Saturday, May 31, 2014

Lies, Lies, And More Lies

No wonder Jay Carney quit. I would too if I had to cover for the lying sack of shit currently wasting oxygen in the Oval Office.

Here's just one example from obama's press conference on May 30 announcing the resignation of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki.

Transcript: President Obama’s remarks on resignation of VA secretary Eric Shinseki
In terms of responsibility, as I’ve said before, this is my administration; I always take responsibility for whatever happens (Lie #1), and this is an area that I have a particular concern with (Lie #2). This predates my presidency (Blame Bush). When I was in the Senate, I was on the Veterans Affairs Committee. I heard first-hand veterans who were not getting the kinds of services and benefits that they had earned (and I did nothing about it).

And I pledged that if I had the privilege of serving as commander-in-chief and president, that we would fix it (Lie #3)...
One paragraph + one sentence = 3 lies, one blame someone else, and one pass the buck.

How can anyone with half a brain believe a single word that this worthless POS utters?

Pins And Needles

I'm spending this weekend on pins and needles. Our daughter (almost 18 years old and a high school senior) is going to a music festival in Houston.
The Free Press Summer Fest comes to Houston this weekend, and with it, an estimated 100,000 live music lovers to invade Houston’s Eleanor Tinsley Park for a couple days of sun-kissed amusement.
She's a smart, responsible kid, but she's also only 17 (Dad, I'm almost 18). She's going with a friend who has been to the festival before but who is also only 17 going on 18.

Small comfort...

The good news is that her friend's father has access to a corporate apartment that is only a couple of miles from the festival grounds. That's where they'll be staying.

In addition, her godparents live in Houston, only a few miles from the apartment. Plus we have other friends and contacts there in the event they're needed. Furthermore, both girls have earned black belts in karate.

Still, I'm not totally comfortable with our innocent unworldly small-town daughter spending the weekend at a music festival in a big city. On the other hand, in three months she'll be off on her own in a college town, far removed from my protective cocoon. I guess this is something I've go to get used to.

But damn it, that doesn't mean I have to like it...

Friday, May 30, 2014

Friday Follies Happy Hour 2014.05.30

Why do we work hard all week?

To put beer on the table...


Payback is a beautiful thing. For quite a while, problems have arisen in the U.S. due to an influx of illegal immigrants crossing the border from Mexico. Now there's a wave of unwanted visitors headed the other way, and the Mexicans aren't very happy about it.

Texas Wild Hogs Invade Mexico
Feral hog destruction is well-known in Texas, where about half the nation's wild hogs are found.

... about 2.6 million wild hogs live in Texas, and left unchecked, their population would increase by 20 percent a year, with sows capable of giving birth to litters of six or more piglets every eight months.

... they long have been a major problem to farmers and ranchers, and are also destructive to other forms of wildlife.
Similar to liberals and other pests, the damage is caused not so much by what they consume themselves, but the process they go through to get it. Although they'll eat anything - and I do mean anything (think of them as four-legged cajuns) - they really like grubs and other insects. They'll root up crops and dig up pasture land trying to get the insects. They also are hell on fences. They tear down regular barbed wire or ranch fences. Heavy gauge hog panels are about the only thing that stops them, but it's expensive.
In Mexico, the wild pigs are a new and growing problem along the Texas border. In early May, representatives of four Mexican states attended a hog workshop held in Laredo by the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department.

Also attending were private Mexican landowners desperate for a way to eliminate the hogs that they say are ruining their livelihoods.

No crop appears immune from the hogs, which destroy much more than they eat...
The wild hogs have destroyed the lucrative melon and cantaloupe harvests in the border region, and are now ruining the alfalfa, corn and oat crops.
For the Valenzuela brothers, who once profitably farmed hundreds of acres of irrigated land, the control program may be too little, too late.

“Our lives have changed rather fundamentally because of the pigs, and there is very little time left to save my business,” Arnaldo Valenzuela said.

A little over a decade ago, he said, local farmers planted 500 to 600 acres of melon and cantaloupe. He and his brother had almost 150 acres of fruit and employed 40 to 50 workers a year, plus 15 more during the packing season.

“Now there isn't even enough income to support two people,” he said forlornly.
Needless to say, the loss of those crops also drives up the prices on the produce that does get to market.
Like many others here, the (Ojinaga, Mexico) mayor believes that the hogs come and go from the U.S. side.

“They don't need passports to cross,” he said wryly. “I don't know how many there are, but it's a plague.”
Of course, the same can be said for illegal immigrants...

Seriously, there are significant problems related to both feral hogs and illegal immigrants. Please note, however, that I am most emphatically not equating immigrants to hogs, or visa versa.

Mexican officials and farmers set up a feral hog trap.

