Friday, July 31, 2015

Hillary

Several new revelations about Hillary today.  It's Friday so there are a lot of things coming out so they'll get diluted over the weekend.  Classic tactic.  I'm not going to link any particular stories because you can go to any news site and see a ton of stuff about her.  Depending on where you go it's either admiring and apologetic (MSNBC) or damning and accusatory (Fox).  You make the choice.

She released a letter from her doctor stating that she is fit to be President.  Okay.  Great.  I would hope so.

She released her tax returns for the last seven years.  Turns out she and Bubba made over $140M and paid about $41M in taxes.  Okay.  What I get from this is that her cry of poverty is BS.  But that's okay.  Good for her that she made a ton of money.  Of course, there are a lot of questions about the sources of income.  But we'll just leave that for now.

She is on the attack against Jeb.  It's obvious that the Clinton camp thinks it's going to come down to her and Jeb.  Maybe...maybe not.

And the big bombshell that she'd like to obscure is all about the classified material that was contained in her emails on her PRIVATE SERVER when she was SecState.  Ummm...that could be a problem.  A big problem.  Remember Gen Petraeus?  If the Justice Dept lets her slide, well then I don't know what to say.

Things are getting curiouser and couriouser!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Motivation Monday


The Happy Clam

Started our vacation today.  Although as a retired guy not sure you call it vacation.  We're spending a few weeks on the East coast.  Humidity much?  Anyway, easy flight to Washington Dulles and first night in Fredericksburg, VA.  Quaint little city.  Of course the fateful battle that took place here in 1862 is the defining event for the city.  Quite simply, the Union got their ass kicked.  Of course, it was bitterly cold and they were trying to attack across a river to an entrenched enemy who had a great position on them.  But still, they got their ass kicked.  Quiet on a Sunday night.  We walked around doing some window antique shopping and stumbled on a great little restaurant.  If you're ever in Fredericksburg, VA stop for a meal at "The Happy Clam".  It's not fancy but OMG the seafood is amazing.  I had a cup of clam chowder that had so many clams it was chewy.  And then fried oysters. Couldn't do that very often but they were amazing.  Came with hush puppies, fries and string beans.  Burp!  But everything on the menu looked really good.  Like I said, not fancy.  But if you want a good meal, this is the place.


Saturday, July 25, 2015

Home Security

A friend posted this over on FB.  Shameful stereotyping of the southern culture...but pretty funny!



The Cab Ride


I arrived at the address and honked the horn. After waiting a few minutes I walked to the door and knocked.  'Just a minute', answered a frail, elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the floor. After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 90's stood before me.

She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940's movie.  By her side was a small nylon suitcase. The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets. There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. 
In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware. 
'Would you carry my bag out to the car?' she said. I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman.  She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb.  She kept thanking me for my kindness.  'It's nothing', I told her.. 'I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother to be treated.' 
'Oh, you're such a good boy, she said. When we got in the cab, she gave me an address and then asked, 'Could you drive through downtown?'  'It's not the shortest way,' I answered quickly..

'Oh, I don't mind,' she said. 'I'm in no hurry. I'm on my way to a hospice. I looked in the rear-view mirror. Her eyes were glistening. 'I don't have any family left,' she continued in a soft voice.. 'The doctor says I don't have very long.'  I quietly reached over and shut off the meter. 'What route would you like me to take?' I asked.  For the next two hours, we drove through the city.  She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator.  We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds. She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl.  Sometimes she'd ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.  As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said,’ I’m tired. Let's go now'.  
We drove in silence to the address she had given me. 
It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico. Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move. They must have been expecting her. 
I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door.
The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.

'How much do I owe you?' She asked, reaching into her purse.
'Nothing,' I said.
'You have to make a living,' she answered.
'There are other passengers,' I responded.
Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug.
She held onto me tightly.
'You gave an old woman a little moment of joy,' she said.

'Thank you.'
I squeezed her hand, and then walked into the dim morning light


Behind me, a door shut. It was the sound of the closing of a life...
I didn't pick up any more passengers that shift.
I drove aimlessly lost in thought.
For the rest of that day, I could hardly talk.
What if that woman had gotten an angry driver, or one who was impatient to end his shift?
What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away?
On a quick review, I don't think that I have done anything more important in my life.

We're conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments. But great moments often catch us unaware-beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.


PEOPLE MAY NOT REMEMBER EXACTLY WHAT YOU DID, OR WHAT YOU SAID ~BUT~THEY WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER HOW YOU MADE THEM FEEL.

Whiteness

There has been a lot in the news recently about what seems to be a growing sense of racial angst.  I've  written about it a few times, the most recent early last week.  The theme of that post was that just because there is a strong dialog about race doesn't mean everyone is a racist...particularly me.  I mean, it just seems that this discussion starts with stereotyping people.  Don't get me wrong.  I'm not for a minute saying there isn't racism or that there aren't racism problems in the country, but it irks me that we can't seem to get to the point of discussing specific problems and solutions because we the dialog seems to be driven (by the media?) to a place of blame.  It's just off-putting.

