Thursday, July 31, 2014

Mad Max: Fury Road (First-Look Trailer)

Scott Mendelson, film critic for Forbes, noted a deluge of movie trailers that debuted at the San Diego Comic-Con last weekend.  The “sizzle reel for Mad Max: Fury Road was considered one of the highlights of the cinematic material screened at the convention.”

I read the review at Cult of Mac that was apparently written by someone who really appreciates escapism in the form of a post-apocalyptic world.  I liked, instead, the review by Amanda Kooser at CNET:
A first-look trailer for the upcoming "Mad Max: Fury Road" debuted at San Diego Comic-Con over the weekend, leaving fans parched for more. 
It opens just about as perfectly as possible, with a heavily modded car, Mad Max standing in the distance, and a two-headed lizard flickering over a dry rock. Actor Tom Hardy intones, "My name is Max. My world is fire and blood." 
Welcome back to the land of Thunderdome, folks. It's going to be a bumpy ride. Director George Miller, the man responsible for the original "Mad Max" trilogy starring Mel Gibson, is at the helm of the new film. 
In the spirit of many modern continuations and reboots of popular franchises, it looks like this Mad Max will be heading for the dark side in style and theme. Don't expect any big-haired Tina Turner-like performances in "Fury Road." It looks like we'll get lots of car wrecks, an excruciating flesh-burning scene, and replacement body parts crafted from scrap metal. 
As far as the plot goes, there aren't many clues to be found in the footage. It would appear to have something to do with lots of sand, explosions, and driving crazy spiked cars super fast across a parched desert world. Come to think of it, it doesn't seem like a plot will actually be necessary. Let's just assume there's a lot of action centering around a water war and leave it at that. 
Tom Hardy ain’t Mel Gibson but he is easy on the eyes.  I’m looking forward to May 2015 when the movie debuts.  Oh, for you guys, Charlize Theron appears as Imperator Furiosa. 

A Thank You Can Change Someone’s Day

Joseph Stiglitz is known for his harsh critiques of the management of globalization, free-market economists and some international institutions like the IMF and the World Bank.  This quote is attributed to Mr. Stiglitz:  “We have banks that are not only too big to fail, but too big to be held accountable.” 

The video below has gone viral. 

From Forbes:  “A thank you can change someone’s day, so that’s why we have been surprising our customers across Canada, to say ‘TD Thanks You,” said Tim Hockey, President and CEO, TD Canada Trust. “We know Canadians have a lot of choice when it comes to where they bank, and we wanted to say that we appreciate that they continue to choose TD.”

You can see the sheer joy and surprise on their faces of their customers—and you can even hear the “ATM” get a little choked up.

I want to extend a heartfelt thanks to Common Cents for posting the video on his site.  It changed my day and that’s why it’s posted it here.  I wanted my readers to experience a “feel good” moment too.

Throwback Thursday For July 31, 2014

“House Party” ran five days a week on radio from 1945 to 1967 and on television from 1952 to 1969.  The highlight of the show was a segment in which five children between the ages of 5 and 10 sat down to be interviewed by Art Linkletter.

One boy told Linkletter that his father was a policeman who arrested lots of burglars.  Linkletter asked if his mother ever worried about the risks. “Naw, she thinks it’s great.  He brings home rings and bracelets and jewelry almost every week.”

Linkletter once asked a child, “Did you see Santa this year?”  The child answered, “See him?  I fixed him a bourbon and water.”

Linkletter’s obit in The New York Times noted that his interviews with the children who would “say the darndest things” made their parents wish television had never been invented.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Holy Shark!

Yesterday was National Lasagna Day and blogger friend Woodsterman proclaimed that Mrs. Woodsterman “makes the best lasagna.”

I bragged that I made a wicked pan of the gastronomic delight myself and was tempted to go to the grocery store to pick up the stuff I needed.  Then I had an idea.

Tonight the SYFY channel is airing Sharknado 2.  Wouldn’t it be kinda cool to invite a few friends over to wolf down some of the yummy stuff along with some Italian bread and a thimble-full or twelve of Chianti?  I’m ready to laugh at this patently absurd movie and I might even hop on Twitter and join the fun.

Happy Wednesday night everybody!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

My Amazing Friend Has Come Back

I was sitting at the bar in my kitchen wrapping up my day of blogging.  It was dusk.  While I was waiting for my computer to power down, I looked out the window and noticed a large bird fly across the yard of my neighbor across the street. He flew up to the trunk of a tree and ricocheted off perching in an adjacent tree.

I reached into my drawer and found my camera.  I moved quickly into the living room which has a picture window to see if I could spot him.  Just then, he took flight and landed in the oak tree in my front yard.

I was now running to the bedroom to see if I could snap a picture of him.  I had already drawn the blinds so I had to stick the camera between the slats and hope for the best.

