Saturday, November 28, 2015

Post-Thanksgiving Chillin'

We're doing some cleanup around the house.  NOthing major, just puttering around.  I'm shredding old financial records in small batches - the shredder makes it dusty, and it bothers my breathing.  So I'm doing it in short bursts.

My daughter might have gotten bumped to a smaller plane, with a travel voucher as a sweetner (not sure, her txt message was a little cryptic).  The other daughter is in NY still - she'll be traveling back home tomorrow.

It's been  nice break from intense political news.  Yes, it's important, but I'm getting fatigued with the B$.  I need this timeout to prepare myself for the run-up to Iowa.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Tense International Situation

Putin has apparently upped the ante, charging that the USA either leaked information about the downed Russian jet, or that their allies did, causing the plane to be targeted.

The leadership of the USA has been too eager, for years, to engage in treaties and mutual protection agreements with other countries.  We're currently committed to send troops into too many international fights.

I'm not gonna go all Rand/Ron Paul on you, but it does seem prudent to re-examine the extent of our alliances, and let those other countries know that we expect them to limit their belligerence, territory acquisitions, and watch who they let into their borders - at least, if they want our help.

If they don't need us, hey, knock yourself out, do whatever you want.

Keep in mind that this could easily be disinformation, what we in the States would call blatant lying to achieve our aims.  Russia is notorious for that practice, and Putin probably learned something from his years working for the KGB.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Something for Court Syncophants to Think About

Too many people have been tip-toeing around Obama for many years - for good reason.  He protects his supporters (Eric Holder, Valerie Jarrett, Lois Lerner, et al) from prosecution.  He also punishes his enemies, and is ruthless with those who dare to oppose him.

Henry V was like that, too.  He was fickle in his alliances and friendships, casting aside those who had doggedly served him, and reducing them to penury and oblivion.

Here, from Henry V, is Wolsey's lament at the sudden end of his career:
here take an inventory of all I have,

To the last penny; ’tis the king’s: my robe,

And my integrity to heaven, is all

I dare now call mine own.

O Cromwell, Cromwell!

Had I but served my God with half the zealI served my king, he would not in mine age

Have left me naked to mine enemies.

Don't leave yourself naked to your enemies.  Serve God first.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

What is an American?

I've written on this before.  It's a subject that fascinates me, as I grew up in a working class neighborhood that, during my childhood, was apparently the destination of choice for many immigrants.

Some of the nationalities I've known in my younger days:

  • English - my best pal's father was a retired military man from England

  • Irish - both Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland

  • Yugoslavian

  • Greek (one of my dad's best buddies was a Greek who became an American by volunteering for the Army)

  • Egyptian - my daughter's friend in high school was Coptic

  • Arabic - both Christians and Muslims - many friends of both groups

  • German

  • Brazilian

  • Romanian

  • Hungarian

  • Polish - my aunt married a Pole who was a Byzantine Catholic

  • Swedish

  • Estonian

  • Russian

  • Japanese

That list is just off the top of my head, and would probably be 2-3 times longer if I took more time to think about it.

The thing is, I lived surrounded by people who originally were from someplace else, and I spent enough time with them to get a feel for how their home language sounded, what they ate, how they interacted with each other and with Americans, what their political and religious beliefs were - it was a good introduction to Assimilation 101 as you could get.

Sarah Hoyt writes here about her experiences in America after leaving Portugal.

As a result, I do understand that fitting in is tough, that feeling like an outsider is emotionally draining, and that even a country like America, which does accept outsiders into the family, also harbors preconceptions about their "foreignness".

I've even had experiences with being the New Kid, as a result of marrying a man who likes to pick up and move to new places.  I initiated only one of those moves, to the South.  Surprisingly, I was able to assimilate more easily than he was.  Some of that was due to long practice with having to make new friends in a strange place.  Some of that was my ease with taking on a new culture.  Like some who find themselves in a new land, I am more than often charmed by the regional differences, and willing to adapt to them.  After all, the locals stayed in their original location, and are presumably happy with their home.