I saw a very interesting article this morning titled "White people have a race -- but everyone flips out when we talk about it".  You can read it here.  Now if you're a regular reader you know I come down philosophically on the conservative side of things.  Usually anyway.  But I try to look at everything.  So this article is from Vox.com.  Now don't freak out!  I realize it's a hard left site with a particular point of view very alien from mine.  Usually anyway.  But this article is very good.  And insightful.  And thought provoking.  If you don't care about this stuff, then you can move on.  But if this complex issue is somewhat discomfiting, vaguely disturbing, and you're scratching your head (like me) about how to respond and what to do, this article is another data point in trying to figure that out.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Hillary

New revelations today.  Potential criminal investigation by Justice Department over email lies.  You can read about it here.  Remember what they did to Petraeus?  Standby...

Heard a good soundbite comparing Hillary to a Triscuit.  Looks okay in the photo on the box.   Then when you try it you find out it's dry, boring, has no taste, and crumbles at the slightest pressure.  LOL!


Thursday, July 23, 2015

Friday Funnies



Clever Ad

Some people will go to great lengths to get a post to viral on the net.  



Chinese Hotel Rules?

Don't know if this is legit, but if you have to have rules I guess these are as good as any!


Dogs Are Cool

Literally!!!


Hillary





















The latest from Dick Morris:
Who can possibly believe Hillary Clinton is authentic when she routinely makes it so obvious how utterly phony and inauthentic she actually is?
She pretends she's just like the rest of us. But she's not -- and she doesn't want to be.
Look at her travel style. After years of luxurious living in the White House followed by years of traveling on private jets courtesy of wealthy donors, Clinton isn't interested in coach class and the Holiday Inn.
But, still, she pretends. She rode in a van to Iowa! And she pulled her own red suitcase out to the JetBlue gate.
Was anyone fooled?
Everyone knows that the Clintons insist on private jets to take them wherever they go. This concocted photo op tried to hide what she is: an elite and isolated Washington insider. Clinton's standard contract for speeches demands "chartered roundtrip private jet ... e.g., a Gulfstream 450 or larger jet." Hotel accommodations must include a "presidential suite" and adjoining rooms for traveling staff.
The red suitcases are now back on a Learjet. Her Federal Election Commission filings show hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on private jets. No more van, no more JetBlue. That's how the real Hillary Clinton travels.
She insists she's running a lean campaign and that her staff takes the $30 Bolt bus from D.C. to New York. But her FEC filing reveals that only $660 was spent on buses, while almost $9,000 was spent on Amtrak and more than $40,000 on Delta Airlines. So that means there were 10 round trips on the bus in three months -- not even one a week.
She enthusiastically opened her headquarters in New York's hip Brooklyn Heights neighborhood, but her real office is in chic Manhattan, close to her Wall Street friends and rich donors. That's where she wants to be. She doesn't get Brooklyn. She wants to pretend she is on the cutting edge, not the status quo.
Hillary: You are the status quo.
The former first lady spoke on Facebook about the "challenge" of doing hair and makeup every day -- just like real women. No mention of the professional makeup artist and hair stylists who are in the wings.
And it's not just her style that is phony.
When she says she didn't erase important emails, was never under subpoena or was "dead broke," who believes her?
No one. Look at her ratings for honesty and trustworthiness. Only a third of America trusts her. And no wonder -- she and her staff are so bad at trying to create an image of the everyday, hardworking honest person, it's laughable.
It's at odds with the Clinton we know: the one demanding $225,000 or more for a 90-minute appearance while bemoaning the excesses of the top 1 percent, the Clinton who criticizes big banks while she and her husband make millions from them.
She doesn't stop.
She tells CNN that people "do trust her." No they don't.
And who is to blame for her low ratings on honesty? Republicans, of course. It has nothing to do with her.
Her certitude is breathtaking. She is always right, she is the last good person on Earth and she and her husband are the innocent victims of partisan evils.
Who is she kidding?
No one. Voters don't believe her about why she had a private email server, or that she was never influenced by donors to the Clinton Foundation or how she had no idea who was paying her husband while she was secretary of State.
And voters can't trust her on issues. Her flip-flops on gay marriage, the trans-Pacific trade agreement, Iran, immigration, ethanol and etc. all underscore her lack of trustworthiness.
She claims that she's the "most transparent person in politics."
The only thing transparent about Hillary Clinton is that we can see right through her.
Hillary, you are not kidding anyone.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

We're Not All Racists

There is a new book out by Ta-Nehisi Coates called "Between the World and Me" which is, by all accounts, a searing portrait of being black in America.  I admit that I haven't read it.  From the snippets I've read in various publications, I think it would be pretty depressing.  We've heard an increasing chorus about the pervasive racism in this country and this book apparently doubles down on that narrative.