This picture is decidedly poor quality but I have a good excuse.  It was dusky at the time I took it, I couldn’t open the blinds because doing so would frighten him off and the window screen, unfortunately, blurred the image.  If you look closely at the second branch from the ground on the right you can see him.

I first noticed my amazing visitor back in August 2013.  I spotted him again in September and once more in October.

I wrote in October that I gathered as much information about red-shouldered hawks from my local wildlife organization as I could.  I learned that the southern populations of these raptors are not migratory and their courting display occurred between January and April.

I have looked and looked for my friend and had given up ever seeing him again.  Today, my amazing friend has come back.

Eid Message Praises “Contributions Of Muslim Americans To Building The Very Fabric Of Our Nation”

Almost 100 days after the terrorist atrocity at New York's World Trade Center, there was at least one fire still burning in the rubble—it was the longest-burning structural fire in history.
Today I was outraged to learn that The World’s Most Dangerous Community Organizer had the bollocks to praise the “contributions of Muslim Americans to building the very fabric of our nation and strengthening the core of our democracy.”

The moment I read the account on the CBS News DC website, a rage inside me began to grow.  I’ve waited most of the day to put words to paper so my response would be measured and calm.  I couldn’t muster the calm.  So, I want to thank Robert Spencer whose tongue-in-cheek piece will have to stand in for me:
You remember all those contributions by Muslim Americans to building the very fabric of our nation, don’t you? Remember the Muslim signers of the Declaration of Independence? And the Muslims who gave James Madison information about the Constitution of Medina that he used when framing the Constitution? Remember the Muslims who fought so valiantly during the War of 1812 and the Mexican War? Remember the Muslim abolitionist Senators who faced down the South in the antebellum Senate, the Senate chamber ringing with their oratory about how the Qur’an says to free slaves and so the U.S. government should, too? Remember the Muslim regiments in the Civil War (all on the Union side, of course!)? The Muslim industrialists who brought us railroads, the telegraph, the telephone? The Muslims who fought so valiantly in the Spanish-American War, World War I and World War II? The Muslim entertainers who kept us laughing on the Vaudeville circuit and on the home front during those terrible world wars with their jokes from the Hadith? 
None of this rings a bell? Not to worry. Before too long it will be taught in all the textbooks. “Statement by the President on the Occasion of Eid-al-Fitr,” The White House, Office of the Press Secretary, July 27, 2014:
“As Muslims throughout the United States and around the world celebrate Eid-al-Fitr, Michelle and I extend our warmest wishes to them and their families. This last month has been a time of fasting, reflection, spiritual renewal, and service to the less fortunate. While Eid marks the completion of Ramadan, it also celebrates the common values that unite us in our humanity and reinforces the obligations that people of all faiths have to each other, especially those impacted by poverty, conflict, and disease.”

“In the United States, Eid also reminds us of the many achievements and contributions of Muslim Americans to building the very fabric of our nation and strengthening the core of our democracy. That is why we stand with people of all faiths, here at home and around the world, to protect and advance their rights to prosper, and we welcome their commitment to giving back to their communities.”

“On behalf of the Administration, we wish Muslims in the United States and around the world a blessed and joyous celebration. Eid Mubarak.”

Affirmation Of The Presence Of Faith In The Life Of Our Nation

Photo credit:  Staten Island Advance/Ryan Lavis
Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice, proudly announced that the Second Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the American Atheists’ challenge to including the famed “Ground Zero Cross” in the National September 11 Museum.

The rusted, twisted metal beams were pulled from the rubble of the 9/11 attacks just feet from where Rev. Mychal F. Judge, chaplain of the NYFD, died while helping victims on that horrible day.

                      Photo credit: Associated Press
Rev. Brian Jordan, a friend and fellow Franciscan of Mychal, saved the cross. Each weekend, Jordan said Mass at the foot of the cross. His congregation was a mixture of victims' families, workers and visitors that grew from dozens to hundreds. There were people of all religions and none. What seemed to matter most was the gathering together.

The only work of art commissioned for the National 9/11 Museum is a wall made up of 2,983 individual squares of Fabriano Italian paper—one square for every person killed in the Sept. 11 attacks and in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center—each hand-painted a different shade of blue to capture the brilliant, clear blue sky on the morning of the attack.

Nestled in the center of the artwork is the Virgilian quote, “No day shall erase you from the memory of time.”

                             Photo credit: Reuters
The appellate court stated in a unanimous decision that the cross is historic as much as it is religious and it is safe once more:

“As a matter of law, the record compels the conclusion that appellees’ actual purpose in displaying The Cross at Ground Zero has always been secular: to recount the history of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and their aftermath.” —Circuit Judge Reena Raggi

“Thus, the Establishment Clause is not properly construed to command that government accounts of history be devoid of religious references. Nor is a permissible secular purpose transformed into an impermissible religious one because the government makes an historical point with an artifact whose historical significance derives, in whole or in part, from its religious symbolism.” —General Court Ruling Documentation

80 Years Of Happy

Sixty residents and staff at a retirement village show us just what they're made of!  I totally adore the gentleman wearing the bowtie and the fedora.  Now that’s happy!

