Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Devastating Effects Of The World’s Most Dangerous Community Organizer’s Foreign Policy Failures

Former US Ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, believes that "[The White House's foreign policy] initiatives truly reflect Obama's view of America's international role.  His is a world of rhetoric and talk, not power." 

In an Op-Ed at The Los Angeles Times, Bolton mournfully opines:
The coming crash of U.S. diplomacy is not idle speculation about a remote future. Our declining prestige is already apparent globally; when all three Middle East negotiations fail conclusively, America's influence will fall further. Friends and adversaries alike are recalibrating their policies accordingly, particularly because the underlying causes of the three impending failures will spell trouble and misfortune elsewhere. 
Obama's ongoing failures could have been avoided. A less ideological, more realistic and clear-eyed leader would comprehend American power and interests, knowing how to use the former to protect the latter, rather than making Obama's basic mistakes. 
Obama's first error: misreading your adversary. There was never any chance Iran could be negotiated out of a nuclear weapons capability it has pursued for nearly 30 years. Efforts during the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations demonstrated how Iran deftly uses negotiations to gain political legitimacy, buy time to continue work on its nuclear program and evade international punishment. Hassan Rouhani followed precisely this playbook as Iran's chief nuclear negotiator 10 years ago. He is doing so again today as Iran's president. 
The second error: not knowing who your adversaries are. Obama argued for three years that Russia shared his objective of a peaceful transition from the Assad regime in Syria to something else. This was never true. Moscow's support for Assad (as well as Iran's, directly and through Hezbollah) guaranteed he would only depart feet first. The U.S. could either have aided Syria's opposition or tackled the problem's root cause: the mullahs' regime in Tehran. Obama chose to do neither. His equivocation regarding Syria's chemical weapons program has provoked giggles or dismay at White House weakness. 
The third error: not knowing who your friends are. The Palestinians lack legitimate governing institutions capable of hard decisions, including making perilous concessions and compromises, and overcoming resistance by Hamas and other terrorists. Without such institutions, no long-term solution is possible. Negotiating with the Palestinian Authority has less substance than negotiating with a hologram. Perversely, however, Obama treats Israel as the problem.
At the center of this inept president’s foreign policy is the misguided belief that the reason America has adversaries is because it has allies.

With red lines painted here, there and everywhere backed up only by bluster and no balls whatsoever, it won’t be long before we have only adversaries and no allies anywhere in the world.  With this man sitting behind the Resolute Desk, our very existence grows ever more perilous.

Monday, February 24, 2014

America, What Have They Done To You?

I’m going to begin this post by echoing the words of University of Tennessee Law Professor Glenn Reynolds AKA Instapundit:
“Though people have taken to the streets from Egypt, to Ukraine, to Venezuela to Thailand, many have wondered whether Americans would ever resist the increasing encroachments on their freedom. I think they've begun.”
For 700 years, Britain’s rule over Ireland had been resisted by attempts at rebellion and revolution, all of which ended in failure.  As a result, what emerged in the early 20th Century was a strategy known as “Irish Democracy.”

If you are unfamiliar with the term “Irish Democracy”, it is a way of shedding the yoke of oppression and injustice through the strategy of stubborn disregard for authority.  Its clearest expression is credited to Michael Collins, the Irish leader, who is purported to have told angry crowds going head-to-head with London:  “We have a weapon more powerful than any in the whole arsenal of the British Empire.  That weapon is our refusal.  There is one weapon that the British cannot take away from us:  we can ignore them.”

The growing cancer of cronyism and corruption in our federal government needs a healthy dose of stubborn disregard for authority.  The sweat, sacrifice and courage of our Founding Fathers established a nation of laws not of men.

Five days after The World’s Most Dangerous Community Organizer defeated John McCain in 2008, Valerie Jarrett appeared on Meet The PressJarrett, then Co-Chair for the Obama Transition Team, was interviewed by Tom Brokaw who asked this of Jarrett, “What’s the working model?  Are you going to be a shadow government or just a very interested spectator off to the side?”

Jarrett’s answer was jarring: 
“There is one president at a time, President Bush is still president.  He has graciously invited President-elect Obama to the White House tomorrow to begin real conversations about transition.  So we respect that.  He will be the president until January 20th.  However, given the daunting challenges that we face, it’s important that President-elect Obama is prepared to take power and begin to rule Day One.” [Emphasis mine]
One month before the general election, while on the campaign trail in Columbia, MO, candidate Obama said, "Now, Mizzou, I just have two words for you tonight: five days. Five days. After decades of broken politics in Washington, and eight years of failed policies from George W. Bush, and 21 months of a campaign that's taken us from the rocky coast of Maine to the sunshine of California, we are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.” [Emphasis mine]

"In five days, you can turn the page on policies that put greed and irresponsibility on Wall Street before the hard work and sacrifice of folks on Main Street. In five days, you can choose policies that invest in our middle class, and create new jobs, and grow this economy, so that everyone has a chance to succeed, not just the CEO, but the secretary and janitor, not just the factory owner, but the men and women on the factory floor."

