Friday, December 30, 2011

Polenta vs. Corn Mush

As near as I can tell, polenta and corn mush are the same thing--just one is pretentious because it has an Italian name.  I did a side-by-side using a tube of Trader Joes polenta and a tube of Yoders corn mush.  The only difference is the polenta didn't mash quite as much when cooked in a skillet.

Unlike a museum in Atlanta which included maize in an Etruscan exhibit on polenta several years ago, I do know that the modern version of polenta was NOT used by the Etruscans since they didn't have corn (a New World food not introduced to Italy until 1650).  The curators were kind of put off when corrected.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Shhhhh.... librarian at work...

I took a couple of days off between Christmas and New Years and have undertaken a Labor that would have made Hercules weep with fear--alphabetizing the library.  This includes the integration of both of our rather extensive reading collections.  So far Himself and I don't have a whole lot of duplicates, but as much room as I'm leaving in each section when shelving doesn't seem to be enough as I work my way through since I keep finding strays.  This project is taking much of my processing power so blogging will be light.

We're gonna run out of shelf space long before I hit the 'W's.  I'm betting 'M' will take whatever we've got left and I'm only at 'J'.  BTW, we've got floor to ceiling shelving--turned a whole room into a library area and we still won't have enough space.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Kudos and Prop Props for Evyl Michael Robot.

One of Evyl Michael Robot's ( holsters is going to be a major prop on the series In Plain Sight.  As an added bit o' cool, it's based on one owned by Old NFO.  Since he is a professional, he's making it useable as well as camera-worthy, which is a lot harder than it sounds.

Michael made a custom thigh carry knife sheath for me several months ago* which is SWEEET (beautiful pale leather on one side and fushia suede on the other for when I want to be girly).  He's also made a custom holster for Himself/Mr B as well as Tam, so the In Plain Sight folks are in good company.

I have been horribly remiss in not taking pictures and posting them because it is a fantastic sheath but wanted to pass on his good news!

We don't have cable anymore but I've got to figure out a way to see that episode!

*Fully paid for by yours truly so bite me FTC.

At least Argentina is blatant about it....

So Argentina has 'nationalized' their newspapers.  Big deal--at least everyone knows and acknowledges what they did.  Our media and newspapers have been the willing tools of the government for years--hiding and just downright not reporting on issues, such as Obama's qualifications (or not) to be president, the John Edwards kerfluffle (had to be broken by the National Enquirer), Solyndra, Fast and Furious, the list goes on....  but they deny their culpability and complicity. 

The MSM in the United States has failed in being a true Fourth Estate by becoming a lap dog to the political class instead of speaking truth to it.   At this point there is no difference in the nationalized Argentine media and the unofficially nationalized US media.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Waste in the government

Okay, it's a given, but Old NFO has a bunch of stuff pulled from Sen. Tom Coburn's Wastebook 2011.  And I thought of this scene from the movie 'Dave' (embedding disabled so you'll have to follow the link).  So why can't the government catch a clue or figure out that all of these things are outside of the purview of the federal government and let them go?? 

Re-elect NO ONE!

Monday, December 19, 2011

A football rant, kinda....

Okay, I'm not what one would call a football fan.  I'll watch a game if it's on, I know the rules, etc., but haven't been caught up in the game since 'Da Superbowl Shuffle' of 1984.  But apparently last night the New England Patriots, led by Tom Brady, beat the Broncos, led by Tim Tebow.  And apparently to some folks this is a judgement from heaven.  I don't know Tim Tebow but I'd have to be hiding under a rock not to know that his displays of faith are causing some folks considering consternation for some reason.

So, to the point.  A friend of mine posted something on facebook about how she was glad that the Pats won and that maybe Tebow should concentrate on gaining yardage rather than interfering in people's lives (I'm paraphrasing).  To which I replied something along the line of I don't think what he's doing is all that bad.  So the angry reply is that what he's doing is that bad because he's the spokesman for a group that says that my friend is going to hell (this person is gay).

I did some googling and yahooing and Tim Tebow and his mom (or rather his mom and Tim Tebow) did a spot at last years' Superbowl regarding abortion (an anti-abortion commercial) that was paid for by a group called Focus on the Family.  Now the commercial they did was not regarding gay folks or Focus on the Family's stance on gays.  It was about abortion since Tebow is apparently only here because his mom chose not to get one, despite a life-threatening infection that had her doctors recommending one due to the medication needed to cure her. 

I could not find anything where Tebow had spouted anti-gay or even anti-gay marriage messages.  I could not find anything that said that Tebow was actually a spokesman for Focus on the Family--not in any interviews and not on their website.  The only links I could find were headlines that called Tebow a spokesman for the group referencing that commercial.  But there was nothing else and no interaction (at least  that I could find) between Tebow and Focus on the Family other than the one anti-abortion commercial almost a year ago.

Using deductive reasoning, an art apparently lost on the liberal side of humanity who chooses emotion over facts, it seems to me that Tebow isn't a spokesman for that group.  The commercial he did was on one issue.  There are many folks that associate with groups with whom they do not wholly share their agenda.  By saying that Tebow is anti-gay, without any proof, because of one anti-abortion commercial is like saying that Michael Jordan is pro-sweatshop because he was a paid spokesman for Nike.  And because I can't put any of this on facebook (don't know why I said anything in the first place), you get to see it here.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

For Old NFO--getting into the Christmas spirit....

This might help if you can forget the palm trees and Hawaiian Santas for a few minutes....  For some reason Linus' speech never fails to jump start my Christmas spirit.

If that didn't help, maybe this??

Going to plaid....

Friday, December 16, 2011

R.I.P. Christopher Hitchens

I didn't agree with a lot of what he said, but he sure said it well.  Below is the youtube video where he talks about the United States and why he loved it.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

More on that crappy TLC show

Another company has pulled its advertising from the show:  All-American Muslim. has pulled their advertisements because they looked at the show, versus what TLC told them it was going to be and decided 'the show sucked' and pulled their advertising.  Nothing to do with bigotry or anything else, just use of their advertising dollars elsewhere.

To give kudos points for putting money in conjunction with one's mouth, Russell Simmons' company, Rush Card, has decided to buy up the advertising space left by Lowe's departure.  A California State Dem, Ted Lieu, actually threatened Lowe's with 'legislative remedies' for not kowtowing to the PC line and leaving its advertising dollars in a television show that, despite its publicity, is declining in the ratings (and didn't start very well anyway).

As a poster on one the sites about this 'issue' said (my apologies because I can't remember where I read it):  There is nothing in the First Amendment that says that people must financially support someone else's speech, only that it must be allowed.   Politicos like Ted Lieu have lost the plot on the role of government and threats of government intervention in a free speech marketplace.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Free speech and foreign governments... State Department--yer doin' it wrong...

Okay, so the whole Lowe's kerfluffle is starting to become part of a bigger picture now.  Apparently the State Department is having a three day conference with various Islamic governments regarding free speech in America.  Or as the State Department would have it, not-so-much free speech in America.  Does it frighten anyone else when a representative of the United States government (Hannah Rosenthal) is quoted thusly:
The meeting is a great success, she said, because governments in the multinational Organisation for Islamic Cooperation have dropped their demand that criticism of Islamic ideas be treated as illegal defamation. Member countries include Pakistan, Iran, Saudia Arabia and Qatar.
 In July of 2011, Hillary Clinton was quoted as saying:
So we are focused on promoting interfaith education and collaboration, enforcing antidiscrimination laws, protecting the rights of all people to worship as they choose, and to use some old-fashioned techniques of peer pressure and shaming, so that people don’t feel that they have the support to do what we abhor.
 Of course she wouldn't refer to it as social engineering or suppression of free speech--especially the free speech of Americans to criticize whomever they feel is deserving of such criticism.  But now we have the MSM, hip hop artists, and such trying to heap shame and pressure upon a corporation for merely pulling its advertising from a television show.

