Saturday, August 1, 2015

Do you understand ISIS?

I don't,  except in a very academic sense.  All whos, hows, whys, motivations, logic and all the stuff that makes up a society/ culture just don't register for me.  ISIS's people are a savage, dangerous and very spooky lot.  Even after reading this review ISIS remains alien.  I may have to try the reviewed books (after I finish "Understanding Iran)."

The Mystery of ISIS

Are you ready for more Middle East war?  I fear that is what is to come regardless of whom is elected in 2016.  If we decide we must rid the world of ISIS then it can only be done by our soldiers killing every last supporter of ISIS.

Have our pols changed? Or doe they just have fewer customers?

I keep Mencken's observation on pols on this blog to remind us of any politician's underlying nature.  Mencken said,

"A professional politician is a professionally dishonorable man [or woman]. In order to get anywhere near high office he [or she] has to make so many compromises and submit to so many humiliations that he [or she] becomes indistinguishable from a streetwalker."

Now I have to wonder if Mencken would allow a for a bit of deviant reclassification of pols today.  All seem to have a billionaire or two buying their services.  Maybe in the 21st century, if pols service fewer paying customers, then they remain whores, but are less a streetwalker and more a call girl.

 Million-dollar donors pump huge sums into 2016 White House race

And the guy was on track for GOP nominee

Bob McDonnell has to go "ouch" a lot.  He had the looks (most important in the TV/Video era).  He could speak reasonably well.  He was the image of a southern gentleman, kinda sorta.  He outclassed that Macaca guy Allen.

Both had Confederacy/Civil War problems, but hey, they're both Trogs so that aspect did not matter.  Allen flamed out on racism (and stupidity).   McDonnell was on track for bigger things until he and his wife accepted a gift here and a gift there from the same sleazeball.  He flamed out on stupid too.  He was tried and convicted of abusing his office.  He was not a Duke Cunningham, but the feds saw a bit too much going on between the quid and quo.  How hard is it for pols and their spouses to understand a simple idea--don't accept personal gifts of any kind.   Then again, we rarely see the best and brightest run for offices.   Come on do you really think that much of any of the candidates for Prez in either party?

Now, the Va. AG thinks Bob McI'mAFelon lose his retirement too.  After all the felony was job related.  Should he do the time and also lose his Va. dime or just do the time?

Va.’s top lawyer: Robert McDonnell should lose his state pension

Myself, I'd end his Virginia pension.  I hope the feds pursue more pols.  About the only thing that affects, forces a pol to behave decently (while in or running for office), is a threat to his money--personal and campaign.  Oh, I also hope he has permanently lost his law license too.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Religion is a pretty good way to keep traditional bigotry thriving

The most and least racially diverse U.S. religious groups

Come to think of it I've never met a non-white Episcopalian, have you?  I wonder what the parents tell their urchin spawn about race and God?

Wait until they have to be used against an enemy that has fighters...

The F35s will probably not stand up to an adversary in the air.  The plane is an example of what's wrong with the way elected and appointed officials run the government.  The F-35 is white collar welfare.  It should have been scrapped long ago, but there are too many jobs involved in almost every state.  How many general officer types have made money on the F-35 after they "retire" as they are hired by firms involved in making the plane?  What proportion of the Department of Defense budget is really white collar welfare?  I'd guess about 60-70%.  At least Medicare and Social Security collect money that is spent on recipients.  Hmm, maybe defense contractors should not be allowed to make a profit, after all they are patriots aren't they?

The Marines say the controversial F-35 fighter is now ready for combat. Now what?

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Why Does It Cost So Much To Run For Office?

People vote in primaries and general elections.  Candidates buy ads to promote themselves.  Why?

I have only missed one or two elections in my life.  I vote in primaries.  I vote in general elections. I doubt that I differ from most other primary voters.  We're a minority, at best 30% of possible voters but usually well under 15%.  For example, the last Democratic primary in Virginia had a 3.5% or so turnout.  I did not need ads for that election.  I knew about the candidates and had my mind made up well before the election.  I bet most other primary voters are like me, they follow politics and know whom they prefer.  So,  who, other than TV stations and advertising firms, benefits from all that spending?

If ads obtained turnout it might make sense.  Ads do not seem to goose primary turnout at all.

Look at at the GOP field today.  Hell even that clown Gilmore has decided to run.  He has no chance of getting anywhere--not even a 3:00 a.m. gig on FOX.  I am not a Republican.  I cannot bring myself to be a Trog.  However, if I were, I know they have only one credible candidate who can contest any Democrat, he's Jeb Bush.  Bush may or may not become their nominee.  If I were a Repub, Bush would have my vote in the primary.  Obviously, he would not in the general since I'm not an acid  drooling knuckle dragger (just like Trump, I call them as I see them, I have no biases).