It's a complicated subject.  And the emotions range from deep-seated anger and bitterness that will never come to terms with the history of racism in this country to those who have empowered that racism.  I hear a strong drumbeat that racism continues to have an inexorable grip on the country.  That we are locked in a culture of privilege versus oppression.  That white people can't, won't and don't get it.  It is a desperately pessimistic and depressing commentary.  The media continually pounds on this theme.  It reinforces the narrative that some of us are dramatically repressing others.  And frankly it makes me sad and a bit disoriented.  But mostly it makes me mad.  Mad because I'm either blind or wildly unfairly stereotyped.  And I don't think I'm blind.

So this little blog doesn't make a whit of difference in the world.  It's just a fun little commentary about stuff that strikes me.  But every once in a while I stumble on something that resonates with me.  Or pisses me off.  This is one of them.  So let me state categorically.  I'm not a racist.  My friends are not racists.  My family are not racists.  We generally believe in doing the right thing.  We try to live our lives in the best manner we can.  We treat everyone with respect.  We believe in personal responsibility.  We have respect for the country, for laws, for authority.  We are grateful for what we have and work hard so that future generations will have it better.  And we don't condone racism.  We try at every turn to treat everyone with respect and dignity.  We are optimists and believe the best days are yet to come.  That's it.  No big deal.  But we're not racists.

The reason I'm writing this is an Op-Ed column this week by David Brooks in the NYT.  I'm not a huge fan but sometimes he really hits the nail on the head.  I've copied the whole thing below for context.  The part that has stimulated this post is highlighted.  Maybe I'm being naive but I really think that most guys like me are really tired of being called racist.  Because it's bullshit.

The Opinion Pages | OP-ED COLUMNIST
David Brooks

Listening to Ta-Nehisi Coates While White

Dear Ta-Nehisi Coates,

The last year has been an education for white people. There has been a depth, power and richness to the African-American conversation about Ferguson, Baltimore, Charleston and the other killings that has been humbling and instructive.

Your new book, “Between the World and Me,” is a great and searing contribution to this public education. It is a mind-altering account of the black male experience. Every conscientious American should read it.

There is a pervasive physicality to your memoir — the elemental vulnerability of living in a black body in America. Outside African-American nightclubs, you write, “black people controlled nothing, least of all the fate of their bodies, which could be commandeered by the police; which could be erased by the guns, which were so profligate; which could be raped, beaten, jailed.”

Written as a letter to your son, you talk about the effects of pervasive fear. “When I was your age the only people I knew were black and all of them were powerfully, adamantly, dangerously afraid.”

But the disturbing challenge of your book is your rejection of the American dream. My ancestors chose to come here. For them, America was the antidote to the crushing restrictiveness of European life, to the pogroms. For them, the American dream was an uplifting spiritual creed that offered dignity, the chance to rise.

Your ancestors came in chains. In your book the dream of the comfortable suburban life is a “fairy tale.” For you, slavery is the original American sin, from which there is no redemption. America is Egypt without the possibility of the Exodus. African-American men are caught in a crushing logic, determined by the past, from which there is no escape.

You write to your son, “Here is what I would like for you to know: In America, it is traditional to destroy the black body — it is heritage.” The innocent world of the dream is actually built on the broken bodies of those kept down below.

If there were no black bodies to oppress, the affluent Dreamers “would have to determine how to build their suburbs on something other than human bones, how to angle their jails toward something other than a human stockyard, how to erect a democracy independent of cannibalism.”

Your definition of “white” is complicated. But you write “ ‘White America’ is a syndicate arrayed to protect its exclusive power to dominate and control our bodies. Sometimes this power is direct (lynching), and sometimes it is insidious (redlining).” In what is bound to be the most quoted passage from the book, you write that you watched the smoldering towers of 9/11 with a cold heart. At the time you felt the police and firefighters who died “were menaces of nature; they were the fire, the comet, the storm, which could — with no justification — shatter my body.”

You obviously do not mean that literally today (sometimes in your phrasing you seem determined to be misunderstood). You are illustrating the perspective born of the rage “that burned in me then, animates me now, and will likely leave me on fire for the rest of my days.”

I read this all like a slap and a revelation. I suppose the first obligation is to sit with it, to make sure the testimony is respected and sinks in. But I have to ask, Am I displaying my privilege if I disagree? Is my job just to respect your experience and accept your conclusions? Does a white person have standing to respond?

If I do have standing, I find the causation between the legacy of lynching and some guy’s decision to commit a crime inadequate to the complexity of most individual choices.

I think you distort American history. This country, like each person in it, is a mixture of glory and shame. There’s a Lincoln for every Jefferson Davis and a Harlem Children’s Zone for every K.K.K. — and usually vastly more than one. Violence is embedded in America, but it is not close to the totality of America.

In your anger at the tone of innocence some people adopt to describe the American dream, you reject the dream itself as flimflam. But a dream sullied is not a lie. The American dream of equal opportunity, social mobility and ever more perfect democracy cherishes the future more than the past. It abandons old wrongs and transcends old sins for the sake of a better tomorrow.


This dream is a secular faith that has unified people across every known divide. It has unleashed ennobling energies and mobilized heroic social reform movements. By dissolving the dream under the acid of an excessive realism, you trap generations in the past and destroy the guiding star that points to a better future.


