Saturday, November 28, 2015


The headline reads, "Mass Shooting at Planned Parenthood." Three people were killed. Not to diminish the tragedy of those lives and the loss to their families, but is three people a "mass shooting" now?

Friday, November 27, 2015

Reasonable Positions

The following is from a discussion between the French and Russion presidents regarding the future of Syria.

Mr Hollande reiterated his position that Mr Assad “cannot play a role in the future of this country” but Mr Putin rebuffed him, repeating his standard phrase that only the Syrian people could determine the future of their country.

Imagine. The collossal effontery of that man Putin to suggest that the people of a nation should determine the future of their own country. Maybe even elect their own leader.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Silly Question Gets Silly Answer

I sometimes wonder is Dear Abbey isn’t a couple of sandwiches short of a picnic when it comes to choosing the letters she decides to publish. For instance the person who says that gun control isn’t going to stop mass shootings because she has been fighting depression for twenty years and has never felt like shooting anyone. She claims that everyone says the shooter “was depressed” and that what is needed to stop the shootings is better mental health treatment.

Abbey does mention that is it severe psychosis that leads to these shootings, not depression, and mentions that the families of the shooters have found it impossible to get the persons in question into treatment. What she fails to point out that the failure is, more often that not, refusal of treatment by the person who is ill and not actually a social failure at all; that treatment was abatable but refused. In some cases the person was in treatment but it wasn't helping.

She also fails to point out that when someone goes all batshit crazy and decides to shoot up a school or theater, he is going to have a really hard time doing it if he is unable to get his hands on a firearm. Not advocating firearms control, you understand, just applying a little logic.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Ugly, Ugly, Ugly

The LSU Tigers not only lost their third game in a row, they got humiliated for the third week in a row. In all three games they scored fewer than 20 points and in all three games their defense surrendered 30 or more points.

Rumors are that Les Miles is toast, and that he may pop up nicely browned and buttered even before the end of the season.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Racing is a Contact Sport

We now have clarification from no lesser person than Brian France who, as bizarre as it may seem, actually owns the sport of stock car racing. Imagine one person owning football; no, not the NFL, football. All local race tracks must be licensed by NASCAR, which Brian France owns. Imagine, again, that high schools and colleges could not play football unless they were licensed by the NFL. Anyway...

It is permissible to wreck another car in order to gain a spot toward winning the race. It is even encouraged because, according to Mr. France, racing fans love it. It is not permissible to wreck a competitor because he has wrecked you in the past and you are pissed off at him.
So now we know.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Krugman Again

I can’t stand to read Paul Krugman every day, especially when I’m still recovering from pneumonia, so while he wrote a post entitled “Terrorists and Aliens” on Tuesday,
I didn’t catch it until today. Fortunately I wasn’t drinking coffee, or I would have had to buy a new keyboard.

First he says that Keynesian economics doesn’t work. After decades of claiming that government deficit spending will pull a depressed economy out of recession, a foundation of Keynesian thinking, he says that, “The Great Depression wasn’t ended by the intellectual victory of Keynesian economics…”  He goes on to refer to a worsening in the Great Depression in 1937, “when FDR tried to balance the budget too soon and send the U.S. economy into a severe recession.”

In other words, all of that spending is great as long as you keep doing it, but as soon as you stop spending you are right back where you started.

Now that is, perhaps, arguable because his position is that the New Deal would have worked if FDR had continued it longer. He claims that he has mathematical formulas which prove that to be a fact, and I claim that what he has are tea leaves and that it is pure speculation.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of the New Deal and I think we should do it again. It would be far better than just pretending that unemployed people don’t exist by changing the definition of unemployed. I just don’t think it would actually change the economy.

Then he says that what ended the Depression was World War Two, “which led to deficit spending on a scale that was politically impossible before.”

He has made that statement before, and it always makes me want to travel to Princeton and hit this idiot between the eyes with a two by four. This moron has his head buried so far up his ivory tower that he doesn’t even know what an economy is.

Every dollar of that deficit spending, and a large portion of the non-deficit spending, was on instruments of death and destruction; tanks, bombers, warships, bombs, artillery, small arms… In the real economy, the one where people live, you could not buy a car of any description. That didn’t matter, because if you had a car you couldn’t buy gasoline or tires for it. You couldn’t buy sugar, meat, chocolate, or cigarettes without a ration coupon. You could not buy luxury goods of any description.

