Monday, November 30, 2015

More Evidence Against Bush and Blair

What the post title says.

Tony Blair went to war in Iraq despite a report by South African experts with unique knowledge of the country that showed it did not possess weapons of mass destruction, according to a book published on Sunday.

God, Spies and Lies, by South African journalist John Matisonn , describes how then president Thabo Mbeki tried in vain to convince both Blair and President George W Bush that toppling Saddam Hussein in 2003 would be a terrible mistake.

Mbeki’s predecessor, Nelson Mandela, also tried to convince the American leader, but was left fuming that “President Bush doesn’t know how to think”.

The claim was this week supported by Mbeki’s office, which confirmed that he pleaded with both leaders to heed the WMD experts and even offered to become their intermediary with Saddam in a bid to maintain peace.

So, not being able to think is Bush's excuse. What's Blair's? 

Colorado Shooting Victims

The most recent ones. Unless there are more being produced as I type this.

The two civilian victims of the Colorado Planned Parenthood shooting were named by family members, local media reported on Sunday.

The woman who died was identified as Jennifer Markovsky, a Hawaii-born resident of Colorado Springs. The man who was killed was named as Ke’Arre Stewart.

The third person killed was University of Colorado–Colorado Springs police officer Garrett Swasey, a 44-year-old father of two. 

Ke'Arre Stewart:

Ke'Arre Stewart, an Army veteran who served in Iraq and the father of two girls, was among the three people killed in Friday's shooting at a Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs, a friend confirmed Sunday.

Stewart, 29, graduated from La Vega High School in Texas in 2004 and joined the Army, said friend Amburh Butler. Stewart was stationed at Fort Hood and did one tour in Iraq.

Stewart was a good father and friend, Cross said.

Jennifer Markovsky:

Family members identified the woman as Jennifer Markovsky, a 1997 Waianae High School graduate.

They said Markovsky was accompanying a friend who had an appointment at the clinic in Colorado Springs. The friend suffered a gunshot wound to the hand.

"The family is grieving. We're all shocked," one of Markovsky's relatives said.

On Facebook, Markovsky's father, John Ah King mourned his daughter's loss.

This is just a side note: Hawaii has the lowest per capita rate of firearm deaths in the U.S. That's because they regulate them there. Can I prove that? No. It's common sense. 

Colorado ranks number 26.

ADDENDUM: I want to add this story that was in CSM today on Ke'Arre Stewart.

After being shot outside the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic Friday, Iraq War veteran Ke'Arre Stewart ran inside to warn the others..

With his last breaths, his brother said in an interview with NBC, the father of two tried to save the lives of those still in the clinic.

Calling his brother a hero, Leyonte Chandler recounted Mr. Stewart’s involvement in the five-hour standoff. He said Stewart had been outside the building when he was shot.

"He tried to run back inside the building – well, he did – and tell the other people inside, you know, 

'Take cover, get down,'" Mr. Chandler said. "People started taking cover, hiding in bathrooms and whatnot."

See the quiz on extremism in America, too.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Colorado Shooting

There doesn't seem to be a lot of info on the Planned Parenthood shooting. I could say fuck the guns, but I say that all the time. Can't trash Christians as being responsible for this lone nut. The people who put together the sliced and cut video, I believe should be held accountable. They certainly are culpable in some way. I would urge civil suits against them by survivors of this tragedy. Sue the shit out of them.

The National Abortion Federation has reported an uptick in incidents involving clinics since The Center for Medical Progress released videos this summer, including a nine-fold increase in harassment of clinic employees.

"We have been quite worried that [an] increase in threats would lead to a violent attack like we saw" on Friday, Vicki Saporta, president and CEO of the National Abortion Federation, which tracks attacks on clinics, told Mother Jones on Friday.

A pause here to say Rep. Kinzinger is an asshole. Sue him, too.

Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R) of Illinois, a staunch abortion opponent, told CNN that the shooter could have had a “legitimate disagreement” with the organization, though he panned the man as a “person … that is to some level psychotic and crazy.”

And crocodile tears from CMP.

“The Center for Medical Progress does not support vigilante violence against abortion providers,” added David Daleiden, the founder of the organization. “There are people at Planned Parenthood who I still consider friends and my thoughts and prayers are with them at this time for no one to be injured.”

They need to be held responsible. Criminally is never going to happen. At least defund them to the greatest extent possible.

To close, I'll once again express my gratitude to Governor Cuomo for pushing through the SAFE Act.

The attack came as thick snow fell on a state that has now seen several mass violence attacks in Columbine, Aurora, and, just late last month, in Colorado Springs, where a gunman killed three people near downtown, before being shot and killed by police.

Oh yeah, fuck the guns.

The Guardian


Saturday, November 28, 2015

Give Me the Refugees Over the Open Carry Terrorists

Some might take issue with my use of the term terrorist to describe the open carry second amendment performance artists (and may they keep it at the level of performance art). Terrorize.

To dominate or coerce by intimidation.

And what are these guys doing?

Police were on hand in the Center's parking lot, with SWAT teams on standby, to allay worshippers' fears as roughly a dozen armed activists, some in face masks, lined the sidewalk. One carried a sign reading "Stop the Islamization of America."

Organizer David Wright, who cited the Paris attacks and rumors of Syrian refugees coming to Texas as reasons for the protest, said he had brought his 12-gauge shotgun because "We do want to show force," according to the Dallas Morning News. "It would be ridiculous to protest Islam without defending ourselves," he said. 

Now, I've mentioned here at Hometown blog, a time or two, that I am open to the idea of accepting refugees from the state of Texas. I realize there have to be some sane folks there. Old friend Doc Biobrain, if he still resides there, would certainly be welcome on the shores of our fair state. There is going to have to be background checks that would make the ones given these Syrians and Iraqis look pale by comparison. 