Maybe you will find my reactions irksome. Maybe the right white response is just silence for a change. In any case, you’ve filled my ears unforgettably.


UPDATE:  Saw this article and it really resonated.  Much more eloquent and probably more relevant than I can be.  So here it is.  

A Letter to My African-American Daughter, and a Response to Ta-Nehisi Coates
by DAVID FRENCH July 21, 2015

This month, Ta-Nehisi Coates published Between the World and Me, a powerful collection of essays written in the form of letters to his teenage son. The book is a sensation on the left, and it is full of rage and even hate. Rather than write a conventional review of the book, I thought I’d respond with my own letter, written to my seven-year-old African-American daughter. Dearest Naomi, So far, it’s the small moments that are hard to explain. Like this summer, when we walked past a young black man in Manhattan. He was frustrated. Cab drivers were zooming past him, refusing to stop. He stood in the street, hand raised, but no one would slow down. Finally, a white woman shook her head, walked into the street, and instantaneously hailed a cab. She held the door open for him, apologized, and said, “One day, things will change.” This confused you. You asked why the cab wouldn’t stop, and we told you that some cab drivers won’t stop for black people. Your response touched my heart. “Why won’t they stop for black people? I’m black!” It wasn’t the words, it was the look on your face — incredulous that someone wouldn’t want you in their cab. After all, you live in a world of love and warmth and kindness. In your deep-South home, the kids yell out your name when you walk down the hall at school. Your tutors greet you with undisguised delight each time they see you. Your day at home begins and ends with love. You are a delight, and the vast majority of people can’t help but smile when they see you. But not everyone. Not all the time. And these small moments — like the elderly woman who demanded to know what you were doing in the neighborhood pool, or the little boy who told you that his daddy won’t let him go to neighborhoods where black people live — are bringing me, inevitably, to tell you about the big things: about things like the Middle Passage, the overseer’s lash, the Klan (founded not too many miles from your own home), Jim Crow, redlining, and the progressive “science” of eugenics. These are things that happened — painful things that you’ll find so difficult to believe, especially as you prepare for a future where anything is possible, where college and careers open before you, where your private education gave you advantages you won’t understand until much later, and where your intact, loving family brought you a sense of peace and stability that sadly too few kids understand. Your life is a place of possibility. The past looks like a place of pain. So that’s why we’ll ease you into an understanding of the truth. That’s why we’re not going to dump all of life on you all at once. As we tell you the truth, we will never forget to tell you the larger Truth — that man is fallen, prone to evil. Yet God is holy, prone to redeem. And you can never forget both realities. This is the Bad News and the Good News that represent the past, the present, and the eternal future. The Bad News has always been countered by the Good News, even when the Good News was only a spark, a lone voice crying out. In the days of the overseers’ lash, there were still voices decrying bondage — crying out until the quest for justice ultimately culminated in America’s most terrible war. In the days of Jim Crow, the voices cried out until a movement swept this land — one that, instead of culminating in war, led people of deep faith to answer violence with peace and slowly but surely win the heart of a nation. It is critical for you to understand that these voices crying out for justice were black, but they were not only black — that hundreds of thousands of white men spilled their blood in the war that ended slavery and that white partnered with black to end Jim Crow. These are facts — facts every bit as important as the facts of white supremacy and white oppression.  And here are some facts that may be the most confusing of all: Your own family has its own place in that history. Your name is the name of freedom fighters, of slave owners, and — through it all — of the faithful. As you learn about your family, you will learn of distant relatives who came across the ocean on a ship called the Mayflower, seeking the right to worship as they pleased, free from the heavy hand of an oppressive king. You’ll learn of a young man shivering at an awful place called Valley Forge, laying his life on the line for an idea of freedom — the idea that birthed this land of opportunity. But then, as you learn more about this long legacy, you’ll learn of your family’s move to the South — to the place not far at all from where you live now. You’ll learn of ancestors who owned people who looked like you, of men who wore gray and fought like lions to stop an invasion, to preserve a way of life that included — the truth is inescapable — the right to keep owning people who looked like you. They lost that war but clung to the pride of their service, the pride of their valor, and wore gray for the rest of their lives. You’ll learn that the legacy of their valor inspired other young men in your family, who in their own turn picked up rifles and fought — this time against great tyrannies in Europe. And you’ll learn more about your own father, and the night I flew into Iraq — desperately praying for my own life and for the opportunity to see my family again — the very night you were born. God is prone to redeem. It is this knowledge that