Wednesday, December 31, 2014

More Things I Don't Get

I have previously posted a list of things that just go over my head ... see: Perloined Powerline. For the New Year, to show what a curmudgeon I really am,  I thought I would update this list of things that genuinely perplex me:

- The Uber® car service

- Monster truck shows

- Earned-income tax credits

- Bob Dylan's singing

- Social networking

- Pop Tarts®

- Starbucks® (baristas, etc..)

- Infinity pools

- Al Sharpton's religious credentials

- Cabo (Mexico)

- Bitcoins

- Pet reptiles

- Mayor Bill de Blasio

- Mojitos

- Renoir paintings

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Pulling the Tiger’s Tail

The United States government (FBI) rapidly concluded that it was North Korea that had hacked into Sony’s computers in retaliation for producing the picture, “The Interview,” which spoofs the leader of that country, Kim Jong-un. Now many cyber-security firms have expressed reservations about that conclusion … saying that it more likely was a combination of a disgruntled ex-employee colluding with a hacking group … see: Politico Analysis. This conclusion seems supported by additional hacks into Sony’s Playstation servers on Christmas day by a group self-labeled the “Lizard Squad.”

If it eventually turns out that the original hack was NOT performed by the North Koreans, the United States intelligence community has egg on its face (again) … which then spawns three possibly serious consequences:

1)     President Obama, in his very public rush to judgment in this case, may end up being made to look as foolish as George W. Bush. (Remember how many years the media drumbeat went on … accusing Bush 43 of lying to the world about Iraq’s WMDs?)
2)     It is fairly obvious that the United States, in retaliation, has crippled the North Korean Internet … twice. This is a serious piece of cyber-aggression against an unstable government that likely possesses atomic weapons. Talk about pulling the tiger’s tail.
3)     In taking down North Korea’s Internet, I am certain that the U.S. cyber counter forces have revealed to the Chinese and Russians technical capabilities that might have been left for more serious cyber-attacks against this country’s infrastructure. To me, it is questionable whether such counter-measures might now work when they are more critically needed.

Will the American media now excoriate luau-boy for his too-quick accusation of North Korea in this matter? Hmmm?

Monday, December 29, 2014

reddit Gallery CCXXXIII -- Happy Nude Year

Another excursion into the world of reddit Pictures. See: reddit Pics for sources.  Do yourself a favor and click on pictures to enlarge them.  Enjoy and Happy New Year!

Taylor Swift wit Victoria's Secret Models

Hand-Made Pizza

Marilyn Monroe in a Potato Sack



I know, I know that the Pope is only supposed to be infallible when speaking on church doctrine. But the current pontiff, Francis, has outdone himself by preparing an encyclical which will be calling for the U.N. to stop global warming … see: The Guardian Story. How the U.N. is supposed to do this when its well-funded subsidiary, the World Heath Organization, can’t even begin to curb the Ebola epidemic is a little beyond my perceptive talents. Perhaps, if it stopped propping up the five-star hotels in Geneva and Brussels? And besides Popes don’t have a stellar record when it involves things science … remember Galileo?

And speaking of global warming, John Hinderaker of the Powerline blog has produced a nice article that references hard scientific analysis of Antarctic ice cores to show that CO2 levels are a lagging indicator (by thousands of years) to our Earth’s large historic swings in temperature … see: Powerline Blog . Perhaps the Pope (and Al Gore) should read this research paper before they step into this cauldron of controversy?

Sunday, December 28, 2014

New Year's Resolutions

In the ensuing year I will endeavor to do (or not do) the following:

- Give President Obama the benefit of the doubt ... once

- Don't join any organization that beheads people

- Thank a cop for his/her service

- Not fly on any Far East airlines

- Stop rooting for the Red Sox

- Write a blog that makes the world a tiny bit better

- Steer clear of posting or reading social media

- Never watch the SONY movie "The Interview"

- Laugh more often, particularly at myself

- Stop commenting on Kim Kardashian's monster derrière

Saturday, December 27, 2014

A Suggestion

The men in blue from New York City have been dissing Mayor Bill de Blasio of late by turning their backs to him as he walks by or addresses them  ... see: Breitbart Article. (De Blasio did get back at them however by being two hours late to the wake of one of the assassinated policemen, Rafael Ramos.)