In the Democratic Party, it's simple.  As soon as Sanders, entered, I sent him some money.  I prefer him and will vote for him.  If he does not get the nod, then I will vote for whomever does.  Ads did not entice me to the Sanders fold.  I've been reading about him for over 20 years.   Ads did not lure me into the Clinton camp, I've also been reading about her for 20 years.  Ads will not make me change my mind.  Chaffee is creepy noxious and O'Malley needs to explain what he did to Baltimore.  

Why does anyone spend a dime on primary voters?   For that matter, why spend a dime on the general election?  Dems will vote for any Dem.  Repubs will vote for any Trog.  Independents will  vote for Dems or Repubs, it's as though they really belonged to either party.  At best, 5% of independents will not make up their minds.  They cannot.  They flip a coin on election day, in the voting booth and then vote.

So why spend any money at all?  How does advertising really affect elections.  Maybe it gooses turnout?

On Trump

I ran across this is in the Wapo.  It's amazing.

Mark Cuban on Trump's appeal:

I don't care what his actual positions are. I don't care if he says the wrong thing. He says what's on his mind. He gives honest answers rather than prepared answers. This is more important than anything any candidate has done in years.

Wow.  As I read this, I quickly began to think the kind of person Mr. Cuban describes more a mental illness that not.  Maybe one too many scalp reductions kind of over torqued his brain.  

This Extinction Brought To You By Dentists and Other Affluent Assholes

With money you can buy all kinds of death.  Want a dead lion?  Easy.  How about some ivory?  Sure.
Need some Rhino horn to pull a  Cosby?  Done, provided you pay in cash.  The planet and its speciation would be so much better off with one less featherless biped.  What enduring talent beyond killing do we really possess?

As the world mourned Cecil the lion, five of Kenya’s endangered elephants were slain


I don't think much of hunting and hunters.  It's one thing to be starving and have to hunt game, but it's another to kill animals to satiate one's gluttony or satisfy one's bloodlust.  This dentist who killed Cecil is a pathetic excuse for a human being.  Here's how the "ace" shot killed Cecil--

Palmer is in the public crosshairs after the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force said Cecil the lion was lured out of an animal sanctuary in Zimbabwe and shot with a crossbow. But his death wasn't immediate. Cecil lived another 40 hours until the hunters tracked him down and shot him with a gun. He was then skinned and beheaded. The hunters also tried to destroy the GPS collar that Cecil was wearing as part of research backed by Oxford University, the conservation group said.

I always thought that if one cannot get a clean kill then do not shoot, period.  Ace bow hunter, my ass!  He wanted to lion's blood regardless of the collar.  He paid $50,000 to obtain a lion's death, pelt and head.  That's sick.  May his practice wither and may he suffer a year for every hour that Cecil took to finally die.  

Oh, it's a bit overboard but  PETA want the dentist strung up.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Where's your state?

I guessed Mississippi to be in last place, but instead it's Alaska.  Where's your state?

2015’s States with the Best and Worst School Systems

Getting to Know Trump Fans

I bet the guys who like Trump think forced sex with their wife is normal.  After all, that appears to be part of The Donald's m.o.  I bet Trump is real popular in Ohio.

The real Trump problem is not Trump per se, but instead it is the characteristics, traits and behaviors of his fans.  They are the America's uneducated white working class underbelly.  If they were Jesus jockeys I'd be concerned, since the whacked out evangefundies do vote in primaries.  I doubt that Trumpettes vote at all.  We'll have to see if America's Blowhard makes to Iowa or not.

Nearly half of states treat married women differently when it comes to rape

Cecil the Lion, Killed by an American Dentist

Have you followed this story?  A dentist who likes to kill animals paid $50,000 to kill, skin and bring back the head of a protected lion.  Given the "hunter's" past, I assume he purchased a poaching opportunity, period. Would you let this killer put his hands in our mouth?

I hope the guys practice and life are destroyed, but through shame and disgrace. I don't wish him to be treated as he treated Cecil.  Bluntly, he's demented, but in a nation of gun zealots obsessed with guns and death he'll probably be touted as quite normal in order for the NRA to shill guns and ammo in the name of the 2nd Amendment.  Guns and loons do seem to go together.

I'll let the reporting speak for Cecil--

Cecil the celebrity lion felled by hunters in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe: American being sought for lion poaching

The travesty of Cecil the lion

The death of Cecil the lion and the big business of big game trophy hunting

Trophy hunters are just more human scum no different from those have elephants and rhinos killed to for their bizarre self satisfactions.  Perhaps the earth really needs the 6th extinction, now.  

