21. September 2023 · Comments Off on Another Brand Bites the Dust? · Categories: Ain't That America?, Domestic, Stupidity, Working In A Salt Mine...

So Dove, a venerable brand of bar soap (owned by Lever Brothers, AKA Unilever, which has an enormous stable of household brands) looks to have trod heavily on it’s metaphorical private parts in falling for the supposed magic of an internet celebrity “influencer”, a woman who bears a notable resemblance to the Venus of Willendorf and is a malicious racist besides. I swear, I wonder if someone has spiked the coffee urns or the water coolers at whoever is the most currently popular advertising agency with hallucinogenic compounds, or if the advert creators and the approving corporate C-suite executives have all just drunk too deeply of the magical diversity madness. There is a place for edgy – and it’s not with mainstream commodities with a long history of appealing to a wide segment of consumers. On recent examination, I deduce that they are not teaching this in marketing classes lately.

It is nice and perhaps forward-thinking of advertisers and producers of consumer goods to ditch impossibly perfect, beautiful models in favor of featuring normal but attractive women or men in advertising, but I just can’t help thinking that it is a huge mistake to feature the grotesque, the homely and the screamingly unattractive models to sell soap, underwear, or whatever – male, female, or wanna-be-something-else. There is ordinary and normal – and then there is ‘auditioning for a place in a traveling circus freak show’. How on earth can this be construed as a good idea when it comes to moving product? The usual excuse for an awful, offensive commercial has always been “Well, it makes it memorable, so no matter! Good or bad, you’ll remember and buy the product!”

I have never entirely been convinced of this line of reasoning; there were plenty of consumer items that I wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole because an ad by the manufacturer left me cold, and I don’t believe I am unique in this. It’s become clear in the last few months that loyal customers can only be pushed so far by popular national brands embracing their inner freak, ever since the recent debacle over Bud Light and wanna-be-girl Dylan Mulvaney. An inexpensive and best-selling beer formerly beloved by undiscriminating male drinkers everywhere basically became untouchable over a long hot summer. Will Dove soap likewise crash and burn, through being partnered with a so-called influencer so repulsive, and an advertising concept so ick-making as Free the Pits’? Discuss as you feel moved.
(As for soap, my daughter and I make our own homemade olive-oil Castile, from scratch, for our own use.)

27. July 2023 · Comments Off on Will There Ever Be An Apology For Covid Overreaction> · Categories: Ain't That America?, Domestic, Health and Wellness, Military, Politics, Stupidity, World

In the light of this story, and this one as well, I am more than ever glad that my daughter and I said “no” to the Covid shot and follow-on boosters. Of course, I know that any new vaccine or drug can have a small number of unfortunate side effects – but honestly, aren’t well-informed adults allowed these days to calculate the risks and make their own decision? Apparently not for many employees, who were ordered to get the Covid vaccine or be fired … and are now facing health problems that make Covid itself look like pretty small potatoes.
My daughter and I were extremely reluctant to get the vaccination – mostly because we had read enough to be skeptical, neither of us was in a position where we could have been forced to do so as a requirement of continued employment. As it turned out, both of us caught Covid anyway. So did Wee Jamie at the age of four months or so. He had a mild temperature and the sniffles for two days, and that was that.
As of this writing, 2020 Covid is done. I wrote earlier this yearThe dreadful creeping suspicion among the general public – or those who have been paying attention to the world around us, tallying up our own observations and personal experiences – is that the Covid vax may possibly be damaging in the long run or the short run to those whom it was administered, whether voluntarily or under threat. And if it is damaging … will that ever be fully acknowledged, or publicly regretted and apologized for?

I’m afraid the answer to that one is – no. Those responsible for inflicting incalculable damage likely are incapable of ever owning up to what they have done. They will never publicly regret the damage that their actions or non-actions did to general mental well-being of a large swath of the public, or the irrecoverable damage to school students left to their own devices for almost two years because public schools stayed closed. They will never acknowledge the economic damage to small businesses in lock-down-crazed states and municipalities… and most especially we will never hear any regret over the damage to health caused by a rush to administer an experimental vaccination. There will be no apology to those who were forced to vaccinate or else forfeit employment. And why? Because the authorities, bureaucrats, politicians and media who insisted on all this view themselves as good people, good people who simply don’t do awful things … you know, like wreck the health of strangers, kill their elderly parents in hospital, isolate them in their homes, ruin their business, shred their mental health and wreck the education of their children. Nice people, well-intentioned people simply don’t do evil things like that … and they are nice people, with the best intentions in the world … so they simply didn’t do any of those things. Expressing sincere regret and apologies would mean admitting that they aren’t nice people, with the best intentions in the world. So, they never will own up to the incalculable damage. They simply can’t. and still maintain their self-image as nice people.
Discuss as you wish. While we still can.

The link to this story popped up in my Yahoo feed. Huh. I’m pretty much a devoted reader for various internet news aggregates, bloggers, and commenters; that there a massive scary (wooo-wooo!) threats from the rest of us aimed in the direction of the LGTBWXYZ-whatevers was purely news to me. From what I had gathered lately, threats of violence with regard to the LGTBWXYZ community were pretty much flying the other way, what with crazed overweight persons of indeterminate gender whining and weeping about how no one wanted to date them, getting fathers sacked from their jobs who made critical remarks at school board meetings about no safe spaces at school for straight kids, organized events featuring drag queen events for families (When did that concept become a thing, anyway!? With protection by the local Antifa chapter, no less.) and large gender-nonspecific persons with unnaturally-colored hair and facial piercings going on social media making blood-curdling threats of violence against anyone looking at a transperson sideways. Oh, and the gender-indeterminant shooting up schools and murdering children and staff, or just threatening to shoot up schools. As a genuine XX-gendered person with original-issue low-mileage lady parts, who (under medical supervision) squeezed out one offspring through them, and thereafter served as a military person of the XX-gender, and at the age that I am now, I consider myself to be a damned good judge of threatening situations and persons.

I have come a very long way, since a perv on a city bus used a casually-thrown-down overcoat on the space between us to creep his hand up my skirt, and another perve on a long military charter flight use a blanket between our seats to grab my hand (we were both ostensibly asleep) and put it on his male member. Yes, that perve was an XY-gender, and one of the … darker persuasion. I suppose I was supposed to exclaim in ecstasy, “It’s twoo! It’s twoo!” Instead, I was just mildly disgusted – and alerted to the potential for either perving or outright violence against women in a casual or transportation setting. By a decade and a half later, I was wise enough, and experienced enough to avoid situations like getting into an elevator with a single man in it, especially one who gave off an aura of threat. Or returning around midnight from a regular and profitable outside gig, bicycling across Yongsan Army Infantry Garrison at midnight, carefully avoiding the street where the NCO/EM club would be closing down for the night. A woman alone on a bicycle, a bunch of drunk, raucous and likely horny guys trained towards administering violence … yeah, my parents didn’t breed idiots. I routinely avoided that area of Yongsan on my late-night rides.

This is why the current rabid enthusiasm in allowing intact, biological males with all their original male equipment issue but claim that they are really-oh-truly-oh self-identified as female into spaces formerly reserved as female-only sets every mental alarm I have pinging madly, like the alert-alert-alert-dive-dive-dive signal in WWII submarine movies. I suspect that the alarm is pinging for other women, straight and lesbian alike. While I do accept that there is a miniscule minority of human beings who have convincingly adopted a sex other than the one they were born with, and there is an even smaller minority of unfortunates who were indeterminate – but there are too many males lately making an unconvincing pretense of being the flower of fair womanhood merely as a means of perving, bullying or predating upon … or possibly just grabbing a sports win. The whole trans-fetish being pushed universally by our politicians, academics, intellectuals and pop-entertainment figures, as well as the trans-activists themselves is meeting resistance – and I suspect that such resistance, like that of parents resisting unacceptable sex-oriented materiel being pushed in the schoolroom and on school-authorized field trips – is what inspires the heightened shrieking of the trans activists and their enablers. Discuss as you wish.