allows us to place the fullness of our history in context, to understand that our own family could fight for the wrong cause but that God could redeem their courage. And through it all, you’ll learn the most important thing, of the gift of faith — the true multi-generational legacy of your family. We were never all good or even mostly good. Remember, man is fallen. We are prone to evil. But we’ve all had faith — reaching back into the deep recesses of time. And God is holy. He’s prone to redeem. It is this knowledge that allows us to place the fullness of our history in context, to understand that our own family could fight for the wrong cause but that God could redeem their courage. And it helps us understand our present — why, for example, despite centuries, even millennia, of people seeking justice, injustice is still so prevalent. It is impossible, in fact, to forget the Bad News — the evidence of its existence is all around us. The legacy of Jim Crow and redlining lives on in the ghetto, communities intentionally created to confine black people to their own space. The legacy of slavery — of families torn apart for cash — lives on in black families that even now struggle at a rate that outpaces whites and Latinos. Most horrifically, the Bad News manifests in the monstrous injustice of legal abortion, the idea that babies can be ripped apart in the womb for any reason or no reason at all. And you’ll learn that legal abortion exists in large part because progressive white people invented something called “eugenics,” a pseudo-science that tried to perfect mankind by ridding the human race of the “undesirables.” And faced with that Bad News, a life of anger and rage beckons. There exist entire intellectual movements that will call out to you, beckoning you to join them in their bottomless, limitless anger. There are people now who write things, to near-universal critical acclaim, that betray a coldness of heart that will take your breath away. Speaking of September 11, 2001, an event before your were born that took the lives of 3,000 innocent men and women, a very angry man wrote this: So we were there on the roof, talking and taking in the sight — great plumes of smoke covered Manhattan Island. Everyone knew someone who knew someone who was missing. But looking out upon the ruins of America, my heart was cold. I had disasters all my own. The officer who killed Prince Jones, like all the officers who regard us so warily, was the sword of the American citizenry. I would never consider any American citizen pure. No, I wouldn’t consider any American pure, either. We’re all sinful. We all fall short of the glory of God. But we are all created in His image. We are all loved. But when you don’t believe in God, when you can’t see the redemption, your rage will know no bounds. A police officer can kill a friend, and you will see all police officers — indeed, even all employees of the government — as instruments of evil. Speaking of that same terrible September day, you will say, “I could see no difference between the officer who killed [my friend] and the police who died, or the firefighters who died. They were not human to me. Black, white, or whatever, they were the menaces of nature; they were the fire, the comet, the storm, which could — with no justification — shatter my body.” You will lose the ability to see individuals, and you will see only the system. You will call your fellow citizens “majoritarian pigs,” believe they would rather “live white than live free,” and fury will flare within you. What is the antidote to this dehumanizing rage, a rage that will cause you to see your own fellow citizens, citizens who died in shock and confusion and pain, as “not human?” The antidote is the God who awakens in the human heart the ability to love, to show courage, and to struggle for justice not with the violent fury of the Marxist but with the self-denying valor of a freedom rider. Understand that God is sovereign, and all good things come from God. That means that evil cannot ultimately triumph, even when it takes the body. Contrary to the assertions of the secularist, this world is not our home — this is not all we have — and our ultimate triumph depends not on law, policy, or the police. This is the liberating truth that allows us to show the “greater love,” to lay down our lives for our friends and neighbors. When I look at your beautiful brown skin, it pains me that there will be some who dislike you simply because of that skin. But mostly I feel thankful — a sense of overwhelming gratitude. The God who gives us good things has given us a country where you can and will have the best — the best education, the best medical care, the best opportunity to worship and to determine how best to follow God’s call on your life. And you get those good things not because your parents are white. Indeed, this is a country that features countless black families who are more prosperous and more influential than your parents. They can give their children even better things than we give you. And I’m thankful for that as well. The arc of history is long, and it bends where God wills it. Your place in that history is up to the God you love, the God your family seeks to serve, and in charting your course in a world where man is fallen but your God redeems, remember His words — seek justice, love mercy, and walk humbly. And, finally, please forgive us — your mother and me. We will do our very best to help you chart your course. But we won’t do it perfectly. Sometimes, we won’t even do it well. But we know the plans that God has for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a future and a hope. Live that hope. — David French is an attorney and a staff writer at National Review.

