Sunday, August 31, 2014

Energy Independence

I have written in the past about "oil industry subsidies." Rather than using a hyperlink, I will just reproduce my 2011 blog entry text here:
Semantics are wondrous things.  Many politicians, including some Republicans, are now calling for the elimination of oil industry "subsidies" as one small way of closing our heinous budget deficit.  These subsidies supposedly total $4.4 billion per year (see: Oil Industry Subsidies.) This is a very small amelioration (less than 0.3%) considering that our budget deficits are now running around $1.6 trillion per year.
Now, I am old enough to remember what these oil-industry "subsidies" really are.  They used to be called "oil depletion allowances."  These allowances were meant to equate to "depreciation" in other industries.  In other words, as an oil company either purchased or leased the mineral rights to a piece of land ... and then extracted the oil, there was a reduced value to this land since the oil was being extracted.  Thus oil companies were allowed to "depreciate" this depleted oil deposit to allow them to then go and buy or lease other land to look for more oil. 
Can we thus call the ability of General Motors to depreciate the machinery (robots, machine tools, etc.) it uses to make cars an "auto-industry subsidy?"  If we did, all hell would break loose.  Now maybe the formulas used to calculate oil depletion allowances need to be reformulated given the new technology used in oil extraction.  But to eliminate these oil-industry "subsides" entirely is but another step in our tree huggers' attempt to emasculate the United States' energy-producing capabilities.  This is a little like playing Russian Roulette with five bullets in your six-shooter.
I pretty much said what needed to be said back in 2011, but now Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire is using this same demagoguery against Scott Brown in their Senate race up there. If we are ever going to achieve energy independence in this country, it will not be by eliminating this valid accounting process for oil exploration companies. Machinery wears out and is obsoleted ... and needs to be replaced. That is why depreciation is a valid accounting entry for manufacturing companies. Such is also the case for oil in the ground. Once it is gone then the high prices paid for this resource is lost unless it was allowed to be depreciated like any other income-producing asset. This is not a "subsidy" ... it is simply a logical accounting rule ... something that seems continually to be lost on liberals ... and naive voters

Why the media, accounting professionals and university professors don't come to defend this age-old accounting practice is beyond me.  Oh, yes ... I think I just answered my own question.

Save the Polar Bear!

Wrong anew Swami Gore! The Arctic ice cap is expanding once again and Al Gore’s prediction that the Arctic would be ice free by now is proven to be hokum … see: UK Daily Mail Article. Will President Obama mention this in his weekend message to America? Somehow I doubt it. He and the TWWTCEs (those who want to control everything) will somehow avoid the facts and stick to their hysterical mantra.

Painful facts seem to be left on the cutting room floor by the global-warming charlatans. Antarctic ice coverage has been expanding all along despite the alarm bells being rung about this polar region also … see: LA Times Article. (n.b., CO2 levels are also higher in the Southern Hemisphere!) Now that both polar ice regions are defying the hockey-stickers and expanding, what will they point to as evidence of their meal-ticket predictions? Aha! There's a drought in California. That’s it, you silly deniers … this now shows that we are doomed!

Save the diamondback rattlesnake!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Fair-Weather Friends

President Bush and King Abdullah 
Saudi Arabians are not really our friends ... at least not on a consistent basis. Years ago I thought that they were, but, after the Kobar Towers truck bombing in 1996 (in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia) where 19 U.S. airmen were killed and hundreds wounded, I began to have my doubts ... particularly after the Saudi government there would not allow any on-the-ground investigation by our intelligence agencies (see: Espionage Information). Then, I began to suspect that the Saudi government was at least tangentially complicit. And this was just one of a pattern of such incidents there... see: Wikipedia Listing.

And also don't forget that Saudi Arabia has always been the alpha dog in the OPEC cartel.

