Saturday, November 30, 2013

reddit Gallery LXVI

Another excursion into the world of reddit pictures.  See reddit Pics for sources.  Click on pictures to enlarge them.  Enjoy!

Istanbul Street

Crocodile Eye

Just Another Clock


Gaudi's Sagrada Familia

Friday, November 29, 2013

Banana Republic

Charles Krauthammer has a sobering column in a recent Washington Post about how the standing rules are being ignored or brazenly broken in both the Executive and Legislative branches of our government.  It is a compelling read ... see: Washington Post Opinion Piece.  If you skip this hyperlink, one of its many important quotes is:
We’ve now reached a point where a flailing president, desperate to deflect the opprobrium heaped upon him for the false promise that you could keep your health plan if you wanted to, calls a hasty news conference urging both insurers and the states to reinstate millions of such plans.
Except that he is asking them to break the law. His own law. Under Obamacare, no insurer may issue a policy after 2013 that does not meet the law’s minimum coverage requirements. These plans were canceled because they do not.
The law remains unchanged. The regulations governing that law remain unchanged. Nothing is changed except for a president proposing to unilaterally change his own law from the White House press room.  
That’s banana republic stuff, except that there the dictator proclaims from the presidential balcony.
It saddens me that so few people of real influence see our government's unraveling and take to the barricades to denounce it. We used to have such people of stature ... they were called statesmen. Instead we are today served by Woody-Allen-style puppets who prance and pose trying to capture American's attention one step ahead of Mylie Cyrus's twerking.

We are in a sorry state of disrepair ... and as Charles Krauthammer closes his column with:
A Senate with no rules. A president without boundaries. One day, when a few bottled-up judicial nominees and a malfunctioning health-care Web site are barely a memory, we will still be dealing with the toxic residue of this outbreak of authoritative lawlessness.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Render unto Caesar …

Pope Francis is taking a left turn for the Catholic Church.  He is attacking Capitalism as being exclusionary and depraved.  And mostly he is right.  Capitalism does pick winners and losers … just like any other economic system. And Pope Francis, with his huge Christian heart, is railing against the winners and gushing angst for the losers.  In a way this is his duty as the leader of the church whose founder taught us to “love thy neighbor as thy self.”

However, Capitalism has one thing going for it that Pope Francis doesn’t deem to acknowledge … it is a wealth-creation engine nonpareil.  And lots of wealth creates lots of largess.  I know that the Pope’s message dismisses “trickle-down economics” (probably a politically-inspired mistranslation), but, in fact, a capitalistic society such as the United States defines “poverty” at a level of possession that someone in the Sudan could only dream of achieving.  For more critical discussion on the Pope’s teaching see: UK Telegraph Opinion Piece.  I wish I could reliably quote the original source, but some wag once said that all other economic systems create as their objective “trickle-up poverty.”

Although there are world problems that I would think Pope Francis might have moved up his list of concerns … such as the wave of Christian killings by radical Muslims … and the depravity that exists within the walls of the Vatican … the injustices of Capitalism do need some attention.  This is particularly true when capitalists form an unholy alliance with the secular state and winners are not picked by the marketplace but in the White House.  Christ did say, when asked about paying taxes (and noting whose visage was on the coinage), “render unto Caesar what is Caesar's.”  But in my mind, it is often the reverse flow of this pelf where the real corruption occurs.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

reddit Gallery LXV

Another excursion into the world of reddit pictures.  See reddit Pics for sources.  Click on pictures to enlarge them.  Enjoy!

Huge Argentavis Bird

Banff Springs Holtel

Matrix Opal


Saturn Red Vortex

Over the River ...

