All posts by BarryFN

About BarryFN

Native New Yorker, Catholic school and private college educated, Veteran of the United States Marine Corps and the United States Navy. Sailor, Pilot, Instructor, parent and gatherer of information.

Target of opportunity

The target of opportunity, my friends, is US as in targeted advertising.  My adopted daughter, Jessica (“adopted” as in she is my youngest daughter’s roomie and bestie) recently got dumped by her long distance (Orlando/Tampa) bf who works for a company that performs targeted advertising services for other businesses.  I did not like him anyway so good riddance.

Think of it.  You are online “browsing” for gift ideas or perhaps researching upgrading a few things around the house.  Suddenly you are bombarded by email advertisements on the very same or similar products.  Very  Minority Report iris scan? No, says I to me…..Cookies, Flash cookies and device fingerprinting to name a few.

Online tracking

I have told you before that I am NOT opposed to someone making a buck.  It IS our way and were I able or more CAPable, I would be participating in the great River (Ferengi lore).

Ferengi Rules of Acquisition

I started thinking about this when Lisa, mi esposa, was commenting on the mass of emails she was getting about furniture…..while she was online searching to replace our aging furniture.

….seen that one? For the past few years we have been inundated with commercials telling us that what we HAVE is not only insufficient and inferior to what we can GET but also DANGEROUS! Well golly gee willickers! Last thing I want is years of dead skin, sweat and dust mites making my expensive mattress a breeding ground for bacterium!

On a lark—well, I was walking past them anyway ….I checked the price of the mattresses at Sam’s Club.  Online NOW they seem to be a “reasonable” price…

Even at the "big box stores", prices fluctuate with the season and the perceived need to target your wallet
Prices fell after Memorial day….go figure?.

When I was looking at them , they were nearly a grand!  Lisa said to look at the ones “on the wall”….those WERE the ones on the wall.

So RECENTLY I heard a commercial ( I am a fan of radio while doing house and yard work) stating that we NEED new roofs or the insurance companies will refuse to issue a new policy. Looking at the various sites it seems like the insurance companies are attempting to mitigate their losses against hail and storm damage.  Shingles, which seem to be more common, have a 15-20 year life so there MAY be some validity to this commercial.  Still, to me it looked like the mattress ads: roofers need business since construction had slowed.  Generate monetary fear in the homeowner and voila!

So it really does not matter all that much what you do or are trying to do.  At some point SOMEONE is going to recognize a pattern in your activity and target you for an early withdrawal of your savings.

 

 

 

Gas

I get my gas from Sam’s Club.  Great prices, quality gas and points I can use towards year’s end.  For the last few weeks it has been $2.099.  On Saturday it went to $2.179.  We had to drive to Orlando to pick up one of the grands last night and needed to tank up before the trip.  I mentioned to my wife that gas prices had been stable for the last few weeks.  There was no reported unrest in the Middle East or any trouble that would normally spike them.  She said one word: “Easter”.

Damn!

I ALWAYS wanna say something about gas prices spiking before a holiday and then trickling back down after.  The BS that always gets USED is turmoil or the annual switch to “the more expensive Summer blend”.  Still, IS it more expensive or is it the start of the vacation/heavy driving season causing the predictable draining of our purses? My local news reported this morning that the US missile attack on Syria caused the surge in gas prices.  HORSE HOCKEY! Prices went up LAST WEEKEND before there even WAS an attack.  Anything to keep us looking in a different direction, huh?

rising gas prices over the weekend

Hold off on blaming Syria?

BECAUSE of Syria

In the end, does it REALLY matter? There is a product that nearly EVERYONE uses, whether for transportation or home use, and the suppliers will do whatever they think is necessary to earn a buck.  The first link references the “summer blend”, the second sets up the Syrian operation as a potential cause.  The last comes out and says so.  Not hard to find.

There is a Shell station near me that I use as a reference for gas.  I usually refer to them as the “gyp joint” and when their prices start to climb, I know it will be a few days before others do the same and I fill up.  Even Sam’s, which has the capacity to buy in bulk and use membership income to help defray costs is not immune to the lure of the “dollah”.

ADDENDUM:

As of this afternoon (10 April 17) Sam’s is at $2.289, another 11 cents since this initial writing.  SOME might think it a small thing but is that not how you ALWAYS get got?  Reminds me of a story………………

Mid ’80’s.  Living in San Diego and just off Active Duty.  Many gas stations had the option of Full or Self service.  I USUALLY opted for self.  EVEN though pumping your own gas is standard NOW, it was new then and in New Jersey at least it is still illegal to pump your own.

Texaco was my first gas card. Bought a set of tires for my Trans-Am with it. Yes, there WAS product lyalty
“You can trust your car to the man who wears a star”

I pulled into a Texaco station and the attendant cheerfully asked if I wanted “Full”.  I said, “No, thanks.  Self is fine”.  “But it’s ONLY 4 cents more…” (Same with cash vs credit).  I was probably only getting 10 gallons so an additional 40 cents on my purchase.  As spread out as most large communities are, I would be getting more in a few days and a few days after that and so on. My 4 added pennies over the course of the year would come to about $40 bucks, more if I visited my folks in Las Vegas or took an East Coast trip.  And then factor in my Ex’s vehicle (and I THINK she was funding her brother and parent’s rides since they were all sans employment).  It may not seem like much but spending that much dough for the CONVENIENCE of it seemed a bit insane to me.

I am sure if I look online I will find that the rising gas price at least for TODAY can be traced to Justice Gorsuch’s swearing in.

ADDENDUM 15 MAY 17

I got gas last Wednesday at Sam’s for $2.219.  On Sunday for $2.209 (OOoh, a whole penny!) My prediction is that it will drop about a cent this week and next week until the 25th at which point it will balloon up to ~$2.459…..”more expensive summer blend” is gonna be the horse manure they will shovel on the news.  Memorial Day weekend driving will be the REAL reason.  Faux supply and demand since supplies are just fine.  Wait and see.

 

ADDENDUM 22 MAY 17

$2.159 at BJ’s this morning.  Anticipating rising prices starting Wednesday, Thursday at the latest….

 

ADDENDUM 7 JULY 17

$1.979 at Sam’s the other day……what gives? I have NEVER been happier to be wrong!!!!

 

How does it feel

How does it feel to essentially be neutered by your own hand?  By now, we all know about former Senator Harry Reid (D-Nv) invoking the “Nuclear Option” in 2013 to change Senate rules allowing a simple majority to confirm Presidential appointees.  This rule exempted nominees to the U.S. Supreme court.  There were cheers from the Senate majority, kudos from the media and jeers from the GOP.

Some warned that this same tactic could be employed AGAINST them in the future.  They were so sure that their hold on the reigns of power were so strong that the sun would never set on the Democrat Empire.  Now Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) has employed the same tactic to confirm President Trump’s SCOTUS nominee.  So how does it feel when it is NOT your guy that is getting the nod? How does it feel when you think :This station is now the ultimate power in the universe. I suggest we use it.Admiral Motti[src]   (Star Wars) and discover that the Force is not with you?

Sen. Charles Ellis “Chuck” Schumer (D-NY) argued limply against the use of the Nuclear Option when he was of the majority.  I s’pose SOMEONE had to play the dissenting role so that they could claim brownie points.  It reminded me of Willy Wonka…

No, don’t….

Now the Democrats say that this action will lessen the People’s confidence in the Court.  HOW? Like we will actually think anything different of them because 9 FEWER people voted to confirm them? How many of President Obama’s confirmations are we to doubt since they fall into the same category?

(EXCERPT From NYT Jan 4 2017 Op-Ed “Why Republicans Shouldn’t Weaken the Filibuster” and sorry, I could not get the hyperlink to work :~(   )

EMPHASIS added

“Republicans have bitterly criticized Democrats’ use of the nuclear option. So they should not use it themselves now. And indeed, they don’t need to. They can beat back a filibuster by traditional methods. They can use public opinion to force votes. They can require debate around the clock, adding drama. They can use President Trump’s bully pulpit to focus attention on endangered Democratic senators who must run for re-election in 2018 in states that Mr. Trump won. This will make it difficult for Democrats to sustain the 41 votes necessary to keep a filibuster alive.”

Tried and true no longer works

Tried and failed on multiple levels.  Democrats always maintain a unified front no matter how much it hurts.  Republicans always go weak in the knees.  Despite having parliamentary procedures to get the job done, we would be looking at more of the same routine on both sides.  Everyone knows this.  Though I liked this editor’s writing, I wholeheartedly disagree with his view.

So 4 years ago, Sen. Harry Reid loaded a gun and spun the barrel not knowing or caring about the direction it would be pointed.  How does it feel knowing it got pointed in the Democrats direction?

do whatever it takes to win

 

 

Vergiu

This is my “NOT-TOO-LONG-STORY” about sports from a previous post and pardon the derogatory term but this is exactly what was said:

My athletic preferences have always gone towards the NON-standard.  I fenced against the US Olympic team for practice, taught Ballet, Jazz, Tap and character dance, choreographed for various events in Upstate New York, was a Women’s Gymnastics coach and trainer and was teaching Tae Kwon Do.  I was 18? 19?  My “buddies” from the block were about a year or so behind me so I was doing this in college while they were finishing High School.  Home for a visit once one asked me: “Barry, do you ‘par-ti-ci-pate’ in sports?” (and he pronounced “participate” like it was a newly learned power word”).  I said “not like you would be familiar with” (KNOWING they meant basketball, baseball and football)….really NOT trying to be flip or a jerk, just that they had limited understanding of the OTHER athletic arts.  The guy that asked then said “Then you a faggot!”

I asked him: “Soooooo—–if I do not ‘par-ti-ci-pate’ in basketball, baseball or football, thennnnnn………..”? He replied: “YES, you a “FAGGOT“.

OK…works for me!  You know the “some of my BEST friends are…”?  I named my first son after my ballet teacher, Vergiu Cornea.  I practiced my German and Russian with him. This was a man who was commanded to dance for Joseph Goebbels and escaped Nazi Germany when he saw the Gestapo “make his neighbor disappear” in the middle of the night….and they were coming closer.  A man of deep faith, moral conviction and great strength of character and spirit……He was SUCH an inspiration that I felt proud to be one of his pupils.  He would sometimes say that I was not his BEST dancer, but his most promising.

Vergiu Cornea

Vergiu was from Romania….the largest province in Romania is Transylvania.  He often joked (IMAGINE Dracula speaking, no kidding and I LOVED his dialect!: “Bearrrry, 2 bad things happened to America on December 7th, Pearl Harbor and me…..”

His birthday was December 7th, 1914, as opposed to 1941

An American in Paris

This is OBVIOUSLY Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron.  The dance troupe was actually Vergiu’s though in the credits they are called “the American in Paris dance company” (or words to that effect).  Vergiu appears at the end of the main dance number in a BIG-OLE turban and flowing robe.

Vergiu in center of the frame

This took some time to find and screenshot but Vergiu IS worth it :~).  He does make a small “duet/cameo” with Mr. Kelly earlier in the dance sequence.

He would tell me about dancing with Ms. Caron while waiting for Mr. Kelly to—ummmm, “recover” from each evening’s “festivities” (with PLENTY of black coffee…..).  Vergiu LOVED her flexibility (she would learn her lines in a standing split against a wall).

Vergiu ADORED her as a dancer
They liked it SO much they left in in the movie

When he retired in 1978 I took over teaching his classes. I was 20 and managed to keep his program going WHILE tending to my own collegiate activities. He had gotten ill over the previous Christmas break and could not continue.  Rather than lose the program….

Vergiu sauntered into the studio one day after he was feeling better….Dressed in a white suit, shades and a walking stick…he was CLEAN and SMOOTH!

Okay, not too SHORT a story.

Danke, meine lieber freund

Rest easy, Vergiu. You have earned it many times over

Cord cutting

I am gonna save you money, my friends!  Have you heard the term “cord cutting”? I heard a radio host refer to it as the new way for “MILLENNIALS who don’t want to PAY for TV“.  I ask: why SHOULD we PAY for TV when it is being transmitted for FREE?”.  I have been doing this since about September of 2015, so about 18 months with absolutely ZERO regrets!

Now I am a friend of free enterprise.  I agree with trying to make an HONEST buck.  What I disagree with is gouging someone on basics JUST because you CAN.  Around July of 2015 I picked up a “digital antenna” from my local big box store (they have them at Wal-Mart, just better prices at Sam’s) and connected it to one of the HDMI inputs on my TV.  No, I did NOT tell my wife.

