Sunday, April 28, 2013

Power Meets Glitz at the White House Correspondents' Annual Gala

Last night Conan O'Brien hosted the annual White House Correspondents' bash at the Hilton in Washington, DC, and what an evening it was! The event is always a hot ticket in Hollywood circles and this years crop of celebs and power players did not disappoint. Tinseltown titans Barbara Streisand, George Clooney, Steven Speilberg and Harvey Weinstein showed up to hobnob with the political elite, along with Shaqille O'Neal, Jon Bon Jovi and even Lindsay Lohan. But if you weren't lucky enough to score a ticket, maybe you caught one of the ancillary shindigs such as the Creative Coalition Celebrates Women in Media party held at the Ritz Carlton and hosted by Nora O'Donnell and Alex Wagner? Or perhaps the New Yorker Mag Cocktail Reception on the rooftop terrace of the W was more your thing? Regardless, be it the Hollywood Reporter/Google at the W (the "in" hotel this year), the Bloomberg/Vanity Fair at the French Ambassador's residence or MSNBC's "The After Party" at the Italian Embassy, you'll be in the company of the beautiful and the powerful.

So, let's get down to business; best dressed and worst dressed.

BEST DRESSED had to be the irrepressible Katy Perry. She looked absolutely killer in her Giambattista Valli gown with metallic, twig-accented belt. She tamed her opulent boobage (much to the chagrin of many a Washington insider) but we're betting she still raised a few flagpoles. 
KatyKat completed her knockout look with glossy tumbling waves and a single good ring on her index finger. VERY Roman!

WORST DRESSED was undoubtedly Australian comedienne Rebel Wilson ( I know, I've never heard of her either). She may very well deserve the Victoria Cross for bravely showing up in a Navy blue moo moo apparently adapted from the tent sale currently going on at REI. Ms. Wilson is all smiles at the prospect of faking a posh British accent while skulling free Fosters all night. 

But let's not forget why we're here; to watch a vulgar display of narcissism and self congratulation, and to bow down and kiss the ass of the corporate media, the politicians and the entertainment elite who control and manipulate us. We are just hicks and rubes out in "fly over" country who are in awe of the powerful, and rightly so. Our wonderful President and beautiful First Lady deserve our respect and gratitude as they could not represent the elite any better. Louis XVI would be proud.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Racism Is As Racism Does

    Not a day goes by when I don't get accused of racism. I rarely defend myself against such a scurrilous charge...well, because it's true. Now I'm not guilty of what I'm accused of, at least in the way the accuser usually means. And more often than not anybody who throws out this charge is just trying to discredit my argument and shut down debate. As I've said before, the ultimate crime in America today is racism. If you are deemed racist you'll be shunned and ostracized and every effort will be made to shut you up and shut you down. This happens in lowly chat-rooms or at the highest levels of discourse, just ask Pat Buchanan.
    But my racism is more subtle. Do I believe some races are inherently more intelligent than others? Well, yes I do. If the research is accurate, and I believe it is, then one could not conclude otherwise. But I also believe there are many factors that lead to success or a fulfilling life or economic prosperity or whatever you want to call it, and the relatively minute differences in across the board intellectual capabilities of particular races as compared to each other is a very minor factor indeed. Things like hard work, drive, initiative and just the will to achieve whatever goal you set for yourself, to overcome the inevitable obstacles (and there will be many), that my friends is infinitely more important than raw intelligence.
    So, do I believe racism exists? Yes I do, but not in the way you probably think. I believe most white Americans are accepting of other races and that most of our differences are cultural. But I do believe many cultures are inferior, at least insofar as they promote the values I believe in. I believe that many "civil rights leaders" have advanced a cast system propagating the belief that their ethnicity precludes them from receiving a fair shake, that society is inherently racist and that members of their race need the protection only offered by the highest varna, which so happens to be them. I believe they are the real racists, the real oppressors and the enemies of America. And I believe the left encourages and uses these people to tear down our system and way of life.

    So let's have a look at some real racism shall we? The photo at left is from an article in the NY Times entitled: U.S. Opens Spigot Afters Farmers Claim Discrimination. The piece goes on relate how the sometimes legitimate claims of discrimination by minority farmers was turned into a corrupt money grab by anybody and everybody (as long as they met the racial criterion) and ended up actually shortchanging those farmers who in fact were discriminated against. It tells how political forces conspired to shakedown the American people over the objections of career USDA officials and attorneys, and how the law was ignored. This is corruption so blatant as to remind one of Mayor Dailey's Chicago.
    And on the other side of the USDA coin, we have a man named Stephen LaRoque. Mr. LaRoque was a NC House Representative who had the impudence to accuse the local NAACP Chairman Reverend William C. Barber of racism. Well, as you might imagine this did not sit well with the liberal establishment. The effusive Rev. Barber is an important cog in the NC progressive machine and this kind of effrontery could not be tolerated. NC Policy Watch, a Soros funded "government watchdog" group outed Rep. LaRoque to the USDA, the FBI, the IRS the NC SBI and presumably the NCAA and ASPCA for "discrepancies" in grants and loans he oversaw. The Chairman of the House Rules Committee was indicted by a federal grand jury for theft and money laundering a short time later and was forced to resign. Although he maintains his innocence, his political career is over.
    Racism, bigotry and discrimination are ugly words, and uglier still in practice. But when they are used as political tools and as means to slander and destroy by some of the most hateful, racist and unjust, then what you are observing is pure evil. So I proudly declare myself a racist, and I'll take my brand of racism over their's any day of the week!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Big Fat Friday Free For All

What's got you down, friends?  Is your reviled predecessor now as popular as you are?  Is your baby boy admitting to crimes you say he didn't commit?  Did your "let's all put on our NFL jerseys and watch the draft party" turn out to be as stupid and geeked up as it was obvious it would be?  Emote, friends.  Share it.

