klein

What does it say about the New York Times if they classify their former NYT Magazine editor-in-chief as an amateur? Are they populated with amateurs there? Did an amateur do that hatchet job on Klein? How did Klein get them that Pulitzer?

How can we possibly believe that the mainstream media is in the tank for the Bamster? They are simply reporting facts aren't they?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Talent

They often use the phrase "making a song your own," but not many folks understand what that means. This young man does. It won't make much difference if he is one or two tonight. His future is assured.

Democratic Turmoil?

Primary elections occur whether or not a nomination for president is being contested. Folks tend to forget that primaries choose the down ballot candidates to represent the party as well as the top line on the ticket. There is a lot of voting being counted even when your party has the eligible incumbent in the White House.

Unfortunately that also presents an opportunity for embarrassment.

"Uncommittted" Nearly Whips Bamster

Across the country among the party loyalists, those committed party members who are involved in choosing the state representative candidates, the county clerks and commissioners, and the elected state court judges there is a deep dissatisfaction with the Messiah it would appear.

So far we've seen an incarcerated felon, an out-of-state attorney promising to repeal Obamacare and "None-of-the-above" all make strong showings.

Facing Fad Failure

Remember the "Dot Com" crash? It was the '90s and the market was booming over the Internet. Something very unusual was going on with regard to investments. The simple model had always been that a company had capital. That capital was very tangible. It could be audited as equipment and facilities. Storefronts and factories with inventory and customers could be counted then divided up into shares with a measurable value. You could look at receivables to evaluate sales and future revenue. You could see the debts and balance that against the equity held. There was some actual "there" there.

Then came the Internet. Suddenly you've got intellectual capital and a business model based on information which might be mined for a profit somehow. People would interact for free in this grand information exchange and along the way drop little tidbits that could be gleaned for profit. The business plans were complicated and as things developed, largely imaginary. Suddenly venture capital that had been dumped on these schemes evaporated as many could not figure out how actual profit would ever emerge. The Dot-Coms collapsed.

A few survived and thrived but across the market there was a disaster. For every Amazon or Google there were a thousand pie-in-the-sky programs with no value. Lessons were learned...and now apparently forgotten.

Facebook went public this week. The IPO was hyped and investors lined up to beg, cajole, plead and whimper to be a part of it. There was that exclusiveness cachet about only the walruses being able to buy-in on day one. Anticipation grew and estimates of what would happen as the stock soared stumbled over each other in creating a Camelot. Zuckerberg smiled at the thought of taking his billions to the foreign shores to escape the Bamster's confiscation squads. He went so far as to make his live-in a respectable woman.

Two days later we've got a slide into yesteryear. The initial price rapidly declined and the search for value seems futile.

Facebook Fade Fuels Future Pessimism

Possibly the scariest line in that analysis is the estimate that Facebook must grow revenue by 41% annually(!) for the next five years to avoid "cratering". That simply isn't possible in a real world.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Discovery "Wings"

A few of my friends:

The Gang That Doesn't Shoot Straight

It is getting comical. We could laugh if it didn't involve the President of the United States. The man who holds the office which once was universally recognized as the most powerful position in the world now seems to be unable to ever act without taking serious wrong steps first.

The administration speaks long before thinking. The voices are not as one but tend toward a random order in which the components apparently have never held a face-to-face decision conference first. One department says something, another says something different, Jay Carney parses language and then Joe Biden gets "over his skis." The Prez does his best Mussolini chin-up pose and speaks to the hand-picked audiences.

Rendell on Booker on Bamster on Bain

When your ads are so inane and puerile that even your own party says they nauseate, you've got a problem!

Does anybody in the Messiah's camp really think the American people don't understand basic business concepts? Sorry. That was a rhetorical question and the answer is apparently that a lot of them think we are that stupid. That is a serious under-estimation.

The Bain business is a perfect example. What does Bain do? They buy low and sell high. What do they buy? They buy companies that are in trouble and hence on the final clearance table at the market. The capitalist then goes in, revamps the company to make it profitable and then sells it for a gain.

When a company is in trouble there can be many reasons. It could be bad management or bad products. It might be quality issues or marketing. It might be staffing or overhead. Changes are going to be made and in the process that means some folks might lose their jobs. If you aren't essential, you are extraneous.

Bain and similar companies don't succeed by sympathetically keeping unnecessary or unproductive workers on the payroll. They succeed by getting lean and mean. In the process some folks get hurt and some get rewarded. New people with different skills get jobs. Dead wood gets pruned.

