Monday, March 31, 2014

FOD 2014.03.31

Two separate and, on the surface, totally unrelated stories today. The common thread linking them is that they both illustrate how out of touch with reality the obama administration is.

White House looks to regulate cow flatulence
As part of its plan to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, the Obama administration is targeting the dairy industry to reduce methane emissions in their operations.

This comes despite falling methane emission levels across the economy since 1990.

The White House has proposed cutting methane emissions from the dairy industry by 25 percent by 2020. Although U.S. agriculture only accounts for about 9 percent of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, it makes up a sizeable portion of methane emissions...

“Cows emit a massive amount of methane through belching, with a lesser amount through flatulence,” ... “Statistics vary regarding how much methane the average dairy cow expels. Some experts say 100 liters to 200 liters a day… while others say it’s up to 500 liters… a day. In any case, that’s a lot of methane, an amount comparable to the pollution produced by a car in a day.”
No word from the administration on exactly how they propose to reduce burping and farting from the nation's cattle herds. Corks, maybe? Or perhaps they'll institute a buy-back program to get the cows that emit the most methane off the roads pastures; a bovine version of the cash-for-clunkers program that worked so well.

The second story is a little more serious. As the obama administration implements sanctions against Russia intended to punish it for annexing Crimea, it at the same time is giving military gear to the once and future USSR free of charge.
Despite the Russian annexation of the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine, the United States is sending Russia a laser system used in force-on-force training free of charge...

As Russia has consolidated its grip on the Crimean peninsula, President Obama has levied sanctions against certain Russian and Ukrainian officials, and the Pentagon has cut off military-to-military ties with the Russian Federation.

But the Department of Energy’s FY15 budget request for the National Nuclear Security Administration includes funding to provide the Russian Federation with the Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System (MILES) “to support effective protective force performance testing.”

MILES is essentially an advanced “laser tag” system, which uses a system of lasers and blank cartridges to simulate battle, especially for direct-fire force-on-force training...
The MILES gear is admittedly a small piece of a much bigger picture. It's not highly advanced technology. It's not like we're giving them billions of dollars worth of high-tech equipment. But it does show how ineptly this administration is run.

And why the hell is a DOE subsidiary giving military gear to Russia in the first place?

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Sunday Funnies 2014.03.30

Spent the last few days shopping for a used car for our daughter, who is going off to college next fall.

I'd rather visit the dentist...

One day, an elderly woman walked into Nathan Hale's Used Cars lot. As it just so happens, she gets met by the owner himself.

He asks her what kind of car she wants and she replies, "Well, sonny, I can't remember the name exactly, but it has something to do with hate or anger."

The owner replies, "Well, let's see... Oh yes, you want a Plymouth Fury! We have a couple on the lot. What color do you prefer?"

The lady has some trouble explaining the exact color to him, so she reaches into her shopping bag, takes out an ear of corn, strips down the shucks and says, "I want this color."

Nathan replies, "Ma'am I'm sorry, but we don't have any in this color. Could I show you a nice blue one?"

"No son, I want this color."

"But ma'am, they didn't make that color! Maybe a cherry red one would suit you?" says the owner, obviously worried about losing a sale.

By this time, the old lady gets mad, and starts throwing things at the owner, thereby chasing him out of the office and into the lot. One of the salesmen, coming into the office from the back door, notices the disruption and asks the secretary what the old woman was so upset about.

The secretary replies, "Apparently, Hale hath no Fury like the woman's corn!"

Whats the difference between a used car salesman and a software salesmen?

The used car salesman knows when he's lying.

A man walked into a tavern and sat next to a very attractive, smartly dressed woman perched on a bar stool.

"Hi there, Good Looking. How's it going?" he asked.

The woman looked him straight in the eye and said, "Listen, I'll screw anybody, anytime, anywhere, your place, my place, it doesn't matter. I've been doing it ever since I got out of school, and I just love it!"

"No kidding?," said the man, "I sell used cars too. What dealership are you with?"

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Just A Dancin' Fool

I have no illusions about my dancing ability. I can hold my own in a two-step or waltz, but I'm at a total loss with anything else (well, okay, maybe not the Twist). My teenage daughter is mortified when I boogie down, to the extent that she either flees in embarrassment or physically drags me off the dance floor.

But there's now hope for guys like me.

What women want on the dance floor, according to science
A group of evolutionary biologists looked at the science of bump and grind, and say they have figured out exactly which dance movements catch a woman's eye.
You can go to the link to watch avatars demonstrating 'good' and 'bad' dance moves. Alternatively, you can utilize the time-honored tradition of social lubricants to inspire your moves and, more importantly, to lower the standards of your partner...

Friday, March 28, 2014

Friday Follies Happy Hour 2014.03.28

Two days ago the temperature was in the 50s. It's 90 degrees today. We went from winter straight to summer. So here's a summer video...

Another Crisis - And This One Is Serious

There's a crisis of epic proportions brewing here in South Texas.

Margaritas in danger as lime prices at all-time high
Patrons in San Antonio and other restaurants across the country may be noticing a key ingredient missing from their margarita ... limes.

Wholesalers and local restaurant managers say prices for the small citrus fruit has rocketed to an all-time high during the last month... Some restaurants in the Alamo City say they've been forced to make adjustments, including garnishing margaritas, water and tea with lemons rather than limes or only offering the sour fruit upon request.