Although I believe that this gesture by New York's finest is easily justified by de Blasio's unprofessional disregard for them and their daily dangers, I would like to suggest that they also augment this protest with a mass-mooning of de Blasio while they are turned around.

Yes, I do realize that both sides are acting like teenagers ... but then so are the demonstrators and even out fearless leader. So think of this suggestion just as a mimicking our elected elites ... and it feels kinda good.

Out of Outrage

It seems that pop stars like Madonna, Miley Cyrus and Lady Gaga have hyped the sales of their songs and concerts with outrageous stunts and cross-culture controversy ... simulated sex, twerking, screwy costumes, breaking all sorts of social norms, and anything else that the twisted creative minds of these poop stars' posses could invent. However, it now seems that the well of creative outrage is drying up because Madonna's latest performance album, "Rebel Heart" has hit the wall ... its lead single "Living for Love" only ranks 529th on the popularity charts ... despite some silly promotional shenanigans such as unauthorized "leaks" ... see: Showbiz 411 Story.

I guess that eventually a manipulated public wises up ... either through boredom or maturation. Whereas old pop stars, since their singing is usually only marginal, fade from view when they run out of ways to be outrageous. How wonderfully quaint!

Afterward: See Madonna's new album hype: Breitbart Story.

Cooking the Books

I have in the past lamented the fact that our government is getting creative when it comes to reporting economic and employment numbers … see: Funny Numbers.

Now we have another instance of culinary accounting when it comes to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) reportage. It seems that the Commerce Department has moved something like $40 billion of Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE, a large piece of GDP) from the first quarter of calendar 2014 into the third quarter. This PCE “adjustment” is also a bit of an anomaly in that it represents U.S. citizens’ spending on Obamacare. This adjustment in turn caused the first quarter of the year to look pathetic … basically 0% growth … and the third, to appear gangbusters (that +5% figure that gave us all a warm holiday glow) … see: Powerline Blog.

I think that some of our government’s numbers chefs might have misread their recipe  instructions this time around … lest why didn’t they put this $40 billion PCE “adjustment” into second quarter results where it would have done the most good politically … right before November’s national elections. 

I for one used mostly to trust what our government reported. Now we all need to rethink such trust … particularly under the current administration. The real problem is that, in trying to fool the American public, this administration may well end up fooling itself … with dire consequences.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

reddit Gallery CCXXXII -- Christmas

Another excursion into the world of reddit Pictures. See: reddit Pics for sources.  Do yourself a favor and click on pictures to enlarge them.  Enjoy ... and Merry Christmas!


Shipping Glut

Cozy Room

Lone Cabin

1950's Street

Rockefeller Center

Monday, December 22, 2014

High Society

The other night I watched  the old movie "High Society" on Turner Classic Movies ... starring Grace Kelly, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong, and Celeste Holm. This comedy of manners originally came out when I was a freshman in college and I, along with many of my classmates, were gaga over the message it conveyed ... sophisticated social interactions, loose morals, plenty of alcohol consumption (without real consequences). and romantic music spiced with lots of newly-discovered jazz. I still recall the general appeal that this film engendered. Many of us imagined a fling with Grace Kelly after an evening of champagne and ballroom dancing in a well-appointed mansion.

Alas, it was all a chimera then ... as I can clearly see now in its re-viewing ... Grace Kelly driving Frank Sinatra along the curvy roads of Newport, Rhode Island without hardly turning the steering wheel (rather ironic in that this was the way that Princess Grace of Monaco perished) ... pear-shaped Bing Crosby wooing and winning his scripted svelte former wife, Grace Kelly, at least 30 years his junior ... Frank Sinatra launching into song at the drop of a cigarette ash. This movie is replete with lots of bon mots that don't survive the years. Most of the charm of this movie that I cherished 58 years ago has been interred with its actors.