Care to see where we ate dinner last night?   Check out the menu.  No way I'm weighing in this week.

Encountered this noble beast on the way to dinner in Lawton, OK
Dinner spot, Lawton OK.  Was shocked not to see Mudge there.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

On the Road Again.....

For the last two days I have awakened to the alarm of a white work truck parked outside my first floor motel room in lovely Lawton, OK.  Early.  The front desk guy was sympathetic, and said he'd get the guy to move his truck (apparently he is working nearby on a job site)--but that the reason it was parked right out front was that it had been broken into last month.  Apparently the burglars are at it again.  Note to self, don't leave the Garmin GPS rigged anymore.

So there you have it.  I'm once again in flyover country, Lawton OK, where I've been since Tuesday.  Sorry (Captain Todd) for the failure to blog from the airport, but I was with two colleagues and their conversation kept me from my duties. We'll fly out late Friday afternoon and I'll get back to my Kittens somewhere around 0130 Saturday. 

Some of you are aware of the great struggles I have experienced with motel room coffee machines. I am happy to report no problems here, though I do continue to marvel at the industrial grade electrical cords that get attached to coffee makers and hairdryers in motel rooms. 

Is it just me, or do the rest of you find that the cheaper the hotel/motel, the more likely high speed internet is to be free?  The wickedly expensive Hawaiian hotels I've been shacking up in also rook you for daily internet.  Sometimes it is part of a "resort fee", whatever the hell that is.

Like the rest of you, I followed the bombing in Boston with a great deal of attention.  Twitter was indispensable for staying up to the minute in the latest scurrilous rumor, and occasionally there would be a report that was true.  I'm staggered by the pure number of reports that came out that subsequently were proven to be false. Some of the latest reporting indicates that the little miscreant in the boat was actually unarmed when apprehended, which sorta undercuts the whole "shootout at the OK corral" reports we got earlier.  And so it goes.  The media hops on stories like this like a hobo on a ham sandwich and gets much of it wrong in an effort to get much of it first. 

The flights out here were unmolested by the passive aggressive actions of air-traffic controllers, doing the wildcat slow-roll in order to inconvenience air travelers enough that President Obama can get more tax increases.  I think the President is seriously over-extended on this one, as no one I talk to hangs the flight delays reported on the Congress--just the President. 

I realize that my blogging has been pretty crappy in the face of stories that should get a Conservative pretty riles up.  The Gosnell Trial, the Boston bombing, the gun control fight, and immigration--all are in the news.  But the plain truth is that the Presidential election took a lot of wind out of my political sails, and I still don't think I'm quite up to fighting trim again.  As I've covered before, I have substituted the conflict of sports radio--in which I have no real interest in outcomes--with the conflict of POTUS Radio on SIRIUS--and the very important issues in which I do/did have interest in outcomes.  I am a hell of a lot better informed to opine on the NBA playoffs than I am on the intricacies of the immigration debate going on right now.  I don't think this is a permanent condition, but it does account for some of the laggardly performance of this blog.

Ok--that's all for now.  Big, hard, hairy day today.  Gotta go tackle it.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

You're Firing Me For What?

Let's talk about Stacie Halas, former science teacher at Haydock Intermediate School in Oxnard, California. Ms. Halas ran into a spot of bother last year when her young charges accused her of moonlighting in pornographic films. No so answered Ms. Halas. She admits to being a porn actress, for a brief period, but only due to dire financial hardship brought about by her boyfriend leaving her high and dry. What's a girl to do asked Ms. Halas? Not porn says the California Commission on Professional Competence which concluded "Although her pornographic career has concluded, the ongoing availability of her pornographic materials on the internet will continue to impede her from being an effective teacher and respected colleague." I guess we can conclude somebody in California is still sane.
    So what's your point, you know, other than you like to talk about porn actresses? My point dear reader is education is useless without ethics and morality. How many times have we been told that education is the key? If we could only educate young people then everything will be ok. Let's spend more and more on education because if you think education is expensive, try ignorance. Ok maybe so, but education comes in many forms and guises, and one very important form is education by example. Now don't think Ms. Halas is an extreme case of the moral turpitude of many of our educators, there are loads of others much more dangerous and much more insidious than the frisky young science instructor. Just Google "criminal teachers" and click images (make sure your filter is on!!). You'll be treated to mugshot after mugshot, licentious Facebook photos and newspaper perp-walk images galore. 
    You want to know why the country is going to hades just take a close look at the education establishment with their unions and "rubber rooms"! Too often they're not about education, they're not about teaching and passing along our common values. They're about political indoctrination, baby-sitting and benefit packages. Plus they're a jealous master, just ask Ben Chavis out in Oakland who started a very successful charter school that was so bad it was shut down at first opportunity. But even if a kid does learn the three Rs, they graduate as moral bankrupts schooled in the arts of complaining, subversion and mob rule. We MUST break the back of the "education industrial complex" that is robbing us of our money, robbing our kids of a good education and robbing our country's future.