Next, couple this with the fact that 15 of the 19 World Trade Towers terrorists were from Saudi Arabia (see: 9/11 Hijackers) and that Osama bin Laden himself was a Saudi ... and one begins to see a compelling pattern of duplicity on the part of our Sunni Muslim  "amigos." Saudi Arabia has also been a consistent funder of the madrasa schools throughout the Muslim world which have indoctrinated their students with a severe form of sharia law. (Our president himself may have attended a madrasa school when he was a child in Indonesia ... see: Huffington Post Story.) And there are many rumors that the Saudis, after the Shi'ite Iranians, are also heavy funders of radical Muslim activities ... see: Times of Israel Story.

Yes, occasionally, the Saudis have thrown the U.S. a bone as our fair-weather friends (e.g., giving the Clinton Foundation boatloads of money?) ... but, to me, this is just consistent with a Mideastern pattern of playing both sides of the street.  Now the Saudis' are warning of imminent attacks inside the U.S. from ISIS militants (whom Saudi Arabia may also be secretly funding) ... see: Yahoo News Story.

Is this just a ruse to get the United States to embroil ourselves once again in this Mideast morass ... so that things remain unbalanced and that these mega-plutocrats can hold onto their fine lifestyles? Might Saudi Arabia itself take the lead in defeating these extremists? That would be a first ...

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Job One

President Obama at his news conference this afternoon confessed that his administration has not yet evolved a strategy to deal with the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq (aka, ISIS or ISIL) … see: Washington Times Story.

Perhaps, Mr. President, a little less golf?

Afterthought: And also perhaps, on the nineteenth hole, you might chew over with all your high-powered advisers (, Susan Rice, John Brennan, Valarie Jarrett?) how to deal with Putin and his invasion of the Ukraine? (See: Krauthammer Comments)

On Hegemony

Germany’s Chancellor, Angela Merkel, recently said that the “U.S. can’t solve all the world’s problems anymore.” Wrong oh, fraulein … the hard truth is that the “U.S. can’t solve any of the world’s problems anymore.”

reddit Gallery CXCVI

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!

Cloud Leaves

St. Mary’s Basilica in Kraków, Poland

Playing Cards Constructions

Comet Up Close


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Big Rotting Apple

Decay from the Left

When will they ever learn? The left keeps returning to the same old failed policies … pander to municipal unions … pander to minorities … pander to limousine liberals ... increase handouts … raise taxes … lower vital services … line the pockets of your supporters … castigate, even punish social conservatives. Such is the case in New York City where the new over-whelming-elected mayor, Bill de Blasio, is hell bent on undoing much of the progress that mayors Giuliani and Bloomberg had so carefully made there over the last twenty years.

Now even a police union is recommending that the Democrat party not hold its 2016 convention in Brooklyn because of deteriorating conditions in Gotham. They say that the squeegee strong-arms are back, the aggressive panhandlers are back, street crime is on the rise, and police morale is in the tank … see: NY Times Story. Yes, the New York Times tries to ameliorate somewhat these union charges, but it is still clear that things are getting worse in the Big Apple.

Mayor de Blasio, since his election, has gone after charter schools (to appease the teachers union), deep-sixed the “stop and frisk” police policy (to belly-rub the race baiters), instituted a multi-hundred-million dollar pre-kindergarten program (to babysit toddlers), and reduced garbage pick-ups and snow removals in the upper East side (to punish those who didn’t vote for him).

Yes, those who are benefiting from these liberal shifts still like de Blasio … but, in a few years when it becomes self-evident how things have changed for the worse, some poor schlub Republican or Independent will have to come in as mayor and clean things up all over again (if New York City is so lucky).

Monday, August 25, 2014

Playing Possum

Rush Limbaugh has a new corollary to his old “Teflon Barry” theory (wherein Obama appears detached from world and national events so that he is never held accountable by the media for bad outcomes … it is always other persons or events that are to blame.) Now Rush believes that Obama is slyly encouraging the now popular meme that he is inattentive to all his administration’s problems so that he can, sub rosa, still advance his agenda of transforming America … basically a clever political rope-a-dope. (I, myself, could be then accused of playing into this Obama tactic … see my Hand on the Throttle posting.)