One night's harvest from the hog trap.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Cold Cash And Hot Waste

Buried deep in the bowels of the Interweb, I ran across this little story the other day.
A charge for electricity that millions of Americans didn't even know they pay will suddenly disappear Friday...
The Department of Energy has been tacking on a fee of one-quarter of a penny on each kilowatt hour of electricity to fund a dump site for nuclear waste. That may not be much - it's about 15 to 20 cents per month on an average electric bill - but it adds up. It amounts to around $740 million annually. The government has been collecting the fee since 1983, and now has $31 billion in cash sitting in the fund.

Actually, around $43 billion has been collected, but about $12 billion of that money was spent on trying to develop the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump in Nevada, before the Obama administration killed it.

The court-ordered suspension (in response to a lawsuit filed by power companies and state regulators) may be a modest victory for consumers, but it reflects the government's failure over the last 40 years to get rid of what is now nearly 70,000 metric tons of highly radioactive spent fuel, accumulating at 100 nuclear reactors across the nation.

"It is irresponsible on the government's part to not move forward on a program that has already been paid for," said Marvin Fertel, president of the Nuclear Energy Institute, a Washington trade group that filed a suit against the fees.
Irresponsible? It's criminal. If a private company did this it would be called fraud, and people would be sent to jail.
Now, there is virtually no plan moving forward in Washington to build a dump or even a temporary central storage site. The $31-billion trust fund will continue to accrue interest and is available to help build a dump at some point, though it is probably not enough. Experts had estimated that the Yucca Mountain project would cost at least $100 billion.
So what's currently being done with all that radioactive nuclear waste produced by nuke power plants?
Under guard by SWAT teams with machine guns, the spent fuel is slowly decaying in deep pools of cooling water and in outdoor concrete casks from the California shores of the Pacific Ocean to the banks of the James River in Virginia. The waste is expensive to store and often cited as a public safety risk.
Not to mention an attractive target for terrorists. Dirty bomb, anyone?
Decades ago, the government promised nuclear utilities when they built reactors that the Energy Department would dispose of the spent fuel, temporarily easing the way for the development of nuclear energy that now supplies 20% of the nation's electricity.
Yeah, we all know what a promise from the government is worth. Just ask any veteran.
The nuclear and utility industries, which have privately complained that the government took the money and left them holding the deadly waste, filed suit to block the fees. Last year, an appeals court ruled that the government had no reasonable plan to build a dump and could not reasonably estimate the cost of any future dump, ordering that it had to suspend collections of the fee.

It has taken about six months for the Energy Department to carry out the legal order.

"The federal courts have gotten fed up with what the Department of Energy is doing," said Jay Silberg, the industry's lead attorney in the case against the fees. "We want something in exchange for our money."
Most of the taxpayers I know want the same thing.

Of course, halting collection of the fees is a minor step. The real issue is a long-term solution for handling and disposing of nuclear waste. 1987, Congress directed the Energy Department to build a dump at Yucca Mountain, a volcanic ridge inside the Nevada National Security Site, the former test range for detonating nuclear weapons. At the time, Nevada was among the politically weakest states, the test range was already radioactively contaminated and scientists claimed the repository's geology would keep the waste isolated.

But the plan began to collapse when the state raised a long series of scientific objections to the site. When Democrat Harry Reid became the Senate majority leader, he vowed to kill the project and he delivered on the pledge when Obama was elected. The president appointed a blue ribbon committee to study the next step. It delivered a report in 2012, suggesting that the disposal program be taken away from the Energy Department and an interim storage site be established before a permanent repository is built.
Oh my aching back. Trash the existing plan. Appoint a committee to study the thing to death. Recommend an interim storage site. Pass the buck. Delay, obfuscate, ignore, and get out of office before the chickens come home to roost.

But I have a solution...

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Something To Think About

Not sure I totally buy into this, but it's definitely something worthy of closer examination. Go to the link for the full story.

Raging Against Self-Defense

In the aftermath of the Isla Vista mass murders, a familiar dance is taking place. Gun control advocates are blaming the 'gun culture' and crying out for more restrictive laws.
...the father of one of the victims issued a grief-stricken attack on the National Rifle Association Saturday, The Los Angeles Times reported.

“Why did Chris die? Chris died because of craven, irresponsible politicians and the NRA,” Richard Martinez told assembled reporters. “They talk about gun rights. What about Chris’ right to live? When will this insanity stop?”
I sympathize with Mr. Martinez. It must be a terrible thing, to have your child killed in a random and senseless act of violence. And I agree with one thing he said: "When will this insanity stop?”

Emphasis on "insanity."