The sudden recent fatwa declared by the great and good in the Biden Administration against the less-expensive gas ranges was … really rather curious – and for what purpose? Cooking (and heating) with gas is (or was) relatively cheap, energy-efficient, beloved of cooks for generations. It has the advantage that if you have an older stove, you can still cook with gas in a power outage. I lived for six years in Spain, where both the stove and the flash hot water heater were powered by propane bottles, and a power outage (which occurred regularly) was only a relatively mild inconvenience. I could cook a hot meal, and we could take hot showers. An all-electric home, such as the one I live in now is miserable, to the point of being unlivable, without consistent electric power, as my neighbors and I were swiftly reminded during the Great Texas Snowmagedden, two years ago. And from this story, linked on Instapundit, one can’t help wondering if the geniuses in Biden’s government are demonstrating trying again, with the so-called safety benefits of locking hot-water heater thermostats at 110-120. The ostensible reason given for these two quasi-campaigns is a tender concern for the ‘health and safety’ of the general public and the best of intentions, but the way to hell is paved with good intentions.

I have become convinced in the last few months that the real intent isn’t ‘health and safety’ at all – but the systematic immiseration of everyone but the comfortably ruling class elite. Oh, they didn’t really care much at all and haven’t for the last couple of decades, about the convenience and conditions for the ordinary citizens, except save when they were rolled out by their handlers to make a few remarks to housebroken establishment press representatives, especially at election time when they had to be seen to throw a bone or two in the direction of the electorate, or make the correct sympathetic noises after a natural disaster. It was necessary that they be seen to care … care deeply, just make a shallow pretense of deeply caring. They don’t care, and perhaps have never really cared, beyond making the proper noises in the established media – the credentialed elite in their glass-walled corner offices in the bicoastal ruling class enclaves, and their lushly-paneled and carpeted Congressional office.

But the brutal fact is … they don’t. They don’t give a couple of satisfactory bowel movements about the ordinary electorate, the regular, law-abiding middle and working class out in Flyover Country, the class that pays their modest taxes, runs the business that keep all afloat, volunteer for the military and everything else – and I believe the goal for the elite ruling class now has gone beyond indifference into active malice. They wish to see us impoverished, dirty, miserable, cold and starving, because that makes such obedient servants, of course. A powerless peasant class doesn’t make so many demands on their rulers – and that’s the point at which we may have arrived – not when election results can be called up and organized to give the satisfactory (to the ruling class) result. What need have they of voters then, when the results can be automatically jiggered to give the correct result?

They hate us, mostly because we don’t obediently fall in line, like medieval serfs, tugging our forelocks and saying, “Yes, Sir, Yes, My Lady, whatever you wish, My Lord.” It’s really kind of sad, that the ruling class of a nation should hate the ordinary population so. The Victorians were brutal in their class snobbery – but they didn’t at least hate the ordinary citizens and cheer for their continued immiseration and disenfranchisement.

Comment as you wish, and while we still can.

28. February 2023 · Comments Off on The Hard “Nope” · Categories: Domestic, Fun and Games, General, History, Stupidity, World

It was a post at Bookroom Room that led me to jump aboard this particular train of thought – that most of us have certain concepts embedded in us so firmly that absolutely nothing will ever get us to violate them. As Bookworm put it, “Because as I’ve contended for years, every person has one absolute truth. It’s the one thing they know to their bones is true and the world must align with that truth … For my mother, who would have been a fashionista if she’d had the money, style and beauty were her truths. She sucked up all the lies about Barack and Michelle Obama until the media talking heads said that Michelle was the most beautiful, stylish first lady ever, above and beyond even Jackie Kennedy. That ran headlong into Mom’s truth and, after that, she never again believed what the media had to say about the Obamas.”
It’s a concept worth considering – our own truths, which we will stubbornly hold on to, refusing any threats or blandishments. It varies from person to person, of course. Some have only small and irrelevant truths, which are never seriously threatened, and there are those who have no real truths at all, save perhaps self-aggrandizement – but even so, for some keeping to their truth is a hard struggle, deciding to hold to that truth against everything – especially if they have status or a living to make, in denying that truth.

Sam Houston, as governor of Texas on the eve of the Civil War, refused to take an oath of allegiance to the Confederacy, required by a newly-passed law upon secession from the United States. Twice elected president of an independent Texas, and the general who had secured freedom from the Centralist dictator, Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna nearly fifteen years before, Houston had labored mightily to secure annexation of Texas to the US. Secession from the Union must have nearly broken the old man’s heart. Most accounts have it that he paced the floor of his office for an entire night, considering whether he would take the oath … or not. He did not; he resigned all office and retired to his home in Huntsville, where he died several years later. When all was said and done, Houston was a believer in the Union, and devoted to Texas. When it came to secession and swearing an oath of fealty to the Confederates – a hard “nope” for the hero of San Jacinto.

My own personal biggest hard “nope” has to do with so-called anthropogenic global warming/global cooling/climate change concept alleged to be caused by human activity and industry. I don’t care how much the autistic Swedish teenager scowls at us all, or Al Gore flies from his many lavish mansions, to one important conference after another, to lecture us all about our carbon footprint. Earth’s temperatures and conditions have swung wildly over millennia, without any help from human beings at all. Canada and the north-central US were once covered by a mile of ice. The Sahara desert was once a grassland interspersed with marshes, rivers and lakes. In Roman times, it was temperate enough in England to grow wine grapes, while around 1000 AD it was warm enough for subsistence farming in Greenland … and then the climate turned colder all across Europe, until the River Thames froze solid enough between the 14th and 18th centuries to host so-called Frost Fairs on the solid ice. Avenues of shops opened on the ice, racing events, puppet shows and all manner of entertainments took place. The massive explosion of an Indonesian volcano in early 1815, on the other hand, led to a so-called year without summer in the northern hemisphere in 1816. The climate of earth has changed drastically, without any human input over conditions – even before humans existed, so what the heck have gas stoves or gasoline engines – or even coal-fired power plants have to do with it?

28. November 2022 · Comments Off on The Tipping Point Cometh? Maybe? · Categories: Ain't That America?, Domestic, Health and Wellness, Media Matters Not, Stupidity

I speak of the tipping point, when toleration of what is euphemistically termed ‘gender-affirming medical care’ for minor children and teens (otherwise known as chemical and surgical mutilation) flips hard over from the trendy, laudable and even fashionable into the “Oh, Hell NO!” side, after so many years of being put out there as trendy, laudable, etc. by all super-tolerant, oh-so-progressive activists in the media, politics and the oh-so-superior intellectuals.

It all rather reminds me of the great satanic day-care ritual abuse panic of the mid-1980s, where a combination of guilt-stricken parents, manipulative “experts”, amoral prosecutors, buffaloed law enforcement and a news media panting for sensational headlines all combined in a great storm of panic … a panic which everyone eventually realized, with a sense of mild shame was wholly without grounds. But not before a lot of innocent people were railroaded, tried, found guilty and had their lives and livelihoods thoroughly wrecked. Only a very few news reporters stood against the panic. One of those few was a woman reporter for, of all things, New York’s uber-lefty tabloid, the Village Voice, who was following a local case, and basically saying, “Hello! How is this even remotely possible, the baroque and improbably ornate stories of abuse that these kids are reporting? Seriously – are you all out of your minds?!” (Yes, I read the Village Voice – the Stars and Stripes bookstore carried it, along with all the other periodicals. I liked Nat Hentoff’s column.)

It seems like the first wave is now breaking on the shore of reality: those twenty and thirty-somethings who feel they were rushed higgledy-piggledy into taking a cocktail of puberty-cancelling drugs and submitting to irreversible surgical procedures and have now lived to regret it – and have the courage now (born of desperation and disillusion) to speak up about their unhappiness over what they felt they were rushed into, against vicious social media abuse from the pro-trans crowd. Those human Guinea pigs are coming to the realization of the full irreversible horror of what was done to them, in the service of a warped gender ideology. Yes, they were kids, and yes, they were stupid and impulsive, in battening onto what they were told by authority-figures, to include teachers, the fashionable elite in the media (many brandishing their trans-kids like some kind of warped status symbol) and reaffirmed by their peers. Their peers were likewise stupid, impulsive, and gullible beyond belief, but that’s what teenagers are, and social media only makes peer pressure more intense. Their parents were bowled over by authority figures, perhaps even kept out of the loop entirely … or maybe even in the worse cases, were heart and soul for the trans process, which can be seen as a kind of venomous Munchausen-by-proxy.