 "Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil."
C. S. Lewis

Saturday, April 20, 2013

BREAKING NEWS... Planning for Boston Bomb Began 48 Years Ago!

Ever heard of Hart-Celler? Probably not. How about the Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1965? OK, got a ping on that one? Of course they're both the same thing. In 1965 in the wake of all the new civil rights legislation, Phil Hart of Michigan along with Congressman Emanuel Celler (representing Brooklyn and Queens) sponsored Lyndon Johnson's new immigration bill. Up until then immigration was limited to persons of any nationality to 3 percent of that nationality present in the United States in 1910, with an annual admission limit of 356,000. It was designed to maintain the ethnic, cultural and religious makeup of the US and to accept only those individuals who could bring something to the table; i.e. the best and the brightest. LBJ signed the unpopular Hart-Celler in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty saying this "...was not a revolutionary bill" and would not change America's cultural identity significantly. Teddy Kennedy, a huge supporter of the legislation who in the name of his brother worked hard for its enactment, said the bill would have no impact on the demographic mix or cultural identity of the United States. They were both lying, and they both knew it.

Forty eight years later there are over 5.1 million foreign born residents in the New York metropolitan area alone. Los Angeles has 4.4 million, Miami nearly 2 million and Houston, Washington and Dallas about a million each. In fact, 51% of the residents of Miami, Florida are foreign born. Archie Bunker's home borough of Queens is nearly 50% foreign born with the largest chunk coming from...The People's Republic of China. Figure that one out!

So now we have de facto open immigration, and have had for years. If you can get here through hook or crook; student visa, tourist visa, stowaway or border jumper, then you're home free because it's nearly impossible to get deported. Plus, we allow the legal immigration of people who are sworn enemies of America and all it stands for. Particular nationalities such as the aforementioned Red Chinese, religions that are antithetical to freedom, ethnic groups such as Palestinians and proponents of political ideologies diametrically opposed to our Constitution. The bombing in Boston is directly on point. Why in the world would we allow immigration from Chechnya knowing these are some of the most radicalized, foaming at the mouth Jihadist killers in the world?

I believe immigration policy is the most important issue before us as a nation. It reverberates through everything we do from economic policy to foreign policy to national and domestic security. We cannot invite our enemies to live among us in the hope that they will come to love us. This family of Chechnyans in Boston were treated pretty well by this country, and if they could they would have blown us all to hell. We should use this tragic act of terror the same way Mr. Obama tried to use the Newtown killings. We should immediately call for a complete overhaul of our immigration system from top to bottom. We need to secure our borders as well as impose a moratorium on ALL immigration until we can digest the immigrants we now have. We do not need people coming here just to feed at the trough, we need people who want to contribute, are respectful of American values and wish to assimilate and BECOME Americans. Allowing in people like the killers in Boston is like a dog inviting fleas, and if there are enough the dog dies.

Neither shall you bring an abomination into your house, lest you be a cursed thing like it: but you shall utterly detest it, and you shall utterly abhor it; for it is a cursed thing. Deuteronomy 7:26

Thursday, April 18, 2013


I know it is a bit risque, but this is a powerful ad.


Monday, April 15, 2013

The Boston Massacre

What can one say at a time like this?  Such senseless tragedy, innocents killed and maimed, for what? 

I've been following things on Twitter, and I am sickened by the discourse there.  Partisans on each side desperately trying for the single advantage they can gain on the other side.  While people cling to their lives.  While people mourn. 

I think I have to stop watching and reading about this for a bit.  Say a prayer for the dead, the dying, the grieving.

April 15th Reminds Me Why I’m Not a Republican

It’s tax days kids and if you’re one of the dwindling number of self-serving profit seekers, uncaring for the plight of the less fortunate, devoid of any feeling or compassion for the downtrodden losers of life’s lottery, well then my greedy money grubbing friend you may not have built that magnificent lifestyle you unjustly enjoy, but thank God you are still required to pay the tax on it. And for cryin’ out loud stop your bitching, you’ve got plenty of company. But not nearly as much as you should as nearly 50% of US residents (I’ll not say citizens) pay no federal income taxes at all. So for those people, all these budget and tax arguments fall on deaf ears (assuming the idiots could even follow it). And REPUBLICANS allowed that to happen.

We are in for an “Immigration” bill pretty soon. We are about to legalize and offer a “path to citizenship” to reportedly 12 to 13 million illegal aliens currently residing in our country. Now you may believe this 12-13 number, I don’t. I think it’s more like 25-30 million, but let’s assume it is in fact only 12 million. In very short order Arizona, Colorado, Nevada and even Texas will go the way of California and never vote Republican again. You see 57% of immigrants both legal and illegal receive some sort of government subsidy. Why in God’s name would they vote for a party that wants to reduce taxes (of which they pay nada) and take away or reduce their benefits? And REPUBLICANS allowed that to happen.

Since the end of the Cold War we have been traipsing around the world sticking our nose into this or that country’s business. From the Balkans to Afghanistan to Central America to the Horn of Africa and the Middle East; we can’t seem to mind our own business. And now it looks like the Korean Peninsula is heating up, just what we need! Correct me if I’m wrong, but is not Europe capable of defending themselves? Aren’t the Japanese and South Koreans wealthy enough to provide for their own defense? Why does it fall on America to maintain near Cold War levels of preparedness? Why do we have to pay to keep the sea-lanes open, for Chinese and Japanese commerce? And REPUBLICANS not only allowed this to happen, in many cases they instigated the policy.  