In the Tex-Mex world, this is a big deal.
Big?!? It's friggin' HUGE!
“Prices for limes are at a historical high,” said Paul Gonzalez, Jr., a produce buyer for River City Produce, one of the largest produce and food service wholesalers in San Antonio. “A case of limes in the summer normally runs about $4 and that can get up to $25 in the winter. Prices right now have reached $95 or $100 for a case…
If my math's right, $4 to $100 is a 2500% increase. Forget gold or natural gas - invest in limes.
Gonzalez said the majority of limes in Texas are imported from Mexico and a mixture of unseasonably cold weather, hurricane and storm systems and drought has contributed much of the price increase.
Oh, sure - blame it on global warming, or climate change, or whatever it is they're calling it now.
Keith Ludwick, a manager at Acenar, said most of the restaurant's vendors don't even have limes, and if they do, the prices are unbelievably high. He said the cartels in Mexico have increasingly made exports from the country more difficult, which he believes also plays a role.
Smuggling drugs into the country, extorting and killing people, that's bad enough. But interfering with margaritas?!? Now they've gone too far.
David Flores, who has bartended at Rita's on the River Walk for two years, called the increase in price and decrease in availability “frustrating” for him as well as customers. The restaurant is only offering limes upon request, he said.
Flores typically slices two-and-a-half buckets of limes for a shift and now he only does a fifth of that.
“We are having to use lime concentrate (for the margaritas) and that takes away from the uniqueness of our restaurant using everything fresh,” he said.

Gonzalez said he wouldn't be surprised if some limes in grocery stores rise to nearly a dollar each and bars could employ a surcharge for dressing beer with lime and salt.
"It should make for a very interesting Cinco de Mayo,” he said.
Well, we Texans have overcome hardships before. We'll struggle our way through the rest of this year, and trust in Almighty Providence to provide a bountiful lime crop next year.


Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Crimean Open

For all you golfers out there, here's a photo from the recent Crimean Open Golf Tournament. Enjoy...

Equal Pay For Equal Work

One of the issues sure to surface in the 2014 elections is the so-called gender pay gap. Google those three little words and you'll get "About 32,600,000 results." Here's an excerpt from one.
When it comes the gender pay gap there is (a) one famous statistic that everybody knows; (b) a couple famous rebuttals to that statistic; and (c) one big unanswered question about equal pay for men and women.

The statistic is that a woman earns $0.77 for every $1 earned by a man. The 77-cent talking point is everywhere, and too often the conversation ends with the double-sevens.

The rebuttals matter. The 77-cent stat doesn't account for the fact that women choose different jobs than men (often in lower-paid occupations and industries). It doesn't account for the fact that many women choose ... to leave the workforce for extended periods of time, which means they have less work experience by the time they turn 40 or 50.

But even when you equalize for all these variables, a pay gap of about 9 percent persists between men and women, and it's particularly cavernous at the top end of the income scale. Why?
The article goes on to point out that the gap is significantly influenced by time: "time since entering the workforce and time spent working." Since many women - rightly or wrongly - are primary caregivers for their families, they spend correspondingly less time on the job. That translates into lower pay.

Nevertheless, there is reason to believe that the gap is narrowing.
On Pay Gap, Millennial Women Near Parity – For Now

A new cohort of young women—members of the so-called Millennial generation—has been entering the workforce for the past decade. At the starting line of their careers, they are better educated than their mothers and grandmothers had been...

...In 2012, among workers ages 25 to 34, women’s hourly earnings were 93% those of men...

...In 2012, the median hourly wage for women, full-time and part-time workers combined, was 84% as much as men ($14.90 vs. $17.79).5 In 1980, the gap had been much wider: the median hourly wage for women was 64% as much as men ($11.94 vs. $18.57 per hour, in 2012 dollars)...
Clearly, Millennial women are well-situated for career success and advancement. However, analysis going back to 1980 suggests that the gender gap in earnings may increase for them as it has for earlier cohorts of young women. Looking at the most recent cohorts of young women, by the time they reached their mid-30s, their earnings relative to those of men began to fall further behind, even if they had started out ahead of the previous cohort of young women.
Motherhood is one factor, as it can lead to interruptions in career paths for women and increased time spent on unpaid work at home. Most Millennial women aren’t there yet, but when they do have young children at home, their level of participation in the labor force is likely to decline.
As will their pay in relation to their male counterparts with uninterrupted career paths.

There is, however, one industry in which the gender gap is reversed. In this field, women make around 3 1/2 times as much as men.
...females earning upward of $350,000 annually and top male stars pulling in around $100,000.
Before all you ladies stampede to the hiring office, be forewarned that we're talking about the porn industry.

Despite what you may think, life as a porn star isn't all fun and games.
One of the biggest problems for female porn stars is that their careers, which typically begin in their early 20s, tend to be short—the typical career arc stretches from six to 18 months. Thus, most adult actors find themselves "retired" before age 25 and many are forced to pursue new avenues.

...some go back to school to earn a degree; some invest in hot artisan industries, including winemaking; still others turn to more adventurous careers, like bounty hunting, which is where you'll find retired porn star and professional wrestler Sandra Scott...
Others follow the same boring, but tried-and-true financial advice that enabled me to retire a few years early: "You save, you invest, and you diversify..."

Like I used to tell my students (and still tell my kids), any day you don't learn something is a wasted day. As a result of reading this blog, you now have (hopefully) learned several things you didn't know before.

You're welcome.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Danger - Italian Grandmother's Tomato Sauce

This post is a little late today. Why, you ask? Because I cooked dinner last night. Let me explain.

I have a friend of Italian descent. He shared with me his grandmother's recipe for tomato sauce. It is simple to make and very, very tasty. But it has a hidden pitfall. It uses one cup of wine. Now as most of you know, there is more than one cup of wine in a bottle. Furthermore, once a bottle is opened the wine doesn't keep that well. It's drink it or lose it. (Hey, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.)

So after adding the cup of wine to the sauce I poured a glass for my wife, and one for myself. The average bottle of wine holds somewhere around 4 to 5 glasses, depending on how heavy your hand is when you  pour them. When my wife and I split a bottle of wine she usually has 2 medium-full glasses, and I have the rest. But after setting aside that pesky cup of wine for the sauce, we were both feeling short-changed. So we opened a second bottle...

She had one more glass from that bottle and then wimped out. According to the 'drink it or lose it' credo I subscribe to (see above), that left it up to me to prevent an egregious waste of good wine. After all, waste not, want not. So I saved the wine from going to waste.

While I was saving all that wine the sauce continued to simmer. I also prepared a salad, cooked the pasta, and fixed some garlic bread. The sauce and the second bottle of wine were both finished at the same time. Dinner was served.