I had overlooked putting up this tidbit previously.

In September, Irving teenager Ahmed Mohamed's arrest for bringing a homemade clock to school became national news. School officials feared that the device was a bomb, but many,including 29 members of Congress, alleged that anti-Islamic bias had factored into school administrators' handling of the incident. 

The Mohamed family has since announced that they will move to Qatar, where the Qatar Foundation's Young Innovators Programme will sponsor Ahmed's secondary and undergraduate education. 

So, this kid is probably the next Steve Jobs or Bill Gates and he's going to be benefiting the country of Qatar. Nice work, xenophobes! There's some info in the article about how there are actually no Sharia Law courts in Texas. Yeah, I'm surprised too. I'm sure Glenn Beck is still looking for them, tho. Gun nuttery is what we're here for.

In January, gun owners with concealed handgun licenses will be able to legally display their guns in public. Despite having many relatively loose gun protection laws, the Lone Star State previously forbade open carry for handguns, leading many supporters to show off their semiautomatic weapons, instead.

Give us your tired (of teh stupid), your poor, your huddled masses of sensible Texans.

UPDATE: So, apparently the mayor of Dallas has seen my offer here and is making a play for refugee status here in the Empire State. I know this because he is being attacked by Annie Dice Coulter. This was before the shooting event in Colorado yesterday.

The mayor of Dallas is pushing back against politicians who say Americans should be skeptical ofSyrian refugees, saying he is “more fearful” of armed white men than people fleeing civil war in the Middle East.

Speaking to MSNBC on Saturday morning, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings was asked to discuss the growing anxiety over Syrian refugees entering the United States, purportedly due to concerns they could be potential agents for militant groups such as ISIS. Rawlings staunchly rejected the assertion that Syrians are somehow uniquely prone to violence, saying he is more concerned with the rise of white supremacy and the recent flurry of mass shootings committed by white men.

“I am more fearful of large gatherings of white men that come into schools, theaters and shoot people up, but we don’t isolate young white men on this issue,” Rawlings said. 

Welcome sir. The first pair of long underwear is on the house.

Spittlebugs and Performance Art

Perfromance art is a growing industry on the Right. I may have mentioned in the past how I feel that the open carry guys are actually second amendment performance artists. As the events in Colorado yesterday proved, they are often not content to keep it below the homicidal level. Seeing a Confederate flag decal on a pick up truck the other day made me realize that it's not just with guns. There are also stars and bars performers. In addition, there are the letter writers in my local paper who also engage in a version of it.

This sends me off on a slight tangent. I was pondering recently as to whether some of the spittle flecks, which assuredly accompany these missives, actually survive transmission through the tubes of the internet and reach the Post Star. That led to my having to confirm that spittle is actually a word. Examining my perusal-beaten American Heritage dictionary assured me that is indeed. Fortuitously, I noticed the word following it was spittle bug. Brightened my day, I'll tell ya. So now, in addition to being humorless harpies of hate, the ranting writers of rage will henceforth also be known as spittle bugs.

Climbing back down the tangent line to the point of intersection I was at before being accosted by a wave of spittle bugs I'll come to the point. The point was pointlessness. All of the actions of right wing performance artists are pointless. As with their ancestor, piss Christ person, their shtick is to be rude. There's no value beyond that. They accuse others of political correctness when the fact is that they are just ill-mannered.

Is there a reason to walk into a casual dining establishment with an assault rifle? Is there a reason, at least in Northern NY to display a Confederate flag decal on your vehicle? Is there a reason to write a letter to your local paper thats' nothing more than a tired old laundry list of right wing talking points. You know, prefabricated bullshit. 

Friday, November 27, 2015

Loving the Letters

Wanted to mention a few letters to the editor the past few days. It's very nice that the elections are over and the nuts have the section to ourselves. Here's John Brooks.

I truly believe that Obama is as much a threat as the terrorists are.

He's actually screamingly mundane. So, let's move on to Andrew Dicroce, who is anything but. He also shares the honor of being a big supporter of Mark Frost's recent take on political correctness. I'm not going to bother commenting on much of it, other than this bit.

We cannot prove who is the good guy or the bad guy and you want to open our borders to terrorists, worked so well on our southern borders? Do you lock your doors at night to keep people out or to protect your family?

I just want to say with people like Andrew running around, yes I do lock my doors at night. 

A couple of shout outs: 

Tom Philo for a great letter today on refugees. 

Kevin Murphy with a response to John Siebrecht's letter from a few days back.

As for keeping us in the dark, The Post-Star doesn't create the news that ridicules Republicans. It only seems that way because the party of Lincoln has become a cesspool of uncompromising buffoons who are out of touch with the electorate. Again, don't blame the media. 

You can never have too many Kevin's in the letters section. Thanks Kev. I read that Siebrecht letter and thought, where the hell do you start. You found the loose thread and pulled it hard.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Damage to the Republican Brand?

Apparently by pointing out what they have been for years.

“This is no longer a joke,” said Cullen, who lost his bid before the state Ballot Law Commission to knock Trump off the ballot. “Donald Trump is a dangerous demagogue. He’s doing damage to the Republican brand that will prevent us from running a competitive national election next year.”

Sorry. You own him. And here's some great news.

Party leaders are increasingly worried about the impact Trump’s campaign could have on down-ballot candidates in purple states such as the reelection bids by Senators Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire and Rob Portman of Ohio.

Thank you, Fox News and Rightwing Radio. 

“The only group he hasn’t alienated so far is grumpy middle-aged white men, and there aren’t enough grumpy middle-aged white men to win an election,” Cullen said.

At least he still has his sense of humor. Here's some additional bad news, though. I'm a grumpy middle-aged white man and there's no way in hell I vote for a Republican. 