The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies

This is the initial theatrical teaser for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, which will end the three-part Hobbit trilogy on December 11th, 2014. 

Bon Appétit: It’s National Lasagna Day

July 29th is National Lasagna Day.  In honor of the day some restaurants across America are offering special meal deals on one of America’s favorite Italian dishes—layers of pasta smothered in rich tomato sauce and topped with scads of ooey, gooey cheese.

Monday, July 28, 2014

John Kerry, Hamas, Qatar, Iran And Treachery

I spent most of a rainy Sunday morning watching the talking heads on the Sunday political talk shows and sat in amazement at the veiled anti-Semitism on parade.  I was especially appalled at the heavy-handed manner in which CNN’s Candy Crowley kept nudging the conversation in the direction of blaming Israel for the bitter war between the Israelis and the genocidal terrorist organization Hamas.  A bitter war, I might add, that Israel sought earnestly to avoid.

Mike Rogers (R-MI), Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee appeared on Meet The Press and Face The Nation.  It was the Face The Nation interview that yielded the most telling evidence of just how complicit the mainstream media has been by choosing, yes choosing, to portray Israel as some horrible aggressor.

The point at which this became evident was when the host, Bob Schieffer asked, as though inexplicably shocked, “But I thought the Qataris were our allies here?”

Here’s the transcript:

"That's what's so frustrating with the administration," he said "All of this works together. You can't just pick and choose one particular region; it has to work in concert. So when you free up $2.8 billion for Iran, when they're already cash strapped because of sanctions, that means they can continue to do bad activities in the Gaza Strip, including we believe at least missile components."

He said that Qatar, which acts as a U.S. ally on other issues, are also funneling money to Hamas, as are some sources inside of Saudi Arabia. And, Rogers added, the militant group also takes legitimate foreign aid dollars coming into the region to put toward building tunnels into Israel that the Israeli government is working to destroy.

"Think about how obscene that is, the hundreds of millions of dollars they've had over a decade. Twenty percent of the people in Gaza Strip aren't connected to a water source. Ninety percent of all the water there doesn't meet international standards. But they've got, I think the Israelis disclosed, 35 tunnels. So they're diverting legitimate money. And you have Iran that is aligned into this particular interest in a way that's very, very dangerous," he said.

In an earlier interview on "Face the Nation," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the army had discovered a "vast underground terror kingdom" meant to give Hamas a way to carry out attacks in Israel. He promised Israel would not stop trying to destroy the tunnels, although he did not specify whether there would be an expansion of the current ground invasion.

But Rogers warned that the combination of Iranian and Qatari support for Hamas and for certain factions in Syria is "intertwined in a way that makes it a very dangerous stew indeed."
SCHIEFFER: Mr. Chairman, let's just go back to Israel for a minute. Hamas continues to fire these rockets.  They have poured all this concrete, as you heard Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu talk about.  Where are they getting this stuff? 
SCHIEFFER: But I thought the Qataris were our allies here? 
ROGERS: Well, this is what makes this region so interesting. 
So, you have Iran and the Qataris are supporting Hamas, and certainly factions thereof. They're also supporting places in Syria. So, that is why this is so intertwined in a way that makes it a very dangerous stew, indeed. 
It is one common thing that the Shias and the Sunnis do not like, and that is a Jewish Israel state. That is confirmed. And I think they have found an outlet to try to do this. And it's spreading to other areas, Bob. This is what is the other problem. There is the unseen war in this particular event, and that is the new cyber front. 
There are not only what you see coming from Hamas, attacks on Israel, but now we have nation states engaged in the region in cyber-conflict that could cause this to escalate in a way that is very, very dangerous for stability. 
SCHIEFFER: How much do you think they have? How much money do you think has been poured into these tunnels? It's literally millions of dollars which, as I understand it, came in there to build schools and things of that nature. 
ROGERS: Well, again, I think they diverted some of the legitimate money. Clearly, that happened. Instead of building wells or water infrastructure, they diverted that money to build these tunnels. 
And I think that they are getting money again from Iran, who has been a maligned force in that whole entire region. Think about it. They are putting Hezbollah in the fight in Syria and supplying Hamas in the Gaza Strip with weapons. That is the difficult part here. 
And what is concerning about that is just about 10 days ago or so, the United States agreed to allow Iran to have another $2.8 billion released just for them to continue nuclear negotiations. And that is what is so frustrating with the administration now. 
All of this works together. You can't just pick and choose one particular region. It has to work in concert. When you free up $2.8 billion for Iran, when they are already cash-strapped because of sanctions that means they can continue to do bad activities in the Gaza Strip, including missile—we believe, at least missile components. What they have—we understand, according to public reports, they have even offered to help hide those missile systems, and their work in Syria with supporting the Assad regime. 
It's not working in concert that is helping us cause this confusion around the Middle East. 
SCHIEFFER: Well, Congressman, I want to tell you, you have explained and made this thing even more dire than I understood it at the beginning of this broadcast.
More dire.

