As you know, I don’t get into politics. But US Navy veteran Jorge Bonilla is running against Democratic Congressman Alan Grayson, in Florida’ 9th Congressional District. One more reason to vote for him, if you live in Eff-El’s Ninth, Jorge is also a blogger! And he once joined the Marine Corps, only to transition into the Navy. That shows commonsense, no?
Every story requires a beginning, middle and an end. We have had the beginning, Washington’s Big Brother & Verizon and now it would appear that we have the start of the middle, which could run for some while as it looks as though there is going to be a lot of meat on the ‘right to privacy’ bone. Edward Snowden, a 29 year old American has admitted to being the source of the leak on the NSA’s ‘gathering system’. He has certainly opened up a can of worms in the US as well as over here in the UK, and Europe. (His action has been regarded by the international MSM as being in the finest traditions of whistle-blowing). Edward Snowden: the whistleblower behind the NSA surveillance revelations He acted for the ‘public good’ rather than ‘private gain’, so does this make him a Whistle Blowing Patriot, or an Enemy of The State?
Food for thought for those hungry enough?
Over here in the UK and Europe, news has been breaking constantly throughout the day over a leaked report that said a secret court order was issued in April requiring telecommunications firm Verizon on an “ongoing, daily basis” to give the NSA information on all telephone calls in its systems, both within the US and between the US and other countries.
The report said the document shows for the first time that under the Obama administration the communication records of millions of citizens are being collected indiscriminately and in bulk, regardless of whether they are suspected of any wrongdoing. Verizon Phone Records ‘Monitored’ By US Govt Sadly, you vote for a Socialist leader, and eventually you get his true master ‘Communism‘. Big Brother has always been there, stood back in the shadows conducting his dark arts with the good of the people in mind. This time he has acted with impunity, and acted with complete disregard over the rights of the American people. I for one am saddened at what is being disclosed this day. Even the people of Socialist France are asking, “is it happening here too“, as is the rest of Europe and the UK. Time will tell, and Governments will pay the penalty at the next election.
Perhaps the MSM will now realise what their freedom is worth, and report events correctly, instead of pandering to those who choose to prey upon them
Although it does pain me to type this, the French do make a good ‘glop’ of wine. My preference is for a red Cabernet Sauvignon (chilled white wine for the Ladies, a bottle of red for the Men). Imagine the out cry several years ago when the ‘good old USA’ knocked them into a cocked hat, by producing a far better quality from the vineyards of California; and then taking all of the top prizes associated with it! You have no idea how that made my day, it took me a full week to celebrate it ‘hic‘… I have bought Californian red wine since, with the occasional bottle of Australian produced red.
Scientists from University of Pennsylvania have uncovered remains of the first ever French wineries on the site of ancient port Lattara. Chemical analysis suggests that the equipment, including an ancient wine pressing platform (pictured), would have been imported from Rome and that the Italians are responsible for teaching the French how to make wine.
The French may be the kings of wine, but the ITALIANS taught them everything they know, claim researchers The Italian stiletto has now been pushed, and twisted into the stomach of the French frog, who is hopping mad over it.
In an article titled: Why Is it So Hard to Fire a Low-Performing Government Employee, Michael Catalini brings up both Lois Lerner and the Pendleton Act and the Civil Service Act of 1883. He also quotes Chris Edwards:
“There are fundamental incentive problems for why the firing rate is so low,” said Chris Edwards, who is the libertarian Cato Institute’s director of tax policy studies. “The taxpayers are paying for federal workers’ salaries, but there aren’t incentives to fire people—it’s unpleasant firing people, but here in the private sector there’s pressure for you to do it because you’re losing money if you don’t.”
About nine months ago, Yahoo started mixing up its opinion content. It was a good change. Presenting both sides of an argument makes for a good website and a healthy democracy.
Standby if you are screamish, because this chart over at DNAinfoChicago is rough.
They list all the murders that occur in the city by day. And pictures of the victims.
At work, I endeavor to be professional. Since our cubicle farm is populated by herds of grazing civilians, I don’t treat it like the ship or the squadron where language and topics are more salty and less tempered. I also pride myself on (mostly) not engaging in political arguments.
Last year, on several occasions, one of the fairly senior (and highly knowledgable) civilians came into my cube and started railing on Sarah Palin. The first time I laughed and gaffed him off and told him to get outta here. The second time I was firmer and he got the message and left us alone. All the while, we scratched our heads and wondered where his derangement came from.
