Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Double Standard Much?

Interesting article over at Patriot Post concerning the continuing double standards in use by the media and the Left, especially following the recent allegations that incoming House GOP Whip Steve Scalise met with & spoke to a white supremacist group in the early 2000's. Now, let's assume that he did....my comeback to the Left would be (among other things):

I could go on, but the question remains and should be asked at every opportunity: why the double standard?

Founder's Quote, 31 Dec. 2014

His Example is now complete, and it will teach wisdom and virtue to magistrates, citizens, and men, not only in the present age, but in future generations, as long as our history shall be read. - John Adams, message to the U.S. Senate — 1799

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Seared Music: Dead Kennedys - "California Uber Alles"

...what makes this song so damn good - and thought-provoking - is that it reminds us how power corrupts...in addition, the lyrics are a subtle dig at the Left in that, underneath all the niceties and veneers of liberalism, there is an almost fascist undercurrent that runs through their political views, one that screams 'either follow us or else'....

Big Brother On The Loose?

Quoting PJ Media: Depressed? Confused? Then watch this episode of Trifecta as Bill Whittle, Scott Ott and Stephen Green discuss the next generation of vending machines. The Luce X-2 vending machine can recognize your face, and even talk to your smart phone. Will this technology help consumers, or turn them into helpless automatons? Hear more as the men of Trifecta examine the next wave of candy machines that could make your decisions for you.

...oh, that's all we need: machines to take the place of others in the Nanny State? What next, are they going to make us go through daily Two Minutes Hate political sessions as well?

Founder's Quote, 30 Dec. 2014

Besides, to lay and collect internal taxes in this extensive country must require a great number of congressional ordinances, immediately operation upon the body of the people; these must continually interfere with the state laws and thereby produce disorder and general dissatisfaction till the one system of laws or the other, operating upon the same subjects, shall be abolished. - Federal Farmer, Antifederalist Letter — 1787

Monday, December 29, 2014

Seared Music: New Order - "Blue Monday"

....its' been over 3 decades and this song's still the biggest-selling 12" single in music history...impressive, huh? 

ObamaCare Fines To Increase In 2015...

...and if you didn't have healthcare insurance in 2014, be prepared to pay:
Don't have health insurance? Get ready to pay up. The ObamaCare-mandated fines for not having insurance are rising in 2015 -- and for the first time, will be collected by the Internal Revenue Service. 
The individual requirement to buy health insurance went into effect earlier this year. But this coming tax season is the first time all taxpayers will have to report to the IRS whether they had health insurance for the prior year. 
The fines for the 2014 year were relatively modest -- $95 per person or 1 percent of household income (above the threshold for filing taxes), whichever is more. But insurance scofflaws face a sharp increase if they don't get covered soon. The fine will jump in 2015 to $325 or 2 percent of income, whichever is higher. By 2016, the average fine will be about $1,100, based on government figures. (Fox News)
...and people still think the ACA was a good thing? Here's a question: given how unpopular the IRS is at present, what are the odds that they'll go after anyone who is required under the law to pay up? Anyone want to gamble on those odds?

At the very least, someone should give a tip-of-the-hat to the Supreme Court from their 2012 decision affirming the ACA as law, for it was the Court that said that the individual mandate penalty was a valid use of the Constitution's General Welfare Clause (a/k/a the Taxing & Spending Clause) which now puts Americans in the position of either having to purchase health insurance or paying the IRS a nice sum for not having it. Talk about being between a rock and a hard place....

Founder's Quote, 29 Dec. 2014

The great leading objects of the federal government, in which revenue is concerned, are to maintain domestic peace, and provide for the common defense. In these are comprehended the regulation of commerce that is, the whole system of foreign intercourse; the support of armies and navies, and of the civil administration. - Alexander Hamilton, remarks to the New York Ratifying Convention — 1788

Sunday, December 28, 2014

The New Barbarism

...once again, Bill Whittle hits it out of the park in regards to recent events in Ferguson, Mo. and how certain elements in American society have fed the fires of barbarism in an effort to fundamentally change things in America...and how the American Left not only tolerates these actions but also perpetuates these events for their benefit...

Friday, December 26, 2014

Seared Music: Corey Hart - "Sunglasses At Night"


...great song....love the shades, though. ;)

Random Thought, 26 Dec. 2014

Now, I know I'm new to conservatism and all that, but I have to agree with Gay Patriot on something: while I may never have cared much for Dubya's policies, he was a helluva more decent person than Emperor Barack I...just saying. :)

Founder's Quote, 26 Dec. 2014

What is it that affectionate parents require of their Children; for all their care, anxiety, and toil on their accounts? Only that they would be wise and virtuous, Benevolent and kind. - Abigail Adams, letter to John Quincy Adams — 1783

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Space Station Crew Offer Christmas Greetings To The World

Aboard the International Space Station, Expedition 42 Commander Barry Wilmore and Flight Engineer Terry Virts of NASA offered their thoughts and best wishes to the world for the Christmas holiday during downlink messages from the orbital complex on Dec. 17. Wilmore has been aboard the research lab since late September and will remain in orbit until mid-March 2015. Virts arrived at the station in late November and will stay until mid-May 2015.

Incoming Senate Leader Ready To Do Battle, Strategy Uncertain


Cuba. Coal. Immigration. The Keystone XL pipeline. And that's just for openers. Republican Mitch McConnell becomes the Senate's majority leader in two weeks, a role he's been eager to fill for years. He's also eager to challenge President Barack Obama.
That much was clear during a wide-ranging interview with McClatchy this week where he focused on those four topics as places he and the president are likely to clash. Precisely what he will do to counter the president was less clear.
McConnell, like many Republicans, remains miffed that since the Nov. 4 election Obama has taken executive action to halt deportations of millions of undocumented immigrants and announced steps to normalize diplomatic relations with Cuba. (MSN News)
Each of those issues has its' own pitfalls...on Cuba, for instance, even if the Senate blocks the installation of a full ambassador to the island nation, they can't legally block the White House from spending the monies designated for the U.S. Interests Section without a specific legislative rider blocking it, which would then have to pass a potential presidential veto. Ditto for attempts to block EPA regulations, which would have to brave the same presidential veto juggernaut; as for Keystone, market forces may block construction of the pipeline as oil prices per barrel continue to steadily fall.