I put some of our standards on TV through the cable and rated the quality…480 for many.  Next day I switched inputs and had 720 for sports and 1080i for the same shows I saw the day before at lesser quality.  My wife noticed the enhancement but did not really ask any questions since we were used to on again-off again picture quality.  After about a month of it I gave her the skinny:  The antenna was a ONE-TIME cost (~$50), no recurring bill and we would either get great quality or nothing.  The only downside would be that there were certain channels we could not get.  Not a deal breaker since the channels we would be losing were mostly the “reality TV” stations and our LOCAL news channel because it is SOLELY transmitted via cable, as I believe most of the proprietary stations are (shows what they think about the local viewership).

I removed the decoder card (since cable signals are scrambled to prevent FREE viewing), packed up the converter and returned it to my local company without any grousing from them.

How can you get TV without a subscription, you might ask?  Because they GOTTA make the broadcast available OTA (Over The Air) by law!

FCC requires broadcasters to transmit FREE signal

AND for our friends and neighbors who rent, lease or are governed by an HOA, there IS relief:

FCC regulation PROHIBITING the landlord or HOA blocking your antenna

In a nutshell, they gotta suck it up provided it meets size and height above structure requirements, which nearly all do.

A couple of sweeteners:  I got UNBUNDLED wifi and a router. Even though the literature said you could NOT do it, I ran the antenna through my DVR and told it to use ANTENNA inputs. Voila! The DVR works fine, acts like it is still connected to cable and my Apple TV streams all the content from the shows we WANT to watch the day after they air, SANS commercials.

Hardware: Apple TV and Amazon Fire stick

Software: Netflix and Hulu

I have been watching all the faves I grew up on! I even resurrected some super cheap scifi flicks that my adolescent mind found to be da BOMB! We are usually too busy to watch many of “our shows” first run and got used to DVR’ing them anyway so waiting to see them manana (IMAGINE the tilde is there, please?) is no great sacrifice.  Again, NO commercials on the aforementioned streaming devices and services.

The cost:

BEFORE: BUNDLED cable and internet ~$170/ month with TAXES AND FEES (LORD, I HATE that term)

Netflix and hulu ~$8 each

ONE-TIME cost for antenna

ONE-TIME cost for Apple TV

ONE-TIME cost for Firestick

AFTER: internet ~$60/month

Netflix and hulu ~$8 each

THE END!

OH! I run amazon prime streaming through the phone, tablet and firestick.  Since my wife lives on amazon shipping, the prime service adds unlimited streaming for about 100/year and two day shipping.  We BOTH win.

Sample statement

ALL cable providers are doing this, NOT just T-W

Dropped my “must have entertainment” cost from ~$200 bones to ~$75.  Saving ~125 each month is a PLEASURE!  With the “hardware” you can stream content from your Bluetooth enabled phone, tablet or computer to the TV.  My wife is forever sharing the escapades of the Grands on her laptop or phone.  I say “gimme a sec” and in about 30 seconds am mirroring her device on the TV with a tremendously larger audio and video presentation.

IF you are considering going the cord cutting way, take stock of what you like to see, what you NEED to see and what you just canna’ live without.  See if it is streaming on any particular device or is there is a subscription to it somewhere.  If you can live without HGTV or some of those (SCRIPTED) reality shows, there is nothing to stop you.

TV Fool link to check YOUR potential for OTA reception

 

TV Fool screenshot

This is a website that lets you plug in your address and it will tell you (ballpark) your distance from the broadcast station and your expected reception quality.  There IS a guessing game at finding the best location for your antenna.

Now the stuff “they don’t want YOU to know…”

Cable bills are so high because the companies are REQUIRED to pay certain programmers (CNN, ESPN come to mind) for access.  CNN is paid PER MONTH per cable subscriber.  This is BEFORE they even make a cent off advertising.  My college roommate,  Mike, would always say he would vote for another candidate to DENY the vote to someone.  I thought him a loon but as the years go by I realize how TRULY gifted he was.  I am a Conservative (duh?).  I will not watch CNN.  I am somewhat anti-mainstream-sports (a NOT TOO LONG story).  Why on this beautiful blue ball would I want part of MY cable bill going to an organization that I abhor?

Subscription costs per provider monthly

Take a CLOSE look at your cable bill sometime.  You will see charges for the most ridiculous things!

Before I took the plunge and started cord cutting I read MANY articles and in many instances found nothing germane.  I got the impression “THEY” did not want me to get the skinny on it.  A quick check indicated that people with forks in multiple pies had an interest in OUR staying mired in the cable system, THEIR bread and butter.

You think cord cutting is just way too much work?  While on cable you are paying  a lot of dough for things you do not use, i.e. channels you skip past.  I got a faster internet connection (you GOTTA emphasize you want internet ONLY and wheel and deal!), do not have ANY service calls because I have super simple basic systems and I regained my independence.  I can watch WHAT I want WHEN I want.  I was down to the credits of “The Accountant” when my wife got home.  Started it ALL OVER for her and watched it again, cause I COULD.

Cord cutting keeps you from paying for someone ELSE’s idea of what YOU wanna do.  When it comes down to it, are we not all seeking to have more control over our lives?  A little independence is what we REALLY need and cord cutting got me a bit more freedom of choice.  Sometimes way too much: with nearly EVERYTHING at your fingertips, where to begin?

For me: Start Trek TOS and Lost in Space (1960’s version 🙂 )

LLAP

 

 

 

 

Sanctuary communities

By now, everyone should be aware of the Sanctuary communities.  The counties, cities and regions denying Federal officials the ability to take custody of, evaluate and potentially deport criminal illegal aliens.

One of President Trump’s campaign pledges was to force these jurisdictions to adhere to Federal law and notify Immigrations Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials about the detainees.  These sanctuary communities have vowed to not only defy the President but in doing so put everyone else at risk of harm.

A fast search will give you the details on people injured or killed because someone’s sense of social equality was more important than our right to be safe in our daily encounters.   A recent news article illustrates the thousands of people released onto our streets, into OUR communities by people with their heads so far up their arses they can see their own tonsils.

Non-compliance

These are the sanctuary communities in the U.S.

Sanctuary communities

Today Attorney General Jeff Sessions warned these municipalities that per federal law monies can be withheld for their non-compliance.  Immediately, New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman stated:

(EMPHASIS ADDED)

“My office will continue to ensure local governments have the tools they need to legally protect their immigrant communities – and we won’t stop fighting to beat back President Trump’s un-American immigration policies”

Were his statement to be taken at face value, I would agree.  We are not talking about immigrant communities, we are talking about ILLEGAL CRIMINAL DETAINEES who have not only flouted our immigration laws but the criminal codes and the moral values under which any decent society must conduct itself.

And what part of Mr. Trump’s immigration policies are “un-American”?  That people should come to this country legally?  That people apprehended for committing crimes against society should pay for their transgressions? That AFTER appropriate sentences have been meted out that they go away and “never darken our doors” again?

Recently there was this incident:

Sexual assault on 14-year old girl

This happened in Montgomery County, which claims sanctuary community status.  The Governor stated:

(EMPHASIS ADDED)

I am outraged by the brutal and violent rape of a 14 year old girl in a Rockville public school. Our prayers are with her,” Hogan posted in a Facebook statement Tuesday. “The State of Maryland is calling on Montgomery County to immediately and fully cooperate with all federal authorities during the investigation of this heinous crime. The public has a right to know how something this tragic and unacceptable was allowed to transpire in a public school.”

Source: Gov. Hogan ‘Outraged’ Over Rape of 14-Year-Old Girl in Maryland High School Bathroom | NBC4 Washington http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/Gov-Hogan-Outraged-Over-Rape-of-14-Year-Old-Girl-in-Maryland-High-School-Bathroom-416732533.html#ixzz4cZ88E4oQ
Follow us: @nbcwashington on Twitter | NBCWashington on Facebook

Whisky Tango Foxtrot! He IS the State of Maryland and as far as I know has made no PREVIOUS effort to reign in the ILLEGAL actions of Montgomery County…that is, until it looks like it will impact their pocketbook!  Parents, teachers, GENUINELY outraged citizens and visitors there to spend their hard-earned money….TAXPAYERS ALL.

ICE publishes a Weekly Detainer Outcome Report to highlight the jurisdictions that have been LEGALLY informed that the Feds have an interest in someone and which areas have decided that the “rights” of the criminal supersede the rights of the populace.

Weekly Detainer Outcome Report

I WOULD say that I am confused but I am not.  It often seems that the higher up the food chain someone goes, the less likely THEY are to be eaten so as far as THEY are concerned the HELL with us.  We are just the schlubs who pay their salaries through our exorbitant taxes.

Intolerant

The older I get, the more intolerant I feel.  I do NOT like someone’s bratty child running unsupervised in a public place…fast aside…had a girlfriend and went to the movies with her, her 2 kids her cousin and her cousin’s one.  They let the three run around playing IN the theater WHILE it showed.  I was the only person to say anything so I guess the other patrons looked at it as normal.

I am intolerant of bad behavior, I guess I mean to say.  What you do in PRIVATE is your own affair and I got no complaints with it.  What you do in the PUBLIC arena becomes my problem if you are affecting me or mine. Perhaps I am talking less about being intolerant and more about good order and discipline.  This is more about decency and public morality.  Like New York City in discussions to make certain offenses subject to a fine which can be paid online.

New York wants to make public urination a pay your fine online event

A fast news spot

Criminal Justice Reform Act

 

 

EXCERPT (emphasis added):

“The mayor has made a clear commitment to reforming the summons process, and the speaker’s proposal is under review in consultation with NYPD,” Klein said.

A Daily News analysis shows the seven offenses that would be sent to one of the city’s administrative civil courts under the Mark-Viverito plan account for roughly 2.7 million, or 42%, of the summonses issued by the NYPD between 2001 and June 2014. They also account for more than 510,000 open arrest warrants, according to the analysis of data provided by the state Office of Court Administration.

The seven offenses under consideration are public consumption of alcohol, public urination, bicycling on the sidewalk, being in a park after dark, failure to obey a park sign, littering and unreasonable noise. The offenses under consideration for decriminalization are under the city’s administrative code — not the state penal code — making it possible to amend them without state approval, officials said.”

Much like many of our current regulations which were enacted by UNELECTED APPOINTEES vice the Legislature.

I had heard a spokesperson for the City make the statement that that particular offense mainly targeted the homeless so this was more along the realm of having compassion for the plight of our displaced brethren.

EXCERPT (emphasis added):

“Critics say the policing model unfairly targets blacks and Latinos, who were the recipients of roughly 81% of the summonses issued since 2001. They also say issuing criminal summonses for low-level offenses often stamps young people’s records with minor violations that could affect their ability to get jobs, housing or student loans.”

I guess they had to change the group.  NONE of us wants to be in favor of a Police force “unfairly” targeting people of color, now do we?  Are those the only folks that pee on the sidewalk or will they now be asked to “curb” themselves like our 4-legged friends?

So just take the laws OFF the books.  If they are not going to be enforced, if they fall under the auspices of the City and are not Legislative, then to fine people with no other penalty becomes a money-making opportunity for the municipality…..like Red Light Cameras…

…food for thought.

Mayor DeBlasio (D-NY) signs the legislation

 

 

The Nuclear Option

“The Nuclear Option” is a procedural change enacted by Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev) in 2013 which lowered the threshold for Congressional confirmations (except for the Supreme Court) to a simple majority.

The Nuclear Option

And now Congress can get stuff DONE?

It was done purportedly to restart a stalled Congress mired by “Republican Obstructionism”.  Basically, it allowed the party in power to roll over the minority like a freight train.  Traditionally, the use of the filibuster gave an opportunity for pause—for both sides to be heard and possibly persuade others to join in their cause.  This change allowed for Mr. Obama to dictate and Democrats to confirm, sans discussion.

The various media personalities had a field day with this.  Considering EVERYTHING wrong with Government was the fault of the Republicans this finally allowed the People’s business to get done.  Traditionally, the Filibuster has been the ONLY method for the minority party to be heard.

So here is the rub: Democrats cried foul when in the minority and the Republicans proposed this.  They cheered loudly when they struck a blow for “Democracy” and now they are shaking in their boots that turnabout is fair play. (We are a Constitutional Republic!).  My ONLY concern is that the weenies we voted into office do NOT give an inch of ground to those cowards who begged for mercy then showed none.

Sen. Harry Reid(D-Nev)

“The consistent and unprecedented obstruction by the Republican caucus has turned ‘advise and consent’ to ‘deny and obstruct’,” he said on the Senate floor ahead of the vote. “It’s time to get the Senate working again, not for the good of the current Democratic majority or some future Republican majority but for the good of the United States of America.”

I should have put Sen. Harry Reid in the “Bully” post

 

Take a listen to this.  Prophetically, listen to Democratic strategist Maria Cardona on a CNN panel.  She is the last person in the last couple of seconds.  “There’s no question we could come one day to regret this.”

 

Freakin’ A!

