Friday, August 30, 2013

reddit Gallery III

See reddit Pics for sources. Click on picture to enlarge it.  Enjoy!

Giant's Causeway, Ireland


Milky Way

Super Cell

Osmium Cluster

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Kim Jong None

Kim Jong-un and his now-perforated former lover
The despotic leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un has apparently been reading up on his English history … particularly regarding Henry VIII’s way of dumping females who displeased him.  It seems that this pasty-faced roly-poly ... having decided to erase his former lover and her musical posse … had all twelve of them shot (supposedly for pornography) in a machine-gun firing squad over a week ago (see: UK Telegraph Story).

Miley Cyrus with an itch
Travel tip for Miley Cyrus, Madonna and Lady Gaga – North Korea may not be the ideal place to perform your on-stage attempts to out-gutter one another … particularly if Kim Jong-un is in attendance.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

reddit Gallery II

I am still taken by the drama of many of the images on reddit.  Today I will display a few more of the exceptional ones that I think do not carry a copyright or which are not otherwise protected.  (Click on the image to enlarge it.)  I am also providing you with a link here so that you can peruse this site on your own: reddit Pics.

Foggy Vancouver

Erupting Volcano at Sunset

1939 Lincoln Zephyr
Yangon, Myanmar

Monday, August 26, 2013

Juxtaposition XLVI



To bomb or not to bomb ...

Afterward: To understand how the Obama administration (inc. Hillary Clinton and John Kerry) has helped to create this Syrian disaster see:CNS News Story.  This includes re-establishing diplomatic relations with Damascus shortly after Obama took office ... and Kerry's kissing up to Assad.  Oops!

As another aside ... I had difficulty getting results from a Google search on our re-opening of our embassy in Syria.  I wonder if Google has its thumb on the scale here?

Breaking Wind

This Sunday’s New York Times magazine section had an Acrostic puzzle which, when solved, had a quote from David Mamet about how the weather strangely often follows the moods of man.  This fits nicely into what I was thinking about writing in today’s blog … hurricanes and global warming.

Just this past late May, NOAA predicted that the United States could have a very active hurricane season with 7 to 11 named hurricanes and with 3 to 6 being of the major category … see: NOAA News Story.  This then would be further justification for the global-warming alarmists … such as our chief climatologist in the White House.

Now we are almost through August and these dire predictions, once again, have proven to be a fart in a wind storm.  There have, so far, been no Atlantic-based hurricanes making 2013 one of the slowest starts of the hurricane season on record … see: Wordpress Story.  (Pay no attention to the chart there listing hurricanes by President … it is meaningless since it doesn’t account for the number of their terms.)

Yes, hurricane season is not over until November, so there is still time for this pessimism to come true.  Accuweather, a site I respect, predicts that things might still get dicey … see: Accuweather Story.  But if weathermen (not including Bill Ayers) can’t accurately forecast how things will develop in just the coming months, how are they going to nail how things will be over the next decade or two?

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Turkey with all the Fixin's

President Obama has been groping his way toward a cogent policy vis-a-vis Syria for over two years now … besmirching himself and the United States in the process.  Once again his tendency to tilt toward Turkey’s Islamist Prime Minister Erdogan and the Muslim Brotherhood has caused most of his headaches.  Rather than rehash some very thoughtful analyses of this foreign-policy mashed potatoes, I suggest that you read this Powerline blog entry and then return for a few thoughts of my own ... see: Powerline Comments.

Unable to recognize the perils surrounding his overt friendship with the Muslim Brotherhood, Obama has continued to bet on this losing horse.  His backing of this radical element of Islam in Egypt was instrumental in Morsi’s winning the Egyptian election … which then resulted in Morsi’s ham-handed attempts to subvert the democratic process there.  As a result we now have a large portion of the more moderate elements in Egypt and around the Middle East distrusting us … as they rightly should. Our President has created major havoc in Syria, Libya, and Egypt … costing many thousands of innocent lives … and missed a golden opportunity to neutralize Iran’s mullahs during its Green Movement … all because of his mule-like embrace of radical Islam and the Muslim Brotherhood.