The fact that the State Department isn't telling these other governments to go pound sand is frightening in the extreme.  They are letting them set terms and are happy when the citizens of this country, whose values they are supposed to be representing, are 'allowed' to remain intact.  The fact that Clinton is an accessory to this abhorrence makes her no better than her master.

We are the United States of America and our Constitution is the basis for our rights.  The fact that the government is trying daily, on several fronts, to undermine those rights means that they have reached the point of needing to be replaced.  All of them.  Shut it down.  All of it. 

The states can pick up the pieces as they should have been all along.  Those states that made good choices will do well, the others will have to find reality and build themselves anew without help from the outside.

While talking to my sister....

Me:  Sorry about that.  Mouse.

Her:  Mouse??

Me:  Yep.  Squick me out. 

Her:  Don't you have four cats??

Me:  Yep.  Pretty sure they're overfed, but two of them are on the case. It ran into a room that I usually keep closed off in the winter but now I've opened the door so they can go for it.

Her:  Well, the mouse should be taken care of soon then.

Me:  Yeah, problem being that the circle of life thing generally happens under the kitchen table, right after they've chased it over my feet.

Not sure why mice ook me out so badly.  I can handle spiders (even big smiley ones), roach bugs, and most other household creepies.  But can't handle mice.  Best I can do is trap them under a glass and toss the whole enchilada into the yard.  But I absolutely won't pick them up by the tail like Himself does.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Wisdom from Bruce Lee... uhhmmm I mean David Carradine

Russell Simmons misses the point about being in America

Russell Simmons, a 'hip-hop mogul' is apparently incensed that Lowe's has decided to pull its advertising dollars from a show called 'All-American Muslim'.  "There are American principles at stake here." Mr. Simmons cries to the world.

Actually he's kind of right, there is one American principle at stake here.  Freedom.  In this case, the freedom to put your money (or your corporation's money) where you best see fit.  It's un-American to try to force someone into adopting your viewpoint--the basis of freedom, after all, are freedom of thought and freedom of conscience.  Also, Mr. Simmons doesn't realize that not monetarily supporting something does not equal discrimination towards a particular cause.  He's also rather myopic in his viewpoint.

Just as Jay-Z can make money from appropriating the slogan for a cause and NOT give any of that money to that cause, Lowe's can put its money where it wants.  Mr. Simmons is free to make up those advertising dollars by putting his considerable fortune made through Def Jam into play, but I doubt he will.

For myself, my next home improvement purchases will be at Lowe's.

ETA:  I just read this over at Popehat and Ken does have a point.  Lowe's caved to one special interest group in pulling its ads from this show. That said, while the Florida Family Association takes things to the next illogical level, Dearborn, Michigan (where the television show takes place) is the hub of Muslim activity in the United States and there are allegations that Shariah law is becoming preeminent there.

Regardless of all of that, Lowe's can still put its money where it will, and I'll still be making my next home improvement purchase there.

TSA seems to like making old ladies strip....

So, the TSA took away an elderly woman's back brace because they thought it was a money belt.  REALLY??  This was after they contended that all of their procedures were followed.  They STILL say that they didn't strip search her.  So riddle me this, how did they get the back brace off of her if they didn't take her clothes off?  And why did they feel the need to take it when they thought it was a money belt??  Other older ladies at the same airport (JFK) have also contended that they were strip searched and TSA is still denying it.

Look, it only took three contentions of misdeeds to bring down Herman Cain's candidacy.  Why can't it be the same for the TSA??

Sunday, December 11, 2011

AttaaackWaaatch! fades to black.

According to this article in the Washington Examiner, a fascist concept (my words, not theirs) called AttackWatch has had absolutely no activity over the last three weeks.  Hopefully Obama is just letting it fade away.  Probably because of the below video which showed it as the terrible idea it was.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

We're the Bloggers of the Round Table

Made it down to the blogmeet today in Indy.  We were fortunate enough to meet up with Brigid and Old NFO prior to the start of the meet and do some shopping for items that aren't commonly available in the Frozen Northlands from whence Mr. B and I hail.  We hit Penzey's Spices and snagged such items as Orange Extract and Sichuanese Pepper Salt.  After a quick trip to Trader Joe's for some favorite items, we also went to Artisano's for items such as Butter Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 18 year old balsamic vinegar and the like.   These purchases will allow Himself to expand the culinary creations that I am so lucky to have put before me.

The blogmeet was in a lovely alcove at a large round table that just fit the group.  And we were a bunch that would have put Ye Olde Knightes to shame as far as pocketknives and multi-tools are concerned.  The only folks who didn't have a pocketknife were those who flew in for the occasion.  Some of us had multiples because two is one and one is none.

As always, the group was chock-full of knowledgeful goodness.  At one point I looked at Uncle Jay, who was posed somewhat meditatively-- he just smiled and said "I'm learning."  From a new non-blogging member who shall be known as Lurker 2--ETA--Lurker 2 is Don-- (Kerry is officially Lurker 1), we learned that there is a beautiful blue color at the middle of a fireball caused by a large electrical short; from Tam I learned that, like most great writers, just sitting down at the computer and writing is the first step (also that even if you have a Kindle, it does not preclude also buying books in the traditional paper format).  Listening to Roberta talking shop was a definite eye-opener as well and a history lesson from Karl was enlightening as well.  Old Grouch was anchoring the group as usual with a quiet smile and words of wisdom.

It was great to see Old NFO again--he's one of those people who you wonder if you'd met in a past life or something since I was instantly comfortable with him at the first blogmeet.  Also some girl-time with Brigid is always a welcome thing--something that I don't get enough of.  Uncle Jay was the impetus for this soiree and talking hot peppers and peppery-mishaps with him was fantastic (situations where actually clawing your eyes out seems like a viable option due to the crawfish spices or ghost pepper sauce being inadvertently introduced into them).  Hopefully we can catch him on a flip-trip and spend some more time.

As always, a wonderful time that ends too soon, but at least we can keep in touch.  Thanks to Roberta and Tam for putting it together again and to Uncle Jay for being the catalyst this time--couldn't have asked for a better early Christmas present.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

And they take these people seriously, really.

Via The Gateway Pundit:  A muslim cleric apparently thinks that women need to avoid phallic fruits and vegetables, lest they get impure thoughts.  Their menfolk should cut items such as bananas, zucchinis, even carrots into small, non-phallic, bite sized pieces because they wouldn't want their women aroused by the mere sight of such prodigious produce.  One wonders if perhaps the cleric in question is somewhat jealous of intimidated by the, ahem, immensity of these foods or feels inadequate in some way.  

I'm guessing that he would expand this ban to include ice cream cones, or Rocket Pops, much to the dismay of the male population.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Unions and Dems must be running scared already...

I think the unions and the Dems are sensing the way the wind is blowing this next election cycle--and it's not in their favor. So they're going to the bag of dirty tricks. Fortunately it's early enough that maybe some of the damage they are trying to inflict upon the electoral process can be mitigated. Via Drudge, the NAACP is going to the UN (please, the UN?!?) to 'warn' about voter suppression specifically 'targeted at blacks and hispanics and to try to get the UN to intervene in US elections.

Their definition of "voter suppression": actually making people identify themselves in order to vote and/or cutting back on 'early voting', which was primarily put into place in order to facilitate voter fraud.  In Texas, they also prohibit students from using their university ID cards to prevent them from voting in two places.  The NAACP complains that students cannot use their college IDs but that people can use their  handgun concealed carry permit--I guess forgetting that a background check and such often accompanies the acquisition of such a permit and in many states also has a picture of the person on it.  Their logic is spurious at best and is disingenuous at worst since all of the measures about which they are complaining will help prevent voter fraud.  But then they wouldn't be able to circumvent the electoral process, would they?

Of course MSNBC has picked up the meme that voter ID laws are 'racist' since they are the media lapdog of groups like the NAACP.

My idea of voter suppression goes more like this:

But then I'm of the mind that if you have to have an ID to buy a pack of cigarettes then you should have to have one to participate in the most important activity of a citizen--voting.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Welcome to the 1980s

As my sister asked:  "Did we do anything in the 80s besides watch movies?"