Sure, unemployment was essentially nonexistent because ten million men overseas in harm’s way were fully employed, and a man buried in a muddy field in France or some Pacific island was not counted as unemployed, he was counted as dead.

It was not the war that led to this nation’s prosperity, it was the postwar years, when America became the world’s largest producer and exporter of everything, including oil. We had no competition, because we had bombed and shelled the entire rest of the industrialized world into rubble, barely leaving one stone on top of another. We supplied the world’s need for goods of virtually every type for several decades and became enormously prosperous in the process. And we had essentially no deficit spending in those decades.

Krugman proceeds, in his little babbling brook of nonsense, to speculate whether or not the terrorist attack in France will cause the French government to spend enough money to help the economy. He compounds his idiocy. Spending on war did nothing for our economy in WW2, and it will not help France now. Spending for militarism is like beating your head against a brick wall. It’s only helpful when you stop.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Pots and Kettles

President Obama, in excoriating Republicans over wanting to refuse admittance to Syrian refugees, accused them of being "afraid of some widows and children," which, although not exactly a knee slapper, I thought was pretty good. I was impressed he was able to deliver the line with a perfectly straight face.

Actually, I think they would be afraid of my cat, who is so fierce that the vetinary technicians laugh when she hisses at them. Anyway...

Republicans were of, course, outraged, saying that it was terrible for him to be making "that kind of personal attack on his opponents." Of course it is. That's far worse than accusing them of being Muslims.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015


I thought this nations's immigration position was broken about as badly as it was possible to break anything. But to deny entrance to Syrians based on the attack by ISIS (which is not really specific to Syria) on Paris, is miles beyond more stupid than anything I ever thought that anyone could ever come up with. There apparently is some cosmic vacuum cleaner sucking the brains out of the people of this nation. We will soon all be in diapers.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

It's About Hypocrisy

About Sunday’s post; to say the Ghadaffi was a monster misses my point entirely. That post was about hypocrisy.

A people willing to kill innocent people in foreign lands, for any reason whatever, should not be surprised or feel victimized when survivors of those killings come back and kill them in turn. "I'm willing to kill you and your family, but don't you dare turn your gun on me."  That is unjust and unjustifiable thinking. You are starting a war, thinking that you can somehow remain uninvolved.

War may be justified. I’m not going to get into that. But to think that you can start, or enter, a war and that somehow only the other side will suffer casualties while you remain uninjured is insane or incredibly hubristic. In either case sympathy for casualties suffered in a war thought to be safe because it is fought far from home is not in my wheelhouse.

Russia lost 224 of its people when an Islamic bomb brought down one of its airliners. Where were the statements of “We’re all Russians now” after that happened? How many buildings were lit up red, white and blue? How many “thoughts and prayers” were issued for the families and friends of the victims?

Why is it that 129 French victims of Islamic terrorism are so much more valuable and more tragic than 224 Russian victims of Islamic terrorism? My sympathy for the French is hardly enhanced by them being part of the world’s nonresponse to the Russian loss.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

In France

I will probably be excoriated for this, but I have a question. How many innocents did the French kill in their leadership role of bombing Libya to get rid of Ghadaffi? I don’t know, but it was certainly a great many more that the 129 dead in Paris. How many innocents have died in Libya as a result of it having become a failed state due to France’s intervention? Again, probably a number 100 times greater than the number of French dead.

Do not sow that which you are unwilling to reap.

Yet Another Assassination

In a CNN article headlined “U.S. airstrike in Libya kills ISIS leader” today we are told that, “The U.S. military on Friday killed the senior ISIS leader in Libya” in an airstrike. The article does not admit that no one has seen a body, and provides a lot of wishful thinking and pure fantasy about how "Nabil's death will degrade ISIS's ability to recruit new members in Libya, establish bases in the country, and plan external attacks on the US."

We're back to the war in Afghanistan being about "denying them space in which to plan their attacks;" logic which, of course, would actually involve bombimg Hamburg in Germany where 9/11 was actually planned.

By my count we have now killed 347% of the terrorist leadership, which accounts for the absence of any recent terrorist activity. Oh, wait. And it was in Libya, so add another Muslim country in which we are bombing not just with drones but with manned aircraft.

For those of you who study history, the last war we won was World War Two. We accomplished this feat by ignoring the ground troops and focusing on killing the generals behind the lines and by tracking down Hitler and assassinating him. Actually, I believe I may have that wrong. Hitler killed himself, and almost all of the generals were alive at the end of the last war from which we emerged with victory.

