Thursday, October 16, 2014

Bug Out and Call It Even

Sounds similar to the George Aiken solution and the best we can hope for. Two good bookmarks. One from Andrew Bacevich, one from William Astore.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

"War Might Be Over"

Because I'm such a Pollyanna anyway, I love seeing things like this. And also because it is so contrary to what, I believe, many people think from watching the news. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Face of America and Blue Skies

And this:

The White House has acknowledged for the first time that strict standards President Obama imposed last year to prevent civilian deaths from U.S. drone strikes will not apply to U.S. military operations in Syria and Iraq.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

With Public Financing of Campaigns I'd Be Looking Forward to Governor Teachout

My longest post title ever. Teachout didn't spend $14 per vote, needless to say.

They were never worried about their Democratic Party primary challengers earlier this month, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and his running mate, Erie County’s Kathy Hochul, insisted over and over again.

Worries aside, Cuomo and Hochul spent about $5.9 million in the final couple of weeks and days immediately following their recent closer-than-expected Democratic primary contests.

Can't bring myself to vote for King Andrew. Gonna have to be Green Party (who are loons) or a
Zephyr write-in.

The loons link is to the Green running in my district. It sucks that I can't link to Funiciello's interview with The Chronicle, a weekly in Glens Falls. Gonna put up a post with choice tidbits soon, though, and just transcribe.  

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

We All Gonna Die!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is a great clip as well. I'm too simple to put it up so click the link.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Just Buy the State and Then Do What You Want with It

So the Koches and the Romneys are in big for Mitch McConnell:

In the audio recording, Sen. McConnell says everything that the Koch brothers want to hear. At the beginning of his remarks, he gushes to the brothers: "I don't know where we'd be without you."

That's sweet. Not to be outdone:

Mitt Romney is coming to Kentucky to raise money for U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, the latest in a string of high-profile politicians getting in on one of the country's most competitive midterm races.

What does a senator have to do to have so many sugar daddies?   

Do African-Americans Watch Fox News?

If so, why?

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Strange Bedfellows (Probably Not Literally)

So, when Peggy Noonan got her Ronald Reagan Women's Boy Briefs in a knot over Obama droppin' his g's, I didn't think much of it. Birds fly and wingnuts wingnut. 

The president shouldn’t be using a fateful and divisive word like “impeachment” to raise money and rouse his base. He shouldn’t be at campaign-type rallies where he speaks only to the base, he should be speaking to the country. He shouldn’t be out there dropping his g’s, slouching around a podium, complaining about his ill treatment, describing his opponents with disdain: “Stop just hatin’ all the time.”

I had to include the impeachment part. That's so precious. Damn Obama for raisin' the possibility of his own impeachment! But, to move on to the strange bedfellow:

“First of all, we know it ain’t because of his blackness, so I say stop trying to ‘relate.’ Be a leader. Be f**king presidential,” he said. “Look, I grew up in a society where I could say ‘It ain’t’ or ‘What it be’ to my friends. But when I’m out presenting myself to the world as me, who graduated from college, who had family [that] cared about me, who has a well-read background, I f**king conjugate.” 

That's right. Motherfuckin' Motherfucking Samuel L. Jackson says just say no to dropping g's. Now, I'm going to pay attention. Better start fucking conjugating, too.

And BTW, Bush did it, too.

SATURDAY SPECIAL: Here's my latest literary effort to the local fish wrapper.  That's a joke. I love the Post Star and most all newspapers in general. And I more than appreciate them running my rants.

     As one of the folks who helped put President Barack Obama into the White House, I’d like to respond to Mr. Prossick’s recent letter. I might suggest the GOP run better candidates, as well. In 2012, the Republican candidate was a man who made his fortune putting people out of work. He was seen as so out of touch with the common man, he couldn’t beat Obama in spite of the economic downturn we were in at the time.
     In 2008, the candidate of the right was someone who, ironically, was not born in the United States. Panama. Check it out. Obama was born in Hawaii, unless we have to go through that whole birth certificate thing again. As I recall, John McCain’s judgment may have been called into question with his choice of a running mate. Anyone heard from her lately? Never mind. Some might further doubt McCain’s judgment over his continual calls to use military force. The short list is Iran, Syria, Russia, Nigeria and Iraq (of course). He called for invading Hong Kong over Edward Snowden. Use the Internet. I’m certain you can find more.
     For those of you who favor that sort of foreign policy, I’d suggest a vote for Elise Stefanik.
Her website states she was director of communications for a think tank called the Foreign Policy Initiative. It was founded by William Kristol, Dan Senor and Robert Kagan. Apparently, their hard work shilling for the invasion of Iraq in 2003 gave their previous group, PNAC, a bad name. They still walk and quack like neo-conservatives, though. As a bonus, she might give the Congress enough votes to go through with impeachment of the president. Wouldn’t that be fun!

LATEST IN IMPEACHMENT NEWS: From Roy Edroso. Bless his heart!, that I don't have to read all that shit.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Here Goes the Facebook Account

It's really no wonder our ad revenue is so low here at Wingnuts and Moonbats.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Sleep Well Tonight

The only upside I see after watching this clip is that it makes me worry less about the bomb trains going through my town.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Ted Nugent vs. Unclean Vermin

Positive energy?

"I take it as a badge of honor that such unclean vermin are upset by me and my positive energy,"

Fuck it! Let's skip the positive energy and go right to the unclean vermin.

I got my physical notice 30 days prior to. Well, on that day I ceased cleansing my body. No more brushing my teeth, no more washing my hair, no baths, no soap, no water. Thirty days of debris build. I stopped shavin' and I was 18, had a little scraggly beard, really looked like a hippie. I had long hair, and it started gettin' kinky, matted up. Then two weeks before, I stopped eating any food with nutritional value. I just had chips, Pepsi, beer-stuff I never touched-buttered poop, little jars of Polish sausages, and I'd drink the syrup, I was this side of death, Then a week before, I stopped going to the bathroom. I did it in my pants. poop, piss the whole shot. My pants got crusted up.

See, I approached the whole thing like, Ted Nugent, cool hard-workin' dude, is gonna wreak havoc on these imbeciles in the armed forces. I'm gonna play their own game, and I'm gonna destroy 'em. Now my whole body is crusted in poop and piss. I was ill. And three or four days before, I started stayin' awake. I was close to death, but I was in control. I was extremely antidrug as I've always been, but I snorted some crystal methedrine. Talk about one wounded motherf*cker. A guy put up four lines, and it was for all four of us, but I didn't know and I'm vacuuming that poop right up. I was a walking, talking hunk of human poop. I was six-foot-three of sin. So the guys took me down to the physical, and my nerves, my emotions were distraught. I was not a good person. I was wounded. But as painful and nauseous as it was — 'cause I was really into bein' clean and on the ball — I made gutter swine hippies look like football players. I was deviano.