I have another blog that features my short prose efforts ... usually with an unexpected twist at the end ... both fictional and semi-autobiographical ... see: Purple Prose.  Here is an entry I wrote some years ago dealing with a fictional Thanksgiving:

The five of us arrived at Grandmother’s house after a long, chilly drive in Uncle Bill’s old Packard. His over-sized gray sedan smelled of damp mohair and the allspice, mace, and cinnamon that infused the steam seeping in from the pie basket in the trunk. In this hamper were three plump pumpkin pies, a cardamom-mince pie, and two zesty lemon pies with their alpine-high meringues dotted with caramelized sugar drops, all packed in among four dozen yeasty, poppy-seed dinner rolls. We also carried bouquets of the last of the brilliant fall asters and multi-colored maple leaves. Greeting us at the door were most of rest of Grandma’s and Grandpa’s issue and a few neighbors; 22 in all, beaming and chatting with growling stomachs.

We doffed of scarves and greatcoats and were given hot mulled wine or a Bourbon Old Fashion, according to our taste. Scattered around the den and kitchen were the hors d’oeuvres: butter-tender Schmaltz herring in a sweet-sour-cream sauce sprinkled with lots of chopped fresh dill; oysters Rockefeller (saucer-sized and nestling a bed of chopped spinach and a drop of Pernod with a bubbling crust of bread crumbs and grated Parmesan cheese); mounds and mounds of tender Jumbo shrimp with a sharp horseradish and chili-sauce dressing, crisp celery and carrot sticks with a dip made from butter and blue cheese mashed together and thinned with a vintage port wine; colossal Pimento-stuffed olives; miniature sweet Gherkins; and an assortment of odoriferous cheeses (a runny Brie, a ripe Gorgonzola, a well-aged Gouda, a nutty Emmenthaler, and a creamy Double Gloucester) with lots of crusty French country bread.

After over-sampling this largess and re-acquainting ourselves with each other, we were led into the candle-lit dining room for a family prayer and the object of our sojourn. There on the groaning board were ten chilled bottles of this year’s best Nouveau Beaujolais (fruity almost to the point of a fine Spanish Sangria); a huge cob-smoked ham with a orange-honey-clove glaze over a copious coat of toasty fat; two boned legs of grilled baby lamb basted with its garlic, rosemary, and lemon au jus; a 32-pound roasted capon turkey, cooked to a juicy perfection with its chestnut and sage dressing; and three gravy boats filled with a glistening minced-giblet gravy (made with the turkey pan drippings, arrowroot, and the water in which the giblets had simmered all morning along with celery tops, some carrots and crushed shallots). 

Filling in the voids on this massive table were the poppy-seed rolls, a large chaffing dish of whole cranberry sauce augmented with toothpick-thin candied orange-rind strips and Grand Marnier; Greek string beans (made from haricots vert, an oregano-laced marinara sauce topped with bread crumbs and grated Romano cheese and baked to a nutty crust); golden carrots Vichey (dime sized carrot slices and tiny pearl onions blanched into tenderness and then sauced with a roux made with flour, grated onion, a soupcon of nutmeg, and fresh cream); two casseroles filled with steaming sauerkraut, laced with caraway seeds and nestling fresh baked kielbasa; a watercress, Belgian endive, and avocado salad with its mustardy vinaigrette in a yeoman-sized wooden bowl; and a surfeit of fluffy, butter-and-parsley-topped garlic mashed potatoes.

For dessert, out came all the pies we had brought; a chocolate and vanilla-iced Daffodil cake, a browned and steaming rice pudding studded with currents, candied citron, and dried cherries; a rainbow fruit compote (cantaloupe, watermelon, and honeydew balls with strawberries, blueberries, Valencia orange slices, and soused with Marsalla and champagne); and steaming pots of Costa Rican coffee and Earl Gray tea. For dessert’s dessert we had pitted prunes that had soaked to a divine softness in Armagnac; the remainder of the pre-dinner cheeses, now surrounded with ripe Anjou pears, Macoun apples, and fresh figs; and, finally, minted chocolate twigs.