And now those who regretted what they were enabled to do, are bringing legal suit, and speaking out. This would have been predicted by practically anyone with a pulse who paid appalled attention. Seriously, anyone who considered this for longer than two minutes knew that this would happen – and that the hapless victims of peer pressure, adolescent angst and a degree of body dysmorphia would come to regret it. It’s even a minor plot point in Kurt Schlichter’s latest dystopian adventure – a militia formed of vengeful adults, who were hustled into trans-surgery. They call themselves “The Mutilated” and as outlined in the novel … they are angry – savagely and murderously angry.
So – is the tipping point with regard to minor children and teens about to happen? Discuss.

18. November 2020 · Comments Off on And Now For Something Entirely Different… · Categories: Ain't That America?, Fun and Games, General Nonsense, Home Front, Military, Stupidity, Veteran's Affairs

Another horrific gaffe in retail marketing –  one which falls into the category of “grotesquely bad retail marketing decisions which will become a cautionary lesson in future marketing textbooks.” This spectacular gaffe involves a retailer of fashion-trendy and very colorful women’s athletic clothing, Fabletics – a company which started online in 2013 offering a subscription plan – somewhat controversial since the subscription charges were not always transparent, and branched out into brick and mortar locations. One of the founders is Kate Hudson, daughter of Goldie Hawn, so there probably has been some advantages to a celebrity connection; easy to get that one-on-one with Oprah Winfrey, I presume. The company appears to this point to have been pretty savvy in a competitive field, marketing-wise, so all props to them. I’m not a customer of theirs in any case; the gym and the jogging track are not places where I go to show off my fashion sense. I’m old-school in that I prefer to work out in grey sweatpants and a baggy tee shirt.

More »
19. June 2019 · Comments Off on But for Wales? · Categories: Ain't That America?, Fun and Games, Stupidity, Working In A Salt Mine...

It profits a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world … but for Wales, Richard?- From A Man for All Seasons

I have been following the Oberlin/Gibson Bakery trial with the same kind of reluctant and horrified fascination with which one might regard a multi-vehicle pileup on the highway; the mass-casualty kind that involves numerous vehicles in every kind of disassembled condition and in every possible position, scattered or crunched together on the roadway or catapulted off on the verge, which attracts the professional attention of multiple fire department engines, ambulances, and every police and highway patrol cruiser for miles around. In the case of the Gibson Bakery suit against Oberlin, extensive coverage of the protests, trial, verdict and local background to the whole messy affair was provided by the Legal Insurrection blog.

One of the nastier aspects to the imbroglio is the revelation that there was an ongoing problem with students shoplifting, at Gibson’s and apparently at other local retailers. A writer for a student publication called it as a “culture of theft.” More »

Where they burn books, so too will they in the end burn human beings. – Heinrich Heine

This last week there was a mild kerfuffle in the world of those bloggers who love and often write books, and who also love history. This was caused by a marginally-literate screed published on a personal blog by one Sofia Leung, who professes to be a feminist and a librarian of the totally-woke/social-justice/critical-race-theory variety. Said screed was amplified in the twitter feed of the Library Journal, until the tweet was deleted, (possibly at the urging of someone with a lick of sense and professionalism). I suspect that the Library Journal is a publication which was once much more respected and authoritative; like Time, Newsweek, Scientific American, Harper’s, Smithsonian and National Geographic once were, before being overtaken in a flood of semi-coherent woke/social-justice/critical-race-theory nonsense. Quoth Ms. Leung –

“Library collections continue to promote and proliferate whiteness with their very existence and the fact that they are physically taking up space in our libraries. They are paid for using money that was usually ill-gotten…”

I swear, those two sentences alone encompass ignorance of such pure, stainless density as to drop into the center of the earth and emerge on the other side. (A close rival this week, is the Twitter feed of a painfully ignorant SJW who insisted that white people shouldn’t be permitted to learn Spanish because it wasn’t properly a ‘white’ language.*) However, the phrase which raises the hair on the back of the neck of any historically-knowledgeable of whatever color or shade of whiteness is her complaint that such materiel – presumably papers, publications and books which reflect that so-called “whiteness” “… are physically taking up space in our libraries.”

Taking up space in our libraries. Reflect on that for a moment. Our libraries. Taking a rather royally-possessive attitude, here, aren’t we, Ms. Leung? Considering that these tenuously United States are still inhabited largely by citizens whose national origins were somewhere north of the Mediterranean, and west of the Ural Mountains and thus are to be ‘white’ by the standards of this current century. (The definition of ‘white’ is curiously elastic; depending on the point to be proven. Americans of Oriental descent, and those whose origins are in South America are frequently also lumped into the ‘white’ category, for purposes of allocating places at prestigious universities or for inflating/deflating categories of certain crimes with regard to the ethnic background of the convicted.) Are we not supposed to be educated and diverted by volumes of whatever – poetry, history, philosophy, drama – in our own tradition? What is it that you are proposing to do with that which you so magisterially disapprove of, Ms. Leung? Remove it, as something unclean? Perhaps you have an auto-da-fe of books in mind, if you have thought that far ahead, when you consider a condemnation of stuff physically taking up space in libraries?

Additionally, I am also fairly certain that – depending on the nature of the library in question – that many of those institutions so casually dismissed by Ms. Leung contain extensive collections of material in the original language or in authoritative translation from the ancient world, from India and the Orient. Indeed, wherever there was a written language, there must be material, both original and informed commentary – from a direct source which in now ways could be considered ‘white’ and layers and layers of comment which perhaps might be …

In any case, Ms. Leung is considered by me to be a disgrace to her profession – a dangerous and bigoted one, with delusions of adequacy far beyond her intelligence, as it is displayed in her blog post. Is this expressed wish of hers – to cleanse “our” libraries of the dreaded taint of “whiteness” a kind of harbinger when it comes to fashion among the woke set? How seriously should we take it? Are we – us ‘normies’ and flyover citizens – now past the second or third marker on the road to be erased, in having our history, what we value intellectually being thrown down the memory hole?

Discuss as you wish.

*Can’t find the link for this – but I know I saw it.

There is an oft-quoted maxim generally credited to the late William F. Buckley to the effect that “Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views.”  So it also appears to be the case with the corporate and academic diversity-mongers; who are all about diversity when it a matter of race, nationality, sex, sex-orientation, background and education level, but react like a bunch of screaming howler monkeys when what they have established as ‘conventional-think’ is transgressed upon or critiqued, even in a manner most thoughtful, The most current demonstration of this has been the Google-Diversity imbroglio, which was set off by a rather thoughtful memo (linked here) which ruminated on unconscious corporate assumptions, and suggested that there were other reasons than bias for a dearth of women in highly technical programming activities, and that Google’s own diversity culture was preventing discussion of effective means of remedying that lack. Oh, my … did that set off the Lords of Diversity at Google, as well as a number of female staff at Google and other tech industries … a reaction which I can only describe as ‘hysteria.’ The Google engineer who generated the memo has become the focus of one of those internet lynch mobs, thus fulfilling his own prophetic warning that there are some questions which are like the third rail in that one cannot touch them without being vaporized. Or as in his case, fired summarily. It is altogether likely that he will not be unemployed for long, or the recipient of a large settlement as the result of a suit filed for unjust termination by Google – very likely both. (More here at Ace of Spades, who thoughtfully posted the link to the infamous memo.

It is also likely that Google may feel a bit of pain from this; if not from pissed-off consumers choosing another search engine and email service, then from ideologically straight-jacketing those in-house techies thinking creatively about solving problems. If savvy thinkers know that that voicing speculative wrong-think about hard questions will impact them professionally … well, then, there will not be answers to those hard questions, and the Lords of Diversity will never know why.