I was the traveler, who moved here.  I should adapt.  And, mostly, I have.

That's what I expect from immigrants - that they recognize that THEY were the ones who left home, and that THEY should make some personal changes to fit in.  Not give up everything, like the Fresh Off the Boat show, but make an effort to learn the language - enough to communicate with Americans.  We're not that fussy; we'll learn to handle your unique accent, your occasional mangled syntax.  Well, we might tease you a little, but we do that to many people (for example, Yankees and Southerners).  Our teasing implies that we consider you one of us, and it doesn't mean we don't like you.  Quite the opposite - we only tease family.

That's the important thing - America is one of the few places on Earth that will not only let you in, but, eventually, let you into the family.  You become an American.

Americans not liking immigrants?  Ridiculous!  I don't know anyone who doesn't tear up at the sight of each new batch of Americans reciting the oath that makes them Americans - it's like America's way of adopting new family members.

We do not, however, warm to lawless groups of border-jumpers.  Most of us are in favor of rounding them up and returning them to the country they came from.  And, as for those who do it more than once - I'd have no problem sending them to prison for 10 or more years, followed by deportation.  In fact, I'd like to explore a prison set up off-shore (there are a lot of islands in the Pacific who would love to have the money coming into their communities) specifically for 2nd-time offenders of immigration law.

What about their families in America, particularly those who have American-born children?

They can select from:

  • Voluntarily returning, taking their American children with them - suspended fines, to be imposed if they come back.  The child may return after achieving their majority.

  • Leaving their American children with an American family of their choice, to be raised by them in America.

  • Giving up custody of their American children, to be adopted by Americans.

That's it.  I'm not willing to bend the rules just because they managed to evade the law long enough to create an American child.

Monday, November 23, 2015

What is Driving the SJWs to Action in the Universities?

Hint:  It's NOT about Social Justice, Bringing in a New Era of Racial Equality, or Protecting Poor, Fragile, Little Snowflakes (who are, unlike real life, not exclusively White).

It's about a Naked Power Grab.

The Old Guard (1960s Leftists) have hung onto their power too long.  The SJW leadership is tired of waiting for them to retire/die/fade away.

They have manufactured this take-over in the footsteps of Obama, who wrested power from the Old Guard Democrat Clintons, and are putting the Alinsky Handbook into practice in that effort.

They will likely be successful.  Don't cheer their success, even though they finally rid us of the Clinton Dynasty.

Like the Bolsheviks, succeeding the Mensheviks, they will be worse - more ruthless, less bumbling, and more determined to eliminate ALL who oppose them.

BTW, for anyone who hopes that their particular cause will, at least, benefit from the change-over, lotsa luck.  YOUR interests aren't even on the radar.  This is about power, NOT fundamentally transforming America.  Any transformation is simply a means to an end.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Ending the Subsidization of Our Own Downfall

The next President must dedicate at least a little energy to halting the free reign of 501(c)4 organizations.

They are organizations that are not supposed to be overtly partisan or political.  However, in practice, they usually are.  One such organization is Organizing for America (really, it's Organizing for America's Downfall!).

Here are the rules for 501(c)4's.

On a related note, universities seem to be particularly exempt from rules of basic decency.  They scream about "equal pay for equal work", yet ignore on of the most egregious examples of its lack on campus.
Equal pay for equal work may be a national rallying cry. Yet for some reason, academia expects that it can pay a graduate-student teaching assistant or a PhD-holding part-time instructor a fraction of what it would pay a tenured full professor for teaching the identical class. The gulf between a full professor and a part-timer — in terms of money, power, and status — far exceeds that between the WalMart manager and his greeter at the door. And at least the latter pair have far different tasks. Is such disparity liberal?