One only has to read the killer's journal to realize what a sick and twisted individual he was.
"I was desperate to have the life I know I deserve; a life of being wanted by attractive girls, a life of sex and love. Other men are able to have such a life ... so why not me? I deserve it! I am magnificent, no matter how much the world treated me otherwise..."
I'm assuming he has a whole bookcase full of 'participation' trophies. And that he's been told his whole life that he's special.
Rodger wrote that he splashed two "hot blonde girls" with his Starbucks latte at an Isla Vista bus stop after they "didn't even deign to smile back" after he smiled at them.

"How dare those girls snub me in such a fashion! How dare they insult me so! I raged to myself repeatedly. They deserved the punishment I gave them. It was such a pity that my latte wasn't hot enough to burn them. Those girls deserved to be dumped in boiling water for the crime of not giving me the attention and adoration I so rightfully deserve!"
Notice the "I deserve better" theme running through his comments. He didn't develop that attitude all by himself. His parents and teachers  should be looking long and hard at themselves in the mirror.

As for blaming the NRA, it should be noted that half of the victims were stabbed to death, not shot. Furthermore, two of the fatal shootings took place on the University of California, Santa Barbara campus: a gun-free zone.

Sadly, in situations like this facts and logic are trumped by emotion and hostility. Sobbing parents, ranting against an evil bogeyman like the NRA, get airtime. A reasoned, dispassionate response doesn't.

There's even a clinical term to describe such outbursts: “Raging against Self-Defense.”
What’s emerging is something psychiatrist Sarah Thompson described as “Raging against Self-Defense,” that is, indignant slurs by people who bring neither facts nor logic nor anything but ignorance and hostility to the discussion.
It should now be obvious to anyone capable of reasoning that even in the state with arguably the most restrictive gun control laws in the country, it is not possible to legislate insanity. To paraphrase a sports cliche, "You can't stop it. You can only hope to contain it."

And how, one might ask, can insanity be contained? Well, note that the insane killer's rampage was finally stopped when he was confronted by legally armed individuals. In this case they were LEOs, but might it not be quite possible that if one of his earlier victims, or one of the witnesses, were armed he might have been halted much sooner?

I certainly think so...

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

How To Cover Up A Scandal

Are you the President of the United States? Are you being dogged by the latest in a series of scandals, but this time you don't seem to be able to make it go away like the others? What to do, what to do...?

Announce a plan to draw down the number of troops in Afghanistan.
With combat operations in Afghanistan ending this year, President Barack Obama announced he plans for almost 10,000 American troops to remain in the country in 2015 if the Afghan government signs a security agreement.

"We will bring America's longest war to a responsible end," Obama said in the White House Rose Garden in detailing the strategy to have virtually all U.S. forces out of Afghanistan by the end of 2016 -- shortly before his presidency ends.
Now sit back and watch as your allies in the media flood the newspapers, airwaves, and cyberspace with discussion of and accolades for your plan.

VA scandal? What VA scandal...?

I need a drink - make that a series of drinks - to get the foul taste of this latest shameless political machination out of my mouth.

Amateur Hour

It has become obvious that our country is being run by amateurs - people who engage in a pursuit as a pastime rather than as a profession (synonym: nonprofessional).

Examples abound, but the most recent one involves the White House mistakenly revealing the name of the top CIA official in Afghanistan.
In an embarrassing flub, the Obama administration accidentally revealed the name of the CIA's top official in Afghanistan in an email to thousands of journalists during the president's surprise Memorial Day weekend trip to Bagram Air Field.

The officer's name — identified as "chief of station" in Kabul — was included by U.S. embassy staff on a list of 15 senior American officials who met with President Obama during the Saturday visit. The list was sent to a Washington Post reporter who was representing the news media, who then sent it out to the White House "press pool" list, which contains as many as 6,000 recipients.
White House officials realized the error after the Post reporter notified them, and sent out a new list without the station chief's name...
In intelligence circles, this is known as locking the barn door after the horse is outed.
The reporter who distributes the pool report sends it to the White House to be checked for factual accuracy and then forwarded to the thousands of journalists on the email distribution list, so in this case the White House failed on at least two occasions to recognize that the CIA official's name was being revealed and circulated so broadly.
This brings to mind some great acts from the annals of show business.

Ted Mack and the Original Amateur Hour

Keystone Cops

The Gong Show

I could go on, but you get the idea...

Yes, this is a real book.

Monday, May 26, 2014

The Cure!

Nancy Pelosi has come up with the solution to the VA mess. But first, of course, she has to get in the obligatory "blame Bush" shot.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., repeatedly put the blame for the Veterans Affairs scandal on former President George W. Bush, while arguing that her party has worked hard for veterans in recent years.

Pelosi took a shot at Bush while saying that the scandal is a high priority for Obama...
Yeah, right. It's such a high priority that he hasn't done a damn thing about it since taking office - despite the fact that he knew about the problem back in 2008.
The Obama administration received clear notice more than five years ago that VA medical facilities were reporting inaccurate waiting times and experiencing scheduling failures that threatened to deny veterans timely health care — problems that have turned into a growing scandal.