Sunday, December 4, 2011

And they use the term 'scholars'

So a group of muslims (I refuse to call them scholars) has studied up and decided that if women are allowed to drive in Saudi, then prostitution will soon follow and within ten years there will be no virgins in the country.  Firstly, why most of the articles refer to these misogynistic POS' as academics or scholars is a mystery to me--they are no more scholars than the anyone who would cherry pick data in order to meet a meme.  Secondly, there is really no mystery about why there would be no virgins left in Saudi--all of the women will be driving their shiny cars straight for the border and gone.

Of course these clerics are of the same ilk who jail women for being raped and whose only chance of leaving jail is to marry the person who raped them.   When will the media wake up and see that the core values of these people is inimical to Western values??

Friday, December 2, 2011

For a friend...

It's feast or famine...  Dating in the modern world....

Thursday, December 1, 2011

All of this could be laid at the feet of Jenny McCarthy

So on Long Island, twelve schools are having an epidemic of whooping cough.  You know, one of those things against which kids are supposed to be vaccinated because it can kill them.  Although some articles kind of dance around it, the main reason for the rise in this disease is because parents aren't vaccinating their kids because of the now-debunked, biased report that supposedly linked vaccinations to autism (apparently they'd rather listen to Jenny McCarthy than their physicians).

Now babies are dying because their older siblings aren't vaccinated and are bringing the virus home. 

These are the same people that think that bringing mercury filled light bulbs into your house is actually good for the environment.  No independent thought, no thought of the world around them.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Music for the Soul

Via a yoga-buddy of mine:

What if they threw a strike and things were better??

I think that one of the reasons that the federal government fights a shutdown tooth and nail is not because they want to protect the American public but because they're afraid that they will shut down and the American public will figure out that they are better off.  What better way to know what parts of government are truly important than to bring the whole thing to a halt?  If the public doesn't notice that a particular office is not operating, then that office or agency just doesn't reopen.  Easy and quick way to identify necessary budget cuts.

Over in Britain (England, Wales, Scotland), they had public sector strikes that pretty much DIDN'T succeed in shutting down the country.  They were expecting long delays at Heathrow Airport but things actually moved along much more quickly--probably because the slackers are the ones who went out on strike and the good employees are the ones who showed up (approximately 60% showed).  Hopefully those in charge will take note and will use this as a learning day--learning who and what is most necessary so they can cut the rest off the public sector payroll.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


So in response to Mr. B's post here, I called my Senator, not that I really think it does much good.  I left a message on the voicemail in Washington and talked to a very nice and noncommittal young man in his Indianapolis office.

As I was speaking, it occurred to me that our politicians have become lazy.  They either write general laws that are subject to interpretation by a non-elected regulatory body or they write laws for which the non-elected executive branch regulators have to write exemptions (see Obamacare and No Child Left Behind).  The Senate of the United States, as controlled by Harry Reid is blocking bills passed by the House of Representatives from being heard and is doing all business using cloture rather than actually debating the merits of any bill.  And most bills passed now are so labyrinthine that they 'must be passed in order to see what's in them'.  And then the legislature abrogates responsibility to the executive branch, thus skewing the balance of power that the Founding Fathers felt was so important to maintaining the Republic.

We are no longer a nation of laws that apply equally to all people, but a nation of regulations that are selectively applied according to political whim.  The perfect example of this is the EPA, which, in complete ignorance of the laws of physics, has issued a regulation 'sharply increasing fuel economy' (ht Cold Fury).  Because by issuing a regulation that cannot possibly be met according to today's science will assuredly lead to fines and more money for the government later.  The EPA is also in service of Obama's stated agenda to increase the cost of fossil fuel-based energy to the point where his failed green agenda can gain traction (in complete contradiction to Congress, which did not pass Cap and Trade legislation).  Another example is the way the 'Occupy' people are getting special treatment by being allowed to camp out in public spaces (which excludes that space from use by the rest of the public) while the Tea Partiers get audited in Richmond, Virginia in retaliation to their demand for equal treatment.

The rights of the people of the United States to be citizens, rather than serfs to the government are being eroded daily, mainly under the guise of good intentions.  The above-mentioned issue from Himself?  It's to catch terrorists, but is written so broadly that it could be anyone.  The state of Ohio took away an overweight child from his parents under the aegis of 'improper medical care'.  But it could have easily been because there were guns in the house or they weren't making him wear a bicycle helmet or a seatbelt or anything else the State would deem as child endangerment.  The Supreme Court in Indiana has tried to wipe away the Fourth Amendment.  The federal government in its infinite hubris has even decided what we can use to light our houses.

But these things are happening because the citizens have also been lazy.  As long as the politicians didn't bother us, we would put up with the plethora of rules and regulations coming at the federal and state level.  We let the media spoon-feed us the meme of the day designed to keep us docile and to hide the wrongdoings of our elected officials.

But now the internet has allowed us to see behind the curtain, to identify the wrongdoing, to recognize the web of lies, deceit, and self-aggrandizement that government has put into place.  Unfortunately, it has flown for too long.  The only way to fix it is to tear it down.  Agencies, sub-agencies, commissions all must be brought to zero and re-built.  Congress and the sycophant class that supports them must be voted out and made anew.  Legal precedents must be re-examined in light of the Constitution, rather than on the judgements of those who might have had their own agenda.    The present system must be swept clean and made anew.  Only then can we be citizens once again, free to live as we will.

Friday, November 25, 2011


A wonderful time was had by all.  I got to talk with Himself's cousin--an Iraq veteran, world traveler, and gun aficionado for a time.  My folks came up, much food was consumed, dog shows and football watched, and just general family goodness.  My new bread recipe was a hit as were the tweaks I made to my famous chocolate pie (Brigid--you could actually eat it with a fork instead of a straw).

While we were with family, some blogfriends checked in--Borepatch, Brigid, and North and added some additional brightness to the evening.

And then I get a custom Black Friday Breakfast made by Himself--hash browns layered with ham, eggs done just right, and mild cheddar cheese.  Of course the only shopping I do will be online but I'm now fortified for some work around the house this afternoon....

Life is good and I'm very thankful.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.  I spent yesterday baking--my contribution to the coming feast. 

I feel blessed to be where I am--to be with Himself, and to be living in the greatest country in the world.  I have a partner who, in addition to being my oldest friend, challenges me to think, teaches me new skills, and trusts me to drive a tractor straight at him and stop within an inch of his chest.  I don't have the words that describe my joy in him and being with him.

I am very lucky to have my Dad and my Mom, my friends, both IRL and virtual (or both)-La, one of my oldest friends and sister-by-choice (and now officially a crazy cat lady thanks to the mama cat who made a home in yard), D-PA my sister-by-blood and choice, my Kansas Cousin, A-my college roommate, Nancy, Brigid, Old NFO, the Mighty and Indomitable Og (and family and Partner), Dave at Cancer Ward to name a few--the list is now too long or I'd be re-creating my sidebar and my address book here (for which I am also grateful)..... 

My contribution for the day as requested (sorta) by my sister:

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

An outsiders' perception of the TSA and Janet Napolitano's group....

In Egypt, they have renamed their secret police force--they will now be referred to as "homeland security".  These are the thugs who make people disappear, bug telephones, assault citizens, and act as the strong arm of a dictatorial government. 

I can't imagine why the Egyptians would get the idea that the United State's Office of Homeland Security would be a good role model with its invasive searching of citizens trying to travel freely within the country, with its agents performing acts of rape, intimidation, and theft.

If a foreign country perceives the US Department of Homeland Security as a strong arm enforcer of the government, why can't many Americans wake up and see them as what they are?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

I've posted this before but thinks recent events require it again: Buffy vs. Edward

Brigid apparently had the dubious pleasure of attending a showing of the new Twilight movie this weekend.  She took it in stride, naturally, laughing throughout despite the fact that it was not intended to be a comedy because she is a woman of taste and class and doesn't feel that a metrosexual teenager is the be-all/end-all of movie heroes. 