Then there's the home state dilemma he'll face involving Senate colleague Rand Paul, who may have to decide whether to run for President or for a second Senate term as current Kentucky law prohibits him from doing so...something which ironically both McConnell and McConnell's former Senate challenger, Sec.of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, may have a hand in deciding - which should help add to what appears to be an interesting 2015 for the incoming Senate leader.

Merry Christmas!

...from Western N.C., here's wishing everyone a Merry Christmas!


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Do Obama & DeBlasio Have Blood On Their Hands Over NYPD Deaths?

...let me think about that....yes. 

Founder's Quote, 24 Dec. 2014

The dons, the bashaws, the grandees, the patricians, the sachems, the nabobs, call them by what names you please, sigh and groan and fret, and sometimes stamp and foam and curse, but all in vain. The decree is gone forth, and it cannot be recalled, that a more equal liberty than has prevailed in other parts of the earth must be established in America. - John Adams, letter to Patrick Henry — 1776

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Seared Music: Red Rider - "Crack The Sky (Breakaway)"

...for what its' worth, while "Lunatic Fringe" was a bigger hit for Tom Cochrane and Red Rider, this IMO was a better song....just saying. ;)

Is It Just Me...

...or is the American Left becoming more and more outspoken in their hate towards America and its' institutions?
A student leader at Brandeis University has jumped to her Twitter account to celebrate the murder of two New York City police officers saying that she has “no sympathy” for the dead officers and saying that she “hates this fu**ing country.”
Khadijah Lynch, a junior and an Undergraduate Department Representative in the African and Afro-American Studies Department at Brandeis and has been a featured speaker at various university events. She is also a noted student leader and speaks for students in the African and Afro-American Studies Department. (Liberty News)
Worse, while some on the Left - like Ms. Lynch, who can frankly go jump off a cliff for all I care - make excuses for violence committed against law enforcement, for instance, others on the Left are now making excuses for their fellow travelers, which kind of makes me wonder whether the Left still even gives a damn about this great country of ours...or whether they simply want to watch it burn.

H/T to Gay Patriot

Founder's Quote, 23 Dec. 2014

It should be your care, therefore, and mine, to elevate the minds of our children and exalt their courage; to accelerate and animate their industry and activity; to excite in them an habitual contempt of meanness, abhorrence of injustice and inhumanity, and an ambition to excel in every capacity, faculty, and virtue. If we suffer their minds to grovel and creep in infancy, they will grovel all their lives. - John Adams, Dissertation on the Canon and Feudal Law — 1756

Monday, December 22, 2014

Seared Music: Joe Cocker - "The Letter" (Live in Dortmund, 1992)

...the music world tonight is a sadder, quieter place....rest in peace, Mr. Cocker. :(

NYC Mayor: Put Aside Protests Until After Officers' Burial

....shame Mayor Red didn't feel that way before Saturday's execution-style killings of NYPD Officers Rafael Ramos & Wenjian Liu....
Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday that New Yorkers should set aside protests until after the funerals of the two police officers who were shot and killed in an ambush over the weekend.
The mayor made the call at a luncheon of the Police Athletic League charity two days after a gunman killed Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu in their squad car in Brooklyn. The killer, Ismaaiyl Brinsley, had ranted against police on social media accounts.
The ambush deepened tensions between police and the mayor, who had said it was "painful" when a grand jury declined to indict an officer in the chokehold death of Eric Garner. Officers turned their backs on de Blasio at a press conference on Saturday night after Ramos and Liu were gunned down.
"It's a time to step back and just focus on these families," de Blasio said at the luncheon. "I think it's time for everyone to put aside political debates, put aside protests, put aside all of the things that we will talk about in due time." (NBC News)
To borrow a line from the movie WarGames: Mr. Mayor, with all due respect, under careful consideration, I wish you would simply shut the hell up and resign from your office.

Founder's Quote, 22 Dec. 2014

[D]emocracy will soon degenerate into an anarchy, such an anarchy that every man will do what is right in his own eyes and no man's life or property or reputation or liberty will be secure, and every one of these will soon mould itself into a system of subordination of all the moral virtues and intellectual abilities, all the powers of wealth, beauty, wit and science, to the wanton pleasures, the capricious will, and the execrable cruelty of one or a very few. - John Adams, An Essay on Man's Lust for Power — 1763

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Dodge Hellcat Owner Wrecks New Hellcat...1 Hour After Buying It

...there are simply no words here....

You knew it was bound to happen, sooner or later. We just didn’t think it would be THAT soon.

When Dodge announced the $60,000 Challenger SRT Hellcat and Charger SRT Hellcat earlier this year – with 707 horsepower motors that make them the most powerful stock muscle cars on the streets of America today – it was almost inevitable what might happen when someone would push one to … and past … its limits.

Unfortunately, a motorist in Colorado found that lesson out the hard way, according to a great story on MotorAuthority.com. The Challenger, which has a reported top speed of 204 mph, has only been in dealer showrooms for about a month. This is where the story gets, as Arte Johnson used to say on the 1960s TV show “Laugh In,” “Veerrrryyyy interesting.”