Avi Issacharoff reported the content of John Kerry’s ceasefire proposal writing, “Israel and the US are meant to be allies; the US is meant to be committed to the protection of Israel in this most ruthless of neighborhoods; together, the US and Israel are meant to be trying to marginalize the murderous Islamic extremism that threatens the free world. Yet here was the top US diplomat appearing to accommodate a vicious terrorist organization bent on Israel’s destruction, with a formula that would leave Hamas better equipped to achieve that goal.”


Whether through ineptitude, malice, or both, Kerry’s intervention was not a case of America’s top diplomat coming to our region to help ensure, through astute negotiation, the protection of a key ally. This was a betrayal.

Read his entire piece here.

Late To The Punchline

If you’re gullible it’s probably a good idea to look before you leap.  Just ask “Karoli” a contributor to an über liberal website that is littered with brainiacs from the administrations of Bubba and Barry.

It all began with a “plagiarized interview” from an openly satirical site The National Report.  A bogus website, KCTV7, heisted text from The National Report that claimed Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) had called for unaccompanied Central American children to be sent to indoctrination camps to become Americanized in an interview with Minnesota’s Twin Cities News talk radio host Jason Lewis.  There was no such article and no such interview that featured the Congresswoman.

Scott Kaufman sounded the alarm suggesting the “crazy racist Bachmann story [was] so believable liberal websites” fell for the parody.  The sites were forced to update the story admitting they were bamboozled.

Everyone knows that Bachmann is a huge target of the Left and any chance they get to slam her is an opportunity they will lick their chops to jump at even if they are made to look like blithering idiots.  According to a Memeorandum thread there were at least three liberal websites that took the bait hook, line and sinker.

Karoli’s response to the kerfuffle she created:
“Yeah, I got pwned. How sad is it that it was just this side of realistic enough to believe in the first place. When you have a reputation for making outrageous and ridiculous comments, it becomes easier and easier to believe something that should have been dismissed out of hand.  Live and learn.”

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Sunday Slacker Post

So far, my retirement has been nothing short of glorious.  I have to pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming.  

Over the past twelve years I have never had a Sunday off unless I requested it.  Today is the first Sunday for the rest of my life that I can truly enjoy a leisurely Sunday.

Sophie, my little furkid, is in Seventh Heaven.  Ever since I got her she’s had to spend twelve hours a day alone in the house while I was at work.  Now, she is beside herself with joy.  She has her mom all to herself.

Just take a look at her.  Is that not the face of a happy pup?  She usually sleeps under the covers or on the same pillow my head is resting on.

This morning we were going to have breakfast on the deck and watch the squirrels and bunnies cavort in the back yard but it rained. 

I’m going to search for some good movies to watch nap through and enjoy a lazy day.  It’s Sunday after all and we’re retired.  Life is good.

I hope your Sunday is peaceful and blessed.

There Is Nothing More Frightful Than Ignorance In Action

On Friday July 25, 2014 the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee approved a resolution to reject White House assertions of “absolute immunity” for David Simas, who has failed to appear under subpoena before the Committee on two separate occasions.

Simas, who is currently Assistant to the President and Director of the Office of Political Strategy and Outreach, was previously Director of Opinion Research for Obama for America and served as an aide to Senior Advisors David Plouffe and David Axelrod.

Why is the committee so interested in Simas’ testimony?  The White House reopened the Office of Political Strategy and Outreach in January.  It must be noted that the Bush Administration repeatedly violated the Hatch Act.  The Hatch Act prohibits most high-level executive branch officials from engaging in partisan political activities in their official capacities.

Following Simas’ failure to appear under subpoena before the committee, Chairman Issa played an audio tape of former Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis making illegal campaign solicitations.

The Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel believes Simas is immune from congressional compulsion to testify on matters relating to his official duties but Issa has rejected that assertion by jogging the memory of Democrats serving on the committee that a 2008 federal court case, Judiciary v. Miers, found that senior advisors are “not absolutely immune from congressional process.”  The case was brought by Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT).  Although Issa hasn’t alleged any actual misconduct by Simas, that particular office has a history of Hatch Act violations.

During Friday’s hearings, Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-District of Columbia) demonstrated her adroit unawareness lack of knowledge ignorance of Supreme Court rulings on the subject of Congressional investigatory power.