Should Trump win the nomination, Fleischer said, a coalition of traditional GOP voters plus conservative Democrats could be enough to hand Trump victories in Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania — three states where he’s either leading Clinton in head-to-head matchups or statistically tied.

Still, he predicted the Republican Party will go into a “full-scale panic and meltdown” if Trump wins either Iowa or New Hampshire — or, if the polls hold, both.

“He will totally rewrite what the Republican brand is if he is the nominee,” Fleischer said.

Did Ari have a serious head injury?

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

ISIS Finances

Linking here to an article at CSM on squeezing ISIS financially. We definitely can't do it all militarily.

Air strikes by the United States and Russian militaries show a new focus in international efforts against the self-proclaimed Islamic State in Iraq and Syria: to undercut the group by degrading its ability to use oil as a financial lifeline.

Not a cure-all, but it's part of a strategy.

The leaders of IS “make excellent use of the money they attain…. The more you cut off that money, the more you make it difficult for them to do the funding of all sorts of nefarious projects.”

I had assumed they received money from the Sunni countries in the region as al-Qaeda does. Not so much, tho.

Oil isn’t the Islamic State’s only sizable funding source. Most notable is the extraction of rents (various forms of extortion, fees, and taxes) from populations in IS-held territories.


Other experts say that the extortion of local populations may be the Islamic State’s No. 1 source of income.

Other activities yield smaller but meaningful income: the sale of antiquities, kidnappings for ransom, human trafficking, gifts from rich supporters. Last but not least is the one-time haul of money looted from banks when IS took over places like Mosul, Iraq – a total that may have reached $500 million to $1 billion in that city alone, experts say.

On the cost side of the IS ledger, payroll of fighters alone may run higher than $300 million per year. The group also has to spend on paying oil-field technicians, and on providing some government services in the regions it controls.

Add it all up, and some analysts see the IS financial model as unsustainable in the long run, without further territorial conquests. That becomes especially true if the opportunity to sell oil can be constrained.

And in other news of making Muslims want to kill us, here's John Kerry

Secretary of State John Kerry visited the United Arab Emirates (UAE) today to meet with Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan. The UAE — a close Western ally with some of the world’s largest oil reserves — is a federation of seven absolute monarchies which base their laws on an extreme interpretation of Sharia (Islamic law). Although it tries to present itself as practicing a semblance of democracy, the roles of the UAE’s president and prime minister are effectively hereditary in nature, passed down to the emirs of Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

The New York Times has described the UAE as “an autocracy with the sheen of a progressive, modern state.”

In his trip Monday morning, Kerry applauded the monarchic, theocratic state for its work in the region.

“We respect what United Arab Emirates has been able to do to be able to accomplish significant progress in Yemen,” Kerry said.

What exactly does Kerry mean by “significant progress”? He means the UAE has helped wage a destructive war on Yemen, the poorest country in the Middle East.

Supporting autocratic bastards who are raining death on a poor country also filled with Muslims is not going to help us.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Just Water vs. Tap Water

Might be time for a comparison. Frugal bastard that I am, I hardly ever pay for a bottle of water. Only when I've crawled across the desert with vultures circling overhead. See the video and use the tap.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

More Wingnut Letters in the Post Star

Just go read this one. He must be fun at Thanksgiving dinner. I can just see the kinfolk avoiding him like the plague. There's no sense in trying to pick and choose any juicy tidbits from it. I thought about how I would respond to it with a letter and couldn't think where to even start. These aren't worth the time and effort anyway. Why wrestle with pigs? You just get covered with mud and the pig loves it.

Here's one I really liked and it was on the same day as John Siebrecht's. This is from a junior humorless harpy of hate. I find it hard to believe that this 9 year old was precocious enough to have written this letter all on her own. Otherwise, I'd feel guilty about fisking it.

Dear President Obama,
My name is Julia Westfall. I am 9 years old. I go to school at Kensington Road School in Glens Falls, New York. I’m in fourth grade, and my class and I have had some thoughts. Wait! Please don’t put this letter down when you read this for this is important! 

Don't listen Barack, it's a trap and you got better things to do than read letters from junior concern trolls. 

We had a question while we were reading about the presidential election process and it was, “Can a Democratic president pick a Republican vice president?” They could, we found out, but they normally don’t. 

They don't because Republicans are the spawn of Satan, Julia. 

We believe if there’s a Republican president, then there should be a Democratic vice president, and vice versa. 

Well, you're wrong. Get over it.

This class has ages in it that only range from 8 to 10 years old and we want to help our country, do you? Will you listen to us? We’ll give you examples. So listen.

You want to help the country? Study hard, if you pick your nose don't eat it and stop writing condescending letters to the leader of the free world.

If it was an actual law that Republican presidents had to choose a Democratic vice president and vice versa, then our country would be better off. If they had to work together, there'd be 10 less minutes arguing about parties!

Did your teacher promise you a magic sparkle pony for writing this letter. You must believe in those and Santa Claus, too. There ain't no Santa. Feel better? Oh, and your teacher is on her way to the secret re-education camps that Obama runs. And, if you're not careful you're getting a one-way ticket there yourself. 

Back to the point about showing you examples. I said that because in school we learn to: share, be nice, cooperate, and don’t be mad about nothing! Do those rules only apply to children?

You're making me throw up in my mouth a little. Yes, they only apply to children and it doesn't work then either. 

Because you’re fighting against Republicans for nothing! What I’m about to say goes for a lot of things ... a Democrat and a Republican working together will spark new ideas and solutions to problems. Don’t you want to help our country?

How did you pack so much wrong into just a few sentences? Are you related to Maggie Alitz or John Siebrecht? First, the president is not fighting against the Republicans for nothing. They are trying to create Hell on Earth and Barack Obama is taking stand against that. Second, there is not a Republican politician in this country who would consider working with BO on anything. Third, see the Hell on Earth thing. 