Another takeaway from all of this is a powerful reinforcement of the notion that being conservative in a generally liberal workplace is a perilous professional situation – a situation that has become even more unstable since the election of Donald Trump. Yes, sensible conservative/libertarians are going to go on keeping their mouths shut and their heads down, unless among friends or in a safe space like this one. Even those of us who are self-employed, have their mortgage and cars paid for, or nearly paid for, and topped-up bank accounts are still vulnerable to a determined and malicious internet lynch mob … or even someone like the odious Lena Dunham, maliciously going to an employer, with a tattle-tale of a supposedly overheard conversation in a public place.


Discuss, if you can bear it.

This would appear to be the new theme song for the Fed-Gov’s Bureau of Land Management – that bane of ranchers like Cliven Bundy – as well as a whole lot of other ranchers, farmers, loggers, small landowners, and owners of tiny bits of property on the edge of or in areas of spectacular natural beauty, west of the Mississippi and between the Mexican and Canadian borders.

Yes, indeedy, folks – the maw of the Fed-Gov appears to be insatiable, although it is veiled over with the rationale of wanting to protect endangered species – many of which do not seem to be endangered so much any more – and miles and miles of unique old-growth Western forest. Some of these old-growth forests are so well-protected that they have burned down to the roots in catastrophic fires of late, as local environmental groups went into fits of spastic pearl-clutching, at the very suggestion that … well, pine-bark-beetle and drought-killed trees needed to be cleared away, and so did the duff and accumulation of flammable trash-brush. (The nature of many Western ecologies meant that being burned over every couple of decades was required for the good health of the ecology generally. Well-meant intervention seems to have made the situation worse. But never mind, say the environmentalists…)

This raises the natural suspicion among those of us who have been paying attention, as well as those who have had to make a living in parts of the West lately, that quite a lot of the endangered-species, famously-unique-old-growth-forest, and spectacular-unique-bit-of-landscape legislation which was passed a good three decades ago are now being used for other than their stated purposes. That they are being misused in the service of some international plot (Hello, Agenda 21!) to move us all into urban concrete Stack-a-prole apartment blocks where we can be observed and controlled by the functionaries of the Outer Party, 24-7 … well, I am not quite ready to order my tinfoil chapeau … but I am to the point of becoming concerned, shading to somewhat worried. I can see – rather clearly – that the ostensible care of establishment environmentalists has been used – and the degree of knowledge and malice aforesaid may be debated – in order to close off public lands to any economic use at all, even recreational use, if it is the wrong sort of recreation and by the wrong people. This has all has the whiff of a royal forest being established, for the use and recreation of the small numbers of the anointed, and the lesser orders – the ranchers, hunters, hikers and campers (or cabin-owners) being strictly forbidden on pain of death.

I cannot begin to guess how serious this latest threat to land along the Texas side of the Red River from the BLM is. Likely it will not go very far, now that the Texas AG has drawn a line in the sand. Maybe it is just a feint or even a campaign strategy by Mr. Abbott … but given recent history, and the resentments of all kinds of small-property ranchers and land-owners it’s a shrewd one. The state of Texas, in a handy turn of fate retained ownership of public lands upon becoming a state, instead of the Fed-Gov taking over and retaining vast tracts of wilderness. To this day there are only a couple of national parks within Texas, plus military bases – and for the BLM to even think of appropriating privately-owned lands on the Texas side of the Red River – is breathtakingly ill-conceived. If the BLM is serious in doing so, I guarantee that they will be resisted, furiously. It would make the brouhaha at the Bundy ranch look like a kindergarten playground squabble. It appears at this point, though, that the BLM has backed away, piously disavowing any such intent. For now, anyway, say I, cynically. Five years ago I might have written such a step up to ignorance rather than malice. Five years ago I wouldn’t have thought the IRS would be turned loose to harass political opponents of the Dem Party machine, either.

(Crossposted at www.chicagoboyz.net)

07. November 2013 · Comments Off on In the Light of This Development … · Categories: Ain't That America?, Domestic, Drug Prohibition, Fun and Games, General Nonsense, Stupidity

Covered here, at length, I am certain that New Mexico, or at the very least, the Hidalgo County PD needs a new motto.

How about “New Mexico – Come for the enchantment, stay for the thorough cavity searches”?

Or “Hidalgo County Police Department – The Keyster Kops!”

Or “Hidalgo County Police Department – Let Us Take You Up the Khyber Pass

Or “Hidalgo County Police Department – Illegal Anal Probs R Us!”

Seriously, if ever there was an occasion which calls for prolonged and vicious mockery, this would be it. Don’t these people have enough real and obvious criminals to deal with?

… it was a farce the first time around, and then it comes around again? I speak of Anthony Wiener’s wiener, of which the candidate for the mayoralty of the Big Apple is so insensately proud that he continues thrusting it – or the pictorial evidence thereof – into the public sphere, through the medium of Twitter … which I categorically insist is a fiendishly clever means of proving celebrity idiocy beyond all doubt and ensuring life-time employment for their public relations experts. But I digress … and yes, the grade school impulse to make fun of someone with a thoroughly risible name is something one never quite outgrows.

But seriously, Mr. Huma Abedin – how stupid are you? How stupid do you think the voting public is, that you could offend with the sexts and the pics of your unclothed bod, humiliate yourself and your spouse, and for all I know, the rest of your family and your neighbors – and then turn right around and do it again! Usually reckless impulses of this pellucid-pure stupidity involve the phrase “Hold my beer and watch this!” and a Darwin Award nomination, but since this involves a member of the bi-coastal ruling elite, that famous last-words phrase likely didn’t apply.
Sigh. Look, y’all in New York, it’s all on your heads if he is to be your next mayor. On the positive side, maybe tweeting pics of the mayoral junk far and wide will just be seen as an amusing personal foible – and a welcome distraction from fussing about salt consumption and the availability of large soft drinks.

18. March 2013 · Comments Off on A Matter of Taste(r) · Categories: Ain't That America?, Eat, Drink and be Merry, Fun and Games, Politics, Stupidity · Tags: ,

It is apparently not news to anyone that the office of the President of the US involves a degree of security – to include an official food-taster, as medieval as that sounds. Been going on for years, apparently, so having a designated expert to cover food safety with regards to the President isn’t something to have a conniption fit over. So someone has to eat a couple of bites – a whole helping? from a dish prepared for the White House table, and if that person doesn’t fall over, gasping and foaming at the mouth, then it is OK for POTUS consumption. Got it. And yes, I do understand very well that security ought to be tight when it comes to food supplies and preparation for any President … but the recent story about President Obama sitting by at a private luncheon with GOP senators and not being able to eat a bite because his food taster hadn’t vetted the food first strikes me as a matter a little deeper and much more insulting than it has been played.
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22. October 2011 · Comments Off on So, Whither Occupy What Street? · Categories: Domestic, Fun and Games, General Nonsense, My Head Hurts, Stupidity, Tea Time

As a terribly scarred and battle-hardened first gen Tea Partier, I am following the fortunes of the OWS with mixed emotions; those motions mostly being a combination of disbelief and horror. Your leaderless insurgency just sort of decided to get together, camp out in a public place and make enough of a spectacle for the media and general public to take notice. Well, that’s a goal of sorts, but didn’t anyone do any serious advanced event planning? Organizing skilled volunteers with specific skill-sets to see to billeting, portapotties and their maintenance, security, law-enforcement coordination, clean-up, outreach and education? Nobody gave consideration about yourselves and your main message (whatever that message may actually be) from pervs, rapists, assorted unappetizing/potentially embarrassing freelance whackos and a collection of thievish and destructive blights on the activist community. Was there no guidance considered to urge protest participants to make nice with business owners and members of the general public who have varying degrees of concern about the space you have chosen to take over for your purposes? Was there any prior planning (which prevents piss-poor performance, as the old military saying goes) in advance of these momentous decisions to take to the streets? No confabulations, through social media, no focused meetings of intensely interested volunteers, no hours-long conference calls, thrashing out the basics?