Ted Nugent: Right Wing hero and all around self-hating, unclean vermin.

Here's more on how relations may have soured between Nugent and his his Native American blood brothers. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Skip a Few Burgers for the Planet

If you don't care about your health, think of the planet's.

(C)onvincing people to go vegan or vegetarian may be less doable than getting them to cut down on the worst offenders. And that would be the burgers.

It's a start anyway. I'd like to be a vegan. I try and sometimes come close. Closer to vegetarian. It's worth the effort. And yes, this blog has become a bookmark list for me. Thanks Reppy. Hope you don't mind.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Why Rick Scott Should Be Sentenced to a GEO Group Prison

That's all. And this:

And RIP to James Garner. Had no idea of how much work he left behind, much of which I've seen. I was happy to hear that "The Americanization of Emily" was one of his faves. It was one of the best movies ever.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Great! But Where Was the Use of Less for Fewer?

It may have been in here and I just missed it. There are many on the internet who make use of some of the examples in this video. Moi, aussi. Weird Al, making schooling fun:

Those on the Right are more apt to enjoy this one, though.

UPDATE: Oops, watched again and less for fewer was in it. It had to be.

And since that was all courtesy of the folks at Salon, might as well rip 'em off for another great post.

In 2012, I shunned my self-destructive voting habits and supported Obama. I only wished there were a major party more liberal than the Democrats for whom I could vote.

Sing it, Brother! Now, I know you want to go and read the whole post from a former supporter of the Republican Party had a Paul on the road to Damascus experience and left the party of the insane. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Why Does This Guy Still Have a Job?

What am I saying? William Kristol, Dick Cheney, Charles Krauthammer and many more always-wrong people are still on TV, too. Failure to see reality is not a problem in America if you're Right.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

I Get Published (Again)

I used to get irritated about having wingnuts with my morning tea and toast. Then, I realized it's nice to have something to riff off of. I have sympathy for the writer. He's an older citizen as I've gleaned from some of his other letters. I'm sure he is being brainwashed by the Right Wing Propaganda Machine. I do what I can to help, though. So, here is the letter which may well have caused an Earl Grey spit-take.

I agree with Mr. Obama when he states the GOP-led House is doing nothing. Well, that is great. They are, in reality, doing us a great favor, rather than wasting and throwing away our hard-earned tax money as Obama and his family are doing. Obama and his administration are destroying this country.

The Republicans, on the other hand, know what they are doing in support of the USA and “We the People.” Hooray for the GOP. Keep it up until that character gets out of office. As long as he is in office, we are on the road to bankruptcy.

P.S. Be smart and vote for Elise Stefanik in November. We need young people like her in Congress.

And my response:

I see in Sunday’s Post-Star there was an “Obama is destroying our country” letter. It was ironic that on the front page that day was an article, “What keeps the U.S. on top?” Included in the piece was the fact that June was the fifth month in a row of “200,000 plus job gains” for the first such stretch in 15 years (from the Clinton years by my count). Also, that “the U.S. economy is expected to grow at a healthy 3 percent pace the rest of the year.” No good news for Obama haters.

Even though a Democrat and liberal, I’m still quite happy to see the stock markets do well. My investments are dear to me, and I’m more than satisfied with the 145 percent increase that has taken place in the S&P since Obama took office. I like to contrast that with the 37 percent drop that occurred in that same market during the former administration when I go to vote. Was Elise Stefanik involved in economic policy in any way with her work there?

I believe I’ll ignore the letter writer’s advice and support Aaron Woolf. The Republican wrecking crew in Congress seems to be well staffed already. Don’t believe they need additional members to hold meaningless votes to repeal the ACA or investigate Benghazi for the umpteenth time.

And a note to Al Scoonzarielli: please never stop writing to the editor!

Al is someone whom I've adopted as my role model in editor-letter writing. Been smiling all day because he had one today that ran right before mine.

Congrats to Mr. Tingley on his recent award, thanks to the charming Mrs. Merrill for her kind comments, and thanks to Mr. Vanderwarker for taking it easy on me while correcting me for mislabeling Condi Rice as defense secretary. Many folks, me probably, wouldn’t necessarily have been so gentlemanly.

This, however, opens a door. Ms. Rice was never even questioned about being warned about bin Laden in August of 2001 and doing nothing. Hillary Clinton seems to be being held to a different standard, as it would seem anyone connected to Barack Obama is. Why do you suppose this is? Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, George W. Bush and others were reviled but not like this. What is it about Obama that seems to bring forth such a forceful, negative reaction from so many way before he even got elected? Can anyone think of one thing that might differentiate this guy from our other presidents? Hmmm? Anything come to mind?

And John Siebrecht, try reading the paper before assuming you know what’s in it. You decided that the “liberal” Post-Star only reviewed George Clooney’s movie, him being a liberal darling, while ignoring Mark Wahlberg’s latest. Your reasoning was that the libs love Clooney but Marky Mark’s movie — his name back in his rapper/underwear model day — “Lone Survivor,” concerned terrorism, a decidedly more patriotic theme than anything Clooney could possibly offer so, of course, the “liberal press” declined coverage. Had John read the review of Clooney’s “Monuments Men,” he’d’ve seen that it was about a group of heroic men who thwarted a Nazi scheme, always a patriotic endeavor, and they didn’t give the movie a great review. And a few pages in was the review of “Lone Survivor” with Hollywood darling Marky Mark, and they loved it.

I'm still working on becoming as polite and as gentlemanly (even if he denies it) as Al is. Much as I like throwing a blog post up here now and then, it doesn't get quite the eyeballs that the Post Star does. It's not the NY Times, but it does have a circulation of around 35,000. And it's not the preaching to the converted that posting and commenting online is.

It's also quite likely that no one from my district in NY is going to come here and then go out and vote for Aaron Woolf based on my pearls of wisdom. Maybe my gentle ribbing of Elise Stefanik in the local paper will have some effect, though.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Good News, New Yorkers

No, Andrew Cuomo has not steeped aside to make room for Zephyr Teachout on the ballot. But, your chances of being the victim of gun violence is lower than if you lived some God-fearing, Red State Hellhole.

(B)lue states are far safer than red states, according new analyses of the most recent data. That’s because states with the most gun controls, which are almost all blue, tend to have fewer gun owners and fewer guns used in suicides, crime and domestic disputes.


“The five states with the highest per capita gun death rates in 2011 were Louisiana, Mississippi, Alaska, Wyoming, and Montana,”... The state with the lowest gun death rate in the nation was Rhode Island, followed by Hawaii, Massachusetts, New York, and New Jersey.

And the bad news.

Put another way, Australia, founded by exiled British criminals, had 1/12th the level of gun violence of the U.S. The U.K had 1/45th the level of American gun violence.