However, what's a nice Italian meal without a bottle of wine?

So I opened the third bottle...

I saved that one from going to waste as well.

I slept in rather late this morning...

Anyway, below is the recipe for the sauce, edited to add my comments. It really is quite tasty, but if you make it beware of that third bottle of wine.

Italian Grandmother Tomato Sauce

  • 1 lb. pork loin roast
  • Olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ red onion, finely diced (and I mean finely – almost minced. The idea is to have the little pieces dissolve during cooking and impart their flavor to the sauce. You don't want hunks of onion floating around in the finished product.)
  • ½ bell pepper, cut in half (in other words, half of a bell pepper cut into two pieces)
  • 2 6 oz. cans (12 oz. total) tomato paste (* see tomato paste rant at the end)
  • 1 15 oz. can crushed tomatoes (use the entire can, liquid and all - you can substitute diced tomatoes if you prefer)
  • 3 cups liquid (I like to use two cups of water and 1 cup of red wine)
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons dried basil (I like the slightly sweet flavor this much basil gives to the sauce, but you can adjust the amount to suit your individual preference.)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Black pepper (as much or as little as you like)
  • Pasta (your choice as to type and amount)


1.  Pour a couple of glugs of the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Heat it until a drop of water flicked into it sizzles. Brown the pork loin roast on two of its four sides.

2.  When you are halfway done browning the roast (two of the four sides, remember?) add the garlic and onion. Brown the remaining two sides, while at the same time sautéing the garlic and onions. Add a little more olive oil if necessary.

3.  When the roast is nice and brown, add all the remaining ingredients (I like to add about half the liquid, then everything else, and then pour the remaining liquid over it all). Stir well to thoroughly mix and combine.

4.  Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 2 ½ to 3 hours, stirring and turning the roast occasionally.

5.  Remove bell pepper pieces and bay leaves. Discard them. Remove roast and set aside. Serve sauce over pasta.

You can serve the roast with the pasta as a side if you desire. Or you can use the roast in other meals  throughout the week (that's what we did). It's very moist and tender, so it's terrific in pulled pork dishes.

* Tomato paste rant – This is one of the few recipes I know of that uses an entire can of tomato paste. Most call for a tablespoon or two. It's all part of a conspiracy by the tomato paste cartel. How often does that leftover tomato paste get shoved to the back of the refrigerator, only to blacken and grow green fuzz over time? I'll tell you how often – every single damn time! And the next time you need tomato paste you have to go out and buy a new can of the stuff. I once saw tomato paste in a small tube, like toothpaste. That was a great idea. But it was killed by the tomato paste cartel because it would have cut sales. I'm telling you, it's a conspiracy!!!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Retirement Guide

If you are considering retiring, here's a guide my wife and I found helpful when we were deciding where to spend our golden years.

You can retire to Phoenix, Arizona where...

1. You are willing to park 3 blocks away because you found shade.
2. You've experienced condensation on your hiney from the hot water in the toilet bowl.
3. You can drive for 4 hours in one direction and never leave town.
4. You have over 100 recipes for Mexican food.
5. You know that "dry heat" is comparable to what hits you in the face when you open your oven door.
6. The 4 seasons are: tolerable, hot, really hot, and ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!


You can retire to California where...

1. You make over $250,000 and you still can't afford to buy a house.
2. The fastest part of your commute is going down your driveway.
3. You know how to eat an artichoke.
4. You drive your rented Mercedes to your neighborhood block party.
5. When someone asks you how far something is, you tell them how long it will take to get there rather than how many miles away it is.
6. The 4 seasons are: Fire, Flood, Mud, and Drought.


You can retire to New York City where...

1. You say "the city" and expect everyone to know you mean Manhattan.
2. You can get into a four-hour argument about how to get from Columbus Circle to Battery Park, but can't find Wisconsin on a map.
3. You think Central Park is "nature."
4. You believe that being able to swear at people in their own language makes you multi-lingual.
5. You've worn out a car horn.
6. You think eye contact is an act of aggression.


You can retire to Minnesota where...

1. You only have four spices: salt, pepper, ketchup, and Tabasco.
2. Halloween costumes fit over parkas.
3. You have more than one recipe for casserole.
4. Sexy lingerie is anything flannel with less than eight buttons.
5. The four seasons are: winter, still winter, almost winter, and construction.


You can retire to the Deep South where....

1. You can rent a movie and buy bait in the same store.
2. "Y'all" is singular and "all y'all" is plural.
3. "He needed killin" is a valid defense.
4. Everyone has 2 first names: Billy Bob, Jimmy Bob, Mary Ellen, Betty Jean, Mary Beth, etc etc.
5. Everything is either "in yonder," "over yonder" or "out yonder." It's important to know the difference, too.


You can retire to Colorado where...

1. You carry your $3,000 mountain bike atop your $500 car.
2. You tell your husband to pick up Granola on his way home and so he stops at the day care center.
3. A pass does not involve a football or dating.
4. The top of your head is bald, but you still have a pony tail.


You can retire to the Midwest where...

1. You've never met any celebrities, but the mayor knows your name.
2. Your idea of a traffic jam is ten cars waiting to pass a tractor.
3. You have had to switch from "heat" to "A/C" on the same day.
4. You end sentences with a preposition: "Where's my coat at?"
5. When asked how your trip was to any exotic place, you say, "It was different!"


You can retire to Florida where...

1. You eat dinner at 3:15 in the afternoon.
2. All purchases include a coupon of some kind – even houses and cars.
3. Everyone can recommend an excellent dermatologist.
4. Road construction never ends anywhere in the state.
5. Cars in front of you often appear to be driven by headless people.


You can retire to Texas, where life is good and the living is easy.

Monday, March 24, 2014

FOD 2014.03.24

Posted with minimal content, because (1) it was a busy weekend, and I'm tired; and (2) this obvious dereliction of duty disgusts me so much that I must flee my computer in desperate need of a strong restorative.