President Obama’s inability to learn from his many mistakes, both domestic and abroad, is probably his worst character flaw … although I’m sure other thinkers might offer a few more malignant suggestions.  There are even those who feel that his major screw-ups are purposeful.  If that be the case, then neither God nor Allah can save us.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Women Journalists in Iran

I just discovered this picture on the reddit site.  It is so eye-opening I had to share it.  Perhaps some of our Islam-loving pols or feminists might like to comment?

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Where were the WMDs?

Victims of Chemical Attack in Syria

Now we know what Saddam Hussein did with his weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) in the multi-month run-up to the United States's war in Iraq ...

Afterward: Here is some verification about the fate of Saddam Hussein's chemical weaponry prior to the U.S. invasion: The Diplomad's Firsthand Account.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


At the risk of being labeled a fruitcake, yesterday on a Skype call with friends, I suggested that Sarah Palin might be a good Presidential candidate for the Republicans in 2016.  Here is my logic:

American voters, as a rule, are clearly “uninformed.”  In 2008, they emotionally chose Barack Obama because he was, to use Harry Reid’s words, a “light-skinned African-American with no Negro dialect.”  This was to prove to themselves that this country was no longer racist … and that, by electing Obama, the stain of slavery would be forever cleansed.  And then they re-elected him in 2012 … despite the fact that he had proven himself of poor Presidential timber … using much of the same mindless naivete.

Now as we approach 2016, I believe that emotion will once again rule the American electorate … and this time they will feel that it is a woman’s turn to be President … independent of any consideration of competence or character.  I think that this will be the Democrat party’s strategy in putting forward Hillary Clinton.  It is her turn … and, barring any major scandal (maybe even with one), she should be a shoe in. 

I believe them right and the only defense against such an emotional appeal would be for the Republicans to also proffer a woman … perhaps Sarah Palin.  Yes, I know that much of the American media would have a field day sniping at her … much as they did in 2008.  But then they did exactly the same when Ronald Reagan was nominated … painting him as a know-nothing thespian … and he was elected in a landslide.  Since 2008, Ms. Palin has been annealed in the oven of national politics and has made virtually no blunders.  I’m sure she has even read some periodicals.

Ms. Palin clearly is a true-blue conservative … much like Reagan was … and unfortunately, no male Republican candidate would be able to debate Hillary on even terms.  Even Chris Christie, I’m afraid would be hobbled in his confrontational style when pitted against Hillary.  All she would need to do would be to mist up and Christie would be toast.  On the other hand, Sarah Palin would be on level ground and would be able to point out Hillary’s many fault lines without appearing sexist.  She should be able to hold her own in any debate ... and Hillary would get mushy at her own peril. 

Sometimes political parties need to go with the popular flow … and actually eat some of last-Christmas’s fruitcake.  It might even taste good.

Afterward: If Sarah Palin were to run, she obviously would have a long row to hoe ... if this brickbat is an example ... see: Breitbart Reference.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

He Ain’t Heavy …

He’s my Brotherhood.  The Obama administration, with Hillary Clinton’s, John Kerry’s, and Chuck Hagel’s assent, has been a much too ardent supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood, that extremist group that almost sunk Egyptian “democracy” in the name of democracy… and has been behind much of the bloody fulmination of the Arab Spring.  From the day Obama was first inaugurated he has shown a tilt toward this dangerous sharia-law, caliphate-driven Islamist organization. 

Now that the Egyptian military has realized the danger of Morsi and the Brotherhood running things and managed to reverse the tide … yes, unfortunately, at the cost of much blood … our Islamist-sympathizing President has chosen, in the slimy-secret way that is his wont, to cut off aid to the Egyptian military (see: The Daily Beast Story).  This fortunately will be of little consequence because Saudi Arabia, UAE, and other Gulf States have stepped up with monetary offers that dwarf our puny leverage … see: NY Times Story.

