Friday, February 27, 2015

reddit Gallery CCXCI

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!

1830 Dueling Pistols
Camel Spa

Betta Fish

Best Buddies

Fire Hair

Camel's Nose

The FCC did in fact vote yesterday 3-2 to adopt its 332 page still-secret net neutrality guidelines ... supposedly justified by Title II of the 1934 Communications Act ... see: Christian Sciemce Monitor Story and my previous post: Net Neutrality. Clearly this is the camel's nose under the tent ... with the rest of the smelly body of our overbearing government soon to follow ... with multitudes of regulations, restrictions and taxes.

Verizon Communications responded to this onerous development unfavorably and symbolically ... by sending its objections to this ruling in Morse code.

Afterward: See also: Breitbart Story.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Paper Shredder

Not only has Congress lost the ability to control the U.S. borders with Emperor Obama's blanket amnesty of some 5 million illegal immigrants ... it has also lost the leverage to legislate what happens with the Internet with today's decision of the Federal Communication Commission effectively to nationalized this popular technology  ... see: MSN Story ... and, most disturbingly, it apparently has also lost its precious power of the purse. Obama's Treasury Department has recently permitted the spending of three billion dollars that was not authorized by any Congressional appropriation to compensate favored health insurers under Obamacare ... see: Washington Examiner Article.

Clearly this administration's gradual usurpation of the powers granted to Congress by our Constitution is illegal and purposeful  ... particularly since there has been very little public push-back against all these mounting autocratic outrages. Apparently the American public is too consumed with bread and circus ... and the melange of media distractions that this administrations mixes up on a daily basis.

However, what is most frightening is that the pace of these Constitutional abuses is clearly escalating in these last two years of Potentate Obama's administration ... if it can't nullify the guns of the Second Amendment, it just outlaws the bullets ... see: Washington Examiner Story ... if it can't stop Iran from getting atomic weaponry, it might be OK to delay it for a few more months ... or even, what good is NATO anyway if we have to protect Poland? The question then becomes ... how can these abusive power grabs be stopped ... or, for that matter, do we have the stomach even to attempt such nullifications? The media is too embarrassed by its support of this despot  ... the courts are too slow ... Congress is too worried about charges of racism ... and the American public is too obsessed with Bruce Jenner's transmogrification and Joe Biden's transgressions.

Maybe Bibi Netanyahu might have a shot of waking us up with his talk in front of Congress next week? Nah, it will just be downplayed by the media as sour grapes.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Net Neutrality

Afterward: Apparently I have to explain this blog entry ... if Net Neutrality takes effect, the Internet will become like the old days of the phone company monopoly ... no innovation and you could get a phone in any color as long as it were black.

Monday, February 23, 2015


The Diplomad, who has spent considerable time acting as our official representative in Muslim countries and can offer an unique perspective on same, has just written in his blog a reprise of our president's background ... investigating why Obama may have deep sympathies for the Muslim religion ... and thus be somewhat paralyzed to address its more violent tendencies ... see: Obama, a Muslim Hater of America?. Obama has even slipped into saying that he was a Muslim ... see: First Bing Video ... and has often extolled this faith to great lengths ... see: Second Bing Videos ... far further than his somewhat less enthusiastic treatment of Christianity (remember his National Prayer Breakfast slights?)

But what the Diplomad has left out of this tracing of Obama's roots is his possible relation with Bill Ayers' father, Thomas Ayers. Admittedly this relationship is somewhat fuzzy and speculative but it is worth a gander and some further study ... see: WND Article ... perhaps we'll see more in history books yet to be written. Also let us not forget that Obama's half brother, Malik Obama, is the international finance officer for the Muslim Brotherhood ... see: WND Article.

But there has to be some reason why our president is unable to separate the wheat from the chaff in the Islamic faith ... and this may well be the imprinting from his childhood ... augmented by the warped view, learned on his mother's knee, of the sins of the country he now leads.