But then, I strongly suspect our grandchildren will some day feel the same bitter nostalgia about today's romantic cinematic blockbusters (if there are such things?)

Yankee Si, Cuba No

If you think I write diatribes on this blog, you ain’t seen nothing yet. President Obama’s “normalization” of relations with Cuba has stirred the juices of the Diplomad (W. Lewis Anselem) into writing two entries on his blog that not only take our president to task for his international policy blunderings toward our neighbor to the south, but also provides many interesting diplomatic insights regarding the Castro brothers and their evil, evil history. See: Castros Pull It Off Again and On Cuba. (The many comments are also worth the time to peruse.)

These first two installments from this seasoned, but retired U.S. diplomat are a little long, but should be read to gain a better perspective on what Obama is doing … or not doing. The Diplomad promises further writing on this subject which I will be sure to reconvey to you as they appear.


Liberal Bill Maher finally addressed the students at that liberal bastion, UCal Berkeley, on Saturday and told students to avoid “groupthink” (that famous and insightful term from George Orwell’s book, “1984”) … be an individual, a free thinker. He ironically also cajoled them to be soldiers in the fight against climate change. “I hope all of you here today consider the environment to be paramount among the many challenges we face.” See: Breitbart Article.

Need I point out the obvious to you dear reader? The religion of climate change is one of the most blatant examples today of "groupthink." Bill Maher might just as well have been speaking “newspeak,” warning of “thoughtcrimes” to the “Ministry of Truth” members at “Airstrip One” (other insightful terms from “1984”). Maher, much as he likes to view himself, clearly is no hammer thrower.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

When Pigs Fly

I suppose that New York City’s Mayor Bill DeBlasio thought that no one would follow through with the taunts that were chanted at these past weeks’ protest marches, “What do we want? Dead cops! When do we what them? Now!” Stupid, stupid mayor! Now, two police officers are dead, one Hispanic and one Asian murdered in cold blood by an African-American in Brooklyn who boasted on Instagram that “I’m putting wings on pigs today.”  And these assassinations were primarily because the man-boy mayor clearly sympathized with the chanting protesters. And luckily two more police officers escaped this same fate in the Bronx when the gun of their would-be assassin jammed. Read the appalling details here … see: New York Daily News Story 

It is difficult to express how irresponsible the mayor of New York and his race-baiting cronies like Al Sharpton and, to a lesser extent, President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder, have behaved following the controversial deaths of two black men by the police in these last months. But clearly their hand ringing and two-faced rhetoric has contributed to this outcome … see: Open Wound. The street demonstrations around the country have caused numerous other incidents of violence against police officers … with the strong likelihood of more to follow. It would take a pretty naive (or stupid) politician to not expect these events to occur as a result of their tacit encouragements.

Here is not the place for a reprise of the grand jury’s decisions on the deaths of blacks in Ferguson and Staten Island, but it is the place to decry how many leaders have handled these decisions … and it is shameful. These reactions remind me of entertainers who hold up one hand to stop an audience's raucous reaction ... while lower-down using the other hand in the “come-along ... more” inward wave. Suddenly all cops are guilty of racism and all grand juries are tainted in the sub rosa text of these guttersnipes.

This is a perfect example of the old Biblical expression … “What ye sow, so shall ye reap.”

Afterward: For Powerline Blog's John Hinderacker's reaction to President Obama's reaction to these events see: Powerline Blog.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Youthful Indiscretions

When I was 19. and was working a summer construction job in State College, Pennsylvania, I was approached by a recruiter from Fidel Castro to join his Cuban revolution. I thought about it for about 30 seconds before I declined. But, being young and full of daring-do and having a head full of mush (a Rush Limbaugh expression), I easily could have screwed up my life for good with a wrong decision then.