So, apparently an unnamed individual walks into a dealer’s showroom, signs on the dotted line and drives off with a brand new, bright neon lime green Challenger Hellcat. The proud new owner’s beautiful car lasted about an hour, according to MotorAuthority’s Viknesh Vijayenthiran... (NBC MotorSportsTalk)

.....I would say something here, but the words I could use in regards to this sacrilege can't be aired in the open...let us simply remember the car as it should look, not as it ended up as....


...and let us say, in regards to that Colorado motorist....what an idiot!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Exegesis Of Philip K. Dick: Hacking The Hero's Journey


I've watched a lot of these TED & TEDx videos but this one has to be one of the better ones' in recent memory that I've seen, not just for the thought provoking ideas brought forth in the video but just because, as a fan of the author myself, its' just really interesting to hear a differing perspective on one of the best writers of the mid-to-late 20th century.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Founder's Quote, 19 Dec. 2014

It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more. You will think me transported with Enthusiasm but I am not. I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will triumph in that Days Transaction, even altho We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not. - John Adams, letter to Abigail Adams — 1776

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Seared Music: The Smiths - "What Difference Does It Make?"

...if this isn't the Obama Administration's view on the world-at-large, what is?

Klavan & Whittle: What Is Truth?

...good question. As long as man's been on this earth, that question has always been asked...

America Lost Its' First Cyberwar...

Neville Chamberlain would be so proud of Sony's actions in bowing down as they below, wouldn't he?
Sony’s shock decision to scrap the Dec. 25 release of its controversial movie “The Interview” will strengthen hackers, experts warn, fueling debilitating cyberattacks on other high-profile firms.
Still reeling from a crippling Nov. 24 hack, Sony Pictures Entertainment announced Wednesday that it had canceled “The Interview’s” Christmas Day release after a number of movie chains said that they would not show the film. “The Interview,” which pokes fun at North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, is believed to have prompted last month’s devastating attack on the studio and subsequent threats to movie theaters. The FBI has connected Pyongyang to the cyberattack, a federal law enforcement source told Fox News Wednesday.
Experts warn that Sony’s decision could spur politically motivated hackers to launch even more ambitious assaults against corporations and governments.
“Capitulation to cyber extortion will incentivize other actors to achieve political gains via cyber intrusions and threats,” Sean Doherty, president of security firm TSC Advantage, told FoxNews.com, in an email. “This situation is not dissimilar to what we’ve seen with kidnapping situations, where paying ransoms to terrorists and criminal actors has increased the threat to potential victims.” (Fox News)
Sony's decision was capitulation on an epic scale for two principle reasons: (1)as stated in the above quote, Sony's actions basically give a greenlight to others to do similar actions in the hope that their potential victims will back down and acquiesce in the fact of threats and (2)this marks, as best as I can gather, the first time an American company (or America, in a broader sense) has allowed a foreign country and/or actor to bully us into self-censorship.

Now, to be fair, was it dumb of Sony to make a film  w/a premise such as killing another country's leader? Yes...but it was even worse of Sony to back down following the hacking of Sony's computer systems, for the reasons stated above.

Andrew Klavan: We Must Defend Cancer...Against Israel?!?

...quoting the Right Scoop: Another hilarious monologue by Andrew Klavan illustrating the stupidity of those who oppose Israel. 
...for what its' worth, Klavan hits its out of the park here; there actually are those in the benighted left who would deny the world some of medicine's biggest potential advances all because they came from the State of Israel, that is how dumb some w/in the BDS movement are at present...

H/T to the Right Scoop

Founder's Quote, 18 Dec. 2014

With hearts fortified with these animating reflections, we most solemnly, before God and the world, declare, that, exerting the utmost energy of those powers, which our beneficent Creator hath graciously bestowed upon us, the arms we have compelled by our enemies to assume, we will, in defiance of every hazard, with unabating firmness and perseverance employ for the preservation of our liberties; being with one mind resolved to die freemen rather than to live as slaves. - John Dickinson and Thomas Jefferson, Declaration of the Cause and Necessity of Taking up Arms — 1775

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Seared Music: Tool - "Forty Six & Two"

...maybe its' just me, but if Carl Jung were alive today, this would be his kind of song...just saying. ;)

U.S. & Cuba To Begin Normalizing Relations

To borrow Joe Biden's infamous words, this is a big mf'n deal:
The United States and Cuba agreed on Wednesday to restore diplomatic ties that Washington severed more than 50 years ago, and President Barack Obama called for an end to the long economic embargo against its old Cold War enemy.
After 18 months of secret talks, Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro agreed in a phone call on Tuesday on a breakthrough prisoner exchange, the opening of embassies in each other's countries, and an easing of some restrictions on commerce.
The two leaders made the announcement in simultaneous televised speeches. The Vatican and Canada facilitated the deal. Obama's call for an end to the economic embargo drew resistance from Republicans who will control both houses of Congress from January and who oppose normal relations with the communist-run island. (Reuters)
As Obama's decision continues to reverberate both domestically and across-the-world, two thoughts are paramount. On the one hand, I'm somewhat skeptical as to how this will improve things w/in Cuba, given the current autocratic regime in Havana...on the other hand, given that the 55-year embargo has been a bit of a failure - after all, the Castros' are still in power at present - maybe it is time to try something different. After all, if we can relations with other autocratic regimes such as Russia, China and Vietnam, why not with Cuba?

Founder's Quote, 17 Dec. 2014

[T]he Constitution ought to be the standard of construction for the laws, and that wherever there is an evident opposition, the laws ought to give place to the Constitution. But this doctrine is not deducible from any circumstance peculiar to the plan of convention, but from the general theory of a limited Constitution. - Alexander Hamilton, 1788

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Seared Music: Supertramp - "Dreamer"


...why, yes, I'm a dreamer; I'd like to think that we all have big dreams to dream, that our dreams sometimes become true and real...isn't that part of the human experience?