How to handle a bully

When I was a kid, I ran like a jackrabbit from bullies of ALL genders.  A classmate of mine, Viola Whiteside, was my main defender. She could run, fight and was all around fun to be with.  One fateful day as I was watching the Ant-farm in the back of my 4th grade class the teacher, Miss Holmquist, asked me to return to my seat.  I turned around and Steven, class bully, was there to torment me—a target of opportunity.  I was startled and just “reacted” like my uncle Trellis had taught me.  I flattened the kid out and stepped over him to get back to my seat.  From nowhere, Viola exclaimed “it’s about time!”.  LAST time I got my ass kicked!

I just read an article that Iran had a few warning shots from a 50 cal across the bow of 4 of their surface vessels.  This has not been an isolated incident and certainly not the first in recent months:

A year ago Iran “detained” 2 U.S. Navy vessels and their crews.  Since this was during the Presidential campaign season, Republican potentials spoke out about the act.  Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Ca), commented on MSNBC about how “diplomacy” between our Countries is “working” (“You poor deluded girl” per Adam West as Batman).

Iran “detains” American sailors

was the treatment warranted?
crews from 2 U.S. Navy boats taken prisoner by Iran

And how did Iran GET to be a bully?  Mr. Obama allowed it, no—he ENCOURANGED it.  This seems to be SOP for Democrat Presidents:  allow someone to get in your dish, politely ask them if they are making good decisions and accept their response without challenge.

Iran’s live-fire passes close to USN aircraft carrier

Excerpt (emphasis added):

“Cmdr. Kyle Raines, a U.S. Central Command spokesman, said in a statement to the Associated Press early Wednesday that Iranian Revolutionary Guard naval vessels fired “several unguided rockets” after giving only 23 minutes’ notice over maritime radio that a live-fire exercise would be carried out. The incident was first reported by NBC News.

Raines described the Iranian fleet’s actions as “highly provocative”.

“Firing weapons so close to passing coalition ships and commercial traffic within an internationally recognized maritime traffic lane is unsafe, unprofessional and inconsistent with international maritime law,” the spokesman said.

While the United States has complained previously about other Iranian war games and maneuvers there, Saturday’s incident comes after a series of weapons tests and other moves by Tehran following this past summer’s nuclear deal.”

Ahh, yes…The DEAL!

“This is a BIG F-ing Deal” (VP Joe Biden)

The Deal (fantasy)

The Deal (reality)

And then there is the America-Iran money laundry:

Money laundering

So today, when Iran again tries the Same-o same-o, we get up on our haunches.

Not THIS time, bub!

Nothing big, nothing fancy: 3 shots from a fifty caliber and 4 boats break off their run.  This just illustrates what I have said previously.  If you are not respected, you are not feared.  Mr. Obama has done everything possible to tell the world we regret having and using our might over the centuries.  We regret being the “Haves” to their “Have nots” and above all we regret being a FREE PEOPLE.

Just as Iran released the Embassy staff on 20 January 1981 after 444 days (President Reagan’s inauguration) post President James Earl Carter I predict we will see a MAJOR shift in policy towards them on 20 January 2017 when Mr. Trump takes office.  He KNOWS how to handle a bully

You kick his ass

 

 

 

Scorched Earth Policy

Scorched Earth Policy consists of destroying anything usable to the enemy as you vacate an area.  The Russians employed this tactic during the War of 1812 as Napoleon was invading. William Tecumseh Sherman’s “March to the Sea” during the Civil War (1864) left millions of dollars of destruction in his wake for the advancing Union forces.  President Barack Hussein Obama’s reluctance to vacate the Oval Office in 2016 and January 2017 is an effort to deny the “Peaceful Transition of Power” to President-elect Donald J. Trump.

The simplest way to look at it is “If I cant have it, NOBODY can!

Excerpt (Emphasis added) :

“Now, it is no secret that the president-elect and I have some pretty significant differences,” Obama said. “But, remember, eight years ago President Bush and I had some pretty significant differences. But President Bush’s team could not have been more professional or more gracious in making sure we had a smooth transition so that we could hit the ground running. And one thing you realize quickly in this job is that the presidency and the vice presidency is bigger than any of us.”

The “peaceful transition of power is one of the hallmarks of our democracy,” Obama added, insisting that come January, “we are going to show that to the world.”

Another promise made, another promise broken.

Peaceful Transition of Power”

Mr. Obama has never been one to pull punches.  In that regard, I must say I admire him.  I, too, tend to be blunt at times when a measured tone is more appropriate.  Still, all I do is tell someone what they NEED to hear, there is no force of law behind my words.  You will not find yourself an enemy of the state by NOT acceding to my wishes.  Think of poor Nakoula Basseley Nakoula.

Benghazi YouTube Filmmaker Lives Quiet Life In L.A. Homeless Shelter

 

Aside:  I guess he STILL will not have his day in Court! (This is a PAID site.  I just added the link so you could see that there was an active Court Filing)

Nakoula vs. United States of America

Off the top of my head, Mr. Obama has:

Backstabbed Israel

Evicted 35 Russian diplomats and families over spurious charges

Banned oil and gas drilling in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas off the coast of Alaska, as well as some Atlantic coast areas (a BIGGIE with some 22% of the World’s undiscovered oil and natural gas reserves).  I DID say TWENTY-TWO PERCENT, y’all

Oil and natural gas reserves

Designated 1.65 million acres of land in Utah and Nevada as national monuments.  Under the Antiquities Act Mr. Obama has severely restricted use  of 553 million acres.  That is an area roughly 138 times the size of Belize or Wales.  With the stroke of a pen, an action that was DESIGNED by the Antiquities Act to be nearly impossible to undo.

Antiquities Act of 1906

President Obama may not have performed the traditional Scorched Earth with that one but he DID render the land unusable for the purposes of commercial enterprises that WOULD have provided economic and energy independence for the U.S.

Why would he do these things?  Pissed that Senator Clinton lost to an “upstart”?Embarrassed that for all his ministering, the PEOPLE wanted FRESH blood and ideas?  Just plain mad that his “reign” was through?

Who can truly say WHY people do the things they do.  All we know is that as he heads out the door, someone better be checking his pockets.

 

 

 

 

Wait for it……………..!

The 115th Congress convenes a little over an hour from now.  The new legislative session starts at noon on January 3rd of the odd year.  Why is that important?  The 114th session ends at 1155 on the 3rd.  Essentially, there will be a 5 minute window where the Congress is NOT in session.

Okay, here is the sauce for the Goose.  Remember last year when Mr. Obama wanted to appoint Merrick Garland to fill Justice Scalia’s vacancy on the Supreme Court?  The GOP controlled Congress used a Democrat “loophole” to stall any hearings until post Presidential election to the dismay of many.  Since the Congress had not technically adjourned for the Holiday, Mr. Obama was Constitutionally restrained from following his baser instincts of  using his “pen and his phone”. A.K.A. the Recess Appointment.  Recall, Mr. Obama said he preferred to use the legislative process until it was inconvenient to him (paraphrased and read between the lines)

read CAREFULLY "between" the lines
How Mr. Obama’s speeches should be viewed

Obama On Executive Actions: ‘I’ve Got A Pen And I’ve Got A Phone’

Recess Appointments

I predict he will use that small opportunity to ram yet another unwanted action so far up our derriere’s that we will be tasting shoe leather for some time to come.  Granted, the GOP will piss and moan but unless they have REALLY been empowered by Mr. Trump they will once again let this slide.

Heaven forbid they get accused of racism in defying our second Black President. Yup, you read right.  In 1998, President William Jefferson Clinton was referred to as our FIRST black President.  Not inasmuch as skin tone but the life he had lead.  If that is the litmus test for someone’s ethnicity, what does that make Mr. Obama?  I do not know a whole lot of brothers that grew up in Hawaii, Indonesia or attended Harvard Law.

First Black President

 

 

 

 

 

“Hello pot? This is the kettle…you’re black” A profile in hypocrisy

You know that expression about the pot calling the kettle black?  An expression meaning that the accuser is guilty of that which they accuse…a.k.a. hypocrisy.  The way I have used it here is how a former colleague of mine, Fritz, used to say it.  Hypocrisy is all Mr. Obama has engaged in throughout his tenure in office.  There is SOOOO much going on that it will be a challenge to stick to a single topic til I have exhausted them.

Much ado is being made about “delegitimizing” President-elect Donald Trump’s victory.  Mr. Obama et al. are doing nothing more than debasing themselves regarding Mr. Trump and the GOP agenda.  If you REALLY wanna play that game, how’s about delegitimizing Secretary Clinton’s candidacy?

Anyone remember the hit piece on Senator Sanders?

Based on the leaked emails ( проклятые русские  “damned Russians”), the DNC had conspired against Sen. Sanders long before Sen. Clinton got the nomination.  Sooooo, if that had been a fair contest, who is to say what the outcome would have been?  SHOULD Secretary Clinton have even been on the ticket?

Mr. Obama purports to be a fan
Yet he states he could have beaten Mr. Trump if allowed to run again. Hypocrisy

And to claim that “The Russians” were the reason Mrs. Clinton did not get her due is laughable.  Did’ja notice how Mr. Obama’s role in attempting to destabilize Prime Minister Netanyahu’s reelection just faded from public view? Yes, hypocrisy abounds.

Trying to oust BeBe Netanyahu

And now as if to EMPHASIZE the Russian involvement in the election, Mr. Obama evicts 35 Russian diplomats.  President Putin’s response? Tit-for-tat? Nope.  He invites American children to a Holiday Party and waits to see what an ENLIGHTENED Trump administration will do.  We KNOW what Mr. Trump will do… open a dialogue and act as a LEADER, not the apologist we have suffered for the last near decade.

Putin won’t expel American diplomats after Obama ousts Russian officials in the U.S.

So now in the waning weeks of his Presidency, we will get an earful of Mr. Obama’s lectures on the rightness of his positions over the years.

(Oh, and have I ever said how much I detest when Mr. Obama uses the Southern Baptist lecture style? Speak in your NORMAL pitch and cadence, not what you think all the po’ black folk behind you will respond to!)

President Obama’s use of Executive Orders has been farcical.

President Obama’s Executive Orders

 

Excerpts (emphasis added):

In an interview with Steve Inskeep on NPR’s “Morning Edition,” Obama said: “My suggestion to the president-elect is going through the legislative process is always better, in part because it’s harder to undo.”

 NPR noted Obama was forced to use executive actions and regulations on issues like labor, climate and immigration after Congress refused to go along with his proposed programs.

But now President-elect Trump has announced he plans to toss out many of the steps Obama put in place through executive orders and administrate rules – and Obama’s work to increase overtime pay, reduce carbon dioxide emissions of power plants and protect those in the U.S. illegally from being deported are particularly at risk.”

I like how NPR keyed on the items that would elicit the most emotional response from the audience.  I think they left out misogyny, white supremacy and illiteracy.

Obama added it is “entirely within his lawful power” to sign new executive orders of his own.

“Keep in mind, though, that my strong preference has always been to legislate when I can get legislation done,” Obama said from the Cabinet Room in the White House. “In my first two years, I wasn’t relying on executive powers, because I had big majorities in the Congress and we were able to get bills done, get bills passed. And even after we lost the majorities in Congress, I bent over backwards consistently to try to find compromise and a legislative solution to some of the big problems that we’ve got — a classic example being immigration reform, where I held off for years in taking some of the executive actions that I ultimately took in pursuit of a bipartisan solution — one that, by the way, did pass through the Senate on a bipartisan basis with our help.”

FIRSTLY: Why is Mr. Obama suggesting that Mr. Trump use the legislative process that he for the last 6 years has refused to do.  Mr. Obama specifically states that he used the system properly when he could get his way and became a one-man-band when he was no longer leading a majority.

SECONDLY: Congress, The Legislative Branch of Government, Legislates.  The President, as the Chief Executive, approves or rejects the legislation.

LASTLY:  At what point did Mr. Obama “bend over backwards” to find any compromise for any problem?  Do you recall his “pen and phone” speech?

A pen and a phone…

“We are not just going to be waiting for legislation in order to make sure that we’re providing Americans the kind of help that they need. I’ve got a pen, and I’ve got a phone. And I can use that pen to sign executive orders and take executive actions and administrative actions that move the ball forward in helping to make sure our kids are getting the best education possible, making sure that our businesses are getting the kind of support and help they need to grow and advance, to make sure that people are getting the skills that they need to get those jobs that our businesses are creating,” the president said.

Those of us in a relationship KNOW what bending over backwards to find compromise means.  I have eaten MORE than my share of crow and chewed my tongue raw to NOT say what was on my mind just to calm a tense situation.  Talk about a petulant child!