I find the whole Twi-Hard  phenomenon to be very scary and very sexist since if the tables were turned and 40-50 year old men were drooling over barely post-adolescent females, the lot of them would be thrown in the slammer.

But here's something that makes me feel better:

Still thinking about getting one of these....

EU declares water not wet

So the EU has said that bottled water providers can no longer say that water can prevent dehydration.  Next up from the EU, the sky doesn't appear to be blue, the check is in the mail, and green energy such as windmills and solar panels can exist without heavy government subsidies.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Karen Lewis: Poster child for a dysfunctional educational system?

Karen Lewis, the President of the Chicago Teachers Union, and who, according to her speech that is linked here, had a good ol' time smoking dope throughout her time at Dartmouth College (so much for an Ivy League education in the early 1970's), is a science teacher.

Notwithstanding that she could be the poster child for all that is wrong in the educational system today as typified by her video, how on earth do Masters degrees in Inner City Studies Education and Fine Arts qualify ANYONE to teach chemistry??  If she exemplifies the criteria by which teachers are hired, then no wonder the Chicago School System is in such bad shape.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Again with the hypocrisy (and lying)

So, the Obama's are traveling Hawaii and Asia--nice time of the year to get out of the coming cold and wander the world.  Not like there's a budget/economic/job crisis or anything.  Between luau's, Obama is calling the people of the United States 'lazy' and MEchelle is mooing about arugula and steak being 'her favorites'.  Except really, her favorite food is french fries.  But when you're trying to establish control over the eating habits of a country (starting with the children, you'll note in the article), you can't go around touting the benefits of a bunch of deep fried potatoes loaded with salt.

It's interesting to note that while MEchelle is touting the benefits of healthy food and locally grown produce, the USDA as well as the FDA, under the aegis of her loutish husband is pulling crap like this.....  Local health departments are following suit with raids like this....  It's all about the control.  Not about the nutrition or the food.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Trust is.....

Trust is your partner letting you lift him up in the bucket of the tractor so he can do some work ten feet up.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veteran's Day Thank You!

Thank you to all of the veterans out there.  Thank you for your service, for putting yourself into harm's way for the rest of us.  Thank you to your families for supporting you as you protected and protect our freedoms.  Thank you to my sister and to folks like Old NFO and all of you out there.  I wish I had words to match your deeds.  Thank you seems so terribly inadequate but I hope you all take it in the spirit and the gratitude that I feel when writing them. 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Similarities between the Occupiers and Universities

I was reading this over at Atomic Nerds.  The post discusses the insularity of Penn State administration regarding the Sandusky child molestation cover-up.  In response to these crimes being brought to light outside of the university and subsequent sacrifices to try to belatedly look pro-active, the students riot--not against the university officials, but against the news vans.

Now look at the feral children of academe--the occupiers.  There have been rapes, murders, brawls, lice infestations, drug deals.  But the occupiers have done their best to keep these acts internal to their camps only 'fessing-up' when one of their own breaks the code and goes to the police or if an outsider happens to see the acts in progress.

As LabRat irradiates, there is a tribe mentality in academic institutions and I think this has translated to the occupiers as well.  In both cases, as with the Catholic Church, there develops a feeling that the institution is somehow above the law.  And this is the danger.  When there is a feeling that the laws of this land are no longer applicable (and this is being exacerbated by the behavior of the mayors of the various occupied towns who are letting these people constantly break the law), then chaos and destruction are soon to follow.

It's very scary.... oooh.....

And not like Monster Chiller Horror Theater either.  But an invitation to a baby shower for my nephew and his girlfriend.  There seems to be a trend starting with my OTHER nephew who promptly found himself another girlfriend once his son and heir was born.  Not sure why I merited an invite this time since that side of the family resembles a Jerry Springer episode, and not in a good way.

Well gee whiz Senators.....

When some Senators met with John Pistole to discuss the TSA, as usual, they clearly missed the point of the furor surrounding the government's heavy handed (in some cases literal) handling of air passengers in this country.  Not one time was the Fourth Amendment mentioned. 

Sen. Claire McCaskill wants more women TSA agents so she doesn't have to wait as long for her Unconstitutional patdown but did admit she tries to avoid them because of their intrusive nature.  Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison said "I did have a situation where I had to have a pat down, but they were unfailingly polite."

Could it be that they were 'unfailingly polite' SENATOR Hutchison, because you're a frikkin' Senator??  Remove that title and try it as a regular person and see what kind of treatment you get. It may be that Senator McCaskill doesn't waive around her government credentials quite as freely and so gets what everyone else does. 

But if a Senator who has sworn to uphold the Constitution is also willing to be a sheep and just demand a better type of sexual assault, I weep for this country.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Because it fits my mood.

The only movie wherein Keanu Reeves actually looks like he's having a good time.....

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Conversation in the kitchen..

While listening to the news...

Himself:  I heard the 'fights' on the Magnificent Mile in Chicago last night were actually more wilding attacks.

Me:  I think we should pit the Occupy people against the wilders in Chicago.  It'd be the ultimate cage match.

Himself:  I'll put three to five against the Occupy men versus the wilding women.

Me:  No bet. Those women would totally kick the asses of the Occupy Men.  They wouldn't stand a chance.

And when you've lost the French.....

So the EU is discovering what some of us knew all along and what has been amply demonstrated over the course of the Obama administration--that the Obamas are clueless clods with no sense of proportion or class. 

Do I think what he said about the new Sarkozy baby was particularly bad (“And I informed Nicolas on the way in that I am confident that Giulia inherited her mother’s looks rather than her father’s, which I think is an excellent thing.”)??  

No, but it is something that is generally said among friends, not among acquaintances and definitely not among heads of state unless there is a particularly close and long relationship between the parties in question.  This isn't the first time that one of the Obamas has put their foot in it with the French.  There was MEchelle's comment about hating her new gig as First Lady to Carla Bruni, then the fiancee of President Sarkozy.

And as a complete aside, was I the only one that laughed when I heard that Obama was traveling to the EU Financial Summit to weigh in with his ample experience??  Presumably what he can chime in on is what NOT to do because if the Europeans follow the present administration's example, there will be a worldwide financial crash within the year (and yes, I do mean in 2011).

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Because there's no more money to be wasted....

Colorado voters went on a 2-1 margin against Proposition 103 which would have 'temporarily' (the quotes are because generally tax increases are forever, only cuts are temporary) increased both the state income tax as well as the state sales tax to 'make up' for funds received under Stimulus II--Doubling Down on Stupidity (the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009).  The state of Colorado received more than $622 million in funds for higher education and in this article from April of 2011, was already projecting a $625 million shortfall.  Apparently they didn't realize that the funds were meant to be one-time and not in perpetuity. 

So then the whining began and the holding out of hands for even more money which the voters of Colorado promptly slapped down.  Most of the universities in the state used their money for things like building their library collections, avoiding layoffs, etc. but there was one exception, Metropolitan State College of Denver.  They eliminated 100 positions and used campus input for strategic use of the funds to streamline processes and in general use the money in the spirit in which it was meant--to give a boost to long-term strategies.  Colorado State University, on the other hand, seemed to have spent the money like a drunken sailor on shore leave.

As Neal McClusky at the CATO Institute posits:
No matter how you slice it, the burden of funding the Ivory Tower has grown ever heavier on the backs of taxpaying citizens. Whether one examines taxpayer dollars in total, per enrollee, per degree, or per tax-paying citizen, real spending has gone up.
And the taxpayers of Colorado are no longer willing to foot the bill for increasing higher ed costs.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

I'm pretty sure I know why there's no 'Occupy Gary, IN'

Due to road issues on the main east/west routes, I chose to take an alternate path right through downtown Gary.  Not my preferred alternative route but an acceptable risk during the day.  While I only saw one zombie (and a slow-moving one at that), I'm pretty sure that any Occupiers would get eaten alive, figuratively speaking, should they try their schtick in that particular area. 

