Friday, October 09, 2015

What a Farce

Now this, from the New York Times, is a farce.
farcial headline
We have never been training these "moderate rebels" to fight the Islamic State, we have been training them to fight the Syrian government forces, which we refer to as the "Assad regime."  We have been training them in pursuit of "regime change" pure and simple. The pretense that we have been training them for any other purpose is nonsensical.

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Sometimes YouTube Doesn't Work

Who said, “TPP sets the gold standard in trade agreements to open free, transparent, fair trade, the kind of environment that has the rule of law and a level playing field.”

And who said this week, on the same subject, “as of today, I am not in favor of what I have learned about it.”

Yes, both statements were made by Hillary Clinton, and if nothing else has convinced you that our political system is utterly corrupt and totally divorced from the democratic process, this should do so. She should not for one minute believe that she can survive such blatant hypocrisy, and yet she not only believes it, she believes that it will advance her cause and, with the assistance of the media, it probably will.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Um, Isn't That Obvious?

The University Herald advises us in a headline reading, "Sex dramatically increases fertility," amplified by a subhead to the effect that "A new report shows that sexually active women have a much better chance of getting pregnant than those who remain abstinent."

Let's see. To the best of my recollection only one sexually abstinent woman ever became pregnant, a little over 2000 years ago, and even that event is a little short on physical proof, so the conclusion reached by that study would seem to be pretty obvious.

Actually, the gist of the article seems to be that frequent acts of sexual intercourse increases the potential for some future act of sexual intercourse to result in pregnancy, which is not as obvious as it might seem at first blush, so the study makes a lot more sense than the headline and subheadline suggest it does.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Close Margins

I am doing better in my football league than the Chargers are doing in theirs; I am 4-0. The past couple of weeks have been squeakers, though. This week I won by nine tenths of a point, 112.9-112 decided by a Monday night extra point kick. That was a runaway, however, compared to last week when I won by a score of 109.5-109.3 also, oddly, decided by a Monday night extra point kick.

Kind of disheartening for my fantasy opponents, but...

If you're not familiar with fantasy football, the touchdowns involved were irrelevant because they were scored by players who are not on my fantasy team. Only the kickers are on my team, so I am credited only with the points scored by those kickers.

Monday, October 05, 2015

Stupidity Increases

Now this kind of thing is getting really stupid. First CBS News is prating about Russia and the US being "on opposite sides," and now NATO is issuing warnings to Russia about overflight of Turkey when all involved are fighting the same fundamentalist enemy.

Except that we claim Russia is fighting the wrong fundamentalist enemy, because it is fighting the one to which we are supplying arms, which we are supporting and, which it should be pointed out, was formerly led by Osama bin Laden until we assassinated the bastard.

Now we are threatening to shoot down Russian airplanes because they are overflying the territory of Turkey, which itself is bombing the Kurds who are the only effective ground force in the fight against the Islamic State, which we claim is the only enemy in the area.

Al Queda, which took down our World Trade Center and killed thousands in this country, is a dangerous enemy in Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia, but in Syria they are now "moderate rebels" who should be allowed to control Syria, notwithstanding that they would massacre the large Syrian Christian community if they did.

Hillary Clinton has joined the Republicans in saying that we should declare and maintain a "no fly zone" in Syria even though that would mean shooting down Russian airplanes and bombing Russian anti-aircraft installations, because that worked out so well in Libya. Okay, she didn't say the part about Libya.

The longer we engage in Syria the stupider we become. It seems that if we keep this up long enough Syria will be the least of our problems because we will be at war with Russia, and they have nuclear-armed ICBMs. Do the amateurs in Washington actually realize that?

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Roseburg Must Be a Nice Town

They don't want to know anything about the shooter. They want, in effect, to put him on the slag heap of forgotten history. "Don't say his name,"  they tell the media. Good advice; I hope the media will listen.