 

It was to be expected

Okay, we all have our pet peeves.  I probably have more than a few and I seem to notice them more as I get older.  In truth, they were probably ALWAYS there, I am just less tolerant then I used to be.  Did’ja ever notice how at a public or sporting event, while playing the National Anthem, there are a FEW individuals carrying on as usual with no apparent regard for the solemnity of the National Anthem?  This has been an ongoing “issue” for years and only seems to be more prevalent as time advances and our seeming love of Country diminishes.  It was to be expected that an “insider”….a Washington elite…was seen in flagrante delicto, or caught in the act.

in flagrante delicto

What makes it all the more reprehensible is that instead of a mea culpa she “shows her ass” as my mom would say and makes a defiant tweet.  Reminds me of a story……………..

Late 90’s, living in a San Diego suburb, talking to our youngest son about something dumb I had previously spoken to him about.  I am at the doorway talking to his back while he looked out the window seemingly blowing me off.  He said “Dad, you don’t understand….these are the 90’s…”…..I SO got hit with a time displacement wave from some decent science fiction flick and as the wave carried me backwards I saw myself at his age, looking out a Harlem window at the projects, with my MOM standing in the doorway talking to MY back and me saying “Ma, you don’t understand…these are the 60’s….”.

So why is her action so disturbing?  Because just recently I read an article where a woman was arrested for rescuing a flag that was being desecrated.

A veteran’s honor

According to the police she was not arrested for saving the Flag, only for not returning it to it’s “rightful owner”.  It had been on the ground for some period of time at that point.  I do not think it “belonged” to anyone at that point.  Shame on the Supreme Court for calling that a protected first amendment right which cancels anti desecration laws in 47 states. Is nothing sacred?

So, here is Ms. Helena Andrews, gossip columnist for the Washington Post (yup) doing what is now a commonplace thing….on her phone oblivious to her surroundings or the moment she is in.  She COULD have waited for the Anthem to play and kept her information on the tip of her thumbs til then.  She COULD have said “I apologize.  I was lost in thought and did not notice what was going on”.  She COULD have done many things to show that her actions were not borne of a deep disrespect and loathing for the Nation that nurtures her and provides her with the RIGHT to disrespect it. She chose defiance.

I asked if nothing were sacred.  We as a people are losing perspective on the things that matter in life. Though those things are personal and vary from one to another, at the root of it there HAS to be a respect for the basics…God, family and Country.   If not that, what?

ADDENDUM

I was re-reading my post and thought to see if there were any updates since I just responded to a reader about another post.  I see that Ms. Andrews is claiming that this incident….sorry, NON-incident occurred during dinner and not the National Anthem.  I do note that nobody is eating.

"Taking notes" at the "dinner table", so sayeth Ms. Andrews
“Taking notes” at the “dinner table”, so sayeth Ms. Andrews

 

Busted (note the eyes of the gentleman on her left shoulder, AND her display is too bright.  Gonna burn through her battery)

A lie is a poor excuse for an apology

And her defenders:

excerpted from:

http://www.kansascity.com/entertainment/ent-columns-blogs/stargazing/article19741602.html

“Andrews hasn’t said anything about the incident since her tweet on Saturday. But amidst the Twitter chatter she has defenders, one of whom cautioned people about throwing stones.

“Sure, the woman in question was at an event that’s being televised across the country, and sure, it was a moment that Americans generally honor with respect as part of a longstanding U.S. tradition. But come on — like any of us have never whispered during an important speech, been caught laughing at an inappropriate moment, or texted when we probably shouldn’t have,” writes Josephine B. Yurcaba for Bustle.

“Maybe don’t throw your patriotic stones unless you’re a perfect, always-respectful patriot?”

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/entertainment/ent-columns-blogs/stargazing/article19741602.html#storylink=cpy “
What Ms. Yurcaba forgets to note is that WHEN you do something inappropriate AND you get CAUGHT……you apologize! No one is holding themselves out to be SuperPatriotic.  No one is “without sin” and casting the “first stone”.  What I and I believe others are saying is that there is a time and a place for everything and though we may forget ourselves on occasion, a little situational awareness goes a long way and acknowledgement of an error garners more respect than pulling a “Clinton” (pick one, ANY one).

 

As an aside, is Ms. Andrews displaying the same degree of reverence and respect that the President shows the People…..and the Republic? Do whatchalike and lie….who cares? There are still many that DO care.

Those who CAN…..

I guess many have heard the expression “Those who CAN….DO, Those who CAN’T….Teach”.

I was talking to a co-worker, an RN, who showed me her countdown timer for getting her Nurse Practitioner coursework done.  A long and very expensive endeavor.  I asked her if she was going to go back to “the bedside” and she told me that she would prefer not to.  Granted, I have known her for about a decade now and remember her expertise in the ICU as I was beginning to work here in Injury Prevention.

I agreed that at THIS stage of her career, it was safer and probably more advantageous for her not to subject herself to the rigorous daily effort—albeit with greater responsibility.  I reminded her that I remember all that she taught me and in her current role as a Clinical Coordinator she is responsible for the enhanced education of new and transitioning RNs.  I reminded her of the “Those who can” adage and said that it falls short of accuracy.  Certainly “those who CAN….DO” but those who can ALSO teach so that we may have a new generation of those who CAN.

Pass on what you know to others.  Remember that we come from a long tradition of shaping others by our past experiences.

“A wise man learns from his mistakes.  A wiser man learns from the mistakes of others.  A fool never learns” (paraphrased from many sources).

….”By any other name…”

This will be short (at least, that is my PLAN).

Shakespeare said “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.” (Romeo and Juliet)

Regarding the attack on  the French publication, the link is to a story about Howard Dean.  Mr. Dean is a former high muckity muck in the Democrat party and former Presidential hopeful that has made it clear that the SOB’s that methodically assassinated a group of unarmed civilians should not be referred to as “Muslim” or “Islamic” but “mass murderers”.

Scared to call a spade a spade

Dean-scream

Who is he kidding?  For that matter, to hear the Administration speak, the last decade of terror and abject disregard for human life in the name of Islam is “workplace violence” or someone pissed over a change in circumstance.

Workplace Violence

Workplace Violence 2

Perhaps getting sacked is justification for decapitating your former co-worker and trying to kill another.

I am BLACK.  Centuries of referring to me as “boy, nigger, negro, colored or African American” does not change my identity nor my self-image.  When I was in grammar school I went through a bout of ethnic doubt…I FELT different than my peers, I spoke differently than they (Gratitude, ma, who ALWAYS “came correct”).  I wore turtle necks for awhile before they became fashionable in the Black Liberation Movement but I was STILL me.  I not only accepted it but embraced my “difference”.  Perhaps I am an outlier in search of others…another story for another day.

No matter how I changed the outside, the INSIDE is immutable.  As for the Islamic terrorists who then calmly executed the fallen Police Officer, no amount of rolling excrement up in powdered sugar will make them any sweeter.  Does the Administration think that by denying their fundamental association they will look at US (pun intended) any differently?  As Secretary Clinton would say, should we “empathize” with their perspective as well?

Delusion

We hear a lot about “bullies” and “bullying”.  The present trend is towards education and trying to understand them….help to redirect them.  I prefer the way it invariable always turns out:  a plain old ass whipping is all some folks understand.

ADDENDUM (9 Jan):

Ass whippin’ handed out!

Fini

 

 

 

“Didn’t I TELL you…?” a spanking story

The reference “Didn’t I TELL you…?” comes from my FAVORITE aunt Annette (“favorite” was HER self-reference due to her being my ONLY aunt) as she would swat at the hiney of my cousin while he orbited her…she had a firm grip on his hand so he could only run in a circle with her centered.  The meaning was clear: she had cautioned him not to do something and he went and did it anyway.  We have the same thing here regarding the Congressional budget.

About a year ago we faced a partial Government shutdown.  Can ANYONE tell me how you were personally affected by it?  This reference is a bare-bones accounting of the number of federal employees affected hence the government operations affected.

The shutdown as seen by Mr. Obama

The shutdown as seen by BLS (an interesting read)

NOTE:

(My original links were no longer providing data so they have been updated as of 7 JULY 17)

Of note are the number furloughed and the number exempt.  I STILL maintain from a previous post that if the government can run effectively without 13% of its workforce, that is 13% that are just padding the payroll and are NOT NEEDED.  Not that I want to see anyone lose their position….okay, I take that back—I want to see ALL politicians lose their positions! These are people that should not have been employed in those capacities in the first place.  They are merely place keepers to ensure funding at an ever increasing level.

Of note were that Mr. Obama closed the White House, the PEOPLE’s House, to tours and prevented World War 2 veterans (thank you for your service and sacrifice, lads and lasses!) from visiting THEIR memorial but allowed a protest group to use that sacred space.  How much more “in your face” can it be?  Still of sound mind and fine form, they “stormed” the barricades and went in anyway.

President Obama has WW2 vets kept out of Memorial

Public denied, protest allowed

This last reference was a little more challenging to find.  Strangely enough, there were numerous articles badmouthing the Vets, Sen. Ted Cruz, Gov. Sarah Palin and Rep Michelle Bachman but little on the counter-culture group that the National Park Service ALLOWED to use a “closed” facility.

I have made posts about the “trap” congressional Republicans would fall into had they taken the Democrat bait

“Just like a sucker you took the bait
Now you’re like a dead fish on my dish, too late
So party people kick your feet up, I’m about to heat up
You’re hungry for a battle now it’s time to eat up

Boy, I’m gonna chew you, ‘cos I knew
You was talkin’ that junk punk, now I’mma do you
The way you should be done, call you my son
Make you say, “Daddy, I don’t want none”

I’ve had enough of you actin’ tough
You huff, puff, grab your stuff you cream puff bluff
Talk about a battle but you don’t wanna do it
You got yourself into it, you blew it”

Read more: Kool Moe Dee – Let’s Go Lyrics | MetroLyrics

(I listen to EVERYTHING and when I can understand the lyrics, I remember them…just gotta find the sources to give proper citation)

I am so thoroughly disgusted with the GOP!  They have people of conscience who do what they PROMISED to do in order to garner our vote and then stick to it.  For that they are vilified in the media and by their associates.  The Senate refused to reach consensus on the House budget last year, in short prompting the PARTIAL shutdown.  Republicans took the brunt of the blame, though misplaced.  Running scared that they would lose future elections (re THEIR JOB) they telegraphed that they would not do that again.  For all their panic, they STILL routed the Democrats in the midterm elections.

Did they see that as a victory?  Did they see that as a mandate from the masses? Did they see that as an opportunity to give the country direction and purpose?  They chose the EASY way out and gave the Democrats a Mitzvah….The GOP gave the LOSERS of the midterms the opportunity to call the shots for FY 2015, leaving the Republicans actual control of FY 2016 ONLY til the next election cycle.

Did they truly want to make change or were they just “cream puff bluff”?  I have heard the “threat” Rep Boehner has made that if an agreement is not reached by evening’s end, they may have to be here through Christmas.  Personally, I RELISH their staying through the holidays and actually get some work done. They have been at work for about 9 days since thanksgiving….and then are OFF.  I am working Christmas Eve, and New Years day. If I want to pay the bills and have a comfortable holiday I NEED to work….in their case, “must be nice”.

2014 Congressional Calendar

I say we needed a SHORT term Continuing Resolution through the beginning of February when Republicans are firmly the majority in both houses of Congress. THEN they can legislate as necessary to reign in the out-of-control Executive branch, use their constitutionally authorized “Power of the Purse” and do what they were ELECTED to do.  I say forestall the long-term decision til they have SOLE authority.  They do not realize that their standing in both Houses is solely due to WE The People giving them a CHANCE to do the right thing.  This may, indeed, be their LAST chance and should they blow it this time they may never have another opportunity.

Sen. Ted Cruz sticks to his word

The Power of the Purse

The President is FOR the Omnibus Bill. For that reason alone I would oppose it.  He indicated that he does not like all of it but he will sign it.  Horse Hockey! He signs nothing that does not give him 100% of what he wants.  He does absolutely nothing that is in the interests of the Republic (I did not say Republicans) but solely furthers his vision of Global propriety.

Here we have a 1700-plus page bill, with “Krusty Brand Pork Products” (Simpsons reference) interspersed throughout, fully funding President Obama’s pet projects and coincidentally increasing ~8-fold the amount of campaign contributions someone can receive….a tremendous advantage to an incumbent I might add…that once again, NOBODY read…..I really do not want to use the Rep Pelosi remark again about finding out post facto!

An artery (or budget) clogging cornucopia

Omnibus bill highlights

Money to protect rhinos….

I am sure to post the names of the disreputable individuals when I can find them and modify this post.

FOUND them…

Omnibus bill votes

I tell ya, I would pay money to see Annette swatting government booties with them running concentric circles around her spinning form yelling “Didn’t I TELL you…?” They SO need a spanking! And who got spanked? What? You do not feel it yet?

 

 

 

4489 American lives lost

4489

(Originally written in the Spring of 2014 but not published due to my OWN technical inadequacies)

This represents the number of Americans killed in Iraq since the conflict began on 19 March 2003. ADVISORY: The link provided ALSO has a reference to the names of the brave Women and Men who lost their lives so access those areas with the understanding that you may see someone you know or know of. If that applies to you, dear reader, my deepest and most hearfelt condolences and prayers for your loved ones.