Yep.  This Oval Office is embroiled in provocative controversies scandals involving the troubled rollout of the health care website, the Internal Revenue Service’s scrutiny of politically active conservative groups, the National Security Agency’s massive yottabytes collection of Americans’ phone records and the 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, leaving four Americans murdered.

America, God love her, is increasingly under the jackboot of those more interested in managing its decline and looting its treasury than protecting our liberty or reviving free market growth and prosperity.

According to the U.S Census Bureau real median household income has declined from $53,644 in 2008 to $51,000 in 2013.

Enrollment in the food stamp program, known as SNAP, has skyrocketed by 70 percent since The World’s Most Dangerous Community Organizer starting putting his feet on the Resolute Desk and every other piece of furniture in the Oval Office.  The number of people on food stamps increased to 16.5 million—going from 28.2 million to 44.7 million—an increase of 59 percent in just 3 years.

One of those food stamp recipients is a California “beach bum” who surfs and drinks.  He wakes up in the afternoon and eats lobster or gourmet sushi every day.  He has no intention of looking for a job.

TWMDCO gave notice recently that he will circumvent limitations on His Excellency by using his pen and his phone.

We learned today that fewer Americans think TWMDCO is respected on the world stage.

Also in today’s news, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel proposed shrinking the Army to its smallest size in 74 years, closing military bases and making other military-wide savings as part of a broad reshaping after more than a decade of war making it the smallest military force since just before the United States entered World War II.

“We are repositioning to focus on the strategic challenges and opportunities that will define our future: new technologies, new centers of power and a world that is growing more volatile, more unpredictable and in some instances more threatening to the United States,” he said.

Ronald Reagan would be incredulous.  It was he who fervently believed in peace through strength.
"We know that peace is the condition under which mankind was meant to flourish. Yet peace does not exist of its own will. It depends on us, on our courage to build it and guard it and pass it on to future generations. George Washington's words may seem hard and cold today, but history has proven him right again and again. ‘To be prepared for war,’ he said, ‘is one of the most effective means of preserving peace.’"
The hue and cry of many of my friends and many of the readers of this blog is deafening.  We wring our hands, rend our clothing and tear our hair out because of this administration’s incuriousness and epic incompetence.  We ask, “What have you done to America?”

It is not too late to save her.  What will you do to prevent America from following in the footsteps of other great civilizations that now sit on the ash heap of history?

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Obama Lies About Keystone (Again)

By Proof
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I don't know how many people caught it, but the latest lame public excuse Barack the Pathetic put up about the many delays in approving the Keystone pipeline was:
“But these are how we make these decisions.”
No. They're. Not.

For those of you just joining the program, or have been in a coma for the last five years of the Obama administration, Obama has been dithering and delaying the very simple decision of permitting the Keystone pipeline to extend between the United States and Canada. Or, more precisely, the extension of the Keystone pipeline. As we noted here (A Tale of Two Pipelines) , the Keystone XL is an extension of the original Keystone pipeline, built in 2009 after receiving approval from the Bush administration, in 2008, to proceed. That phase of the pipeline was completed in June 2010.

There is no indication that it took so much as a year to get that pipeline approved, much less having the president ignore environmental study after study which found nothing to bar it.

So, if the Bush (admittedly more competent) administration could get approval in less than a year, what does Obama the Bumbler mean by
“But these are how we make these decisions"?
Well, he certainly can't mean the American people or even the American government, because both acted more quickly the first time. The only way to find even a kernel of truth in what he said, is to parse the word "we". If by "we", he means "craven, spineless politicians enthralled and beholden to special interest groups and lobbyists"...maybe.

Cross posted at Proof Positive

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Facebook Page Proposes President 'Selfie' for Mt. Rushmore

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And because you can use a good laugh, the page starts out:
With the numerous accomplishments that President Obama has achieved in under 15 months in office...
1. Bankrupting the economy
2. Multiplying the national debt
3. Record number rounds of golf...

Oh, yeah! "Numerous".