We, my classmates, are this country’s future. After all, “U.S.” spells “us.” Ever thought of that? 

Yes, I did know how to spell "us." But, what really scares me is the thought that you are the future of the country. Fortunately, I'm old enough so that I'm hoping to be dead long before they're crowning President Stefanik or worse yet, Funiciello. 

Have you ever heard of a Democratic Republican? Thomas Jefferson got it right! That is a law I want you to pass.

Apparently, your mommy and daddy have been filling your little head with that Obama as dictator tripe. Read the Constitution, Sweetie. Or let Uncle Kevin help. 

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Letter to a Gun Nut

Have I used that post title before? Good chance. Anyway, here's a fellow from Corinth who's concerned that the French need to arm up to confront the menace they face.

My response:

     I'd like to respond to the letter by Jeff Collura. His feeling seems to be that the higher the level of violence in a society, the easier the government should make it to obtain guns. I believe that if the French take a look at our success with that strategy they'll likely opt for plan B. If you adjust their population to our level, they would have the equivalent of 6,000 yearly deaths from firearms compared with our more than 33,000. That's over 90 a day die from them in the U.S. and nearly two thirds are suicide or accident. Every day and a half, on average, we have more deaths than occurred in Paris.
     I agree there are a lot of illegal guns in France. Is that a reason to give up trying to regulate them? It's a border problem similar to the one Washington DC has. England, with no borders, has annual gun deaths in the low hundreds. A great book on firearms policy is "Gun Fight" by Adam Winkler. I know it's good because it caused me to change some of my liberal ideas. I also learned that "Gunsmoke" lied to us. Dodge City and all those western towns made folks check their weapons at the city limits. They had strict laws against concealed weapons, as well, and almost no deaths from gun violence.
     Interesting story I saw in the past few days is the Texas legislator who said he thought it would be a bad idea to allow in refugees because it's too easy to get guns in his state. To quote Cosmo Kramer, "Without rules, there's chaos." 

I hate wingnuts in my morning paper.

From Chas. Pierce:

"What shall remain? Ruins, thousands of children without education, so many innocent victims and lots of money in the pockets of arms dealers. Jesus once said: 'You can not serve two masters: Either God or riches.' War is the right choice for him, who would serve wealth: 'Let us build weapons, so that the economy will right itself somewhat, and let us go forward in pursuit of our interests.' There is an ugly word the Lord spoke: 'Cursed!' Because He said: 'Blessed are the peacemakers!'"

Bless you, Pope Frank! You are more eloquent than even Cosmo Kramer. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Oh, Can I?


"If you want to insult me, you can do it overseas, you can do it in Turkey, you can do it in foreign countries, but come back and insult me to my face,"Cruz said. "Let's have a debate on Syrian refugees right now. We can do it anywhere you want....It's easy to toss a cheap insult where no one can respond."

Stop me if I'm wrong, but Cruz is responding, isn't he? 

Be Courageous

That's how we'll defeat the terrorists. God, I hate using that stupid word.

In Paris, echoes of “keep calm and carry on” reverberated around the city. As The Economist reported, there was “a sense of defiant normalcy.” While shops, restaurants, schools, museums, libraries, town halls, gyms, and markets were closed, “locals were trying to go out and about as usual.”One man was found fishing on the Seine, a spot he usually avoids but decided to occupy in protest. Others waited in line to donate blood.

Hating on Muslims is not how we'll defeat terrorists. Yes, still hate the word. 

When it targeted scores of Parisians in a concert hall last Friday, the terrorist group known as the Islamic State (ISIS) didn't just set out to kill more than 100 civilians enjoying an evening out. Its goal, according to experts and in ISIS's own words, was also to sow discord, ultimately polarizing the world into two sharply opposing camps.

It was a goal that was almost immediately achieved as Muslims, mosques, and Muslim-owned businesses across Paris, and in some cases, the US, were harassed and vandalized in the days following the brutal attacks.

Keep calm and carry on. 

Wait! The Second Amendment's for Everyone?

This is something I see as a problem and it certainly occurred to me as I wrote about Brave, Brave Sir Robert. Can't a large number of potential terrorists in our country also find easy access to weapons? That would seem to be a weakness inherent in the second amendment.

In related news, here's a dough-head from where-the-fck-else? Texas, talking about his concerns about allowing Syrian refugees into that benighted state.

"While the Paris attackers used suicide vests and grenades," Dale wrote, "it is clear that firearms also killed a large number of innocent victims. Can you imagine a scenario were [sic] a refugees [sic] is admitted to the United States, is provided with federal cash payments and other assistance, obtains a drivers license and purchases a weapon and executes an attack?" He urged the lawmakers to "do whatever you can to stop the [Syrian refugee] program."
In other words, we can't let these people in because, if they're terrorists, it would be far too easy for them to obtain firearms in this country, which is one of the blessings of liberty because freedom, that's why.

Self-awareness is not just a river in Egypt, dude.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Stabilizing Syria

A good video and article at CSM on ISIS in Syria.

Perhaps most crucially, the West and Russia have moved closer than at any time in the past four years toward a political solution in Syria, which many believe is central to fighting IS-inspired terrorism.

“There is a new pragmatism emerging in Europe to work with Russia and Iran, and other European partners, and to try and work towards a political solution,” says Eugene Rogan, director of the Middle East Centre at the University of Oxford.

Russia and Assad both exist. Surprisingly, no mention of Iran, though.

US-led efforts to eradicate IS were complicated after Russia intervened six weeks ago, with an expeditionary force of about 50 attack aircraft and supporting troops. But there is a growing consensus, given the reach and sophistication of IS terror, that Russia has helped change the diplomatic conversation, especially the idea that overthrowing Assad is an impossible immediate goal.