Irrespective of the reason we launched the campaign, or as Madam Secretary Clinton would say “What difference – at this point, what difference does it make?” (no link added) the fact remains that these were Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines (I include the Coast Guard as sailors) who answered their Country’s call. Now that our involvement in the conflict has “ended” sans resolution we find ourselves facing a situation now of our own creation. We have, in essence, made the country ripe for the picking.

We did not fight to win. Well, our TROOPS fought to win. Our leaders just wanted to put on a good show for the world and that they did. Now President Obama has declared that we have left behind a

sovereign, stable and self-reliant Iraq

We see images of the troops we trained, outfitted and equipped laying down their arms and fleeing before a much lesser opponent. My first impression when I saw that was Jar-Jar Binks giving up the first chance he got.

I have been hearing squawks of sending troops as “advisors”. I do not believe ANY advice we give will be heeded or acted upon. The Iraqi are a military in shambles, preferring to follow rather than lead and seem predisposed to having someone else fight their battles for them. The last time we sent in “advisors”?

(Emphasis added)
“American foreign policy after World War II had been based on the goal of containing
Communism and the assumptions of the so-called “domino theory‖—that if one country fell to Communism, the surrounding countries would fall, like dominoes. The Eisenhower administration was concerned that if Vietnam fell under Communist control, other Southeast Asian and Pacific nations, including even the Philippines, would fall one by one. In response to that threat, the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) was formed in 1955 to prevent Communist expansion. President Eisenhower sent some 700 military personnel as well military and economic aid to the government of South Vietnam. This effort was foundering when John F. Kennedy became president.

In May 1961, JFK authorized sending an additional 500 Special Forces troops and military advisers to assist the pro-Western government of South Vietnam. By the end of 1962, there were approximately 11,500 military advisers in South Vietnam; that year, 52 soldiers had been killed.


The president would soon send additional military advisers to support the South Vietnamese Army. By the end of 1963, the numbers had risen to 16,000.”

Military Advisors in VietNam

People commonly reference their “slippery slopes” and equate current events to traumatic past events but there are too many similarities to let this one pass.

With the ISIS (ISIL to some) forces advancing and retaking the gains we have made over the past decade, the President has been “requested” to provide more support, be it air power or logistical aid. At some point, U.S. personnel will come under fire once again and the desire and demand to retaliate will force us back into a conflict that will never have resolution. This will be the modern equivalent of the Gulf of Tonkin incident. Back into the fray we go.

Then as in now, the Senate sat idle and allowed the President to conduct aggressive foreign policy without oversight. Whether it was to provide themselves with “plausible deniability” or to use a modification of Woodrow Wilson’s second term slogan “He kept us out of war” to read “WE would have kept us out of war”, I cannot say. Ambition and politics are strange bedfellows.

We have spent officially 1.7 Trillion dollars assisting that nation and what have we to show for it? Lives lost, bodies broken, shattered and rent asunder and for what? We will never change the “hearts and minds” of the Iraqi people. They will never become a satellite of the West. Their conflict has been ongoing longer than we have existed and will continue to the last person. Sometimes it seems like our elected officials, many who have NEVER borne arms in service to their country, just want to prove how tough they are.

We will now face an opponent who by all accounts split off from Al Qaeda because the latter was not radical enough. There will be no prisoners, no quarter given and absolutely no mercy. They will publically eliminate any Americans they can and they will ensure the images are beamed around the world for the shock value and hatred they will arouse. When we retaliate, and we WILL, regardless the Rules of Engagement, we will be out to kick somebody’s ass!

Where will the Iraqi military be? “In the rear with the gear”.

“…Blowin’ in the Wind…”

This is the refrain from the 1962 Bob Dylan song.  Though I LOATHE using wiki for anything (their information is user editable) I DID copy this:  The refrain “The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind” has been described as “impenetrably ambiguous: either the answer is so obvious it is right in your face, or the answer is as intangible as the wind”.

Blowin’ in the wind

For this post you may think of a flag or a weathervane, blowing in whichever direction the wind blows.  This is the current stance of President Obama regarding immigration. 

Executive action promised on immigration

Per Mr. Obama, the Senate (D) has provided bipartisan (grrrrr!) legislation but the House(R) has “sat on it” for over a year.

 

"Happy Days" reference often used as an undefined insult
“Happy Days” reference often used as an undefined insult

 Secondary to Republican inaction, Mr. Obama is FORCED to take unilateral action to quell the “Humanitarian Crisis”.  UNLESS it  jeapardizes the tenuous hold fellow Democrats have over the Senate.  Mr. Obama cites Republican inaction ON the influx of immigrants and now uses the same logic to explain his OWN inaction.

The weathervane

OH, have I got the song for this!

How does it feel
How does it feel
To be without a home
Like a complete unknown
Like a rolling stone?

Read more: http://www.bobdylan.com/us/songs/rolling-stone#ixzz3CkJo3qrr

 
 

Hey,  just thought…the analogy continues.  A “rolling stone gathers no moss”.  When you are in perpetual motion you move in a somewhat uncoordinated and haphazard fashion.  Nothing sticks to you….you are without stability.  In effect, you “do not have a strategy” about much of anything.

no strategy

This typifies much that the Administration does.  It reacts to changes in mood, temperature, moisture….okay, I am descibing an infant…..One that only knows that “SOMEthing” is wrong but is unable to articulate it OR do anything about it so all it can do is react to its’ surroundings and cry.

The other day, the President was talking about Congress but he did so in both a positive and negative fashion.  I cannot recall the speech. I told my wife that since generically they are ALL “Congress”, when Mr. Obama speaks positively about them he refers to the Senate (D) while negative remarks are the purview of the House (R). The word “Congress” becomes a homonym to the President…a word that sounds the same but has different meanings.

Freedom FROM Information Act

There is a comedian out of the New York/New Jersey area, Bobby Collins.  One of his routines has him talking about something we ALL do.  Someone says or does something utterly asinine and you read them the riot act…..”ON THE INSIDE……” what comes out of your mouth is completely different.

I was reading about the FOIA requests for Vice President Biden’s taxpayer sponsored travel and that the nebulous “SOMEbody” denied the requests.  The Freedom of Information Act is a vital part of our oversight into Government.

FOIA

Okay, I could not—-CHOSE not to resist…

Excerpted from the Freedom Of Information Act website:

“It is the Executive Branch, led by the President, that is responsible for the administration of the FOIA across the government. The Department of Justice’s Office of Information Policy oversees agency compliance with these directives and encourages all agencies to fully comply with both the letter and the spirit of the FOIA.”

“President Obama and Attorney General Holder have directed agencies to apply a presumption of openness in responding to FOIA requests. The Attorney General specifically called on agencies not to withhold information just because it technically falls within an exemption and he also encouraged agencies to make discretionary releases of records. The Attorney General emphasized that the President has called on agencies to work in a spirit of cooperation with FOIA requesters. The Office of Information Policy at the Department of Justice oversees agency compliance with these directives and encourages all agencies to fully comply with both the letter and the spirit of the FOIA. President Obama has pledged to make this the most transparent Administration in history.”

Looks like President Obama and Attorney General Holder are the primary arbitors of what is and what is NOT public domain, even though Mr. Obama promised transparency.  What we are getting is his outward “ON THE INSIDE”

A valid request to know where OUR money is being spent…

The “SOMEbody” was VP Biden’s THEN deputy counsel Jessica Hertz.  She intercepted the 95-page document the Air Force compiled and determined that the records would need individual scrutiny.  An Air Force officer did not want the politics to tarnish the reputation of the Service and released the records.

The records show nearly $1 million dollars between 2009 and 2013 spent JUST on the airplane, not ancillary expenses, and in many instances so he could play golf with the President.  According to the records, there are also flights to Arizona for faux public events—and then the golf course.  We KNOW he is not going out to see Gov. Brewer or Senator McCain.

To think that we have to SUE for public information is apalling!

FOIA lawsuit

Judicial Watch

A tad more condensed

I am scrimping and saving, cashing in vacation time and cleaning out the attic to sell on eBay so I can take my wife on a vacation before she explodes.  Except for the births and birthdays of grandchildren, we have had NO time away  from work for ourselves for the last several years.  Sure, I have a “donate” button on my site but that is a voluntary decision for the reader, not an IRS enforced strongarm wallet biopsy performed against our will by the government.  Our taxes are for the good of the nation, not our national figures.

I Mapquested Mr. Biden’s FREQUENT flight from D.C. to Delaware.  The trip  is about 2 hours, in traffic, on a Friday—MIDDAY! The DRIVE would afford Mr. Biden time to actually get some work done…I dunno, maybe actually read some of the legislation the administration is trying to ram up our arses? I tell ya, I am going to get stock in personal lubricants.

 

Mapquest of DRIVING from Washington, DC to Wilmington, De
Mapquest of DRIVING from Washington, DC to Wilmington, De

Why the President will not go

We have all heard of the destruction, the devastation, the loss of life involved.  We have also heard that the Chief Executive, the President of the United States, appears too aloof and detatched to make an appearance and personally take charge.  The President says that he does not need to be there.  There are trusted others tasked with bringing order to the situation.  For him to go would cause a distraction and just slow the process.

The President has been critisized: Rome burns while Nero fiddles….. IF he would come….IF he would speak….IF he would reassure us that there is light at the end of this tunnel.

Mr. Obama and Ferguson? No, I am talking about the ballyhoo over President Bush and Hurrican Katrina or 9/11!  The media was ALL OVER Mr. Bush. Nevermind that he learned about 9/11 while reading to elementary school children and did not want to panic them, disregard that his presence would have caused more of a media circus than anything else (FURTHER delaying the response) in New Orleans, have no worries that after Mr. Obama made his statement on Ferguson he was back on the golf course ~7 minutes later! For pete’s sake, Mr. Obama’s motorcade delayed a pregnant woman from getting across the street to the Hospital!

Motorcade paralysis

The article rightly states that a Presidential motorcade paralyses an area….which is precisely why Mr. Bush avoided The Big Easy but try to explain that to anyone.

 

Mr. Bush learns about 9/11 while reading to children
Mr. Bush learns about 9/11 while reading to children

I was talking to my wife last evening about the murder of James Foley as we heard of a failed rescue attempt.  The US does not do rescues as well as others simply because our “LEADERSHIP” has no stomach for a real fight.  Must not appear “Hawkish” to the electorate! The TROOPS will perform any task asked of them.  They are “in it to win it” but the higher up the “food chain” you go the more political life becomes.  You go from America’s Finest (police, military, teacher…[HAD to get that DIG in]) to Administrator and now have oversight by those who have never served in the capacity they oversee.

Declining rate of Congressional Military service

I have two children on Active Duty (Navy) and made sure I told them something I learned many moons ago…”You can’t lead where you don’t go, You can’t teach what you don’t know”.  I do not recall the source but I credit someone for giving it to me.  We are more often than not being “lead” by the inept.  We are constantly being told what is in OUR best interest by those who have no clue other than what some overpaid, overfed, mollycoddled pencil pusher suggests they should tell us. Moreover, we are lied to at every turn by those with their own agendas and axes to grind.

Ms. McKaskill’s comments on Black deaths due to Mr. Bush’s Katrina NON involvement

Re: Ferguson,

“I, like so many other Missourians, will not be satisfied until we have a complete and transparent understanding of all the facts and circumstances that led to this young man’s death” Sen. McKaskill (emphasis added).

 Sen McKaskill on Ferguson

There is nothing in the Washington Times piece to indicate any displeasure at President Obama.  As a point of fact, the Senator spoke to Attorney General Holder.  As a Senator FROM Missouri, she is taking a lead on being an active participant, not an aloof, detatched observer as some have become.  Not that I admire her politics, but she is at least PRESENT when needed.

And as for the hash slinging from Mr. Obama at Mr. Bush?

We don’ need no stinking photo-op!

Why he will not go

 

Oh, and this one REALLY piqued my interest:

The President becomes a resource

According to “TheHill”, the White House is yet to decide whether or not to “send” the President to Ferguson.  You read right! The WHITE HOUSE has the power to direct the President’s actions and movement. But—the President IS the White House, yes? When I read this and heard the video narrative two things came to mind….First: the commentary was identical to Pres. Bush and Katrina.  Second: in the same vein as Mr. Obama’s protestations that every issue he struggled against was an “inherited” problem, his inaction or inability to achieve desired or stated goals is a direct result of SOMEONE ELSE retraining him.  He WANTED to go to the border but the White House said no.  He WANTED to tackle immigration but the WH said no.  He WANTED to go to Ferguson but the WH said NO, you send Mr. Holder! Whoever is making these decisions for him should take over the duties and responsibilities as President. I grow tired of figureheads and mouthpieces.