It's pretty clear why the History Channel used Gary, Indiana in its 'Life After People' series but it would be amusing to have some Occupiers and see them end up on the evening news bruised, battered, and robbed or SHOCKED that people tried to take their stuff.

Creation vs. re-categorization

I was listening to Stewart Varney this morning on WLS (Wolfe and Profft were filling in for Don and Roma) and he was talking about 'green jobs' and the erroneous figures put out by the Obama administration.  You see, and a few folks have talked about this, when the present administration is talking about green jobs created (new verbiage includes 'saved' and now 'supported'), they are really talking about the re-categorization of jobs already in place.  Some examples:  a lobbyist working for a 'green' company is considered to be a green job.  If a bus driver is now driving a hybrid bus rather than a pure diesel or gas powered vehicle, it is considered to be a green job.  Pretty much anything having to do with transportation has also been re-classified as 'green' thus jacking up those numbers.

Borepatch has an interesting post up that shows that for every 'green' job created using taxpayer dollars (new job, not re-classified job) then 2.2 jobs are lost in the real world.  Why??  Because those jobs suck in hundreds of thousands of dollars per position.   Or even millions....

For example:  Solyndra received approximately $500 million.  Their company had 1200 employees.  Let's assume that a quarter of the $500 million went to salaries.  That would be over $100,000 per position of taxpayer money.  Not quite what the feds are making now, but getting pretty close.

Obama's green obsession and his continuing insanity (doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results), especially in the light of failing green industries worldwide since countries cannot any longer maintain the subsidies that would keep those industries running, is costing this country hundreds of millions and probably trillions of dollars if you count the jobs lost by regulatory fiat.  When does it stop??  In 2012.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Living on a loan....

Something that I'm not sure I've seen in the discussion of the Occupiers and their issues with student loans is the fact that many students use their student loans for far more than their college expenses:  tuition, fees, books, room and board (if they live on campus).  When they apply for student loans they are, in some cases, encouraged to include expenses above and beyond those needed for their education.  It is bandied about that it is too difficult to work while they are pursuing their educational dream so they need to apply for enough money to cover their other expenses--gas, food, rent, credit cards.  The university takes their cut first and anything left over goes to the student to use as they will.  They are choosing to live a higher lifestyle in the easiest short-term manner.

So all of this boils down to a bunch of people living on government-guaranteed credit that they are unwilling or are unable to repay.  The Occupiers are those people.  At this point it's no different than if they wanted their credit card debt to be forgiven.  Same issue, different lender.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Bring the smart to Halloween

Chas Clifton brings teh smart when it comes to Halloween.  Read his post and follow the links.  As he says:  "So take back the night. Celebrate Halloween."

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Alice Cooper on the Muppets

Had a great time this weekend with Brigid, Og, Speed Racer, some new friends, and Himself but have no pithy commentating.  In lieu of real content:

Thursday, October 27, 2011

High Beams and Bacon

Text conversation with Og, the Mighty and Indomitable:

Me:  Thanks for getting those chocolate covered almonds for me dude.  I totally owe you a plate of bacon when we hit the breakfast buffet this weekend.

Og:  No worries.  You can be my bacon slave just like Jabba the Hutt and Leia.

Me:  I'm totally not going to wear the gold bikini--it's too cold.  Plus it would give the folks at the restaurant a collective apoplectic fit.

Og:  And then we steal their bacon.  Win-win.

Me:  I dunno.  It's still too cold for the gold bikini.  We'll have to figure out another way to pull the big bacon heist.

Og:  If it's cold, there's high beams!  Win-win-win!

Me:  High Beams and Bacon.  Sounds like a country song.....

Mr. B (after reading the exchange):  The great high beam bacon caper.  Now on 8mm.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Just because Halloween is coming up...

A scene from the 1980 movie The Changeling with George C Scott.  No blood, no gore, just plain atmosphere, sounds, and creepiness.  Never has a bouncing red ball been so eerie.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Empress has no deep fried Snickers

Via Drudge, it seems that MEchelle is totally pissed at Paula Deen, whose Southern cooking is anything but the low-fat, high vegetable fare that FLOTUS is touting.  Why is she so mad?  Because Paula is dishing that Empress Michelle is a hypocrite who wants MAKE everyone eat their broccoli while she chows on deep-fried Snickers, hot wings, and french fries. 

The White House keeps brushing off questions about dinners thrown by the Obamas, like their Super Bowl party menu, and Michelle makes a big deal about going to the local farmer's market to get some weird kind of Thai cabbage to try to maintain the image that she's trying to create. 

The Queen of the Shake Shack burger is even writing a cookbook that will ostensibly tell people how to grow their own food since her husband's administration is making it impossible to either buy affordable food or to make it flavorable using salt, butter, or whatever else is deemed to be bad for you today.

But it's tough to maintain that the Empress has no trans-fats, when all they have is excuses for every meal or photo op.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Liking Herman Cain more and more....

Romney is more polished but he's basically a big-government republican.  Perry has executive experience, but he's also got some baggage regarding illegal immigrants.  I listened to Cain on Don and Roma this morning and there were two things that impressed me:  1)  he's not afraid to say that he made a mistake; 2) he studies and learns because he is not under the (mistaken) impression that he knows it all.

One of the problems with the present administration is that Obama is sure that he knows it all and is not willing to listen to alternate viewpoints.  He's also willing to go around or through the Congress in order to make his worldview happen (for example, this mortgage deal that he's wanting to implement by executive fiat through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Cain doesn't strike me as a man who wants to be surrounded with 'yes' men.  He's willing to listen, to learn, and is actually (ZOMG) self-reflective enough to go back and analyze his words.  He's also, I think, a man for whom the Constitution holds meaning.  He's willing to call a friend a friend and a foe a foe.  He said that instead of putting ideology over reality, he'll listen to those with the experience that he doesn't have (it doesn't mean he'll do it, but he'll consider the alternatives carefully).

I'd really go for a Cain/Perry ticket right now and it would take something really big (not MSM-manufactured drama) to shake me from it.

I hope that the GOP machine is listening.  If they don't, they will have rendered themselves both obsolete and out of jobs.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Grassroots movement.... sure it is.... and if you believe that, I've got a nice bridge....

It's interesting but not entirely surprising that one of the foci of the 'occupy' people (possibly the main focus) has been student loan debt.  But not even due to the reason that a bunch of the 'occupiers' are students or professors and such, but because started a meme about forgiving student loan debt back in the middle of September, which is about the same time that the 'occupy' movement began.

It's not a coincidence that in a study done on the demographic makeup of the 'occupiers', that 92.1% were college-educated and that 52% already had some experience 'protesting' under their belts.

Now I know some folks who came out of their undergraduate work with an extraordinary amount of student loan debt.  They blamed university personnel for 'letting them' sign on for such large figures.  But they weren't complaining when they were using it to pay their rent, buy their groceries, and in general use it to live rather than work while getting their degree.  It was only after the time to came to pay the piper, that the complaints started.

A friend had called me all excited about the petition to forgive student loans debts until I explained the financial realities of doing so--another trillion dollars added to the national debt and, since the loan program (should) rely on payments coming in so they can use that money to loan to new students so those would be SOL since there would be no more money to loan without AGAIN increasing the national debt.

There is no doubt that the student loan system is broken, but that's what happens when government does a wholesale takeover of a formerly free enterprise kind of situation.  But these folks are just going to have to suck it up, because the feds have also stacked the deck so that student loan debt cannot be discharged in bankruptcy.

But I don't think it's a coincidence that the petition went out within a day of the 'occupy' movement starting.  Anyone who still thinks that the 'occupy' movement is grassroots is seriously in denial of reality.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Rock Gods in Tights...

One of my favorite bands is Blackmore's Night.  It's a total win-win kind of thing--medieval music updated and Ritchie Blackmore, one of the reigning Guitar Gods, in tights.  Of all of their songs, my absolute favorite (the one that runs through my brain more often than not) is the Blackmore's Night version of the Deep Purple song "Soldier of Fortune".

Candice is a bit camp, but so is the whole idea and she's got a voice that would melt butter--she's the perfect front woman for this particular gig.  And it works for me, like the Transiberian Orchestra does for Christmas music.