Cross posted at Proof Positive
Original art by John Cox. More at John Cox Art

Monday, February 17, 2014

Fractured Fairy Tales: Democrats Have A Plan To Neutralize Obamacare

Writing for The New York Times, Ashley Parker hypothesizes, “As Democrats approach the 2014 midterm elections, they are grappling with an awkward reality: Their president’s health care law—passed with no Republican votes—remains a political liability in many states, threatening their ability to hold on to seats in the Senate and the House.”

“The White House seems to understand the political necessity of allowing congressional Democrats to criticize the error-riddled rollout of the president’s health care law.”

“Many Democrats are reluctant to let Mr. Obama campaign for them, in part because of his low approval ratings.”

“If Democrats are being forced to spend resources in February attacking Obamacare, then this is a very grim foreshadowing of what November will bring,” said Andrea Bozek, the communications director for the National Republican Congressional Committee.

One über liberal website proclaimed, “Now if only Democrats had approved an actually good health care reform proposal in the first place, they wouldn’t need to fall back on this pathetic defense.”

House Majority PAC designed ads in an effort to inoculate Democratic incumbents who parroted The World’s Most Dangerous Community Organizer’s infamous pledge, “If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor. Period.  If you like your healthcare plan you can keep your healthcare plan. Period.”  The political action committee describes the ads as a means to “combat smear campaigns orchestrated by conservatives”.

"The problem Democrats have is larger than just the unpopularity of Obamacare, it's that voters no longer trust Democratic politicians like (Louisiana Sen.) Mary Landrieu and (Alaska Sen.) Mark Begich who have repeatedly been dishonest about the law," said Brad Dayspring, strategist at the National Republican Senatorial Campaign.  "These were all lies repeatedly told by (them) and voters can't trust them to 'fix' the law."

These schlubs are inextricably tethered to Obamacare and they would do well to remember the words of George Washington who said, “It is better to offer no excuse than a bad one.”

I smell fear and I like it.  I like it a lot.

If You Like Your Country Can You Keep It? Happy President’s Day

This nation is living in the twilight of its existence.  The world has grown darker during the reign of The World’s Most Dangerous Community Organizer.  Proof of this can be found in an excellent article written by Walter Russell Meade entitled. “Slaughter in the Cities, Ineffectual Mumbling in the White House.”

Another clarifying point was the preposterous recommendation of a handful of George Washington University political science professors who wanted to carve TWMDCO into Mount Rushmore National Memorial.

In furtherance of that absurdity, a Facebook page was created with the title of “Campaign to Put President Obama on Mount Rushmore”.  It has generated 834 likes since being put up in March of 2010.  Not exactly overwhelming.

Today, we remember the greatness—and it was greatness—of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln whose time in office preserved the freedoms we must never take for granted.

The presidential oath of office is required by Article 2, Section 1 of the United States Constitution:
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.
TWMDCO as an imperial president with little regard for the legislative process who is making a mockery of the separation of powers and what was once a well-ordered government.

In June 1985, speaking at an endowment fundraiser for the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, Ronald Reagan let his imagination take flight:
“And sometimes I want to say to those who are still in school, and who sometimes think that history is a dry thing that lives in a book:  Nothing is ever lost in that great house; some music plays on. I have been told that late at night when the clouds are still and the moon is high, you can just about hear the sound of certain memories brushing by. You can almost hear, if you listen close, the whir of a wheelchair rolling by and the sound of a voice calling out, ‘And another thing, Eleanor!’ Turn down a hall and you can hear the brisk strut of a fellow saying, ‘Bully! Absolutely ripping!’ Walk softly now and you’re drawn to the soft notes of a piano and a brilliant gathering in the East Room, where a crowd surrounds a bright young president who is full of hope and laughter. I don’t know if this is true…but it’s a story I’ve been told. And it’s not a bad one, because it reminds us that history is a living thing that never dies. A life given in service to one’s country is a living thing that never dies.”
Godfrey Hodgson notes in “The Myth of American Exceptionalism” that “Americans’ declining belief in our special virtue as a world power really is connected to our declining belief in our special virtue as a people. And the young are leading the way. A 2013 poll by the Public Religion Research Institute found that while almost two in three Americans over 65 call themselves 'extremely proud to be American,' among Americans under 30 it is fewer than two in five. According to a Pew study in 2011, Millennials were a whopping 40 points less likely than people 75 and older to call America 'the greatest country in the world.'”

Happy President’s Day America.  If you like your country can you keep it?

Will you make the effort to prevent our nation from running the course which has hitherto marked the destiny of other nations?  You cannot be a patriot and a sheep at the same time.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Sunday Slacker Post

My little furkid Sophie asleep on her woobie
It’s been quite a week.  Snowfall on Tuesday that didn’t amount to much followed on Wednesday by a “Snowpocalypse” that continued through late afternoon on Thursday dumping 11 inches of white stuff where I live.  My area escaped the ice storm that caused severe damage south of me.