...Russia has completed its seizure of Crimea and may yet invade other parts of Ukraine. Serious stuff, you might say. But the big story of last week as far as the president is concerned is his appearance alongside the star of "The Hangover" movies, the guy who last year smoked a joint live on the Bill Maher show.

...Mr. Obama is imposing the sanctions he had previously threatened on Russia in the event Mr. Putin went ahead with his Black Sea conquests. "These are by far the most comprehensive sanctions applied to Russia since the end of the Cold War—far and away so," crowed one administration official to reporters.

By which the White House means a total of seven Russians and four Ukrainians...
...Last year came the news that Mr. Obama was unaware of the problems plaguing his health-care website until after its rollout and that he never once had a private meeting with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius between July 2010 and November 2013. How does something like that happen?

An answer of sorts comes in an article by Sean Blanda on "How Barack Obama Gets Things Done" on the 99U website. The president, Mr. Blanda reports, wakes up at seven o'clock. He works out 45 minutes a day every day, not including his regular basketball games. He watches a lot of "SportsCenter." Dinner each night with his family. To limit "decision fatigue," he likes to set policy via memos where he can check the box on "agree," "disagree," or "let's discuss."
"Decision fatigue"?!? GMAFB!!!

Glad to see he's got such a desire for an in-depth understanding of the issues facing us.
What do I take away from all this?

The obvious: A cavalier foreign policy by an inattentive president that elicits the contempt of the people it intends to punish ultimately encourages their aggression as well.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Sunday Funnies 2014.03.23

Apologies for the late Funnies. Busy weekend - a golf tournament that ate up most of the day Sat. and Sun. and a friend's 70th birthday party Saturday night at the Kendalia Dance Hall.

In between all the fun we received word that the brother of a very close friend of ours died unexpectedly. He falls into that in-between category - more than an acquaintance, but not what you could call a close friend. Nevertheless, he was a good man and leaves behind a wife and kids who will miss him very much.
"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die..." -- Ecclesiastes 3:1
And speaking of seasons, spring is finally here (how's that for a segue?).

The problem with spring is that it's too nice to go to work, but there's too much yard work that needs to be done at home.

Spring break—that’s when students take time off from football games, basketball games, dances, parties, and hanging out in bars, and go to the beach and relax.

Top Ten Signs Your Home Needs a Spring Cleaning

10. Someone asks, "What died in here?" and you show them

9. Dust on TV screen gives everybody comical Andy Rooney eyebrows

8. When you win the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes, Ed McMahon refuses to get out of the van

7. The so-called "Dust Bunnies" have sharp, snapping teeth

6. Your house gets hit by a twister and it actually looks better

5. Guests take one look at your bathroom and decide to use the backyard

4. When someone from the health department rings your doorbell, you say, "Not again!"

3. Every time you turn on a faucet, you hear a muffled barking sound

2. Even Robert Downey, Jr. refuses to sleep on your floor

1. You've been receiving death threats from Mr. Clean

I have a friend who is exiled lives in Buffalo NY. He sent me the following.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Things That Make Me Shake My Head 2014.03.22

There is nothing so uncommon as common sense. Here's the latest example of public school administrators blindly following policy in place of using judgment and discretion.
Last week, Virginia Beach, Virginia sixth grader Adrionna Harris noticed her classmate doing something terrible – he was cutting his arm with a small razor. The Bayside Middle School student knew that was wrong, so she stepped in and took the razor away, and threw it out. It was an act that one might think would earn her praise from her school ... it instead earned her a suspension and possible expulsion.
To make matters worse, the school district refused to discuss the matter with Adrionna’s parents - until they got a local TV station involved.
The school’s own details of the event state Adrionna reported the student had a razorblade. She admitted taking it from the student then throwing the blade away.

“I took the razorblade, and then I threw it away immediately … I didn’t carry it around the school … I didn’t use it against anyone … I threw it away…

Most frustrating to the Harris family is they feel like they were ignored — none of their calls were returned about the incident until 10 On Your Side got involved...
The good news is that, as a result of the negative publicity, the school has allowed Adrionna to return to school, and removed all mention of the incident from her record.
The bad news is that it took a tsunami of adverse publicity to get those hidebound bureaucratic cowards off their fat asses to do what they should have done in the first place…

Thrown To The Wolves


Man beaten, left in Wisconsin woods for wolves
Two men and two women beat a man and left him to be attacked by wolves in the northern Wisconsin woods after accusing him of inappropriately touching a child, prosecutors said Wednesday.

The four are accused of beating the man, age 40, at the Jones' house on March 10 and 11 in Wabeno, about 95 miles north of Green Bay, before hauling him to nearby woods and beating him again, the complaint said.

The man's name is being withheld because he is a victim of an alleged crime.

The man...sustained fractures to his face, a broken nose and jaw, and two broken ribs, according to the complaint.

The group told investigators they left him in the woods where they hoped wolves would attack him...

He was found on March 12 frost-bitten and wearing one shoe with his pants down to his ankles by two people riding all-terrain vehicles, who took him to a nearby convenience store...
I'm sure there's much more to this story, but if in fact the guy did sexually assault a child then the cops should take him back into the woods, tie a few pork chops around his neck, and leave him where the wolves can find him.

Bon appétit...

Friday, March 21, 2014

Friday Follies Happy Hour 2014.03.21

You think you got troubles...?

Where Are The Carriers?

I remember Ronald Reagan and his 600-ship Navy.
Chiding critics of his military buildup and renewing his pledge to have a 600-ship Navy by the end of the decade, President Reagan told U.S. Naval Academy graduates Wednesday that "it is too costly for America not to be prepared" for hostilities and that "the way to prevent war is to be prepared for it."

"It is about time," Reagan said, "that those who place their faith in wishful thinking and good intentions get the word."
Obviously, obama has not gotten the word.