In March 2012 President Obama signed Executive Order 13603 which gave the federal government in times of a national emergency (as defined by the federal government) the power to seize:
“All commodities and products that are capable of being ingested by either human beings or animals”
“All forms of energy”
“All forms of civil transportation”
“All usable water from all sources”
“Health resources; drugs, biological products, medical devices, materials, facilities, health supplies, services and equipment”
Forced labor (or “induction” as the executive order delicately refers to military conscription)
Forbes, 4/29/12

Homeland Security has ordered 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition, so much in fact it’s hard to find ammo anywhere. They’ve ordered a shocking amount of hollow-point and sniper ammo. Plus Homeland security still isn’t done. Again, Forbes magazine reports…
“The Department of Homeland Security is apparently taking delivery (through the Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico VA, via the manufacturer – Navistar Defense LLC) of an undetermined number of the recently retrofitted 2,717 “Mine Resistant Protected” MaxxPro MRAP vehicles for service on the streets of the United States. These MRAP’s ARE BEING SEEN ON U.S. STREETS all across America by verified observers with photos, videos, and descriptions. Regardless of the exact number of MRAP’s being delivered to DHS (and evidently some to POLICE via DHS, as has been observed), why would they need such over-the-top vehicles on U.S. streets to withstand IEDs, mine blasts, and 50 caliber hits to bullet-proof glass? In a war zone… yes, definitely. Let’s protect our men and women, but on the streets of America?”
Furthermore just wait until Obamacare kicks in, there’ll be a whole assortment of anti-freedom, control measures you’ll all just love. And REPUBLICANS allowed, and continue to allow this to happen.
Here’s the thing, I am a Constitutional conservative. I believe in limited government and the rule of law. I believe most of our elected leaders have ignored their oaths of office to “serve, protect and defend” the Constitution. I believe we have been put on a path to national suicide by foreign malefactors such as George Soros, a determined and well-organized leftist movement and incompetent, self-interested politicians. I do not expect Democrats to act in the interest of our national traditions or the American people, but what I do expect is a vigorous defense of our national integrity and way of life from the opposition. I haven’t seen that in a long time, and neither have the American people.  I believe the Republican Party has participated in their own demise through omission (cowardice) or commission (cooperation with the left) to the detriment of our culture and our country. I believe the Republican Party is vacuous, venal and weak. I believe they have become so concerned with their own personal status and lifestyle, they have forgotten their own essential values (assuming they had them in the first place). I believe America as we have known it is over, that the forces of evil are taking control and the greatest system for the preservation of freedom and ending of human suffering, i.e. democratic capitalism, is being sacrificed in the name of “equality” which in historic terms is synonymous with mass murder. And I believe the Republican Party could have stopped most of this insanity, if only they had the guts.

THAT is why I’m not a Republican.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Departing Hawaii Post

It is nearly four o'clock in the afternoon here at Honolulu International Airport, and my red-eye flight departs in four hours.  The hotel allowed me a late check-out to 2PM, but seeing no profit in sitting in the lobby there, I decided to take a shuttle here where I could set up and think/blog/people-watch.  Solidifying my reputation as the world's most inconsistent impulse buyer, I jumped on the First Class upgrade when I checked in online this morning like a hobo on a ham sandwich.  Now a few hundred dollars lighter in the wallet, I have decided to economize and not purchase entry into the hermetically-sealed wonder of  the United Lounge (though--perhaps it comes with the ticket?).  Instead, I have camped out in the main drag of the United terminal, plugged into a convenient wall outlet, and join you now for a little blogging.

This part of the terminal is open to the elements, and while it is not uncomfortable, it is indeed sultry, something reinforced by my betrackpantsed rig.  For those interested, I have on the white UVA ball cap, a tasteful aloha shirt, the Adidas track pants, flip-flops, and a fleece tied around my waste for 10 hour flight warmth.  I look comfortable, yet silly.

My plan is to occupy myself intellectually until 5:30, at which time I will head to the mediocre restaurant here that serves a sirloin steak.  This has been a good week from a carbohydrate perspective, though I did find it difficult to pass up the wonderful bread and butter at two straight nights at Ruth's Chris.  Exercise was consistent too, yet when I get home Friday and weigh in, I fear there might not be too much progress, as the pure amount of fats and proteins I ingested was admirable.

I have a feeling this might be my last trip to Hawaii for a while.  The contract that I'm working that brings me out here ends at the end of May, and I don't know what the prospects are for follow on work, especially given the freak-show that currently passes for defense policy/budgeting etc.   While this was a good trip, I do find myself thinking that all in all, Hawaii is over-rated.  At least the places that I've gone, these large, factory resorts in Waikiki.  Real travelers tell me that there is a "hidden Hawaii", and I'm sure it is beautiful.  I just think that the Kitten has really rubbed off on me when it comes to travel.  She would not stay where I was this week if you paid her to.  She likes little spots, a few other guests, privacy and quiet.  I can't even begin to describe the poolside scrum, and the beach density was high. 

A new wrinkle on this trip was getting to observe various stages of Japanese weddings being held at and around the hotel.  Kinda has a Vegas feel about it.  The brides all look beautiful and traditional, while the grooms seem to be trying to outdo each other in how far they can go with stretching the tuxedo theme.  Clearly there is a "gangsta" motif being exploited.