Friday, as you know, was Valentine’s Day.  At approximately 10:23 PM, an earthquake struck Edgefield, SC and seismologists said the 4.1 magnitude tremblor could be felt as far west as Atlanta and as far north as Hickory, NC.  The little burg is some 60 miles north and west of where I live.

I didn’t know about it until some of my co-workers were discussing it the following day at work.  Must’ve slept through it I guess.

Mitt Romney believes former President Bill Clinton "embarrassed the nation" with the Monica Lewinsky scandal, but doesn't think it will be a factor in 2016 if Hillary Clinton runs for president.

The World’s Most Dangerous Community Organizer is spending a three-day weekend at Sunnylands, the luxurious 200-acre estate near Palm Springs, CA to play golf with three buddies and binge on TV while Chewbacca enjoys her third consecutive trip to Aspen over the President’s Day weekend.

I read with interest an article about a new treatment for sleep apnea.  I was recently diagnosed with moderate obstructive sleep apnea.  I have not yet met with the sleep doctor who will prescribe which CPAP I will be given and make the necessary adjustments to the forced air settings that will work best for my degree of apnea.

U.S. Secretary of State John “Mr. Reporting for Duty” Kerry on Sunday called climate change perhaps the world's "most fearsome" destructive weapon and mocked those who deny its existence or question its causes, comparing them to people who insist the Earth is flat.

Facebook is now offering its users numerous options to present their gender identity to their Facebook freaks friends in the same way they do in the real world.  Oh joy!

Taco Bell is not a thing you plan to eat, per se. After a few drinks or a bad day, it just sort of happens.  The company plans to release a mobile ordering app so that almost as soon as you experience a spontaneous craving for a Cheesy Gordita Crunch, you will be able order it with a few taps on your Smartphone.

It’s tough when one of your best friends starts dating a dud. Keep your mouth shut, and you feel like a bad friend. Say something about it, and they’re liable to run back to their poorly chosen lover’s arms quicker than ever.

Now, there’s a new way to get that criticism out of your system anonymously. Forever NOT lets you bet on how long your friends’ relationships will last and give the ill-fated paramours feedback, all anonymously.

Oh well, even love unreturned has its rainbow.

I think I’ll get back to enjoying my slacker Sunday.  The timer is going off on my 7-layer dip with chicken.  Time to put some tortilla chips in a bowl and dig in.  I think I’ll follow that up with some Caramel Cookie Crunch gelato and join the pup on the couch and watch me some Olympics.  Who gives a shit if that small, odd, chill-faced man who likes to pose menacingly shirtless in order to seem much taller than he actually is is boning that gymnast who is 30 years his junior?

Enjoy your day.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day

UPDATED 11:01 AM:  I was going to make my entire Valentine’s Day posting this Crabby Road cartoon, but I didn’t want you to leave thinking I was some old harpy who’d soured on romance.

I decided to embed this vid of one of my favorite musical artists.  I wanted to share with you one of my very favorite songs, “Put on Your Red Dress”, but there was no official video for that tune.  The one that’s available on YouTube™ has just awful graphics which egregiously distracts from the lyrics so I opted for this one.  It’s called “Blessed”.

Have a wonderful, romantic, enchanting day.  Tell someone you love them.  There is so little time and life is not a dress rehearsal, IYKWIMAITYD.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Sophie’s Not Crazy About “Snowpocalyse”

I have written before that my little furkid Sophie loves her some snow.  I thought that meant all snow.  Today I learned that an icy surface is no fun at all for an itty bitty girl.

I decided after playing out in the snow and sledding down the hill beaucoup times that I should clean off my car’s windshield and back glass in preparation for tomorrow’s trek to work.  I didn’t want my windshield wipers to be frozen against the hood cowling and I certainly didn’t want big chunks of ice to stick to the wiper blades because they won’t work properly when the road goo flies up on the glass.

I let Sophie out to play in the snow while I cleaned away the ice and snow.  I watched her and she wasn’t running wild doing figure-eights and doing big circles like she has before.

These are some of the pictures I took of her.  She carefully inspected my tracks in the snow and the steps that lead into the house.  Then the wind caught my garden flag and it startled her just a tad.  Once she figured out that was no big deal she walked along the perimeter of the chain link fence.  She headed back to the steps when she must have caught the scent of a squirrel.  Any other time she would’ve thought, “Let me at ‘em.”  Not today.