So as to not leave on a down note, consider that your fellow Americans in Red States are dying at a faster rate than those of us not pursuing our 2nd amendment rights to the hilt. It's good that they don't believe in Darwinism.

Yes, I realize hilts are on swords, not guns. 

Friday, June 27, 2014

England Has Red States, Too


The number of people who receive more in benefits and public services than they pay in tax is at record levels, official figures show.

More than half of households now take more from the public purse than they contribute, thanks to a generation of surging Government expenditure. 

Which raises (not begs) the question, are these people who are getting more than they are giving going around in 18th century garb pissing and moaning about the government? Probably not. They have more experience than we do with Socialism or Communism or Muslimism or whateverism Obama is now.

Hat tip to you, Sweetie Pie.

And Now For Something Completely Different: Why don't we get pols like this in New York?

KFOR in Oklahoma reports that Timothy Ray Murray believes Rep. Frank Lucas (R-Okla.), his opponent in the congressional Republican primary, was executed three years ago and is being represented by a look-alike. Because he believes Lucas is really dead, Murray said he will challenge the results of Tuesday's Republican primary, in which Murray received 5.2 percent of the vote. Lucas won the primary with 82.8 percent of the vote.

I guess if your primary opponent gets 83% of the vote you have to take desperate measures. I wish Murray all the luck in this.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Out Of Context

He could have said it was Hannitized.

Hillary Clinton would "probably get shot" if she entered the state as a presidential candidate.

Not really sure how you put something like that into a context where it would not come off as assholish. 

"It certainly was not meant in a threatening or hostile way at all. It was just a comment. Perhaps I used the wrong word."

Oh, that explains it. It's lucky Johnny (?) Rhoda isn't a district party chair or anything. He is? Please keep these crazies below the Mason-Dixon. He could always join Blackwater to get his fill of killing innocent people. Allegedly.

One of the guards is accused of first-degree murder, while the others face charges of voluntary manslaughter. They deny all charges.

Prosecutors say the Blackwater guards harboured deep hostility toward Iraqis and boasted of indiscriminate firing of their weapons.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

I Get Published (Twice)

Yeah, it's just letters to the editor.

Congrats to candidates Matt Doheny and Elise Stefanik on the AQ ratings from the NRA. Highest rating! The NRA recently affirmed support for a group called Open Carry Texas. OCT was in the news for showing up at restaurants with assault rifles slung across their backs. It would be interesting to know if there are any questions on the test pertaining to open carry laws.

All the candidates running for representative have expressed support for the rights of hunters. I don’t believe that is where the argument is joined, though. Anyone short of a PETA member is good with that. Me? I like living in a state where I can stop for a burger and not have to worry about the posse walking in. Gives me indigestion. Paradoxically, six with guns is better than one, though.

The NRA has become nothing more than a mouthpiece for the gun industry. I can’t see why anyone running for office still seeks their approval.

Pretty sure more people see it in the Post Star than do here, though. And that's OK because influencing the opinions of people who live in my area are is more important to me than those who stumble across my bon mots here. A little further back:

No yellow ribbons round the oak tree for Bowe Bergdahl in Monday’s “Street-Wise.” Four out of five have him convicted of desertion and are willing to outsource the punishment to the Taliban. Bergdahl may be guilty of desertion, but if he is, he should be convicted in a court martial and serve his time in Leavenworth. I’d like to speculate if you asked these five people to name the greatest president of the past 100 years, at least three of them would say Ronald Reagan.

Here’s a history lesson for the young folks: Reagan traded arms for hostages numerous times with the Iranians. And while that was going on, Donald Rumsfeld was palling around in Iraq with Saddam Hussein.
And did I mention his administration was also supplying weapons to a group in Afghanistan led by Osama bin Laden? And for good measure, in violation of Congress, they were funding a group of “freedom fighters” in Nicaragua called the Contras. The scare quotes are there because most sentient beings would consider the Contras to have been terrorists. The hypocrisy of Oliver North to criticize the Bergdahl deal is off the charts.

Do yourself a favor and read up on the Iran-Contra affair. Fascinating stuff. Better than le Carre.
After that, you can look at the events in Beirut during those years and contrast it with Benghazi.
You’ll see why the Republican-led Congress is more interested in ginning up scandals concerning President Barack Obama and the Clintons.

By the way, Israel, not exactly a wuss in dealing with violent adversaries, trades hostages on a fairly regular basis.

Zephyr Teachout News: I had written Teachout off perhaps prematurely. The dream is still alive.

Zephyr Teachout, the Fordham law professor considering a Democratic primary challenge to Governor Andrew Cuomo, said she still hasn't made a final decision about running but is preparing to circulate petitions just in case.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

We Don't Need No Stinkin' Art Galleries

This polling was really interesting, but my favorite part:

(C)onservatives are 50 points less likely than liberals to want to live in communities with cultural institutions such as art museums and theaters.

The moral of this story is that if you don't want a raving conservative living near you, find a house near a museum or art gallery. I repeat:

I'd like to start by asking all those who are currently living in right-wing hell-holes in this country to consider moving to the Northeast Kingdom of our once-great country. This began as an invite to the folks  in Nevada who are burdened with sharing their state with Cliven Bundy and his gang of over-armed and under-educated militia members. I'm also asking all those who are unhappy living under the rule of King Andrew to consider moving to one of these right-wing hell-holes where you undoubtedly be happier.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Because It May Interest Some

And because these guys did the Lord's work in putting it together.

Here’s the short version: The United States invaded Iraq in 2003, claiming that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein had both weapons of mass destruction and connections to Al Qaeda. He had neither. Today, both Saddam Hussein and the United States are gone from Iraq. In their place? Al Qaeda.

I have a feeling that unfortunately this is going to come in handy in the near future for knocking down wingnut bullshit about how Obama "lost" Iraq.

Monday Extra: This is something I've been thinking about the last few days. Maybe I have a future in the State Department. At least if my garden didn't need some much work.

Secretary of State John Kerry cautiously signaled on Monday that the United States would be open to cooperating with Iran militarily in Iraq to beat back al Qaida-inspired fighters who pose an "existential" danger to that war-torn country and may look to target Europe and the United States. 

In the interest of making lemonades out of the lemons that George Bush turned Iraq into maybe we can at least gain some rapprochement out of the situation. We've left big, stinking piles of shit on Iran's Eastern and Western borders. Both of our countries have a vested interest in seeing them cleaned up. 

UPDATED: Fred Kagan and Wm. Kristol disagree with me, I'm feeling much better about the idea that we should work with Iran. What's President Obama got to lose? The RightWing Media Congressional Complex is going complain about whatever he does anyway. He doesn't have to run for re-election. Israel can have a non-obstructionist role if they like. Time to earn that Nobel, Barack!   