“It is dawning on everyone that the only way out of this is a political solution that takes into account the Assad government and the large numbers of people it represents. It hasn't survived for four years, with all the forces arrayed against it, without strong social roots," says Sergei Karaganov, a senior Russian foreign policy expert. 


Talks in Vienna on Syria have already made more progress in the past 10 days than in the previous four years, says Andrei Klimov, deputy chair of the international affairs committee of the Federation Council, Russia's Senate. A rough draft of a transitional program lays out a path to a ceasefire, a new Syrian constitution, and fresh elections within 18 months. 


The issue of Assad, and whether he might be allowed to run in new elections, remains the key obstacle. The US and all its allies insist that while Assad may be allowed to play some sort of transitional role, he must leave soon. The Russians say they are not wedded to Assad, but remain vague on when and how he might relinquish power.

That might stymie forward movement in the peace process, since most Syrian rebels have insisted they will never deal with Assad. “One of the problems at Vienna is that we still don't have any definition of 'moderate' rebels. Everyone will agree that IS and Al Qaeda must be excluded. But there are many rebels who took up arms to depose Assad, that is why they are in the field,” says Sergei Strokan, international affairs columnist with the Moscow daily Kommersant.

"It is urgently necessary to drop all the polemics, and identify those forces who might be ready to stop shooting, sit down at the negotiating table, and then participate in a provisional government. This sort of thing has happened in many places, at many times, and it's perfectly possible for Syria.

Amen to that thought. 

Brave, Brave Sir Robert

Bob Lonsberry is a right winger I encountered during my stay in the Western part of our fair most excellent state. So, here's BL on fighting ISIS. He's locked and loaded, as you can imagine, if you'd made the mistake of reading very much of him.


What are you going to do?

When ISIS brings its gutter religion to you, and wants to sacrifice you as an offering to its god of hate, what are you going to do?

Do you run and die or stand and fight?

As far as I know he is not a parody.

I’d recommend a little courage and the Second Amendment as your terrorism-defense plan.

Where you legally can, carry a gun. In too many parts of America, Democrat policies make it illegal to carry a concealed firearm – make it illegal to defend yourself. But where you can carry, do.

That won’t be for everyone. But it will be for some. And that some might be enough.

Maybe enough to save your spouse or children, or the innocent people around you. Maybe enough to buy time for others to escape to safety or law enforcement to come like the cavalry over the hill.

You might still die.

But you won’t die easy and you won’t die alone.

To quote the t-shirt: Keep Calm and Return Fire.

I'm a little disappointed because when I first went and looked at this posting, he had a poll up asking if his readers were afeared of ISIS. And 85% of these brave souls were indeed cowering under their beds. 

Because the last thing any attacker wants or expects is a counterattack. When the bad guy pops up and starts shouting his Arabic slogans, that’s when you want to be taking up a sight picture. Let the second shot be yours.

And be prepared to fire it effectively.

Make basic marksmanship a part of your life. Make the accurate use of your firearm a personal and ongoing goal. Invest the time and ammunition to be competent. Start with center mass, and advance to center face.

And where you can legally do so, always have arms and ammunition at hand. Be part of the invisible army that the Founders called the militia. Look like one more mom or dad, but be the protector of your family and your country that you were born to be.

I really can't imagine why Rochester would be high on the hit list for ISIS. But, just in case it is here's a little something that the supposedly faithful Christians reading BL might have forgotten from the Good Book. 

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
he leadeth me beside the still waters. 
He restoreth my soul:
he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness 
for his name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the 
shadow of death,
I will fear no evil: for thou art with me;
thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence 
of mine enemies:
thou anointest my head with oil;
my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the 
days of my life:
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

Please. You people are not living in the "valley
of the shadow of death." The people in Paris aren't
as scared as you are. 

Monday, November 16, 2015

How Much is Too Much?

Where should the minimum wage be set? Yes, it's in the faux liberal NYTimes.

I am frequently asked, “How high can the minimum wage go without jeopardizing employment of low-wage workers? And at what level would further minimum wage increases result in more job losses than wage gains, lowering the earnings of low-wage workers as a whole?”

Although available research cannot precisely answer these questions, I am confident that a federal minimum wage that rises to around $12 an hour over the next five years or so would not have a meaningful negative effect on United States employment. One reason for this judgment is that around 140 research projects commissioned by Britain’s independent Low Pay Commission have found that the minimum wage “has led to higher than average wage increases for the lowest paid, with little evidence of adverse effects on employment or the economy.” A $12-per-hour minimum wage in the United States phased in over several years would be in the same ballpark as Britain’s minimum wage today. 

Here's the faux liberal part where they don't endorse $15 an hour like the oh so progressive Green party.

But $15 an hour is beyond international experience, and could well be counterproductive. Although some high-wage cities and states could probably absorb a $15-an-hour minimum wage with little or no job loss, it is far from clear that the same could be said for every state, city and town in the United States.

Meteor Showers Tomorrow

Hopefully, we'll have clear skies for the Leonids Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.

Every year in November, skywatchers can enjoy the sights of the Leonids meteor shower. This year, the shower will occur from midnight to dawn on Nov. 18.

This annual shower is named after the constellation Leo, the Lion, as the meteors appear to radiate out from the Lion’s mane. But you don’t have to know your constellations to see the meteors, because they will streak in all directions and will appear all over the sky.

Dress warmly. From earthsky.

Oh yeah, don't miss Jupiter either. 

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Follow the Money

From Charles Pierce, a measured response to the devastation in Paris.