We all sleepily threw ourselves into the washing up and, when it was over and done with all the crockery dried and put away; we settled around the roaring fire in the living room with a glass of hard cider or warming cognac. After many war stories, seasonal songs, and familial antidotes, we pulled on our weather clothes and re-entered the old Packard. Following lots of thank-you’s and echoed good-byes, Uncle Bill pulled from the curb with a short toot of the oogle horn. On the way home we all fell into a deep, high-blood-sugar and L-tryptophan induced sleep. Unfortunately, this also included Uncle Bill ... who consequently drove off of the road at over 60 MPH ... directly into a bridge abutment. Contented ... and with full bellies of Butterball ... we all instantly perished in a Thanksgiving fireball.

© Copyright, George W. Potts


How can so many seemingly-smart people be so blind?  The current John Kerry-brokered deal with Iran, instead of averting war there, pretty much guarantees it. Clearly Iran was suffering greatly from the sanctions that the world had been imposing on them.  So, by cooing like a dove through its hawkish beak, Iran has slipped the noose. President Obama unilaterally relaxed these sanctions and then had Kerry construct a pact that is so loosey-goosey that both sides can claim victory.  Instead of pressing our advantage, we have let Iran keep spinning its tens of thousands of centrifuges ... enriching uranium ... even though this contradicts dozens of U.N. resolutions.

So many of the supposed concessions by Iran in this deal are pure hokum ... see: Free Beacon Story.  With this pact we have just given Iran over $8 billion and six months to further advance its nuclear mischief. If Senators Chuck Schumer and Robert Menendez are against this agreement, one has to question its underpinnings. After six months, when we realize what fools we and the other signers of this deal have been, reimposing sanctions on Iran anything like what we have now will be next to impossible.  And Iran's nuclear weapon(s) will be just months away ... maybe then the scales will fall from our eyes.

Paul Wolfowitz was on the MSNBC Chris Hayes' All In show yesterday and knocked into a cocked hat all of the loose logic being used by the left to trumpet this Iranian deal ... see: MSNBC Video. Basically Wolfowitz parried each of Hayes' arm-waving talking points with crystal-clear logic and conviction. As can be seen Hayes is wearing thick glasses ... I think he may also need a white cane.

Afterthought: To understand the degree of Iran's perfidy and the Obama administration's naivete (at least I hope it is naivete) please peruse this statement of the actual ten terms of this agreement in the Powerline Blog.  Sleep well ...

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

reddit Gallery LXIV

Another excursion into the world of reddit pictures.  See reddit Pics for sources.  Click on pictures to enlarge them.  Enjoy!

Stained-Glass Shadows


Ship Shipping Ships

Dock of the Bay

Butterfly on an Owl (Photoshopped?)

Monday, November 25, 2013

An Omen?

The comet ISON is on its way toward its close encounter with the sun.  If it survives this test, it should supply a spectacular light show later this week ... see: Washington Post Story.  This clearly is another disturbing result of global warming ... er, climate change.

Or perhaps this is an omen indicating that Iran is sincere in its pledge to stop enriching uranium? Nah!  It's that climate change thingie ...

Friday, November 22, 2013

reddit Gallery LXIII

Another excursion into the world of reddit pictures.  See reddit Pics for sources.  Click on pictures to enlarge them.  Enjoy!


Prague Christmas

Giant Flying Red Squirrel

Manatee and Friends

Tulips in the Snow

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Uncle Wiggily

I have been laid up for the past two days with a bad back after a visit to the emergency room at the Newton-Wellesley Hospital.  The lead-up details aren't important but suffice it to say that, after some x-rays and questioning, the medicos there diagnosed me with lumbago.  Lumbago!  The last time I heard this term was when I was read some Uncle Wiggily stories as a small child.  Poor old Uncle Wiggily often suffered from this archaic malady ... particularly when the weather was bad.

So, I guess that, if the lollipop man doesn't drop his rainbow ice cream cone down the lemonade well, then I should be up and about in a few days ... that is, if the weather stays fair.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Hippocratic Oath

“Do no harm” … that is the essence of the Hippocratic Oath that all doctors are supposed to live by. In other words, if a patient arrives with a hang-nail, don’t cut off his finger.  Wouldn’t it be nice if there were an equivalent motto that politicians were asked to forswear when they entered the public arena?