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Because I Like Johnny Cash

Does there need to be another reason? OK. Don't take them to Chipotle's or Cheesecake Factory or Applebee's or your other dining establishment of choice. Don't take them into schools, churches, synagogues, mosques, etc. Add Walmart to that list cuz you could end up like Billy Joe.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Fox Has Done Its Job

Their work is complete. The nation now has become majority wingnut.

Just over a week after U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was freed by the Taliban, a CBS News Poll shows 45 percent of Americans disapprove of the deal that saw him released in exchange for five Taliban militants, while 37 percent approve of it. 

The good news, if you can call it that:

(J)ust over half of Democrats approve.


My dream is that Obama went on TV and said, American People, I've decided, since this Bergdahl guy is a deserter and all, to leave his ass in Afghanistan. Let the Taliban punish him. That is what the Right in this country want now. Right? So, do you suppose Right Wing Media would be praising him up and down for that decision? Noooo. But, meanwhile he has already obtained Bergdahl's release. He waits for the outrage over that and walks out with his arm around Bergdahl and says, "pwned." Yes, it is nice in my dream-world.

Bergdahl had some shitty luck there. Besides being a POW for 5 years, I mean. If he'd been released with Bush as prez, he'd be getting ticker-tape parades, at least in his hometown, right now. As it is, I guess they've canceled any celebrations there because of right-wing nuts.

There are people in this country who live to be outraged. That's what the guy and woman in the Las Vegas shooting were. The most recent one that is. I hope. I gotta go back to my dreamworld now because I'm channeling Jim now.

Thank you Tbogg for this link and hallowed be your name.

On Thursday, a man at the store in Brighton, Mich., reached for his wallet and accidentally grabbed his gun, according to the Daily Press and Argus. The .40-caliber Glock went off, and the 32-year-old ended up shooting himself in the rear end. 

And there are two more cases at the link because who hasn't shot himself in the ass a time or two?

Sunday, June 8, 2014

New York Dodged a Bullet

What a nasty person my home state could have had for a senator. If you can't get through all of it don't feel bad. I made it about two thirds and ripped the ear buds out. Christ! There's someone more shrill than Malkin.

In all fairness, we did dodge that bullet with the same space separating the average neocon chickenhawk from actual combat danger.

(A) Quinnipiac University poll found Pirro would lose to Clinton 62 percent to 30 percent.

Monday, June 2, 2014

You Said It All, Phil

I read this quote before I saw who introduced him.

“I guess the GOP may be more desperate than I thought to call somebody like me," he said.

He looks top shelf compared to the master of ceremonies.

Robertson, who was introduced by Sarah Palin, closed the speech with a minutes-long prayer, said "Amen, I'm done," and walked off. 

Are there any Republicans who aren't pretending to be something they're not? I still refuse to believe Trump is a billionaire until I see a financial statement. 

"Duck Dynasty" star Phil Robertson on Thursday urged his fellow Republicans to bring their party back to God as it seeks its way forward.  

I'm confused since I thought many of the followers of that religion were convinced that God or Jesus or the Holy Ghost was on his way back soon. I know they are all the same somehow, but I'm never going to understand that. I don't believe he gave many specifics on how the GOP should move back toward God other than the command to "get Godly."

Friday, May 30, 2014

Zephyr Teachout For Governor

And not just because she has one of the coolest names ever.  She might actually take a shot at reducing the bi-partisan corruption in NY state.

An excerpt from the blurb for the forthcoming book reads: "For two centuries the framers’ ideas about corruption flourished in the courts, even in the absence of clear rules governing voters, civil officers, and elected officials. Should a law that was passed by a state legislature be overturned because half of its members were bribed? What kinds of lobbying activity were corrupt, and what kinds were legal? When does an implicit promise count as bribery?" 

The book also touches on the U.S. Supreme Court's Citizens United decision which gave corporations the right to spend unlimited money to influence elections. Teachout writes that the Citizens United decision transformed American politics for the worse, again speaking to her background as an advocate for public campaign financing.

That she worked for Howard Dean, was active with the Occupy movement and was rejected for the Moreland Commission is a bonus. And it's fine with me if this reduces Cuomo's chances of becoming president to zero. 

Her experience with Dean is a clear indication that Teachout knows how to mobilize people on the grassroots level, an attribute that will surely come in handy if she ends up as the Working Families Party gubernatorial nominee. 

UPDATE: Teachout missed making the Working Families ticket. Doesn't really sound like she's going to run against Cuomo in the primary. Maybe someday, tho.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

No, We Can't All Get Along

I'd like to start by asking all those who are currently living in right-wing hell-holes in this country to consider moving to the Northeast Kingdom of our once-great country. This began as an invite to the folks  in Nevada who are burdened with sharing their state with Cliven Bundy and his gang of over-armed and under-educated militia members. I'm also asking all those who are unhappy living under the rule of King Andrew to consider moving to one of these right-wing hell-holes where you undoubtedly be  happier. I'm thinking of starting an exchange program. Let's just divide up. Shirts and skins.

So here is the Cliven Bundy update

1)Authorities call bullshit on Bundy's land claims.

2)Militia members threaten members of the community.

3)Civil war is threatened between Bundy supporters.

4)Authorities prepare for charges to be filed against all involved.

5)Violence spreads to Utah

If we can summarize what’s happened since the spotlight moved on, we see the ongoing spread of lies and violence on the one hand — which is completely unsurprising. The almost-shooting war that Bundy supporters got themselves into is precisely the reason that the Second Amendment doesn’t mean what they think it means: As John Locke’s social contract theory explained, civil society was created because individual force cannot guarantee peace and security — even among the supposedly like-minded. Hence, the turning of violence against one another was just as predictable as its threatened spread to Utah as well.

On the other hand, we see a deliberately restrained, but methodical law enforcement process underway. Let’s hope it stays that way, because nothing damages the law as badly as those who abuse its authority, or use it recklessly. But let’s also hope they don’t take too long in beginning to bring folks to justice. Hatred, lies and violence already have too big a head start. We don’t need to let them get any further ahead.

Nearly forgot to mention that, apparently, fighting the tyranny that is Barack Obama's federal government doesn't pay anything. I mean, Bundy is not paying his grazing fees why would he pay these yahoos. So, if anyone passing through here would like to slip a few bucks in the tip jar of these domestic terrorists...

The life of an ever-vigilant anti-government armed patriot is hard. And by hard, I mean dull and unproductive. Also, not very profitable. Maybe that's why all those guys hanging out cleaning their guns in Nevada are now begging hard-working Americans to please give them some money.

I would, but I already gave to SPLC.

Monday, May 12, 2014

And Take Ann Coulter Away

I hate to even give my little bit of attention and waste any bytes or internet storage space on Ann Coulter, but sometimes rules have to be broken. Apparently Ann was jealous of the Nigerian girls who were kidnapped and thereby diverted the world's attention away from her.