The guys who go laid off are not going to be effusive in their praise of the company that took over and let them go. Making political commercials with them is easy but also ingenuous.

American voters and apparently even senior Democrats are smart enough to know that.

The Joke Is On Me

I wound up as a political science major when I was in college through no fault of my own. (No, it wasn't George Bush's fault either!)

Early in my life I knew I wanted to fly jets and that meant I needed to get an AF commission and that required a college degree. To get to the end goal I had to fill the intervening path. I didn't get into the Air Force Academy on my first try so I went to a school that had AFROTC. I could get my degree and my commission at the same time. What would be my major course of study? It didn't make much difference, so I drew upon my mis-spent youth playing with my Gilbert chemistry set in the basement. Test tubes and flasks with bubbling liquids changing colors were cool.

Little did I know what was involved with being a chemistry major, particularly in the years when cars, girls and beer competed for attention with differential equations and semi-micro quantitative analysis. I failed miserably by the end of my sophomore year.

Fortunately for me, the Professor of Air Science and the Dean of Students took mercy upon me and gave me the choice of leaving their school forever or switching to a liberal arts major. The only liberal arts majors offered at Illinois Institute of Technology were business, history and political science. I didn't like economics and number crunching. I didn't see myself in an archive exploring dusty manuscripts then possibly teaching sixth graders. That meant political science.

I switched majors. I got interested. I made the Dean's List and managed to recover enough to graduate in four years, right on time. Later the AF gave me the chance to pick up a master's degree in political science and another in international relations. For many years I joked that the only thing a bachelor's degree in poli-sci qualified you for was to sell used cars. If you got a master's you could sell new cars. Proceed to a PhD and you were capable of teaching others to sell used cars.

Now I see this:

Wall St. Journal Analysis of Pay For Degrees

Yes, you can make more money as an engineer or scientist. But if that's not your bag then stay away from teaching, business, psych, social work and art. Get yourself a political science degree and be a success!

If only I had known!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Journalism Help File

It must be tough to be a journalist these days. How are you to know what to ask, who to ask and when? I recognize that and I'm sympathetic. I'm here to help.

Take your video guy, go down to the NATO protesters in Chicago with their signs and chants and ask them these questions:

  1. When was NATO formed? 
  2. Name five of the initial members. 
  3. Who were the Warsaw Pact?
  4. Where are they today? 
  5. Are they better off?
  6. Did NATO cause or prevent WW III over the last 63 years? 
If you find a protester who can answer two of those questions, you've got a story. Otherwise you've got a collection of ignorant fools with nothing to do all day but make noise and wait for their welfare check. 

Survived!

It's been quiet here at ThunderTales as I've been on the road at another year's River Rat Reunion. This time it was at the Wigwam Resort in beautiful Litchfield Park AZ, just a hop, skip and high-speed taxi down the road from Luke AFB, home of Viper school.

The usual suspects showed up, a bunch of fat, gray/bald, old men wearing name tags of people who I'm certain are a young, healthy, handsome and mission-ready as I am. But, when queried they knew the right answers to the tough questions to verify that they really were who the tag said they were. There also were a reassuring bunch of younger generation warriors grabbing the gauntlet to carry on the traditions for future generations. The organization is in good hands.

Conversations resumed as though not another year had passed. Long-lost Rats reappeared and folks I hadn't seen for decades proved they still are as great in person as I thought they were. There were a few of my old students from the pilot training days who seem to have survived my instruction and gone on to become highly skilled fighter pilots, even rising to the general officer ranks. There were some folks I'd flown Downtown with on hunter/killer missions who showed up for the first time. And one of the fighter-chicks that I've been friends with for at least ten years is about to become the first female Viper squadron commander--and deservedly so. She's fully qualified for the task.

Damn but it's good to be among such great Americans. It almost makes you able to forget for a few days the ignorant scum disrupting traffic on the streets of Chicago this week without a big picture clue.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Defense Rests

I wonder what Rev. Sharpton will do with this data:

Black Eyes (2), Broken Nose, Lacerations

Apparently Mr. Zimmerman was injured while attempting to break Trayvon's knuckles with his face.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

They Wouldn't Dare!

The tongue of the writer seems to be firmly planted in cheek, but when it is New York writing about a monument one must be cautious. There is always the possibility that someone might take it seriously and then where would we be?