District Court Rules Obama Executive Action Unconstitutional

Expect this to get fast-tracked through the federal judiciary....
Earlier Tuesday, a federal court in Pennsylvania declared aspects of President Obama’s executive actions on immigration policy unconstitutional.
According to the opinion by Judge Arthur Schwab, the president’s policy goes “beyond prosecutorial discretion” in that it provides a relatively rigid framework for considering applications for deferred action, thus obviating any meaningful case-by-case determination as prosecutorial discretion requires, and provides substantive rights to applicable individuals.  As a consequence,  Schwab concluded, the action exceeds the scope of executive authority.
This is the first judicial opinion to address Obama’s decision to expand deferred action for some individuals unlawfully present in the United States. (Washington Post)
Translation: just because Congress hasn't, to paraphrase the president, "passed a bill" doesn't mean that the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue can do what it wants instead; there are constitutional limits to the president's powers and this case illustrates them. Throw in the current lawsuit filed by two-dozen states on the issue of the president's recent executive action on immigration and, as I said earlier, expect this to get fast-tracked to the High Court in due time.

6 Reasons Why Jeb Bush Shouldn't Run For President

Oh, just what the Republicans need in 2016...no, not really:
On Tuesday, former Florida governor Jeb Bush announced via Facebook that he would “actively explore” a presidential run – in other words, Bush announced that he would be entering the 2016 primary sweepstakes. His early jump effectively bars the candidacies of 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney as well as Florida Senator Marco Rubio. It also disheartens members of the conservative base, who see Bush as too moderate, unlikely to fight the Clintons tooth and nail, and as a representative of a family that helped destroy the Republican brand not once but twice. (Breitbart)
Now, the Breitbart article above lists 6 reasons why Jeb Bush shouldn't run for President in 2016...those reasons are:

Hopefully, Jeb'll see the conservative light...or I suspect there'll be a bruising primary battle between the Establishment and Grass-Roots wings of the GOP come 2016.

Founder's Quote, 16 Dec. 2014

The deliberate union of so great and various a people in such a place, is without all partiality or prejudice, if not the greatest exertion of human understanding, the greatest single effort of national deliberation that the world has ever seen. - John Adams, quoted in a letter from Rufus King to Theophilus Parsons — 1788

Monday, December 15, 2014

Seared Music: A Certain Ratio - "Flight"


...maybe its' just me, but I suspect in the grand halls of music, there's likely a section dedicated to the music of Manchester, England...and if there is, these guys are probably somewhere in the midst of it.

Rolling Stone & The Rape Of Journalism

2 thoughts here on the now-thoroughly discredited Rolling Stone UVa campus rape case: (1)everyone involved in this story from the writer to their editor and on up the chain ought to be fired from that rag of a magazine...and (2)this story does a major disservice to actual rape victims in two respects: first, it denigrates and demeans those who've actually suffered from the horrific crime of rape and second, imagine what those at the UVa fraternity are going through; for all intent-and-purposes, their lives are just as ruined as the life of the alleged victim up at UVa.

Put simply, this case not only is an insult to actual rape victims, Rolling Stone have also enabled rapists and that is even worse.

Is There A Way To Break The IRS Stonewall?

Surprisingly, yes:
Congress should proceed carefully but steadily. First, see if Judge Jackson secures the IRS documents for Cause of Action. The agency could appeal her ruling and delay for a few months, but it cannot simply refuse a judge’s order. To ensure that the documents are not heavily redacted, Paul Ryan and Orrin Hatch, respectively the new chairmen of the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee, should exercise their unique legal right to review the raw documents without deletions. If stymied, they too should sue. (Wall Street Journal)
Unfortunately, the WSJ article is behind a paywall, so I'm having to go off of the information discussed in Thomas Lifson's article over at American Thinker (hat-tip to AT) but its' interesting to say the least. Basically, if the IRS appeals the judge's decision should she rule against them, Congress could then review the documents themselves as they were originally written, not as they were presented in Cause of Action's FOIA request...
This is a fascinating wrinkle.  I had no idea that there was a special right available to Congress to see un-redacted material.  Perhaps this is a corollary to national security issues, where members of Congress are authorized to view confidential documents.  Professor Lipson continues:
If the documents show repeated, politicized contacts between the IRS and the White House—and only then—the House and Senate should vote to establish a joint congressional committee to investigate. The committee’s senior members should be seasoned prosecutors, aided by outside counsel with deep experience investigating white-collar crime. Such a body would raise the issues before a skeptical or hostile mainstream media, and overcome the disorganized grandstanding that undermines so many hearings.
The heavy lifting, particularly taking depositions under oath, should be done behind closed doors, beginning with lower-level people who might have seen unauthorized documents or their political uses. Give them transactional immunity and make clear they face serious legal peril if they fail to testify fully and truthfully. Then follow the chain of testimony up the organizational chain. A well-conducted investigation would either clear the White House’s senior political aides or implicate them in serious wrongdoing. (Wall Street Journal)
With two years remaining in the Obama Administration, they could very well try to continue stonewalling Congress on the IRS issue here, but if Congress sets itself to it and begins digging in as the good professor above explains, they could very well break this whole story wide open...and that would be a good thing for America all around.