These are a few things that will not solve the terrible and tangled web of causation and violence in which the attacks of Friday night were spawned. A 242-ship Navy will not stop one motivated murderous fanatic from emptying the clip of an AK-47 into the windows of a crowded restaurant. The F-35 fighter plane will not stop a group of motivated murderous fanatics from detonating bombs at a soccer match. A missile-defense shield in Poland will not stop a platoon of motivated murderous fanatics from opening up in a jammed concert hall, or taking hostages, or taking themselves out with suicide belts when the police break down the doors. American soldiers dying in the sands of Syria or Iraq will not stop the events like what happened in Paris from happening again because American soldiers dying in the sands of Syria or Iraq will be dying there in combat against only the most obvious physical manifestation of a deeper complex of ancient causes and ancient effects made worse by the reach of the modern technology of bloodshed and murder. Nobody's death is ever sacrifice enough for that.

Not everything is a nail that can be hammered by the military.

In 2010, thanks to WikiLeaks, we learned that the State Department, under the direction of then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, knew full well where the money for foreign terrorism came from. It came from countries and not from a faith. It came from sovereign states and not from an organized religion. It came from politicians and dictators, not from clerics, at least not directly. It was paid to maintain a political and social order, not to promulgate a religious revival or to launch a religious war. Religion was the fuel, the ammonium nitrate and the diesel fuel.Authoritarian oligarchy built the bomb. As long as people are dying in Paris, nobody important is dying in Doha or Riyadh.

It's time for this to stop. It's time to be pitiless against the bankers and against the people who invest in murder to assure their own survival in power. Assets from these states should be frozen, all over the west. Money trails should be followed, wherever they lead. People should go to jail, in every country in the world. It should be done state-to-state. Stop funding the murder of our citizens and you can have your money back. Maybe. If we're satisfied that you'll stop doing it. And, it goes without saying, but we'll say it anyway – not another bullet will be sold to you, let alone advanced warplanes, until this act gets cleaned up to our satisfaction. If that endangers your political position back home, that's your problem, not ours. You are no longer trusted allies. Complain, and your diplomats will be going home. Complain more loudly, and your diplomats will be investigated and, if necessary, detained. Retaliate, and you do not want to know what will happen, but it will done with cold, reasoned and, yes, pitiless calculation. It will not be a blind punch. You will not see it coming. It will not be an attack on your faith. It will be an attack on how you conduct your business as sovereign states in a world full of sovereign states.

Yes. I did want to copy and paste his whole piece. From the wikileaks link above:

"Donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide," she said.

Three other Arab countries are listed as sources of militant money: Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Do You Still Think So?

Here's Mike Halstead on Fox News:

STEVE DOOCY: [Y]ou said that Black Lives Matter is a terrorist group.

MIKE HALSTEAD: It is a terrorist group in my opinion. It's a terrorist group if you can march down the streets and call for the death of police officers and a race of people. You can make slogans and hold banners that says Black Lives Matter and then you can yell out pigs wrapped in bacon and frying in a pan, what do we want? Dead cops. When do we want them? Now. I mean, come on.


DOOCY: If you had a do-over and you could change one word or any of the words in that Facebook post, would you?

HALSTEAD: I would not have been so hard on the media. And I do apologize for that. I don't apologize for calling them a terrorist group, because they are a terrorist group.

Dick's Little Deferment ON the Paris Attacks

Liz Cheney didn't waste any time politicizing the attacks in Paris.

Former Vice President Dick Cheney’s daughter Liz Cheney went after President Barack Obama hours after the Paris attacks Friday night for comments he had made regarding ISIL.

Thanks for fulfilling my image of the Cheney family as at least 75% ghouls. 

Mother Jones has a group of people trying to make Liz Cheney look like the voice of reason.

If GOP plays this politically smart they can end any chance that the Dems win the WH in 2016. War is politics carried on by other means. 

I don't know who David A. Clarke Jr. is and I will be eternally grateful for that fact.  

Friday, November 13, 2015

Mark Frost on Political Correctness

Unfortunately I still can't link to anything in the Chronicle, but I still want to comment on some things Frost says in his "Inside Scoop" of November 12, 2015. I haven't followed the story of Tim Tai. He apparently is a reporter who was kept from doing his job at the University of Virginia. MF's comments led me to at least take a look at the story. He did make it harder by calling the professor Melissa Clark when her last name is actually Click. Onto the quote:

Ms. Clark (sic), advocate of strong-arming innocent people, foe of tolerance and a free press, shouldn't be a member of any college's faculty, especially one funded by taxpayers, but she'll be defended by many, probably lionized. 

This is the new Left's McCarthyist unveiling, yet again. So many liberals who know better nevertheless kow-tow to it. 

I did search the internet and was not able to find anyone lionizing Ms. Click. It's not the pound of flesh that Mr. Frost seems to desire, but I see that she is resigning her job. If it's any consolation for MF, the Trump campaign seems to be rolling along well. Sadly, there are signs of PC there, too. In the recent debate, when Donald was waxing nostalgic for the deportations of from back in Uncle Ike's day, he neglected to mention that it was called Operation Wetback. Oversight or Political Correctness? Sadly, I lean toward the latter.

Thanks to Mark, I'm adding Leftist McCarthyite to my resume. Let's see: faux liberal (compliments of Funiciello), fascist liberal (Jonah Goldberg), nihilist (Donald Douglas), and from many sources there was libtard, dummycrat, dhimmicrat, moonbat and so many I've forgotten.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

The Minimum Wage:$15 an Hour or Bust?

Almost out of time, but I will come back to this post.

Democrats, predictably, have fallen in line in supporting ‘Fight for $15,’ but they are divided on the movement’s explicit goals.  Hillary Clinton tweeted her support Tuesday, but she has said previously that a $15 minimum wage wouldn’t be appropriate in areas with lower living costs, and instead advocated for a $12 an hour wage now in Congress.

Thank you Hillary. My opinion all along. Abird in the hand is better than $15 an hour in the bush.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Everyone Hates Republican Politicians

Even Republicans.