Normally, I would have to wait out in the cold for her to run herself silly before she decided she’d had enough playtime in the snow.  Today she wanted to go back in the house the instant I headed for the door.  What a weenie.

Frozen Hearts And Popsicle Toes

Yesterday morning I got up around 4AM to check the weather conditions.  The only thing that was going on was a placid scene outside my window.  The local weather station had forecast that the big snowstorm was supposed to hit my area by early morning.

Since I saw no snow except what was already on the ground from Tuesday’s snowfall, I went back to bed to catch a few more Zzzz’s.

I reset my alarm for 8:00.  When that nasty alarm went off, I got up and looked outside my window once again.  Nothing. 

I decided to go ahead and take my meds and fix some breakfast then crank up the car to let it warm up.  The weather geeks were right.  The snow was coming.  I looked once more out my window and saw the snow coming down heavy.  The time was 9:30.

I gave my little furkid reassurances that I would be back that night and I locked the door and climbed into my car.

The roads in my neighborhood were covered with the white stuff but they were passable if you used extreme caution.

As I traveled north along the interstate, the roads became more and more treacherous.  I drove defensively keeping a healthy distance from the few cars that were on the road.  My commute to work usually takes a tad more than 30 minutes.  Wednesday’s commute took an hour-and-a-half.

When I got to work, I parked in the parking deck.  I figured I wouldn’t have to scrape the snow and ice off my windshield when I got off from work.  That was a smart move if I do say so myself.

We continued to receive weather updates throughout the day and management began to let some of the workforce leave early.  There were enough supervisors present that I requested to leave early as well.  I was denied that opportunity.  That was at 2:38 PM.

I continued to work despite becoming more and more anxious about the commute home.  I got wind of management allowing additional employees to leave early.  That was around 4 PM.  Now, I was just angry.

I approached my management team once more and was denied yet again.  I became resolute that I would be spending the night at work.  I wasn’t happy about it, but what could I do?

Then management came to my location and starting letting more folks to go home.  I gave them the “death stare”.  They relented and I was allowed to punch the time clock at 17:41 to go home.

I caught the shuttle bus to the parking deck, paid the attendant and got in my car.

There was virtually no one on the road.  It was still snowing and the roads were covered.  There were very few tire tracks that you could follow, so the trip was juusssst a touch scary.

I never accelerated beyond 40mph.  The skies were gray and visibility was less than a ¼ mile.  It took me two hours to get home.

When I walked in the door, I cranked up the heat because the wind chill was 11°.  BRRRR!

I loved on my little furkid telling her I was glad to be home safe and sound, peeled off my uniform and put on my comfy flannel PJs.   I fixed myself a big ‘ol mug of hot chocolate.  I was hungry so I fixed myself a sammich.

Overnight, the snow changed to sleet.  There were reports of massive power outages in South Carolina and all I could do was pray that I wouldn’t be affected.

The picture above was snapped at 7 AM this morning.  That’s the garden flag that is located by the steps where I enter my house.  The little cardinal looked at me quizzically.  I went inside and got some bread to throw out so that he and his little friends could graze.

Now, it’s 9:14 AM and it has started to rain a fine mist.  It’s currently 29° and that means that the trees are going to become heavy-laden with ice.  I am praying that the rain stops soon because I don’t want my power to go out.

I stuck a yardstick in the snow and there are 9 inches of the stuff on the ground.  My footprints are filled in from where I walked in last night.

I know the folks who see snow all the time are making fun of us Southerners right now.  We don’t get enough snow where I live for the municipalities to invest in a lot of snow removal equipment.  I also know you guys make fun of us for making a mad rush to the grocery store for bread and milk.

I called off of work this morning.  It just isn’t worth it to make the attempt to get to work.  So, I’m going to fix myself some hash browns, scrambled eggs and sausage and a couple of pieces of toast.  Then I’m going to put on my ski bibs and mittens.

I’m going to go into the attic and pull down my 50-year-old Flexible Flyer and sled down the hill a couple of hundred times.  I’m going to enjoy the “Snowpocalypse”.  You only live once.  You take your joy where you can find it.

UPDATE 9:37AM:  The misty rain has changed over to snow again.  It’s heavy.  Really, really heavy.  I’m going to throw another log or two on the fire.  I just checked the Accuweather forecast—they are saying we’re in for another 3 inches of snow and it’s expected to taper off by late afternoon.

I feel a snow angel coming on.  Have great day and stay safe out there everyone.
Here's my Flexible Flyer.  Photo taken around 2:00 PM today.
UPDATE 2:38 PM:  The snow has stopped just as the weatherman predicted.  My home weather station is currently reading 39°.  The icicles that were hanging off my easements have melted and the fat, fluffy snow that covered the trees has begun to fall to the ground.