Founder's Quote, 15 Dec. 2014

A constitution founded on these principles introduces knowledge among the people, and inspires them with a conscious dignity becoming freemen; a general emulation takes place, which causes good humor, sociability, good manners, and good morals to be general. That elevation of sentiment inspired by such a government, makes the common people brave and enterprising. That ambition which is inspired by it makes them sober, industrious, and frugal. - John Adams, Thoughts on Government — 1776

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Krauthammer: Warren's Govt. Shutdown Threat "A Festival Of Hypocrisy"

Two thoughts here: (1)Krauthammer's dead-to-rights here on the hypocrisy of Elizabeth Warren, that darling of the progressive left, calling for a government shutdown over the soon-to-be-passed Cromnibus spending bill when she's usually decrying similar tactics when they're employed by conservatives, and (2)Krauthammer's also dead-to-rights on whether Warren will run for president in 2016; though - if I were a betting man - HRC is still the presumptive favorite, she's too close to Wall Street for the Left's comfort and I'd be shocked if Warren doesn't take a swing at HRC come 2016.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Seared Music: Seven Mary Three - "Cumbersome"

...a good song to wrap work the week....just saying. ;)

Detroit Emerges From Bankruptcy (Among Other Things)


-On Detroit emerging from bankruptcy: While I'm glad to see Detroit emerge from bankruptcy, it took decades for them to get to the state that they're in at present, and its' going to take years for them to emerge out of it...but if they can avoid the pitfalls & mistakes of the past, they might succeed.
-On the State Dept.'s refusal to release certain files regarding former SecState Hillary Clinton: What part of the Freedom of Information Act do they not understand? What could they be hiding in those records?
-Where will the GOP high-dollar donor base go in the run to the 2016 presidential election...will they coalesce early around someone or will they wait until later on to make their decision?

Cromnibus Spending Bill Looks Set To Pass Through Senate

At least they're getting something done in D.C.,...
 The U.S. Senate looked set to pass a $1.1 trillion spending bill but it might need a few days to overcome procedural hurdles before voting on legislation that averts a government shutdown and ends jitters over major budget standoffs until next fall.
After the House of Representatives narrowly approved the bill late on Thursday following a battle that exposed fraying unity in President Barack Obama's Democratic Party, Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid hoped the bill would pass on Friday to spare Americans the drama of yet another budget crisis.
Reid and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell labored to steer the massive spending bill toward passage late Friday but it was unclear whether they could get it done without delay. (Reuters)
Hopefully, come 2015 when the GOP will control both houses of Congress, maybe we'll start seeing...oh, I don't know, actual budgets & appropriations bills being passed instead of these gargantuan omnibus bills. Is that too much to ask?

Alabama Recalls License Plate With Gay Slur

...okay, what genius down in Montgomery, Alabama, approved this?
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A personalized license plate with a gay slur slipped past a review panel in Alabama, and the state said Thursday that it's recalling the tag, which showed up in social media on photos of a black Mustang this week.
The license plate has the saying "NOHOMO," a slang phrase used when the speaker does not want to appear gay. The state prohibits personalized tags with profane or vulgar messages, Alabama Department of Revenue spokeswoman Amanda Collier said. The three-member review panel looks at about 4,000 requests a month for personalized plates, and this was a case of human error, Collier said. (Yahoo News)
For what its' worth, I agree w/Alvin McEwen over at Holy Bullies & Headless Monsters when he says:
 I guess I'm SUPPOSED to be happy over this. Why was the slur approved in the first place?
Good question....

H/T to Holy Bullies & Headless Monsters 

Founder's Quote, 12 Dec. 2014

We are not to consider ourselves, while here, as at church or school, to listen to the harangues of speculative piety; we are here to talk of the political interests committed to our charge. - Fisher Ames, speech in the United States House of Representatives — 1789 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Seared Music: Joy Division - "Decades"

...remind me again why we can't have music this hauntingly beautiful nowadays?

Strange Bedfellows As Obama & House Leaders Work To Pass CR

Must be that time of year again, when both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue rush to pass continuing resolutions to keep the government lights running:
House Republican leaders and the Obama White House formed an unlikely alliance late Thursday as they scrambled to secure the votes for a $1.1 trillion spending bill, ahead of a midnight deadline. 
Fox News is told that President Obama and Vice President Biden were calling House Democrats appealing for their support. White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough also arrived on the Hill late Thursday to meet with the Democratic caucus. Meanwhile, House GOP leaders were trying to sway conservative members who, for different reasons, were opposed to the package. Unclear is whether the push can produce a bipartisan majority to approve the package. 
Earlier in the day, the bill narrowly cleared an important procedural hurdle, on a 214-212 test vote. But the tight vote, which almost failed, exposed serious problems -- all Democrats voted against it, while 16 Republicans defected. 
GOP leaders then delayed a final vote, signaling they did not yet have enough support lined up to pass the legislation. A spending bill of some kind is needed to avert a government shutdown after the midnight deadline. A senior House GOP source told Fox News it is "very close." (Fox News)
 Now, I know I ain't the sharpest tool in the political toolshed, but even I can remember a time when Congress used to actually pass things such as budgets...remember those things?

Founder's Quote, 11 Dec. 2014

It is very imprudent to deprive America of any of her privileges. If her commerce and friendship are of any importance to you, they are to be had on no other terms than leaving her in the full enjoyment of her rights. - Benjamin Franklin, Political Observations

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Seared Music: Pearl Jam - "World Wide Suicide"

...given the reaction to the release of the CIA Interrogations Report yesterday, this might be a good expression of said reaction...

While The Left Worries About The Just-Released CIA Interrogations Report...

...our Mohammadian enemies overseas did the following recently:
The Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria on Tuesday posted photographs appearing to show jihadists throw a “gay” off a rooftop and then stoning him to death. “The Islamic court in Wilayet al-Furat decided that a man who has practised sodomy must be thrown off the highest point in the city, and then stoned to death,” read a statement accompanying the images.(Weasel Zippers)
2 thoughts here...one: Someone really needs to tell sanctimonious liberal ninnes' such as Dianne Feinstein and John McCain to go jump off a cliff (or in McCain's case, crash off a cliff) and two: if it comes down to either protecting America and Americans' versus not torturing enemy combatants...well, I'm sorry, I'll protect Americans first, period. While we don't have to sink ourselves to the level of our enemies, we sure as hell don't need to tie our hands doing so.