If this is truly President Obama’s sinister strategy, then one only needs watch events over the next few months to see how much pissing on the Constitution he tries to carry off. If this is in fact faux presidential inattentiveness, then Limbaugh may once again be on to something. The acid test will be whether our fearless leader continues to stick it to middle America … particularly after the mid-term elections in November.

I don't often disagree with Rush Limbaugh ... but somehow I feel he may be giving Obama more credit by a half than he deserves … his apparent sleep-walking through his many administration problems may well be just a mélange of laziness and inexperience … and not perspicacity … in my humble opinion.

reddit Gallery CXCV

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!

Children Being Children

Hong Kong Housing

 Mandarin Duck Pair

Goin' Down Swingin',

Thatched English House

Hand on the Throttle

Many years ago a math teacher of mine had a rather charming expression for students who were attentive … he said that "they had their hands on the throttle and their eyes on the rail.” Now this country has a rather inattentive chief executive who has "his hand on the five iron and his eye on the sand trap.” Yes, I know I am covering Maureen Dowd who also used President Obama’s penchant (obsession) for golf as a metaphor for his failed presidency … see: NY Times Item. But let us face it … the reason the world is in such a mess right now is that our president refuses to focus on his job.

Obama doesn’t really seem to give a rat’s patootie that ISIS has turned what was a reasonably successful Iraq campaign into a maniacal morass … or that Putin is on the march. All our investments of lives and treasure in Iraq have now gone for want. Yes he gives a nice Teleprompter talk about how much he is concerned about this ISIS threat … and has some bombs dropped on a few targets … but then grabs his putter and meets Alonzo Mourning for some more inattentiveness on the links.

I’ve always been rather perplexed at the vitriol directed at Dick Cheney during the Bush 43 years. Yes, he, early-on, had a series of private meetings with CEOs of energy companies about how to formulate a national energy policy … big f-ing deal! How many of such non-transparent sit-downs has our current president had from which we can also draw equally nefarious inferences? At least after 9/11, Dick Cheney help the Bush administration formulate policies and operations that pushed back al Qaeda into the shadows. Now we see that al Qaeda is fearful of ISIS … that new band of radical Islamists led by a former U.S. prisoner who was released in 2009 … see: Fox News Item.

So we have a contrast in management styles … the adored Barack Obama who leads from (his) behind … and the reviled Dick Cheney who got things done. Cheney at the very least had his hand on the throttle and his eye on the rail.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Eric Hoffer

Particularly in my salad years I was a regular  reader and admirer of Eric Hoffer, poet, hobo, philosopher, longshoreman. One of the things that always appealed to me then was his healthy attitude toward hard physical work ... and how such travail clears the mind of the detritus of life. Here are some of his more pithy quotes that indicate the measure of this man ... which has made him one of my reacquainted favorites:

- Rudeness is a weak imitation of strength.

- In times of change learners inherit the earth; while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.

- A great man's greatest luck is to die at the right time.

- Power corrupts the few, while weakness corrupts the many.

- We lie the loudest when we lie to ourselves.

- The greatest weariness comes from work not done.

- You can judge a society by its attitude toward maintenance (paraphrase ,,, see: Keeping Customers)

- Many of the insights of the saint(s) come from their experiences as sinners.

- It is easier to love humanity as a whole than to love one's neighbor.

- Absolute faith corrupts as absolutely as absolute power.

- Wise living consists perhaps less in acquiring good habits, but in acquiring as few habits as possible.

- My writing is done in freight yards while waiting for a train, in fields while waiting for a truck, and at noon after lunch. Towns are too distracting.

- Failure in the management of practical affairs seems to be a qualification for success in the management of public affairs.