I'm sure that many of the foreign fighters from England, Belgium, France, Germany, etc. who have joined ISIS over the last year made their decisions with less studied consideration .... be it wanderlust, romantic idealism, and/or the pull of danger. The reward for many of these fighters has not been all that they expected ... as about 100 of them have been executed by ISIS when they became disillusioned and tried to leave this insurrection to return home ... see: Breitbart Article.

It is amazing sometimes how our callow youths ever reach adulthood when they are surrounded by the toxic temptations such as the Internet now lays at their feet. Youthful indiscretion often seems a bigger reason for a young person's demise than any other possible disease, accident, or freak of nature.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Blame Game

With one foot on Marine One ready to whisk him away on the start of his 17 day holiday frolic in Hawaii, President Obama today at his press conference blamed Sony for caving into the North Koreans by canceling the opening of its movie, “The Interview.”  Sony apparently did this because of terrorist threats from anonymous (North Korean) sources against anyone attending this movie. The President’s other foot was firmly planted where it usually is … lodged in his pie hole.

This newest faux pas was because President Obama said that, had Sony called him, he would have told them to not accede to this threat to its First Amendment rights. And, as it turns out, Sony did call the White House for advice, but Barry was probably polishing up his surf board and never responded to its entreaty … see: Breitbart Article.

I know that I criticize our president a lot, but this shame visited on Sony … and the American people by proxy … was another affront that came as a direct result of the incompetence and inattention of the Obama administration … made worse by its leader’s inability to ever accept the responsibility for anything. I do believe that Obama keeps the Greyhound Corporation afloat by his frequent use of its bus fleet to cover his continued haughty and shameless disregard for the facts.

A Benghazi Lesson Learned

On the "direct advice" of President Obama, Sony Pictures has canceled the release of “The Interview” due to fears of possible threatened attacks by unspecified malcontents on the theaters that show it. This movie is supposedly funny yet depicts some personal insults to North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un. The Obama administration (with Hillary Clinton’s me-too blessing) has decried such unprovoked slights to a foreign leader and has jailed its directors, Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen, on unspecified charges. The United States has also posted an apology to North Korea on YouTube and closed all its embassies in the Far East throughout this “holiday” season.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Open Wound

It seems that the black deaths in Ferguson and on Staten Island have given President Obama an opportunity once again to pull the scab off of the wound of racism in the United States. In the current issue of People magazine both Barack and Michelle Obama recount what they have seen as racist encounters in their past lives ... see: People Magazine Teaser. I'm not saying that these things didn't happen. I'm sure that they did. However, I know I have been socially slighted in the past and I suspect that most people of all races have had such tactless incidents. But when a black person sees every possible faux pas as a racial slight, then I think we are in for a very long process before our racial wounds over-heal.

And this is particularly true of our president and first lady. President Obama promised, with his election, to usher in a post-racial society. Instead, he has taken every opportunity to escalate any conflict involving a black person into a federal case. Can he not see that many of the demonstrations and riots of these past months are as a result of his two-faced rhetoric? No wonder that the race-baiter extraordinaire, Al Sharpton, is his close advisor and a frequent visitor to the White House.

One can only conclude that the degeneration of race relations we are currently experiencing has been a real goal of our president all along. So sad ...

Afterward: For equivalent perceptions on this same subject see: Powerline Blog.

The Grayest Lady

The New York Times can publish the deepest, darkest of our national secrets without the slightest compunction ... but, when it comes to hacked salacious e-mails between two SONY executives, it's reporters cannot even view them on-line unless they have been previously exposed by some other publication. How hypocritical can the Gray Lady get? Today on "Morning Joe" a reporter from the Times revealed that the lawyers there have forbade any its reporters from being the initial revealers of any of this hacked SONY information.

Perhaps, if the Sony execs were discussing how the U.S. was uncovering Al Qaeda operations, then things would be OK?