There you have the vaunted GOP bench — the well-prepared, highly qualified, totally experienced group of veterans, any one of whom the country was supposed to be able to see as president. And Republican primary voters can’t stand any of them. They are, instead, enthralled with two men who have never held public office, and seem not to even understand our system of government or care how it works.

I saw these cool mushrooms growing in City Park. Since I need an excuse to put up the photo, I'm suggesting them as a running mate for whatever waste of oxygen wins the GOP nomination. 

Not Just a Pretty Face

This is such a great story and it pushes MF down a posting. I may have heard this in the past and my Swiss cheese brain forgot it.

Hollywood actress Hedy Lamarr wanted a bigger impact on the world. And so during World War II, she invented a communication device to help fight the Nazis. At the time, it was used to guide torpedoes but eventually, it would lead to the development of Wi-fi, GPS, and Bluetooth.

Go. Read it all and see the cool Google Doodle. Thanks Google and thanks for the free blog hosting too. You're the best. 

Monday, November 9, 2015

Disenfranchising the Green Party

I've been writing here about Funiciello more than I really like to, but I can't let this go by. The link goes to a podcast of his radio show. Apparently, he moved to my county, Washington, a year and a half ago. There goes the neighborhood. On Tuesday last, he went to vote and was told that "he didn't exist." It was unclear from listening to the show whether he was allowed to vote or not. (He wasn't) He wasn't on the voter rolls, but if he was actually registered, he should have been able to vote by affidavit. My belief is that he screwed up in registering and was not allowed to vote for that reason.

So, that's kind of bad. If you listen to the podcast, and it's at the beginning so you don't have to listen to much, he goes on about a conspiracy at the Board of Elections. Now, I'm not a politician, but one of the knocks against MF is that he's a Truther. I may have mentioned it here a time or two. Or three. If I'm in his position, the last thing I would do is go around alleging conspiracies. Maybe he was joking here. If he was, he's not a comedian. I work as an election inspector and, like Mongo, Kevin is just a pawn in the game of life. As far as I know there is no effort to disenfranchise voters from the Green, Libertarian, Socialist, The Rent's Too Damn High or any other party. As far as I know, no one even pays any attention to what party a voter is a part of.

There is also the idea in the clip that the Democrats and Republicans are in cahoots to keep the minor parties from voting. Really? It's nice to see bipartisanship on something, hey.

Another point that jumps out is that he says he moved to Hudson Falls a year and a half ago. That suggests he should have been voting in HF when he was running for Congress. So, did he not vote in that election or vote in Glens Falls? I'm a Questioner. Hopefully, Mike Derrick will get a chance to ask that.

I'd advise MF to get a campaign manager, a keeper, a minder, a someone to tell him not to say stupid shit. He must have told this story to someone before he went on the radio with it. There must be some person who could have told him not to say that shit on the radio! I've probably said it before because I repeat myself a lot. I have looked at the Green platform and there is much to agree with in it. If they had a good candidate, I'd certainly consider giving them my vote. I'm a Dem, so they haven't taken mine away. Sweet Mother of Jesus, though. I can't vote for loons like MF and Donald Hassig. Imagine having one of them representing the district in Congress. I prefer not to live in a laughingstock.

The fact that the Post Star and Chronicle actually endorsed him is a big part of my problem with him. They gave him legitimacy that he really doesn't deserve. They endorsed him because the other two candidates were seen as carpetbaggers. That's not a good enough reason. So, if I had been running, I should have automatically received the endorsement because of my 58 years living in the district. That's just ignorant.

Proverbs 22:4

By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, and honor, and life.

Well, Dr. Ben gets the riches and honor. If he was ever humble, that ship has long ago set sail. 

A biblical inscription is chiselled into the wall - with proverbs incorrectly spelt

That misspelling would drive me insane, by the way. And here he is with Buddy Jesus. 

Also on display in the hallway is a painting of Carson with Jesus

Don't let me dissuade you from seeing the rest, tho. And hat tip to Charles Pierce for the link. And since I'm stealing from Pierce anyway. It fits with the Bible theme, too.

"We need to be teaching the 'c' part which is Christian values, not Muslim values, not transgender values. We need to be teaching the old Biblical values… Our nation has gone to Gomorrah and it's up to us to turn it around."

Dear Lord, how do sane people live in Alabama?

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Funiciello Endorsement From Post Star

And shockingly despite that lack of common sense, I still subscribe. Matt doesn't, of course, because they're corporately owned. Boo! Hiss! Anyway. Just wanted to link to this so I don't have to go looking for it. No that it's really hard to find.

We found Aaron Woolf to be thoughtful and articulate, but lacking the bravado needed to survive the political storm that is Washington, D.C. He showed a command of Adirondack issues and a love for the region, and has largely financed his own campaign, but we wondered if he would have been a better candidate for the state Senate.

Yes, God forbid you endorse a candidate who actually makes sense. Endorse the Truther. How about Matt running for a lower office. Right. He couldn't win that either and wouldn't get all that face time on TV. 

We don’t believe the scenario Funiciello describes is probable, but we do agree the election of a third-party candidate could send shivers through the established ranks of Republicans and Democrats. That got the attention of our editorial board as the wake-up call our country needs.

And make the district a national embarrassment. 

He does not hedge, hesitate or filter his remarks in any way. Some might find that unnerving, perhaps even frightening. We found it largely refreshing.

Not refreshing. Insane. 

He says he refused to provide health insurance for his workers, or himself, because he can’t afford it and because he refused to pay into a “for profit” system that is corrupt. He says a single payer system is the only way to go.

He makes $20 an hour and some of his workers make more and they can't afford health insurance. So, if they need healthcare the rest of us pay for it. That must be the Green Party version of single payer. 

There is good news, tho. Matt's not going to do that stupid shtick of asking the Democrat to drop out of the race this time around. 