H/T to Gay Patriot 

Stupid Commercials, 10 Dec. 2014

You know, as much as I like, (a)most GEICO commercials and (b)rappers Salt N' Pepa', the currently-running GEICO commercial featuring them is, in my humble opinion, one of the stupidest commercials in recent memory to ever be put on television....

Founder's Quote, 10 Dec. 2014

Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote that he is not making a present or a compliment to please an individual - or at least that he ought not so to do; but that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country. - Samuel Adams, in the Boston Gazette — 1781

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Appellate Court Gives Okay For Lawsuit Against Anti-LGBT Leader To Proceed

...about...damn....time!
A federal appeals court has denied pastor Scott Lively’s petition to dismiss a lawsuit that alleges he violated U.S. law by trying to influence the laws of a foreign country.
The 1st Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston ruled last Thursday against Lively, president of anti-LGBT hate group Abiding Truth Ministries. The lawsuit charges Lively, who is also the author of the discredited Holocaust revisionist book The Pink Swastika, with helping foment anti-LGBT sentiment in Uganda. With this ruling, the lawsuit will now proceed in federal court.
Filed in 2012 by the U.S. based Center for Constitutional Rights and Sexual Minorities Uganda, a non-profit LGBT advocacy group based in Uganda, the lawsuit alleges that “Lively’s involvement in anti-gay efforts in Uganda, including his active participation in the conspiracy to strip away fundamental rights from LGBTI persons, constitutes persecution.” Specifically, the lawsuit alleges that Lively encouraged government-backed acts of violence against LGBT people through his anti-LGBT rhetoric, particularly remarks he made when addressing members of the Ugandan parliament in 2009.(SPLC HateWatch)
...you know, its' one thing for people such as Mr. Lively to peddle their hate here in the U.S. but its' quite another for him to do its' overseas; hopefully, a lawsuit such as the one above will convince people such as him to stop - or, at the very least, make it costly to do so.

Seared Music: Steve Earle - "Copperhead Road"

...if this song doesn't encapsulate life in Appalachia in some regards, what does?

Senate Panel Releases CIA Interrogations Report

I'm of two minds in regards to today's release of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence's interrogations report...on the one hand, this doesn't benefit anyone; by releasing this report, my main concern is that we've, (a)essentially given anyone wishing to do harm to America a roadmap to do so and (b)that we've all-but-laid the groundwork for potential prosecutions down the road with regards to those who actually carried out the enhanced interrogations.

On the other hand, I happen to agree with Judge Andrew Napolitano's perspective on the report in question, especially his words that “the American people have a right to know what’s been done in their name, especially when they’re misled about it.”

Founder's Quote, 9 Dec. 2014

Nothing is more essential to the establishment of manners in a State than that all persons employed in places of power and trust must be men of unexceptionable characters. - Samuel Adams, letter to James Warren — 1775

Monday, December 8, 2014

Seared Music: Genesis - "Abacab"

...for what its' worth, I still think the 6+ minute studio version of "Abacab" is better than the 4-minute or so radio edit...just saying. :)

Potential Retirement In The Works?

Even though California is as hostile to Republicans as Texas is to Democrats' at present, this is still a bit of a shocker, if it pans out:
A parade of ambitious California public figures, who’ve spent years itching for a shot at the state’s top political offices, are anticipating a shake-up of the state’s political hierarchy that could begin in a matter of weeks with the possible retirement of Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer. And some big names — including the mayor of Los Angeles — are already sizing up possible bids to succeed her.
Sources close to Boxer, 74, say the outspoken liberal senator will decide over the holidays whether to seek reelection in 2016 and will announce her plans shortly after the new year. Few of her friends believe she will run for a fifth term. Boxer has stopped raising money and is not taking steps to assemble a campaign. With Republicans taking over the Senate, she is about to relinquish her chairmanship of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.(Politico)
..and who might some of her potential replacements be, off-hand?

  • Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti
  • California AG Kamala Harris
  • California Lt.Gov. Gavin Newsom
  • Environmentalist Tom Steyer
  • Former L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa
  • Former Rep. Jackie Speyer
  • Outgoing state Comptroller John Chaing
  • Incoming Sec.of State Alex Padilla
Now, odds are, whoever wins would be the prohibitive frontrunner come November 2016; even with the near-perfect campaign that she ran in 2010, Boxer's challenger back then, former HP exec Carly Fiorina, lost by about 10 points. Throw in the fact that, just as there's no bench of sorts for Democrats in Texas, there's practically no bench of potential GOP candidates in the Golden State, and its' a good bet that whoever the GOP nominates will likely be a candidate for Election Night's resident sacrificial lamb...still, anything's possible; did anyone anticipate what happened back on Election Night this year?

Founder's Quote, 8 Dec. 2014

I think we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious. - Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Ludlow — 1824

Will Republican Control Of The South Impact The 2016 Presidential Election?

Uhhh....ya' think?
The defeat Saturday of Louisiana Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu was essentially the final act in the Republican Party’s control this fall of the South -- a transition expected to have a significant impact on the 2016 White House races.  
The victory by Republican challenger and Louisiana Rep. Bill Cassidy means that Democrats in January will be left without a single U.S. senator or governor across nine states -- stretching from the Carolinas to Texas.
And GOP runoff victories Saturday in two Louisiana House districts ensure the party of at least 246 seats, the largest Republican advantage since the Truman administration after World War II.
Furthermore, Republicans in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas will control nearly every majority-white congressional district and both state legislative chambers.
But will the conservative-leaning voters who appeared this year to have written a closing chapter for the white Southern Democrat have the same impact on the 2016 presidential races?
"The Republican presidential nomination will run through the South," says Ferrell Guillory, a Southern politics expert based at the University of North Carolina. "As Mitt Romney found (in 2012), that...makes it harder to build a national coalition once you are the nominee."(Fox News)
I'm of two minds in regards to this...on the one hand, prospective Republican candidates for president in 2016 are going to have to figure out how to balance winning a very-decidedly conservative primary electorate with winning a general-election oriented electorate that isn't as conservative. On the other hand, as long as the Electoral College map is skewed - no pun intended - as it currently stands, Republicans are going to have to make inroads outside the South or they risk losing future presidential elections.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

The Thorium Molten-Salt Reactor...