Veterans Affairs officials warned the Obama-Biden transition team in the weeks after the 2008 presidential election that the department shouldn’t trust the wait times that its facilities were reporting.
Maybe I'm being a little unfair to barry. I'm sure the scandal is a high priority to him today. The priority, however, is figuring out how to shift the blame to someone else.
White House press secretary Jay Carney said the problems extended back before Mr. Obama’s term and that the president’s response once in office was to ask for more money to try to handle the flood of veterans from Afghanistan and Iraq.

Mr. Carney said critics should wait for the results of various investigations before placing blame, but he said the president has been on top of the situation since his campaign.
That's the obama way. Blame Bush for passing the problem on. Blame congress for not allocating enough funds. Blame everyone but yourself.

Anyway, according to Nancy Pelosi, the solution to the VA problem is close at hand. It is ... drumroll, please...

She suggested that Obamacare might hold the key to solving the problem. "We have the Affordable Care Act that is out there that is providing resources for more federally-qualified health clinics around the country," Pelosi said. "Maybe we should take a look at how we deal with our veterans' needs in a way that says let's help them closer to home, whether that's a federally qualified health clinic or in some other institution that provides health care closer to home.
I don't have enough time or adult beverages on hand to chronicle all the failures of obamacare so far (a good summary can be found here). Bottom line - it's a failed program that has proven incapable of helping the people it was intended to. How on God's green earth can anyone with an ounce of common sense seriously expect it to accommodate the nine million veterans currently depending on the VA for health care?

Oh, wait ... that's right ... we're talking about Nancy Pelosi...

Memorial FOD - 2014.05.26

Given that today is Memorial Day, I was going to forgo any political commentary out of respect for our veterans. Then I saw this crap
President Barack Obama landed Sunday in Afghanistan on an unannounced trip to visit with U.S. forces on Memorial Day weekend. He thanked the troops for their service as the United States hands over responsibility to Afghan forces.

"Al Qaeda is on its heels in this part of the world, and that's because of you," Obama said.
Al Qaeda is on its heels in that part of the world? Not everyone agrees with that assessment.
Obama was articulating an oft-repeated White House mantra: Al-Qaeda Central—based in Afghanistan and Pakistan—has been weakened dramatically...

There’s certainly truth to this perspective, but it’s also misleading: it understates the continued clout of core al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and ignores the presence of al-Qaeda-linked organizations throughout the AfPak region...

In the fall of 2012, while Obama was on the presidential campaign trail trumpeting the “decimation” of al-Qaeda, General John Allen—then the supreme commander of international forces in Afghanistan—was warning that the organization had “reemerged” in that country. An Associated Press report at the time found that al-Qaeda “remains active inside Afghanistan, fighting U.S. troops, spreading extremist messages, raising money, recruiting young Afghans,” and helping other radical groups.

Al-Qaeda’s presence in Pakistan, where the bulk of the group’s core leadership and many of its fighters fled from Afghanistan in 2001, is even stronger...
Meanwhile, back with barry on his Afghanistan trip:
After the event, Obama will head to a hospital to visit troops.

(An administration official) said the VA scandal was not “a factor in the planning of this trip...”
Yeah, right...
While Obama didn't address the scandal, he did praise veterans, promising to help members of the U.S. military transition into civilian life ... reiterating that taking care of U.S. veterans is Americans’ “sacred obligation.”
As the Native Americans would say, white black man speak with forked tongue.

Al Qaeda terrorists at Guantanamo treated better than our vets

The facts: there are approximately 150 terroists in Guantanamo. There are roughly 100 doctors, nurses and health care personnel assigned to them. That's a patient-to-health care provider ratio of 1.5 to 1. By contrast, there are somewhere around nine million veterans receiving health care from the VA.  The number of VA employees - not just health care professionals, but clerical, administrative maintenance, and other workers - is approximately 267,930. That's a 35 to 1 ratio.

Lying about the situation on the ground in Afghanistan. Lying about his concern for and commitment to our military. This guy is nothing but a lying scumbag.

To me, it is blatantly obvious that obama's trip to Afghanistan is 100% political. His only concern about our troops and veterans is how best to use them to further his agenda.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Sunday Funnies 2014.05.25

Yesterday I went to a neighborhood Memorial Day celebration. We boiled crawfish, barbequed beef, pork, and venison, played washers, and danced to the music of several guitar players. Among the attendees were an old Marine F-4 pilot (Silver Star), an old Army Ranger (Bronze Star and Purple Heart), an old AF F-16 pilot who saw action in Bosnia and the first Desert Storm, a couple of old Airborne soldiers, and old me. I felt a little silly compared to them, but what the heck - I went where the Army in its infinite wisdom though I could do the most good (or the least harm) and did what I was told. It was good training for marriage.