In Watkins v. United States354 U.S. 178, 187 (1957), Chief Justice Warren did not question the basic power. “The power of the Congress to conduct investigations is inherent in the legislative process. That power is broad. It encompasses inquiries concerning the administration of existing laws as well as proposed or possibly needed statutes. It includes surveys of defects in our social, economic or political system for the purpose of enabling the Congress to remedy them. It comprehends probes into departments of the Federal Government to expose corruption, inefficiency or waste.”

She called Issa's subpoena a "showcase fishing expedition."  She went on to argue "You don't have a right to know everything in a separation-of-powers government, my friend. That is the difference between a parliamentary government and a separation-of-powers government.”

After showcasing her anger and her stupidity, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) said, “I associate myself with your comments.”

Those two made it clear they believe the American public has no right whatsover to know what’s going on inside the White House.  Hmmm.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Business As Usual: The Snake Is Having Sex With The Vulture

Yesterday, The First Wookiee spoke at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser in Chi-Town to extort exhort the party faithful to “dig deep” into their pockets.  Fearful of losing the senate in the November midterms, something that will call a halt to The World’s Most Dangerous Community Organizer’s socialist agenda she said, "I kid you not.  I'm going to be honest with you. That's what we need you to do right now. We need you to write the biggest, fattest check that you can possibly write."

She continued, “Writing those checks is the single most impactful thing that you can do right now. When you dig deep, when you max out, that translates into staff hired and offices opened and ads running where they need to run.”

Let’s step back in time for just a skosh.

Four months before the 2008 general election, “The Messiah” reneged on his long-standing support of public financing.  His decision to become the first candidate to opt out of public financing freed him to raise vast amounts of money via Internet-driven fundraising.

After the election The Washington Post reported that his political shakedown machine had raised half-a-billion dollars online in his 21-month campaign for the White House.

On November 15, 2012, Time was reporting that when the final numbers were counted, $1 billion had greased the grubby palms of TWMDCO.

He is paid $400,000 a year.  We have already heard that there is “donor fatigue” and Mark Schlapp, former White House political advisor, is suggesting that the “Obama political machine is broken.”

There was speculation this week that TWMDCO and The Wookiee were eyeing a Rancho Mirage mansion worth $4.25 million.  TMZ now reports that famed interior decorator Michael S. Smith didn't like the house at all.  “It's pushed up against the mountain, it doesn't have a lot of light and it's just not that stylish.”  The buyer passed.

Even so, the mere fact that the mansion was under consideration is a clear indicator that the pretentious outrage of “too much money in politics” is a false flag.

The Wookiee added, “There’s special interests that have too much influence. But they had all that money and all that influence back in 2008 and 2012 and we still won those elections,” as she pleaded with fellow Dems to add even more cash to the political system.

Yep, the snake is having sex with the vulture.

UPDATE 3:04 PM 7/26/2014:  I wish to apologize to any of my readers who may have visited here between 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM today.  Someone posted a vile comment that was egregiously offensive.  As proprietor of this blog and moderator I welcome opinions that differ from my own but I will not permit repugnant, abhorrent videos and salacious slurs.  The commenter responsible has been blacklisted and Disqus has been duly notified.

It's my blog.  Them's my rules.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Signs Of Obama Fatigue: Not His. Ours.

Signs of donor fatigue at Obama's Bay Area fundraisers.

Throwback Thursday For July 24, 2014

Blogger friend Woodsterman gave me the idea for today’s Throwback Thursday.  His blog post entitled “When Comedy Was Funny” brought back some happy memories.

The best version of the show, I think, ran from 1966 through 1981 when Peter Marshall was the show’s host.  NBC, which earned the rights to the show after its pilot in 1965 also aired a nighttime version that could be seen on Friday nights at 9:30 PM.

Some of the best comedians of the time were regulars like Cliff Arquette (Charley Weaver), Rich Little, Rose Marie, Nanette Fabray, Wally Cox, Morey Amsterdam, Buddy Hackett, Marty Allen, George Gobel, Jonathan Winters and Paul Lynde.

Lynde appeared on 707 episodes and became famous for his outrageous jokes.

The video below contains some of Lynde’s best jokes.  Have a laugh or two.  We need it these days.

Day Of The Triffids, Er, Cicadas

Sketch Courtesy of Ann Telnaes
It started a week ago.  I noticed several clumps of brown leaves lying on the grass.  I never made the connection between this trashing of my lawn and the invasion that followed.

At the same time, I witnessed the arrival of scores of crows that descended on my lawn in vast swaths.   Their numbers were so massive that it looked like someone had draped the yard with a black tarp.  They appeared to pick my yard clean and then move on to my neighbors’ lawn with creepy precision.

Both events were a portend to what happened yesterday.