I have long contended that the media storm is at least part of what these poor sick bastards seek, part of why they do it, and this one confirms that in his own writing. "It seems,"  he said on his blog, "that the more people you kill the more you are in the limelight."  Do we need anything more to make the media stop with the endless euglogies?

Friday, October 02, 2015

Name No Names

The sheriff in Oregon who is in charge of the investigation of the shooting says he will not dignify the shooter by using his name. Good for him. I wish the media would do the same. I have no doubt whatever that the massive attention devoted to these sick bastards encourages others to emulate them.

It's wierd. The media will not name a person who runs onto the baseball field and disrupts a game, fearing that to do so might encourage others to behave similarly, but they give massive attention to multiple murderers.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Thursday Night Football

Watching a football game on the HD television which we have had for some years, 48 hours after the cataract was removed from one eye. Whole new experience. I can, for one thing, read the score without getting out of my chair and moving eight feet closer to the set. Awesome.

Nonetheless, no matter how much improved one's vision is, Phil Simms is still tremendously annoying. Almost as annoying as having to apply eye drops 83 times per day.

All The News Not Fit To Print

CBS Evening News intoned dramatically on Tuesday evening that “the stakes shot up”  in the Middle East as “Russia joined the fighting in Syria.”  Pelley went on to say that for the first time, this scenario placed “Russian and American planes are on opposite sides.”

His explanation for why the planes are on opposite sides is that “The US is bombing ISIS,”  and he calls upon David Martin to “tell us who Russia is fighting for.”  Martin sort of beats around the bush as to where and whom Russia is bombing and that says that Russia “is not joining the US in the fight against ISIS, but is intervening in the fight against Assad, the brutal dictator whom Obama has repeatedly said must go.”

One has to distort reality rather badly to conclude that any of that puts Russian and American warplanes “on opposite sides.”  The US is providing arms and training to some, but not all, of the rebels who are fighting against Assad, but we are not in any way engaged militarily against Assad. For Russia to be engaged in support of Assad does not, therefor, make them militarily “on the opposite side”  from us.

David Martin tries to imply that Russia is bombing the “moderate rebels”  who we have supplied with weapons and trained in the fight against Assad, but that is not likely because all of those “moderate rebels”  turned out not to be moderate at all and promptly surrendered to ISIS and handed over the weapons we had given to them.

The only warplanes in the area are Syrian, Russian, American and NATO, none of which have any reason to be shooting at each other. Syrians are not going to be shooting at any of them, because all of them are in support of Syria, and ISIS is going to be shooting at all of them. It’s not complicated.

Turkey complicates the picture a bit, but they are busy bombing Kurds, who are our allies against ISIS, and are in northern Iraq, not Syria. CBS News is trying to pretend that Turkey doesn’t exist because they are our ally, we are flying out of their bases, and they are bombing our friends rather than our enemies.

If all of that leads you to believe that US policy in Syria and Iraq is not very rational, you should be congratulated on the clarity of your thinking. If it leads you to believe that CBS Evening News is run by idiots, another star for clear thinking.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

National Coffee Day

Yesterday was National Free Coffee Day and so, of course, I was scheduled to have cataract surgery and told I could have nothing to eat or drink after midnight, including my morning coffee. These people are sadists.

They tell you your vision will get better, but... Yikes. And there's still one more eye to go.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015


The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, otherwise known as Obama’s stimulus bill, required the adoption of electronic medical records and provided $30 billion in funding pursuant to that purpose. Sounded like a good idea at the time to some people. Didn’t sound like it had anything to do with economic stimulus to me. Like much of the so-called stimulus bill, it sounded like pork.

At any rate my cardiologist moved to a new medical practice recently, and I saw him yesterday. He was using two computers as he spoke to me. A laptop to access records which are in his new practice, and his tablet computer to access those from when he was seeing me in his former practice.

The two medical groups in question are located in the same building and admit patients to the same hospital, and yet the two electronic records systems do not speak to each other, and there is no provision for transferring data from one to the other.