Leslie and Leigh Keno
The Keno brothers (you know, the twin twits on The Antique Roadshow) have helped propagated the notion that grunge is good. If a beautiful Philidelphia Chippendale chair has been refinished or had its tattered seat cover replaced, it's value plummets by 90%. As long as there is no restoration on an antique of any type, according to these taste setters, it is far more valuable. Why? That's just the way it is ... because these guardians of public taste say so ... and the fact that collector lemmings follow such pronouncements at auctions and estate sales, reinforces such nonsense. Tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars ... or even millions of dollars of profit in the fine art world ... has a contra-logical way of influencing people's taste. Of couse, fifty years from now things could well be reversed. Following fads is a dangerous way of long-term investing.

Witness how expensive a Renoir or Andy Warhol paintings are today ...

(By the bye ... the same twisted logic can be applied to who or what wins awards ... like at the Oscars.)

Afterward: There is a certain irony in following the advice of these taste-arbiter twins ... by the name of Keno ... in that you are really taking a gamble.


(from reddit site)

is busting out all over ...

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Simple Mathematics

Global Warming = Doctored Data + Naive Computer Models + Manipulative Media + Peer Pressure + Unscientific Science + Gigantic Government Grants - Common Sense


Eastern United States Snow and Ice Cover
I realize that one extended bout of severe weather does not equate to "climate," but the Eastern United States is going through a rough patch of record-breaking cold temperatures that could benefit from a little of that so-called "global warming" that is so easily bandied about these days ... see: Watts Up With That Blog.

I wonder if the Congressional investigations now proposed to determine the extent of our government's tampering with official temperature data will somehow help to resolve any thinking-person's disconnect between what we are seeing and feeling and what these government "scientists" are telling us ... see: The Daily Caller Article.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

reddit Gallery CCXC

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!

Sheep Family Portrait

Grand Canyon 1914

Belfast Pub

Opal Geode

Sky Punch

Friday, February 20, 2015

Mexican Foreign Aid

This is Academy Awards weekend ... wherein Oscar, the golden statue that thespians aspire to most, has just appeared on Hollywood Boulevard … doing what actors and actresses there do best … snorting two lines of cocaine … see: Hollywood Reporter Story. This is a right-on social commentary by the street artist, Plastic Jesus, about the culture of Glitter Town and how magnanimous the people there are to our neighbors to the south, Mexico. The residents of Hollywood and its surrounds send billions of dollars of foreign aid every year to this country in the form of payment-in-kind for this white-powder elixir … see: The Wages of Sin.

Matter of fact, it is surprising that the organizers of Oscar-night … you know that orgy of self-aggrandizement … do not pack those traditional multi-thousand-dollar goodie bags proffered at these festivities … with at least a 10 cent bag of this omnipresent staff of life.

Yet these good-looking and well-appointed frauds there feel it is their moral obligation to point out cinematically any slight failings in the rest of American society.

Isn't that special?

Afterward: For those of you who doubt my reference to billions of dollars of drug money going to Mexico ... here is a picture of $22 billion siezed at a Mexican drug lord's estate. And to read the details of same, please go to: Makes the World Go Around. Muse on this while you watch the Oscars on Sunday night. For this very reason, I, for one, won't be a viewer.

After Afterward: I came across a breakdown of what is in the $125,000 goodie bag (swag bag) of the Oscar nominees and it does not contain even one ounce of cocaine (but it does include a vibrator) ... see:Variety Story.

Straw Man

Once again our pusillanimous president has erected a straw man to suit his misguided notion that "radical Islamic terrorists" are not our enemy. He is now saying that it is an "ugly lie" that the West is at war with Islam ... see: Breitbart Article. Duh! Of course the West is not at war with the entire Muslim religion. We are ... or should be at war with the jihadis, those Muslims who want, in the name of Mohammad, to establish a world-wide caliphate ... subjugating all other religions through taxation, conversion or murder.

