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.