To those who have gone before...

Today, let's take a lighter approach to Memorial Day. There'll be time enough tomorrow to be solemn.

I can't wait to spend Memorial Day doing nothing on a beach instead of doing nothing at work.
I will be solemnly honoring our military this weekend because no one invited me anywhere fun.

Signs Your Memorial Day Weekend Sucked
1. Huge grill marks on your ass.
2. Stay in the local burn ward now part of the family cookout tradition.
3. Image of Grandpa in his Speedo is indelibly burned into your memory.
4. Your improbable kebob skewer mishap headlines local paper.
5. Your barbeque fire consumed 10,000 acres.
6. Your five-year-old took the phrase "weiner roast" literally.
7. While you baked in the sun, drinking buddies placed a DUMBASS stencil on your forehead.
8. Your Ball Park Frank didn't plump, if you know what I mean.

A Vietnam veteran sits down next to an Iraq veteran in the VA waiting room and asks him "How long have you been here?"

The Iraq vet responds, "Ever since last Memorial Day."

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Breaking News - Mass Shooting

The following happened late last night. Details are just now beginning to emerge.

Shooting rampage in college town leaves 7 dead - BMW is seen 'spraying bullets'
Seven people, including a suspected shooter, died when a man opened fire from a slow-moving BMW Friday night in a small Southern California college town...
How much longer will we put up with tragedies like this? How much longer will we let powerful special interest groups thwart the will of the people? When will we pass meaningful legislation to prevent future mass murders?

The solution is obvious. We need a waiting period and background checks before anyone can purchase a BMW. We also need to close the car show loophole that allows people to buy BMWs from a source other than an authorized dealer.

Only then will we be safe...

Memorial Day Weekend - Saturday

 I received my undergraduate degree from the University of Texas. Although I went on to get advanced degrees, my years at UT influenced me more than my time spent at any other university. There are a number of reasons, some positive, some not so much ( But the one element of UT that played the greatest role in making me who I am today (for better or worse) was the quality of people I met there - faculty, staff, and students.

Here's one example.
U.S. Navy admiral and University of Texas, Austin, alumnus William H. McRaven returned to his alma mater last week to give seniors 10 lessons from basic SEAL training when he spoke at the school's commencement.
Admiral McRaven was the commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command who organized the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. In his speech, he stressed the importance of basic lessons he learned during SEAL training, and their applicability to everyday life.
"While these lessons were learned during my time in the military, I can assure you that it matters not whether you ever served a day in uniform," McRaven told students. "It matters not your gender, your ethnic or religious background, your orientation, or your social status."

I have been a Navy SEAL for 36 years. But it all began when I left UT for Basic SEAL training in Coronado, California.

Basic SEAL training is six months of long torturous runs in the soft sand, midnight swims in the cold water off San Diego, obstacles courses, unending calisthenics, days without sleep and always being cold, wet and miserable.

It is six months of being constantly harassed by professionally trained warriors who seek to find the weak of mind and body and eliminate them from ever becoming a Navy SEAL.

But, the training also seeks to find those students who can lead in an environment of constant stress, chaos, failure and hardships.

To me basic SEAL training was a life time of challenges crammed into six months.

So, here are the ten lesson's I learned from basic SEAL training that hopefully will be of value to you as you move forward in life.
[Note: I've only included lesson #1. IMO it is the most important of the ten. For the rest of them, go here.]
Every morning in basic SEAL training, my instructors, who at the time were all Viet Nam veterans, would show up in my barracks room and the first thing they would inspect was your bed.

If you did it right, the corners would be square, the covers pulled tight, the pillow centered just under the headboard and the extra blanket folded neatly at the foot of the rack—rack—that's Navy talk for bed.

It was a simple task—mundane at best. But every morning we were required to make our bed to perfection. It seemed a little ridiculous at the time, particularly in light of the fact that were aspiring to be real warriors, tough battle hardened SEALs—but the wisdom of this simple act has been proven to me many times over.

If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another.

By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter.

If you can't do the little things right, you will never do the big things right.

And, if by chance you have a miserable day, you will come home to a bed that is made—that you made—and a made bed gives you encouragement that tomorrow will be better.

If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.
You can find the full speech here, along with a video of it. Read and share. Anyone who follows these ten simple rules will find their life vastly improved.

Micheal Monsoor shows us the way.

The story of Michael Monsoor's funeral can be found here.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Memorial Day Preview

One of the blessing of living in a small town is that traditional American values are still alive and well here. I went to (yet another) high school awards program last night, this one for scholarship recipients. In keeping with our 'help your neighbor' traditions, many local organizations raise funds and award them to deserving students. However, there are two scholarships that deserve special note as we near Memorial Day.