 

 

 

 

The President’s Oath

The Oath of Office:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

This is the Oath of Office that all Presidents take and it marks the transition from one administration to the next.  35 words, that is all.  Implicit in that is that above all else, the Constitution of the United States is the sacrosanct governing document to which all actions must meet its standard.

Back in May Sgt Bowe Bergdahl was released by the Taliban after about 5 years in exchange for 5 Taliban detainees.  The next link tells about the whole affair.

The Bowe Bergdahl situation

Mr. Obama’s administration has come under scrutiny for the manner in which the situation was handled.  Not the concern of this article.  What IS my concern is that after all his protestations that we do not leave anyone behind, this is exactly what the administration is doing to Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi.  In short (and the links are below) he took a wrong turn at the San Diego/Mexico border, was arrested on weapons charges and has been languishing in a Mexican prison since March 31st.  The President has made numerous fund raising trips, has played pool, golf, been on air numerous times to pontificate about national responsibilities but has not lived up to the most basic rule regarding Americans in uniform. 

Leave no one behind…

In the beginning

Absolutely appalling

According to 22  U.S. Code Chapter Section 23 Subsection 1732 it is the President’s DUTY upon being notified that there is an American being held in foreign detention to effect their release by any means short of an “Act of War”.  Sgt Tamooressi’s mother has garnered the required signatures on a petition which mandates Presidential action yet there has been nothing but inaction on the part of the President.  Under other circumstances we would expect him to reference knowing nothing about it til he heard it on the news with the rest of us.  Sad to say, this has been news since day one and I feel he has lost that line of cover.

Release of Citizens imprisoned by Foreign Governments

Mr. Obama lauds the strength of his pen and phone but cannot take a few moments to support an American in uniform unjustly held.  There is nothing for him to gain politically.  There is no republican scapegoat to throw to the wolves, there is no photo-op to enhance his or his party’s image….just a person doing the RIGHT THING to effect justice for a fellow American.

With all the recent talk about rendering Humanitarian aid to multi-generational border crossers, civilian casualties of war in Iraq, Secretary of State Kerry “spanning the globe…” to Ralph Bunche Israel vs Hamas you would think Mr. Obama could take a moment and help a fella out…..REAL simple phone call to President Enrique Peña Nieto: “President Nieto, President Obama….there is an urgent situation that now requires you and me to act as reasonable people would.  There is an American Marine being held in a prison in your border city of Tecate.  Pardon my bluntness, sir, but I want him out and turned over to American authorities at the border crossing, well nourished and unharmed in the time it takes you to make a phone call.  You have one hour.  In one hour and one minute I will direct that all aid to Mexico be cut off.  I will close the border in San Ysidro and Tecate.  I will freeze all Mexican assets in the US and this is only the beginning.  For every day Sgt Tamoorhessi is in custody I will escalate our actions against your government.  So that there is no misunderstanding, know that I will not allow any “rogue” members of your country to illegally hold another american hostage to your petty acts of injustice.  I will “ask” that the American tourist industry boycott your nation.  Just for shits and grins I will ask his mother to give me some suggestions on what the United States could do to get your attention.  Do you recall how pissed YOUR mother could get when you failed to live up to her expectations?  Imagine the things THIS woman can imagine we do and I am only happy to oblige.  Well, I got to go.  Nice talking to you, Mr. President and I used up 2 of your 60 minutes, sir.  Para servirle, senor President”

Then help his mom plan the coming home party, government picks up the tab.  Why not, we pick up the tab for everything else.

 

True Love

We all have a “softer” side and this story had me tearing up.

True Love

Grace and Bing, “True Love” from High Society

True Love  (Cole Porter)

“Suntanned, windblown
Honeymooners at last alone
Feeling far above par
Oh, how lucky we are

While I give to you and you give to me
True love, true love
So on and on it will always be
True love, true love

For you and I have a guardian angel
On high, with nothing to do
But to give to you and to give to me
Love forever, true

For you and I have a guardian angel
On high, with nothing to do
But to give to you and to give to me
Love forever, true

Love forever, …true”

(Performed by Bing Crosby & Grace Kelly in the movie High Society)

(The pic is of another dance pair.  I thought it representative of how I see Maxine and Don Simpson)

BRAVO to the granddaughter who had the compassion to move them into her home so they could spend their final moments together instead of in a “facility”.  For all of a Hospice’s or Skilled Nursing Facility’s staff and amenities, they are still lacking in the filial comforts of “home” or the heart-felt attention that family can provide.

 

Together in style and grace
Together in style and grace

Symbolism or Substance?

On 21 January 2009, newly inaugurated President Barack H. Obama penned a memorandum to the Executive Branch department Heads. It was full of symbolic gestures to ensure a different type of administration. History has proven it decidedly lacking in substance. I have excerpted the opening:

“Transparency and Open Government
Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies
SUBJECT: Transparency and Open Government

My Administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government. We will work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration. Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government.”

The Symbolism of a clean and open administration

To Mr. Obama’s credit, he ACTUALLY had this published to The Federal Register.

The reference

In his next paragraph, Mr. Obama acknowledges that “transparency promotes accountability” and that he will ensure the rapid and clear dissemination of information “consistent with law and policy”. An informed citizenry seemed to be the goal. He challenged his Department Heads to create a participatory process whereby we would assist in governance and policy. In short, The President inferred that he wanted the government of, by and for the people.

What we got was nothing like the hyperbole.

The build ups and the letdowns

Time after time promises, pledges and parameters were broken, modified or ignored. From being a uniting force for not only our Nation but the World, owing to a new type of leader in the Office…one who was not mired in the paradigms of the old guard…one who had firsthand knowledge of life in the Third World…one who did not come from priviledge. Though his life story was different, the convergence from new, hip and understanding shifted into the same-o, same-o:

Mr. Obama’s education

Harvard Law School (1988–1991)
Columbia University (1981–1983)
Occidental College (1979–1981)
Punahou School (1971–1979)
State Elementary School Menteng 01 (1970–1971)
St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School (1968–1970)
Noelani Elementary School (1966–1967)

Excepted from Politifact:
“Here is Obama’s full work history, as detailed by Politifact:

1975 or 1976 – ice cream scooper, Baskin-Robbins – Honolulu – Obama claims to have lost his taste for ice cream during this, his first job, the duration of which is not publicly known.

Date unknown – deli counter clerk, business name unknown – Honolulu – Obama had a summer job at a deli counter in Hawaii, making sandwiches, his spokesman said during the presidential campaign.

1980 – gift shop sales clerk, business name unknown – Honolulu – Obama worked at a gift shop in Hawaii selling island souvenirs the summer after his freshman year at Occidental College in California.

Sometime between 1981-1983 – construction worker, business name unknown – New York – Obama cleared a construction site for a summer on Manhattan’s Upper West Side while attending Columbia University, the Associated Press reported. Obama referred to this job in Dreams From My Father .

Sometime between 1981-1983 – position unknown, company unknown – New York – During his years at Columbia University, Obama worked one summer for a private company processing health records of either police or firefighters, his spokesman said during the presidential campaign.

Sometime between 1981-1983 – telemarketer, company unknown – New York – During one school year at Columbia, Obama was a telemarketer in midtown Manhattan selling New York Times subscriptions over the phone, his spokesman said during the presidential campaign.

1983-84 – research assistant, Business International Corporation – New York – At this firm that helped American companies do business abroad, Obama was a researcher and writer for a reference service called Financing Foreign Operations; among his duties was writing a newsletter called Business International Money Report.

1985 – project coordinator, New York Public Interest Research Group – New York – Obama mobilized student volunteers at City College in Harlem for NYPIRG, a nonprofit organization that promotes consumer, environmental and government reform. He promoted activism around issues such as mass transit, higher education, tuition, financial aid and recycling.

1985-1988 – community organizer, Developing Communities Project – Chicago – Obama advocated for asbestos removal, job training and public-works services at this community organization on Chicago’s South Side.

1988 – research assistant, Lawrence Tribe – student assistant to this Harvard Law School professor and renowned constitutional scholar.

1989 – summer associate, Hopkins & Sutter – Obama held this job the summer between his first and second years of law school.

1990 – summer associate, Sidley & Austin – After his second year of law school Obama was a summer associate for one of the world’s oldest and largest law firms, where he met Michelle Robinson, his future wife.

1990-1991 – president, Harvard Law Review – Obama was the first African-American to hold this prestigious position.

1991-1992 – executive director, Project Vote – Ran a campaign that registered nearly 150,000 black voters for the 1992 elections.

1993-2004 – associate and partner (starting 1996), Davis, Miner, Barnhill & Galland – Chicago – defended clients ranging from landlords to a securities trader, and handled employment-discrimination and voting-rights cases at this Chicago law firm.

1993-2004 – part-time lecturer, University of Chicago Law School – Chicago – lectured on constitutional law.

1995 – author, Times Books – published memoir, Dreams From My Father.

1997-2004 – state senator, Illinois – senator from Illinois’ 13th District on Chicago’s South Side.

2005-2008 – U.S. Senator – represented Illinois in the U.S. Senate.

2006 — Author, Random House – published The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream.

2009 – President, United States – Washington – In his current position, Obama is the head of state of the most powerful country in the world. He runs the executive branch and serves as commander in chief of the armed forces.”

There are a lot of “unknowns” in that listing. Mostly summer employment and “unskilled” labor. I do not fault a person for their career choices. Mine have been varied as well. I fault them for seemingly never having formed the moral character needed to make and keep promises. I fault them for never living up to committments. For never practicing what they preach….and there has been an AWFUL lot of preaching going on. The term “nanny state” seems to fit: Always knowing what is best for us, whether or not they will need to abide by their own decisions.

I was reading about Secretary of State Kerry’s trip to the Middle East at a time when the FAA banned air operations into and out of Israel.

Air ban to/from Israel

With the reported thousands of missiles fired at Israel, ONE landing within earshot of the airport, though an obvious cause for concern, does not a crisis make. Imbedded reporters are much closer to the action and they are STILL imbedded. This seems nothing more than a veiled attempt to “persuade” Israel to curtail her justified self defense.

As an aside, while on active duty I trained with the Israel Defense Force and found them to be just as fine and honorable a military as others I have been privileged to serve with. I bet there are MANY among you who were told as young’uns never to START a fight but you always FINISH a fight. Walking away is a viable option WHEN YOU CAN. There are times, and see our RECENT past, when you cannot turn the other cheek. You keep at it til you are done, or the other side sues for peace rather than face the prospect of an unconditional surrender.

Now the House of Representatives is maneuvering to sue Mr. Obama for various actions or INactions. The thought, though tempting, is no more than a distraction from the real issues at hand. Moreover, this will act as a rallying cry for the Democrats to beef up their base. Talking about the President is one thing, “attacking” the Chief Executive is another and with the Midterms being so close, both in timing and in potential party shift….a bad move.

A symbolic gesture by the GOP led House of Representatives

 

ADDENDUM

“Loussy bastardes”

With all deference to my High School music teacher, Egidio (“Gene”) Morra (his pet phrase when we were not meeting expectations), this is how the House of Representatives is behaving.  After all the rhetoric about President Obama not meeting the obligations of his office, what do they do? The same!  They chose to abdicate their responsibilty to perform their job to the best of their abilities for the American people and scoot off on a 5-week vacation.  They plan to let the President have at it.  Does anyone deny that when he acts, it will be met with harsh criticism and dismay?  “Oh, if ONLY….” they will cry.

Fact  of the matter, per the article when they were running for the door and were “reminded” that they could still vote—there were “boos” from the floor.  I should have been out of here an hour ago (not counting blogging time) but I am still here because there is work to be done.  See why I say that NONE of them is any good and they should ALL be replaced with true working stiffs.  And why in Hades do they get a 5-week summer recess? Oh, yeah…all is well…border is good, immigration handled, Affordable Care Act has no more surprises, the middle east stabilized…all is right with the world.  Go, lads and lasses, enjoy your “time off”.  WE will be here waiting for you and eager to see your family pix! Give us a moment, though…WE are WORKING!

Oh, Mr. President? Congress is in recess! Do your thing, Monsieur.  Any of them squawk? Give them a raspberry and tell ’em to pound sand.

Loussy bastardes! (thank you, Mr. Morra)

When in doubt, blame a Republican

Short one, ovah, heeyah!

I have referenced Ms. Wasserman Shultz on other occasions. As the Chair of the DNC, you would think that at some point she would

A) Get her facts straight,
B) Admit error and
C) Be less confrontational.

In an interview she gave on the Ralston Report, she referenced that Nevada Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval refused to initiate a State-run exchange and that Nevadans covered under the Affordable Care Act were left to the federal Government’s system.