I am officially retired now.  Yesterday was Day One of my newfound freedom.  Sophie, my little furkid, and I were enjoying a lazy breakfast on the deck.  She was dining on a delectable chicken jerky treat and I was savoring a plate of grits, scrambled eggs, hot sausage and a warm, fluffy buttermilk biscuit.

The serenity of the morning was pierced by the deafening, screeching sound of a high-speed drill bit going through steel.  (A search of the Internet revealed that some cicadas can register over 100 decibels when singing.)

Singing?  It’s one of the most annoying sounds I know other than the sound of The Insufferable Airhorn AKA The World’s Most Dangerous Community Organizer.

Last year, you’ll recall, everyone was anticipating the arrival of the 13 and 17-year cicadas.  I would be thankful if I only had to deal with these hideously ugly insects every so often, but I am cursed with the arrival of these prehistoric looking creatures every damned year.

There’s an old wives’ tale about the wings of cicadas.  Supposedly, if you look closely, you will either see the shape of a “W” or a “P” near the tip of their wings, signifying war or peace.  I can assure you homegirl ain’t gonna look to see if the letters are there.

The emergence of the cicadas can last as long as 8 weeks.  That means that once again I will have to knock the grotesque exoskeletons they shed off the bricks of my house and sweep their exhausted, nasty bodies off the deck.

I hate these things.  Can you tell?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Divorce Court

Blubbery gasbag Michael Moore entered the Antrim County Circuit Courthouse today to finalize his divorce from the woman to whom he had been married 22 years.  (Thankfully they did not spawn any little Moores.)

The Detroit News reported that in legal pleadings Mikey blamed his wife for the long-running criticism of his mega hypocrisy pretending to defend the poor while owning a mansion in Torch Lake worth $2 million.  This, of course, was before the world learned today of the nine, count ‘em, nine homes they own.

According to court documents the couple owned nine properties in Michigan and New York, including a Manhattan condo.

In a remarkable manifestation of supreme pettiness, the tub ‘o shit demanded from his quilting enthusiast wife a “list, with photographs, of all quilts in your possession whether purchased,  gifted, loaned or produced by you.” 

His common-man persona has been an elephantine lie and now the world knows it.

Why Was Coverage Of Nation’s Apollo 11 Heroes Closed To The Press?

Sunday July 20, 2014 marked the 45th anniversary of the first moon landing, when astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to step on to the surface of the moon.

On Tuesday, The World’s Most Dangerous Community Organizer met with Michael Collins, Buzz Aldrin and the widow of Neil Armstrong.

The mission was the fifth manned expedition in the Apollo program. It was broadcast around the world and ignited awe for its achievement.  The landing has been a symbol of mankind's yearning for adventure and exploration into the unknown.

Reporters and television crews were not allowed to enter the Oval Office for the meeting, but photographers were given brief access.   CBS News White House correspondent Major Garrett filed a complaint about the lack of coverage available declaring the event deserved press as the members of the Apollo 11 crew were American Heroes.

“The astronauts were among the most visible, televised national heroes this country has ever known, that entire program was financed by the American taxpayer. Stills presentation of that limits television coverage of that event we believe that is a classic definition of something that should have the broadest press coverage imaginable, and we are therefore lodging a complaint against your decision to keep us out,” Garrett said.

ABC News’ Jonathan Karl wondered why there was such intense secrecy surrounding the event and went further by speculating that the decision may have been due to the criticism Armstrong made of TWMDCO’s decision to hollow out NASA’s space program—a decision that sent shock waves throughout NASA, the Congress and the American people.

Part of Armstrong’s letter read:
“For The United States, the leading space faring nation for nearly half a century, to be without carriage to low Earth orbit and with no human exploration capability to go beyond Earth orbit for an indeterminate time into the future, destines our nation to become one of second or even third rate stature. While the President's plan envisages humans traveling away from Earth and perhaps toward Mars at some time in the future, the lack of developed rockets and spacecraft will assure that ability will not be available for many years.” 
“Without the skill and experience that actual spacecraft operation provides, the USA is far too likely to be on a long downhill slide to mediocrity. America must decide if it wishes to remain a leader in space. If it does, we should institute a program which will give us the very best chance of achieving that goal.”
Obama’s third paid liar since he took office answered Karl by saying, “It’s merely a scheduling matter, there was a number of things on the president’s schedule.  You know we had a trip to the Dutch Embassy, the president making remarks at EEOB… and the president needs to get on a plane at 1 o’clock this afternoon. The president has a very busy schedule and we weren’t able to accommodate TV cameras this time."

Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Object Of Our Affection: James Garner Dead At 86

I grew up in a time when men were men.  Hollywood celebrities weren’t precocious, perfumed, perfectly coiffed brats.

James Garner served in the Korean War winning two Purple Hearts. "I wasn't a hero," he said modestly. "I just got in the way a lot."  How humble is that?  How many actors today can say they’ve served in the military?  I dare say not many.