Sigh – it appears that the answer to these questions is not.

(As an aside – you will never get 100% consensus among rational adults about anything. Settle for 2/3rd majority, respect the dissenting 1/3rd, and move on. Give way to the minority on something else: it’s called negotiation, my dears – or in vulgar parlance: horse-trading. Prioritize what is important and which you will not compromise upon, and work out what lesser principals you will trade off to achieve that. It’s what adults in a functioning democracy do. People who have real lives and real jobs, those who do not live the Great and Shining Cause 24/7, 365 days a year, will not have the patience or endurance for epic meetings deciding upon minutia . . . however, I have noticed that a certain kind of career activitist/community organizer does have stamina sufficient for meetings of the endless and ultimately pointless sort. I’d advise you to avoid that kind of person, but it probably is a bit too late. )

I do have to hand it to the Occupy Whatever Street – the major national news media are already giving the various protest events the warm sloppy tongue-bath, even to the point of serving your public relations functions. It took the SATP a good six months of outreach and conferences with various local TV news directors and newspaper editors to get any respect at all. But, as a sort-of PR professional, I have to say that this good-will towards the OWS probably will not last, and may already be shriveling. A long-established protest site in the heart of a big city can only be made to seem cool, subversive, and glamorous for so long, in the face of ongoing noise and vandalism, reported harassment of local residents and law-enforcement personnel, and just the general rat’s nest appearance of the average OWS protest camp. This will not go over well in the long run with ordinary, hard-working, peace-loving citizens, even those in general sympathy with some of the stated goals. There are a fair number of new reports indicating that your immediate neighbors in your various venues are growing sick and tired of your presence. This is something that you should pay attention to; bad optics, from a public affairs point of view. Which brings me to my next point –

A street protest is just a starting point for a truly broad-based and ground-up political movement. Getting together in a public space all those who are moved enough to be unhappy about things as they are . . . my dear people, that is only the first step. The next one is to go home, to fully understand the issues and the various options that would perhaps alleviate those of most concern, and to continue the outreach, the consultations, the epic convention calls, the even-more-epic meetings among the most dedicated and skilled – the formulation of email lists, the cultivation of donors . . . all of that. It’s much more of a job and not as attention-catching as a simple temporary event. It’s work, and it’s hard and dedicated work. It is not fun – hardly a romp in the park, if I may be so kind as to draw that analogy. It’s work. Hard work and it will almost always take a lot more temporal and psychic energy than you might think at first. Been there – done that, ever since working to resettle Vietnamese refugees in 1975-75.

Unless you are all willing to do that work, then you are merely dilettantes in protest, having a public temper-tantrum.

I remain most sincerely yours and this entry is posted as my best professional advice

Sgt. Mom

In no particular order of importance, I contemplate the following:

1. Regretfully, Morgan Freeman has now joined my personal celebrity s**t list, for pronouncing the Tea Party to be racist. Usually those who fall into my list have a long track record of offences; he has done it in one fell swoop of a lengthy TV interview. Yes, I know that most actors and entertainers are political morons – especially those who feel obliged to piss off a major portion of their fan-base.

2. So . . . thirty years ago, there was a rock on a hunting lease in West Texas with a racial epithet painted on it . . . which was painted over by the lease-holder, at the urging of his son, who is now presently the Governor of Texas. And this is all that the WaPo can find by way of criticism of the man. Hoooo-kayyy. From those wonderful people who brought us Watergate, this is a sad come-down.

3. And speaking of Watergate – it didn’t actually kill anyone, which is more than you can say for Operation Fast and Furious, or ‘hey boys’n’girls, lets have the ATF take the lead in supplying serious weaponry to the Mexican drug cartels!’ Seriously, if the Mexican government was to demand extradition of Attorney General Eric Holder, the head of the ATF, and every other numbskull who expedited the various gun-running operations on charges of criminal misconduct and accessory to murder, I’d say – have at it. Deliver them all to the border in handcuffs, with a big pink bow around their necks. Impeach now.

4. Michelle Antoinette’s little excursion to Target? Oh, please, woman – if you had any nerve at all, you’d have gone to Walmart.

5. Will Amanda Knox dethrone Casey Anthony when it comes to criminal justice tabloid fodder? Should I or anyone else not in the immediate family or social circle of either one really care one way or the other?

6. And why is it now October and we are still having to run the air conditioning?

PS – and one more thing: every time I hear something being flogged as ‘green’ and ‘environmentally sound’ or ‘renewable’ … I am fairly sure the object in question is a rip-off, and/or completely unsatisfactory compared to the non-green, environmentally unsound, and non-renewable version.

. . . in the words of Strother Martin, from the old Paul Newman movie Cool Hand Luke, “is failure to communicate.” Although, in the case of one Private Nasser Jason Abdo, one really does wonder how much of that deliberate non-receptivity is on the part of the receiver; firstly – being eighteen years of age. Most eighteen year olds are idiots. I was one, and I remember thinking that yes, most of my peers were drooling morons. (Most of them did grow out of it, so there is hope.) Secondly – he willfully and with aforethought enlisted in the Army. Enable routine, inter-service slam here: oh, yeah, he enlisted in the Army. Any brains, you’d pick the Air Force or Navy, any balls, you’d go for the Marines. Disable routine, inter-service slam, and for the record I have known many brainy and ballsy Army troops, it’s just that . . . hey, opportunity presents and custom demands.

Anyway, our young hero decides to join the Army, go through Basic and probably tech school, and oh, wow – suddenly discovers that he has enlisted in a wartime military, where . . . umm . . . they kinda expect you to go out there and kill the enemy and blow up their stuff, routinely and regularly, in exchange for a paycheck, PX privileges and the burden of not having to decide to wear what to work each morning. This war thing, in Afghanistan – it’s a thing which has been going on since 2003. I know it doesn’t make the headlines every damn day, but really . . . if you were deciding to join the military in late 2009 or early 2010, it’s one of those things that I would have hoped that a bright young enlistee would have noticed, even if his recruiter failed to point that out. And if his recruiter had not made it relatively clear, I’d have thought Army basic training would have. So, anyway, upon receipt of notice that he is bound for deployment to Afghanistan, our your hero suddenly gets in touch with his inner Muslim and discovers that he is, in fact, a contentious objector, and the requirements of religion forbid him to kill other Muslims. Note; historically and in current events this particular stricture would come as rather a surprise to . . . say, participants in strife between Sunni and Shia, between Iran and Iraq in the 1980s . . . and in Afghanistan itself, where the local Muslims seem to kill each other, frequently, bloodily and with every evidence of keen enjoyment. And also – past times in the US military, declaring yourself to be a conscientious objector in the US military did not automatically relieve one from an obligation to serve in uniform. During WWII many conscientious objectors served as combat medics, and in fact, there were two Medals of Honor awarded for having performed heroically in that role.

So, on the basis of his suddenly-discovered pacifistic inclination, our young Private Abdo is made much the pet and prize of the anti-war movement, such as it exists in these strange days, but just as the Army is about to wash its hands of him metaphorically speaking, investigators find kiddy porn on his government computer . . . which is either very convenient for the investigators, or the abyss of stupidity on Private Abdos. I’m kind of torn on this one, but our young hero doesn’t exactly strike me as Mensa material – note above, regarding joining the Army in time of war and then being horrified to discover that participation in said war is obligatory.

And to crown the whole farrago of self-serving stupidity to go AWOL and be captured in Killeen, Texas . . . for trying to purchase guns and bomb-making materials, with the apparent intent of setting off explosions in an off-post eatery popular with the local troops. Okay, then . . . Private Abdos apparently does not grasp that whole conscientious objector concept, as we in the wonderful world of the military – and possibly even most of those on planet Earth – understand it , and in a fairly comprehensive way. This is an irony so dense that it threatens to drop through the earth’s crust, all the way through the molten core and come out the other side, and having a particularly dark and ironic sense of humor, I am getting at least a few chuckles out of this from watching the anti-war organizations dropping him as if he were made of plutonium, nearly as much as I did from the unmasking of Jesse McBeth.