He died in 1983 ... read his obituary here: New York Times Obit.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Black Eye

What is happening in Ferguson, Missouri is sad but typical of the human lot. We homo sapiens act before all the facts are known ... and, even when we start to know the facts, if they don't agree with the then-established popular narrative, we still often ignore them.

One can watch this failing being repeated in this suburb of St. Louis ... a cop shoots and kills an "unarmed black 'gentle giant' who was trying to surrender with his hands up" and a racially-motivated series of spontaneous demonstrations occur ... then riots .... then looting ... then shootings and arrests ... then wall-to-wall media coverage ... then ill-informed comments by politicians and spot-light grabbers ... then come the race baiters and the professional agitators ... then professional football teams show solidarity with the dead man ... then (all too) slowly the facts seem to be emerging ... many of which contradict the original story.

This same kind of scenario was frequently repeated in the South during the reign of Jim Crow ... often resulting in lynchings, another form of mob injustice. It took many generations and a book about the death of a mockingbird to dispel these atrocities.

What happens next in Ferguson? Either quality leadership takes hold and sanity slowly returns to the situation ... or such leadership takes a hike (or plays golf) and this ugliness can grow to frightening national proportions. Then, it is not just the policeman shooter who gets a black eye in this tragedy (see: NY Post Story), but most others involved too ... the neighborhood, the media, the local police, the state police, the state governor, our Justice Department, our national leaders, our president.

How many times does this silliness need to be repeated? I guess I answered this question in my firsts sentence ... apparently it's in our DNA ... maybe after some more generations and a book?

"A lie travels halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to put its pants on." -- Winston Churchill

Monday, August 18, 2014

The Price of Progress

It is estimated that a bird is literally incinerated every two minutes during daylight hours at a solar farm in the Mojave desert. As these unfortunate creatures fly across the concentrated rays of this "environmentally sensitive" way to generate green electricity, they become a heap of airborne ashes almost instantiounsly. The workers at this government funded project jokingly call them "streamers" ... see: NBC News Story for all the gory details. I have also written about this bird killer before ... see: The Birds

I guess hydroelectric dams kill salmon and now solar farms kill all kinds of birds ... the price of progress.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

An Exaltation of Larks

Scott Johnson has written a blog about what assemblages of animals (venery) are called ... leading up to his name for a grouping of Democrats. Venery is a very interesting subject ... James Lipton (of Inside the Actors Studio TV program) once wrote a book about it called An Exaltation of Larks. If you, dear reader want to delve deeper into this subject, I have found a source that is maybe even more complete than Mr. Lipton's... see: USGS Site.

Back to Mr. Johnson ... he concludes in his blog that, because of the poor way they are running our country, a grouping of Democrats should be called "an embarrassment of Democrats"  ... see: Powerline Blog. Not bad ... however there are other possible venery options for these blue state politicians. I would like to suggest one of the following:

- a handout of Democrats
- a polit bureau  of Democrats
- a hackarama of Democrats
- a pork barrel of Democrats
- a swamp of Democrats
- a cronyism of Democrats
- a self-serving of Democrats
- a hyphenation of Democrats
- a taxation of Democrats
  or even
- a new world order of Democrats

Stay tuned ... I might come up for some venery names for Republicans ... obviously some of the above might also apply.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

reddit Gallery CXCIV - 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!