There is simply no telling what could happen. It was not that long ago that some fool suggested that baseball could be played under lights. Well, sure it could. But that would mean you hadn't planned the first pitch time very carefully. Or maybe you weren't considering how cold it can get in April or October when the night wind blows off the lake. Maybe even it would be the result of extra innings in a hard-fought close game. But, for that eventuality there is still the Scarlett O'Hara dictum, "I'll think about that tomorrow."

Baseball is for relaxing in the sun. Give me a hot dog and an Old Style and I'll be happy on a sunny afternoon. But they went ahead and put lights up, didn't they? So, consider this suggestion and then discard it before anybody with any authority gets to see it. Those towers deface the otherwise classic facade of a early 20th century ball-park and shine into the eyes of CTA elevated train operators every game.

Try not to notice the absence of any of those practical parking lots around this place. It simply is what it is. Get over it. Somebody would steal your car anyway.

WSJ says: Destroy Wrigley?

Well, if they did destroy the old girl then what would come of the investment of these fine entrepreneurs on the Waveland and Sheffield avenues? These folks have committed to the Cubs without any contracts but a glassy eyed stare and no threat of a handshake. What about their season ticket holders?


It wouldn't be worth winning. It just takes faith and prayer and maybe an unhittable closer. Where would they build a new ballpark? You can already see the suburbs lining up to bid on the project. Then you'd get some aberration of a team name like the Los Angeles Angels at Anaheim or Invesco Field at Mile High or even The Ballpark at Arlington. Could you really cheer for the Chicago Cubs at Mount Prospect? 



 I suppose the new park would have some sort of new-fangled digital technology to show humongous videos of batters, great catches, botched plays and busty girls eating kielbasa sandwiches in the stands.

Scores would be displayed with LED colored lights and there wouldn't be any sweaty bubba in a torn white T-shirt hanging out of an empty frame on a hut summer day in August. Just think of all the displaced rodents infesting that edifice!

Tell those New Yawkers to butt out and look for the Polo Grounds. See how that worked?

Seven Lies About Terrorism

Across the transom this morning we find an interesting dissection of familiar pronouncements on terrorism. It lists seven lies of the left which we are urged to embrace with regard to the war on terror:


  1. Killing terrorists only turns them into martyrs.
  2. We can't kill our way out of this.
  3. Terrorists have rights 
  4. Formal trials will show them the superiority of our system of justice.
  5. The only path to peace is negotiations. 
  6. It's not about religion 
  7. It's about us. 
The details are elaborated here:


Frankly, I can't find much to disagree with in that. One can only wonder how the apologists can continue to embrace the obvious falsity of their statements.  

Feeling Secure?

I'm going to encounter TSA tomorrow, so I'll have to wear clean underwear, avoid shirts with metal snaps, skip my boots and go with slip-ons, and wear pants tight enough that they don't fall down when I've got my arms up in supplication to get nudie scanned. Then I'll feel secure because we've got folks like Bimbo on the job:

Failed Screening Finally Shows

There is so much wrong with that you hardly know where to start. How does an illegal immigrant get a job in security? What sort of pre-employment screening doesn't stumble at the point of I-9 review for legal residence?

Then we've got him rising to supervisory responsibility, never having been discovered as a non-resident alien. Do you suppose he might have helped a few other illegal Nigerian immigrants climb the security career ladder? Any opportunity for airport infiltration from a nice peaceful place like Nigeria?

But there seems to be only a superficial effort to hide his dual identity since the news story had no problem with finding evidence of both Bimbo and Jerry residing at the same place.

Of course he gets discovered after a mere twenty years. That is simply because he was using a fake ID. Not really a problem you see because the previous owner was a murder victim. He didn't need it any more.

How does one get an ID from a murder victim? I'd say Jerry becomes a "person of interest" on this.

Hey, Secretary Napolitano, got any Bimbos working at DFW?

Monday, May 14, 2012

Outdoing It

Long ago in a galaxy far, far away when I was much younger we got our serious news from serious sources. The newspapers of a major city provided an objective panorama of what was occurring in the world around us. In Chicago we had four major dailies and each of them published several editions each day. Newspaper trucks roared through the streets with a "thrower" hanging from the tailgate, slinging bundles of fifty papers each out on street corners to the newstands which were our media outlet before the plastic boxes that gobble your quarters and refuse to open to deliver your paper. A guy with a truck-driver cap and a cigar stub in his maw handed you a folded paper and you gave him a nickel.