The first is the Captain Mark Tyler Voss Memorial Award. Tyler was a 2004 graduate of the local high school. He went on to graduate from the Air Force Academy in 2008. He died in a plane crash supporting operations in Afghanistan just over a year ago. I told that story here and here.

The memory of that loss is still fresh. This is a small community, where most folks have at least a nodding acquaintance with everyone else. Many local residents came together to honor Tyler by establishing a fund to help young people achieve their dreams. Captain Voss' parents were on stage to make the first scholarship presentation. His mother was the epitome of poise and grace, even though her sorrow was plain for all to see. His father just stood in the background and stayed silent, a strong, proud man suffering unimaginable pain.

That auditorium must have been full of dust, because just about everyone in it was sniffling and tearing up.

Less raw, but still poignant, was another memorial scholarship. This one is in honor of Captain Harold G. "Hal" Lynch, a WWII veteran.
Harold G. "Hal" Lynch, age 85, died on January 17, 2005 in San Antonio, Texas.

Born in Hartford, CT on March 30th, 1919, Hal grew up in Greenwich, CT before attending Springfield College, graduating in 1941. He then joined the old Army Air Corps.

During World War II, he flew 54 combat missions over Europe with the 57th Bomb Wing, before being shot down over the Brenner Pass in Northern Italy. His B-25 crew was imprisoned in a POW camp near Nuremberg, Germany. Hal escaped from the camp and returned to his outfit to finish out the war.

Discharged as a Captain, he held the Silver Star, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Purple Heart, six Air Medals, a Presidential Unit Citation and the POW Medal.
Hal returned to his native Connenticut after the war. Several years later, tired of the cold winters, he moved to San Antonio. He was a successful local businessman and stayed active in civic affairs until his death. After he passed away friends and associates established The Hal Lynch Memorial Scholarship Foundation.

As Memorial Day approaches, we would do well to remember our veterans not just on one day of the year, but every day. As these two Americans remind us, they are part of our daily lives - before, during, and after their service. The good that they do lingers on long after they are gone.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Oops! Cancel That Cancellation

The following story hit the news Monday.

School cancels honors event due to ‘exclusive nature’
A Rhode Island middle school is canceling its long-running “Honors Night” event for exceptional students, because school officials are afraid its “exclusive nature” will make others feel left out.

In a letter sent to parents, Principal Alexis Meyer and Assistant Principal Dan Seger of Archie R. Cole Junior High School in East Greenwich claim that “members of the school community have long expressed concerns related to the exclusive nature of Honors Night...”

They go on to say that the school will recognize students during “team-based recognition ceremonies and graduation.”

“This will afford us the opportunity to celebrate the individual and collective successes of all students and their effort, progress, and excellence,” they said.
Ah, yes, the 'collective.' Sounds like something straight out of Marx.
Collectivism is the idea that the individual’s life belongs not to him but to the group or society of which he is merely a part, that he has no rights, and that he must sacrifice his values and goals for the group’s “greater good.”
By doing so, we minimize individual effort and accomplishment. Even 8th graders understand that simple concept.
Some parents are afraid the change will discourage kids from working harder to try and make the honor list, the station reported.

“How else are they suppose to learn coping skills, not just based on success, but relative failure?” asked parent Joe Kosloski.

His daughter Kaitlyn didn’t make the cut to attend the event last year.

“That made me wanna work harder and a lot of other people work harder..." she told ABC.
There's a young lady who gets it, and who will go far in this world (at least, if the liberals running her public school don't screw her up).

The school sent the letter out to parents over the weekend.

On Monday the SHTF. Reaction was widespread, loud, and negative.

On Tuesday the school had second thoughts.

School reverses course after canceling honors night for being too 'exclusive'
A Rhode Island school district that had come under criticism for canceling a night for honors students over concerns that the event would be too “exclusive” is reversing its stance.

"We have decided to honor excellence as we had planned ... at a traditional evening event," said the statement, which was posted on the school's website.
There was more CYA verbiage, but that was the gist of the announcement. An obviously embarrassed East Greenwich Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Victor Mercurio did not return calls Tuesday.

That's one small victory for individualism over collectivism. If we can string a few more of them together we might get back to the vision of the Founding Fathers.
The politics of individualism is essentially what the American Founders had in mind when they created the United States ... a land of liberty, a society in which the government does only one thing and does it well—protects the rights of all individuals equally...
Contrast that with collectivism.
“liberalism was built around the idea—the philosophical principle—that citizens should be called upon to look beyond their own self-interest and work for a greater common interest.”
The problem, of course, is who defines the 'common good.' Do we leave it up to people like the East Greenwich school board, who fear the 'exclusive nature' of individual achievement?

Or, God forbid, liberals and progressives like barack obama, who believe they know what is best for everyone else?