View image on Twitter 

And then folks who can do photoshop, unlike myself, had fun with her. My favorite:

Tom Tomorrow  

OK, I only understood about half of that, but then I don't have one-eyed aliens watching me.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Law and Order Party No More

Fresh off the embarrassment caused by the enshrinement of Cliven (or is it Cloven) Bundy, Fox News may be set to hoist Michael Grimm onto the pedestal.

“Are you kidding me?" Rivera said on his WABC radio show on Tuesday, according to The New York Observer. "You indict an FBI hero agent, a combat veteran of the United States Marines, a two-term congressman, the only Republican in the area, and you indict him for hiring undocumented immigrants?

My first thought was that restauranteurs don't make laws and lawmakers do, but apparently Grimm is a restauranteur as well as a lawmaker. He'd probably make a good Fox host. And they're very liberal about a little hijinx.

The charges stem from Grimm's time running a New York City restaurant called Healthalicious. The government says Grimm concealed over a million dollars in gross receipts, along with hundreds of thousands of dollars of employees' wages. The charges against Grimm include wire and mail fraud, helping prepare false tax returns, perjury, and -- as Rivera pointed out Tuesday -- hiring undocumented workers. Rivera said that charge in particular suggested the prosecution of the Staten Island congressman was a "pathetic, politically motivated witch hunt."   

It may be a  witch hunt, but it doesn't look that pathetic. It looks whatever the opposite of pathetic is. Well, innocent until, hopefully, proven guilty I always say (unlike Ed Meese). I guess Rivera is a lawyer, but I have to wonder if anyone actually ever was acquitted using the "everybody does it" defense.  I'll give Geraldo the last word. Fair and balanced I am.

Michael Grimm is a great guy. I know him personally. We have hung out together. He’s one of the few people I stood shoulder-to-shoulder with in the last election. A hero!”

UPDATE: Sean Hannity is doubling down on depravity.

Fox host Sean Hannity dismissed the murder convictions of a Minnesota homeowner who used excessive force in killing two teenagers who broke into his home, claiming with exasperation, "They broke into the guy's house."

Byron Smith's actions:

After spotting a neighbor he believed had previously burglarized his house, Smith moved his car to make his home seem unoccupied and then waited in his basement "with a book, energy bars, a bottle of water and two guns."

Smith also set up an audio recording which captured what transpired. After breaking a window, Brady came down the basement stairs and was shot two times. Smith was then heard saying, "You're dead," before firing a third shot into his face. He then put Brady's body on a tarp and moved him to another room.

Moments later, Smith wounded and then killed Kifer execution-style with a shot under her chin.

There's more at Media Matters, but I feel soiled just putting this much up.  Also see Digby at Salon.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Wingnut on the Pulpit

Reverend John Koletas in Troy believes in keeping his flock well-armed.

After a sermon connecting the "Christian values" of America's founding fathers with the right to bear arms, an upstate New York Baptist minister has raffled off a new Smith & Wesson M&P semi-automatic rifle.

Jesus wept  blasted the money changers. I'm too lazy to look, but I'm sure the outcry would have reached Heaven itself if this had taken place in a mosque.

(Koletas) said in an online letter that he wanted to honor gun owners "who have been so viciously attacked by the antichristian socialist media" and politicians.

He's going to have to kick it up some if he wants to replace Fred Phelps. Good news on the politician front. In my district, the contenders to replace Rep. Owens are in lockstep defending gun rights, Democrat, Republican and Green Party alike. There's voters in the hills of the Adirondacks.

Koletas has attempted to justify his bizarre giveaway by arguing that America “was built with the King James Bible and the gun" in a letter to his congregation.

Yes. Though I don't give present day gun owners any credit for the Trail of Tears or the building of America. To end with some good news, I was pleasantly surprised to see this today what with all the kvetching I see in the Post Star about the SAFE Act.

A year after the SAFE Act gun-control law was enacted, voters support it by a 2-to-1 margin.

What's better is that I found that on WHAM, the home of my favorite NY wingnut, Bob Lonsberry. And thank you Reverend Koletas for giving me an excuse to put up the Beat Farmers, yet again.

Reverend Alan Rudnick has a nice commentary on this issue at the Times Union and reminded me of a peace loving Jesus episode.

For even upon Jesus’ arrest, a sword was drawn by Peter, and Jesus prohibited him saying, ”Those who live by the sword, die by the sword.” In other words, “if by your actions you encourage violence, expect violence to come to you.”

Thursday, March 6, 2014

At Least He Didn't Call For Death Panels

I know Dan Altman is an economist, but he didn't make the case for me that "old people are sucking us dry" (and not in a good way). And I realize he likely didn't entitle the column, but I would think he'd have some input as to what goes above the piece. As someone who hopes to reach "entitlement" age someday and start sucking that sweet teat that gives government money I was glad to see him point out that:

By contrast, much of mandatory outlays are designed to prevent drags on growth. Reducing poverty and improving health among retirees and the elderly frees up time and resources for the working-age population. Undoubtedly, this is important to the economy as well.

So, he's not putting me in the wood-chipper yet. But, old farts are taking lots of government money that could be better spent?

This situation is not the fault of the elderly. They were promised certain benefits during their lives, and they are at least entitled to try to collect them. This is a time of sacrifice, though, and everyone -- including the country's seniors -- must surely give a little. The problem is that no sitting politician seems willing to ask them. 

I like the part about seniors being entitled to try to collect them. But anyway, it's really the fault of gutless politicians. Moving on from greedy seniors he makes the leap where I miss the connection, though.

As a result, the discretionary share of spending dwindles while mandatory outlays go unchecked. Some of the costs of this choice may already be apparent. Consider, for example, how the ratio of patents to GDP has evolved in the United States and other major economies. From almost identical starting points in 1991, China and Germany have managed to raise their productivity in terms of patent applications much higher than the United States has.

Altman notes Germany outspends us on science.
The German government now spends more than $240 per person on science, which would work out to more than $75 billion a year in the United States. But the combined budgets of the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health come to less than $40 billion. 

Since I'm aware that there were people collecting social security long before le deluge started in 1991, I'd like to suggest an alternative hypothesis for our falling behind the Germans and Chinese. I could blame it in part on Jimmy Carter who got the notion of a Bible blessed president. And Ronald Reagan who carried it further with the full blessings of Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and every other Christian con man out there. And the doves are still coming home to roost.

Forty six percent Americans believed in creationism, 32 percent believed in theistic evolution and 15 percent believed in evolution without any divine intervention.

I realize there are questions about evolution, but there are problems with trying to believe in two contradictory tales of creation in Genesis has its problems too. It could just be that Germany and China have a higher percentage of people who believe in science. There's hope, though.

The survey found that 50 percent of Americans "are convinced the climate is changing" and another 34 percent believe it "is probably changing." Duke said this is the highest level of belief in climate change since 2007. 