In-depth coverage came from the weekly news magazines. There were three major ones: Time, Newsweek and U.S. News & World Report. They sliced and diced the serious stories and few homes were without a subscription to at least one. They covered essentially the same major stories but their analysis varied and you chose your favorite based upon the writing style and photography.

Things have changed and this week they've accelerated down the slide into oblivion. It started with Time magazine's tacky cover shot of a statuesque blonde woman of questionable intelligence proudly profiled as her son, well beyond the normal stage of weaning, suckles from her left breast while standing upon a chair. The question asked is not whether such delayed maturity is good or normal, but whether we should all be getting our protein from the nearest mammary. Dare I note that it is a conscious attempt at titillation?

Now this:

No, they aren't implying a sexual orientation of the chief executive. No more than the characterization of Bill Clinton as our first "Black" president. 


If you've been watching the interview clip, and it would be difficult to have missed it, you've already noted the carefully nuanced language. The Bamster was more than nudged into coming out on the topic. Joe Biden and Arne Duncan blurted out the issue ahead of their leader and he was now forced to elaborate. 

He has "evolved" over time. See, that keeps it from being a flip-flop on a major moral question. He learned from his wife, family, friends and campaign finance bundlers where he should be standing. It is his personal view, not a statement of policy initiative. That gives him waffle room to do nothing until once again pushed by events which get away from his control. He can hold deep convictions but continue to govern in whatever manner he deems necessary to keep his poll numbers from plunging further. 

But, maybe he should have paid a bit more attention to the two-to-one vote on marriage in North Carolina last week. Or maybe he should go back read the legislation enacted but not enforced a few years ago called the Defense of Marriage Act. 

Of course not. He's not really bound by laws which are inconvenient to him. 

And on the news magazine front, I can now comfortably pick up a copy of the Sun or Enquirer at the grocery checkout with full confidence that it is not much different than a well-respected news magazine like Time or Newsweek. 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Didn't Get Their Money's Worth

What is so difficult to understand about the concept of a "loan"? Someone with money will offer you use of that money for a period of time after which you will repay the money along with some small percentage to compensate the loaner for the use of the resource. Borrow, use, pay back. Seems pretty simple, yet apparently the best and brightest of America is graduating from college without being clear on the concept.
Kelsey Griffith graduates on Sunday from Ohio Northern University. To start paying off her $120,000 in student debt, she is already working two restaurant jobs and will soon give up her apartment here to live with her parents. Her mother, who co-signed on the loans, is taking out a life insurance policy on her daughter.
“As an 18-year-old, it sounded like a good fit to me, and the school really sold it,” said Griffith, a marketing major. “I knew a private school would cost a lot of money. But when I graduate, I'm going to owe like $900 a month. No one told me that.”
It seems that Ohio Northern University slipped up if they've got a marketing major graduating that didn't know that  loan of $120k would have a payment of about $900 a month.

College Dreams Turn Into Nightmares

If a college degree has value, then it seems reasonable that the provider of that product is going to have to charge for it. Quality teachers, infrastructure, equipment and even life experience is not going to come inexpensively. If the faculty, materials, and resources are sub-standard then they really won't be worth the effort. The student seeks the best preparation for the future. That means investment and inevitably obligation.
Wanda McGill has stopped opening her student loan bills.
She isn't sure how much debt she has accumulated, though she thinks it's about $100,000. But McGill, a 38-year-old single mother, knows for sure she cannot pay it.
McGill said she dropped out of DeVry University, a for-profit college with a branch in Columbus, two years ago after she ran out of money — even with the loans. She now makes $8.50 an hour working for an employment training center in Florida.
“I was promised the world and was given a garbage dump to clean up,” she wrote in an online complaint at consumeraffairs.com. “Like my life was not already screwed up with welfare and all.”
She is 38 years old and somehow she feels no obligation to the agency which gave her 100 large. She doesn't open the bills because apparently she thinks that if she hasn't seen them she is off the hook. She spent the money and must not have picked up very much in return because she only qualifies for what is apparently a marginally better than minimum wage job. Ironic that it is at an "employment training center"! Who is she capable of training and for what job?

The final quote says it all. Welfare apparently has screwed up her life. I wonder if individual responsibility would have been more effective?

Friday, May 11, 2012

Wadded Panties

The morning fishwrapper had an item about the Joint Forces Staff College at Norfolk. I always pay attention to that sort of thing since I had the good fortune to attend the Air Force equivalent, Air Command & Staff College during my active duty days. These are roughly year long schools classed as professional military education which offer courses preparing rising officers for duty at higher levels of responsibility. The material covered is extensive and the schools take great pride in maintaining quality faculty both permanent and visiting adjuncts. In other words they are very good schools.