Read more at: National Review


Friday, November 13, 2015

Candidate Ted Cruz

Today is a good day to focus on Cruz - he just published an immigration plan.  Very comprehensive - but NOT in that "find more ways to bring in people" way.

The biggest thing?  Use of tactics that will catch the invaders:

  • Border wall

  • Aerial surveillance

  • Biometric tracking system

  • Put the screws to DHS - fire/discipline those who are screwing up, work with the states

  • And other ideas

The absolutely BEST idea?  Get rid of the "slush funds" - government funds that are given to groups acting contrary to American interests (those that are allowing invaders to drag out the process of deportation, help invaders settle into communities in the USA).

Paris is Burning - Again!

The most timely information is coming from the bloggers and social media.  Officially, 30 dead - unofficially, may be 100 or more.

President Oblivious was on the news a few minutes ago, stammering about the situation (he really is tangletongued when he has to improvise).  He started to talk about the French nation, their "pursuit of happiness" clause - what?  That's NOT the French!  The Big Zero recovered fairly quickly, moving into a bad French accent about "Liberte" and all that.

Supposedly, there is no threat against the USA.  Not believing much that I hear from Official Washington.

Anyone want odds on the names/ethnic identity of the perps?

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Candidates - Bernie Sanders

He LOOKS like such a kindly, if slightly cranky, uncle.  His appeal is that he is for the "Little People".

But, is that reality - or a carefully crafted misleading of the American people?

[caption id="attachment_1037" align="alignleft" width="275"]Lovable Lil Socialist Lovable Lil Socialist[/caption]

Let's start with his record on Free Speech - he's against it - at least when it comes to speech HE and his Progressive Friends don't approve of, like the right of corporations to lobby for their interests, those opposing Conventional PC Thought, or those who would dare to disagree with the Fashionable Left.

Sanders was against American involvement in Vietnam - BUT, it was NOT because of his deep love for humanity - like most Progressives/Leftists, he averted his eyes to the atrocities of the South Vietnam bloodbath after the Americans left.

[caption id="attachment_1038" align="alignleft" width="278"]Not As Far Left As Bernie Not As Far Left As Bernie[/caption]

Honestly, if you want to know just how Bernie will destroy America, just look at this list:

  1. Rebuilding Our Crumbling Infrastructure

    1. Now, this could be CHEAP - ONLY $ 1 trillion!

  2. Reversing Climate Change

    1. He wants to "transform our energy system away from fossil fuels and into energy efficiency and sustainable energies." He thinks the Federal government should weatherize our homes - last time I did so, I paid for it myself.  Guess that makes me a chump, doesn't it?

  3. Creating Worker Co-ops

    1. He likes the idea of workers owning their business in common with their co-workers.  So much for job mobility, diversifying your investments, or not taking your work problems home with you.

  4. Growing the Trade Union Movement

    1. Now wait a minute!  I'm confused - is he anxious to make workers fat-cat bosses, or angry proles?

  5. Raising the Minimum Wage

    1. "The current federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour is a starvation wage." Can't wait until those worker-owners hear that demand!

  6. Pay Equity for Women Workers

    1. "Women workers today earn 78 percent of what their male counterparts make." De-bunked repeatedly.

  7. Trade Policies that Benefit American Workers

    1. He will "develop trade policies which demand that American corporations create jobs here, and not abroad."  Can't wait until he finds out that the President does NOT control every business in the USA.  Which, if he wins, will be VERY few.

  8. Making College Affordable for All

    1. This is too amazing to cut short - here it is, complete.  "In today's highly competitive global economy, millions of Americans are unable to afford the higher education they need in order to get good-paying jobs. Further, with both parents now often at work, most working-class families can't locate the high-quality and affordable child care they need for their kids. Quality education in America, from child care to higher education, must be affordable for all. Without a high-quality and affordable educational system, we will be unable to compete globally and our standard of living will continue to decline."  So, in addition to taking over the cost of college, the federal government will also pay for child care.  At least, the Institutional Kind of Care - not that sweet grandmotherly woman who watches your kids now.