This Has Real Potential for Disaster


Hillary

She hasn't been in the news too much lately.  The gas-bag Donald Trump has sucked all the political air out of the room.  But I'm not going to talk about him.  He'll go away soon enough.  Oh she has done a few speeches, most notably a big economic speech in which she trotted out all the old Socialist, Democratic theories on the economy.  Of course, they all have been proven disastrous, but that doesn't stop her.  You've heard it all before.  Inequality, minimum wage increases, subsidies to renewable energy (big subsidies), tax the rich, increase welfare funding, blah, blah, blah.  I watched a bit of the speech.  Wooden, pedantic, rote, boring.  It's beyond me why people respond to her.

Here's a good visual I saw over on FB.  hiLIARy.  Pretty clever.  And true.

There's a pretty good WaPo article out on the latest polling that is not good news for her.  You can read it here.  Bottom line is she's not doing well agains the Republican likely candidates in the swing states.  Not good.

Here's another good visual.  Seems to be the way it's going for her.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Motivation Monday

Saw this over on FB. Most of these really resonates with me.

The Pope’s 10 Tips for a Happier Life
1. “Live and let live.” Everyone should be guided by this principle, he said, which has a similar expression in Rome with the saying, “Move forward and let others do the same.”
2. “Be giving of yourself to others.” People need to be open and generous toward others, he said, because “if you withdraw into yourself, you run the risk of becoming egocentric. And stagnant water becomes putrid.”
3. “Proceed calmly” in life. The pope, who used to teach high school literature, used an image from an Argentine novel by Ricardo Guiraldes, in which the protagonist — gaucho Don Segundo Sombra — looks back on how he lived his life.
4. A healthy sense of leisure. The Pope said “consumerism has brought us anxiety”, and told parents to set aside time to play with their children and turn of the TV when they sit down to eat.
5. Sundays should be holidays. Workers should have Sundays off because “Sunday is for family,” he said.
6. Find innovative ways to create dignified jobs for young people. “We need to be creative with young people. If they have no opportunities they will get into drugs” and be more vulnerable to suicide, he said.
7. Respect and take care of nature. Environmental degradation “is one of the biggest challenges we have,” he said. “I think a question that we’re not asking ourselves is: ‘Isn’t humanity committing suicide with this indiscriminate and tyrannical use of nature?’”
8. Stop being negative. “Needing to talk badly about others indicates low self-esteem. That means, ‘I feel so low that instead of picking myself up I have to cut others down,’” the Pope said. “Letting go of negative things quickly is healthy.”
9. Don’t proselytise; respect others’ beliefs. “We can inspire others through witness so that one grows together in communicating. But the worst thing of all is religious proselytism, which paralyses: ‘I am talking with you in order to persuade you,’ No. Each person dialogues, starting with his and her own identity. The church grows by attraction, not proselytising,” the Pope said.
10. Work for peace. “We are living in a time of many wars,” he said, and “the call for peace must be shouted. Peace sometimes gives the impression of being quiet, but it is never quiet, peace is always proactive” and dynamic.

Marriage

It's been a few weeks since the SCOTUS decision on marriage.  You know...everyone has the right to marry.  Everyone includes gay people.  While I don't like that decision from a Constitutional perspective, I understand it.  The social imperative is compelling.  Religious objections are protected, except where they aren't, but it's the best solution available.  There will be complications and inequities, but it is what it is.  We need to move on.

Then a week or so ago my church, the Episcopalians, voted at General Convention to allow same gender marriage.  Of course, as good Episcopalians they gave Bishops and Priests an out.  They don't have to perform marriage rites for same gender couples if they don't want to.  And I'm sure there will be some who won't.  I'm thinking of the more conservative parts of the country.  But here in SoCal I'm sure most will.

So now you're asking, so what?  It's over.  But the problem for many is that it isn't.  Many will resist.  They will object on what they think are valid grounds.   And all need to be respected and heard.  But I'm thinking about the upcoming political battle for the leadership of the country.  I saw a very good perspective that sums up my thoughts.  You can read it here.  I hope that those on my side of the fence who are battling for the Presidency can come to terms with this and accept the direction that the  country is moving.  Because if they can't or won't, they will have a problem.  They will be carrying a big loadstone around their neck.  And they will never got the vote of many in the millennial generation who otherwise might consider them.  And that would be a shame.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Friday Funnies

Hat tip to SC over on FB....

Why Did The Chicken Cross The Road?

SARAH PALIN: The chicken crossed the road because, gosh-darn it, he's a maverick!

BARACK OBAMA: Let me be perfectly clear, if the chickens like their eggs they can keep their eggs. No chicken will be required to cross the road to surrender her eggs. Period.

JOHN McCAIN: My friends, the chicken crossed the road because he recognized the need to engage in cooperation and dialogue with all the chickens on the other side of the road.

HILLARY CLINTON: What difference at this point does it make why the chicken crossed the road?

GEORGE W. BUSH: We don't really care why the chicken crossed the road. We just want to know if the chicken is on our side of the road or not. The chicken is either with us or against us. There is no middle ground here.

DICK CHENEY: Where's my gun?

BILL CLINTON: I did not cross the road with that chicken.

AL GORE: I invented the chicken.

JOHN KERRY: Although I voted to let the chicken cross the road, I am now against it! It was the wrong road to cross, and I was misled about the chicken's intentions. I am not for it now, and will remain against it.

AL SHARPTON: Why are all the chickens white?

DR. PHIL: The problem we have here is that this chicken won't realize that he must first deal with the problem on this side of the road before it goes after the problem on the other side of the road. What we need to do is help him realize how stupid he is acting by not taking on his current problems before adding any new problems.

OPRAH: Well, I understand that the chicken is having problems, which is why he wants to cross the road so badly. So instead of having the chicken learn from his mistakes and take falls, which is a part of life, I'm going to give this chicken a NEW CAR so that he can just drive across the road and not live his life like the rest of the chickens.

ANDERSON COOPER: We have reason to believe there is a chicken, but we have not yet been allowed to have access to the other side of the road.

NANCY GRACE: That chicken crossed the road because he's guilty! You can see it in his eyes and the way he walks.