I don't know whether it is occurring. Since I don't have the time to become a climatologist, I'm casting my lot with the people who were not trying to sell me on Obama not being born in the US and other such rot. Best I can do. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Trump For Governor

No, not really. Not for me anyway. God knows, I'd like to see him on the ballot, though. Apparently, there are Republicans in our fair state who are enamored of him.

For many in the crowd, the well-known Trump represents the Republicans' best chance at defeating Cuomo.

I'm too lazy to look through the internet and find any indication of how he polls with the hoi polloi like myself. Couldn't help myself. Not doing so well. Ironically, he reminds me of Andrew's father's famous rendition of Hamlet. Except, of course, while there may have been an element of self-promotion in Mario's dithering, Trump's is 100%.

I'm pretty sure the GOP of NY is not about to take advice from me, but I would politely tell The Donald to go away. Since that isn't likely to penetrate His Ego, I would ask to see financial statements proving He is actually a billionaire before His name will again be floated publicly again as a serious candidate for any office. Just a modest proposal.

Trump was greeted outside the restaurant by a couple of dozen opponents of the law, including Tommy Thompson, of Attica, who wore a Revolutionary War-style tri-cornered hat.

"I'd vote for Goofy if he ran against Cuomo," Thompson said.

Yes Tommy, you would. But will a more independent voter? Donald, we want to see your birth certificate financial statements.That's all you gotta ask him and he'll go away. Or maybe make him say his name backwards.  

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Freedom of Speech in Kansas

I'm so glad I don't use Twitter or much other social media. I'm considering a waiting period on blog posts for myself. Some cooling off time. If I lived in Kansas and was an educator I would make that an iron-clad rule.

In December the (Kansas Board of Regents) approved a policy that gives any state university’s CEO “the authority to suspend, dismiss or terminate from employment any faculty or staff member who makes improper use of social media.”
“Social media” is defined in the policy as just about anything that involves electrons, from Twitter to Flickr, including, presumably, email.
“Improper use” includes the incitement of violence and the disclosure of confidential student information. Fair enough.
But “improper use” also includes more-vague offenses, such as use of social media that is “ contrary to the best interests of the university,” or that impairs “discipline by superiors or harmony among co-workers,” or that “adversely affects the university’s ability to efficiently provide services.”

Hope for some people's sakes this doesn't catch on in blue states.

Thus the language of the proposed policy twice mentions “efficiency,” which in factories means balancing the cost of production with the saleability of the product.

Well, you say it's to improve efficiency. No ulterior motives. Alright, then.

I didn't even know colleges had CEOs.

SPECIAL ALERT: All you moonbats out there donating your hard-earned dollars to Democrats, take a good look at who you're sending it to.

The National Republican Congressional Committee has launched a series of websites that look like they support a Democratic candidate for Congress, but instead direct contributions to the Republican Party instead.

Monday, February 3, 2014

America The Beautiful vs Some Ugly Americans

(Watch the behind the scenes videos, too. To steal from the title, America, the beautiful.)

But sadly, not everyone thinks so:
Coca Cola ad on Super Bowl -- American's brand? Hm. | Allen B. West - (Allen West's post also got a memeorandum thread.)

Why Coca Cola's Multicultural 'America the Beautiful' Ad Was Offensive - Michael Patrick Leahy - "Big Government"

The Worst Super Bowl Commercial: Coca Cola Butchers “America The Beautiful” With Multiple Languages | John Hawkins - Right Wing News

Coca Cola's pro-multuculturalism, anti-American "America the Beautiful" video ads | 24Ahead

Beck: Coke's Super Bowl Ad Was An 'In Your Face' Effort To 'Divide People' | Right Wing Watch (Predictably, Glenn Beck sees a conspiracy...and Coke is in on it. [They all are!!])

Coca-Cola Under Fire For Mostly Non-English Super Bowl Commercial Featuring 'America The Beautiful' - Now The End Begins

Coke Balkanizes USA With Super Bowl Ad | Warner Todd Huston - Right Wing News

Of course, these people are obviously not conservatives or Republicans (or have ever met or even stood next to anyone who was), and they are obviously not, NOT, NOT saying anything bigoted or xenophobic... Just ask this guy:

These conservatives are not the bigots you're looking for. Really. Trust them.

UPDATE: And now Charles C. W. Cooke's tweet doesn't exist either. A hallucination. Like it never ever happened.)
If you're seeing a photo of Cooke's deleted tweet, you're hallucinating.


Public Shaming - Speak English!: Racist Revolt As Coca-Cola Airs Multilingual ‘America the Beautiful’ SuperBowl Ad

So... I know which ad I'm voting for in the Ad Blitz. No pressure...but please think about it.

Also talking about it... (Good chance this list'll be updated as more people post):
Coca-Cola’s “It’s Beautiful” Super Bowl Ad Brings Out Some Ugly Americans |

Coca-Cola's America the Beautiful Super Bowl Commercial Sparks Outrage on Twitter | E! Online

#SpeakAmerican trends on Twitter after backlash of Coke's 'America the Beautiful' Super Bowl ad (video, reaction, poll) |

Allen West does not like you singing his America songs in your weird foreign mud-language | The Raw Story

Coca-Cola 'America the Beautiful' Super Bowl Ad Celebrates Diversity, Twitter Racists Explode (VIDEO)

Twitter Got Crazy And Ugly In Response To Coca-Cola’s “It’s Beautiful” Super Bowl Commercial | College Spun – Social. Local. Consumable. College Sports.

Dumb People Mad At Multilingual "America The Beautiful" Coca-Cola Ad

Coke’s ‘un-American’ Super Bowl ad sparks instant, intense outrage - BizPac Review

Coke adds life, advertising world � Balloon Juice (Thanks for the ear-worm, BJ)

Language Log � Coca-Cola's multilingual "America the Beautiful"

Coca-Cola's Multicultural Super Bowl Ad Really Angered Conservatives (Another memeorandum thread.)

Coca Cola Super Bowl Ad Inspires Racist Twitter Backlash | Mediaite

Superbowl Coke Ad Flushes Out Dumbest Bottom Feeders Of The Right | The Raw Story

Breitbart "News" Explains Why Coca Cola's Multicultural "America the Beautiful" Ad Was Horribly Offensive - Little Green Footballs

Allen West Will Be Haunted By The Horror Of The Coca-Cola Superbowl Ad For The Rest Of His Life - Happy Nice Time People

And sorta lost in the "'merka for monolingual 'merkins" kerfuffle: Watch now: Coca-Cola unveils gay-inclusive ad during Super Bowl XLVIII | GLAAD

In the spirit, I thought I'd end with this:
(I recall this controversy, too... It's like it's not patriotism unless it's their patriotism.)

Beautiful. Just beautiful.