Happy Birthday Mom!

Happy birthday to you, Happy birthday to you, Happy birthday Mooommmmmy!  Happy birthday to you!  And now the whole internet knows that it's your birthday, but not how old you are!

Thank you for all of the things you taught me, for your unique sense of humor, your love of animals.  I hope you have a great day!

Friday, October 21, 2011

When seconds count, the cops are tens of minutes away...

I'm reposting this based on a link from SayUncle regarding Securing Your Home.  I think it's worth revisiting.  The video is now archived but it clearly illustrates the value of securing your home.  This woman had and was able to defend herself when the intruder did make it into the house.  She had dogs that alerted her, fences, and locked doors.  She was still forced to take action, but she had plenty of warning so she could.

ANYONE who has ever gotten into a discussion with a person about why citizens need guns for self-defense, need to have those people listen to the video embedded in this article (ht Bookworm Room).  Donna Jackson was on the phone to 911 while a man, whose corpse was later identified as Billy Riley, was trying to break into her house.  After ten minutes, he used a piece of patio furniture to break through the sliding glass door and she was forced to shoot him with a 16 gauge shotgun.

Let me reiterate that:  after TEN minutes, the police were still not at her house.  She was in a home surrounded by a fence with a locked gate.  The man had to go over the fence to get to the house.  The woman remained calm during the whole thing and also made sure that the police knew that her dog (who had woken her up) was police friendly and made sure they knew his name.  The dispatcher did her job and assured the woman that if the man got into the house, she was cleared to defend herself when it was clear that there were no other options.  Mrs. Jackson told the dispatcher her every move--I have the shotgun, I'm taking it off safety, I don't want to shoot him but if he comes through the door, I will.  We also hear her reaction (the audio is over 30 minutes).

I can't imagine what would have happened if she had not been armed or what the audio would have sounded like and I'm glad we don't have to find out.

Mrs. Jackson will now have to find a new hiding place for her keys and I think her son will need a new cell number since both were included in the audio, but those are small prices for her safety.  I'm holding her in my thoughts that she will always know that she did what was necessary.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Another chipping away at our right to travel freely throughout this country

Since more and more people are not traveling by air in order to avoid being sexually assaulted or irradiated by the TSA, the TSA has decided to take it to the road and the state of Tennessee is letting them.  Much like their teams in Georgia who searched folks getting OFF the train, they are searching trucks randomly.  Can cars, bus stations, or your garage be far behind??

This is not your parents' Woodstock

Apparently the Occupy Wall Street folks are shocked and disillusioned that those icky homeless people would come in and take their stuff and start fights. Of course I don't think that folks took $5500 Macbooks to their sit-ins and protests back in the day--they didn't take anything of value with them because at the time, they were actually scrounging for money themselves or were having to beg their folks to support their activities.

As Mike over at Cold Fury quipped:  "Welcome to the party, pal." 

Guess what, we're looking at big government (and you  as its tools) the same way--folks coming in and taking what is ours, without permission, and often with the threat of violence.

Gee Skippy, it must be a real eye opener to have people come in and demand things without giving anything in return.  And of course, the more you're given, the more you want--all without any personal responsibility.  Because of course when that knife-wielding bum threatened you, all you could do was stand in horror and let the police do the heavy lifting.

So all I have to add is:


Cue the violins now.  If you don't want to read my mental meanderings, check out some earlier blogposts.  You have been warned.

This has been kind of an odd couple of weeks.  I talked to a friend's husband while waiting for her to come home and he'd just lost a friend to a heart attack and it had hit him hard.  He started talking about priorities and an ATV going to rust in the shed because he doesn't have time to enjoy it.  He talked for quite a while about feelings and such that were pretty personal and really we barely know each other so he must have been really hurting and confused.  We're of an age and something he said kind of stuck with me "We're now at the age where people are dying of natural causes instead of accidents." 

But then a friend of a friend, who was in his mid-sixties, just went murder/suicide on his wife and himself.  The second part might have been avoided, but the US Marshal decided to take over and it turned into a two-county clusterfuck.  My friend, who had just seen his friend a few days before, is in somewhat of a haze--he didn't see it coming, there was absolutely no inkling, no clue, nothing he can look back on and get two plus two to add into anything like what happened.

Then there's a bunch of cops over their heads in Ohio shooting animals sitting next to their cages.  Granted, dangerous animals, but really, why the wholesale slaughter of creatures who did nothing and were waiting to be fed?  It makes me want to cry the way that none of the other news about man's inhumanity to man does.

Another friend has had his wife in and out of the hospital for the last few weeks searching for an elusive bleeding SOMETHING, which they finally found and fixed yesterday.  Hopefully that will end the issue, but it took quite a bit of time to identify the problem and correct it.

Combine the above with shorter days, rain, and clouds, and it's awfully hard to muster anything like optimism, and I'm usually a glass-half-full kind of gal.  I just want to be home on the sofa with Himself, the critters, a mug of hot chocolate, and The Cannonball Run playing on video and forget the rest of this for a while.

What?!? Wait......

Okay, so some moron on a plane named Ali Reza Shahsavari starts yelling "You're all going to die!  Allahu Akbar!"  They get him off the plane and the comment from the feds goes something along the lines of 'it's okay, we don't think it's terrorism related, he's just an asshole.'  But the part of the article that gets me is that dude was apparently born in Mississippi (that's not the part that gets me), but that there is a 'language barrier' for interviewers trying to talk to the guy, who's 29 years old.

So really, if he was born in Mississippi and has presumably been in the United States for most of his days, why on God's Green Earth would there be a frickin' language barrier??  If there's truly a language barrier for a 29 year old United States citizen in that he is incapable of discussing his situation in English then he's not a citizen, he's a colonist.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Found! The true 1% (but growing)... and it's in DC (I know--you're SHOCKED)

In a study out on October 18, it seems that the Washington DC area is now the wealthiest metropolitan area in the United States.  Someone should tell the Useful Idiots a.k.a. the Occupy people that wealth is not concentrated on Wall Street--the average federal employee makes $126,000 a year.  They have now out-earned Silicon Valley--using our money.

This is at the same time that Harry Reid says that the public sector/government jobs MUST take precedence over private sector employment.  But Mr. Reid lumps teachers in with true public employees like firemen and police officers. 

The unholy union of education and public sector unions with government has led to the destruction of our K-12 system and is culminating the destruction of our country with illiterate college graduates who have been sold a bill of goods and who have totally unrealistic expectations coming out of school as to their job prospects.

Mr. Holder, I think your ride is here....

...but you'll probably be under it, rather than on it.

When Jake Tapper was recently interviewing Capt. Flawless about Operation Fast and Furious, who said: 
“It’s very upsetting to me to think that somebody showed such bad judgment that they would allow something like that to happen,” he said. “And we will find out who and what happened in this situation and make sure it gets corrected.”

This is in contrast to his words earlier this month where he had 'confidence' in Holder to get to the bottom of the matter.

Ask not for whom the brakes screech, they screech for thee.

Monday, October 17, 2011

His parents must be very proud

A twenty-one year old junior from Illinois State University (quick google check says he's an 'environmental health' major), Sean Richards, has decided to quit school and join the Occupy Chicago protest full-time.

 But riddle me this...  in the article linked above, the Occupy Chicago people have both a 'police liaison' and a 'safety and security team'.  Since it's pretty clear that there is funding and impetus coming from Adbusters and Working Families,  maybe they are also helping to create liaisons and teams.

It's interesting too that Mr. Richards quit school WAY after the time he could get any refund on his tuition/fees/room and board so probably either student loan money or grants are going to waste also unless he and his folks are paying full freight, in which case he's just sent a bunch of money down the tubes.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Text from my sister

The text reads  "Did we do anything in the 1980's other than watch movies?"  My response:  "We went to the roller rink and skated to the tune of YMCA.  Other than that, not much."

Here's a movie that embodies both.  I believe at the time, one critic referred to it as "Terpsichore on Roller Skates".