Take a look at this piece:

Wired Magazine Outraged at Politically Incorrect Thinking

I recall the first day at the school as well as my attendance at the earlier Squadron Officer School. One of the lectures covered the rules of engagement for your tenure within the Air University. The focus was on the concept of "Academic Freedom." Without such a policy the discussion would inevitably be stifled and thinking would be straight-lined into narrow policy boxes.

The principle was that within the confines of the school it was permissible to voice the otherwise unthinkable. You could postulate the outrageous and mount an argument to defend it. Speakers could be welcomed who spoke against the military or established policy. Debate would be fostered which thrived on questioning the status quo. You could say anything in class without fear of repercussions. Immunity was the order of the day.

Tied to that principle was the Las Vegas axiom. What happens in class stays in class. What is said here is for purpose of debate and learning and not for public consumption. Thinking outside of the box will not get you cashiered.

Given those principles, go back to the Wired article and read the overview and caveats which the instructor used to lead into the discussion.

Is there anything wrong with asking students in a military leadership program to ponder such questions?

Not only is there nothing wrong, it is absolutely necessary! Wired needs to butt out of what they don't understand, the Army needs to "Ranger up" with regard to support of educational freedom, and Lt. Col Dooley should be considered for accelerated promotion.

Publicist Coup

A book is coming out. That means buzz is going to be created. That means a publicist is going to get some great quotes that are going to make the book into mandatory reading.

The book is about the President. The book is not complimentary. The book is titled, "The Amateur." And here is where the title came from:

Clinton Touts Clinton Taunts Bamster

It surprises me to realize that what the guy suggests doesn't sound all that outrageous to me any more. I think I'd almost welcome it...almost.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

What Is It and Why?

Put the emotions aside, close the religious textbook, raise no cliches regarding what some of your best friends are, and employ no scatological crudeness. Take a deep breath and now without raising the volume tell me what it means to get married.

When was the first time in your childhood that you became aware of marriage? What was the occasion for the subject arising? Did it have to do with mommy and daddy? Maybe you were going to attend some sort of party where you would see the rest of the family; aunts, uncles, grand-parents, cousins, et. al. What was going to happen? Why did this have any relevance? Was there a fundamental necessity?

I'm willing to bet it was some sort of quasi-religious ceremony. A minister or priest or rabbi was going to go through a ritual and two people were going to pronounce some solemn words and then you were going somewhere for a rubber chicken dinner and to watch Uncle Joe make an ass of himself again. A band played, people danced, there was a cool big cake and a woman in a wildly extravagant white dress.

Why?

It has to do with society and custom. There is a benefit to stable family relationships when children are born. A nurturer and a hunter/gatherer mate and the offspring turns out a lot better when the symbiosis has a chance to work. We ritualize and sanctify so that there are encouragements for the desired stability. We created marriage. It is a social custom.

Realistically marriage is not necessary. We don't need to have a religious ceremony. We don't need to have a cake and party or a white dress and tuxedos. We could simply move in together and if children appear as a natural result we would take care of them responsibly.

In fact, isn't that what occurs in the majority of lives now? There seem to be a lot more children and a lot fewer marriages proportionally.

Then government got involved. Relationships got tangled with employee benefits and HIPPA confidentiality and inheritance and parental rights. We got licenses and blood-tests and tax benefits. Was any of that related to the core definition or rationale for marriage? And don't forget divorce, child custody and community property.

Then we throw in homosexuality. Now the brew gets really toxic. We get confused regarding nature and nurture as causative. We stir in fundamentalist religious beliefs and societal aversions. We add some stereotypical behavior patterns and top it all off with a high mortality disease tightly linked to certain practices.

Are there homosexuals in our society? Absolutely. Do they have a choice in their behavior? Of course, everyone has a choice but celibacy isn't very easy even for heterosexual religious folks. Is there genetic predisposition?  Are homosexuals, by definition, promiscuous? Can committed partners establish long term relationships and avoid the pitfalls of government's overlay on "marriage"? Should two adults be able to share property in the same manner as married couples? Can two men or two women meet the needs of raising well-adjusted children. The questions get very tough very quickly.

So we see the Bamster facing a true conundrum. What is he to do? Is the constituency large enough to balance the other side when he makes a decision? Will position A do more or less election damage than position B? How can he nuance the statements to make everyone believe he agrees with them?