Mr. Ralston corrected her and in doing so actually gave her a “gimme”, an “out” so to speak, so that she could extricate her foot from her mouth. She got somewhat confrontational. Rather than leave it at “I stand corrected” she had to add that she is not from Nevada. Nor am I but I can read, I listen to the news (Wall Street Journal Report on iHeartRadio) and am bereft the high priced show prep she has.

Ralston Report excerpt

As the Chair of the DNC and knowing you are subject to being questioned on the topic you came ON the show to speak about, it would be fitting for a person to have accurate information. Since the typical response is to place responsibility for the ills of the world on the shoulders of Republicans and Conservatives, it would be spiffy to know who the players are that you are lambasting.

Only the first few moments of the next reference are germaine. In the movie, “The Core”, one scientist (you will know who) is basically a blow-hard who cannot help but give an answer, regardless the veracity. A former colleague halts him and delivers the line.

Say it with me…”I don’t know…!”

That, in many instances, is how the DNC operates. Many of their interviewers are either partisan (I USED to like the WW2 use of that word until it became corrupted), do not have their own accurate facts or are too pressed for time to call foul. She would have garnered more respect for just leaving it at “busted”.

ADDENDUM

This recent article also illustrates my point. Minnesota Rep Michelle Bachmann (Republican and Religious Conservative) was recently “quoted” in a left-leaning article for reportedly proposing a form of “work camp” for the juvenile border crossers. The ENTIRE thing was fake but ThinkProgress.org ran it without corroboration OR it was just SOOOOO tasty they could not help but take a bite…. When they “retracted” the article after being played the fools another group (similar bent) tossed them a bone and stated that

“Crazy racist Bachmann story so believable liberal websites fall for parody”

.

The “con”

Think Progress BOGUS Michelle Bachmann article

The “retraction”

The retraction is boiler plate. Human nature being what it is, there will ALWAYS be those that believe the original story in its entirety. Owing to a “lack of proof” Ms. Bachmann will “get away with it” yet again.

Even in defeat, they cast aspersions on her character. Do they EVER admit error? I guess in their eyes, to err is Republican…

ADDENDUM

Oh, but the “blame game” continues…

She REALLY needs a new job….

I just read an article where Ms. W-S now places the evils of Domestic Violence squarley on the shoulders of Republicans.  While referencing Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wi) she stated

“Scott Walker has given women the back of his hand. I know that is stark. I know that is direct. I know that is reality…”

“What Republican tea party extremists like Scott Walker are doing is they are grabbing us by the hair and pulling us back. It is not going to happen on our watch.”

That is a somewhat archaic reference that many today may not comprehend.  It is a backhanded slap across the face…literally.

many names exist for this type of battery...per Ms. Wasserman-Schultz, this is the way the GOP ALWAYS treats women...UNcool remark!
many names exist for this type of battery…per Ms. Wasserman-Schultz, this is the way the GOP ALWAYS treats women…UNcool remark!

So not only are we “b-slapping” women but then dragging them by the hair to accede to our demands.  Gov. Walker’s Democrat competitor, Mary Burke, through her representative said  “That’s not the type of language that Mary Burke would use, or has used, to point out the clear differences in this contest.”

Characteristically of Ms. W-S, she hurls the “tea-party extremists” epithet.  Something none of her party has said regarding the barbarism of those who have butchered our jounalists, murdered their own people or promised to “see you guys (US) in New York”.

See you guys in New York

That is neither a condemnation of the statement nor a rebuttal of the sentiment.  That says to me “yes, I believe it and also feel that way.  I would just STATE it differently”.

So as I stated earlier, Ms. W-S REALLY needs a new job.  Perhaps one of those “good paying” jobs that Mr. Obama thinks we all should have.  WhatEVER the heck THAT means…

“The world needs ditch diggers too….”

 

Appearances can be deceiving

Do you recall the time spent highlighting the perceived appearances between President Obama and Governor Romney. It went along the lines of how Mr. Obama ‘looked’ Presidential, whereas Gov Romney did not.

Looking Presidential in the face of crisis…Hurricane Sandy

Running for reelection, it was a no-brainer to suspend politicking and render all possible assistance to the victims of Hurricane Sandy. There was no talk of disinterest in any “photo-op” then. Those were deal maker actions. Still, decline a personal trip to the border, pander for money for the Democrat cause (does he REALLY detest the GOP that much), rely on the information provided by intermediaries and act the petulent child…all while shooting pool and declining a doobie. Nero fiddling while Rome burns.

No photo-ops, please

the non photo-op photo-op

Wanna hit?

As an aside, I do not care WHO the President is, you have enough respect if not for the Office then for yourSELF not to offer the Commander-in Chief of these United States a hit on your joint! “On the OTHER hand…” (Fiddler on the Roof) when you go around publicizing the fact that you were a “user” and the First Lady alludes to her lack of pride in the Country that gave her a WELL above average lifestyle…

Lack of national pride

used drugs enthusiastically

What do you expect. You get what you give.

The “Optics” of appearances

So here, in 2012, though Governor Romney trounced the President, he was still cast in the shadow of the CEO bi’niss man spouting falsehoods about an opponent too cool, too much in the know to “fight back” because his information was classified and not for public dissemination. Of course, behind the scenes were all the “phoney” scandals.

Phoney __________ (fill in the blank)

And where are the results of all the promises? I thought the President had a “Laser-like focus”…

Focus

OUT of Focus

Here we are, nearing the end of a dismal 8 years of stagnation, strife, turmoil, hunger and violence…and that is just in the U.S.! What about those fleeing the same problems in the rest of the world? According to the Democrats, “come on down”.

the wrong message

So, just because a candidate looks good, is articulate, clean…….

Bidenism

that does not mean that he OR SHE is the best person for the job. I look like a schlub much of the time but I ROCK when i wanna get the job done.

‘After the ball is over…’

After the ball is over,
After the break of morn –
After the dancers’ leaving;
After the stars are gone;
Many a heart is aching,
If you could read them all;
Many the hopes that have vanished
After the ball.
Showboat

Yes! I love musicals…I heard an excerpt of Peggy Joseph interviewed the other day. Though many of you may recall her sense of adoration at a Senator Obama 2008 rally, her fervor is tempered now by sobering reality.

Peggy Joseph 2008

There were many that saw that day as a dream still many years in the offing. There were many that were taken in by the chants of ‘Hope and Change’ and ‘yes, we can’. Many believed that this was the beginning of a new era of responsible government and leadership. Now, 6 years later, reality is indeed sobering.

Near doubling of the national debt, more Americans unemployed, underemployed and on government assistance.

Food stamp participation 2012

To summarize, the administration stated that all was well and we were coming out of the economic problem of ‘the Bush Years’. SNAP participation was seen as an accurate unemployment indicator: people undergoing financial hardship are going to need government assistance to eat. 46 million participants in 2012. Though the article states that the ‘economic upswing’ has caused a drop in SNAP participation, it states also that there are 48 million in the program. That is an increase without a doubt.

Flash forward…Food stamp participation 2013

And what of our Miss Joseph? From her initial interview one would have thought her prime candidate for a berth on the SS Handout. Whether people want to believe it or not, we ALL make judgements about each other—ALL the time. Certainly the origins are a basic safety mechanism, now it has its uses unique to the individual. When I first heard her comments I figured she was going to be paying her mortgage and fuel on public money gratuitously provided by the new Administration after being “redistributed” from you and me. Little did I know (wrong snap judgement, I admit) she was a nurse, raising her children and from all appearances an upright person. How does she feel now?

Peggy Joseph recent interview

So my opening tune?

After the ball is over,
After the break of morn –
After the dancers’ leaving;
After the stars are gone;
Many a heart is aching,
If you could read them all;
Many the hopes that have vanished
After the ball.

Many were astounded that the day finally arrived when we had new blood in the White House. There was promise, there was celebration, there was a sense of hope that things had progressed to the point where we ALL had a chance at greatness, not just the wealthy or connected few. The “ball” was the party because this was the DAY!

Now the party is ending, people are heading home and except for the die hard fans who will believe ANYTHING the administration says (please see my cult of personality post) many are awakening to the realization that it was all fluff. It was a con. We were told what we needed or WANTED to hear to sell the lie and afterwards left with little to no hope that things could change. Whereas his predecessors realized that cooperation, not bull headedness, was the only was to meld a divided congress, this realization still eludes this administration.

I am more and more of the opinion that we need to fire EVERY blessed one currently in office and start fresh with the COMMON folk on whose backs the country is built and runs.

Presidential LIE-braries

By now everyone has heard about the parade float depicting an outhouse as the Obama Presidential Library.

NOTE: I chose not to display the images of the “Obama Presidential Library”. As a current event, we know what the float looks like and those who wish to may follow the links. I thought it important to display the Bush Presidential Library graphics and satire for those who no longer remember or wish to believe as many do that ONLY Mr. Obama gets treated with such disrespect

The President Obama float

Obama Presidential library seen as racist and irreverent

NOT supposed to be Mr. Obama

Though mired in controversy as to whether it was in poor taste for a family event or as some (the “USUAL”susects) would call it racist, it seems to be nothing more than parody. And of COURSE, when the “parody” was aimed at President Bush, it was not only manyfold but NO one squawked.

By the way, Halliburton was not the contractor but do not let that fact sway public opinion
By the way, Halliburton was not the contractor but do not let that fact sway public opinion

The Specifics about President Bush’s Library

a game of telephone
a game of telephone
I see that as a reflection of the Whites vs Coloreds drinking fountain...is that a racist view? PERSPECTIVE and imagination!
I see that as a reflection of the Whites vs Coloreds drinking fountain…is that a racist view? PERSPECTIVE and imagination!
I do not recall any complaints about these caricatures either
I do not recall any complaints about these caricatures either
Looking at the loss of life and tremendous damage as satire: fair game? Of course! It reflects the Bush presidency
Looking at the loss of life and tremendous damage as satire: fair game? Of course! It reflects the Bush presidency

When I was “a kid” I had an inexpensive AM/FM radio in an apartment building in Manhattan. Reception was poor on my fave music stations so I had to “create” lyrics based on what I heard—or THOUGHT I heard. As such, I have an alternate stream of text for most of the popular songs of the day (and if I knew there was money in it I could have beaten “Weird” Al to the bank!). My point is that my perspective, influenced by my imagination, told me that I was hearing something that was not actually there.

The nature of parody is that we are free to interpret as our understanding at the time allows us. In the water fountain picture, does ANYONE really see “whites vs. Coloreds” or do you see it because I planted the notion? We do ourselves and our fellows such a great disservice when we muddy the waters we have to drink from.

The Party Lie

Rhetorical question: why is it that the vast majority of what comes out of Washington is either a flat out lie or designed to confuse the issue for the easily swayed? The party lie?

‘I did not have sexual relations with that woman…’

President Obama on Benghazi YouTube video

Secretary Clinton on Benghazi YouTube video

Ambassador Rice on Benghazi YouTube video

President Obama says ‘…not a smidgen of corruption…’ Re: IRS

‘If you like your plan…’

I could go on with this for hours but you get the point. At every turn, when the democrat party feels threatened they design a message and every man jack of them repeats it, verbatim, as often and as publicly as they can.

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”
Joseph Goebbels with additional references to Lenin

Whenever the Democrats get in trouble..and I mean the PARTY, not the constituents who are merely cannon fodder for the battle between the factions…they resort to name calling, innuendo and straight up lies to repress the truth and inoculate themselves from the consequences of their actions.

The latest is the Supreme Court decision on the Hobby Lobby case. Their decision was based solely on the evidence in the case and the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act which was overwhelmingly passed by the senate 97-3 and signed into law by president Bill Clinton.

Though I deplore the term ‘bipartisan support’ as a buzzword for somebody caved, this truly was a vote by members of all stripes.

Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993

Now that ‘the law of the land’ worked against them, they seek to modify it, re: nullify it so that it cannot be used in that fashion again.
Democrats seek to ‘revise’ the 1993 religious freedom restoration act

Now Secretary Clinton is making the rounds, at an average quarter million per speech, to tell the world that our enlightened society is as bad as those that routinely practice the subjugation of women, since that is exactly what we dumb Americans are doing with our archaic laws and beliefs.

Secretary Clinton and the supreme courts war on women

Forget the fact that with a republican majority, president Clinton was FORCED to negotiate to get things done in his second term. Forget the fact that no one squawked about the 1993 law at the time because it did not fight against their interests. And specifically in this case, forget the fact that the ruling ONLY applies in a limited fashion with no ‘slippery slope’.

No one is being denied access to health care nor are they being denied access to all 20 of the pre and post contraceptive pharmaceuticals. All that is said is that the government cannot mandate that certain entities be forced to cover 20% of them. They are still available. You just have to pay for them yourself or via some other means than your employer.