The panel went swimmingly today, with General Dan presiding (and then jetting off to Guam to oversee the arrival of some Air Defense gear being sent there in honor of Dennis Rodman's friend in North Korea).  I was on generally good behavior and from the reviews I've heard, made some good points.  Certainly, there were a few very senior heads bobbing when I was rambling, which usually is a good sign.  Had some hard things for the folks there to hear, but they seemed to take it with aplomb.

The next six weeks are going to be an absolute grind, so this little respite couldn't have come at a better time.  Ok, that's all for now. 

CW on Internet TV!

For those with an interest (or with nothing else to do), tune into your internet dials today at 2:40PM if you'd like to look in on the panel I'm a member of entitled "Integrated Air and Missile Defense in the Pacific".  You'll also get to see General Dan, who is the panel lead.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Brother Loves the Brotherhood

Q. What's the quickest way to peace?
A. Give up.

One of the better known blogs is reporting that 140k teargas canisters (that's right, one hundred and forty thousand) just arrived in Egypt the other day from the US, presumably to address their crowd control problems associated with malcontents who thought the "Arab Spring" was about overthrowing dictatorship, instituting democracy, self determination...things like that. So, if I've got my facts straight we've given the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamo-Fascist organization dedicated to the overthrow of ALL civilization on planet earth not in keeping with Sharia law; money (1.5 billion dollars in direct aid with 4.5 billion in I.M.F. loans just around the corner), military hardware (F-16's and God only knows what else) and the moral and political support of the United States of America. All the while these fanatical thugs are raping and murdering Coptic Christians, running sham elections and declaring women or Christians "unsuitable" for government positions.

I though we were the ones who opposed theocracies and terror and extremism? Apparently not. Obama has consistently aided and abetted, run interference for and generally sucked up to every thug in the Muslim world, all on behalf of the American people. The brother loves the Brotherhood.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Hawaii, Part II

I received a text message from blog reader Captain Todd the yesterday telling me how much he enjoys the traveling posts I write.  Again, I think of myself as a political blogger, so the acclaim I get from folks for what are essentially meaningless rambles always baffles me.  But, he demanded more, so who am I to argue.

When last I checked in, it was the wee hours of yesterday morning with my Eastern internal clock in stark conflict with local Hawaiian. Time.  I had a productive morning, with a few blog posts, a few witty Facebook posts and a little Twitter.  Around 0600, I found a cheap eggs joint about a ten minute walk away, so I headed there to staunch some of the bleeding that will be the cost of food on this trip.  Hotel food is sometimes expensive, resort food especially so.
My blogging perch

I found a wonderful hammock just off the beach after breakfast where I lounged for a bit, watching the tourists come down early to ensure good pool and beach seats with towels that will sit there for hours without accompanying bodies.  This seems to me somehow immoral, but also, appears to be the rules of the game.  After a while I went for a walk down the street that included a stop at the ATM.  A short while later, I realized that I did not have my ATM card anymore, as it and some cash were the only things I had in my pocket when I left the hotel, and now I only had cash.  So I went back to the machine, which was attached to a Bank of Hawaii branch.  There were a few folks who were sitting at desks with customers, so I signed the "sign in" sheet and sat down, waiting to ask someone to see if I had left the card in the machine and retrieve it for me.  Nearly thirty minutes later, none of the customers had moved from their seats with the bank staff, so I finally accosted a teller to explain my problem.  A can do fellow, he went and checked.  No luck.  So I had apparently either not left it there, or left it in the machine long enough to be collected.  I went back to the hotel and called the bank to kill the card, and was informed that the miscreant in possession of the card had treated him/herself to Coldstone Creamery Ice Cream  just after my ATM transaction.  A total of $3.88 had been fraudulently charged, and the bank was very serious about explaining to me how to file a claim.  At the end of their explanation, I told the nice woman that this was an example of what Brother Tom calls, "the stupid tax", which is, when something costs you money through your own stupidity. She laughed, but urged me to file anyway.

I decided to to drown my sorrows at having lost my ATM card by getting a Swedish Massage, from a Japanese woman at the spa in the hotel.  It was ghastly expensive for a 50 minute session, but worth every penny in relaxation.  When it was over, I went up to my room to watch the basketball game, but took a nap instead when Michigan had the game well in hand in the first half.  Mistake, I am told.  When I awoke, I dressed and met General Dan for a steak dinner just down the road from the hotel.  General Dan is really thriving here in this environment, and we had a great time talking about things we talk about, including daughters and quasi-daughters who appear to be growing up a tad too quickly for either of our comfort.  We agreed however, that our views on the matter were generally discarded by all involved.

As you can tell, yesterday was not a work day.  Today is, however, and I am here to speak on Thursday at the Association of the US Army Land Forces Pacific Forum 2013.  Today was the opening day, and after a bit of morning exercise and breakfast, I headed to the venue.  As you might imagine, it was chock full o' Army dudes.  The morning's agenda was pretty decent, though not earth shattering, and I spent a good bit of time trading snarky text messages with a friend in attendance. 

It is now the lunch break, and I hit the Japanese restaurant from the other night for a sashimi lunch that was to die for.  Coming back up to my room in a long, long corridor of rooms, there was only one maid cart visible and yes, you guessed it, she was in my room.  I don't know about you, but when things like this happen, I truly believe the cosmos is conspiring against me. Like when the dork in front of you at the ez-pass lane clearly doesn't have ez pass--when that happens, it isn't just an accident.  It is karma taking a bite out of me.