Last week, he charged into our cube and started railing on Michelle Bachman. The gentlemen (or lout depending on your tolerance of said behavior) took issue to one of Michelle Bachman’s stances.
She is trying to ban hummus in school lunches! the guy exclaimed.
My cubicle mates turned to me, for two reasons. One, the lout is Middle-Eastern (a Lebanese Christian man) and two, I have a ready store of arcane facts that I use on them at times and places of my choosing. But I was blank on this insanity with hummus, of all the creamy, wondrous delicacies.
Where did you hear this? I asked.
It is true, the woman is crazy! he said crazily. Not answering my question.
Relax, let me look this up. I turned to the miracle of google and found the story. Not on hummus, but on falafel:
Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann courted controversy today by claiming that falafel and other “jihadi foods” should be banned from school lunches in the United States.
In an interview with local television station KSTP in Minneapolis, Bachmann explained that after visiting a local elementary school she was shocked to find that falafel - a fried vegetable patty popular in the Arab world – was being served as a option on the vegetarian menu.
Ostensibly in the studio to discuss her close race for reelection against Democratic challenger Jim Graves, Bachmann instead used the time to appeal for a nationwide movement against Arab cuisine.
Startled by the parochial nature of her statements, KSTP anchor Chris Johnson felt obliged to challenge her reasoning:
“I have to ask Ms. Bachmann, why is that a problem? I mean some children like the taste of falafel, what’s wrong with that?”
I explained to the guy that the story was being featured on the Daily Currant which was a joke site, like the Onion. He then blurted out that Michelle Bachmann was a bigot or some such because she doesn’t accept his lifestyle.
Ahhh (deep inhale), this is exactly the sort of thing that I wanted to avoid. I laughed and told him he got fooled by a joke site. Gentle mockery is always my fallback and I had no wish to discuss lifestyle. (Truly, he was great at his job and I could care less what he did in his spare time.)
So he again left my cubicle in a huff. And I thought: phew, it has been settled. No more outbursts.
The very next day, I had to take my new Chief over to speak to him about his program. Our previous falafel dust-up was water far under the bridge to me. And I actually did not put it all together when he cheap-shotted me with: Figures, you like Bachmann.
I don’t even remember what I had said previous to it. And when he used the name Bachmann, the Bachmann I was thinking of was Bachman Turner Overdrive! I thought he was talking music. You know, Taking Care of Business? (Every way. Taking care of business. Every day?)
It did not sit well with him when I smiled (remember, I was thinking BTO, not Michelle Bachmann) and asked him (like we were in a knock-knock joke): Bachmann who?
Michelle Bachmann, you like Michelle Bachmann!
Sure, I respect her. She is a good lady. Not someone I really think about. But the real story is that you have an issue with women.
Ha, nice try. Trying to turn this on me, he said smugly. Who else do I have an issue with?
Well, Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann for two.
He was silent. So I launched back into Navy business. And pried the info out of him that I needed.
I went back to my desk annoyed, it was utterly unprofessional that we couldn’t stick to work issues and solve the basic problems we were being paid to work on. So I quietly complained to my boss, explaining what occurred and asking his counsel. He suggested I let it cool off and go and talk to the dude.
In the morning, I went over to him and very firmly told him he needed to take politics out of our conversation. He was almost sheepish and agreed. Or, at least, he put up no argument. And life went on at our Navy job.
Except every time I’ve said hi to him, he’s said absolutely nothing back. Not a word. Argh. This is why I don’t bring politics to work. I guess I’ll stop saying hi. It’s not like we don’t have real work to do.
It’s easy to forget Central America when Asia and the Middle East loom so large. President Obama recently visited the region and this rundown of the countries is very illuminating:
But given Central America’s current cast of presidents – Guatemala’s Otto Perez is a leading critic of the US drug war, El Salvador’s Mauricio Funes has failed to assume a regional leadership role that the US had hoped he would step into, Honduras’ Porfirio Lobo is viewed as a political byproduct of the 2009 coup, Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega is democratically challenged and prone to “anti-yanqui” political ranting, and Panama’s Ricardo Martinelli is considered a loose cannon autocrat who is well-suited for his nickname, “El Loco” – Laura Chinchilla was an easy pick, despite her unpopularity and socially conservative views.
I chatted with an El Salvadorian taxi driver in Washington DC last year about Funes. The cabbie liked the politician, but he complained that with his countrymen emigrating (legally or not) to the United States, the cotton crop was suffering. There was not enough labor to pick it anymore. He spoke clearly of Funes as sympathetic, but faced with a myriad of problems. I thought: what leader is not? And then I wondered why anyone would seek public office these days. . .