By saying that we are not at war with Islam, President Obama is suggesting that someone, somewhere, at sometime has asserted this to be true. I haven't seen a scintilla of evidence to back up this silly claim. Does Obama want the over one billion Muslims in the world to believe that this is occurring on a regular basis? Certainly these words would so suggest ... and have sinister implications as to the motivations of the "leader of the free world." To me Obama's refusal to make a clear distinction between all Muslims and those Muslims who are so radicalized as to pose a serious threat to world order ... is, in itself, a swipe at a hornets nest ... an act that may have serious world-wide consequences for many years to come.

This posing of a straw men by Obama ... coupled with his foot dragging in creating a viable strategic push-back to ISIS, Boko Haram, the Taliban, and the various factions of al Qaeda (such as in Yemen) ... has me questioning his true motivations. This is particularly so when I see his continual cozying up to Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood ... his refusal to see the benefit that can come from Egypt's stance against radical Islam ... and his blatant animosity toward Israel. Clearly, whatever our president's deep-seated intentions are ... and despite his smooth Teleprompter rhetoric ... the result of his presidency has been to make a dog's breakfast out of the winning track he inherited from his predecessor.

Can this be what he meant by his vow to "change" things? God, I hope not!

Thursday, February 19, 2015


Pretty much one of the few people who comments on this blog is a wag who goes by the handle, DEN. And although this Fletcher's Castoria blog averages over one hundred hits a day, this same fellow claims that this large readership coupled with the dearth of comments is only because of all the labels I attach to each entry. This in turn causes random searchers around the world to find their way here.  (Possibly so ... but I  do see definite geographic patterns in my audience.)

However, I have another theory ... spawned from my oversize ego ... and that is my writings often cross the boundary of what many readers want to admit are their own private views (some may even admire Dick Cheney or Sarah Palin) ... yet are currently socially unacceptable in polite company. Ergo, my audience finds vicarious escape in reading those opinions which they would rather not admit to publicly ... and thus are loath to comment on.

Then again, I could be wrong.

(Notice that DEN seldom writes a comment that agrees with my expressed sentiment.)

Feel free to support or disagree with my loopy ideas with your comments ... and prove DEN wrong.

Black List

Victoria Jackson, the six-year veteran of Saturday Night Live (SNL) ... you know, the one who used to walk on her hands ... was the only former cast member banished to the overflow room during the SNL 40th anniversary show earlier this week. Why? Apparently her political views did not jibe with the producer of this iconic show, Lorne Michaels ... see: Hollywood Reporter Article.

Does anyone remember the Hollywood Black List of the 1950's? Apparently not ...

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Geocentric View

A Saudi Arabian cleric is now arguing that the sun revolves around the Earth and that the Earth does not rotate because otherwise how could airplanes get from here to there with the Earth moving against them underneath ... see: Breitbart Story. And like [too] many American youths, he also believes that the NASA moon landings were staged in a Hollywood studio.

And I'll wager a few riyals that he also is a big proponent of global warming.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015


A few of Obama's dreamers ... and Jeb Bush's acts of love.

(I'm not saying that some illegal immigrants don't fall into these categories, but to imply that all do is like claiming that rats benefit mankind because of the sacrifices of those few in medical laboratories.)


In a way I pity the poor Obama administration's mouthpieces ... for they clearly are living under rigid constraints about what they can and cannot say ... even when they are constantly beaten up in the process. Josh Earnest, the administration's press secretary (and his predecessor, that common streetwalker, Jay Carney), Bernadette Meehan, the National Security Council spokeswoman, the State Department's Spox, Marie Harf (you know, the blond bomb-shell wannabe) ...  and even some of the Defense Department shills.  All of them must embrace the tortured and often inane language that is obviously imposed from above when they are issuing statements about the latest ISIS atrocities ... saying 21 Egyptian citizens instead of 21 Coptic Christians were beheaded in Libya ...required to say that Islam is a religion of peace ... and pointing to the gang affiliation of the latest Copenhagen gunman and not his Muslim motivations.