More when anything interesting happens.

Random Ramblings From The Psychotic Game Room

As you are no doubt aware the pool didn't get off the ground this year. And as is pretty typical in situations like this I did pretty well. Alas CW stunk up the joint, but it's not his fault. He's a UVA guy and can't be expected to know anything about basketball.

Now, down to bidnez. CW posted some nonsense yesterday about abortion and how we conservatives should move to the center and take the issue away from the leftists. Sorry, that's not going to happen. Just as car manufacturers know that whenever "safety" is mentioned consumers immediately think Mercedes or Volvo, whenever abortion is mentioned voters think pro-abortion Democrats, anti-abortion Republicans. It would take a long time to change that perception. Plus the Democrats, if they think they have an advantage, would not give up the issue easily. But regardless, they would come up with some wedge some how or another, so I see no advantage in folding up the tent on abortion. My personal view is there is a lot of room for compromise, but the Democrats have no interest at all in coming to terms on abortion. It's a fundraising goldmine to start with, and it's a guaranteed winner with young single women. Why in hades would they want a compromise?

Lately a lot of conservatives are crowing about how some of the core provisions in Obamacare will have to be postponed until 2015. They have argued that it's a sure sign the law is in trouble and point out that many Democrats are none to happy with stuff like the tax on medical devices etc. Maybe, but I doubt it. I think it has more to do with the '14 mid-terms than anything else. The Democrats must know Obamacare will further weaken "the recovery" and sink whatever hopes they had for retaking Congress, so they're putting it off. By the time Hillary gets around to her campaign she'll be running as a conservative reformer so no big deal for Democrats; it's all good.

Maggie Thatcher died yesterday (RIP) and Greg Gutfeld made the point that leftists, when they age are treated with kid gloves with barely a mention of their sins and/or crimes. He mentioned Angela Davis who famously (at least in my day) smuggled shotguns into a California courthouse, a judge got dead and she walked (she had an O.J. jury). But conservatives are "controversial - polarizing - divisive", and that's if they want to be kind. Krugman has a column today saying Maggie didn't do anything for Britain, it's all propaganda. Then you get the fringe chiming in like Morrissey (in case you don't know a lame Brit pop artist from twenty years ago famous for being famous) calling Maggie "barbaric" and "...a terror without an atom of humanity." Well, I spent some time in England pre-Maggie and let me tell you what, it was a very depressing place. Margaret Thatcher saved Britain from itself, and a middle-aged has-been or some Welsh thug who calls himself a union leader, or halfass educated "students" who don't know their ass from third base can mock and cheer the death of this great woman all they want. They're just willfully ignorant scum.

Well that's about it. Spring is in the air, CW is lounging on Waikiki Beach and I'm stuck in Tickbite trying to make do. And so it goes...

Monday, April 8, 2013

UVA--The Smartest Party School in the Country

John McCain's father once told an Annapolis graduating class at the height of the Vietnam War, "some say "make love, not war".  You must be man enough to do both".  I've always loved that quote.

Makes me think about my beloved UVA.  Buzzfeed calls us the smartest party school in the country.  I'll take it.  You must be man enough to do both.

Plan B is Plan A

I write this at some risk to my reputation as a Conservative, especially with those who are ardently pro-life.  Additionally, I realize that unlike some, I am equal parts "Conservative" and "Republican", meaning that I have a guiding ideology that alloys with a desire to actually win elections.

I write today in favor of "our team" becoming more favorable toward the "Morning After" Pill specifically and birth control generally. This isn't an easy position for me to take, as it does grate against some more deeply held positions I hold.  But for the long run, the path we are on is a loser.

Let's start with Plan B.  It was in the news this week, as a judge has ordered the FDA to make Plan B available to girls under the age of 17 without parental consent and without prescription. This rightly strikes many Conservatives as inappropriate, as their girls of this age are more than likely to need parental notes and school permission to take Tylenol, yet are free now to purchase Plan B with not so much as a fare thee well.  I understand this view.  I have sympathy for it.  But ultimately, I'm OK with it.  Abortion is simply an insoluble issue.  A large bloc of voters believe that the right to have one ought to reside with the woman carrying the future life, and a large bloc of voters believe the future life enjoys rights equal to or even greater than that of the mother (in that this life is innocent and particularly vulnerable).  I simply see no real "compromise" in which this issue ever goes stops dominating the political discourse--and frankly, as long as it does, it will hurt Conservatives.  

So I recommend an indirect approach.  That is, do what we can to take the issue largely off the table.  Plan B offers that possibility.

It offers the possibility of many women getting control of their reproductive lives without 1) any knowledge of or confirmation that they are indeed pregnant, and in fact, very few of them will be and 2) the stigma of the highly politicized and deeply emotional trip to the abortion clinic.  What I seek is to make the modern concept of abortion RARE, thereby lessening its political impact.  Yes, there will still be abortions such as we are used to today.  Some women will not think to take Plan B after unprotected sex.  Some women will become pregnant even using protection.  There will certainly continue to be a place for this discussion and people on both sides who will stick to their positions.  The difference will be one of degree, in that the potential exists to dramatically reduce the number of abortions in our country through increased availability of Plan B.  Republicans should work to find ways to make this a policy choice--continuing to make staunch opposition to abortion a centerpiece of our politics is not wise, yet adding a woman-friendly concept which includes support for Plan B's availability both in the public and private insurance markets and without prescription, is important.