Clearly, the current administration and the Pilosi-Reid cabal felt few compunctions about breaking some eggs when they cooked up that atrocious omelet of legislation four years ago ... once proudly called Obamacare. But now is being shamelessly retagged by the mainstream media with its official title “Affordable Care Act.”  In fact, it appears that this bunch of miscreants not only broke a zillion eggs in the process, but also killed the chickens and burned down the farm. 

And it is not just the website that is the problem with Obamacare … it is its entire concept and execution (excuse the pun) … see: Breitbart Commentary

Actually I do believe that those bozos responsible might have taken an oath under their breath when they entered public office … the Hypocritic Oath.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


The U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, and Susan Rice are having a falling out over the United States’ policy toward Egypt.  Kerry, for a change, is sounding sensible in that he is supportive of what is now happening there.  He recently said in Cairo that Egypt is “[back] on the path to democracy.”  Whereas National Security Adviser Rice had previously directed him to denounce what was occurring to former President Mohamed Morsi who is now on trial for murder … see: The Daily Beast Story.  One has to conclude that Susan Rice is reflecting President Obama’s posture on this issue.

The White House, through our five-time-Sunday-talk-show-liar, Rice, is clearly not happy with the fact the Egypt has moved back to the center after its brief fling with the Muslim Brotherhood and its radical operative, Morsi. In fact we have frozen our military aid to Egypt and, as a result, Egypt is now tilting toward Russia … see: Fox News Story  Now, Kerry must realize that his predecessor, Hillary Clinton, and his boss had made a dog’s breakfast out of our policy toward Egypt … and he is trying to clean up things. Hazzah!

It will be interesting to see if Obama will give Kerry his leash on this issue.  If he does, it will most certainly reflect Obama’s weakened state at State.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Middle Classness

The middle class in the United States is on the decline.  Although this has been a long-term trend, recent years have acerbated the disparity between the upper and middle classes … while the lower classes seem to be doing OK … see the Growing Income Divide graph in the following story: Washington Post Story.  As can be seen in this graph, the lower classes are holding their own … most likely due to the recent dramatic growth in our welfare state ... while the middle classes are being eroded ... and the upper classes are on a roll.

Why is this middle-class shrinkage happening?  I believe that our reliance upon the Federal Reserve Bank to spur our (however anemic) national economic growth with artificially low interest rates is one reason.  This means that those plutocrats with plenty of assets can benefit from the difference between their low borrowing costs and what they can achieve with arbitrage in the various asset markets (stocks, bonds, communities, and currencies).  Whereas, our less sophisticated middle class, including many retirees, are stuck behind the eight-ball of low returns on their more modest assets.

Also the continued decline in the U.S. manufacturing sector is another drag on middle-class prosperity … exacerbated by increased government regulation and many unions hitting the glass ceilings on their wage inflations.  There also has been a dramatic swing to part-time labor in the service sector (due to that you-know-what law).

In closing, I cannot ignore the connection to the “Black Value System” that members of the Trinity United Church (whose membership included the Obama’s prior to 2008) signed as part of their church commitment.  One of the tenants of this pledge was “Disavowal of the Pursuit of Middleclassness” … see reference in: Liberal Progressive. Have President Obama’s policy implementations over the last five years somehow been swayed by his previous Trinity United Church signed pledge?  I wonder?

Afterthought: The middle class is one of the pillars of a capitalistic society.  Its current erosion here can do nothing but accelerate the United States's movement toward European-style stateism. Perhaps that is part of the strategy?