For some reason, Americans take great comfort in the announcements of these assassinations, notwithstanding that the government is simultaneously prating about the dangers of terrorism and the need to be afraid of it. I suggest that it’s odd, because either the assassination program is working and reducing the threat, or the threat is increasing and our spreading of death and destruction around the world is actually counterproductive.

We cannot blame Obama for the “global war on terror,” but it is absolutely he who, using his own perception of “executive authority,” turned this nation into the most horrific assassin in history.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Oh Really?

I'm not even going to tell you what this article is about.
Go look at it for yourself. I actually read only the headline, but would say it is unsurprising to the point of stating the obvious. Janet Novak is in New York.

The Sky Is Falling

Janet Novak, of Forbes, tells us today that Social Security is not only failing but is also probably a fraud. Her ire and anxiety is fueled by Congress cutting off a rather bizarre loophole which she says, "could cost some baby boomer couples tens of thousands of dollars."

The headline: "After Budget Deal's Surprise Cuts, Can Boomers Really Count On Social Security?" Please.

At issue is a loophole whereby one spouse can file for retirement benefits, immediately suspend those benefits and allow them grow until they maximize while they draw spousal benefits instead. It is a rather bizarre loophole and, notwithstanding that my wife is making use of it, I have always regarded it as absurd and have never figured out why it was there in the first place. Ms. Novak says that it will "cost tens of thousands of dollare," but I would say that it prevents people from committing a form of legalized fraud.

Ms. Novak also thoroughly discredits herself by saying that the Social Trust Fund is "arguably an accounting fiction."  Where do supposedly intelligent people keep coming up with the idiotic notion that, since the Social Security Administration has invested trust fund money government bonds that the "government has spent the money and it no longer exists?"  She also says that the trust fund, "will give the Social Security Administration legal authority to pay full benefits until then, even if they’re not covered by current taxes."  Well, yes, that is precisely what a trust fund is designed to do; it is the entire purpose of a trust fund.

The purpose of the article, clearly, is not to inform; it is to sow fear, uncertainty and doubt.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

I'm Back

Blogging went from slow to a dead stop due to a trip to the hospital for my third bout of pnuemonia in just slightly over two years. It was 18 months between the first and second bouts, and I managed only ten months before this one. Each one has been worse than the one before and this one has been, and still is, brutal. I am home now, but will be on antibiotics for at least two months and am having to use supplemental oxygen to keep my oxygen level up to 92%. It drops to 80% without oxygen, and sometimes lower.

I have a machine in the living room which rumbles, gurgles, thumps and bumps, and a hose which is long enough to reach pretty much the whole house. The cat doesn't like it very much, my wife likes it less, and I like it least of all, but...

I have not missed any of the San Diego Chargers games, but sort of wish I had. 2-7 is not an attractive record, and it doesn't help when the team and coaches say nothing more than, "We just have to stop making mistakes."
I think, actually, that you need to play better football in every aspect of the game. When you do that, a few mistakes don't matter.

I have been keeping a list of ideas on which to write and will post them as my stamina permits. Stay tuned.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Irrational Discourse

Blogging has been slow, but not because I’m tired or losing interest. I am, of course, entirely uninterested in the election process at this stage of the game because it consists of nothing but posturing, game playing and media silliness. I will pay more attention when the stakes become higher as voting nears.

The problem is that I will not write about something unless I am able to research it sufficiently to know what I am talking about, and current issues other than the election are just too long on hype and too short on fact.

It appears to me that Russia is the only rational actor in the Middle East and that we are by far and away the least rational, but the government and media is pumping out so much propaganda on the issue that it’s hard to tell.

Everyone seems to recognize that invading Iraq and taking out the strongman that controlled the Iraqi government led to chaos and the creation of ISIS, but somehow our government thinks that taking out the government of Syria will not have anything like a similar outcome. Why would we think that?

We constantly admit that Syria is involved in a civil war, but when the Syrian Army bombs rebel positions we accusingly claim that “Assad is bombing his own people.”  What were we doing during our own civil war when we subjected Vicksburg to an intense continuous artillery bombardment for three weeks, and when we burned Atlanta to the ground?

Somehow, Bush is a monster for creating chaos in Iraq, but Obama will be a hero for creating chaos in Libya and, if he succeeds in his efforts to do so, in Syria.

We take NATO, an entirely military alliance, right up to the border of Russia, and somehow it is Russia who is the aggressor that is trying to spread its ideology and recreate an empire.