I have no idea how this relates to the Obama stimulus program, but

Monday, September 28, 2015

Beyond Hyperbole

According to ESPN, Aaron Rogers does not walk on water, and the claim that he does do so is a false canard and an insult. Aaron Rogers walks slightly above the surface of the water, thereby assuring that his royal feet are unsullied by the unholiness of earthly material. "To say that he is the best player in the NFL,"  they tell us,
"is an insult to his greatness."

Friday, September 25, 2015

A Growing Power

Josh Earnest, Press Secretary speaking for President Obama, said yesterday that Russia is a "regional power with an economy slightly larger than that of Spain." That is an improvement over Obama's last reference to Russia in which he said it was "a regional power that doesn't make amything."

Somebody needs to tell the amateur in the White House that Russia has a hell of a lot more nuclear weapons mounted in ICBMs than does Spain which, regardless of the size of its economy, makes it a lot more than a "regionsl power."

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Things That Make You Smile

I would not walk across the street to see the Pope, but the people who are travelling, sometimes across the country, to see the Pope are certainly happy about it. I do enjoy that kind of happy crowds.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Things That Make You Laugh

For instance, a USA Today headline, "Danica Patrick focused on consistency, not wins during the Chase."

They could not even punctuate the damned thing correctly, but they did get the consistency part correct; she finished 26th in her first Chase race, which is about where she has been finishing most of the year. She did finish 9th at Bristol; a feat she accomplished by running 19th and having ten cars in front of her crash in one massive wreck with ten laps remaining in the race. She missed the wreck because she was so far behind that she had no difficulty stopping before she got into it.

Focusing on wins would be pretty frustrating, since in five years of racing them she has never even come close to winning a stock car race.

Who's the Rube?

Democrats are ranting about the ignorance of Republican candidates with regard to foreign policy, but Hillary Clinton is still demanding that we send troops to aid in the defeat of the Assad and Syrian Arab Army, regards Russia as our greatest enemy and maintains that we would have to engage Iran militarily if it ever came into possession of a single nuclear weapon.

CBS Evening News is sounding alarms about Russian movement of direct military aid into Syria, tanks, fighter planes and troops, taking the tone that this is a criminal act of some sort and that it presents a grave and serious danger to American security and to stability in the Middle East. It “raises the prospect,” they claim “of US and Russian warplanes in the same skies, fighting on opposite sides,” which is about as ignorant on foreign policy as anyone could possibly be.

Republican ignorance forsooth.

Puts me in mind of Michael Douglas as “An American President.” He says of his slimy opponent that, “He’s not interested in solving problems, he only cares about telling you what to be afraid of and who to blame for it.” Twenty years ago our political process was already turning into what it is today.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Carson and the Constitution

Presidential candidate Ben Carson is being attacked for not knowing the constitution because he said that he didn't believe a Muslim should be president. Actually, he did not say that he believed a Muslim was prohibited by law from being president, he merely implied that he would not vote for one. I personally think that such a stance is utterly idiotic, but it is perfectly legal and is in no way contrary to the constitution.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Shit !

I take it back about Kansas City winning the division. They may, instead, set the league record for turnovers.

In case you missed it, after being tied at 17-17 for much of the second half, the Chiefs scored the go-ahead touchdown with 2:27 left in the game. Denver went 80 yards in less than two minutes and re-tied the game. Kansas City is running the ball at their own 20 after the kickoff, obviously intending to kill the clock and go to overtime, fumbles the ball for their fifth turnover of the game. Denver scoops up the loose ball and takes it into the end zone. Game over.

Alex Smith is returning to form; was 16 of 25, with two interceptions, no touchdowns and a quarterback rating
of  53.9 for the night.