In an article on a possible candidate for mayor of Philly, Republican Dana Spain, the city’s best and brightest weighed in on the nature of socialism:
Socialism isn’t screwing over Europe, neo-liberalism is. The Socialist countries in Europe, such as Norway, Sweden, Denmark, they’re all doing fine. The neo-lib states, like Ireland, Portugal, Italy, Spain, they’re in trouble.
You obviously don’t understand what socialism is (not surprising), particularly if you call liberals like Nutter and the rest of the clowns that run this city socialists. They definitely are not. A socialist mayor and council would not waste our time begging Comcast for handouts to fund after school programs. They would tell Comcast to pay their fair share, or they would seize Comcast’s assets, like that giant tower in the middle of the city.
A socialist also would not continue to rip off the firefighters who risk their lives every day to save ours.
I particularly liked the replies:
As a legal Scandinavian immigrant, I can tell you that as an American you don’t understand how even a properly run socialist system will run any economy into the ground and completely stifle innovation.
You are really willing to give up the freedoms you (still) have in this country for 50 years of OK security, followed by economic and cultural ruin?
Maybe you should have stayed in Europe then. 15 years there you were probably eligible for citizenship depending on the country, problem solved.
I don’t know how old you are, but while your idealism is cute, maybe you should get out of college before deciding on a political stance.
I grew up in Scandinavia and moved to the US as an adult. These countries are not doing so well either, mainly because they all have more than 30% of their work force employed by their governments. Private businesses are struggling a lot and unemployment is pretty bad. Just ask my friends and family who have a much harder time finding employment than I do currently.
As a result of fewer and fewer actual value-creating tax payers and an increasing administrative burden, their former “OK” health care and educational systems are now barely scraping by.
Health care in the US is lightyears beyond those of Scandinavia in terms of quality and efficiency.
Socialists will rip off big companies like Comcast as well as firefighters in order to pay for the ever increasing burdens of socialism. What do you consider a “fair share” anyway?
US companies already pay the vast majority of tax revenue in this country, they pay more if you consider the fact that they pay your wages that you pay taxes out of.
Socialism is a pipe dream, you can the vacant spot I left behind in Scandinavia, I’ll take the American dream.— Philburt
Philly isn’t our only city who elected a nutter. But they are the only one with a Nutter.
In other East Coast political news, Navy SEAL Gabriel Gomez won the Republican primary in the election for the seat once held by John Kerry.
There are certain events in world history that my understanding of is slight. When I discover gaps (and I have numerous ones), I try to study up on the issues. Ex Bootneck’s comment to this post, really helped elucidate my lack of understanding about the Troubles:
Through the same conflict and troubles, I have lost family and very close friends.
What you have to appreciate is that it was only the skill of the Counter Terrorist organisations here in the UK that prevented such an attack as 9/11. We did come close to an atrocity on such a grand scale, not once, but numerous times.
The successful attacks by Irish Terrorist organisation’s, as well as the horrors relating to them, would catch and take your breath away. I could speak of horrific torture committed by the same groups, some of which is so barbaric that it would be inhumane to do so on this page (first hand experience of the same).
In comparison, the carnage in Afghanistan is absolutely nothing as to what went on within the United Kingdom & Northern Ireland, as well as parts of Europe, where British service men and their families served. The maiming, and bloody murder of innocent civilian men, women, and children (of all ages), as well as the destruction of property and its infrastructure, would make a marble statue cry.
Like you and countless others, I sat and watched the horror of 9/11 and cried at the imminent loss of life, and with anger and frustration. As it was happening I was speaking to a good friend of mine in New York. I was able to give him a running commentary on events as his cable was down, we continued right up until the land lines were cut.
Where you lost 3000 good people in one awful afternoon, we lost over 3.600 over a period of thirty years.
During that time;
Forty seven thousand, five hundred and forty one people were injured.
Thirty six thousand, nine hundred and twenty three were shot.
Five hundred thousand people were classed as victims of terrorist offences.
Sixteen thousand, two hundred and nine bombs were used to commit an act of terrorism within the UK.
Of Interest perhaps?
Initially the Irish terrorists were using a form of High Amonia-Nitrate fertilizer that they mixed gently with fuel to make ‘AMFO’ explosive. Large amounts were required to get the job done, which was pretty effective when placed strategically by them. One thousand pounds of hardened ‘AMFO’ placed in bags would fill an average double horsebox. Mix in lots of dockyard confetti (a quarter ton of ball bearings, nuts & bolts, as well as six inch nails) and detonate the same on a Saturday afternoon in a busy high street in a market town… after which you could easily sit a double-decker bus in the hole alone. In such a situation you would hope to be so far away that only your hearing was blown out, and not your eyes by the compression blast, if you were close, you would wish for instant evaporation, as life afterwards would not be worth pursuing.