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

And the shame of it is....

...  that they've already reproduced.  In MA a couple with a three week old baby couldn't find their way out of a corn maze and called the police to come find them (it took seven minutes for the cops to get to them).  Here's an interesting quote from the female that seems to be indicative of the mindset of today:

"I don't know what made us do this, it was daytime when we came in, we thought if we came in someone would come in and find us..."
 In other words, they figured that they'd have someone to bail them out if they got in over their heads.  It never occurred to them that they were in a cornfield and could just walk out by knocking down some corn.

Maybe they could have just 'occupied' it and the Soros group would have brought them food and money.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The College Con

Working where I do is giving me a unique look at higher education in this country.  I see where the meme has morphed from 'we must provide worthy underprivileged kids with a chance to go to college' to 'all kids must go to college' with a myth that this path is the only way to be happy and increase future earnings.  The federal government and organizations like the Lumina Foundation have been perpetuating this morphed meme and have been supporting it financially--allowing the cost of education to go up astronomically in the past twenty years.

Aside from the fact that there are many paths to happiness and a good living, the perpetuation of this meme has placed students into situations for which they are unsuited and as a corollary, is starting to create a dearth of skilled labor.

I still think of a conference I was attending where a representative from the Lumina Foundation was expounding on the idea that more students must go to and graduate from college.  An older man stood up and asked something along the lines of 'In your conversations regarding the value of a college education, have you included ANYONE who hasn't attended college?'  Of course the answer was no.

This meme is causing what Glenn Reynolds and others are calling the 'Higher Education Bubble'.  You have students graduating from college with unreasonable expectations of salaries, who are still functionally illiterate because colleges and universities are being pressured into graduating them, and who are saddled with incredible amounts of student loan debt with absolutely no way to pay it.  High school kids who should be learning how to become mechanics, electricians, plumbers, welders, or other skillsets are instead being frustrated by a system that cannot live up to what their career guidance counselors, advisers, and the media have been telling them.

Monday, October 10, 2011

When Mullets attack

Apparently there has been a war going on within the Amish community and it has escalated.  A group called the Bergholz Clan, led by a man named Sam Mullet, has been attacking other Amish in their homes and were cutting off the beards of men and the hair of the women (the growing of the beard and hair is part of Amish religious and social devotion). 

Two angry Mullets, Johnny and Lester, were arrested, but there are two other men and several women who have not yet been apprehended in these crimes.  According to this report, the attacks are the results of a shunning of the Bergholz Clan by others in the Amish community due to allegations of sexual abuse and other issues in 2007.  The Amish community is on high alert.

Sam Mullet is trying to categorize these assaults as a religious issue, rather than one that the secular authorities should be involved in.  Looks to me like it's both.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

This has been bugging me for a few days... GOP still missing the point.

Via Gateway Pundit:  When discussing Chris Christie's (final) decision to not run for President, Georgette Mosbacher, RNC Finance Co-Chair basically dismissed the fact that it was important saying that the RNC is going to get behind Mitt Romney because they think that 'he's more electable'.  Further, she says "He’s less conservative than a lot of us would like. However, our first and foremost goal is to defeat Obama."

This comment is one VERY big reason why I do not give money to the RNC.  They are still holding to the ideas of the past--that a moderate is 'more electable'.  They have missed the point that Big Government Republicans* are not what the country wants, what the Tea Partiers want, and what will actually win this country and election. 

In taking this position, it is clear that the RNC is not listening to polls like this which state that a Generic Republican has a six point lead over Obama in an election.  The key point that the RNC is not seeing is that the American public does not WANT a 'generic' Republican.  We've had those.  Bush was one, McCain was one, Romney IS one.

With the magic of the Internet, we don't NEED the RNC anymore.  Neither do we want our candidates hand-picked in the (formerly smoked-filled until it was outlawed) back room of some mansion in Washington DC and handed to us.  We want to choose, not to have the MSM, the RNC leadership, or the present governmental class handing us more of the same in order to perpetuate the corrupt system presently in place which is strangling the lifework and lifeblood of those who still believe that America is (or can be once again) the Land of the Free.  We want REAL change in the system.  We want a candidate who shares our conservative values.  We want an actual decrease in the size of government, not just a decrease in the GROWTH of government.  But with folks like Georgette Mosbacher still sitting in those back rooms and calling the shots, it will never happen.

*Hi Chas--please note I am not using RINO any more.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Pain is all in the mind

A friend of mine participated recently in a pain study--one where they induce pain and then test cognitive abilities and use an MRI to see the changes that pain makes in the brain.  When I think of studying pain, I think of this:

Other things that cause me pain are Obama insisting that Congress has to "pass the bill" that is so egregious that even his own party can't get behind it; the continuing assault on our freedoms; and those tools that have nothing better to do than occupy space (and waste air).

Friday, October 7, 2011

Here's an idea....

People are going on about a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution to help rein in out of control government.  They've also talked out term limits for Congressmen.  I propose merging the two ideas into this:  a Constitutional amendment mandating a sunset limit on all government actions--budgets, laws, rules, and regulations.  I'm thinking that five years would work.  Part of the problem with our present system is that all of these things have been building on each other for decades.  Additionally, there have been so many new items added on top of the old that it has become the mess that we're in now.

This sunset amendment would serve two purposes:  1) it would negate the pork barrel budgets that have led the government to the point where they aren't trying to actually cut federal spending but are trying to cut the GROWTH of federal spending because all budgets (and their corresponding programs) would have to be justified every five years and given a 'yay' or 'nay' by Congress.  2)  this would be a LOT of work so it would keep both the agencies and Congress busy so they won't have as much time to muck around and create new levels of laws and regulations.  Doing it as an amendment would make sure that a future Congress couldn't just pass a new law to negate the sunset provisions.  Oh, and as of the passing of the Amendment, all agencies, regulations, and budgets start at zero (laws will start with the oldest and work up for re-passage) and have to be assessed and voted upon (and not in batches either).  The only exemption to this would be the military personnel and operations (not development) which would remain at status quo until it can be reviewed.

This amendment would make government more responsive to the people and allow it to quickly respond to changing priorities by the American public.  It would also make agencies re-prioritize their functions.

As a part of this, we could also remove government from 'marriage' and leave that to the Churches.  The government would recognize civil contracts/unions which would also have a sunset of five years and would have to be re-filed.  Any religious ideas and responsibilities would be handled separately within the tradition of choice.  You want separation of church and state as in the Federalist papers, that's the place to start.

Am I off base??

ETA:  Himself pointed out that my idea is far from original and I think I must have picked it up from Mr. Heinlein in A Moon is Harsh Mistress. It must have had a more profound effect on me than I realized.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

You can't make this stuff up..

Via Chas at Southern Rockies Nature BlogA level three sexual predator escaped from a transport van into a North Dakota cornfield.  Even though they were harvesting beans and such at the time, the local farmers switched gears and started taking the corn instead.  They caught him.  After looking at the litany of convictions, it's too bad he didn't accidentally fall under a harvester--twice.  The North Dakota police are going to try to recoup their expenses from the transportation company that clearly didn't follow procedure.

TSA Canine Agent Barkley

During my sojourn at the Range this last weekend, I had a run-in with TSA Canine Agent Barkley.  Apparently the contents of my little overnight bag were deemed by him to be a danger to the Range and its occupants so he needed to inspect my belongings thoroughly.

TSA Barkley:

Hmmm....  stiletto heels.  Sorry ma'am.  These can possibly be used as weapons.  I must confiscate them.

Women's delicates?  Sorry ma'am.  These can be considered to be a weapon in the right hands.  I must confiscate these items.

Ma'am, are you aware that your bottle of shampoo is WAY above the 3 ounce limit?  It can possibly be used as a weapon.  I must confiscate this bottle of 'Gee, Your Hair Smells Terrific'.

I can let you keep the pistol, the knives, the tweezers, the finger-nail file, and the pepper spray.

And we can possibly be persuaded to forgo the enhanced body patdown in exchange for this venison summer sausage......