Can we say that these language constraints come directly from the president? It is not a stretch to so conclude ... since he himself goes to remarkable lengths to call the shooting at a Kosher deli in Paris "random" ... to say that ISIS is not Islamic ... and will only use the term "radical extremism" when we all know the source of 99.9% this blood-lust is some of the teachings of Mohammad.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Summit Politics

It looks like the White House is once again trying to bamboozle the American public into believing that they are, in fact, administering. It is calling a "summit" to counter "violent extremism" (its pet term for the you-know-whats) ... see: Breitbart Squib. This is a tired old cliche, these show summits, where the president sits at a big table surrounded by oodles of important-looking people who, in the presence of photo-op cameras, go through a pantomime of serious discussions.

It would seem to this silly observer that countering Islamic terrorism could and should be done behind closed doors with a few administration operatives who know how to get things done ... you know, the Dick Cheney types ... not that there really are any of those around these days. All these show summits tell me is that President Obama is still not serious about dealing with this world-wide jihadist threat ... which is obviously growing daily.

Curiously, the only type of serious secret meeting that the White House convenes behind closed doors recently is the one where the president met with 15 Islamic movers and shakers ... see: Breitbart Story.


Afterward: I am reminded of the Judy Garland/Mickey Rooney meme. Whenever there is a problem, Valerie Jarrett pipes up with, "I know, let's have a summit!"

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Subtle Messages

I already know that many of  his acolytes will accuse me of exaggerating things, but I am convinced that our president (I think his name is Barack Hussein Obama) relishes sending subtle messages to his devotees ... communications that often run counter to his rhetoric. These messages can be visual (like forcing Bibi Netanyahu to exit the White House past the garbage cans) ... to word-smithing things (the continual use of the term "folks" to show he is one of us) ... to the juxtaposition of events (like the flying to a fundraiser in Las Vegas the day after the Benghazi massacre). Here are just a few of my top-of-mind incidents that our fearless leader has graced us with over the last seven years:

- chewing gum during the international 70th anniversary memorial services for the Normandy invasion ... and during his recent visit to India while watching their Republic Day parade.
- starting a round of golf on Martha's Vineyard only minutes after announcing the beheading of the American James Foley by ISIS.
- insisting that everyone in his administration call the revolution in Iraq and Syria "ISIL" when the   "L" stands for "Levant," an area that includes Israel ... and also denying that this is an Islamic state when this is what the first letter of its name in fact means.
- scratching his cheek with his middle finger to show his contempt for his election opponents ... bringing cheers from his hip audiences.
- filming a sophomoric and egotistical promo video for Obamacare only hours after it was revealed that the American woman, Kayla Mueller, had been killed by ISIS ... in which video he uttered YOLO (you only live once).
- particularly early on in his administration, his continual bowing to Asian and Middle-eastern heads of state.
- insulting of American entrepreneurs by his saying "you didn't build that."
- his comparing, at the National Prayer breakfast, of ISIS's brutal murdering ways to the Christean's medieval crusades and the Inquisition.
- removing the bust of Winston Churchill from the Oval Office as one of his first acts after entering the White House.

I could go on and on (I have mentioned none of his racist innuendos) ... but one thing that does strike me ... is that these subtle messages seem to be getting more numerous during the latter days of his reign. Could these be his base-line feelings that he has been hiding all along?


Oxford University has spent considerable brainpower in assembling the probabilities of the world coming to an end … and has investigated twelve possible ways as outlined in a CNBC Story. These twelve catastrophic events ... with their Oxford-assigned probabilities [and my quick explanation in brackets for those of you who don’t do hyperlinks] are:

-        Unknown consequences – probability: 0.1% [“unc-uncs”]
-        Asteroid impact – probability: 0.00013%
-        Artificial intelligence – probability: 0-10%
-        Super volcano – probability: 0.00003%
-        Ecological collapse – probability: N/A [ala, Easter Island]
-        Bad global governance – probability: N/A [e.g., Obama rules]
-        Global system collapse – probability: N/A [12th Imam arrives]
-        Extreme climate change – probability: 0.01% [Al Gore is right]
-        Nuclear war – probability: 0.005%
-        Global pandemic – probability: 0.0001% [Ebola, etc.]
-        Synthetic biology – probability: 0.01% [frankenfoods, etc.]
-        Nanotechnology – probability: 0.01%

Now, for whatever reason, mankind is going through a period of considerable hand-wringing over such possible events (perhaps because we now have it so good) … but, as can be seen by the deductions and inductions of these Oxford dons, we should pay the most attention to the dweebs in Silicon Valley for our possible ultimate undoing. (I actually think that social media technology is well on its way.)

Saturday, February 14, 2015

From the People ...

Who brought you global warming. 

John Podesta is leaving the White House after over a year heading up the president’s effort to combat global warming. Isn’t it just a little ironic that the man who claims that global warming is “settled science,” also believes in UFOs and space aliens … see: Yahoo News Story. And for further background, see: CBS News Story.

Podesta’s next gig is as a member of Hillary Clinton’s posse … perhaps to work on her campaign … perhaps to beam her up.

reddit Gallery CCXXXIX

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!

Sikh Soldiers in World War I

Nesting Falcon 

Custom Job

Pepper Picker

Honeycomb Opal

Friday, February 13, 2015

Oval Office Signs

The following signs were conspicuously displayed on the White House’s Oval Office desk during the terms of the following presidents;

Harry S. Truman                  “The buck stops here”

Dwight D. Eisenhower        “Interstate highways start here”

John F. Kennedy                 “Don’t fear the bear”

Lyndon B. Johnson             “Viet Nam starts here”

Richard M. Nixon               “The muck starts here”

Gerald Ford                          “The pardon starts in the Rose Garden”

Jimmy Carter                       “Buck teeth star here”

George H.W. Bush              “Iraq stops there”

Bill Clinton                          “The suck starts here”

George W. Bush                  “WMDs won’t drop here”

Barack Obama                    “Let me be clear" [You can …]

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Chinese Checkers

It seems that all is not lotus blossoms and shark-fin soup in China these days … as one respected analyst has estimated that the economic growth rate there fell to 1.7% in the fourth quarter of 2014 versus the official rate of 7.4% … see: Breitbart Article. And one reason to believe that China might be experiencing such a GNP paroxysm is that the world-wide demand for commodities … oil, copper, steel, etc. … has also fallen off the shelf. If China, one of the primary drivers of the growth in such commodities, has experienced such an indicated slowdown, then it would follow that its requirements for these materials would also plummet.

As indicated in this very interesting article referenced above, the side effects of this economic slowdown in China is that it is exporting deflation and is beset by capital and labor outflows which put its large internal debt burden in a precarious position. China’s ability to manage its way through its current economic problems is far more consequential to world economic health than today’s political theater in Greece. As indicated, if China is forced to sell much of the $1.3 trillion of United States sovereign debt it now holds, interest rates here will naturally elevate … independent of the machinations of the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank. This would also strengthen the dollar more which, in turn, would then depress commodity prices even further.

It appears to this investor that the key to continued strength in world economies and stock markets is now held in Beijing and not in Washington and Brussels … or even in Riyadh,Saudi Arabia.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Millennial Panic

Jon Stewart has announced that he will be leaving The Daily Show later this year ... see:Entertainment Weekly Story. Millennials are in a full-blown panic ... where then will they get their news?

Perhaps, maybe Jon Stewart will take over for Brian Williams?

The Wizard of Oz

Supposedly the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank stopped its quantitative easing (QE) program this past October (wherein it bought $40 billion of government debt and mortgage-backed securities every month to essentially expand the U.S. money supply … see: Yeasty Blog Entry.) This being the case, how come the Fed’s balance sheet expanded by $187 billion dollars in the last two months (over four times its QE targets) … see: CNBC Story? And why are we just hearing about this now? And what was the purpose of this unexpected monetary expansion?