Then life got better for the Bad guys, because some genius in NORAID (Irish Northern Aid Committee) an Irish American fund raising organisation, (who sponsored and supported the terrorist ‘families’ back in the ‘dear old mother country’) found a loop hole in the system that allowed the same funds to be channeled to the bad guys; with the blessing of the US Fed.
This then allowed the bad guys access to funds and the cream of explosives, commercial Semtex, which they bought and smuggled into the South of Ireland, for use in the North as well as on main land Britain. Every terrorist group within Europe and beyond, assisted in the sale and smuggling of it.
The money intended for traumatised family’s to go on holiday breaks was used by the bad guys to attend training camps in the Middle East. It also bought them more accurate and efficient weapon systems, as well as the facility to purchase hard drugs, which they used to peddle on the streets to create more wealth for their cause, as well as to fill their wallets.
The good people of Boston, (from Irish Roman Catholic descent) collected and rattled their tins ‘for the cause’ and the ‘’struggle for the boys back home’, which they did with success from 1969 onwards; it continues to this day!
The poor Bostonian’s had no idea that their funds were being used to buy and peddle drugs (guns good, drugs bad). In fact the drug trade in Ireland was so lucrative that being a terrorist became a second job, the cause was almost forgotten, as there was so much money to be made from the evil substance.
Quick dit to lighten the mood…
I was in Boston in the early nineties, sat enjoying a pint with a group of friends, when a ‘tin rattler’ did so under my nose. I explained that I was a Roman Catholic and that I had no intention of giving him a single penny, my own Irish lineage was far more impressive than his and so much more recent. Upon which he offered me violence, which I readily accepted, and defended far better than his attack. Even the police officer said so, an ex USMC man mountain who carted him off and away for the night.
(Handy things ID cards, especially when it points out that I was a serving RM. We were strongly advised to move on with our journey, which we did the next morning).
My heart truly does go out to those who suffered in the attack that happened just a few days ago in the Boston marathon. I do not bare any grudges over the funds that were pumped into the bad guys coffers in Ireland, even though I have lost people close to me through their cause.
What I would like to see is an end to the financing of the bad guys, and a realisation that for those who contribute through their ignorance, and their fairy tale beliefs (endorsed by Hollywood fiction), it actually brings the same misery to others; sadly so close to home this time.
(The same fools; who now contribute to ‘Sinn Fein’ the political wing of the IRA).
Each Christmas the IRA would announce it would blitz the major cities of the UK, each year the Christmas shoppers would leave their children at home and continue to shop in defiance. One parent only, to lessen the impact upon the family should the worst happen. A few others and I would travel to London from the relative safety of Plymouth, and spend a few days socialising around its hallowed streets, our own act of defiance against the bad guys cause.
When a device went off or it was cleared by the ‘Techs’ as often would happen; people simply continued with their daily routine, no cheering, no whooping and hollering; just a restored calm and frantic bargain search.
(Hitler and the Luftwaffe couldn’t do it, what chance some one else)!
The effect of terrorism still reflects upon our streets even more so today. No more left luggage baggage lockers to be had. Vigilance is required every day whilst walking through the major cities, as well as using public transport. The specialist street-refuse bins, which are designed to throw the blast upwards not outwards, strategically and evenly placed to avoid mass impact should they be used by the ill disposed to conceal some thing nasty. The tightening of civil liberty laws that restricts the innocent so much that we squeak when we walk! CCTV cameras at every angle and walkway that obscure true vision, and control the simple movement of every day life. And the list goes on.
This has been our way of life since 1969, we accept it, though we will not be beaten or ‘kowtowed’ by it, or by those out to destroy our democratic society.
For the last 15 years we have enjoyed a peaceful existence even though we now have Islamic Militancy on our door step. The experience gained through fighting Irish extremism has proven our capability over and over again.
In an odd way, the Troubles helped train the Brits how to be effective with their latest threat, Islamic jihadism.