Next, Republicans should lead the charge to have Birth Control Pills become available without prescription.  Leading OB/GYN's have advocated for this for years, and it would 1) take the whole question of funding birth control out of the healthcare debate and 2) dramatically decrease the cost of what is now a fairly inexpensive medication.  For some reason, Republicans/Conservatives have decided to take a stand against this ONE GROUP of medicines, even as we drive to the Rite Aid to pick up yet another dose of anti-biotics for yet another sick kid subsidized by all the other payers into our insurance pools.   The Obama Administration's fiat directing that Birth Control be available without Co-Pay is clearly overstepping the line, and should be protested.  Yet removing this class of medicines from the prescription world would render even the co-pays moot.  In the meantime, Republicans should champion some kind of initiative in which those who work for companies with moral reservations against providing birth control can obtain birth control at prices competitive with other insurance plans.  This could involve a government subsidy--but Republicans would have to eat that in order to retain the policy goals of retaining religious consciousness objections, recognizing the importance of family planning to modern American families and decreasing the number of abortions in the country.

I realize there are a ton of principled objections to what I propose here.  But in the end, when you're in a hole, you gotta stop digging.

On the Passing of Margaret Thatcher

News reached me this morning of the death of Margaret Thatcher.  She lived an important and consequential life, and we are better off for having had her live it.  I wrapped up William Manchester's magisterial three volume biography of Winston Churchill last week, and the word that comes to mind this morning to describe Maggie Thatcher is "Churchillian".  I can render no higher compliment.

I have one, small Margaret Thatcher story.  I flew to London on the evening of September 10th, 2001, arrived on the morning of the 11th and went to my room at the East India Club to nap for a while, anticipating the evening's dinner with a friend who was stationed nearby.  I called his office before heading off for my nap and left my number, asking for a few hours respite before he called to firm up the evening's plans.  The ringing of the phone woke me up from sound slumber, and I awoke in such a daze that I could not tell where I was and really did not know what time it was (not knowing where the clock radio was in the damn room).  When I answered the phone, my friend told me that we had been attacked, thereby beginning what we now call the "post-9-11 era".  We postponed our dinner plans for a few nights.

I went down to dinner in the Club that night instead.  Clubs such as this have what is called the "Club Table" sometimes, a place set aside for those on travel/in transit who wish to sit and talk with others.  At that moment, I really needed to be in the company of others. I made a good choice, as I was surrounded by men from across the British Empire who were thoroughly pro-American and thoroughly pissed off and ready to grab a bayonet.  

During dinner, Margaret Thatcher entered the room with her husband Denis.  I was transfixed.  I was in the presence of political royalty, the HMFIC of the world conservative movement after the death of Ronaldus Maximus--I was like a schoolgirl at a Beetles concert.  I said to one of my dinner companions, a Brit from the Northlands in London on business, "This is a really cool moment.  I'm eating dinner on one of the worst night's in American history in the club of one of America's closest, most steadfast friends." To which my companion piped up in his perfect Queen's English, "Oh no dear boy.  She's not a member.  She's a woman.  There are no female members here.  This is Denis' club". 

And that's my Margaret Thatcher story.

Dispatch from The Road

I write to you from my bed on the 15th floor of the Sheraton Waikiki at 0319 local time, my body clock starkly disagreeing with whatever time zone this is.  I am here for for a few days, including a little talk I'll give on Thursday morning.  A reasonable mix of business and pleasure, I realize that many people have things much worse than I this week.
Evening view from my balcony

Of great interest is my scheduled dinner companion tonight, known here to fellow readers as "General Dan", first introduced as "Colonel Dan". Dan's stationed out here in this little slice of paradise now, and seems to be genuinely enjoying every minute of it.  But then again, Dan seems to enjoy every minute of every day, irrespective of where he is.  Which is just one of the six hundred reasons he's a really good Soldier.

Traveling here was somewhat uneventful, after a bit of a flat start.  I chose to fly direct from Dulles to Honolulu, which requires a 104 mile drive to the airport.  This was no problem, and I arrived plenty early, hoping to enjoy a leisurely pre-flight repast in order to try and make it through the 10:45 flight without having to order a meal.  But our friends at TSA helped burn much of that available time, apparently beset by the evils of Sequestration and manning fewer security lines than the great throng suggested appropriate. I must admit to initially feeling that what they were doing was passive-aggressive grandstanding in order to support their protestation of the horrors of Sequestration, but then decided that as someone who believed we should go through with it, I should manfully endure whatever inconvenience was due me for the pleasure of cutting the federal budget.  And so I did, striking up a conversation with the gent in front of me, a well-turned out gent of my age heading to Kiawah Island, SC on business.  He was a big Romney supporter, and whispered his disbelief that his wife voted for Obama.  "She's living the good life, big house in Leesburg, no work outside the home, gym everyday, etc., all of which is in the cross-hairs of Obama.  When I try to talk to her about it, her only response was "Romney wants to take a way a woman's right to choose".  The frustration in his voice was palpable.  Yet electoral realities must someday come into play.  A great swath of voters are ready to turn their backs on EVERY SINGLE GOOD IDEA REPUBLICANS HAVE because they think we're wrong on this one.  Makes one think, no?