My local weather dude says all the counties in my area will remain under a Winter Storm Warning until 6 PM.  The sun is trying desperately to peek through the gray,  cloudy skies.  This evening the temps are going to drop down into the 20s and all this glorious snow is going to refreeze.

He said, "The main roads look good, but getting to the main roads from your neighborhood is an adventure. If you don't have a 4-wheel drive, you're not going to make it!  Travel this evening, overnight and in the early morning hours is still strongly discouraged!”

I’ve got 11 inches of snow.  The sledding was great.  I’m super-tired now.  My neighbor, Roy, thought I was nuts at my age to go sledding.  I got him back by reminding him it’s good to have fun.  Fun makes you feel young.  He laughed and said I was right.

Big Oak Tree Covered With Snow at 1230 PM
The sun finally makes an appearance around 330 PM

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Going Behind Enemy Lines

The obligatory panic over the approaching winter storm has officially begun, raising questions over whether tonight’s rivalry game between Carolina and Duke at the Dean Smith Center will be played.

As of this posting, the ACC policy on postponements states that games will be played as scheduled as long a both teams, the officials and essential game personnel can get to the game safely.

The game is scheduled to air on ESPN at 9 PM ET.  It’s a home game for the Tarheels.

I requested time off from work today and tomorrow so that I could go behind enemy lines and cheer on my beloved Blue Devils.

The plan was to travel to Chapel Hill and take a limo to the game.  The advantage, of course, is to avoid the chaos of returning to your car in an overcrowded parking lot and waiting an inordinate amount of time to exit.  It was an excellent plan.

“Snowpocalyse” has changed all that.  I’m sure you’ve heard by now that the South is about to get socked by a snowstorm of catastrophic proportions.

I have written many times that I am considered key and essential personnel and a first responder.  As such, I’ve had to cancel my already approved time off from work.

Clearly, it would be foolish for me to risk travelling the distance from my home to Chapel Hill to see the game in person.  I am, therefore, relegated to optimistically leaving work at 8:30 PM (in the midst of “Snowpocalyse”) and making it to my house in time to watch some of the game on television.

Duke is ranked 11th in the AP Top 25 and the USA Today Coaches Poll.  Carolina isn’t even in the Top 25.  In ACC standings Duke is 8-3 and Carolina 6-4.

Carolina is hoping to keep their winning streak alive.  I’m hoping Duke will crush their hopes.

Two schools separated by 8 miles and two shades of blue, Coach K, Tobacco Road, Cameron Crazies. The fans are passionate, the teams successful, the games almost always down to the buzzer. These are two of the four winningest teams in history, going at it twice a year (and once more in the ACC tournament if we're lucky). This is what college hoops is all about.

This game should be fantastic.  The rivalry between the two schools is legendary.  After Duke whips the Heels they should be in good shape to take on Syracuse on February 22nd and exact revenge when The Orange come to Cameron Indoor Stadium.

UPDATE 8:58 PM:  “Snowpocalypse” has forced the postponement of tonight’s game.  The make-up game will be played on February 20th.  Perhaps because Dick Vitale was stranded at the airport was part of the reason the game was called off.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Shirley Temple Has Sailed To Heaven On The Good Ship Lollipop

Shirley Temple sang and danced her way into the hearts of America.  Her movies were beloved by all who saw them.  She was one of the most popular child stars in Hollywood history.  She was “America’s little darling”.

As a young girl, I watched her movies on Saturdays and Sundays when the local television channels would run them.  I’m not ashamed to say that when I have a legendary bad day I sometimes sit down to watch one of her movies to lift my spirits.

My mom was obsessed with giving me permanents because she wanted my hair to be curly like hers.

Unlike the child stars of today, Shirley Temple’s life was never scandal-ridden or drug-addled.  Her life was one of remarkable achievements including ambassadorships to Ghana and Czechoslovakia.

She made some 43 feature movies, including "The Little Colonel," "Poor Little Rich Girl," "Heidi" and "Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm," in 10 years, starring with big-name actors like Randolph Scott, Lionel Barrymore and Jimmy Durante.

Though we have lost a most notable celebrity today it is reassuring to know that she peacefully passed away at her Woodside, California home from natural causes.  Shirley Temple was 85.

Rest in peace Curly Top.  You will be sorely missed.  Godspeed.