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Musings based on recent shootings

Technically I own two guns, so I am counted in the half of households who own guns.  I have a 16 ga. shotgun in a closet.  It hasn't been fired in 30 plus years and I have no shells for it.  I have a .23 cal.  "purse" pistol Mrs. Jake used to carry when she flew from  Tennessee to Virginia back when no one cared about guns much less smoking on planes.  It hasn't been fired, if ever, in over 40 years and ditto on shells, no ammo.

I'm not a hunter.  That activity never made much sense to me, especially when there are so many fine grocery stores everywhere.  Similarly fishing never made much sense to me, but I'm not a fish eater anyway.  I really don't own long guns.  When I was in the Army, I never wanted to be sniper, so in theory, I never found a long gun to be much of defensive weapon against random bad guys one might encounter on the street.

Pistols, on the other hand,  have one purpose. They are designed to kill one type of beast, human beings.  Oh, one might use a pistol in that odd woodland situation when one is being attacked by a rogue yam or jihadi jicama.  No, handguns are designed and meant to used on people.  I don't pack one and won't since I do feel safe and for that matter always have.  People with guns kill people.

I do have a bit of distress with those who pack to "protect" themselves.  They are dangerous to themselves, their families and others in that order.  The best way to get shot is to live in a household with pistols.  It's amazing how many folks leave pistols unsecured and loaded.  I think some of the worst shootings involve toddlers.  They find a gun and they play with them.  The results are quite deadly.  Google "child shooting" sometime.  It's sad.  For that matter Google "mass shootings,"  2015 has been a record year--204 in 204 days.

When I heard Rick Perry tell us to appropriately pack and get rid of gun free zones, I shuddered.  I'm not sure if the Bespectacled Oops-man has any idea of the amount of continual training a packer should  have to be able to protect oneself and not harm oneself, much less others.  Can you imagine how a packer would feel if in the act of protecting themselves from an urban bad guy they also killed a nearby toddler or better yet the child's mother?  Do packers think about death in terms of wastage or collateral damage?  I am waiting for the day when a theater of packers all defend themselves against a bad guy.  It will be the equivalent of an atrocious circular firing squad.  the scorecards will be sick in number of kills.   Yep, dead bad guy--1, others killed by bad guy- 6, packers killed by packers--8, innocents killed by packers--10, and if were a school instead, then we'd see something like this, number of kids killed by those trying to protect the children from the bad guy--22.

The only group which regularly receives training on how to use pistols in the face of bad guys are the police and they don't always do that credible a job, especially when the packer is white and the bad guy is not, but that's another story.

I guess the theory of protection trumps how people behave.  Have you ever had a pistol pulled on you?   It's more than distressing, it's beyond scary.

So suburban packers take a read and sign up for lots and lots of continuing education.  Remember Army types are trained to pull the trigger.  Cops get the same training citizens need, how to not pull the trigger except when you must.

Watch what happens when regular people try to use handguns in self-defense

Iran Deal

I am in the camp that says any deal is better than no deal with respect to Iran and nukes.  Any agreement that tempers, even for a few years, the development of nuclear weapons in Iran or anywhere is a plus.  Then again, I'm also one of those who have not been all that worried about Iran getting the bomb in the first place.

That Iran came to the table, stayed there and signed an agreement is quite incredible.  Iran may be changing in ways that will improve relations with the West and the U.S.  Iran will never become an ally but will back off sponsoring variations on the "death to America" chants as they back off supporting assorted groups we call terrorists but they call whatever they call freedom fighters.

If you don't know much about Iran and want a very good and reasonably short history of Iran from the time of Cyrus the Great to today, then give

"Understanding Iran: Everything You Need to Know, From Persia to the Islamic Republic, From Cyrus to Ahmadinejad"  by William R. Polk a read.

If you don't understand Iranian "hate" and distrust of the West and the United States government today, you will after you read Mr. Polk's book.  Let's just say that forced regime change is not a great way to win friends.  The Middle Eastern Islamic world is really not the same as Western Christian world.  There's more than a book involved.  If you enjoy the read and go on to other books about Iran, Iraq, and the Middle East.

Hmm, if MI-6 and the CIA had not toppled Mohammad Mosaddegh's elected Iranian government in 1951 but had supported his nationalization of Iran's oil instead, then we might not have gotten in bed with Saddam Hussein in the 1980's and avoided the assorted misadventures of the Bushes.  The Middle East would be a better place if we actually practiced what we preach.    Give the book a read.