...for what its' worth, thorium-based reactor systems should be looked at as a potential future energy source in America; other than the risk of radioactive material (which is always a concern in regards to nuclear energy), this could - if worked out properly - take a key place in America's energy environment.

Google Engineers Admit Renewable Energy Won't Slow Climate Change

...after several years of research backed by Google cash, two engineers (self-professed environmentalists) confess that renewable energy sources will never help us stop, or even slow, climate change. Believing otherwise is magical thinking. Will this discovery goad the Democrats to restore science to its proper place? And why did they ignore the obvious solution staring them in the face?(PJ Media)

...now can we finally get rid of this whole climate change kerfluffle and actually pursue solutions that work?

73 Years Ago...

Every generation has an event that defines that generation...for my generation (and the Millenials), that event was September 11th. For "the Greatest Generation", that event was December 7th, 1941...quoting the Naval History & Heritage Command:

By late November 1941, with peace negotiations clearly approaching an end, informed U.S. officials (and they were well-informed, they believed, through an ability to read Japan's diplomatic codes) fully expected a Japanese attack into the Indies, Malaya and probably the Philippines. Completely unanticipated was the prospect that Japan would attack east, as well.

The U.S. Fleet's Pearl Harbor base was reachable by an aircraft carrier force, and the Japanese Navy secretly sent one across the Pacific with greater aerial striking power than had ever been seen on the World's oceans. Its planes hit just before 8AM on 7 December. Within a short time five of eight battleships at Pearl Harbor were sunk or sinking, with the rest damaged. Several other ships and most Hawaii-based combat planes were also knocked out and over 2400 Americans were dead. Soon after, Japanese planes eliminated much of the American air force in the Philippines, and a Japanese Army was ashore in Malaya.

These great Japanese successes, achieved without prior diplomatic formalities, shocked and enraged the previously divided American people into a level of purposeful unity hardly seen before or since.
Let us never forget what happened...and let us always remember the events of the past so that we may be better prepared for the future.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Seared Music: Kasabian - "Club Foot"

...a good song to end the week with...enough said. :)

Hillary: We Must Empathize With America's Enemies

...excuse me, but on what Bizarro World does she live on at present?

At a speech yesterday at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., Hillary Clinton made the case for empathizing with America's enemies.

"This is what we call smart power," Clinton said to a small audience at Georgetown. "Using every possible tool and partner to advance peace and security. Leaving no one on the sidelines. Showing respect even for one's enemies. Trying to understand, in so far as psychologically possible, empathize with their perspective and point of view. Helping to define the problems, determine the solutions. That is what we believe in the 21st century will change -- change the prospects for peace." Clinton served as secretary of state for the first four years of the Barack Obama presidency. She's considered a likely presidential candidate for the 2016 election. (The Weekly Standard)
 Here's a video of the Hildebeast's words...stomach them if you can:

...cross-posted over at Wober Discussion Forum

Founder's Quote, 5 Dec. 2014

He that goes a borrowing goes a sorrowing. - Benjamin Franklin, from his writings — 1758

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Seared Music: The Prodigy - "Breathe"

...there are few things in this world more jarring than suffering from a panic attack; it is, put simply, something I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy...and the frenetic, ear-splitting pulse of the song above exemplifies that very point...

Civil Rights Groups Continue Protests In Wake Of N.Y. Grand Jury Decision

...you know, the more I read about the New York grand jury's decision not to indict anyone in the Eric Garner case - and I'm still at a loss as to how there wasn't an indictment in that case - I can't help but think that if I were a cop in the Big Apple, I wouldn't even bother patrolling certain neighbors. To be quite honest, I'd tell Mayor Red and his Gracie Mansion to go jump off the Brooklyn Bridge and patrol their own damn streets...

...for what its' worth - and given my antipathy towards the NYPD at times back when I was a liberal lefty, this is surprising for me to say - but I honestly wouldn't mind a sweeping case of the "blue flu" to affect the rank-and-file of New York's finest, just as a big "f--- you" to both Mayor Red and "the Community"...

Magician's Prank...

...wickedly cool...just watch the video above; given the day I had today, this definitely made me feel better... :)

Founder's Quote, 4 Dec. 2014

Laws that forbid the carrying of arms... disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes... Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man. - Cesare Beccaria
On Crimes and Punishment, quoted by Thomas Jefferson in Commonplace Book

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Seared Music: The Clash - "I Fought The Law"

...as covers go, this version of the Bobby Fuller Four's original is pretty good...its' also, given the events of today in New York in regards to the Grand Jury decision there in the Eric Garner case, a song I personally wish the cops would start singing to their opponents... *shrugs shoulders* ...just saying, folks. 

The Struggle For Stupidity

Quoting...Sci-Fi Author Jerry Pournelle recently re-published a sixth grade reader from 1914. In his latest FIREWALL, Bill Whittle explains how full comprehension of a single paragraph from that hundred-year-old elementary school textbook eludes virtually all of today's college graduates; shows why it is such a sin, and reveals the Progressive Struggle for Stupidity in all of its undeniable venality.

*scratches head in thought* ...works for me. And people wonder why I'm no longer a liberal; that's but one reason why. 

H/T to Yearning For Liberty & Freedom In The U.S.A. 