(re-edited to permit comments)

06. June 2011 · Comments Off on I Swear… · Categories: Ain't That America?, General, Politics, Rant, Stupidity

If I see one more politico or blogger who I used to respect stand up and tell me that Paul Revere actually WAS warning the British on his midnight ride, I’m going to vote for Obama just out of sheer spiteful frustration with the WingNuttery of it all.

No, it’s NOT worse than 57 states, but come ON people.  We learned this in 8th Grade.  And it wasn’t a “reasoned” response, she was spewing word salad.

I don’t care if it’s a Dem or a Rep, if you goofed, just say so.

So, a scattershot essay with a number of different topics that have come bubbling up to the top of my admittedly scattered attention this last week:

The Neighbors from Hell, part –I-don’t-know-how-many, there are just too many to count. See, there are bad neighbors who commit sins of omission, such as not mowing their lawn, keeping up with house maintenance, or just have an aesthetic sense that does not jibe with the others in the ‘hood. Every neighborhood seems to have a couple of those; people who are just fricking clueless. Think of them as small lumps in the happy oatmeal of life. Sometimes you can work with them, bring them around to the right way of doing things, but generally it’s not worth the effort. Just look away from them as much as you can, and call city Code Compliance only when absolutely necessary, because they just might turn into Neighbors from Hell – the other kind of bad neighbor; the aggressive, sins-of-commission kind. The ones who deliberately court offense, who declare open war upon another neighbor, and generally do their best to create Suburban Hell; I’d guess that this piece o’work is that kind of neighbor. Frankly, I’m glad she’s not ours, and extend my heartfelt sympathy to the people who are.

Life on the border, Falcon Lake edition: kinda hard to say at this point exactly has been going on there . . . save to say that the just-south-o’the-border lawless’n’drug-gang situation has been heading to the proverbial nether regions in the proverbial wicker-work carrying container for quite some time now. Seriously, it’s getting really, really bad. Blondie was freaking out this spring when my SO and his snowbird friends and I went to Progresso, Mexico for a day jaunt. How bad is it going to get in the next five months? The odds on some horrific cross-border affray which might actually make the Mainstream f*****g Media sit up and pay attention due to the penetration distance within the US, the number of innocent lives messily lost and the presence of YouTube video detailing every splatter are pretty high. Just my semi-educated guess, people. Just my guess.

Kind of nice, how everybody wants to be a Tea Partier now, isn’t it? Or at least, not be an incumbent. (November is coming – I can see it from my house!) Seriously, everyone is pretty well wise to the method of getting expensive federal government crap for your district, and expecting to get votes in response? They are bribing us with our own money, people. It’s a local and parochial benefit, at the expense of the long-term national good. Personally, I don’t think any federal or state installation should be named after a local politician still living, but that’s just me.

Which brings me to Jerry Brown getting the NOW endorsement not twenty-four hours after being inadvertently recorded as calling Meg Whitman a whore . . . Guess she isn’t the right kind of feminist. Funny, that. Reminds me of why I no longer subscribe to Ms. Magazine. Or identify myself as a capital F feminist . . . It seems as if only the properly credentialed can apply. Screw that, and identity politics generally.

All this, and the Great VFW Endorsement disaster, which I think must be close kin to the AARP ObamaCare endorsement disaster. Way to go, people . . . umm, or way to go those at the tippy-top of such national organizations who have decided it is nicer to go along to get along than pay attention to the real interests and needs of those who have joined your association voluntarily. Shoot yourself in the foot, much?

Well, that should get you off to a good Monday start. No need to thank me, I live to serve.

Sgt. Mom

PS – Apparently someone winged a book at the Mighty O-man last night at a speech – and missed by a narrow margin, but no one knows the title of the book! My guess is a copy of the Constitution, or maybe the Federalist Papers. Blondie ventures: “Maybe a copy of that craptacular autobiography and they wanted a refund!”

16. June 2010 · Comments Off on Memo: The One Speaks, Again · Categories: Ain't That America?, Domestic, General, Media Matters Not, Politics, Rant, Stupidity, Tea Time

I see by the headlines this morning that the President gave a prime-time speech on TV last night . . . gee, like that hasn’t happened lately? Or what seems like every week since a year ago January. Vacation, speech, vacation speech, party at the WH, speech, vacation, trip to someplace or other, speech, vacation . . . It’s a grueling schedule, people – I for one, can barely keep up with it. Nor can I listen to the sound of that sonorous, empty-content equivalent of political cotton-candy for another minute; so thanks – I’ll just do a quick scan of the transcript . . . oh, like cotton candy, it shrivels down to a couple of teaspoons of sugar syrup, once all the hot air has been excised.

Looks like it went over like the proverbial lead balloon; kind of the cherry on the top of the bitter sundae of disappointment with our president among those who were stumbling in a golden haze of worship and adoration a bare eighteen months ago; yes, I am have been detecting the stirrings of disaffection and careful distancing of themselves from the shadow of the Glorious One – especially among the punditocracy, who were so quick to go down on their knees so many months ago. Talk about wailing and lamentations – I might have to get some earplugs soon, if creatures like Maureen Dowd, Peggy Noonan and Jon Stewart get any shriller. Over at my digs on Open Salon, the murmurings among the up-to-know obedient faithful are still as a gentle surf: they are bewildered, not quite openly rebellious yet. (And too damn many of them are still using the t******er slur . . . oh, Carrie Fisher? You are dead to me now. Never shall I spend money on one of your books or movies again.) Where was I – oh, enjoying a quiet romp through the meadows of schadenfreude, and biting back my impulse to snarl at the poor bewildered lefty darlings to grow a pair, or a spine, and ask them – well, what did you expect, you idiots?

Yes, what did you expect, supporting and voting into the highest office in the land, a charming and well-spoken cipher, with a resume of real accomplishment thinner than Callista Flockhart’s thighs, a jet-propelled affirmative action fast-burner shooting up the ladder so fast that all negative fall-out was left far, far behind, who never held a meaningful job in an industry, a small business, or in the military, a man with a lot of rather embarrassing friends and connections, a hollow man from the bowels of the Chicago political machine – than which there is none in the land possibly more corrupt or unaccountable – with no real and perceptible managerial talent, who can’t speak off-the-cuff and off-the-teleprompter in any coherent fashion . . . yes, what did you $#&$king well expect? I won’t even go into the list of the One’s other incompetencies, it’s too &$@king depressing.

I perceive though, that many who were only too happy to support him back then are now very, very sorry. I perceive also that many of us be sorrier still, in the very near future, so for those who went all starry-eyed over the One Who Some Of You Were Waiting For, I have a request. Apologize, publicly, abjectly and without reservation, for your part in having landed us with this malevolent fool. Wear sackcloth and ashes, stand in the marketplace for a day – and if you were a prominent pundit, a Hollywood personality or news-reporting professional (or any combination – it gets hard to tell, sometimes) who went all ga-ga for the O-man, then I suggest that a spot of hari-kiri would not be out of place, either. Perhaps you can expiate some of your guilt by driving a tanker truck full of dish detergent down to the Gulf Coast and spending the next few months de-oiling sea birds. I don’t care – just stay out of politics, away from the microphone and out of the voting booth for the near future, since you have demonstrated yourself to be too #$&%king gullible to have any civic responsibility expected of you.


Sgt Mom

14. February 2010 · Comments Off on Memo: Monday Morning Miscellany · Categories: Ain't That America?, Domestic, General, General Nonsense, Media Matters Not, Politics, Rant, Stupidity, Tea Time

From: Sgt Mom
To: Various
Re: Some Apparently Inconvenient Home Truths

1. Oh, my – the case of the absent-minded professor, the irreproducible results and the ‘dog-that-ate-my-data.’ Yet another stake through the heart of man-made-global-warming, to add to the existing collection; I swear, in popular media culture this global-warming c**p has more lives than Freddy Kruger. Hey, aren’t we all ready to have a good long laugh at Al Gore, now? And can we at least have our incandescent light-bulbs back? Thanks, ever so.