Haiku is a highly stylized form of Japanese poetry ... usually dealing with nature ... always of three lines.  The first line contains five syllables, the second has seven syllables, and the third five again. I have a blog containing a number of my haiku poetry attempts ... some good ... a few doggerel.  If you wish to visit it, go to Haiku Wanderings.  Here is one of my better results which took first place in a Haiku contest:

The eclipsing moon
Hangs in the evening sky
Like a mournful god

Sunday, November 17, 2013

reddit Gallery LXII

Another excursion into the world of reddit pictures.  See reddit Pics for sources.  Click on pictures to enlarge them.  Enjoy!

1957 Jaguar XKSS

Yosemite Morning

Tower Bridge, London

Shorn Alpacas

Tokyo Commuter Train

Friday, November 15, 2013

reddit Gallery LXI

Another excursion into the world of reddit pictures.  See reddit Pics for sources.  Click on pictures to enlarge them.  Enjoy!

Petra, Jordan

Chinese Monestary

Columbian Cathedral

Architectural Wonder

Batu Caves Temple


One day after he announced his decision to change the rules for individuals buying health insurance under Obamacare, our fearless leader is now meeting with executives from the health insurance industry to work out how this might be implemented ... see: Wall Street Journal Article.  This is, unfortunately, Obama's typical management style ...

Smoking Gun

Don’t be bamboozled by all the newspeak coming out of the Obama administration and from our fearless leader.  They and he knew all along how Obamacare was going to devastate current health-care insurance … both individual plans and company plans.

The following Federal Registry chart (published 6/17/2010) has been highlighted by John Hinderaker of the Powerline blog.  It is the smoking gun that clearly shows the administration’s shocking predictions of the percentages of employer health-care policies that would lose their grandfather status and be canceled (now postponed until next year by Obama's recent ukase) as a result of this wack-a-doodle legislation (click on the chart to enlarge it):

 To read John’s further and deeper thoughts on this depressing revelation go to his blog entry HERE.

Let’s face it … we’ve been had.  Obama and his cronies had clearly decided early-on to remake our health-care system in its entirety.  Because our then-current system had eczema, their cure was euthanasia.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

reddit Gallery LX

Another excursion into the world of reddit pictures.  See reddit Pics for sources.  Click on pictures to enlarge them.  Enjoy!

1936 Henderson Motorcycle

Candlelit Romance

Gloryhole Waterfall

Wildebeest Migration

Amazon Milk Frog

Hearts and Flowers

I just watched President Obama’s news conference in which he rolled back for another year (extra-legally I assume) the ability of “Bad Apple” health-care insurers to cancel existing policies … so that the pledges he made over the last three years would once again be operative.  And, you know, he did have me convinced that he was sincere in his attempt to right these previous wrongs … at least for a while.  And, by the way, he also asked that we not blame all those Democrat Congress persons who had repeated his pledge … it was our … er, his fault alone.

He is good … really, really good in his ability to sell chicken-bleep and call it chicken salad.  And while he was at it he also vowed that the “majority” of Americans would be able to use the website come November 30th/December 1st without major problems.  (So, if 100 people try to use this website, 51 will be somewhat successful?) 

In other words the birds are singing … the flowers are blooming … and he still loves us, the American people, and wants us to love him. And you know what?  He might make just make it happen.  This reminds me of how a battered wife refuses to testify against her bully husband at the police station … her misguided love overcomes her common sense.

Now, the ogres in this tragedy will be the Bad-Apple insurance companies because they won’t be able to turn on a dime and do what our fearless, feckless leader has just promised to the American public.  President Obama will once again be a innocent bystander at a thirty car pile-up.

Afterward: Much as I am tempted to feel sorry for the U.S. health-care insurers, this pity is mitigated by the fact that they did make a pact with the devil three years ago.  In a sense they may be indeed getting what they rightfully deserve.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

reddit Gallery LIX

Another excursion into the world of reddit pictures.  See reddit Pics for sources.  Click on pictures to enlarge them.  Enjoy!

Golden Tortoise Beetle

Wooden Watch

Any Leaf in a Storm

Black Leopard

Titanic vs. Modern Cruise Ship