Not only has he shrunk the Navy to less than 300 ships, but now he's 're-defining' what constitutes a warship.
Americans may be war-weary after Iraq and Afghanistan. But the world is still a hostile place, and the U.S.Navy is stretched too thin. And in a new sleight of hand, the Obama administration has changed what it considers a warship when reporting the size of the Navy's "battle force." From now on it will include the two hospital ships, Mercy and Comfort, 10 small coastal patrol vessels and a high-speed transport. Add those, subtract a few minesweepers, and voilà—the Navy fleet has grown to 293 from 283 ships.
Most of the new additions are lightly armed coastal-patrol craft and not true oceangoing ships. Originally designed to carry Navy SEALs and other special-operations forces, these 179-foot ships turned out to be inadequate for that role. Instead, armed with machine guns, they can be used to support "low intensity conflicts." They were launched in the early 1990s and recalled in 2010 to deal with fatigue damage to their hulls. Their military role is questionable and they're well past their expiration date, yet they sail on for public-relations purposes.
The bad news doesn't stop there.
...With the U.S. Navy arguably at its smallest since 1917, we don't have many ships that are actually at sea. Only 35% of the Navy's entire fleet is deployed, fewer than 100 ships.
But what about the carriers? They're certainly capable of handling any immediate threat, right?
In a briefing before the flight to the carrier, I asked how many carriers the Navy had deployed world-wide that day, and how many it could deploy within 30 days. A Naval officer said three were deployed that day, and one more could get under way within a month—a far cry from the 11-carrier fleet mandated by Congress.
IMO the blame for this doesn't rest solely with obama. If congress has mandated eleven carriers, then it should by God man up and demand that there be eleven of the damn things available. It's not as if there's a shortage of places where they're needed.
Presidents facing international crises have long asked, "Where are the carriers?" Calling hospital ships warships may satisfy Washington bean counters but it won't deter creative adversaries. Counting support and coastal vessels as capital ships that can project real power has serious consequences. America's ability to join coalitions, lead them, or take independent action is compromised. No commander in chief should be deprived of these meaningful options—even if the president has little intention of using them.
Keep in mind the long lead time for refitting, refurbishing, and redeploying warships. It's bad enough that obama and congress have allowed our Navy to sink to its current state. But what's worse is that the next president -- and please God grant us one with the brains to realize the need for a strong military, and the balls to use it if necessary -- will be deprived of a very powerful foreign policy tool.

That will be to our detriment, and the detriment of the world...

Da, Comrade

I have never met Dmitry Rogozin, Russia's Deputy Prime Minister. In fact, I had never heard of him until recently. But he and I are in total agreement on one thing.

Russian Deputy PM Laughs at Obama’s Sanctions
Russia’s deputy prime minister laughed off President Obama’s sanction against him today asking “Comrade @BarackObama” if “some prankster” came up with the list.

Rogozin, a friend of actor Steven Seagal,  took to Twitter to tweak Obama, tweeting  he thinks “some prankster” came up with the sanctions list

In a later tweet addressed to “Comrade @BarackObama,” he asked, “what should do those who have neither accounts nor property abroad? Or U didn’t think about it?”
 I also agree with Putin's response to 'comrade obama' and his sanctions.
Russia imposed entry bans Thursday on nine U.S. lawmakers and officials in retaliation to Washington's sanctions over Crimea.

The Russian Foreign Ministry released the list, which includes House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez, D-N.J., and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., as well as other senators and administration officials.
I think Putin's on to something here. Imagine how much better off we would be if congress and obama were banned from entering our country...

Thursday, March 20, 2014


It's NCAA tournament time again. Millions of Americans are neglecting their work duties to fill out their brackets.

Including our fearless leader...

Totally Inappropriate

I apologize in advance for this post. It is tasteless, classless, and totally inappropriate. I don't mean to make light of a tragedy. But...

In my defense, I didn't create any of the following. I'm merely pulling them together in one place for your convenience.

You're welcome.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

News Of The Absurd 2014.03.19

I'm tired of all the serious crap going on in the world. Here's some news from the lighter side to hopefully make your day a little less stressful.

Beware Filthy Women
Jack Harvey jailed for drugs and driving offenses...

...police were alerted to Harvey’s movements on November 26 last year when he left a St Austell petrol station without paying.

Staff at the station described Harvey’s behaviour as bizarre and reported that he had been making strange noises.

Officers caught up with him on the A390 near Probus where they witnessed him driving dangerously by overtaking several vehicles.

Mr Lee said a urine sample later revealed a “cocktail” of drugs including amphetamine, methadone, cocaine and heroin.

When he was arrested at his home, drugs were found in Harvey’s house, car and taped to his testicles.

“He made allegations that police had planted the drugs in his car … of the drugs stuck to his testicles [he] denied any knowledge, commenting that some filthy woman must have put it there.”
Ah yes, the 'filthy woman' defense.
Robin Smith, defending, described the latest string of offences as a “significant yet relatively recent wobble”.
I'm not sure what a "wobble" is, but it doesn't sound good.

In other news, from this side of the pond:
John Rogers of Geneva, Fla., recently acquitted in a shooting death (using Florida’s “stand your ground” defense), convinced a judge in February to return his guns, which police had confiscated when they arrested him. Rogers said he needs the guns for protection because he is particularly vulnerable —— in that he is blind.
Well, why not? The Second Amendment doesn't say anything about disabilities. And based on the ADA, there's little doubt Mr. Rogers should have his firearms returned to him.

Finally, we have this bit of nonsense.
On Valentine’s Day, Michael Williams went to the Applebee’s in Sumter, South Carolina for lunch. The 53-year-old tried to pay for his meal with a debit card, but it was declined.
So Michael did what most of us would do. He offered to pay the bill with cash. Only one problem:
Mr. Williams tried to pay up with a $1 trillion bill.
Who does he think he is - barack obama?

barack obama wanna-be Michael Williams

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

The longer obama is in office, the more he brings to mind Jimmy Carter. For example, under Carter we were plagued with high unemployment, a mounting deficit, and stagflation. Under obama we've endured high unemployment, a mounting deficit, and his 'shovel ready' stimulus and jobless semi- recovery. But where the comparison really gains traction is in the realm of foreign policy.
The parallels between Obama and the early Carter are plain. Like Obama, Carter came into office convinced the United States and its “arrogance of power” was the problem in the world, not the solution.