There’s a terrific obit for Mr. Garner in The New York Times.  After reading the piece I learned he was a lifelong Democrat.  Oh well, I loved him just the same.
“Mr. Garner disdained the pretentiousness of the acting profession. ‘I’m a Methodist but not as an actor,’ he wrote in The Garner Files. ‘I’m from the Spencer Tracy school: be on time, know your words, hit your marks, and tell the truth. I don’t have any theories about acting, and I don’t think about how to do it, except that an actor shouldn’t take himself too seriously, and shouldn’t try to make acting something that it isn’t. Acting is just common sense. It isn’t hard if you put yourself aside and just do what the writer wrote.”
As a young girl I came to love James Garner in his role as Maverick.  My Dad loved to watch him in the television series The Rockford Files.  He never missed an episode, hence, neither did I.

I remember some of those Polaroid camera commercials he did with Mariette Hartley.  Polaroid produced so many of them that Hartley had a t-shirt made up that read, “I am NOT Mrs. James Garner.”  I have to admit they were the perfect pairing for a wholesome advertisement.

Garner was believable in his roles.  I adored him in the 1985 film Murphy’s Romance.  He starred opposite Sally Field.  At the end of the movie, after some small talk Murphy tells Emma (Sally Field) that he may be worn but he’s sturdy and faithful and in love for the last time.  Emma confesses she is in love for the first time then invites Murphy to stay for supper.  He said he’d only stay if he’s still there for breakfast.  Emma asks, “How do you like your eggs?” 

Murphy’s Romance is perfect fodder for the hopeful romantic and the capper, for me at least, is 2004’s The Notebook, a heartwarming tearjerker that proves that true love can last forever.

Godspeed you handsome devil.  Thanks for the memories.

Point Of View For Sunday July 20, 2014

Calling Up The Devil

Rockets being fired from the Gaza strip into Israel 
Israeli police remove part of a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip towards the city of Tel Aviv 
A Palestinian child shouts at al-Shifa hospital after Israeli forces shelled her house 
I must commend Richard Fernandez for his elucidation of the conflict between Israel and the militant Islamist Hamas terror group and Palestinian militants.

He brings into crystal clarity evidence that Hamas, Islamic Jihad, al-Qaeda affiliated jihadist militias and Fatah have zero interest in a peaceful coexistence with Israel.  They are committed to the extermination of Israel and its Jews.

There are estimates that Hamas’ military is still only using less than 20% of its military weapons capacity, according to an expert in Hamas affairs.  This suggests that there may be more months of rocket firepower.  Those closely watching events on the ground contend that the number of rockets being launched from Gaza into Israel is neither increasing nor decreasing.

After 12 days of fighting, Israel’s military said that Palestinian terrorists have fired at least 1,705 rockets out of an estimated stockpile of 10,000.

Their arsenal includes Qassam rockets with a range of 17km (10miles) that can reach into Ashkelon and Sderot, Grad rockets with a range of 20km (12 miles) that can hit Beersheba and Grad WS-Es 40km (24 miles) than can attack Tel Aviv, Dimona and Jerusalem.  The destructive power of their long-range Farj-5/M-75 missiles 75km (46 miles) can reach Haifa, Zikron Yaacov and Hadera and their Khaibar-1 missiles 160km (99 miles) are capable of reaching into the neighboring country of Jordan.

Mr. Fernandez explains:
“Nihilism isn’t the absence of a belief. It is something subtly different: it is the belief in nothing. The most powerful weapon of terrorism is therefore the unyielding No. “No, I will not give up. No, I will not tell the truth. No, I will not play fair. No, I will not spare children. No, I will not stop even if you surrender to me; I will not cease even if you give me everything you have, up to and including your children’s lives. Nothing short of destroying me absolutely can make me stop. And therefore I will defeat you even if you kill me. Because I will make you pay the price in guilt for annihilating me.” 
“It’s an extremely powerful weapon.  The Absolute No is a devastating attack on the self-image and esteem of civilization.  Hamas will demonstrate the No, the Nothing. It will show that deep down inside Israelis—and Americans—are animals like them.  This can be called the Seven Gambit, from a 1995 film which explores this exact theme. It depicts two detectives versus the devil in the shape of nameless man, who kills people not by attacking them directly, but by creating situations where they kill themselves by yielding to one of the seven deadly sins: sloth, gluttony, vanity—and finally vengeance and wrath.”
Sara Roy, in a warped diatribe at The Boston Globe, penned the following:
“Gaza’s present anguish did not emerge in a vacuum nor in response to a single terrible event as the Israeli government would have us believe. Instead, it emanates from a context of ongoing occupation and repression that has transformed Gaza—the center of Palestinian nationalism and resistance to Israeli occupation—into one of the most impoverished, imprisoned areas of the world.”
Spittle-laced voices here and abroad share Ms. Roy’s perverted view.  One such example was CNN’s Diane Magnay who called a group of Israelis “scum” and today in London and Paris tens of thousands of protesters holding placards and banners chanted pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel slogans.
"Saturday’s demonstration in London came on the heels of numerous protests Thursday and Friday worldwide, including Cairo, Istanbul, Cape Town, Berlin, New York and Washington. Many of the protests have turned violent."
"In Istanbul, police warded off hundreds of rioters who attempted on Thursday to storm the Israeli embassy building. Demonstrators in Ankara and Istanbul also hurled stones at several compounds where Israeli officials reside. Calls for the destruction of the Jewish state were heard in both Turkish cities. Police responded by firing tear gas canisters and water cannons at the crowds. Israel decided Friday to pull some of its diplomatic staff out of Turkey in the wake of the protests."
Less than ten years ago, Israel uprooted 21 settlements in the Gaza Strip withdrawing its entire military and thereby relinquishing it to the Palestinians.  The Israelis gave the Palestinians 3,000 greenhouses worth $14 million that had produced fruits and flowers for export in an effort to promote the economy in Gaza. Palestinians looted them walking off with irrigation hoses, water pumps and plastic sheeting in a blow to fledgling efforts to reconstruct the Gaza Strip.