It is clear why the twenty-two million Egyptian rioters, who presaged this military takeover, felt that the U.S. and the Obama administration had betrayed them … we had.  Now we are trying to twist the knife.  Rather than standing on that phony shibboleth of “democracy” which meant nothing to the Muslim Brotherhood, the U.S. foreign policy should propound modernity and freedom from the chains of a theocracy.  We certainly support the notion of separation of church and state here at home … why not for the Arab world?  And it seems that even some mush-brained Republicans such as John McCain and Lindsey Graham are supporting Obama’s wrong-headedness.  This is unfortunate ... for it gives Obama cover for his perfidy.

The U.S. foreign policy is on the wrong track in many ways, but especially because of our support for the Muslim Brotherhood and, by proxy, for the Islamists.  The irony of this posture is that, even though we may be alienating much of the more moderate Middle East, the consequences of this bull-headed support of Islamists might be the continued undermining of Muslim theocracies and wanna-bes around the region (IranTurkey, etc.).  Egypt’s near-death experience has been an object lesson for these countries and I pray they may take it to heart.

Monday, August 19, 2013

reddit Gallery

The social networking site, reddit (a classification I dispute), from time to time has posted some dramatic (often nature) photographs.  I have started saving some of the better of these images and will be offering them here occasionally as a bonus to my readers ... and an incentive to go visit reddit yourselves. Enjoy here the first few:

Sheraton Hotel, Huzhou, China

Spiral Aurora

Andes Volcano

Ruby Beach, WA

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Far Fetched

There is a shocking account circulating among the conservative media that Varerie Jarrett gave the stand-down order during the September 11th last Benghazi attack by radical Muslims … and not the only person who had the real authority to do so, President Obama … see the original story in: The Conservative Report.  This effectively stopped any military rescue efforts to protect our diplomatic staff there … with the sad result that Ambassador Stevens and three other Americans were consequently slaughtered. No one as yet has testified that Obama gave this order ... yet we know that it was given.  

If this seems a little far fetched to you, it does to me too … except for one thing.  And that is the plethora of smoke and mirrors that have been constructed by this administration as extraordinary cover-up over the fallout from this attack.  They obviously have something (or things) to hide.  Despite our then Secretary of State’s screeching, “What difference does it make?” …. Madam (former) Secretary Clinton, it indeed does make a difference … particularly if Varerie Jarrett had been acting as our make-believe President.

If you wish to read other accounts of this shocking supposition … each presenting interesting viewpoints and supporting facts read: The Examiner Story and Charles Krauthammer's Comments and Rush Limbaugh's Comments.

Friday, August 16, 2013

The 11th Commandment

One of the boat anchors on Republican Presidential chances in 2012 was the many heated debates between the numerous candidates in which they repeatedly scoured one another.  This was, of course, relished and abetted by the leftist national media … many of whom gleefully moderated these brawls.  By the time Mitt Romney emerged as the GOP’s candidate he had already been well tarnished by these debate fusillades and the numerous Democrat-sponsored ad smears.  These Democrat brickbats had largely gone unanswered since Romney’s media spending was limited during the primary season. 

It seams that this pattern is beginning to repeat itself for the 2016 election.  Rand Paul and Chris Christie already are going at it tooth and nail … see: Breitbart Story ... while Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democrat candidate, sails on upon unruffled seas.  If I find it difficult to imagine Chris Christie ever ripping into her the way he is savaging fellow Republicans, why should he have any standing as a potential Republican candidate?

But perhaps, just perhaps, the Republicans may be learning from their 2012 failures.  The Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman, Reince Preibus, has already indicated that CNN and NBC are unlikely to be hosting the 2016 Republican primary debates … see: The Hill Story.  Given Candy Crowley’s moderating performance in one Obama/Romney debate, I think that this decision is a slam-dunk … at least for CNN.  Of course, if the RNC uses only conservative-leaning moderators, it will probably lose coverage in the left-leaning media … BFD. 

The remaining fault-line for the Republicans is this continued internecine warfare.  Strong leadership from the RNC might also help solve this problem.  This group could easily decree that repeated sliming of fellow Republicans equals a disqualification for participation in future Republican Presidential debates … an enforcement of the “Eleventh Commandment.”  The Eleventh Commandment is usually attributed to Ronald Reagan.  It goes “Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican.”  Yes, this would be a little dictatorial on the part of the RNC, but then, if Ms. Chipmunk Cheeks wins in 2016, we would be living in an audacious autocracy anyway.