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

reddit Gallery CCXXXI

Another excursion into the world of reddit Pictures. See: reddit Pics for sources.  Do yourself a favor and click on pictures to enlarge them.  Enjoy!

Frog on a Berry

Asperatus clouds

Frankfurt, Germany, 

Sign of the Times



Try to imagine that you are Sam Peckinpah and you are making a movie exhibiting the ultimate in ferocity … really insane, gory, brutal stuff. Whatever you can come up with it is but piffle compared with what the Taliban just performed in north-western Pakistan at a Pashwar school for military children. I suggest that if you have a sensitive stomach or psyche that you not read the details of what these beyond-inhuman brutes did at this school … International Business Times Story.

I have gone to the thesaurus to try to find the right adjectives … horrific, dreadful, appalling, ghastly … none are sufficiently descriptive of these murderers. In fact, it is difficult to imagine how human beings can devolve into such barbaric behavior … no matter what the justification. Perhaps, just perhaps we now see why George Bush decided to wage war against this brand of Islamic extremism … and why we used some “enhanced interrogation techniques” to extract meaningful intelligence so that we might stop such insanity.

Why we have now decided to negotiate with the Taliban in Afghanistan is so far beyond my comprehension that I won’t even try.

Afterward: Don't forget ... it's only "torture" if you do the same or worse to your prisoner than he would do to you if the roles were reversed.

After Afterward: For President Obama's reaction to this butchery read: Atlas Shrugged and he may have even abetted this attack ... see Atlas Shrugged 2.

Rags to Rags

Here’s another Walter Mitty story -- boy investment genius, not yet out of high school, makes $72 million trading stocks on Wall Street. His name is Mohammed Islam and he goes to Stuyvesant High School on the lower East Side of Manhattan and has seemingly acquired all the trappings of a multi-millionaire. Perhaps these trumped-up trappings are what influenced Jessica Pressler to write a quite typical New Yorker magazine flivver story about this wunderkind … see: New Yorker Story.

Alas, it was all a great big teenager prank and the New Yorker magazine is embarrassed … see: The Observer Exposee ... and Jessica Pressler has moved on to browner pastures … see: Capital Story.

I actually think she should have taken a shot at Rolling Stone.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Gored Oxen

Sony's corporate computers have been hacked and hacked badly ... revealing oodles of embarrassing information about their operations ... scripts, private and scurrilous e-mails, actors' salaries, Social Security numbers, actual copies of unreleased movies, etc. ... see: Hollywood Reporter Story.

The famous tinsel-town writer, Aaron Sorkin, had an op-ed yesterday in the New York Times saying that the American media's releasing of many of these revelations is "morally treasonous." ... see: New York Times Op-Ed. I find it quite revealing that such a comment is forthcoming from a media mogul ... because I am certain that, if the shoe were on the other foot,  Hollywood would reveal and revel in any disclosures that they could make about the rest of our media empire.

Everything is kosher unless and until it is your ox that is being gored.


A friend is soon to attend her first 4 ½ hour performance of “Die Meistersinger” by Richard Wagner. To me, it is funny how there seems such a bright line between opera buffs and opera baiters. My wife loves opera … me, not so much. Anyhow this friend’s initiation to this marathon opera brings to mind a few quips about this German composer:

The answer: 9-W
The question: Does your last name begin with a “V” Herr Wagner?

“Richard Wagner’s music is better than it sounds.” – attributed to the humorist Edgar Wilson

“I have seen and greatly enjoyed the first act of everything Wagner created, but the effect on me has always been so powerful that one act was quite sufficient; after two acts I have gone away physically exhausted.” -- Mark Twain

"It isn't over until the fat lady sings." -- attributed to Yogi Berra

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Tourist Leverage

Apparently democratically-elected Islamists are inclined toward the tyrannical takeovers of their governments. We saw this develop in Egypt where President Mohamed Morsi jumped on a fast horse to try to outrun his political opposition ... and ended up angering many of his supporters and found himself and most of his posse behind bars after street rioting and a military coup ... see: BBC Story.