Friday, January 31, 2014

A Good Day For Compassionate Conservatism

OK, I'm going to try to make up for saying nasty things aboot Mark Steyn yesterday. Today comes news of two conservatives promoting policies that appeal to us progressive moonbats. First up is Bernard Kerik. Yeah, I can't believe that one either. And yet there are people who say rehabilitation doesn't work. We're pretty sure he was actually in prison and not Obama Camp.

According to a report from the Huffington Post, Kerik, while speaking at a service center for former prisoners in Virginia, was blunt and straightforward: “The system doesn’t work.”

Kerik went on to describe the “broken” system in more detail, emphasizing the negative consequences of locking up so many people, often for nonviolent crimes like possessing small amounts of illegal substances.

He also argued against mandatory minimum laws, which deprive judges of the ability to render sentences they believe appropriate, often forcing them to send people into incarceration for longer than they would if given the choice.

Very nice, Bernie. I'm happy to see you have that come to Chuck Colson moment. Second up on my "I can't believe a Conservative is saying this" list for today is Ron Unz. He wants to raise the minimum wage! And he's a billionaire! I take back most of the bad things I've said about rich Conservatives. This does not yet apply to the Koch's.

(T)he case for raising the minimum wage to $12 an hour—the second highest statewide proposal in the country—isn’t even coming from a Democrat. It’s coming from California Republican multi-millionaire businessman Ron Unz, an ex-gubernatorial candidate, former publisher of the American Conservative and the lone sponsor of a 2014 ballot measure for a statewide $12 minimum wage.

And there's a chance he is not going to be tarred and feathered.

Prominent economists of all ideological persuasions long believed that raising the U.S. minimum wage would retard job growth, creating unintended hardship for those at the bottom of the ladder.

Today, that consensus is eroding, and a vigorous debate has developed as some argue that boosting the wage would pull millions out of poverty.

A moderate increase in the minimum wage won't raise unemployment among low-skilled workers, according to recent studies, many economists say. They are joined by some business executives who say they can live with that, especially if it's coupled with tax relief. 

What's good for Walmart is good for the US.

I would actually argue that if you are looking at a company like Walmart that is suffering economically these days, because so many of the Walmart shoppers are getting too poor to shop at Walmart, what you are talking about is shifting up to maybe $150 billion a year from the sort of families that don’t shop at Walmart to the sort of families that do shop at Walmart. Walmart raises their prices by 1 percent, roughly one time, and they get a huge amount of extra business.

I'm hoping that means their employees will be able to afford to shop there as well, even if they can't afford a model T.

Good on you as well, Ron Unz. I'm looking forward to the day when I'll be able to happily "pull the lever" for a pol with an R after his name. You give me hope.

Happy Year of the Horse everyone! 

Thursday, January 30, 2014

When Bad Things Happen To Bad People

I don't think it's really going to "kill" National Review. Pretty sure its supporters have deep enough pockets to cover any damages if they are even assessed. But Mark Steyn is probably the most dickish bastard to ever come out of Canada. Oops!

In July, Judge Natalia Combs Greene rejected a motion to dismiss the suit. The defendants appealed, and last week D.C. Superior Court Judge Frederick Weisberg rejected the motion again, opening the door for the discovery phase of the lawsuit to begin. That's not all. On Christmas Eve, Steyn (who regularly guest hosts Rush Limbaugh's radio show) wrote a blog post in which he excoriated Greene, accusing her of incompetence, stupidity, and obtuseness. 

I'm, of course, all for free speech even from cranks. But then, I have to rank good taste higher. And National Review has descended into bad taste and probably doesn't have a lot of redeeming qualities. I won't be contributing to the Mark Steyn Defense Fund anytime soon, if such exists, and I'm sure it does.

 Now, the lawsuit may well be dismissed down the road. But the longer it continues, the more likely it becomes that Mann will eventually prevail, either by forcing an expensive settlement or by prevailing in court and winning a substantial penalty from the defendants.
It's doubtful that National Review could survive either outcome. Small magazines often lose money and only rarely manage to break even. They certainly don't have substantial legal budgets, let alone cash to cover an expensive payout. Indeed, in 2005, Buckley said the magazine had lost $25 million over 50 years.

It lost a half million a year? Do these people even know how capitalism works? I thought they were the business savvy party. Well it can only help The Weekly Standard.

Today the magazine enjoys circulation roughly equivalent to that of The Nation, the American Left's leading journal of opinion, and more than twice that of William Kristol's The Weekly Standard, its primary competition on the Right.

If NR wants some advice, I would suggest they break Steyn's fingers and duct tape his pie hole. Just sayin'.

APOLOGIES: I should probably apologize to Mr. Steyn first, though I doubt he will read any of this. I don't agree with his politics, nor does he agree with mine. Very likely. Many of my comments in this post are, indeed, dickish. And for that I apologize to him and to Mr. Casper. I did not do my homework on this post and several commenters were good enough to point this out to me. I will try to make any future posts here more upbeat and factual. It would be cowardly for me to take the post down, so the only option I see is to leave this sincere apology as an end-note.   

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Well Done, Pete Seeger

Just wanted to note here the passing of Pete Seeger.

The banjo-picking troubadour who sang for migrant workers, college students and star-struck presidents in a career that introduced generations of Americans to their folk music heritage died Monday at the age of 94. Seeger’s grandson, Kitama Cahill-Jackson, said his grandfather died peacefully in his sleep around 9:30 p.m. at New York Presbyterian Hospital, where he had been for six days. Family members were with him.

“He was chopping wood 10 days ago,” Cahill-Jackson recalled.

That's a small bit of a very nice obituary at Salon. 

Monday, January 27, 2014

Guilt-Free Eating (Cross Posted From Hometown USA)

Since I've decided to turn Hometown into a cult of personality blog, it's important that any unsuspecting victims who wander through here are aware of the what and why of my diet. We're all narcissists now anyway, otherwise Twitter and selfies would not exist. Would they?

For the past 3 months, I've been subsisting (well, apparently, since I've lost only 7 pounds) on a, 99% of the time, vegetarian diet. Initially the reason was to lose weight and 7 pounds is better than nothing. But, this is an inactive time of the year and that was mostly during the cookie season. So many cookies between Thanksgiving and New Years! So we'll see how it works out when the freezin' season is over and gardening begins. Aside from wanting to appear buff for the beach this Summer there are health considerations. With that in mind I'll throw in a plug for Forks Over Knives, a DVD full of vegan propaganda, if you'd like some convincing of the health benefits. I love to eat meat. Bill Clinton Loves to eat meat. If Bill and I can do it, anyone can become an herbivore. But don't think just of yourself, or in this case myself, since this is my cult here.