Thursday, August 15, 2013


I strongly recommend NOT shorting common stocks.  That is a game for the well-connected in the canyons of Wall Street.  Rather, if one is convinced about the poor prospects for a company, buy “puts” on its stock.  The only problem here is that the longer-out are the terms for such puts  … the more expensive they become.  So benefiting from the poor outlook for a company becomes a very tricky game of timing.  However, there are some stocks that I am convinced whose longer-term prospects are quite dim and would short them if I had unlimited risk capital and unlimited time.

They are:

Amazon – With a capitalization of $133.1 billion, Amazon is deemed to be worth more than FedEx plus United Parcel or the combination of both General Motors and Ford.  The bald-headed Jeff Bezos has mesmerized Wall Street investors for over fifteen years even though he has yet to bring any significant profits to the bottom line of this Internet giant. He has done this with a stream-lined order-processing and shipping operation which is the envy of most. However, he has also benefited greatly from the lax sales-tax rules in the many states in which he has no bricks-and-mortar operations.  This advantage is disappearing with recent legislative proposals … and so will some of the panache that this company has enjoyed.  To counter this revenue and profit impact, Amazon has instituted a $79 annual membership fee in exchange for free shipping and some other media perks.  My wife refuses to participate in this semi-scam and so, to follow Peter Lynch’s advice, listen carefully to your wife when making investment decisions.

Also Bezos’s personal purchase of the Washington Post for $250 million suggests to me that he is losing his mojo.  Such a sidebar is bound to reduce his focus on improving Amazon’s prospects ... and so, I suspect that the apogee of this company has indeed occurred.  But be careful … it may take some time for investors to realize this.

Afterward: See: Wall Street Journal Article

Tesla. – With a capitalization of $16.9 billion, Tesla, as a company, is worth more than Harley Davidson or the combination of both Jetblue and Southwest Airlines.  CEO, Elon Musk has done a crackerjack job of creating a great-looking and well-engineered all-electric auto … which was named 2013’s Car of the Year by Motor Trend magazine. As such, he has captured the imagination of wealthy greenies who are looking for eco-bragging rights. However excellent this auto is, it still suffers from a driver’s anxiety about running out of power … say in the middle of the Holland Tunnel.  Supposedly this car has a range, when fully recharged, of 250 miles, but speed, ambient temperature, traffic density, and darkness can adversely affect this number.  And, if a recharging station is not handy, things can get quite dicey.  Even, if such a station is available, waiting up to an hour for some more electrons to get one to one’s destination might be a real downer.  I suspect getting around these engineering and physics limitations will eventually become a serious gating factor for this company’s longer-term outlook.

Also, I think Elon Musk’s recent touting of the pie-in-the-sky Hyperloop technology is an unnecessary distraction for this visionary … see: Spacex Story.

Afterward: See: CNBC Story and for another option in a fancy golf carts see: BMW i3.

Facebook   -- currently enjoys an unrealistic market valuation of $89.3 billion (in my opinion) … more than three times the market value of the CBS television network (another big advertising platform).  This is marginally near the value Facebook was awarded at its initial public offering last fall ($104.2 billion).  This is because investors now believe that the company may have solved the problem of monetizing its huge installed user base (possible close to a billion users)… particularly on cell phones.  This may or may not be the case but there is no question that the user-hype surrounding social networking is the reason for the high price on this stock … more than doubled from its low of $17.55 last fall to $36.88 currently.  One can reasonably assume that the analytic sophistication of this type of investor lemming is not the greatest.

Facebook founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, has recently been immersing himself in the immigration reform brouhaha … see: Daily Mail Story.  This, to me, can be nothing but a distraction for this 29-year old entrepreneur ... and I doubt that too many of Facebook's H1B visa recipients are coming from Mexico.  I am also sure that the challenges facing Facebook’s establishing the kind of revenue and profitability that would justify its current market value will be huge and not-easily solved.  The smirking Zuckerberg might well be advised to give these challenges his full-time attention.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Foundation Garments

In what Rush Limbaugh calls “a random act of journalism,” the New York Times has today published a very revealing article exposing much (but I’m sure not all) of the sleaze surrounding the Clinton Foundation.  This article outlines how this foundation has clearly become the sluice-way to Hillary’s run for Presidency in 2016 ... and an international belly-rubbing society in which world-wide movers and shakers get together to chew over global issues.