Barack Obama, Economic Genius

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From Obama's State of Confusion speech:
We know our economy is stronger when we reward an honest day’s work with honest wages. But today, a full-time worker making the minimum wage earns $14,500 a year. Even with the tax relief we’ve put in place, a family with two kids that earns the minimum wage still lives below the poverty line. That’s wrong. That’s why, since the last time this Congress raised the minimum wage, nineteen states have chosen to bump theirs even higher. 
Tonight, let’s declare that in the wealthiest nation on Earth, no one who works full-time should have to live in poverty, and raise the federal minimum wage to $9.00 an hour. This single step would raise the incomes of millions of working families.
First, let's consider Obama's imaginary worker: "...full-time...making the minimum wage". Does such a creature even exist?? One of my predictions for 2014 was:
The 29 hour work week will become the de facto standard for the majority of new hires in 2014
According to a report by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), some additional 2.5 million full time jobs will be lost, liberating them from the need to work, according to most good liberals. As more and more jobs become part time, my prediction is well on its way to coming to pass.
He goes on...
"a family with two kids that earns the minimum wage still lives below the poverty line. That’s wrong."
Yeah it is! Who in their right mind would start a family and have children if they are working a job only pulling down minimum wage? And if there is such a thing as a full time worker, making just minimum wage, sole provider for the family, the percentage of workers meeting this criteria must be approaching zero. And before I hearing the bleating about a lack of compassion, we have welfare, food stamps and any number of programs to assist those unfortunate few.

Workers (and I use the term loosely) who receive minimum wage are primarily unskilled, without experience, possibly someone's first job. Employer paid health care benefits were originally devised as a way to get around wage controls and to reward valuable employees with the equivalent of a higher wage. The reality is today, that employers are reducing the ranks of those paid lower wages in order to avoid the expense of government mandated health care (for less productive employees).

Employers want to pay productive workers as much as they can. When I was a hiring manager, I sought to start my people at the highest possible salary, and grant raises and provide bonuses to retain the workers I trained. The idea that all businesses want to do is exploit their workers and pay them as little as possible, is a liberal old wives' tale. Those unfortunate enough to work for such an employer are free to improve their education and skills, as they garner experience, making them more desirable to those enlightened employers who know that they succeed along with their employees.

According to the US Dept. of Labor,
"In 2012, there were 3.6 million hourly paid workers in the United States with wages at or below the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. These workers made up 4.7 percent of the 75.3 million workers age 16 and over who were paid at hourly rates.".
Less than five percent? Weren't the Obamabots recently all bleating about how insignificant the five million people who were losing their private insurance because they were 'less than five per cent' of the work force?

Closed captioning for the Irony (and Math) Impaired
: If five million people losing their insurance are insignificant, then 3.6 million is less significant than that. You can't have it both ways!

So, if an insignificant number of people, according to good liberals, being caused financial hardship because their affordable insurance was cancelled, why should we be more upset over a lesser and transient number of people who will be paid minimum wage until such time as they have the experience and skills to earn more?

Also, working less than full time increases...what was it the President calls it? "Income inequality"! Seems to me that even if we raised the minimum wage, there's going to be 'income inequality' between those working forty hours a week and those only working twenty nine! And between those working twenty nine hours a week and those who are unemployed... That whole pesky math thing again!

As Obamacare crashes and burns, the old minimum wage canards are being hauled out to distract people from the real economy killer, as government tries to take over one sixth of the economy. It is an election year, and the Democrats have nothing to run on but fear itself. They are counting on their supporters being math impaired enough to believe all the doublespeak they utter. That and trying to pull as many un-Constitutional extensions and delays of Obamacare mandates out of their hats, at least until after the midterm and 2016 elections.

Original art by John Cox. More at John Cox Art

Cross posted at Proof Positive

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Russia: A Totalitarian Abattoir

During my 61-and-a-half years of life I have always been a nationalist.  I have been devoted to my country, pride-filled and content in the belief that America was the greatest country in the world.  I have never been a jingoist.

Over those many years, the Olympics were something I watched with great interest because it showcased the American athlete.  No greater pride was felt than when an American athlete mounted the podium at the medals ceremony and the national anthem played to the assembled crowd in the stadium and the watching world.

To witness an American cry during the rousing anthem or to see them wrap themselves in Old Glory when they bested their competition raised my sense of pride.

America throughout its history has always been a force for good around the world.

When I arrived home after a hard day at work, I turned on my television and caught the last 30 minutes or so of the Opening Ceremony.  I sat there and watched Putin’s revisionist whitewashed history play out inside Fisht Olympic Stadium including the glorification of a giant hammer and sickle; the unadulterated icons of communism, the theories of Karl Marx and Fredrick Engels and the butchery of Uncle Joe Stalin.