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

A Smidgen Of Difference

To borrow a phrase from barry, there isn't a smidgen of difference between establishment members of the two political parties.

There is, however, a world of difference between liberals and conservatives.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Sex Ed Talk

As God Is My Witness, I Thought Turkeys Could Fly

These people have way too much time on their hands.

Utah denies petition to honor turkeys with roadside memorial
The Utah Department of Transportation has denied a petition to erect a roadside memorial at the site where hundreds of turkeys were killed last month in a tractor-trailer accident...

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, has requested a permit for a sign marking the spot near the rural town of Wallsburg where a truck hauling more than 700 live turkeys crashed through a guard rail on U.S. Highway 189 and plunged into a reservoir on April 24.

The PETA-proposed sign would include the Transportation Department's standard safe-driving messages along with an image of a turkey and the words, “In memory of the hundreds of terrified turkeys who died here in a truck crash. Try vegan.”

... in a letter sent Friday, the agency said PETA’s request did not meet Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) policy standards for roadside memorials, which are designed to pay tribute to highway accident fatalities on behalf of grieving loved ones.

In a letter of appeal filed with the agency on Monday, PETA countered that "turkeys in the factory farming industry have no living relatives."
How do they know? Is there a record somewhere of turkey family trees?
"These individuals (the turkeys), who develop strong bonds and feel pain just as we do, are as deserving of our empathy as are human crash victims..."
Not only that, they're delicious.

Reminds me of the old WKRP in Cincinnati TV show episode about turkeys...

Monday, May 19, 2014

Bonus FOD 2014.05.19

If you can believe the blather coming from the White House, President obama is making all the right noises about the burgeoning VA scandal.

Obama `madder than hell' over VA allegations
The White House chief of staff says President Barack Obama is "madder than hell" about reports of treatment delays at veterans' hospitals across the country.

Top aide Denis McDonough tells CBS' "Face the Nation" that Obama is demanding that Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki (shin-SEHK'-ee) and others in the administration "continue to fix these things until they're functioning the way that our veterans believe they should."
Sounds good, right? Based on that statement, one would expect the prez to be focused like a laser on fixing the problem. No one rests until things are straightened out. But as my dear old Daddy taught me, actions speak louder than words.
(Saturday) ... President Obama golfed at the fancy Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Gainesville, Va., an exclusive course that has hosted four President’s cups...
However, the White House press pool reporter who was allowed to accompany obama wasn't allowed on the course. He spent the day in a maintenance shed.
As he noted in his White House Pool Report, “POTUS motorcade departed at 4:45 from the gated, lakefront campus of Robert Trent Jones’ signature golf course, which looked like a nice place to play golf, at least from the maintenance shed where pool spent the day.”
I noticed that the pool reporter is named Kevin Diaz. Isn't that racist, sending a Hispanic to a golf course maintenance shed?
En route to the club, Diaz never laid eyes on Obama. But he did observe a funny driver on I-66.

“Poolster observed one motorist on I-66 from DC extend his middle finger at the motorcade, but unable to tell if said motorist knew who was in the motorcade, or just didn’t like being passed,” he wrote in his report.
I choose to believe that the motorist knew full well who was in the motorcade...

FOD 2014.05.19

Is anyone really surprised by this? (H/T Weasel Zippers)

Obama Fails to Acknowledge Armed Forces Day, But Does Recognize ‘International Day Against Homophobia Or Transphobia’
(Friday) was Armed Forces Day. Armed Forces Day was created under Harry Truman in 1949, celebrating all the branches of the military. Among other things, it was meant to be a day to honor and acknowledge the people of the Armed Forces of the United States.

Many recognized it... including Senator Ted Cruz and Rep. Darrell Issa:

But our President, our Commander-In-Chief, failed to recognize it in his Twitter account, although the account recognized ‘International Day Against Homophobia Or Transphobia’, even using the #IDAHOT hashtag.

Various embassies followed suit, going to the trouble to recognize the IDAHOT date by displaying the Pride flag, but making no mention of Armed Forces Day:

It shows what his priorities really are.

Here's another example.

VA Fast-Tracks Sex Change for Manning While Vets Die on Waiting Lists
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has formally approved the request of Pvt. Bradley Manning, convicted for leaking classified documents to Wikileaks, to be temporarily transferred out of military custody in order to undergo expensive hormone therapy and surgery to become a woman.

As the medical needs of Manning, convicted in 2013 and sentenced to 35 years in prison for stealing 750,000 classified defense department documents in order to disseminate them to Wikileaks, were being assiduously attended to by America’s defense establishment, untold hundreds of American servicemen and women suffering from genuine life-threatening and acute medical conditions have allegedly been left to die on at least seven waiting lists managed by the US Veterans Administration.
Nothing against the GLBT community, but the people who place their lives on the line to keep us safe and (somewhat) free deserve much better treatment than what they're getting at the hands of obama and his minions.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Sunday Funnies 2014.05.18

Yesterday was Armed Forces Day. Today is Make Fun of the Armed Forces Day.