Don't look for Green Party congressional candidate Matt Funiciello to urge Democratic candidate Mike Derrick to drop out the race in 2016, as Funiciello repeatedly urged Democrat Aaron Woolf to do in 2014.
In fact, Funiciello thinks Derek's status as a combat veteran may benefit the Green Party if Derrick is able to pull votes from Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-Willsboro, in the north-west portion of the 21st District. 

How that's supposed to help him is anyone's guess. I certainly do hope that Derrick pulls enough votes to become my representative. 

Funiciello reiterated he will not challenge Derrick in a Democratic primary, but likely will enter the race as the Green Party candidate.

Hopefully he'll face Donald Hassig in a Green primary. The debate would only make sense if you were on blotter acid. 

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Why $15?

The most faux liberal, apparently.

This may have come as a surprise to some, especially in a city that is generally ranked among the most liberal in the country: 46.9 percent of voters in the city are registered Democrats, and only 13.9 percent are registered Republicans. 

In the video clip, one man mentions maybe trying for $12 an hour next year. I'm still looking for the source of the $15 an hour standard.

Critics of the proposed bill said that their reasons were economic rather than political; many small business in and around the city said that they would be unable to afford it.

That's my "objection" to the idea of $15. I do believe that some businesses could afford it and many couldn't. There's also the idea that in some areas that may be a necessary minimum and in some areas it's not. I do think it would be great if everyone made at least that amount. Not sure it makes economic sense, tho. 

Truth From Viggo Mortensen

I wish I could deny that any of this is true. Not going to copy and paste any because it all needs to be read.

Et Tu, Bernie

As I continue to try to come up with my miracle plan to address the problem of guns in our fair country, I come across this article.

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have differences on gun control. Both support expanded background checks and restrictions on assault weapons. But Sanders voted to immunize gun manufacturers from legal liability and he opposed the Brady Bill (because, he has said, he disagreed with the national waiting period for gun purchases it imposed).

I do know that a waiting period will be part of my miraculous plan. 

Gun control measures focused on hiking sentences for gun crimes fuel mass incarceration and do little to prevent gun violence.

That, I can believe. I know we need a focus on education to reduce the number of gun-related suicides as well. People should be told they are putting their lives at risk just from the fact that they own a firearm. 

Clinton supports at least one such quintessentially carceral measure: Making “straw purchasing” a federal crime. So, by the way, does Sanders.

That seems reasonable. Mass shootings may account for a small portion of the gun deaths in the country, but I know this is an issue that should be addressed. 

Straw purchasing, wherein a person buys a gun on behalf of someone who is barred from doing so, is a serious problem, because it is the source of many guns used in crimes.

Cutting to the chase.

At a moment when Congress is considering winding down mandatory minimums, however modestly, one should take a close look at any gun control measure that touts more prison time as the solution. If Sanders and Clinton are serious about ending mass incarceration, they should too.

The plan is very much still a work in progress. 

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Call Us When He starts Shooting People

So, Naomi Bettis called 911 to report a man with a gun walking down the street.

But the dispatcher reminded Bettis of Colorado law.

"I didn't like the first dispatcher," Bettis told the Gazette. "Because she says 'You know in Colorado, they do have an open/concealed weapon' " law.

Of course, it's not the dispatcher's fault. She doesn't make insane gun laws. 

"The call taker did not deviate from policy therefore there is no need to put her on administrative leave," police spokeswoman Lt. Catherine Buckley told the Gazette.

But now if the gunman starts shooting people we can respond to that. 

While local police maintain the call was immediately entered into the dispatch system, police did not arrive until Bettis called again after witnessing the shooting of Mr. Meyers.

Why can't there always be a good guy around with a gun when there's a bad guy with a gun? There are just too few armed citizens in the country. We really need to strive for 100% gun ownership. 

While concerned citizens argue the police did not act properly, police officers explain how difficult it is to assess the severity of situations in a state with an open-carry policy.

As much as I hate to say this, the concerned citizens are wrong. It's a Catch-22 and there's nothing the police can do. They can't respond every time a second amendment performance artist decides to show up at a fast food restaurant armed to the gills. I do have some friendly advice: Stop voting for fuckwits kiwifruits who endorse every whim of the NRA! 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The Devolution of Ralph Nader

I can't believe Ralph Nader has become such an an annoying prick. Since Matt and he have such a bromance that gives me two reasons for putting up the post.

Apparently, Ralph Nader is still talking, though in a way that certainly inspires a deep desire to go to Tumblr to find as many “shut up” gifs as one can find. Over the weekend, Nader published a nonsensical piece at the Huffington Post complaining that “humble savers” are getting screwed by the Federal Reserve’s unwillingness to raise the interest rate, which Nader seems to think is an elaborate plot to help the rich banks at the expense of working people.

As Jordan Weissmann at Slate points out, the entire argument doesn’t make a lot of sense, as “relatively few households actually survive on interest income.” Most ordinary people would benefit a lot more from a robust economy than a higher interest rate on their savings account, but Nader seems to assume a nation of people living on investments rather than on paychecks, which really undermines his spokesman-for-the-working-class schtick.

But this weird piece is notable not just because of its Old Man Simpson half-baked economic crankery, but because he offers a solid dose of sexism to go with it: “Chairwoman Yellen, I think you should sit down with your Nobel Prize winning husband, economist George Akerlof, who is known to be consumer-sensitive,” Nader lectures. Yes, clearly interest rates are low because we live in a madcap world where women are not only allowed to run the Federal Reserve, but they are too willful to listen to the wise counsel of their husbands.

Condescension must rank high in the Green Party platform. 

I know Matt is not appealing to Dems or Reps in the race for Congress. We're both evil, don'tcha know. With Ralph as his BFF, he's probably not gonna appeal to women either. Hope Nader shows up to campaign again. Maybe get a chance to ask him a question. I'm a Questioner you see.