Biden Leads Bamster to Evolutionary Decision--Sort Of

Well, what really is his position? Will it be a policy decision or simply his own slowly determined conviction which he will do nothing about therefore "no harm, no foul"?

Read this quote:
“I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I talked to friends and family and neighbors, when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together; when I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that ‘don't ask, don't tell’ is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point I've just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married.”
Memo to Messiah: Those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors are not out there fighting on your behalf. Get over it. They fight for their nation. They fight to protect and defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic (you may squirm while pondering that word). They fight for each other and for their own personal pride. They fight for their families. And inability to commit themselves in a marriage is seldom a leading issue on their minds during the battle.

At least now we know that his position is not derived from reason or law, but from talking to friends. At some point he concludes and his position is for him personally which is apparently not for the nation totally. And it is important for him to go ahead and affirm that he thinks something.

Of course 41 states are currently on record as thinking something entirely different.

Essentials of Ideology

We study the basic ideologies of American politics in my entry-level classes. Students arrive at a college government class ready to do battle as conservatives or liberals, yet they don't really understand the difference. Typically they conflate issues with ideology. Ask them what a conservative is and they will begin listing an agenda of social conservative positions or possibly a generalized tax/budget situation. Probe a liberal and they will pontificate on equality and opportunity and working class oppression and fairness.

Those may be symptomatic but they aren't the essential disease.

I use a list of five or six core principles to describe the ideology. With those principles, you can then usually find a reason for taking the issue positions . But when pressed, it becomes very easy to distill liberal and conservative in American ideology to a single distinction.

How do you solve societal problems? 

If you believe that the core issues facing us today can be best solved by a governmental program, then you are liberal.

If you believe that the way to handle our societal difficulties is individual responsibility for yourself and your actions, then you are a conservative.

Here is a gentleman who finds a slightly different way of saying the same thing:

Earned Success vs Learned Helplessness

Are you willing to work hard, risk failure, dedicate your efforts and then enjoy the results? Then it becomes clear what your ideology is.

Do you believe that all citizens have a right to healthcare, a college education, affordable housing, a comfortable minimum wage? Then guess what? You are on the road to embracing learned helplessness.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Embarrassment

OK, let's admit it was a sick sort of prank. At least that would be the charitable perspective. Certainly nobody ever could take it seriously as a bid to  unseat an incumbent president. Well, let's hope not.

But given that it occurred and in view of the outcome, one must ask serious questions regarding both the election and the state of the American electorate.

Texas Inmate Challenges Bamster and Draws Big Vote

To weigh that event you must first understand what type of primary election is held in West Virginia. The state uses a combination of state convention and semi-open primary election to choose delegates for the national party convention. That means that a portion of the delegates to the national convention are chosen in a state gathering of party activists and supporters and a portion are chosen in a primary election in which a voter declares on election day their preference for party to select nominees for the offices in contention. You don't need to be a registered Democrat or Republican prior to voting. Walk in, ask for the Democratic Party ballot and do your thing.

Open format primaries offer the opportunity for cross-over voting and are subject to some level of mischief, but that potential shouldn't be over-estimated. The core voting constituency in any primary will be reasonably active and reasonably aware voters. The people who take the time to play in the game are going to have some knowledge of the issues and the candidates.

That makes this event ominous for the Messiah.

A candidate for any office from either party operates with a clear understanding that the American electorate is tripartite. There are Dems, Reps and unaffiliated, aka "independent" voters. Depending upon your state those proportions may vary but they can be generalized as thirds of the voting population. To win an election you must carry your party base and attract a significant proportion of the unaffiliated. If you can snag some of the other guy's fans from his party you've got a landslide.

When 40% of the voters in the Democratic presidential primary vote for Inmate 11593-051 against an incumbent you've got a problem. 


I know how unhappy Republicans are with the President's policies. I'm fairly confident that the unaffiliated voters who thronged the historic election of the first half-African-American president are now disenchanted or unengaged. But, how alienated are the Democratic voters?

Sunday, May 06, 2012

The Greatest Show On Earth

This would have worked out very well in a federal courtroom in New York City, Mr. Holder. That would have been just the place to deal with such a dignified trial.

Our Ball, Our Court, Our Rules--Get Over It!

I still remember the trial of Adolph Eichman. He sat in a plastic cube for his own protection and he was compelled to listen. He didn't get the choices which this tribe of clowns have been rehearsing for five years to flaunt.