Our Federal Reserve Bank is a quasi-governmental agency with enormous powers that operates mostly in the dark … manipulating monetary levers and turning interest-rate dials that have enormous impact on the economic health (or illness) of our nation. In a way, one could compare this group to the Wizard of Oz … creating its “great and powerful” image from behind the curtain. For the most part it has operated with a benign ethic (we hope) … but there is the implicit threat of it falling under the control of someone with evil intent. To Senator Rand Paul this is a dangerous situation and he wants Congress to have audit control over this institution … he wants to be like Toto pulling back the curtain on the Wizard of Oz … see: Forbes Story.

Up until now, I had hoped that this was not a necessary intrusion into the workings of the Fed. After all Congress doesn’t have a stellar reputation of late for not politicizing things … but, with this latest Fed revelation, I now feel that a little more careful oversight might not be a bad idea.

As Ronald Reagan once said, "trust but verify."

Afterward: We have had at least two quasi-govenrmental institutions that have been corrupted of late ... Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac ... good enough reason to worry about this happening to the Fed.

Monday, February 09, 2015

Carried Interest Redux

Hedge-fund managers, for whatever obscure reason, were and are paying taxes on their billions of ordinary income as though it were interest income ... at a rate equivalent to the long-term capital-gains rate. This is called a "carried interest" tax rate and has enraged the Obama administration and many ordinary citizens ... including myself. I have blogged about this in the past ... see: Carried Interest. A few years ago the highest capital-gains rate was 15% and this was why Warren Buffet's secretary was paying taxes at a higher rate than her boss.

The solution to this imbalance from our heads-up-their-tushes government was to increase the maximum capital-gains rate to 20% ... and not to eliminate this carried-interest tax treatment. And now the Obama administration, still in a snit, is suggesting that we raise the maximum capital-gains rate to 28% ... again treating the symptom and not the disease.

The result of course is that, in order to extract meaningful income taxes from hedge-fund managers, some non-millionaire ordinary investors are being punished  ... perhaps this is because of many hefty Wall Street political donations?

This is plainly stupid! Fix the problem ... don't paper over it!

Sunday, February 08, 2015

Smiling Cobra

John Hinderaker, my favorite at the Powerline blog, loves our president almost as much as I do  He states that by the time he leaves office we will have $20 trillion in national debt ... see: Powerline blog ... but then he goes on:
Americans everywhere are counting down to the end of the Obama presidency. The damage he has wreaked is beyond calculation. He has hobbled our economy, trashed the Constitution, eroded trust in government, politicized one federal agency after another, poisoned relations among the races, stifled opportunity for poorer Americans, weakened our armed forces, conducted a perverse foreign policy, made the U.S. a laughingstock abroad…the list goes on and on. And we have almost two years yet to go!
But John ... you forgot ... he has a sharp crease in his pants.

Orange Jump Suits

ISIS apparently is using orange jump suits on its prospective corpses as a propaganda threat and a backdoor symbol to endorse President Obama's vow to close Gitmo ... not that the U.S. Guantanamo Bay prison has ever forced any orange-jump-suited Muslims to be 72-virgins martyrs. This [non]Islamic state of rabid radicals have apparently deciphered our pipsqueak president's delicate sensibilities ... and concluded that this subtle message will get through to him ... and cause their compadres to be released ... so that they might rejoin their jihad. And so far they have been right.

Ah, but there might be a solution to all our prexy's Neville Chamberlain madness! Can't we just dye the Gitmo jumpsuits some other color ... perhaps pink ... like Sheriff Joe Arpaio does in his Arizona prison? That might just send the right defiant message to these ISIS sissies. Then, if they followed suit (excuse the expression), they would be reduced to puerile silliness.

Saturday, February 07, 2015

reddit Gallery CCXXXVIII

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

Prior to the Salk Vaccine

Exposed Coal Seams in Alaska


Bug Called a Phylliidae