We are critical of Russia for involving themselves in the Syrian civil war, and warn them that they will “become engaged in a quagmire” for doing so, despite the fact that we have been actively engaged in that civil war ourselves for several years.

We are freaked out that China is building military bases outside its national borders, claiming that they threaten international goodwill and peace by doing so, notwithstanding that we have more than 700 military bases spread all over the globe.

So, how does one engage in rational discourse on any of this? Every time I pick a subject and sit down to write about it, I just sort of lose the bubble and give it up.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Masterpiece of Delusion

In a masterly exhibition of delusional thinking, the San Diego Union Tribune has two articles on the front page today, placed one immediately above the other such that one cannot avoid seeing both headlines simultaneously. One headline reads, "'Pathetic' performance might be rock bottom for 2-5 Bolts." The other reads, "Voters could revive downtown Chargers stadium plan."

And there may be a popular write-in campaign to return Bob Filner as Mayor, too, but since he was impeached I'd consider it unlikely.

Well, That Was Ugly

The final score (37-29) was meaningless. After three quarters it was 37-6. The Chargers had managed a paltry two field goals and the Raiders were in a festive mood. "What the hell," they decided, "they have to score five times to even tie the game, so let's let Philip Rivers have some fun." Actually, with the two-point conversion the Chargers only needed to score four times, but it didn't matter, since they only scored three.

Philip threw for 38 completions and 327 yards, but 25 of those and 237 yards were in "garbage time," so in the first three quarters, when the Raiders cared, he completed 15 passes for 90 yards. The Raiders, meanwhile, scored each of the first seven times they had the ball, not punting until near the end of the third quarter.

McCoy said after the game that, "that was not us."  I'm sure he would like to think that, but it sure looked like "us" in the spiffy powder blue uniforms, and the players were standing on the sideline that "us" stands on during the game. Sorry, McCoy, it was "us."

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Oh, Please

CBS Evening News did an emotional piece on a supposed heroin addict this evening who claims she overdosed four times in the month preceding the film she made of herself on the day she “hit bottom,” after which she self-detoxed and has been clean for sixty days.

Oh, please. The young woman in that video hasn't overdosed in her life, let alone four times in the month preceding the video. Long term junkies do not look anything like that. And sixty days of self-created sobriety is about six years short of any reasonable definition of success.

Either a CBS reporter has been conned in a major way, or they are playing the American public for suckers.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Confession of Hyperbole

The headline reads, "El Nino on the way." The second paragraph of this AP story about a northern Arizona rainstorm refers to the storm as the "latest in a series of October storms that could provide a preview of what's in store in the coming months as an El Nino system moves in." The pictures were of a woman being rescued from her car in a flooded wash, an event which happens regularly during the Monsoon Season in Arizona.

The article then goes on at great length about the effects of El Nino on California and the Southwest and, near the end, quotes the National Weather Service in Phoenix that, the "storms that struck Arizona were not El Nino-related."

College Football

I was thinking that the LSU Tiger pass defense really sucked, and then I realized that they were playing against a team which, while ranked #8 overall, ranks 103rd in rushing. That must mean they pass pretty good, so maybe I need to cut Les Miles' boys some slack.

Meanwhile, the announcers are talking about how Florida is successfully stopping #7, and I'm just smiling. Everybody thinks they have a handle on that guy, until they find out they don't. He would have a lot of trophies, except he never keeps one. I wonder who he will give the Heisman to.

Alabama was actually somewhat less impressive than they looked. Without the four picks they would have been in trouble. Nick Saban needs a quarterback.

And what can you say about Michigan? Probably not much, but I would like to have been a fly on the wall at Brady Hoke's house.

My sister is probably a bit giddy, what with being a Utah alum. Their record is not a fluke, though. The win over Arizona State was impressive, and they didn't seem to mind the downpour in the least.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Extreme Pragmatism

In the NASCAR race today Joey Logano was running second to Matt Kenseth and becoming frustrated by his inability to pass him for the lead. He solved the problem by hitting the leader's back bumper, causing Kenseth's car to spin out and wreck and putting Logano into first place. The announcers unanimously agreed that Logano was merely "doing what he needed to do to win the race," which he eventually did.