As a young girl growing up, I did something for which I am deeply ashamed.  Born in 1952, just 7 years after the end of World War II, history classes taught school children about World War II.  Invariably the lessons would include discussions about Nazi Germany.  Every American knew about the atrocities committed by Hitler and it was widely held that every German citizen knew about what was happening to the Jews.

Since 1966, post-war historians reckoned that “most Germans did not know” precisely about the “evolving terror of Hitler’s Holocaust” because the Nazis seduced an unwilling or passive public.  Robert Gellately, professor in Holocaust history at Clark University wrote, “For decades my generation had been told that so much of the terror had been carried out in complete secrecy.”

What I did during those history lessons in school was hold my tongue.  You see, my mother was German.  My dad fell in love with her while he was stationed in Berlin as part of the Berlin Airlift and was part of the constabulary responsible for guarding Rudolph Hess in Spandau Prison in West Berlin.  I held my tongue because I did not want my classmates to think my mother was a Nazi.  You see, the hatred for Nazis was towering and it was deserved, but my mom was not a Nazi and didn’t deserve to be hated.  I had no way of countering the hatred.  I just wanted to protect her.  I felt trapped and I wound up denying my mother.  I deeply regret having done that.

After they were married he brought her home and arranged for her mother to join them.  I grew up hearing stories of how elderly men were shot and killed while trying to stop Red Army soldiers from gang-raping their wives.  My grandmother would cry as she recounted how “the mongrels” would pillage and plunder the homes that had been turned into rubble destroying what was left of the furniture smashing it with bayonets and rifle butts.  She spoke of one incident where her neighbor’s home was invaded and the Red Army soldiers pulled a faucet from the wall to take back to the Soviet Union thinking it would bring running water.

The movie, A Woman in Berlin, reviewed in the LA Times by Kenneth Turan and described far more vividly by Andrew Roberts for The Daily Mail, authenticated the stories I was told about as a child.

What does all this have to do with the Opening Ceremony and that hammer and sickle?  It’s about the obfuscation of the truth—Yezhovshchina—the deaths of 20 million Russians, labor camps, manufactured famines, torture and a complete toll of bloodshed that will likely never be known.

What NBC did by televising that segment of the ceremony was to cover up the atrocities of which Soviet Russia is guilty in the manner and style of Walter Duranty who notoriously lied about Stalin’s infamies. 

The New York Times Moscow correspondent wrote 13 articles that were complete works of fiction.  So egregious was the palter that the Pulitzer Prize Board was asked to revoke the prize awarded him.   They did not because they were goddamned cowards.

NBC further propagandized “the evil empire” by creating a lead-in to the Opening Ceremony by hiring Peter Dinklage to narrate a pabulum piece in which the audience was lulled into a belief that the images they were seeing was one of industry, of construction, of building upward to a bright new future of hope and change leading to a perfect society where all comrades are equal and flowering in the glory of a Utopian collective.
“The towering presence, the empire that ascended to affirm a colossal footprint. The revolution that birthed one of modern history’s pivotal experiments. But if politics has long shaped our sense of who they are, it’s passion that endures. As a more reliable right to their collective heart. What they build in aspirations, lifted by imagination. What they craft, through the wonder of every last detail. How magical the fusion of sound and movement can be. How much a glass of distilled perfection and an overflowing table can matter. Discover the Russian people through these indelible signatures. Discover what we share with them through the games that open here tonight.”
It is, in fact, a failed political system, a legacy of gulags, Chernobyl nuclear nightmares, corruption and oppression of the highest order.

Sally Jenkins rightly noted, “The most expensive Olympics in history is partly a Potemkin village, an elaborate facade built to impress foreign passersby and to enhance the image of a small, odd, chill-faced man who likes to pose menacingly shirtless in order to seem much taller than he actually is.”

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Bill O'Reilly's Next Interview with Obama

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There was an episode of the old Twilight Zone, back before many of you were born, in which a man owned a car, and whoever owned that car could not tell a lie, but was compelled to always tell the truth. The episode ended when Nikita Khrushchev, then leader of the U.S.S.R., drove off in his new car. That was fantasy. My fantasy is to have Barack Obama hooked up to a lie detector or shot up with a little Sodium Pentathol (or both), and ask him a few select questions about the last five years. About Fast and Furious, Benghazi and the IRS for starters.

His interview with O'Reilly on Super Bowl Sunday, was notable only insofar as you recognize that Obama did not give a single straight answer to any of the questions directed at him, and some of his evasions were lies as well. Probably the hardest thing to do, in giving the President a polygraph, would be establishing a baseline of when he is telling the truth.

Or maybe, someone will give him a car...

Original art by John Cox. More at John Cox Art

Cross posted at Proof Positive