Now President Erdogan of Turkey is following this same game plan by arresting 27 of his opponents on trumped-up charges ... trying to cement his control over this Muslim country (which is also a member of NATO) ... see: Yahoo News Story. Certainly and rightfully, Erdogan's despotic moves have also estranged many countries in Europe and, I hope, many of those voters who mistakenly put him into office.

President Erdogan seems so anxious to rid Turkey of its secular heritage that he might find himself in the same super-steam bath that Morsi drew for himself. I would like to be sensitive enough to the Turkish psyche to be able to predict the outcome of this passion play. But, if tourism falls off in Turkey like it fell off in Egypt, I think that this might be a catalyst in the overthrow of this caliphate-loving Caesar. Economics very often trumps ideology.

My wife wanted us to take a cruise next year that stopped in Turkey. After some discussion about the situation there, we decided to forgo this junket. This is a shame ... for Turkey was on our bucket list and there isn't much water left in our collective pail. But, if many other tourists passing such an opportunity up, means that Erdogan, like Morsi, also must dine on bread and water for a number of years, it all would be well worth it.

Heavy Metal

What do the bands Metallica, Rage Against The Machine, Queen, Eminem, David Gray. and Skinny Puppy have in common? Why their recordings all were used to “torture” prisoners at Gitmo … see: Brooklyn Vegan Blog. This last band mentioned has invoiced the U.S. government $666,000 (a devil of an amount) for using its “music” for this purpose without its permission. And it may sue the government if this requested amount isn’t remitted.

How quaint …

Saturday, December 13, 2014


Mankind too often has a insidious way of pushing a program or an ideology … particularly in this day of the ever-increasing pace of technology and communications … be it social media, Internet publishing, congressional law-making, financial derivatives, climate change "science," etc. … and that is what I chose to call "convoluted complexity." By this I mean that the real truth of an issue lies below so many layers of required understandings that proponents can pull a fast one on the general public with misleading rhetoric which obscures their will-o-the-wisp hidden agendas.

This strategy has been exhibited with Jonathan Gruber’s slight of hand with Obamacare (see: Washington Post Article), the convoluted misreporting of the University of Virginia gang-rape allegations (see: Daily Caller Story ), Elizabeth Warren’s attack on Congress's continuing resolution to finance our government. She says that it is helping Wall Street banks (see: Powerline Blog) and so many other current dust-ups that set my head to spinning.

What to do? How does one uncover the actual truths in these contretemps? I have fallen back on a strategy to catch the snipe in many of these seemingly hopeless media mazes. And that is to discount anything said or written by someone who appears to be creating complexity for the sake of complexity. Once an issue requires me to get a graduate degree in a discipline in order to understand it, I discount these arguments and assume that I am being hoodwinked. (I also use this strategy with most arm-waving television ads these days … for example … "call 1-800-BAD-DRUG"). This device is not of my invention … William of Occam was one of the first to propose it … see: Science Explanation of Occam's Razor

It seems to work in most instances.

Friday, December 12, 2014

reddir Gallery CCXXX

Another excursion into the world of reddit Pictures. See: reddit Pics for sources.  Do yourself a favor and click on pictures to enlarge them.  Enjoy!

Senseless Eco-Graffiti
See: NY Times story: CNBC Reference.

Bird's Nest Mushrooms,

Saturn Moon, Hyperion

Asian Pallas's Cat


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Rabbit Warren

Senator Elizabeth Warren is opposing the continuing financial resolution being considered tonight in Congress. This is because it may cause us to abandon provisions in the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill that keeps the federal government from once again bailing out the big banks in another financial crisis. Much as her rhetoric seems convincing, I sincerely doubt that this Dodd-Frank bill would do any such thing. I strongly suspect that Senator Lieawatha is seizing this opportunity to kill this compromise resolution to grab the spotlight and gain enough media attention to be able to best Hillary Clinton as the next Democrat presidential candidate.