By that standard I guess Chargers' coach Mike McCoy should have brought a M1911A1 .45 caliber pistol with him to Lambeau Field and simply shot Aaron Rodgers dead. He would simply have been "doing what he needed to do" to win today's game.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Hyperbole Comes Naturally

Just to prove their purpose to be entertainment reather than information, the The Market Business reports on astronomy, describing a new and unusual star found recently by scientists. The possibilities for the oddity of said star offered by astronomers include "instrument defects, shrapnel from an asteroid belt pileup, and an impact of planetary scale, like the process that created the moon," which doesn't keep the "news media" from a headline that the "‘BIZARRE’ LIGHT PATTERN" is "DUE TO POSSIBLE ‘EXTRATERRESTRIAL CIVILISATION’." In all caps, no less.

Friday, October 16, 2015

You know it's humid...

...when the low at night is 71 and the daytime high is 79. We're not used to that kind of nonsense here. Yecch.

Begging the Question

When Hillary Clinton was asked about her contradictory positions on the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, she said, "I did say, when I was secretary of state, three years ago, that I hoped it would be the gold standard. It was just finally negotiated last week, and in looking at it, it didn't meet my standards. My standards for more new, good jobs for Americans, for raising wages for Americans.”

She didn’t, of course, say that she hoped it would be the gold standard,” she said that it “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,” which sort of evokes a paraphrase of an old saying, “hope in one hand and lie in the other and see which one fills up first.”  The original saying does not use dishonesty as an alternative to hoping, it uses the product of the south end of a northbound dog, but

Be that as it may, people do change their mind, as Clinton has admitted she has done on other issues, but she has never said why she has done so. I have no problem with a change of mind, provided that the person offers an explanation of why the change occurred.

If something changed in the content of the TPP or if Mrs. Clinton learned something about it which she did not previously know, then it is perfectly reasonable for her to oppose it now while having previously supported it, but to remain credible she needs to provide us with an explanation of what changed in the treaty or what she learned that she did not previously know.

She has not even claimed that the content of the TPP has changed since she was supporting it as Secretary of State. She has said that “with what I have learned about it I am not in favor of it,” but she has not explained what it is that she has learned, and has offered no explanation why she will not tell us specifically what she has learned.

In the absence of any other explanation for her change of position, why should we not assume that she has merely shifted with the political breeze, saying whatever she thinks will prevail in terms of primary election votes?

“With what I have learned” is simply nowhere close to a sufficient explanation. Mrs. Clinton is remiss in expecting us to accept that insufficient answer; the media is grossly remiss in not demanding a more forthcoming response from her; and voters are remiss in continuing to support her campaign without a better explanation.

But this is the nature of our political discourse today; empty soundbites devoid of actual meaning or content, which the media and public accept as sufficient.

Monday, October 12, 2015

1 Equals 2

A man with one eye is not half blind.

His peripheral vision on one side is diminished, and he lacks binocular vision, but other than that he sees as well as any two-eyed person. The former is solved by turning his head, and the latter is overrated because it’s useless beyond about fifty feet, so I have my doubts about the supposition as to why we have two eyes. I suspect it’s not about judging distance, it’s for the same reason that submarines have two air compressors (and we have two kidneys, come to think of it); it’s in case one of them fails.

Vision does not happen in the eyes, it happens in the brain. Eyes merely provide signals to the brain and the brain builds a picture based on the data available to it. It does not care whether the data came from one eye or from two. When it comes from two eyes the brain feels no compulsion to average the input from both eyes, it discriminates in order to build the best picture. If one eye is providing bad data, the brain has no compunction whatever in discarding that data.

This profound insight occurs to me because right now one of my eyes is providing good data and one is providing bad data, but my vision is astonishingly clear and sharp. You may be wondering how that came to be, but even if you are not I’m going to tell you.

Over the years my eyes have been developing cataracts. Nothing unusual about that, but mine had become really bad, and my vision was terrible. I knew I could not drive a car at night, but in truth I probably should not have been driving at all. (Sorry.) When watching a football game, I inferred by the actions of the players where the football was, because I never actually saw the ball.

Then I had the cataract removed from one eye. It healed immediately, as they are wont to do, and my vision did not improve halfway, it was cured. (I’m having the other eye done this week nonetheless.) I’m watching the LSU/SC game and, “Oh look, there’s the football, right there on the ground.”

So having my vision restored is awesome, of course, and was why I had the procedure, but there was a nice little lagniappe of getting a real life lesson in how the brain works. And it proves, notwithstanding my wife's assertion to the contrary, that I have a brain.

Update, Wed 5:30pm: In all fairness to my wife, she has never actually asserted that I have no brain. She has merely suggested that my actions at times might indicate that said organ was underdeveloped or possibly altogether missing.

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