Like Obama, Carter believed that an America that reduced its military, cut back on its commitments abroad and abandoned what Carter called our Cold War “inordinate fear of Communism” would make new friends and heal past wounds.

And just as Obama tried to “reset” relations with Russia’s Vladimir Putin, Carter unleashed a furious charm offensive on the Soviet Union, even embracing and kissing Soviet Premier Leonid Brezhnev in public, and pushed the Senate to ratify a landmark nuke treaty, SALT II.

Instead of seeing American retreat under Carter as restraint, however, friends and foes alike saw it as weakness; instead of making new friends, his policy only empowered the world’s thugs.

One was the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, whose student followers took the US embassy in Tehran hostage on Nov. 4, 1979. Another were the Soviets, who invaded Afghanistan the day after Christmas the same year.
Sound familiar?

But there is a difference. Jimmy Carter learned from his mistakes. obama shows no sign of doing the same.
Carter realized he’d been wrong: The world really is a dangerous place, especially when America decides to sit on the sidelines.

His response took three dramatic steps that set the stage for an American comeback in the 1980s — so much so that Reaganites would try to claim credit for them.

The first was pledging that US defense spending would rise by 4.6 percent per year, every year for five years, starting in 1980. This shocked and infuriated his fellow Democrats — and greased the wheels for President Ronald Reagan’s military buildup. (In the event, Reagan wound up increasing defense outlays less than Carter had planned.)

The second step came in the 1980 State of the Union Address, with announcement of the Carter Doctrine: The United States would use military force if necessary to defend our interests in the Persian Gulf.

To back this up, the president authorized the creation of the first Rapid Deployment Force — the ancestor of US Central Command or CENTCOM, the wheelhouse from which the United States would direct Desert Storm in 1991 and the fall of Saddam Hussein a decade later, and which keeps the Straits of Hormuz, vital to global energy markets, safe and open today.

The last step was authorizing the first covert military aid to Afghan guerrillas fighting their Soviet occupiers. That marked the start of the Soviet quagmire in Afghanistan — a major landmark in the ultimate undoing of the Soviet Union.
No one seriously thinks that obama will do anything remotely like those three steps. Increase defense spending? Hell, barry's latest budget slashes the military to pre-WWII levels. An updated version of the Carter Doctrine? Just the phrase "the obama Doctrine" would cause our enemies to fall over laughing. Covert aid to Ukraine (or elsewhere) guerillas? Never gonna happen.

And now obama is poised to duplicate one more of Carter's less-than-stellar acts. In 1977 Jimmy Carter signed away the Panama Canal to Panama.
As we look back from this 100th year anniversary of the Panama Canal, it’s clear that America was synonymous with greatness back then. The country was forging ahead with bold ideas carried to fruition by bold leaders.

Men like Teddy Roosevelt, who innately understood what was in America’s strategic interests and pursued those initiatives with a gusto that made success a foregone conclusion. Failure wasn’t in the lexicon.

But how things have changed. That nation somehow morphed into a timid, risk-averse politically correct shell of its former glory that too often tries to be all things to all people, so long as those people aren’t its own citizens.

And there is no better example than the giveaway of the Panama Canal.

The canal’s history seems to far-fetched to be true:
  • Thousands die trying to connect the oceans. Project declared impossible.
  • America defies the odds, constructing canal ahead of schedule and under budget.
  • America eradicates yellow fever and discovers the cause of, and thus controls, the ultimate killer: malaria.
  • America operates canal not for profit but to facilitate international commerce.
  • America, in 1999, freely gives the canal to Panama in exchange for nothing, netting a zero return on investment.
  • American ships now pay massively increased fees (passed on to consumers) while Panama laughs all the way to the bank.
  • America continues to guarantee Panama’s security in perpetuity.
If this story weren’t so tragic, it would be comic, because giving away the canal made America’s strategic vision a complete joke.

The list of giveaways in President Jimmy Carter’s 1997 treaty is substantial: the canal, Gatun Lakes dam, hydroelectric plant, isthmus-wide railroad, and the 10-mile wide Panama Canal Zone. Even Titan, one of America’s largest cranes (war booty from Hitler’s Germany) was given to the Panamanians in 1999 after 50 years of operation in California. All invalidate the blood, sweat and yes, deaths, of the Americans who worked so proudly on the canal.

Perhaps most startling, no consideration was given to America, despite it being the largest user, by far, of the canal. Virtually all the new equipment, from the “mule” trains that guide the ships to the massive steel doors going into the enlarged locks under construction, is made everywhere but America.

America is not part of the consortium building the new locks, nor does America manage the ports on either side of the canal. Instead, that honor goes to China. Naturally.

Not only does Panama rake in $2 billion annually from its fees, but it doesn’t spend a penny on an army, because thanks to Uncle Sam, it doesn’t have one. So if Nicaragua becomes belligerent, American men and women will fight and die solely for Panama. Help me out on that one.
So what is obama planning to give away that could possibly rival Carter?

The Internet.
The U.S. Commerce Department announced late Friday it would relinquish control of The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) — the organization charged with managing domain names, assigning Internet protocol addresses and other crucial Web functions — after its current contract expires next year.

The U.S. government’s plan to give away authority over the Internet’s core architecture to the “global Internet community” could endanger the security of both the Internet and the U.S. — and open the door to a global tax on Web use.

“U.S. management of the internet has been exemplary and there is no reason to give this away — especially in return for nothing,” former Bush administration State Department senior advisor Christian Whiton told The Daily Caller. “This is the Obama equivalent of Carter’s decision to give away the Panama Canal — only with possibly much worse consequences.”

“While the Obama administration says it is merely removing federal oversight of a non-profit, we should assume ICANN would end up as part of the United Nations,” Whiton said. “If the U.N. gains control of what amounts to the directory and traffic signals of the Internet, it can impose whatever taxes it likes.  It likely would start with a tax on registering domains and expand from there.”