The new Denver coach is an idiot. Imposing "his game" on a quarterback who has been wildly successful in a totally different style of offense is ridiculous, and the difference was blindingly obvious when Kubiak got out of the way late in the game and allowed Manning to do what he does best.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Just a Couple of Thoughts

Given our proclivity for lobbing Hellfire missiles into wedding parties in Afghanistan, I don't think we should be stomping around like some outraged lion, howling in indignation about Egypt going Rambo on a bunch of Mexican tourists. I think we should be lying in the weeds like an elderly housecat, hoping that no one notices us and starts making a bunch of comparisons.

I was watching a movie last night in which Ronald Reagan was being outraged about "out of comtrol" government spending and a federal deficit of $30 billion. Today we are thrilled, thrilled I tell you, that the current deficit is at the astonishing low mark of $469 billion.

No, folks, that's not the debt; it's the deficit.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Logic Is Not His Strength

The grass eater from Baton Rouge was interviewed after the game and said that he was not bothered by the Mississippi State quarterback completing six out of six passes on a fourth quarter scoring drive that potentially would tie the game because only one of those pass completions went for a touchdown.

We do have to remember that the man is a foorball coach, not a professor of logic.

Gus Malzahn, who at least has better culinary judgememt, admits that Auburn "has some work to do," but says that, "the bottom line is that we are two and oh." The bottom line is that your team stinks & has has been lucky twice.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Biden On Running

Joe Biden had this to say in an interview with Steven Colbert, on the verge of tears,

"I don't think any man or woman should run for president unless, number one, they know exactly why they would want to be president; and two, they can look at folks out there and say, 'I promise you have my whole heart, my whole soul, my energy and my passion,'"  he told comedian Stephen Colbert in an interview on CBS' "The Late Show."

"I'd be lying if I said that I knew I was there. I'm being completely honest,”  Biden continued. "Nobody has a right in my view to seek that office unless they are willing to give it 110 percent of who they are."

I like Mr. Biden, quite a lot actually, but I think he is engaging in hyperbolic emotional bullshit. Go or get off of the pot, Joe.

That Was Just Sad

The Steelers were at one time a football team. I don't know what they are now. Their defense lined up with no one on the left side of the field, and when Gronkowski caught the pass they finally woke up and sent someone after him who made as badly a missed tackle as I have seen at any level of the game. It was real Pop Warner stuff. Their idea of pass defense appears to be shouting insults at the receiver as he runs past them.

On offense they went down the field to the Patriot 26 and 28 yard lines where they missed two field goals. They went to the Patriot 14 yard line, were backed up by penalties and punted from the 34 yard line. In the second half they had first and goal, failed on third down but got a penalty giving them a second first and goal, and still had to settle for a field goal. In the first three quarters they had gained 380 yards on offense and had scored three times for a total of 14 points. Pathetic.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Um, Think People

The Chargers first game of the season is Sunday, and it is a home game. They plan to wear their all-white uniforms, which makes sense given that the temperature is forecast to be in the nineties Sunday, and are urging fans to wear white to the stadiunm as well. They are marketing this under the slogan "Unite in White."

Given the media attention to "Black Lives Matter," I think they could have picked a better theme, or at least a better slogan. But what the hell. Go Chargers.

I'm not actually a fan of the all white uniforms. I think they look a little... What's the word I want? Perhaps, "dainty."

Update, 9:20am: I thought of a better word: "prissy."

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Um, It's Not A "Message"

There was a letter to the editor today from a visitor to our city, who was here from Arizona. He received a $52.50 ticket for exceeding the two-hour limit on street parking and, while admitting that it was his fault and that he deserved the ticket, he wanted to know, "Is this the message you want to send to your visitirs?"

In a word, "No." It wasn't a message, it was a ticket for improper behavior. The two-hour limit is so that everyone can share street parking, and it is why you were able to find a parking space, dimwit. The message we want to send is that you are welcome to come visit us, but we expect you to behave decently while you are here. To what part of that do you object?

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Sports Notes

Local sports writer Kevin Acee notes that the average age in the Chargers locker room has decreased from 27.4 years to 26.3 years. He seems to think that fact is somehow significant.