PAT BUCHANAN: To steal the job of a decent, hardworking American.

MARTHA STEWART: No one called me to warn me which way the chicken was going. I had a standing order at the Farmer's Market to sell my eggs when the price dropped to a certain level. No little bird gave me any insider information.

DR SEUSS: Did the chicken cross the road? Did he cross it with a toad? Yes, the chicken crossed the road, but why it crossed I've not been told.

ERNEST HEMINGWAY: To die in the rain, alone.

GRANDPA: In my day we didn't ask why the chicken crossed the road. Somebody told us the chicken crossed the road, and that was good enough for us.

BARBARA WALTERS: Isn't that interesting? In a few moments, we will be listening to the chicken tell, for the first time, the heartwarming story of how it experienced a serious case of molting, and went on to accomplish its lifelong dream of crossing the road.

ARISTOTLE: It is the nature of chickens to cross the road.

BILL GATES: I have just released eChicken2014, which will not only cross roads, but will lay eggs, file your important documents and balance your checkbook. Internet Explorer is an integral part of eChicken2014. This new platform is much more stable and will never reboot.

ALBERT EINSTEIN: Did the chicken really cross the road, or did the road move beneath the chicken?

COLONEL SANDERS: Did I miss one?

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Cool Pic


Steep

Now sure I'm interested in this ride!


Pluto

How could you not be impressed by NASA sending a small space craft billions of miles away and receiving photos of a fly by of a planet at the end of our solar system.  It's really mind boggling!  But amidst this amazing feat, there's still room for humor.  Behold...Pluto!


Cool Pic


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Iran

Enough has been said and written about the disastrous deal that Obama just concluded with the world's largest sponsor of terrorism, Iran.  It's been analyzed six ways from Sunday.  I'm not going to add to the frenzy by coming up with point by point analysis.  You can find a good summary of some of the major sticking points here. 

I think this deal is signed, sealed and delivered.  Congress will bluster that they will review and analyze and obstruct.  But the reality is that our President will go to the UN and get the sanctions lifted.  Once he does that we are going it alone.  Whatever we do, we are on our own.  And we know that there are enough political cowards in the Senate to vote with him whatever he does.  So it's done.

This whole thing makes me really worried for my grandchildren and the future.  Probably more than anything else that has happened in this disastrous Presidency.   I've objected to many things he's done.  I've not liked his tactics.  I've been disappointed in his waffling and lack of leadership.  I've been amazed at his arrogance.  But I've never thought he was a bad man.  I just thought maybe he was inexperienced, misguided, and corrupted by power.  This action almost gets me to the point of thinking he really doesn't have the best interest of the country and the next generations at heart.  It's scary and maddening.  I don't think there is anything we can do about it.  But it sure makes the next election important.  If we don't get someone with a spine who can act as a leader of the free world, we're in deep, deep trouble.  It's not about "inequality".  It's not about climate change.  It's not about dividing us against each other to garner power.  It's about survival.

Here's something to think about...
The following is the wording of a printed statement that Neville Chamberlain waved as he stepped off the plane on 30 September, 1938 after the Munich Conference had ended the day before:
"We, the German Führer and Chancellor, and the British Prime Minister, have had a further meeting today and are agreed in recognizing that the question of Anglo-German relations is of the first importance for our two countries and for Europe.  We regard the agreement signed last night and the Anglo-German Naval Agreement as symbolic of the desire of our two peoples never to go to war with one another again. We are resolved that the method of consultation shall be the method adopted to deal with any other questions that may concern our two countries, and we are determined to continue our efforts to remove possible sources of difference, and thus to contribute to assure the peace of Europe." 

Chamberlain read the above statement in front of 10 Downing St. and said:
"My good friends, for the second time in our history, a British Prime Minister has returned from Germany bringing peace with honour.
I believe it is peace for our time...
Go home and get a nice quiet sleep."

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Hillary


The hits are coming fast and furious now.  It seems like every day there is a new and appalling revelation or act by the candidate. 

This week the biggest one is her declaration that she turned over everything asked for regarding her emails to Congress and never was served with a subpoena.  Here's the quote on CNN:  
"You know, you're starting with so many assumptions that are -- I've never had a subpoena.  There is  -- again, let's take a deep breath here.  Everything I did was permitted by law and regulation.  I had one device.  When I mailed anybody in the government, it would into the government system."


Oops...not so fast.  Then Congressman Goudy released the subpoena that she has never responded to or even addressed.  Say what?  Amazing audacity.  And I won't even bring up that she issued a directive that all State Department employees should not use their personal email accounts for government business.  But of course...the Queen doesn't have to comply with what impacts the commoners.


The other big thing this week is her blatant lie about what Bush said today.  Here's the quote by itself... “My aspiration for the country and I believe we can achieve it, is 4 percent growth as far as the eye can see. Which means we have to be a lot more productive, workforce participation has to rise from its all-time modern lows. It means that people need to work longer hours” and, through their productivity, gain more income for their families. That's the only way we're going to get out of this rut that we're in.”