This sounds very much like a ballooned-out version of Bill Clinton’s role in the Democrat Leadership Council (aka, the New Democrats … see: Wikipedia Entry) in the late 1980s which helped propel him into the Presidency in 1992.  It also gets rather specific about the number of the Clinton acolytes who are sucking on the teats of this multi-million dollar non-profit sow … keeping this posse in caviar until such time as Hillary has announced for the Democrat imprimatur.

And it seems that, for all the money that the Clinton Foundation takes in, very little of it actually goes to the causes it professes.  Instead, other foundations and influence-seeking oligarchs are asked to donate to these causes under the aegis of the Clinton name.  The Times also mentions that this foundation is moving its headquarters to the Time-Life building in midtown Manhattan … so much for Bill Clinton’s previously-propounded pied a terre in Harlem.

I strongly recommend that you read this expose before it disappears from the Times white-board and its authors, Nicholas Confessore (great name!) and Amy Chozick are relegated to the secular arm … see: NY Times Article.  Oops, it's already been girdled ... instead read this same article by proxy at ... The UK Telegraph Article

I now also wonder if the IRS will revisit its granting of tax-exempt status to this obviously politically-motivated and self-serving foundation?  What do you think?

(A tip of the hat to my wife, Jeanette, for pointing out this article to me.)

Afterward: Here are more disclosures ... Townhall Story and the actual Times article itself that is back online: NY Times Article.

Be a Clown

In the proud tradition of mocking our President, a rodeo clown at the Missouri state fair donned an Obama mask while he was doing his rodeo-clown antics … see: CS Monitor story.  The consequences have been Orwellian and, to me, frightening – this unnamed clown has been banned for life from the fair, the rodeo announcer and Rodeo President have resigned, and the rodeo clowns there have be asked to take sensitivity training … see: Washington Times story.  I say Orwellian because we all have seen many Nixon masks, George W. Bush masks, Ronald Reagan masks, etc. worn by past protesters of Presidential policies … most of which were well within Constitutional boundaries (both the past policies and the protests).  I even recall seeing political cartoons of Abraham Lincoln depicting him as a monkey.

Now we have a President who is shredding the Constitution with his extra-legal changes to Obamacare, his non-recess appointments of key governmental positions, his immigration law over-rides, and his numerous other circumventions of our founding charter … and we, the people, cannot protest these actions?  What is going on here?  Even Harry Reid can go on the radio and slyly ask if Congressional resistance to Obama’s actions is because he is African-American … see: The Blaze story.  This is not just playing the race card … the American people are now playing 52-pick-up with the entire race deck.

Many, including myself, believe that the legacy of white-guilt has had a great deal to do with electing Barack Obama twice to the White House.  And now this slavery stigma seems to be allowing him to slip the consequences of what, for any other President, would be anathema … and even (gasp!) impeachment.  Obama can sail the ship of state onto the reef and a too-large part of the American public will declare this good seamanship.  To me, his foreign and domestic policies have both been unmitigated disasters.  Yet there are some reading this blog posting who, seeing this criticism, will label me a crypto-racist.  This is an unfortunate consequence of what Condoleezza Rice has called our nation’s “birth defect,” slavery.  Will we never erase this stain?  Must we let Obama and his sleazy coat-tail riders destroy our nation in order to save it?

I cannot answer this question … perhaps if we were to send in the clowns?

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


I am often smitten with Mark Steyn's writing.  He is able, in one blog posting, to weave erudite prosy ... cross referencing musical nostalgia, current politics, geographic history, and even some shy name dropping into a complex word tapestry worthy of Tom Wolfe.  Please read his greatest latest ... Bongo Bongo Bongo.  And don't miss the upbeat ending.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Therapy Dogs

I think we all have come across those low-lifes who take advantage of handicapped-parking tags to save themselves a few steps … ironically, often by parking next to the entrance to their exercise club.  It seems that they might have inherited these tags from a deceased relative or could have compromising photos of a medical friend. It is difficult to find anything but utmost contempt for these pusillanimous poltroons.  But now comes another “poor-me” scam – using a “therapy-dog” assertion to enable knuckle-headed nudniks to bring their pampered pooches anywhere they wish … see: NY Post Story.