2. Note – to aspiring politicians (I’m looking at you, aspiring candidate for governor of Texas Debra Medina, who was about to break out on the national media level, but flubbed a key question asked by Glenn Beck – who, I may add, was not exactly hostile media to fiscally conservative, independent and grassroots candidates, m’kay?) – there is only one acceptable answer to that particular question. That acceptable answer is “no.” Or “hell, no.” Although the Bush administration, and before that, the Carter administration, might have been able to put together the pieces of the intelligence puzzle a little more efficiently, or take more seriously the rantings and threats of a wierdy-beardy Islamist squatting in an Afghan cave – the US government most certainly did not coldly and callously enter into a labyrinthine plot to murder 5,000+ of their own citizens in one morning. If you well and truly believe that a conspiracy of that magnitude is doable, probable and technologically possible – than why do you chose to remain a citizen of such a monstrous country? And more to the point, if you believe in 9/11 as a government plot, why would you even want to become a part of the government? S**t, people, the X-Files was a fictional TV show, not a documentary – get a grip.

3. OK – one more time: the Tea Partiers are not knuckle-dragging, sister-humping, room-temperature IQ racists, and the more certain of you choose to bang on about this meme, the more you are blowing your credibility with the public, outside your own cozy little echo chamber that is. One more time – they are fiscal conservatives, small federal government, free market and libertarian. The Tea Partiers I know don’t give a good g***amn about the color of your skin, the color of the POTUS’ skin – and we wouldn’t care much about what Captain America thinks of us either, except that once a meme gets going, it’s a pain in the *** to uproot. See item 1, above.

Oh, yeah – and our protests are fun. Lots of smiling, friendly people, lots of laughter, music – kind of like a very laid-back neighborhood block party. And we clean up after ourselves, too.

4. And in reference to item 3 above? Yeah, for a while I went around explaining earnestly that using the word “teabagger” in a discussion of the Tea Party movement was kind of like using the word n*gger in starting off a discussion about civil rights – now? Eh, not so much. When I see it being used, I can be pretty sure the person using it is as aggressively ignorant as they are bigoted and rude, so I can safely disregard anything they have to say. Just by using it, they’ve already proved they have nothing much to say, so I can save valuable time.

5. I’d write a good scathing essay about Courtney Cook – except that it looks like pretty much most of the milblogosphere already seems to have taken some good hearty thwacks at her Salon essay. (Jeeze, what is it with Salon and Open Salon these days? Is there some kind of convention going on for shallow, narcissistic writers over there?) Passive-aggressive, self-absorbed and immature is no way to go through life, dear – just my opinion.

Sgt Mom

08. November 2009 · Comments Off on Memo – Fort Hood Fallout · Categories: Ain't That America?, Fun With Islam, General, Military, Rant, sarcasm, Stupidity, War

From: Sgt Mom
To: Various
Re: Ft. Hood Murders

1. To the families, loved ones, comrades and friends of those killed at Ft. Hood this last week: I am so sorry; our prayers and condolences go out to you all.

2. To our current President: Please start going to your local Toastmaster’s organization, and work on your impromptu speech-making techniques. You are acceptable when prepped and reading it off the teleprompter, but looking all over the place in a triangular pattern – up left, down right, across and up left again – it’s really distracting. Oh, and as the C-in-C you should really learn the difference between the Congressional Medal of Honor and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Maybe working with flash cards would help you remember this stuff.

3. To CAIR, and other prominent members of various mainstream Muslim-American associations: Clean house. Start shopping violent jihadi a-holes to law enforcement. Immediately, if not yesterday.

4. To various deep thinkers, bloggers and trolls of the leftish persuasion, who are inclined to write and post with variations of really, those violent, warmongering and racist, hicks all got just what they deserved; just stop. Just stop it.

5. Department of Homeland Defense: Nice set of priorities, Janet! Looks like everyone was too busy running around in circles, looking for violent Tea Party activists to pay any attention to a whacked-out jihadist. Nice job, lady.

6. Army Personnel Management cadre at Walter Reed: Yeah, I know the usual drill for dealing with a problem troop/officer – quietly send them TDY, give them a pencil-pushing job someplace where they can do the minimum amount of damage, and eventually transfer them someplace remote. Didn’t work out well this time –maybe it would have been worthwhile doing some direct attitude adjustment on Major Hasan?

7. Major Hasan: Hmm … I guess Leavenworth still has a place where they can stand up traitors against a wall and have the firing squad finish the job?

8. Police Sgt. Kim Munley: most excellent job. Need something with more stopping power than a 9mm. Just sayin’…

Sgt Mom.

12. June 2009 · Comments Off on From the Department of Better Late Than Never · Categories: Ain't That America?, General, Media Matters Not, Stupidity, That's Entertainment!

National Organization of Women slaps Letterman on the pee-pee-pipe for a crude joke involving Governor Sarah Palin, her daughter, a Hispanic baseball player and a visit to a baseball game.

Way to go, ladies. About time. I thought you’d take notice … eventually.

11. December 2008 · Comments Off on It’s Not Crazy, It’s Just The Chicago Way · Categories: Politics, Stupidity

In the 1987 movie “The Untouchables,” Sean Connery’s character, Officer James Malone, gives a brief, but to-the-point lesson to Federal Agent Elliott Ness:

They pull a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue. *That’s* the *Chicago* way!

It’s with a bit of twisted pride that I tell you that most Chicagoans know that “way” by the time they’re 16.  It’s kind of built in.  You either learn it, or you wind up in serious hurt.  I know, outside of Chicago it seems almost psychotic.  I keep telling people, there’s a reason why I retired out West.  There’s an inherent psychosis that goes along with living in a city that has a million plus population.  You seriously don’t KNOW you’re crazy until you get out of it.  And then you kind of look back and shiver, thankful that you made it out alive and un-indicted.

John Kass in today’s Chicago Tribune, tries to explain to the rest of the country why Governor Blagojevich isn’t crazy, he’s just a Chicago Machine Politician.  I’m not even going to try to excerpt it, it’s too funny/sad/true to cut up.  Just go read the whole thing.  And no, I don’t agree with him, I think they’re all nucking futs (sic), I don’t care how good the pizza is.

09. December 2008 · Comments Off on Stolen from Twitter · Categories: General, Politics, Rant, Stupidity

You can’t spell Blagojevich without J.A.I.L..

You would think that by now I’d be immune to being surprised by an Illinois Governor being arrested.  But seriously, he had to know he was under investigation.  Why would you talk about this stuff ON THE FREAKING PHONE!!!

UPDATE:  Because someone asked:  If Blagojevich is convicted, he would make the fourth Illinois Governor since 1960.  That’s one every decade except for 1980.

1. Gov. Rod Blagojevich.  Democrat, 2003 to Present.  Arrested on two charges of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and solicitation of bribery. Irony:  Was voted in on a wave of anger about “Ryan’s Republican corruption.”  Previously represented the city of Chicago as a Congressman.

2. George Ryan, Republican, 1999 to 2003, convicted of corruption in 2006.  Steered contracts and leases to political insiders while he was Secretary of State and then Governor. Currently serving a 6 1/2-year prison term.  Previously served as Secretary of State and a member of the Illinois House of Representatives.

3. Dan Walker, Democrat, 1973 to 1977, plead guilty to bank fraud, misapplication of funds and perjury.  Charges unrelated to term as Governor.  Served 1 1/2 years of a seven-year sentence.  Previously served as aide to Governor Adlai Stevenson and was dead set on destroying the Chicago Machine and removing Mayor Richard J. Daley from the Cook County Democratic Committee.  Wrote a blistering report about Mayor Daley’s use of force during the 1968 Democratic Convention, basically stating that the Chicago Police Department started, rather than ended the riot.

4. Otto Kerner Jr., Democrat, 1961 to 1968,  1973, convicted of bribery, tax evasion and other stuff. He was convicted of arranging favorable horse racing dates as Governor in return for getting horse racing association stock at reduced prices.  He served less than a year of a three-year sentence.  He was the son of Otto Kerner Sr., former Attorney Gerneral of Illinois and Justice United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.  Junior was a former U.S. Attorney for the Northern Illinois District and County Judge for Cook County (Chicago and surrounding area).  Kerner died in 1976.