I just read a series of opinions by noted Democrats and Republicans. Debbie Wasserman-Shultz’ comment is either a misstatement or a downright lie….”Nearly sixty percent of women who use birth control do so for more than just family planning”

A montage of opinions on hobby lobby ruling

I am not going to look up any stats on that. Instead I will think for myself as we ALL should. What does that statement mean to you? MY interpretation is that 60% of women are not using contraceptives (the word MEANS against conception) to prevent pregnancy (family planning) but to END pregnancy. So, silly me, if 80% of the 20 identified forms of birth control prevent pregnancy, and 20% end it then the Supreme Court had the whole thing backwards! They should have ruled against all forms of CONTRAception and accepted only that which ends it. I think that is what Ms. Wasserman-Shultz said.

Ridiculous? Of course it is. Just like her statement was. Still, without a doubt, many of us will hear someone repeat that statement as fact because it came from a notable quotable source.

What I think is even more disturbing is that of the 9 attorneys on the Supreme Court, only 5 think the law says what it says. The 4 dissenters included all the women which just added to the ‘perception’ of a gender biased ruling. Is it any surprise that the ruling came as they were running out the door for their 3 month vacation? Does that put them in recess? I wonder if the president will replace 5 of them with his recess appointments powers?

A “Humanitarian Crisis”?

I wonder about the validity of the newly coined “Humanitarian Crisis” as relates to the influx of people across our Southwestern border. I used to live and work in San Diego, a short distance from the Mexican Border at San Ysidro. When I would operate small airplanes out of Brown Field (KSDM) I had to be particularly cautious while in the pattern for the southern runway as it was really a stone’s throw from the border.

San Diego Brown field border proximity

I lived there from January 1980 til January 2002 and the things I personally experienced in terms of immigration were, in a word, phenomenal.

President Obama vows to go it alone

As an aside, I wonder when the President learned of the problem. Lately, his knowledge of a subject is limited to him hearing about it on the evening news. Were I the President, I would be looking to have SOMEone’s arse for not doing their JOB and keeping me informed. At work I want MY boss to hear the problem, the follow-up and the solution from ME before she gets the initial email saying there was an issue. All she has to do is apologize (customer service, ya know) and let the writer know the issue is resolved.

If it were not for the evening news…..

This is in no way a “Humanitarian Crisis” as the phrase is being used. You may never have heard about the Banzai Runs of the 80’s and 90’s. I would hazard to guess that NO one outside of the area has. To publicize that would not only encourage more of the same but highlight the ineffectual government efforts to curb the problem. It was such an issue that Prop 187 in California easily passed. You knew one was in play when people would mass on the southern side of the border nearing twilight. There was little that the US immigration authorities could do because the Mexican agents did nothing to stop them or assist us. Then on cue, all hades would break loose and people would charge northbound in the southbound lanes darting in and out of traffic. Our agents were on the northbound lanes and could not chase them without leaving their posts unstaffed.

Banzai Runs

Prop 187

OK, you KNOW what I have to tell you happened next…The Courts delayed implimentaion, ruled it invalid and now lawmakers want it stricken from the records, kinda (yes, I know it is “kind of”) like Pharoah Seti ordered Moses’ name removed from all official documents and structures. If there are no longer references to it, it never existed. This was a measure passed by the people 59-41 and sought to deny livlihood and education in the US for illegals. In essence, poison the well to prevent drinking from it. It never had a chance…WE never had a chance.

State Senator Kevin de Leon introduced this nullifying legislation stating (emphasis added): “We think that symbolically it’s a very powerful gesture to all Californians that we will remove and completely erase this part of our troubled history with immigrants,” the Los Angeles Democrat said during a Capitol news conference promoting Senate Bill 396.

He described Proposition 187 as one of “

the most mean-spirited and un-American

” measures in California history. Backed by then-Gov. Pete Wilson, voters approved it 20 years ago, though it was quickly invalidated by the courts.

My understanding of a Humanitarian Crisis is an emergency requiring immediate action to ease suffering or prevent loss of life to a people in a possible wide spread area. This is none of the above. It has been ongoing for years and at every opportunity the “will of the people” has been subverted by the “needs” of the legislature to acquire fresh constituents.

I recall…OH, i have to see if I can find the sign….back in a flash…

Signage along highways to be alert for groups crossing the road
Signage along highways to be alert for groups crossing the road, I recall the child having a doll in some views

I used to take my young family to the border crossing at Tecate, park the car and walk across for about 2 blocks where there was a municipal park and opposite it a bread store (at Avenida Benito Juarez and Calle Presidente Lazaro Cardenas) that had meat on a rotating skewer dripping with delicious fat…… and you could get soft tacos for about a dime each, bottled soda from a machine that you popped the cap off for a quarter.

There were a few days when I had off and took the hour plus drive one-way to get supper for the family and as I approached the crossing a school bus would drive up. Across the border would march a couple of dozen Mexican children who boarded the bus and were taken off to a US school. When parents voiced their concerns about our tax dollars being used to educate non-residents the school board denied it was happening. A fast thinking parent with the old-style camcorder (80’s, yo!) had taped it and there was no denying the existence of the program then.

I would get EMS calls to the San Ysidro border crossing because women would literally throw themselves across and start screaming “embarazada” (pregnant). EMTALA laws required transportation and treatment at a local facility. If the facility were unable to handle the problem, the patient was required to be transferred to an appropriate facility. The intent of the law was to prevent patient dumping and to ensure that people received treatment regardless their ability to pay. It became a free pass into the US.

Children born here were American citizens under the 14th Amendment. This also states that people within the jurisdiction are entitled to equal protection under the law. This is the “workaround” that answers “why do we have to give illegals protection under the constitution”.

14th Amendment to The Constitution

As a humanitarian gesture, the mother was allowed to stay as the child’s natural parent. When the situation got so large it was happening with increased and predictable regularity, legislation was crafted that said the child could stay and either be cared for by a legal resident relative or taken back to Mexico with mom. That did not get far either.

EMTALA

This next link talks about what has been referred to as “drop and leave” and the hassles attending to trying to stay in America by having a child here. It is NOT as difficult as the article indicates, moreover, few actually “leave” the US…they leave the jurisdiction and move further north or east.

“Anchor babies”

We are a Nation of Laws. Laws can work both ways in that they offer protections but demand a price. It is disheartening that our laws only seem to apply to the law abiding residents. Like the saying goes, “locks keep honest people honest”.

AMENDMENT

I knew there was something I was forgetting! I used to make a lot of ambulance transfers between San Diego county and Imperial county. Along I-8 there were emergency aid boxes with (to the best of my knowledge) non-perishable food, water and blankets. They were there as an aid to the people crossing the border via the coastal mountains. Let me tell ya about this….

Southern California is beautiful and has a weather system unique to the rest of the country. On MANY occasions in the late winter or early spring I would take the kids hiking in the mountains off of the intestate at around 6000 feet elevation where they could walk around in the snow and then an hour drive back down the mountain to Mission Beach where we would walk the boardwalk eating shave ice and play in the surf.

The mountains held snow and ice seemingly forever because the topography shaded many of the low lying areas from the direct sun. During the day, the temperature was fairly moderate but at night quickly dropped below freezing. Many border crossers would begin the trip in daylight and succumb to hypothermia before daybreak. We found many people frozen and stripped of their clothes.

I do not know who placed the boxes there but border patrol was not allowed to interfere with anyone using them. They would usually watch from a distance until the area was clear. The link I am adding is not meant to impugn the border patrol. It was the only reference I could find to the existence of the emergency aid stations.

Emergency aid stations

(16 Jan 2017) I have updated the link so it no longer refers to the Border Patrol as “the bad guy”.  ORIGINALLY, the comment at the end of the linked article bashes the border patrol and prays that they stew in their own juices. I must remind everyone that the deaths are not a result of the border patrols action, but that of people who are crossing the coastal mountains in bad weather or inclement conditions illegally. Rain at sea level is snow and ice at 6000 feet where there is no cover and you are in a tee shirt, light jacket and sneakers.

Remember, I left SoCal in January 2002. I had seen the boxes since the mid 80’s so the intervention of well meaning but somewhat misguided people has been prevalent for years.

I say misguided because they are not ‘helping’ anyone. They are providing a means for someone to break the law (MINOR issue) and get into trouble (MAJOR issue). If people have the hope that all they need to do is cross the mountain passes and there will be supplies and a fresh start on the other side, people will keep making the dangerous trek. I kept emergency supplies in my trunk in case I got stranded in the mountains at night and that was only about an hours transit.

California gets a huge number of legal immigrants annually. Many fall under a resettlement program that provides a limited stipend and the proverbial ‘path to citizenship’. I believe it is $800/month for ~8 months. I do not know if it is subject to extension or not.

Refugee resettlement

And what happens in this circumstance? You get squalor. I had an apartment off of university and van dyke for about $350 a month (the 80’s, remember). Off of university avenue in the 5000 block was a neighborhood mostly southeast Asian. Remember I worked EMS so we had to know all the neighborhoods. There were multiple families living in sub-sized dwellings pooling their resources. Local cultural merchants became the mainstay of their shopping so often people did not leave their own communities so there was minimal integration. No exchange of culture often lead to stereotyping and mistrust.

My first wife was Filipino. I was outside in front of the house one day and some local black children asked me if I lived there ‘with the white people’. My wife’s parents never interacted with any of their neighbors and were only seen in glimpses running between the car and the house so it was pretty obvious why no one knew their ethnicity. The aunts and uncles had been in the US since the end of WW2 and auntie still could not speak English.

National City (right by the 32nd Street Naval Station. It was called Nasty City because of all the strip clubs) was predominately Filipino. Linda Vista (northwest of downtown) became ‘Little Vietnam’. Chula Vista (by the border) became Chula Juana (Tijuana north, basically). Also on university in the 5000’s (on the south side) was the African community.

I have information about the U.S. Refugee program

Refugee program

 Total refugees arriving in CaliforniaThere are numbers of people claiming asylum and persecution in their home countries. Again, the numbers are those that we knew about. Though we would like to be the caretakers of the world, militarily and socially, we just do not have the capacity. We cannot handle the corruption in our own government. These are folks fleeing the same conditions in theirs. I have no idea what help we can offer them when we cannot help ourselves.

Secretary Clinton, “Dead broke”

More like “dead joke”. Ms. Clinton is making a (HOPEFULLY!) futile attempt to relate to the average voting lad and lass, the comon folk who would potentially usher in yet another democratic presidency, quite possibly sealing the fate of these United States under yet another monarch. Her interview where she made the comment that upon the end of President Clinton’s second term they were dead broke does not even scratch the surface of what they had the capacity to achieve.

They left 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue with a mountain of debt, true…mostly legal bills from a dalliance or two…or three….no matter. With various sources of revenue, they were in the black within the year.

Poilitifact states as their closing statement on this article: “A few weeks before they left the White House, the Clintons were able to muster a cash down payment of $855,000 and secure a $1.995 million mortgage. This hardly fits the common meaning of “dead broke.”

Le’me tell ya about “dead broke” (as the wavy flashback lines take over your computer….)

1995, I was separated from my now ex-wife, the kids were living with her at her parents’ place and due to getting vacation pay from my 2 CONCURRENT jobs as well as a huge advance from 2 foreign flight students I made a FAT bank deposit. That translated into a support payment that was—-well, my paycheck was $200 afterwards. MY lawyer thought HALF would be fair for his cut. I canned him and did it myself. Could not afford rent, groceries or other necessities. I spent every dime on the kids when we visited on the weekends. I lived out of the condiment trays in the E/R.

A co-worker, our Chief Pilot, lived on a sailboat in the marina (a Coronado 27 for fans). His bud lived on a Catalina 27 with his dog. Doug told me to buy a boat. After some back and forth “are you out of your vulcan mind?” kind of stuff I got an advance on flight instruction from one of my other students and bought a Ranger 26 from a guy who was paying slip fees for two boats…That cost me 800 bones. Slip fees with water, power, shower and laundry were $225 monthly so my living expenses matched my income almost exactly (funny how that works?).

This lasted for about 4 months and when I tell you I had a BLAST, you gotta believe it. Imagine, living in a marina, a stones throw from the Pacific….what the deuce? Let me add a map! Beautiful skyscapes, minutes to the ocean, watching TV with rabbit ears (coat hangar) while the rain fell on the hull….and anyone who wanted to go for a sail just brought me groceries from the local Von’s (chicken, wedge fries and a root beer were my faves).

We sculled out of the slip (motor? who needed it?), sailed into the ocean, drifted and listened to music or just chilled while waiting for the wind to become onshore at about 1300 (just after local apparent noon) and by 1500 my guests were gone with a wonderful memory and I still had vittles. Life was actually good because I took sage advice from a friend, never got discouraged and made the proverbial lemonade from the lemons.

SO, when anyone tells you how poor they were ask them if they ever lived in their car as my buddy BOB did or on a fixer upper sailboat that I had to take across the marina to pump out the commode holding tank.