Sit them down. Restrain them. Put earphones on them and give them simultaneous translation. Appoint their attorneys after advising them they have the right to defense and then get on with the business.
Several family members could be heard muttering when the lawyer for Mr. bin Attash, Cheryl Borman — who wore traditional black Muslim garb, covering everything but her face — asked women on the prosecution team to consider dressing more modestly so that the defendants would not have to avoid looking at them “for fear of committing a sin under their faith.” 
So, let me understand this. She doesn't want these sensitive individuals to be apprehensive about committing a sin, but apparently killing three thousand people is fine and dandy if it suits their needs? The sight of a woman in uniform or professional courtroom garb would jeopardize their sensitive souls?

They brought the war to us, we didn't bring it to them. If we were in their home court we would play by their rules which Daniel Pearl demonstrated can be brutal.
Ms. Borman later sought a court order preventing prison guards from forcibly extracting detainees from cells if they did not want to come to the next hearing, 
Ms. Borman probably knows that defendants in felony criminal prosecutions don't get a choice to RSVP for their hearings.

Bring on the clowns.

 

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Lucky Julia

Julia would be helpless without government. She would go through life dependent upon her family, her friends, her neighbors and her own dedicated effort to success. But she doesn't need that. She has government and government enables her very life. Somehow the magical actions of a single individual over just three short years have converted the bleak existence of this woman in an oppressive country into a glorious life.

The Life of Julia

Where does this largess come from? How is it paid for? It doesn't matter, does it? It is good and wonderful.

And it will all disappear if we should revert to free enterprise and capitalism. Can we afford to let that happen? Well, maybe "afford" is a bad choice of words.

Frankly, Julia seems a bit pathetic to me. But I'm conservative.

Saturday Morning Rocker

Well, except for the part about it being labeled Allman Brothers Band--it's Derek Trucks:



Why does it sound so reminiscent of Wasted Words?

Friday, May 04, 2012

It's What We Do

Celebrity is what America embraces. The fame of being famous gets you on the cover of People magazine and a decade later in the check-out line display of the Sun and Globe and Inquirer.

If you aren't a Kardashian or Lohan or Hilton you're nobody.

Kathleen Parker Has Dinner With Nobody

I think I'd rather have a beer with Bill than peek down Kim's cleavage. I'm sure I would feel better about my country afterward.

CBS Not Quite Sure

CBS News encounters emotion and isn't quite sure how to deal with it. Sincerity is something that they are apparently unfamiliar with. But, I'll by him a Shiner any time the opportunity might be presented to me.

Team Portrait


Thursday, May 03, 2012

"You Hear What I'm Sayin'"

Ohhh yeah. This is real. You couldn't make this stuff up.

Simply Pathetic

Remember Ward Churchill? He was the slimy slug who emerged from the primordial ooze to assert that those who died in the World Trade Center somehow deserved their fate. His credentials? He was a full professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder. His specialty? Native-American studies. His claim to fame? Self-asserted membership in a pay-to-play tribe thereby qualifying him somehow to be authoritative in native-American issues.

He was hired based on the claim, promoted, tenured and vested all on the basis of what proved to be a very tenuous assertion of ethnicity. As the case unraveled, allegations of poor scholarship and plagiarism further discredited him.

Isolated incident? Apparently not.

How about a professor at Harvard running for the United States Senate? Take a look at this pathetic case:

1/32nd Indian Wanted Friends

Are we really expected to believe that? She is seeking a teaching job at Harvard and she claims Native-American status to link up with people? Hasn't she heard about Facebook? It was invented at Harvard!

So naturally Harvard hires her and with that credential it is just a hop, skip and political jump to run for the Senate. If Ted Kennedy can do it, why not Chief Lizzie Warren?

I honestly never really thought that claiming myself as an ethnic minority on an employment application or faculty registry would get me a lot of friends. I've never scanned those things looking for someone to have a beer with. Maybe it's a new place to search.

What should I be?

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Similarities

It suddenly dawned on me how much I am like President Obama. We both went to college. We both lived in Chicago. We both have two published autobiographies.

Apparently mine, however, are actually non-fiction accounts of events which occurred in my life. The Bamster is not encumbered by such requirements and can weave together fantasy creations of events to illustrate critical points he wishes to make in the shaping of his racially charged life.