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Treating our political/academic class like children

A few weeks ago, a senior faculty member told me that I needed to 'treat faculty members as if they were children' in order to get them to provide me with information.  I figure this needs to be applied to the political class as well.  Eric Holder apparently lied to Congress when he said he heard about Operation Fast a Furious "a few weeks" before his May interview.  Now there are memos that show he knew about it a whole year ago (and probably more will come out but they are stonewalling).  His defense?  "I misunderstood the question."  So now I think my advice to Daryl Issa is this:  ask questions as if the person were either five years old or like you would interrogate a teenager getting ready to go out with friends.

For example:  Instead of asking “When did you first hear about Operation Fast and Furious?”,

you ask: "When were you first made aware, by email, telephone, text message, written memorandum, verbal, sign language, semophore, aldis lamp, psychic communication, or any other interaction of any BAFTE/DoJ/FBI/DHS/any federal agency operation that was allowing the straw purchases of firearms, the purchase of firearms by federal agents, the providing of money by federal agents to a third party for the purpose of buying firearms with any or all of these actions intending to have the result of firearms ending up in either Mexico and/or in the hands of Chicago gangbangers?  Please note that this Operation may have been called Operation Fast and Furious, Fast and Furious, F&F, or is now colloquially called Operation Gunwalker, or it may not have been referred to by any code name but just by the details of the operation:  allowing the straw purchases of firearms, the purchase of firearms by federal agents, the providing of money by federal agents to a third party for the purpose of buying firearms with any or all of these actions intending to have the result of firearms ending up in either Mexico and/or in the hands of Chicago gangbangers?"

I probably missed something that could be used for wiggle room since I'm a relatively fully-functioning adult, but it might come down to this so that there are no future 'misunderstandings'.

I think Holder and anyone else who green-lighted or knew about this thing should be impeached and then turned over to Mexico for crimes against that country.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

A Night at the Symphony....

I was fortunate enough to be a part of a very special evening.  Brigid and I accompanied Dave to the Indy Symphony last night.  Beforehand, the lovely Brigid and I drew straws as to how we would dress for the evening.  It turned out that she was Classy and I was Tartie (unfortunately no way to put a heart over the i).  I arrived at the new Range with some time to spare to change clothes and share some giggles.  I also had a run in with TSA Canine Agent-in-Training Barkley, but there will be more on that tomorrow.

Dave arrived and off we went downtown to the Symphony.  We made our grand entrance with Dave in between Brigid and I, arms linked, and smiles all around for the poor men with only one woman.  Interestingly enough, there was a gaggle of nuns (which led to a lot of conversation about the proper term for a group of nuns).  As an FYI, the proper term is a superfluity of nuns.

Having no shame, and resigning myself to going to hell anyway (to the point of picking out the proper handbasket), I almost gave two older women whiplash in the bathroom by commenting that I wasn't sure that the new lipstick I bought is duct-tape proof (Brigid and I are still searching for the lipstick that will stand up to duct tape the way it did on NCIS).  Also, I made such comments during the concert into Dave's ear such as "Hey, isn't this the part when the Orion slave chick makes her entrance?" or (when several of the nuns went past) "Pssst, hey Dave, the nuns are on the run!"

Dave was the perfect gentleman and fantastic dinner companion even though Brigid and I did vex him by opening our own car doors once "Ladies, would you PLEASE wait for me to open the door for you!"  And the valet parking guys couldn't figure out how to get his key out of the car so they "parked it (unlocked) really close (next to the street vendor) so they could keep a good eye on it".  I got a hearty chuckle and some looks when he picked us up at the door of the restaurant for the trip back to the New Range and I said "Hey mister, we'll make it worth your while for a ride."

It was a great evening, there was much laughter, good music, Star Trek references and nuns.  Thank you Dave for putting together such an amazing and fun evening (and thanks for the chocolate truffle and the creme brulee as well)!!

ETA:  And another thanks, Dave, for taking me to my first symphony.   I've been to operas, to plays, to Broadway, but never to a symphony.  I appreciated your and Brigid's insights into the music and the artistry involved.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Happy Birthday to my Dad!

Happy, happy birthday!  I've been so lucky to have you as my dad.  Your steady presence in my life has helped to shape me into the person I am.  You are proof that family is more than blood--family is heart and shared experience and love.  I love you and hope that you have a wonderful day!!

And one of the good things about being a blogger is that this will get there on time, even if your cards won't (they are on the way as usual).....  *grin*

Friday, September 30, 2011

Couple of movie scenes

The last refuge of a blogger with bloggers-block.  But you should enjoy these.  Getting ready to make the trip to Brigid's tomorrow for what promises to be a lovely night out with her and Dave.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


I had a facebook account.  Basically used it to play games and such.  But found out they thought it was a good idea to track my web movements even after logging out.  So I punted it, immediately.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Robespierre--learning from the past....

From Kurt at A trainwreck in Maxwell.  I've made some changes that update it a bit. 

The next three months four years Robespierre Obama reigned supreme. he nominated all the members of the Government Committees Cabinet and judiciary, placed his men in all places of influence as Czars that are not answerable to the people of the United States or its Congress in the commune of Paris Washington DC, and assumed complete control of the Revolutionary Tribunal the federal government using executive fiat and regulatory agencies such as the EPA.

However, as his power increased, his popularity waned. On May 7
In February 2009 Robespierre Obama, who had previously condemned the Cult of Reason Christianity and Gun Owners as bitter clingers, advocated a new state religion anthropogenic global warming and Green Energy and recommended the Convention to acknowledge the existence of God strangling the economy of the United through draconian regulations in the name of green energy; on June 8 in February 2009 the inaugural Festival of the Supreme the Stimulus bill containing billions for green jobs being took place was signed. Meanwhile, the pace of the guillotine Democrats losing 'safe' seats to Republicans grew faster; public finance and government generally drifted to ruin, and Saint-Just  Morgan Freeman demanded  the creation of a dictatorship in the person of Robespierre that the American people re-elect Obama because he's black. On July 26 (oh hell, there's too many times to count now), the dictator Obama delivered a long harangue complaining that he was being accused of crimes unjustly. The Convention Congress, after at first obediently passing his decrees, next rescinded them and referred his proposals (such as his got-to-pass-right-now jobs bill) to the committees. 


 The rest is the history of Robespierre and his downfall, but there seem to be some parallels.  Maybe not the guillotine, I'll settle for one term as long as his disastrous policies can be reversed and we can get this country back on track.


That night at the Jacobin Club his party again triumphed. At the Convention the following day, Saint-Just could not obtain a hearing, and Robespierre was vehemently attacked (the 9th of Thermidor). A deputy proposed his arrest; at the fatal word Robespierre's power came to an end.

He fled to the Common Hall, whereupon the Convention declared him an outlaw. The National Guard under Barras turned out to protect the Convention, and Robespierre had his lower jaw broken by a shot fired by a gendarme. The next day (July 28, the 10th of Thermidor), he was sent to the guillotine along with Saint-Just, Couthon, and nineteen others.

Monday, September 26, 2011

There seems to be a meme starting....

DirtCrashr posted a variation on the Warren meme, as done by Vito Corleone.  Below is another contribution....

So maybe money talks...

There is a group in Canada who has been advocating for the use of oil from Canadian oil sands rather than Saudi oil on the grounds of human rights.  Much like the campaign against blood diamonds a few years ago, points out that the governments of the oil-producing nations who operate under shariah law don't quite make the grade as far as human right go and specifically points out that the rights of women are severely curtailed in those countries (woman cannot vote, drive, or even go out without a male relative).  This has led to a push-back from the Saudi government which is putting the screws to Canadian television to try to get them to stop airing the commercials from EthicalOil.

But here's an interesting thing that came through the wire this morning--King Abdullah has granted women the right to vote and to run in municipal elections.  The article tries to link this move to the Arab Spring, but I'm thinking that money is talking more than a political movement and that Abdullah is trying a different tact to counter EthicalOil's advertisements.