It has been 47 years since the 1967 Six Day War and throughout Israel’s existence efforts to bring peace to the region have largely failed.  In 1967, UN Security Council Resolution 242 called for the exchange of land for peace.  Jimmy Carter brought together Anwar Sadat and Menachem Begin at Camp David for the Camp David Accords in 1978 that resulted in two agreements.  Then followed the Madrid Conference in 1991 and the Oslo Agreement two years later that tried to build on UN Resolution 242 and 338.

The purpose of the 2000 Camp David peace talks was to offer the Gaza Strip and part of the Negev desert to the Palestinians and the “right of return” of Palestinian refugees.

The 2001 Taba talks were held amid an election campaign for Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak.  Barak said that "nothing is agreed upon until everything is agreed upon". He said that he could not commit a subsequent government to what he called the "ideas" coming out of the talks. With the election of Ariel Sharon in February 2001, time ran out.

In 2002, the Arab Peace Initiative introduced a two-state solution.  Efforts to have the parties agree have failed at every turn.  The Roadmap talks in 2003 attempted to hammer out how a settlement could be reached.  This eventually led to the 2003 Geneva Accord in which the Palestinians would give up their “right of return” in exchange for almost the whole of the West Bank.

Hamas, in 2007, had just won parliamentary elections and taken control of the Gaza Strip.  The Annapolis Peace Talks that year failed because Hamas was not represented and declared it would not be bound by anything declared at the talks.

In Washington in 2010, Mahmoud Abbas wanted a guarantee of a Palestinian state based on 1967 lines.

It is impossible to understand the uncontrollable hatred of Jews.  So demented is Hamas’ insanity that they wantonly use women and children as human shields. (Please go to this link and this link to view Hamas’ confessions about the use of human shields.)

Benjamin Netanyahu said, “It must be understood that our enemy hides in mosques, puts weapons stores under hospitals and situates command posts next to kindergartens. The enemy uses the residents of Gaza as a human shield and inflicts disaster on them. The responsibility for harm to the citizens of Gaza lies on the shoulders of Hamas and Israel regrets any harm to them. The difference between Israel and Hamas is that we use missiles to defend the citizens of Israel while they use the civilian population to defend the stores of their missiles.”

Charles Krauthammer, the American Pulitzer Prize-winning syndicated columnist, shares his thoughts on the moral depravity of the terrorist group known as Hamas:
"To deliberately wage war so that your own people can be telegenically killed is indeed moral and tactical insanity. But it rests on a very rational premise: Given the Orwellian state of the world’s treatment of Israel, fuelled by a mix of classic anti-Semitism, near-total historical ignorance and reflexive sympathy for the ostensible Third World underdog, these eruptions featuring Palestinian casualties ultimately undermine support for Israel’s legitimacy and right to self-defense." 
"In a world of such Kafkaesque ethical inversions, Hamas’ depravity begins to make sense. This is a world in which the Munich massacre is a movie and the murder of Klinghoffer is an opera—both deeply sympathetic to the killers. This is a world in which the UN ignores humanity’s worst war criminals while incessantly condemning Israel, a state warred upon for 66 years which nonetheless goes to extraordinary lengths to avoid harming the very innocents its enemies use as shields." 
"It’s to the Israelis’ credit that amid all this madness they haven’t lost their moral scruples. Or their nerve. Those outside the region have the minimum obligation, therefore, to expose the madness and speak the truth. Rarely has it been so blindingly clear."