Rolls-Royce Phantom 1925
Ferrari 250 GTO Berlinetta ($34.65M)
Lamborghini Egoista

1970 Lancia Stratos HF Zero
1938 Phantom Corsair

Friday, August 15, 2014

The Game of Life

Many, many years ago there evolved a simulation called the “Game of Life.” I think it was first popularized by John Conway in Scientific American magazine (see: Ibiblio Entry). Basically this game consisted of a two-dimensional checkerboard of infinite dimensions in which each cell was either populated or empty. When an initial set of populated cells is created (Garden of Eden condition) with the placement of counters, then a sequence of moves is begun under a rigid set of genetic rules. These rules can change, but Conway’s were (quoted from this article):
  1. Survivals. Every counter with two or three neighboring counters survives  for the next generation.
  2. Deaths. Each counter with four or more neighbors dies (is removed) from overpopulation. Every counter with one neighbor or none dies from isolation.
  3. Births. Each empty cell adjacent to exactly three neighbors--no more, no fewer--is a birth cell. A counter is placed on it at the next move.
When this game was programmed into a computer (I can’t recall for sure, but I think maybe my son and I did such a program on the TRS-80), fascinating patterns were created which often performed spellbinding repetitions.  The game ends with one of three outcomes (again quoted from this magazine): 
[F]ading away completely (from overcrowding or becoming too sparse), settling into a stable configuration that remains unchanged thereafter, or entering an oscillating phase in which they repeat an endless cycle of two or more periods.
 Obviously changing Conway’s genetic rules within this same framework will create different outcomes. You might want to play this game for yourself at one of many Internet sites or download it (Google them). Here is one such on-line site: Kongregate Games .

Now comes the real point of this post … this game-of-life concept has just been brought into the physical world by scientists at Harvard University. They have created simple robots (bots) that can be made cheaply in great numbers and can communicate via infrared signals with one another ... and live by an updated set of rules to form complicated and often life-like learned patterns … see: Wired Magazine Story. Such social behavior often mimics the motion of flocks of birds or schools of fish and obviously may produce remarkable results. Although these Cantab scientists can (I assume) mimic deaths in these bot populations .., they have not yet been able to have them reproduce ... nor allow them to set their own objectives. Once this is accomplished, we may be in for some exciting and maybe even dangerous science-fictional outcomes.

Green Fees

United States tax revenues hit a record high of almost $2.5 trillion (inflation adjusted and despite a first calendar quarter GNP that contracted by almost 3%) in the first ten months of fiscal 2014  … yet our spendthrift government still ran a deficit of over $460 billion for this same period … see: CNS News Item (including an interesting chart). Just extrapolating these income and spending rates would put the U.S. on track for a full year deficit of $553 billion. This compares unfavorably with an earlier Congressional Budget Office deficit projection of $514 billion … see: CNN Money Story.

Possibly a reason for this increased shortfall might be that just in the first three days of President Obama’s Martha’s Vineyard vacation our deficit grew by $7.6 billion (that’s $925 billion on an annualized basis) … see: Breitbart Item.

Then again, I do hear that the green fees are pretty steep at the Farm Neck Golf Club on the Vineyard.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

reddit Gallery CXCIII

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!

Calvin and Hobbs

Great Wall of China

Neanderthal Man


Machu Picchu
Add caption

The Sound of Crickets

Two days ago the Vatican called on Muslims to condemn "barbaric" jihad in Iraq ... see: Breitbart Story. So far all we have is the sound of crickets ...

(Except, that is, for the sound of the dance band at the all-night party that President Obama and the Clinton's attended yesterday on Martha's Vineyard ... see: Breitbart Story.)

Frivolously Sincere

I am acutely aware that I am an old fart. This comes home to me when I view all these celebrities taking the Ice Bucket Challenge on TV or on social media in order to donate to ALS (Lou Gehrig disease). To me, this bit of popular silliness has a lot of grandstanding wrapped in the velvet doublet of generosity. Why, if I want to donate to the worthy charity, do I need to dump a bucket of ice water over my head? I've always admired people who generously give to a cause anonymously ... instead of putting their names on a neon marquee along with their donated amount.

(Yes, I often donate using my real name ... because the amount is so small, I am clearly not braggadocios.)