The Donald and Rape

Donald Trump, America's Blowhard, may see his campaign for the GOP nomination dissemble very soon.  Why do I say that?  Well, every party has a third rail.  Touch it and, to be blunt, you're fucked.  The Dems never touch Social Security or Medicare, but everything else is usable in a campaign.  Donald, via  his lawyer, has had his hand placed on the the GOP's third rail--rape.

As a bee is drawn to nectar, Repubs are drawn to talking about rape (and women's sexuality).  Now The Donald has to explain why his lawyer is not an idiot and a loser over the same attorney's statements about rape and Donald's post scalp reduction surgery "rape" of Ivana that culminated in their divorce.

If Trump hired this guy to be his lawyer and spokesman then that action reflects Trump's judgement and acumen.  Hold it, didn't Trump tell us that that losers are attracted to losers?  Even if he didn't, it's plain for all to see,  The Donald is just another loser running for President.  

Here's the coverage on this story from CNN:

Trump adviser Michael Cohen: 'You cannot rape your spouse'

Are revealed sex acts and sexual talk more dangerous for Trogs or Jackasses?  Which side has had more pols fall over sexual jibber-jabber in the media (real or imagined)? Is gender becoming a new third rail of politics?

Monday, July 27, 2015


Donald Trump gets all the TV attention.  None of the other Republican's receive any free face time on  cable.  That's gotta hurt.  Of course Trump is the only one not beholden to anyone but his own bank account.  Trump mouths off and insults as he wishes and he gets covered.  The rest want to talk like Trump but are both donor and base hamstrung.

Hence, the rest need to make very outrageous statements about safe external events or people.  For example, today, Bobby Jindal swore he'd have the Westboro Baptist loons arrested if they protested the funerals of the two women killed in a movie theater in La.  Other than the Westboro congregants no one would mind if they were permanently sent to a secret CIA re-education site.   Bobby trashed them and he got at least ten seconds of free face time out of couple one hour news blocks.  Huckabee's another of the day's face time hucksters.

No one's been paying any attention to this Bible thumper crackpot .  He's sad.  If he falls in the polls he may lose a spot at the free face time extravaganza, a.k.a., the Aug. 6th debate on FOX.  To pump his noticeables a bit, he slammed Obama.

Trashing Obama does not, per se, get one a spot in the news cycle.  It's no biggie and not very creative.  However, throw in a new wrinkle to the old standby "he's a Kenyan socialist Naz " insult then a producer will say "roll it."  Mike did not let his fans down. (As to his fans, I don't know what to call non-Christian Christians, do you?)

Per Mike, Obama's Iran nuke deal will lead the Israelis (and Jews in general) straight to the oven door.  Mike is sure the Iran deal will end Israel's days.  Hmm, war and end of Israel?  I have to wonder if Mike is actually for the deal?

Based upon bits and pieces I've encountered about Christians and Israel and the Bible, I have to wonder that if Iran gets the bomb and bombs Israel, then would that be the opening act of the end of days, the rapture, tribulation, the second coming and interestingly enough the elimination of the Jews when all the sacred dust settles.  The Evangefundies are an odd lot.   Think not, then try reading a bit on any of the the above subjects in Wiki.

Begin again, again.

I quit posting much at all over the past months.  I decided to begin anew.  That didn't last long at all.  However, I didn't dump the blog.  So I guess I have to start again, again.  Or is it again, again, again (I've lost count).

One of the current news items no one can resist is Donald Trump.  As Rudy Giuliani was called America's Mayor when he tried to the nation's top political whore, we now have the Donald.  He's America's Blowhard, but he's not a political whore unless he pays himself to jerk himself off.  His apparent popularity among GOP types us not surprising.

The Trumpettes are mostly working class whites.  They have High School degrees and long ago fulfilled Everyman's Peter Principle as they ascended to their level of incompetence.  Most of them achieved that level of success within a few months to years of graduation.   In America's marketplace, they are our "losers."  Sadly they know it too.

Their self knowledge drives them to adore Donald Trump.  Trump is successful (money is the only measure).  Trump decries all who oppose him.  Trumps's language is the language his fans want to use again their superiors but cannot and retain their modest level of employment.  With Trump they can fantasize.  They build a Mittyesque world wherein they defame, decry and depose all of the evil others they know forced them to become American Losers.  As they cheer Trump, they express their desire to eviscerate everyone else.

For a Trumpster, Donald tells it like it is.  He speaks as a regular Joe wants to speak, but cannot.  As I watch and listen to Trump supporters, I feel a fleeting political sadness for them but then remember they can vote.