You don't have to have the sensibilities of a PETA devotee to appreciate that animals raised for food in this country don't have the best lives. Bluntly stated, they're tortured from birth to death. Buster's Law does not apply to them. I've known that for a long time, but have happily rejected the cognitive dissonance. Admittedly this was not my overriding reason for the change in diet, though, and I'm not going to try to shame anyone into giving up meat. And besides, those animals are getting their revenge through the saturated fat, hormones and antibiotics you're ingesting. So, rather than harp on how cruel we are to these creatures, I'll get back to why it's important for you, my "follower," to abstain.

I want to live in a country and a world that's not polluted beyond hope of renewal. I've moved beyond the urge to copy and paste large swathes of the internet and basically claim it as terra incognita. So, just go to the link. In short, as your beloved leader, I implore you to make this planet healthier for me and for yourselves as well.

Ignoring the Warnings 

Friday, January 24, 2014

A Painful Truth

I realize I wasn't voting for Noam Chomsky when casting a vote for Barack Obama. I can understand the strikes early in his administration that went wrong and give him a pass on those.

Five years ago, on January 23 2009, a CIA drone flattened a house in Pakistan’s tribal regions. It was the third day of Barack Obama’s presidency, and this was the new commander-in-chief’s first covert drone strike.

Initial reports said up to ten militants were killed, including foreign fighters and possibly a ‘high-value target’ – a successful first hit for the fledgling administration.

But reports of civilian casualties began to emerge. As later reports revealed, the strike was far from a success. At least nine civilians died, most of them from one family. There was one survivor, 14-year-old Fahim Qureshi, but with horrific injuries including shrapnel wounds in his stomach, a fractured skull and a lost eye, he was as much a victim as his dead relatives.

 Later that day, the CIA attacked again – and levelled another house. It proved another mistake, this time one that killed between five and ten people, all civilians.

And since it was three days earlier, he couldn't have foreseen this tragic start to the drone program under his control.

Three days earlier, in his inauguration address, Obama had told the world ‘that America is a friend of each nation, and every man, woman and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity.’

The fact that the number of drone strikes we've conducted since Obama took office has increased is really no surprise. When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like al-Qaeda.

Across Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia, the Obama administration has launched more than 390 drone strikes in the five years since the first attack that injured Qureshi – eight times as many as were launched in the entire Bush presidency. These strikes have killed more than 2,400 people, at least 273 of them reportedly civilians.

And I'm not sure this is as reassuring as it's meant to be.

Although drone strikes under Obama’s presidency have killed nearly six times as many people as were killed under Bush, the casualty rate – the number of people killed on average in each strike – has dropped from eight to six under Obama. The civilian casualty rate has fallen too. Strikes during the Bush years killed nearly more than three civilians in each strike on average. This has halved under Obama (1.43 civilians per strike on average). In fact reported civilian casualties in Pakistan have fallen sharply since 2010, with no confirmed reports of civilian casualties in 2013.

Among many painful truths is that Noam Chomsky (or his clone) are never going to be elected president of the United States. And of course, McCain or Romney "would have been worse." Still hurts, though.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Wisdom of Walking Away: Avoiding the need for self-defense IS self-defense (Updated 1/17/14 with link to the blog post(s) / comments I couldn't locate at original posting.)

In support of Law of Self Defense – Legally-Sound Self-Defense Strategy Rule #1: KEEP OUT OF TROUBLE IN 1st PLACE

A few excerpts:

To guide the crafting of a legally-sound self-defense strategy, I offer five basic rules:
Keep out of trouble in the first place
Minimize your legal exposure if trouble does start
Foster the confidence to act decisively when necessary
Diminish your perceived legal vulnerability
Facilitate acceptance of events
I know what you’re thinking: what’s with that first rule about “keeping out of trouble in the first place”? I don’t need to be told that, I’m the good guy, I don’t go getting into trouble.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of cases I see where an otherwise law-abiding armed citizen finds himself in legal trouble for having used force against another person, it is precisely because they failed to simply keep out of trouble in the 1st place. In talking with such folks I always ask, “looking back, were there any warning signals early on, that if you’d heeded them might have allowed you avoid the fight entirely?” The almost invariable answer, is “yes.”


As an armed citizen, however, Reeves–and all of us who arm ourselves in public–don’t have the luxury of having “bad days,” nor acting childishly. I never had a proper religious upbringing, but my wife is a good Christian lass, and when through her I cam across this passage from Corinthians I thought it really fit my philosophy of CCW:
When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child. But when I became a[n armed] man, I put away childish things.
1 Corinthians 13
To put it another way, too many people when first arming themselves feel as if, “Hey, now that I carry a gun, I don’t have to take BS from anybody.”

The truth could not be more the opposite. For those of us who carry a gun, we have to take BS from everybody. Except the felony aggressor. He we can defend ourselves against. But the merely obnoxious, bullying types that roam this earth–well, my advice is to simply avoid them.
I urge you to read the whole post, which discusses the recent shooting in a FL movie theatre.

The author has it exactly right. There are things worth killing or dying over...but not many, (and certainly not an argument over texting, somebody looking at you the wrong way or insulting your favorite football team or choice of political candidate, a dent in your car bumper, ...) There are lots of times when letting an asshole "win the argument" and walking away is the far smarter course of action, and doing so may even save your life...or his.

I read a great article set of comments at a gun rights blog about a year ago (I think) saying a very similar thing as regards George Zimmerman. Their argument was that, whatever the law decided, Zimmerman foolishly put himself in the position that lead to his firing his gun at Trayvon Martin and was no second amendment or gun rights hero. (Of course I can't locate the article now, but my searching wasn't a total loss (See below)... And if I happen to find it later, I can always add it in. UPDATE: I think it may've been several comments, beginning with this one, at THE ZIMMERMAN VERDICT, PART 1. Yes, I misremembered; The author of the post, Massad Ayoob, disagrees with that assessment. But for a VERY thorough look at the whole Zimmerman case from a gun rights perspective, offered just post verdict, Ayoob's multi-part series cannot be beat, whether you ultimately agree with his take on the specifics or not.) I don't believe the author of the piece above, Andrew Branca, shares that view of Zimmerman either, but that doesn't take away from the wisdom of his current post.
--- searching wasn't a total loss...

While I was looking for the post I described, I rediscovered one of the best arguments I've ever read in favor of gun rights. Since I both found it originally and rediscovered it via Stogie at Saberpoint, I'll give him the h/t: An opinion on gun control | Monster Hunter Nation. It is still possible to argue for gun control laws--I myself still favor thorough, universal background checks, even if that means it takes longer to complete the purchase of a firearm--but Larry Correia doesn't make it easy.

Blowing Off the Dust and Adding A Familiar Name to the Masthead (Familiar to me, anyway... How familiar you get with the guy is between you and him.)

Welcome to Kevin, my long-time no-good nihilist brother-in-arms.

Maybe one of us will actually post something here every now and again... 8>)
Stay tuned to find out.