Plus there is an element of public shaming in this Challenge ... if you don't accept it you re a skin flint. This is kinda like a chain-mail message which you have to send to ten people or you will get leprosy ... or not win the Irish Sweepstakes. If every one who passed these messages on to ten friends won the Sweepstakes, then the prize would be smaller than what had been paid for the original ticket. I guess what I'm saying is that the element of rationality seems to be ignored when one bows to peer pressure. This factor is clearly manifesting itself with the Ice Bucket Challenge.

Now, with this huge windfall of generosity, can we expect ALS to be cured soon? The skeptic in me says that much of these frivolously sincere donations will be wasted. Easy come, easy go.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Climate Change Horsesh.t

An Effect of Climate Change
CNBC has posted a slideshow listing 10 countries predicted to be hit hard by climate change …see: CNBC Story, The countries that they tag are the Philippines, Nigeria, Vietnam, Haiti, Bangladesh, Papua New Guinea, Malawi, Fiji, Sudan, and Japan. The effects of climate change listed by these Chicken Little’s are typhoons, hurricanes, cyclones, sea-level rising, flooding, and droughts as well as (guffaw) volcanoes, landslides, earthquakes and decreased tourism.

When I was younger these events (except for decreased tourism) used to be called natural disasters, acts of God, or even forces majeure. Now, the climate alarmists have co-opted these things, labeling them “climate change,” and blaming them all on that evil gas, carbon dioxide … the very same gas that is the primary reason that life on Earth is possible. Without it, we would not be here. And these yoyos have gotten the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to dub this gas a “pollutant.” Excuse me, but they all need to go back to school and re-study their science.


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Obama’s Golf Game

President Obama has been playing quite a bit of golf on Martha’s Vineyard during his summer vacation. Yesterday he dropped his scorecard ... and here's what it contained:

Hole   Title                                Score             Reason                                          .
1              Upbringing                                Birdie                Doting Grandparents 
2             College Career                            Birdie                Racial Preferences     
3             Community Organizer         Par                      Gaining Street Creds             
4             State Senate                                 Par                     Often Voting Present 
5             Rev. Wright’s Church          Birdie               Absent During Hate Speech                          
6              Democrat Keynoter               Eagle                 Prowess  Using Teleprompter
7              U.S. Senator                                Eagle                  Media Love Affair                
8              Presidential Campaign    Eagle                 Hillary’s Fumbles                 
9              Financial Bail-Out                Birdie              No Depression           
10            Stimulus Program                Dbl Bogie       No Shovel-Ready Jobs          
11            Obamacare Passage            Trpl Bogie      Not Bipartisan
12            Iraq End/Afgan Surge       Dbl Bogie       Political Moves
13            Auto Industry Bailout       Dbl Bogie      Ignored Bankruptcy Process             
14            Government Shutdown      Bogie              Vindictive Closings
15            Second Election                      Birdie               Poor Romney Turnout
16            Libya/Syria Conflicts       Trpl Bogie     Shooting off Mouth   
17            Ukraine Situation             Trpl Bogie      Inability to Sway Europe       
18            ISIS Insurgency                   Trpl Bogie      Too Little, Too Late

Eight over par ... not quite a scratch golfer … just like he is not quite a scratch president,

The Government Teats

The Clinton Clan
The Clinton clan apparently knows how to wheedle its way onto the government teats. There have been numerous instances of this greed … the disappearance of valuable furniture from the White House, the abuse of post-presidential allowances and stipends, etc. But now Hillary has again pushed herself to the front of this litter of little piggies … spending more than $55,000 of taxpayer money on her recent book tour in Europe … $3,668 on a luxurious hotel suite in Paris, $5,100 for a fleet of Mercedes VIP vans, etc. … little of which she was so entitled. (This may include part of the cost of her taxpayer-funded security entourage … which isn’t peanuts … see: The UK Daily Mail Story.)

Does anyone remember how Harry and Bess Truman returned to their home in Independence, Missouri after the presidency?  Answer: In their own private car … driving all the way by themselves and paying for their own meals and lodging.

O tempores, o mores!