So now you're scratching your head and wondering about Jeb saying people have to work longer hours.  Here's the full exchange in context:
BUSH: My aspiration for the country and I believe we can achieve it, is 4 percent growth as far as the eye can see. Which means we have to be a lot more productive, workforce participation has to rise from its all-time modern lows. It means that people need to work longer hours and, through their productivity, gain more income for their families. That's the only way we're going to get out of this rut that we're in.
QUESTION: To keep us from taking it out of context, what you meant to say — when you say more hours you mean full-time work.
BUSH: Given the opportunity to work. Yeah, absolutely.
QUESTION: Not that a full time guy or somebody working two jobs needs to be working even more time.
BUSH: Absolutely not. Their incomes need to grow. It’s not going to grow in an environment where the costs of doing business are so extraordinarily high here. Health care costs are rising. In many places the cost of doing business is extraordinarily high and the net result of that is that business start up rates are at an all time low. Work force participation rates are low. If anyone is celebrating this anemic recovery, then they are totally out of touch. The simple fact is people are really struggling. So giving people a chance to work longer hours has got to be part of the answer. If not, you are going to see people lose hope. And that’s where we are today.
Pretty clear, right?  He's talking about moving people in the part time work force to the full time work force.  

So here's what she puts out on Twitter:  "Anyone who believes Americans aren't working hard enough hasn't met enough American workers."

The problem of course is that the blind followers of Hillary believe her bullshit no matter what.  She clearly and deliberately took a very reasonable statement that we have to get people moving from the part time workforce to the full time workforce out of context and is trying to make it about being out of touch.  Now that's gall.  Oh yeah...it's the rich old Bush clan that is way out of touch.  But here's the thing.  If anyone is out of touch it's her.  She is so far removed from the average person that it is pathetic.  She's led and charmed and cloistered life.  She is crazy rich.  She travels around in a $10 million jet.  She has raised more money than anyone from the Super-PACs.

It's going to get ugly.  It's going to get real ugly.  And she is going to be the one to make it so.

Friday Funnies

This guy made me laugh!


Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Trump

Last week Donald Trump declared his candidacy for President.  Snicker, Snicker.  Come on...I'm sure.  I mean, who would take him seriously.  He's a gas bag.  A rich gas bag...but a gas bag.  He has made a ton of gaffes.  He says what he thinks.  Like the comments that Mexico is sending a lot of rapists and murderers to the U.S. and the border is a joke.  A lot of the politically correct crowd have backed away from him.  A few corporations have officially cut ties. He has sued some of the organizations who have violated contracts.  I wouldn't want to be them.  He has a habit of winning.  But he's a joke.  He has no chance.  He is fracturing the Republican Party.  He is driving away voters.

But wait...maybe the rush to judgement by the "oh so clever" media isn't quite right.  Turns out a lot of folks like his plain speaking.  A lot of folks admire his ability to make money, turn the deal, not to take any shit off anyone.  He is not shy with the media types either.  He has given a ton of interviews and doesn't back off from any of his opinions.  So while the "professional" political class discounts him and laughs at his candidacy, a lot of folks are listening.  Now, I don't for a second think that he has much of a chance.  But...he certainly is injecting an interesting dimension into the gaggle of candidates.  And personally, I think that what he says about immigration is pretty spot on.  The Federal government has been shamefully absent in this issue.  The Congress has been shamefully absent in this issue.  We need comprehensive immigration reform.  There is no doubt about that.  If Trump's candidacy moves Congress closer to doing something, well then that would be great.  And he's rather entertaining!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Women's Soccer

The women's World Cup was the bomb!!  Lots of fun to cheer for Team USA.  And they certainly lived up to expectations.  When I go watch my little Granddaughters in both SoCal and on the East coast, there are a ton of girls playing sports.  That is so great!  And how the USA has done in this world cup is reflective of how active girls are in sports.  It's truly a wonderful thing.  So good for them.  

But here's a little secret.  I'm not a huge soccer fan.  I mean...it's just a bit slow for me.  But it's great for the kids and it's great that Team USA did so well.  But I have to admit...I took a little nap in the middle of the game.  

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy 4th of July

Along with Thanksgiving this is the quintessential American holiday.  My very best to all who love their country...the land of the free and the home of the brave!


Friday, July 3, 2015

Hillary

The hits just keep on coming.  You'd think that a little email traffic would be easy to track and produce.  I guess not so much.  Kimberly Strassel in the WSJ has an excellent article about some the shenanigans surrounding Hillary and her email woes.  You can read it here.

There's just so much to report.  But here's the pull quote that tells all.
"As it is unlikely the press corps will begin this investigation anew, or with any fervor, the best chance of getting answers from Mrs. Clinton probably rests in her Democratic rivals for the nomination. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley have so far avoided touching the Clinton scandals, unwilling to risk blowback accusing them of undermining the likely nominee. But if those men truly believe themselves better fit for the presidency, they could do the country no bigger favor than to start pressing Mrs. Clinton to explain her actions. Somebody has to."
Indeed...somebody has to!