As I’ve tried to explain on a number of occasions, corruption in Chicago and in Illinois isn’t considered “wrong” by many.  It’s sort of expected as “just the way things are done.”  You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.  It’s inherent in the system and has been for more than a century.  That’s why I really have a bad feeling about Senator Obama for President.  The fact that this stuff happens all around him, but never seems to stick to him, is much more worrisome than if was knee deep in the muck.

15. August 2008 · Comments Off on AF Cyber Command “Delayed” · Categories: Air Force, Stupidity, Technology

According to the front page of the Air Force Cyber Command’s Website:

8/14/2008 – Barksdale AFB, La.  — The Air Force remains committed to providing full-spectrum cyber capabilities to include global command and control, electronic warfare and network defense. The Secretary and Chief of Staff of the Air Force have considered delaying currently planned actions on Air Force Cyber Command to allow ample time for a comprehensive assessment of all AFCYBER requirements and to synchronize the AFCYBER mission with other key Air Force initiatives. The new Air Force leaders continue to make a fresh assessment of all our efforts to provide our Nation and the joint force the full spectrum of air, space, and cyberspace capabilities.

Which makes sooooo much sense considering that the military doesn’t have a cohesive all-around cyber defense policy.  Seriously, cyber security measures can change literally from base to base.  What drives those measures?  You would think it would be a standard set of security practices applied to all and you’d be somewhat correct.  However, what you also have to take into account is that almost every base has a different contract company taking care of their network  security measures.  Those measures may be based on what the contractor is willing and able to do for the price that the military is willing to pay.  On some bases, you may have three to five different companies taking care of the various networks depending on the security level of the network.  Not only is the security level dependent on the classification of the material on the network, but it’s also dependent, again, on the capability of the contractors.

I remember getting a call when I was in NORAD/USSPACE from a flag officer and he needed me to come over and help him with one of his computers.  Since that part of the network wasn’t “owned” by NORAD/USSPACE, I literally was not allowed to help him.  I simply didn’t have permissions for that side of the network.  I  had to file a help desk ticket for him which, according to contract, allowed up to 3 business days before it was addressed.  Since he WAS a flag officer, the contractor did put a rush on it, but still.

I’ve been against the privatizing of the military’s networks since they started.  Okay, so you don’t have to pay contractors retirement benefits and all the other baggage that comes along with a military person’s life, but if you don’t write the contracts correctly, the military can wind up needing a task completed by the contractor that’s not in the contract and you can’t force them to complete that task without amending the contract which would also mean, MORE money.  That’s right, when a new task is added for any reason to a contract network admin or techie’s tasks, they may not HAVE to do it until the contract is reviewed to see if it falls under the contractor’s “scope of support.”  And because only contractors can touch the network on some bases, folks in uniform can’t complete the task either.  And since we’ve slashed the living shit out of the military’s network specialists in favor of contractors, we don’t have them to utilize anyway.

Which, if I’m being cynical, leads me to believe that someone has finally realized that having a cohesive policy across all the networks that the Air Force “controls” means that every single one of those contracts is going to have to be rewritten and I’m betting that some Senior NCO and their team has done the legwork and given General Lord and his bosses the cost analysis for those new contracts and someone with power of the purse-strings has crapped their drawers when the reality of what a workable, cohesive, policy is going to cost.

That’s if I was being cynical.  It could just mean that what we’ve got is working just fine and there’s no need for a cyber command in the first place…and I swear to you I typed that with a straight face…after three tries.

Thanks to He Who Needs No Linkage for the tip.

You want to know the funniesnt thing for me about all this?  I’ve got interviews with two contractors in the next week for jobs supporting the military’s network.  I hope the question, “What’s your opinion about privatization?” doesn’t come up and I hope to hell I’ve got the good sense to lie about it if it does.  I need a job.

23. July 2008 · Comments Off on The gift that keeps on giving…….. · Categories: Ain't That America?, Domestic, Good God, My Head Hurts, Stupidity

Pocket Taser Stun Gun, a great gift for the wife.

A guy who purchased
his lovely wife a pocket Taser for their anniversary submitted this:

Last weekend I saw something at Larry’s Pistol & Pawn Shop that
sparked my interest. The occasion was our 15th anniversary and I was
looking for a little something extra for my wife, Julie. What I came
across was a 100,000-volt, pocket/purse-sized taser.The effects of the
taser were supposed to be short lived, with no long-term adverse
affect on your assailant, allowing her adequate time to retreat to

WAY TOO COOL! To make a long story short, I bought the device and
brought it home. I loaded two AAA batteries in the darn thing and
pushed the button. Nothing!

I was disappointed. I learned, however, that if I pushed the button
AND pressed it against a metal surface at the same time; I’ d get the
blue arc of electricity darting back and forth between the prongs.
AWESOME!!! Incidentally, I have yet to explain to Julie what that burn
spot is on the face of her microwave.

Okay, so I was home alone with this new toy, thinking to myself that
it couldn’t be all that bad with only two triple-A batteries, right?

There I sat in my recliner, my cat Gracie looking on intently
(trusting little soul) while I was reading the directions and thinking
that I really needed to try this thing out on a flesh and blood moving

I must admit I thought about zapping Gracie (for a fraction of a
second) and thought better of it. She is such a sweet cat. But, if I
was going to give this thing to my wife to protect herself against a
mugger, I did want some assurance that it would work as advertised. Is
that wrong?

So,there I sat in a pair of shorts and a tank top with my reading
glasses perched delicately on the bridge of my nose, directions in one
hand, and taser in another.

The directions said that a one-second burst would shock and disorient
your assailant; a two-second burst was supposed to cause muscle spasms
and a major loss of bodily control; a three-second burst would
purportedly make your assailant flop on the ground like a fish out of
water. Any burst longer than three seconds would be wasting the
batteries. All the while I’m looking at this little device measuring
about 5′ long, less than 3/4′ in circumference; pretty cute, really,
and (loaded with two itsy bitsy triple-A batteries)thinking to
myself, ‘no possible way!’

What happened next is almost beyond description, but I’ll do my best!
I’m sitting there alone, Gracie looking on with her head cocked to one
side as to say, ‘don’t do it, dip shit,’reasoning that a one second
burst from such a tiny little ole thing couldn’t hurt all that bad. I
decided to give myself a one second burst just for heck of it. I
touched the prongs to my naked thigh, pushed the button, and… HOLY

I’m pretty sure Jessie Ventura ran in through the side door, picked me
up in the recliner, then body slammed us both on the carpet, over and
over and over again. I vaguely recall waking up on my side in the
fetal position, with tears in my eyes, body soaking wet, both nipples
on fire, testicles nowhere to be found, with my left arm tucked under
my body in the oddest position, and tingling in my legs!

The cat was making meowing sounds I had never heard before, clinging
to a picture frame hanging above the fireplace, obviously in an attempt
to avoid getting slammed by my body flopping all over the living room.

Note: If you ever feel compelled to ‘mug’ yourself with a taser, one
note of caution: there is no such thing as a one second burst when you
zap yourself!

You will not let go of that thing until it is dislodged from your hand
by a violent thrashing about on the floor. A three second burst would
be considered conservative!


A minute or so later (I can’t be sure,as time was a relative thing at
that point), I collected my wits (what little I had left), sat up and
surveyed the landscape. My bent reading glasses were on the mantel of
the fireplace. The recliner was upside down and about 8 feet or so
from where it originally was.

My triceps, right thigh and both nipples were still twitching. My face
felt like it had been shot up with Novocain, and my bottom lip
weighed 88 lbs. I had no control over the drooling. Apparently, I shit
myself, but was too numb to know for sure,and my sense of smell was
gone. I saw a faint smoke cloud above my head which I believe came
from my hair. I’m still looking for my nuts, and I’m offering a
significant reward for their safe return!!

P.S. My wife loved the gift, and now regularly threatens me with it!

‘If you think education is difficult, try being stupid.’