New York Girl More Than She Seems

Embarrassing when the girl you write about in your best-selling book comes forward to say she wasn't the one. More embarrassing when the girl from New York is actually a girl from Chicago, but the justification is that some girl in some town was white and Obama was black, or at least half-black raised by a white grandmother, and the important thing is to illustrate the residual racism percolating under the surface at all times.
"None of this happened with Genevieve. She remembered going to the theater only once with Barack, and it was not to see a work by a black playwright. When asked about this decades later, during a White House interview, Obama acknowledged that the scene did not happen with Genevieve. “It is an incident that happened,” he said. But not with her. He would not be more specific, but the likelihood is that it happened later, when he lived in Chicago. “That was not her,” he said. “That was an example of compression I was very sensitive in my book not to write about my girlfriends, partly out of respect for them. So that was a consideration. I thought that [the anecdote involving the reaction of a white girlfriend to the angry black play] was a useful theme to make about sort of the interactions that I had in the relationships with white girlfriends. And so, that occupies, what, two paragraphs in the book? My attitude was it would be dishonest for me not to touch on that at all … so that was an example of sort of editorially how do I figure that out?” 
Got that? The anecdote was "useful" and apparently he believes that it would be dishonest to actually tell the truth.

How do you figure it out editorially? Seriously? Name a girl that was there. Place the event in the town it occurred. Actually have gone to see a play by a black playwright. Possibly recount the true reaction of the woman rather than a fantasy to justify your angst.

Does this man have difficulty with ethical behavior? Does he not know the concept of truth?

Weak Message to Follow

I freely admit when I don't understand all that appears before me. I like to believe that helps set me apart from the Neanderthals that inhabit much of this land.

So, here is what I know about this:

Chen Guangcheng is a blind political dissident in China. He objects to thing like mandatory sterilization, forced abortion and the concept of China's child limitation policies. The Chinese government is not as tolerant as we used to be with regard to public expressions of dissent.

The government sentenced dissident Chen and his family to house arrest. Naturally, Chen was somewhat unhappy with the situation, particularly the periodic visitations by government authorities to question, intimidate and rough-up the family with special focus on the women. At some point, security of the house was lax and Mr. Chen was able to, with assistance, escape and in the process injured his leg.

He sought medical assistance and sanctuary at the US Embassy rather than a modern Chinese hospital. He was granted such sanctuary. Now, our Secretary of State has gone to China to discuss our financial arrangements with our new landlord and mortgage holder. As a gesture of understanding and good will, she has negotiated the turn-over of dissident Chen to the Chinese government in return for a sincere promise that they will fund his advanced education, let him live in relative bliss and leave his family unmolested.

Mr. Chen was last heard to inquire, "Where the hell are we going now?"

SecState Turns Asylum-Seeker Over to Shelter Island Staff

No, there is no way of guaranteeing Chen's safety nor his education. No, there is no reinforcement of America's strong support of human rights. No, there is no apparent conflict with throwing Chen under the rickshaw and the staunch support of women's healthcare issues. Maybe the spin will be that Mitt Romney and the Republicans are really agents of the Chinese in waging war on women.

China has demanded an apology! Apparently for our embassy being preferable to living under house arrest for expressing a policy disagreement. How long will it be before the Bamster sends flowers and a sincere groveling note?

Gushing...

The  tingle must still be running up Chris Matthew's damp pant leg.

What happened? Well, the President took the family jet around the world to drop in, coincidentally on the anniversary of the Bin Laden raid which he so courageously approved although we aren't sure Romney would have, and smooze for eleven minutes with the troops. He got a photo-op with our staunch and phenomenally corrupt and ungrateful ally, Hamid Karzai. And along the way he promised that he would leave a contingent of American warriors on the ground with bulls-eyes on their back for another TWELVE years!

The Commanderly Thing

Chris likens it to Henry V. You remember Henry's speech before Agincourt don't you?



Somehow I see a lot of conflict between Henry's speech and Obama's behavior.

"We few, we happy few..."

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Getting In the Spirit

How stupid must you be in corporate America to succeed? Can no one make a reasonable decision given a set of emotional and incontrovertible facts? Is the economic stature of Spirit Airlines so tenuous that refunding a cheap seat ticket cost to a dying veteran will break them? How is that going to balance against the cost of responding to the back lash?

Veterans Seem Upset Apparently

I wonder what they were thinking. And, I wonder if the person who made that first fateful bad decision is going to be joining the ranks of unemployed folks soon. For that matter, I'd wonder how long it will take for Spirit employees to express dissatisfaction with their corporate position.

Nostalgia