 Little do these ego-maniacal heffalumps care that they are debasing the privileged status of such legitimate canines or other service animals. If I were the Almighty, I might find a special way of getting even with such evil, evil people … perhaps by zapping them with the actual handicaps that they are feigning?

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Onion-Like News

Dateline: 11/18/2015 -- This afternoon, the newspaper boy for Central Natick, Massachusetts bought the entire New York Times newspaper organization for $15.87. He plans to use its distribution list to expand his delivery routes for The Weekly Reader and the Yellow Pages.  He also has indicated that he has enough money left over to buy a secret list of Internet porn-site visitors from in and around the Metrowest area ... as culled and assembled by the NSA.

Please do not respond in any way to this message as we will not acknowledge any of your concerns.

Afterward: Truth is stranger than fiction ... see: Powerline Blog Post.

Monday, August 05, 2013

Hair on Fire

I know that I have gotten cynical in my dotage ... possibly too cynical ... but there is something manically weird about the United States's closing of 19 embassies in the Middle East and Africa ... see: CBS Story. Apparently our government has received credible and specific threats that there are massive Islamist attacks planned against one or more of our diplomatic facilities throughout the Muslim world.  And so all these embassies will be shuttered until at least the end of this week.  Numerous congress-persons have asserted that this terrorist chatter is even higher than it was before 9/11/2001 ... this time centered in Yemen.

The reasons I am somewhat cynical center around the following thoughts:

- This over-the-top drama certainly takes the media spotlight off of the many scandals that are plaguing the Obama administration. The embarrassing admission that al-Qaeda is capable of such a large-scale effort clearly refutes Obama's campaign assertion that al-Qaeda is on the run.  Therefore, the downside of this policy reversal must, to them, be smaller than the risks emanating out of these numerous scandals.

- Will these supposed locked-and-loaded terrorists conclude that, since these embassies have be briefly closed, they will pack up and slink back to their hideouts ... foregoing any planned attacks?  I sincerely doubt that timing is of the essence in any such planned assaults.

- If these supposed threats are "specific," why would we close all these embassies pell mell?  Would we not have some reasonable idea about exactly where and when these attacks might take place?

- Since, thanks to Fast-Eddie Snowden, the terrorists know a lot more about the process that the United States uses in tracking terrorist communications, perhaps al-Qaeda is pulling our chain with this recent staged chatter ... and using it to verify what they have learned.

- The Obama administration seldom does anything that is not driven by political considerations.  Why should this hair-on-fire stage performance be any different.

But, then again, I don't want to be proven wrong as a result of more spilled American blood.

Afterward: For some comments along this same line of thought see: The Powerline Blog.

Sunday, August 04, 2013


I found this very interesting posting on “reddit” by a Yokocrono, “What can we reasonably expect to see by the year 2020?” and with the following predictions (mostly scientific):

He/she has supplied the appropriate links in case you want to investigate further.  My suspicions is that this sage is a "he" (HIV prediction), a Brit (spelling of "personalised"), of Japanese ethnicity or a Beatles fan (his moniker), a computer geek (all the predictions about cyber-stats), an environmentalist (Aral Sea prediction), and an admirer of Bill Gates (polio eradication prediction).

Now if I may, I would like to add the following predictions to this list (sans links):
- Replacement human organs will be manufactured on a massive scale
- Global -warming mania will have disappeared
- The world will have experienced an extended period of double-digit inflation
- China will have annexed Mongolia
- A barrel of oil will be below $50; gold below $1000 per oz.
- Because of changing oil geo-economics, Islamist terrorism will abate
- Google Inc. will be broken up
- Obamacare will not bend down the rising cost of heathcare in the U.S.
- Putin will still run the Russian Federation
- Hillary Clinton will not be President of the United States

I hope I am around in 2020 to see if I'm right.