Afterward: See also: Las Vegas Review Journal Story.

Monday, August 11, 2014

reddit Gallery CXCII - PG Rated

NSFW ... 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!

Monkey Business


Football Fan

Art Class

""Feel This ..."

The Worm Turns

Hillary Clinton must be reading the latest polls … for she is now taking some astounding positions that are diametrically opposed to what she espoused just nine months ago. After being President Obama’s lap dog for four years, she is now growling, baring her teeth and is nipping at his heels. She has recently given an interview to Jeffery Goldberg of The Atlantic Magazine in which she did a wormy one-eighty from many positions she enthusiastically backed while she was Secretary of State. Now she conveniently states:

- President Obama was mistaken in not helping those opposing Assad in Syria early in the revolution there. (Lest we forget Hillary … and John Kerry … were big supporters of Assad back in 2009 when the United States re-established diplomatic relations with Syria.)

- The United States needs to formulate a “cold war” against jihadism. (Is and was not the Muslim Brotherhood in the vanguard of the jihadist movement … this same Brotherhood whom both she and President Obama did their level best to grease its way into running Egypt.)

- The United States needs an overarching strategy to defeat the radical Muslim movement … one that is clearly now lacking. President Obama’s doctrine of, “Don’t do stupid shit” is not a strategy. (What, pray tell, did she do to help formulate an overarching strategy?)

- Israel is in the right when it represses Hamas … even if this means that innocent civilians must die in the crossfire. (During her time running the State Department … and before ... Hillary has clearly hated Israel and loyally backed Obama in his callous and hostile stance toward this vulnerable nation.)

- Iran has no right to enrich uranium. (Good God, what a hypocrite!)

To see the much fuller context of these Hillary Clinton comments, read Paul Mirengoff’s excellent blog posting … see: Powerline Blog . I highly recommend it.

Hillary Clinton, the woman who may want to be our Worm in Chief, not only lacks a moral compass, she also is missing a tiller, rudder and sextant.

Shrinking Violets

President Obama has finally shown a bit of a backbone in his "limited" air strikes against ISIS artillery pieces and mortar positions in Northern Iraq. I say a "bit of backbone" for he still believes that he is reflecting America's reluctance to engage in any significant show of air power after Libya has blown up in his face. 

Not only is Obama still a shrinking violet but he resides in a field of such flowers. No country in Western Europe ... save Great Britain ... has shown the slightest inclination to deal with the spread of ISIS and its brutality. This group of about 10,000 jihadists just killed at least 500 Yazidis ... many buried alive ... see: Huffington Post Story (Huffington Post editors ... I think you are playing into ISIS’s barbarous hands by calling them the "Islamic State") ... and the world yawns.

And this field of posies is not limited to Western Europe. Where is Saudi Arabia? (Oops, I forgot, Saudi Arabia, like ISIS, is Sunni also.) Where is Iran? (Oops, I forgot, Iran, even though Shi’ite, does not mind seeing mass executions … particularly in Iraq.) Why is Catholic Latin America not rising in humanitarian outrage to save other Christians from being crucified? (Oops, I forgot, they’re all on trains to the Texas border.) The African nations, Eastern Europe, Egypt, Israel. Jordan and Lebanon have their own problems. But what about Russia (here I’m a little surprised at Putin’s wallfloweredness.) And the rest of the world is apparently not paying attention.

So President Obama must feel vindicated to lead from behind once again. “If the rest of the world wants me to fix this mess again, I’ll not be dragged into another war by you folks. I’ll make like I’m appalled and do a few token things, but the American people (me) don’t want any more involvement in this Mideast swamp. I think I’ll just take a couple of weeks off in Martha’s Vineyard, I’ll play some golf, I’ll eat some ice cream, and see if things aren’t better when I (lots of first person references here) get back.”

“I'll keep talking about not puttin' boots on the ground [in my opinion an over-used red herring] and then maybe I’ll pick some violets …”