Founder's Quote, 3 Dec. 2014

I am not a Virginian, but an American. - Patrick Henry, speech in the First Continental Congress — 1774 

Sheriff Clarke: Outside Groups Descended On Ferguson, Mo. "Like Vultures"

2 thoughts here: (1)tell us something we don't know about the various tendrils of the Left in regards to Ferguson, Missouri and (2)'bout damn time someone told it like it is in regards to the Left.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Seared Music: Charlie Daniels Band - "In America"

*listens to song* ....enough said. :)

Founder's Quotes, 2 Dec. 2014

I hope, some day or another, we shall become a storehouse and granary for the world. - George Washington, letter to Marquis de Lafayette — 1788

The CBC Instructing America...In Race Relations?

...yeah, right; they're the last group we want instructing America on race relations....
Late Monday night, after the House took its final votes, members of the Congressional Black Caucus took the floor to speak for about one hour about race in the wake of a grand jury's decision last week not to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the August shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.
"Hands up, don't shoot," Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York began.
Charles Rangel, the longtime New York Democrat, followed Jeffries and CBC Chairwoman Marcia Fudge of Ohio to deride America's "cancer" and those who don't acknowledge it. "Like anything else you love, if there's an illness, if there's a problem, you would want to know: What can you do to cure it? How can you make it all that our country can be?" Rangel said. "How can we say that we have a cancer until we recognize that we do, then we don't really love the country? How can we be able to say that white and black in this country are equal and that those who work hard and live by the rules have the same opportunities as each other, when we know that we have this cancer?"
Rangel went on to address the idea of reparations for slavery, suggesting that it goes beyond money. "Some people may talk about payment for restitution for past crimes committed against human beings," he said. "But that restitution could be the ability to say that we're going to make certain that people of color in this country would be able to have access to the same type of education, live where they want to live, compete against anybody for the job, and not feeling that they're inferior because people have been taught that just because they have a different complexion that they are superior."
Democratic Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas said that the American jury system needs reform. "I would hope we would look to legislative fixes with our colleagues to make America better. The Congressional Black Caucus will not be silenced," she said. "America is better than this, a country that we love.... We must fix it, and we must fix it now."(National Journal via American Thinker)
I've said it before, and I'll say it again: when they start to work on improving things in their own communities of color, then we should listen to the CBC on race relations in America. Until then, they should frankly go pound sand...lots of sand.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Sunday, November 30, 2014

NBC Sports Bids Adieu To MLS After 3-Year Broadcast Run

I'm of two minds over the end of NBC Sports' coverage of Major League Soccer...on the one hand, with NBCSN's continued emphasis on the Barclays' Premier League over the past year or so, you almost sort of saw the writing on the wall when they won the U.S. broadcast rights to the BPL over ESPN in 2013-2014. On the other hand, given the large rafts of resources that both ESPN and Fox Sports have at present (both networks will share NLS broadcast rights beginning in 2015), there shouldn't be any bobble in announcers from one set of broadcasters to another, as most of the top-shelf soccer announcers (Arlo White being the one big exception in this regard) have been on both ESPN/FS1, so the announcing quality should go up...as long as they keep Gus Johnson away from the soccer booth.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

An Inconvenient Truth...

Came across this in my Blogger feed and thought, "No kidding...,"..and the Community (to borrow something I heard once) still wants to blame the broader society for their problems?
...now, I know I'm not the sharpest tool in the proverbial political toolshed but even I know that Mayor Giuliani - who the left likes to slag as "Mayor Noun, Verb & 9/11" - has a point there; how can the broader society be at fault for the stuff that goes on in the black community when a good number of them won't even take responsibility for their actions? I mean, no offense, but it is not racist last time I checked to point out crime statistics from their community and say to them, "Fix your problems, don't blame us for them!"


Friday, November 28, 2014

Seared Music: Dead Poetic - "August Winterman"

...listening to this song, I've yet to find a better song that encapsulates the ravenous mix of emotions, thoughts and feelings someone like myself who suffers from bipolar disorder (a/k/a 'manic depression')
goes through over the course of a year. From the manic highs where you run non-stop, 24-7 to the manic lows where its' all you can do not to take a whack at your wrists with a butter knife, its' one of the things in this world that I wouldn't wish on anybody.

Oil & Gas Prices Continue To Fall In Midst Of U.S. Fracking Boom

So the U.S. oil & gas fracking boom is causing OPEC pain?
Drivers paying less at the pump due to free-falling oil prices can thank the U.S. energy boom for generating shale oil - and weakening OPEC's ability to keep the cost of a gallon of gas high.
In just a matter of months, the price of a barrel of oil has dropped from more than $100 to about $70, and gas is now cheaper than it has been in years. But a recent report conducted for the American Petroleum Institute claimed oil would cost twice as much as it does now if it weren't for America's fracking boom, which wrings oil and natural gas out of shale miles underground.(Fox News)
From a drivers' standpoint, this is good news: gasoline is, best as I can remember, the cheapest its' been in years. Throw in the fact that some OPEC members - notably Venezuela and Nigeria - are starting to feel the pain of $70-a-barrel gas is a good feeling 'cause it means that, instead of our dollars going over there, that money's staying over here. However, there is a flip side to this....
But in the U.S., consumers' joy at pump prices falling toward $2 a gallon will be tempered by fears the burgeoning economy in places like the Dakotas, Texas and Oklahoma could be hurt by the lower cost. The industry is credited with creating nearly 2 million jobs, a number projected to double by 2035. 
If prices don’t recover soon this could be the beginning of the end of the Great American oil fracking boom," Forbes' Christopher Helman recently wrote. Bigger energy companies with money of their own to invest might be able to ride out the dip, but smaller, highly-leveraged oil and gas companies will have problems, he said.(Fox News)