When it comes to political writers, three of my favorite are Mark Steyn, Thomas Sowell, and Victor Davis Hanson. (I’ll forgive the latter two for teaching at our rival, Stanford.) Mr. Hanson had the following observation to share about American generals:
When America was a far more traditional society, few seemed to care that General Dwight Eisenhower carried on an unusual relationship at the front in Normandy with his young female chauffeur, Kay Summersby. As the Third Army chased the Germans across France, General George S. Patton was not discreet about his female liaisons. Contrast that live-and-let-live attitude of a supposedly uptight society with our own hip culture’s tabloid interest in General David Petraeus’s career-ending affair with Paula Broadwell, or in the private e-mails of General John Allen.
It is an interesting quandry. Could it be because the first two were on the battlefront and the latter two were possibly back in Florida? Or?
I think this is a bad move strategically. They’re going to have to surface every hour for smoke breaks, said Jeff Sherman, unemployed.
We’ve waited a long time for her (Lady Thatcher’s) death, said Carl Chamberlain, 45, unemployed, sporting a grey ponytail and sipping on a can of cider in Brixton, London, the scene of riots in 1981.
Over the past few weeks I have tried to sit and read through ‘An Inconvenient Truth’, Al Gore’s book on bluff & bluster; a book that a good friend gifted/loaned to allow me to peruse at my leisure (please note, we are both absolute non-believer’s in the ‘tripe’ printed within its covers).
The reason for reading the ‘tome’ is that we will soon be hurtling ‘head on’ into discussion with a couple whose life evolves around their passion for global warming and living an eco friendly lifestyle. Each to their own beliefs, but when a belief is forced upon third parties I for one tend to stand up and be counted. (Unbelievably Al Gore’s book is one often quoted from their collection of Bible’s). The cracking and banging of skulls will take place at a sit down dinner at an engagement party, from which the Eco warriors will certainly bite off more than they can chew, in more ways than one.
I have less than a fortnight to plough through the nonsense printed within ‘An Inconvenient Truth’, which as it happens, is a great title that has since blown effluent back at the writer!
The Political left wing spin factories here in the UK & Europe still spout forth the nonsense attributed to Global Warning. Through the same horror stories and spin, an industry was fraudulently set up from which wealthy groups of business people still benefit; all achieved through handsome tax deductions as well as state sponsorship. Carbon Credits also form part of the nonsense, which is yet another industry that collapsed through fraudulent activity as it was totally non-regulated.
There are a few British/European/’and other’ politicians who may be reading this, that may wish to search their conscience as well as their souls; and perhaps hand some money back! (Was that a raspberry I heard some one blow from afar)?
Perhaps of interest? Last year the BBC was forced to admit that it’s research into global warming (via its own weather records) had been miscalculated, grossly! They pushed out the press release on Christmas Eve… And by doing so they buried bad news at a time ‘convenient’ to themselves to save embarrassment!
Absolute ‘Tosh’ or even ‘Taurus Cacas Nugarum’, as my Company Commander would whisper quietly in briefings.
Some thing else that made my earwax steam is the fact that Mr. Gore actually won a (politically enhanced) Nobel Peace prize for his waffle, bluff, & bluster. In doing so he blocked a honourable nominee, who, through her unselfish acts saved more lives than the feted ‘Oskar Schindler’ of Schindler’s List fame. A true heroine by the name of Irene Sendler; previously nominated several times.
Yesterday afternoon I sat outside on my ‘pondering logs’ with the book perched comfortably on my lap. This spot normally allows me the sanctuary I crave away from my home-office. The slight wind was cool, but in the lee of the felled tree trunk the warmth of the sun made up for it. My steaming tin mug of tea washed down three-fig rolls handsomely, but all was not well. As I sat and pondered I realised it was the bloody ‘Inconvenient book’ that was creating havoc with my mind-set.
The book now sits on a shelf within the down stairs toilet, which is fitting in one sense (it’s a man thing, which when required perusing through would produce the solitude and appropriate surroundings to work things out)
Now sitting in front of my Mac, I have just viewed the evidence of the cold lingering winter held within my picture file. My mood has since lightened, as I caught sight of a picture from the previous summer, this with the fresh smell of spring drifting in on the breeze, which means this year’s summer is approaching once again, regular as clockwork as nature intended.
Isn’t that an inconvenient truth, Al?
Who posted the sign that read: Carnivores, chances are you don’t need some wimpy support group. Keep being awesome! (Posted in response to a Vegan-curious notice.)
The ol’ Navy haricut, a two on top and the sides high-skinned, has gotten stale on me. I’m thinking of the ‘do of Ernest Moniz, President Obama’s choice as the energy secretary.
If I was looking for a snappy acronym, BRICS would not be it. If you were not aware, BRICS stands for Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. And they are up to some financial sneakiness. . .