The long flight was actually pleasurable.  The plane was 2/3 full, so there was plenty of overhead space (the absence of which I irrationally fear to a clinical degree).  I paid $44 extra for "Premier Boarding", which earned me a couple of other emoluments, including a separate security line (frustrated by TSA passive aggressiveness), a quicker check-in/bag drop, and early boarding.  She was a 767 with the 2-3-2 layout, and I had selected my standard left side of the plane, aisle seat (I'm an excellent driver.  Wapner).  Joy of joys, the seat next to me was empty, and remained that way throughout the flight.  I read a bit (a new civil war history) napped a bit, and re-watched two favorite movies--Moneyball and The Lives of Others. 

We arrived 15 minutes early and I was met by the smiling "Richard" at the baggage carousel to convey me to the hotel.  I asked him at one point, "are you a native" and he answered "no, I'm from the Big Island".  I sorta meant native Hawaiian, but he further delineated it.  The hotel is one of these standard, "let's build a place so that the person staying here has absolutely no reason to leave our grounds", which means it is ridiculous and overwhelming.  I have a delightful room overlooking the ocean at the government rate, which is a benefit I did not expect, especially in a comped room.

The clientele is at least 50% Japanese, and I continue to be amused by what passes for fashion among Japanese men.  As I arrived in a ravenous state, my first thoughts were of sustenance and my eye led me to the hotel's Japanese restaurant.  I figured I couldn't go wrong there, either good steak or good sushi.  I wound up having both.  Sitting at the sushi bar, I made pleasant conversation with the head sushi chef, a gregarious Japanese man who had emigrated to Hawaii in 1976 and had raised three "American" sons as he was proud to tell me.  Now some of you remember my travels in South Africa with brother Tom, a man quite incapable of not striking up conversations with the locals.  Well, I had sat down with my iPad, figuring that I would pass the time figuring out what was in the nearby neighborhood in order that I might not pay exorbitant hotel food prices each day.  But this gentleman was a chatty type--and I had a decision to make.  Should I send him a  "I'm not in the mood for conversation, please leave me with my iPad" look (standard for Bryan the Curmudgeon), or should I take on a bit of Brother Tom and enjoy the man's company. Well, I chose the latter and as you can probably already discern, it was a good decision.  I enjoyed his conversation thoroughly. Three sushi chefs stood behind the bar and greeted diners as they entered, though my back was to the new arrivals.  Each time an attractive woman entered though, their demeanor changed and an instant stream of Japanese chatter erupted among them, signalling me to turn around and espy the new talent.  They realized at one point that I was onto their game--pretty much construction workers with sushi knives--and gave me appropriate early warning on particularly attractive arrivals for the remainder of my meal.

After dinner, I went up to my room, hoping to hang on long enough to watch the season premier of "MadMen" but hanging it up about an hour beforehand.  Which of course, is a major contributor to the fact that I am blogging at 0357 in the morning.  

New Arrival

The Kitten grew up right there on the farm where we live now (a different house), and during that time came to see the unit of issue of Labrador Retrievers as 1 (pair).  She really wanted two when we got Baloo, but I was able to convince her that one was enough to get started on.  I think in my mind, I knew we'd eventually get the second one, but I supposed I'd hoped the fuss of the one would convince her (and her progeny) that one was enough.  I was wrong.  Meet  Zuzu. 
Zuzu The Wonder Dog

Zuzu is an eight week old female ("bitch" in the lingo, which I suspect is something dog breeders love to say because it makes them feel like they're getting away with something), who, unlike his adopted brother Baloo, is of purebread stock with the papers and the price tag to prove it.  Baloo's bloodlines appear fairly clean too, but he has no papers and was given to us free by the Kitten's mother. when her dog was impregnated by another black lab.  Interesting to see genetics at work--in that litter there were nine puppies I think, seven blacks and 2 chocolates.  But enough of Punnet Squares.

Zuzu from all appearances is a great dog.  She's a bit on the porky side, which will probably get burned off of her pretty quickly as her new older brother just can't seem to get enough of her.  His energy is endless, and the poor pup is the constant object of his attention.  I can't figure out whether his discomfort when we separate them is born of being away from us, or not being able to play with the puppy.  I suspect it is the latter.

She's not housebroken, but she's not not housebroken either.  She's working out the whole "pee outside" thing, which is enabled by constant supervision and a ton of trips outside.  She slept though the night without peeing in her crate Saturday, which was a surprise to everyone.  I think Baloo just wore her out playing all day.

At some point, one of her habits is going to prove injurious to either her or one of us--as she seems to like to walk between one's feet rather than to the side.  Hopefully we train it out of her before some big Galoot like me steps on her. 

Baloo as you might imagine, loves this little creature in his overthetop manner.  Many of you have met him, and at 21 months of age, he still has a lot of puppy in him.  Loyal, loving, fun, and enthusiastic, Baloo is a handfull.  Eighty-five pounds of perpetual energy, he can pull on a rope like nobody's business for hours at a time, and simply can't understand why this small creature seems to give out so quickly.  The cats--Mowgli and Bagheera--are once again very disturbed with us for bringing another dog into the mix. I think they simply see themselves as too old for this crap. 
Baloo and Zuzu

Friday, April 5, 2013

Big Fat Friday Free For All

What's the matter, chum?  Make an impolitic remark about the California AG?  Did you accidentally claim "single mother" status?  Find yourself without a whit of interest in this weekend's Final Four (me)?

Share, friends.  Share.

Diet Start (19 March): 196.4
Last Friday: 192.8
Today:  191.2

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Newer Posts Older Posts Home