I sincerely hope she wins on both counts. I hope this bill dies tonight and the Democrats are finally fingered as causing a government shutdown ... or we get just a three-month continuation of federal funding. This would put the Republicans, due to their majorities in both houses, in the catbird seat for the next round of budget talks after the first of the year. And I also hope against hope that Senator Warren becomes the front runner (rabbit) of the Democrat party and leaves Hillary Clinton in the dust in the race for this party's nomination. I then believe that our loony liberals would have nominated a Walter Mondale redux for 2016. I doubt that, in the general election, she would even carry Massachusetts, her home state, up against any conceivable Republican candidate ... even, perish the thought, Donald Trump.

Please Allah let it be ...

Ends vs. Means

The old political debate about whether the ends justify the means apparently depends on what the ends, in fact, are. This dichotomy has now been in the news because of Dianne Feinstein's recent polemic against the U.S.'s enhanced interrogation techniques (aka torture) following the 9/11 attacks. Here the liberal argument is that these methods applied to despicable individuals yielded no actionable intelligence ... thus cleverly attempting to deny the CIA any justification for their actions ... see Dick Cheney's comments: Real Clear Politics.

On the other hand, the Democrats have incessantly rationalized their chicanery, bribery, and mendacity surrounding the passage of Obamacare because the result was so important that these base means were of no import ... see Jonathan Gruber's justifications of these Democrats actions: LA Times Article

Now I ask you ... are a few million more people with health insurance (don't forget, they already have healthcare ... such care cannot be denied) more important than possibly one or more new 9/11-type attacks where thousands, if not millions of Americans might be killed?

I know where I come down.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014


I generally have liked Senator Dianne Feinstein of California … certainly when juxtaposed next to her state’s chamber mate, Senator Barbara Boxer, the essence of liberal claptrapedness. But when you let your hurt feelings dictate your lashing out at our intelligence community at the cost of what little prestige the United States might still have abroad and the possible jeopardizing of intelligence assets around the world … you have taken a step onto the dark side ... and are now on my feces list. Senator Feinstein took to the Senate floor yesterday to excoriate the C.I.A. for its role in the “torture” of captured Al Qaeda prisoners who had orchestrated the murder of 3,000 Americans … see: New York Times Article for some slightly biased reportage.

Obviously the definition of torture is generally proscribed by the beliefs of the beholder and I don’t intend to debate it here except to say that too many liberals endorsed these coercive practices right after 9/11 … only to perform a elaborate pirouette years later when the politics permitted. And when you incur the wrath of former Senator Bob Kerrey, another unrepentant liberal, Senator Feinstein, you clearly have let your ego trump your patriotism … see: USA Today OpEd.

This California senator certainly has the institutional memory to understand what Senator Church’s Intelligence Committee’s attack on the C.I.A. did back in the 1970s. Its resulting restrictions on our intelligence community probably had a lot to do with the failures that led to 9/11. Yet she has let a few misguided C.I.A. operative’s actions color her indictment of this agency which, in turn, may result in similar terrorist atrocities on our soil in the future. But alas, Senator Feinstein, like Senator Church, will likely by then be long gone and not suffer any of these consequences … and the merry-go-round will return our intelligence community to a position of “whatever it takes.”

As far as I am concerned, the real torture is watching these misguided bubbleheads give away the farm due to a case of overweening moral superiority.

Afterward: I think I may have come up with an interesting definition of torture -- when you are interrogating a prisoner, if you do less to him than what he would do to you if the roles were reversed, then it is not torture. (Therefore equal or greater abuse compared to what he would do to you would be torture.)

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

reddit Gallery CCXXIX -- Sports Cars

Another excursion into the world of reddit Pictures. See: reddit Pics for sources.  Do yourself a favor and click on pictures to enlarge them.  Enjoy!

Porsche 918

ASton Martin DBS

BMW 18

Aston Martin One -77

1957 Jaguar
1957 BMW 507

Aston Martin DBC