  9. Taking on Wall Street

    1. "The function of banking is to facilitate the flow of capital into productive and job-creating activities. Financial institutions cannot be an island unto themselves, standing as huge profit centers outside of the real economy."  Boy, oh, Boy!  I guess no one has let him know where the majority of the money the Democratic Party has came from!

  10. Health Care as a Right for All

    1. "We need to establish a Medicare-for-all, single-payer system." Ya' think we should let him see the figures for Obamacare?  Better not - he might stroke out.

  11. Protecting the Most Vulnerable Americans

    1. Except for those oooky little bundles of tissue.  Those Americans only live due to the benevolence of their Parental Unit - the XX ones.  Or if both are XY, the most Twinkly one.

  12. Real Tax Reform

    1. " It is not acceptable that major profitable corporations have paid nothing in federal income taxes" - however, it IS acceptable that almost 1/2 of the working age population pays NOTHING, and is a net beneficiary of government money.

From all of this, I'll bet that you have figured out that "Uncle Bern" is unlikely to receive my vote.  In fact, I think it's a fair bet that Al Sharpton is likelier to get my vote.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Some Catholic Things

I was watching a video from Word on Fire (Fr. Barron), and thought it was a useful explanation of the role of the Pope in the Catholic Church.  If you are not a Catholic (and, maybe, if you are/were), the authority of the Pope is not well understood.

Some non-Catholics think that we blindly follow every statement from the Pope (do those people KNOW any Catholics!), others that everything the Pope says is divinely inspired, still others believe that Catholics are not familiar with the Bible, as they are believed to be forbidden to read it.

Addressed in order:

  • NO, we don't all follow the Pope's religious instruction - many, for example, insist on using contraceptives, do not attend Mass regularly, ignore what is said about charity, war, modesty, et al.

    • One issue is that once baptized, and unless formally excommunicated, you are considered a Catholic for life.  The great majority attend only at Christmas and Easter, and ignore the little bit of doctrine they actually know.  Others, like Joy Behar, continue to self-identify as "raised Catholic" - not practicing in decades,  disagreeing with everything, and woefully ignorant of just about anything in the actual Catholic church.

  • Everything the Pope says is NOT divinely inspired - only those things relating to faith or morals teaching are considered infallible.  So, don't take his advice on how to bet on a horse race (no more reliable than any other person).  Also, this does NOT mean that the Pope never sins - he does, after all, have to make his Confession just like everyone else (and I assume he also loses his temper, tells "white lies" to avoid hurting someone's feelings, and harbors ill feelings towards annoying people - he is, after all, human).

  • Practicing Catholics, whether they realize it or not, are intimately familiar with the Bible - Old and New Testament - a good portion of it is read each day in the Mass - a reading from the Old Testament, one of the Psalms, a reading from the New Testament, and the Gospel.  It's on a 3-year cycle, rotating from the various Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John), and other books of the Bible.

    • Most Catholics own at least one Bible (I have 5-6 of them, in various places).  True, most don't often break it out, unless it is to check out something someone said, but it's a rare home of a practicing Catholic that doesn't have a Bible.

    • I own:

      • A Gideon NT - received from the Gideons when they were doing a distribution at my college - portable and useful for comparing with the Catholic versions.

      • A Douay-Rheims - Big, seldom taken off the shelf, bought during our first year of marriage.

      • Several St. Joseph versions - often used in Catholic high schools.  One is very small (about 4 x 6), and useful when traveling.

      • New American version - I think it's my husband's.

      • New International version - can't remember when we got that.

    • I also facilitate our Wednesday Adult Faith group, and read the next Sunday's Mass readings, as well as help focus the discussion of their meaning following that.  Right now, we're also viewing a video about the Gospel of John, and how it applies to our lives.

I'll be posting about once a week more about the Catholic faith, and how its teachings are a part of my life.

Monday, November 2, 2015