The greater danger posed by the giveaway lies with the security of the Internet itself. While the U.S. has never used ICANN in a war or crisis situation, the potential exists for it to obstruct Internet commerce or deter foreign cyber attacks – powerful tools in the globalized information age.

“Under invariably incompetent U.N. control, it could mean a hostile foreign power disabling the Internet for us,” Whiton said.
The Internet grew out of the U.S. designed-and-developed ARPAnet. It is now an indispensable part of our lives, as well as a matter of national security.

And obama wants to give it away to an international conglomeration of imbeciles and bureaucrats, most of whom envy, despise, and hate us.

What could possibly go wrong...?

Monday, March 17, 2014

St. Paddy's Day Happy Hour

As you get ready to go out and celebrate St. Patrick's Day, keep in mind that you're not just guzzling green beer. You're actually ingesting one of Mother Nature's best health foods.
"... when you sit down for a pint this St. Patrick's Day, remember these five reasons why this tipple is helping your health."

Are You A Sheep Or A Sheepdog

This is a St. Paddy's Day post, not a social commentary. Take 2 1/2 minutes to watch the video. I guarantee you'll get a smile or two out of it.

FOD 2014.03.17

Russia is poised to invade Ukraine.

The U.S. economy is in terrible shape.


There is a multitude of sins and secrets taking place within the obama administration.

And what does barry focus on this week?

His jeans.
Obama wants people to quit bashing his jeans

President Barack Obama hit back at critics calling him out for his "mom jeans.

"I've been unfairly maligned about my jeans," Obama said Friday in an interview with radio host Ryan Seacrest.

"The truth is, generally I look very sharp in jeans. There was one episode like four years ago in which I was wearing some loose jeans, mainly because I was out on the pitcher's mound and I didn't want to feel confined while I was pitching, and I think I've paid my penance for that. I got whacked pretty good. Since that time, my jeans fit very well."
 I don't know whether to laugh or cry...

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Sunday Funnies 2014.03.16

Tomorrow is Saint Patrick's Day. Need I say more...?

An Irishman by the name of O'Malley proposed to his girl on St. Patrick's Day. He gave her a ring with a synthetic diamond. The excited young lass showed it to her father, a jeweller. He took one look at it and saw it wasn't real.

The young lass, upon learning it wasn't real, returned to her future husband. She protested vehemently about his cheapness.

"It was in honour of St. Patrick's Day," he explained.

"I gave you a sham rock."

Q: What do you call a diseased Irish criminal?
A: A leper con.

Q: Why can't you borrow money from a leprechaun?
A: Because they're always a little short.

Q: Why don't you iron 4-Leaf clovers?
A: Because you don’t want to press your luck.

Q: What's Irish and stays out all night?
A: Paddy O'furniture.

I went out drinking on St Patricks Day, so I took a bus home...That may not be a big deal to you, but I've never driven a bus before.

Spanish singer Julio Iglesias was on television with British TV host Anne Diamond when he used the word "mañana." Diamond asked him to explain what it meant.

He said that the term means "maybe the job will be done tomorrow, maybe the next day, maybe the day after that. Perhaps next week, next month, or next year. Who cares?"

The host turned to Irishman Shay Brennan who was also on the show and asked him if there was an equivalent term in Irish.

"No. In Ireland we don't have a word to describe that degree of urgency." replied Brennan.

Into a Belfast pub comes Paddy Murphy, looking like he’d just been run over by a train. His arm is in a sling, his nose is broken, his face is cut and bruised and he’s walking with a limp.

“What happened to you?” asks Sean, the bartender.

“Jamie O’Conner and me had a fight,” says Paddy.

“That little weasel, O’Conner,” says Sean, “He couldn’t do that to you. He must have had something in his hand.”

“That he did,” says Paddy, “a shovel is what he had, and a terrible lickin’ he gave me with it.”

“Well,” says Sean, “you should have defended yourself. Didn’t you have something in your hand?”

“That I did,” said Paddy. “Mrs. O’Conner’s breast, and a thing of beauty it was, but useless in a fight.”

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Requiescat in Pace

Two deaths of interest to ponder today. The first:

I received the following email from someone who belongs to one of the organizations I belong to. I don't know the sender, and I don't know the person who is the subject of the email, but I'm passing it on because it struck a cord within me. It tells the story of a man who did the right things and was in exchange treated shabbily by life. Yet without the determination of such men there would be little hope for the future.
My best friend and former Army Ranger __________ passed away yesterday morning at home ending his great suffering from his battle with cancer. He will be sorely missed by me and all who knew him. He was a hero in every sense of the word with three purple hearts and two bronze stars for valor. He was very proud of the fact that he brought all of his men back home. _____ served in the Rep of Vietnam 1972-1973 when all of our troops knew the war was lost. His unit did their duty operating along the Ho Chi Minh trail in Laos and Cambodia. His body was covered with scars from wounds received during that conflict.

_____ made a promise to God that if he got out alive he would work to make the world a better place. After returning home he received his history degree and became a teacher in the XXXXX school district teaching at risk kids for 20 years. His career was cut short when one of the at risk "kids" attacked him from behind and fractured his back.

One story I love about _____ was when he returned from Vietnam. He was at the airline counter in San Francisco filling out the paperwork to continue his flight home. As he was bent over the counter, he noticed a gray haired lady approaching out of the corner of his eye that he knew was going to be a problem. When she was sufficiently close she shouted, "Soldier, how many babies did you kill in Vietnam?" Without looking up he replied, "Babies none, little old ladies many." She scurried off with that reply.
Sounds like a good man who was dealt several crappy cards throughout his life. Please say a little prayer for him.

The second death notice is no less sad, but ranks a little higher on the 'human interest' scale.

'Kissing sailor' from iconic World War II photo dies
The sailor kissing the nurse in the famous end of World War II celebration of V-J day photo taken Aug. 14, 1945 in Times Square has died.

Glenn Edward McDuffie died on Sunday at the age of 86. Lois Gibson, a forensic artist, proved positively McDuffie was the sailor in August 2007 after many men had claimed to be the man in the photo.