Danica Patrick, who one writer said six weeks ago was "on the verge of making the Chase" because she was in 19th place, finished 42nd on Sunday, dropping her from 21st in the standings to 23rd. One needs to be in 16th or better to make the Chase. Her best finish is 9th. She crashed because her car "suddenly got loose."  I don't think so. These cars do not have minds of their own. They respond to driver inputs.

Carl Edwards did his usual back flip from the driver's window after winning the Southern 500. He did it on the start'finish line of the speedway, defying his car owner, who prefers that he park the car in the grass for that performance. Carl has never missed on his back flip, but Joe Gibbs is the nervous type.

Auburn is famous for its defense, but the Tigers have some work to do. Louisville had four possessions in the second half and scored on oll four of them. Gus Malzahn was not pleased. Neither was I, but I don't count.

Stanford went for the easy opener, not actually a tomato can but not much better, and it backfired. They lost to unranked Northwestern 16-6. One has to chuckle a little bit. LSU was opening against an actual tomato can and the game was rained out; well, lighteninged out. I think I'm grateful for that.

Nick Canepa, who I think is actually a mental patient posing as a sports writer, is picking the Chargers to win their division. More reasonable minds are picking Denver, but I think Kansas City will win it. I believe they are a highly underrated team. Alex Smith and Andy Reid are a good combination, there are some very good receivers, Jamaal Charles is in good health, and I am convinced that they have polished their defense to a high gloss.

Saturday, September 05, 2015


Imagine a nation governed the way that the Kentucky clerk would have it governed; a nation with laws determined by her religious principles. Not by your religious principles, or anyone else’s; by hers.

The Pilgrims, who settled this nation initially, could recognize such a nation. They fled from such a nation to come here. They came in order to practice their faith, because they could not do so in their former home.

The refugees who are arriving in Europe could recognize such a nation. They are fleeing from a more violent version of it in Syria and Iraq.

People all over the world are fleeing from nations of the sort that Kim Davis and religious zealots like her are trying to create. Kim Davis is neither a martyr or a hero; she is a sad, sick minded person.

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Hypocrisy Abounds

Regarding this clerk in Kentucky who is refusing to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples; I suspect she is glad that the clerk who issued the documents for her three divorces was not a Catholic who did not believe in divorce. Idiot.

Update, Friday 7:00am: Yes, I should have said that stupidity abounds. As Bruce points out, this hardly rises to the level of hypocrisy. She's now in jail but, no, we are not imprisoning people for stupidity. She is in prison for refusing to "Render unto Ceaser that which is Ceaser's" as the Bible, to which she claims slavish loyalty, instructs her to do.

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Oh Goody

The Wall Street Journal blares at us in a headline that “U.S. Productivity Increased at Fastest Pace Since 2013.” They say that like it was a good thing. Well, consider the source; they think it is a good thing.

2013 was barely more than a year and a half ago, so the hyperbole is a little bit misplaced. “Biggest whatever since 1905” might be pretty exciting, but the biggest gain in nineteen months is hardly earth shattering when the economy is staggering out of a recession.

It means that fewer worker hours are required to do a fixed amount of work, so payroll is reduced and that is good for employers and bad for the working class. The WSJ, of course, does not care what is best for the working class, it gets all excited about what is good for the business class. The stock market goes into a nose dive whenever the news is even slightly favorable for the working class.

This country is so fucked up.

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

The Last Ship

The latest episode features a scene where the ship and a submarine are both at "all stop,"  both being silent and each waiting for the other to make the first move. The Captain is sitting in his chair on the bridge staring off into space, and when someone starts to speak he holds up one hand and says to no one, "Wait."  The submarine skipper is doing much the same. It was extremely well done; enough to take me back more than half a century to when I was part of that game.