The Korean War, in which the Marine Corps fought and won some of its most brutal battles, was not without its gallows humor.

During one such conflict, a ROK (Republic of Korea) commander, whose unit was fighting along with the Marines, got on the horn to legendary Marine General Chesty Puller, to report a major Chinese attack in his sector.

"How many Chinese are attacking you?" asked Puller.

"Many, many Chinese!" replied the excited Korean officer.

General Puller asked for another count.... and got a similar, anxious answer: "Many, many, MANY Chinese!"

" %* # ! dammit ! " swore Puller, "Put my Marine liaison officer on the radio."

In a minute, an American voice came over the air: "Yes sir ! ! ?"

"Lieutenant," growled Chesty, "exactly how many Chinese you got up there ?"

"General, we got a whole shitload of Chinese up here!"

"Thank God." exclaimed Puller, "At least there's someone up there who knows how to count."

While the C-5 was turning over its engines, a female Air Force crewman gave the G.I.s on board the usual information regarding seat belts, emergency exits, etc.

Finally, she said, 'Now sit back and enjoy your trip while your captain, Judith Campbell, and crew take you safely to Afghanistan’ .

An old MSgt. sitting in the eighth row thought to himself, 'Did I hear her right?  Is the captain a woman ? '  

When the attendant came by he said 'Did I understand you right? Is the captain a woman?'

'Yes,'! said the attendant, 'In fact, this entire crew is female.'

'My God,' he said, 'I wish I had two double scotch and sodas. I don't know what to think with only women up there in the cockpit.' 

'That's another thing, Sergeant,' said the crew member,

'We no longer call it 'The Cockpit.'  It's now 'The Box Office.'

Charley, a new retiree-greeter at Wal-Mart, just couldn't seem to get to work on time.

Every day he was 5, 10, 15 minutes late.

But he was a good worker, really tidy, clean-shaven, sharp-minded and a real credit to the company and obviously demonstrating their "Older Person Friendly" policies.

One day the boss called him into the office for a talk.

"Charley, I have to tell you, I like your work ethic, you do a bang-up job when you finally get here; but your being late so often is quite bothersome."

"Yes, I know boss, and I am working on it."

"Well good, you are a team player. That's what I like to hear.”

“Yes sir, I understand your concern and I’ll try harder.”

Seeming puzzled, the manager went on to comment, “It's odd, though, your coming in late. I know you're retired from the Armed Forces. What did they say to you there if you showed up in the morning so late and so often?"

The old man looked down at the floor, then smiled.

He chuckled quietly, then said with a grin, "They usually saluted and said, ‘Good morning, Admiral, can I get your coffee, sir?’

The Army - Then & Now

1945 - NCO's had a typewriter on their desks for doing daily reports.
2014 - Everyone has an internet access computer, and they wonder why no work is getting done.

1945 - you were taught to aim at your enemy and shoot him.
2014 - you spray 500 bullets into the brush, don't hit anything, and retreat because you're out of ammo.

1945 - canteens were made of steel, and you could heat coffee or hot chocolate in them.
2014 - canteens are made of plastic, you can't heat anything in them, and they always taste like plastic.

1945 - if you wanted beer and conversation you went to the NCO Club.
2014 - the beer will cost you $3.75, membership is forced, and someone is watching how much you drink.

1945 - we called the enemy names like "Krauts" and "Japs" because we didn't like them.
2014 - we call the enemy the "opposing force" or "aggressor" because we don't want to offend them.

1945 - victory was declared when the enemy was defeated and all his things were broken.
2014 - victory is declared when the enemy says he is sorry.

As a crowded airliner is about to take-off, the peace is suddenly shattered by a five-year-old boy who picks that moment to throw a wild temper tantrum. No matter what his frustrated, embarrassed mother does to try to calm him down, the boy continues to scream furiously and kick the seats around him.

Suddenly, from the rear of the plane, an older man in the uniform of a Coast Guard Chief begins to make his way up the aisle. Stopping the frustrated mother's upraised hand, the white haired, courtly, soft-spoken Chief leans down and, motioning toward his collar, whispers something into the boy's ear.

Instantly, the boy calms down, gently takes his mother's hand, and quietly fastens his seat belt. All the other passengers burst into spontaneous applause. As the Chief slowly makes his way back to his seat, one of the cabin attendants touches his sleeve. "Excuse me Chief", she asks quietly, "could I ask you what magic words you used on that little boy?"

The Chief smiled serenely and gently confides, "I showed him my anchors, service stripes, and battle ribbons, and then explained to him that they entitled me to throw one passenger out of the plane."