McDuffie was born in Kannapolis, N.C. on Aug. 3, 1927. He joined the U.S. Navy at age 15 in 1942 after he found a friend to forge his mother’s signature and amenable notary public.

He played professional baseball after leaving service with the Virginia League Champions.

In 1960, the World War II veteran moved to Houston where he lived until 2009. He spent his last years near his daughter Glenda Bell in a Dallas suburb.

The service for McDuffie will be held at the Dallas/Ft. Worth Veterans Cemetery in Dallas.
The Greatest Generation becomes fewer every day. Please add Mr. McDuffie to your prayers tonight.

And to lighten the mood, please have a couple of extra drinks this evening in honor of these two fine men.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Friday Follies Happy Hour 2014.03.14

As a follow-up to this morning's post about the Battleship Texas' 100th anniversary celebration, here's a special Happy Hour video documenting her past. Watch it in full-screen for the best effect.

Fill your glass with your favorite beverage and join me in a toast to the men and the ship: "A willing foe and sea-room."

Attkisson Follow Up

A few days ago I put up a post lamenting the loss of Sharyl Attkisson, one of the few mainstream media members with the integrity to investigate and report the news without toeing the obama line.

Turns out that political cartoonist extraordinaire Michael Ramirez feels the same way.

Anchors Aweigh, Y'All

This week marks a special occasion for sailors, their families, and navy supporters. The Battleship Texas (BB-35), the oldest surviving battleship afloat in the U.S. and the only surviving dreadnought in the world, celebrates its centennial anniversary.

Pomp, emotion greet old sailors as Battleship Texas turns 100
With a new coat of paint on its decks and a brisk north wind snapping its pennants Wednesday, the Battleship Texas welcomed back a gang of old warriors - men, who, though perhaps worn by years, still evinced the vigor of "the greatest generation."

For the aged sailors, Wednesday marked a sentimental, and possibly final, call to duty.

"This will more than likely be the last time they'll see the ship. That's huge,'' said Johnita Smith, the USS Texas Veterans Association chair whose father sailed on the Texas during World War II. "They served aboard for a year or four or five … and today was the last day they were going to see her.''

It was a double celebration for the venerable vessel and its former crew members - marking what was billed as the "final reunion" for the ship's WWII sailors as well as the 100th anniversary of its commissioning... The celebration continues Saturday with a concert, headlined by Robert Earl Keen, military flyovers and fireworks.

"Young people today talk about 'multitasking,' " Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst said in a keynote address to the veterans and their family members. "But multitasking is what you did as the fire was coming in. You stuck with your guns. You are what made the greatest generation the greatest generation."
Orlan Scott, 87, was only 17 when he found himself assigned to the battleship's Turret 3. The retired Waco diesel mechanic recalled that his duties included hefting 100-pound sacks of powder into a hoist for the big guns.

"There were about 80 of us. It was like ants down there," he recalled. Scott said five to seven bags were required for each shot, and remembers that the crew once was at battle stations for more than 50 days.

"Sometimes we would bombard through the night," he said. "You'd roll out of bed and everyone would go to their stations … These shells would shoot every minute and a half … The heat was intense."

As befits a vessel named after The Great State of Texas, the ship is the proud holder of a number of naval 'firsts.'
Among US-built battleships, Texas is notable for her sizable number of firsts: the first US Navy vessel to house a permanently assigned contingent of US Marines, the first US battleship to mount anti-aircraft guns, the first US ship to control gunfire with directors and range-keepers (analog forerunners of today's computers), the first US battleship to launch an aircraft from a catapult, one of the first to receive the CXAM-1 version of CXAM production radar in the US Navy, the first US battleship to become a permanent museum ship, and the first battleship declared to be a US National Historic Landmark.

Her battle record is no less impressive.
After being commissioned, the Texas proceeded almost immediately to Mexican waters where she joined the Special Service Squadron following the "Vera Cruz Incident." She returned to the Atlantic Fleet operations in the fall of 1914, after the Mexican crisis was resolved.

After the United States entered World War I, she spent the year 1917 training gun crews for merchant ships that were often attacked by gunfire from surfaced submarines. Texas joined the 6th Battle Squadron of the British Grand Fleet early in 1918. Operating out of Scapa Flow and the Firth of Forth, Texas protected forces laying a North Sea mine barrage, responded to German High Seas Fleet sorties, fired at submarine periscopes observed by multiple ships, and helped prevent enemy naval forces from interrupting the supply of Allied forces in Europe. Late in 1918, she escorted the German Fleet en route to its surrender anchorage and escorted President Wilson to peace talks in France.

In 1941 while on "Neutrality Patrol" in the Atlantic, Texas was stalked unsuccessfully by the German submarine U-203. TEXAS escorted Atlantic convoys against potential attack by German warships after America entered into World War II in December 1941. In 1942, Texas transmitted General Eisenhower's first "Voice of Freedom" broadcast, asking the French not to oppose Allied landings on North Africa. The appeal went unheeded and the Texas provided gunfire support for the amphibious assault on Morocco, putting Walter Cronkite ashore to begin his career as a war correspondent. After further convoy duty, the Texas fired on Nazi defenses at Normandy on D-Day, June 6, 1944. Shortly afterwards, she was hit twice in a duel with German coastal defense artillery near Cherbourg, suffering one fatality and 13 wounded. Quickly repaired, she shelled Nazi positions in Southern France before transferring to the Pacific where she lent gunfire support and anti-aircraft fire to the landings on Iwo Jima and Okinawa.

Distinguished service in two World Wars. Action in both the Atlantic and Pacific during WWII. Currently holds the distinguished designation of a National Historic Landmark and a National Mechanical Engineering Landmark, as well as being the flagship of the Texas Navy.

To the Texas and all those who crewed aboard her during her 100 years of service, "Bravo Zulu!"

(P.S. - Please come back at 5:00 p.m. CDT for a special Happy Hour video. If I understand Navy time correctly, that would be two bells into the first dog watch.)