It's not actually clear who makes the first move, and when it comes it turns out that neither can shoot because the ship is directly on top of the submarine, so both of them are running like hell, each trying to achive a firing position on the other. Only very slightly less well done than the waiting game, it was awesome.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Sunday Food Blogging

The "Good-for-you" in the name of this recipe comes from the original that I found in a magazine. It was not Mexican, had cloves in it, and was advertised as healthy because it specified salt-free canned tomatoes. It also specified brown sugar, so I'm not sure of the validity of the claim, but anyway. I modified it beyond recognation and called it "Bill's Good-for-you Spicy Chicken." Further modification has resulted in this offering.

Ortega offers diced green chiles, but I never use them. I get the whole ones and dice them myself because I have found that their diced offering is usually nothing more than a mushy mess.

Bill’s “Good-for-you” Mexican Chicken

1# skinless boneless chicken breasts
1 lg onion (for about 1 cup chopped)
1 lg Bell pepper (red or green), cut to 1” chunks
1 can Ortega green chile, diced small
½ tsp ground cumin
½-3/4 tsp chile powder
1 tsp garlic, crushed or minced fine
1 can diced tomatoes (15.5oz )
1 can tomato sauce ( 8 oz )

Cut the the chicken into bite-sized pieces and saute it with the onion and garlic, stirring frequently, until the opion is just transparent and the chicken is no longer pink. Don’t worry about cooking the chicken all the way through at this point; we’re going to simmer it in liquid for a bit.

Add the bell pepper and continue cooking a few minuter on medium high, just enough to soften the peppers a little.

Add the tomatoes with all the juice, tomato sauce, cumin, green chiles and chile powder. Stir well, leaving heat up until it is bubbling then turn heat down to a low simmer for about 10-15 minutes. Serve over rice.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

No Shit?

Hillary Clinton now tells us that, "Using a private server was obviously not the best choice." That's what we need in a president, someone who has fully mastered the fine art of stating the obvious. Especially one who can do so after vigorously trying to avoid it for six months.

She then bravely says that, "I take full responsibility for that decision." What does that even mean? It certainly doesn not mean that she expects or is willing to be penalized for it. Gack.

Friday, August 28, 2015

The Last Ship

There are things that I enjoy about this series, but as a former sailor there are issues with it which rather have me grinding my teeth. The big flaw is, of course, the Captain of the ship repeatedly leaving the ship to participate in hazardous excursions ashore. No Navy Captain would ever leave his command leaderless like that even once, much less do it on such a routine basis.

A smaller issue is the officer who keeps telling the Captain that she has assigned “the snipes” to perform various tasks. That’s sort of bizarre. The term “snipes” is a term the Navy uses to apply to all specialties which are “below deck” rates, essentially those which relate to engineering. Other ratings are referred to as “deck rates,” even when their work has nothing specifically to do with the deck, such as Yeomen.

So when the officer says that she has assigned “the snipes” to do something, she is being really nonspecific, and no naval officer would use the term in that manner, which could be inclusive of, for instance, assigning Enginemen to fix an electrical problem.

What clouds the issue even further is that sometimes she is talking about a mechanical problem, which would be a snipe responsibility, and other times she says she assigned the snipes to deal with a communication problem, which would be the responsibility of Electronics Technicians, who are not snipes but are deck rates.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

I Wasn't Speeding

Police Officer: Good morning ma’am. Do you know why I stopped you?
Hillary Clinton: No I don’t officer.
PO: You were going 55mph in a 40mph zone. License, registration and proof of insurance, please.
HC: hands them over.
PO: Ma’am, both this registration and insurance expired six months ago.
HC: Officer, I was only going 37.4 miles per hour.
PO: Well, you can tell that to the judge. Do you have a current registration and evidence of current insurance?
HC: Well, can you prove that I was going faster than 37.4 miles per hour?
PO: I’ll prove that to a judge, ma’am. Unless you can furnish a current registration and insurance card I’m going to have to impound your car.
HC: You can’t impound my car! I was only going 37.4 miles per hour.