Monday, November 28, 2011

Word of the Day 11/28/11

Word of the Day for Monday, November 28, 2011

panegyrize \PAN-i-juh-rahyz\, verb:

1. To eulogize; to deliver or write a panegyric about.
2. To indulge in panegyric; bestow praises.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The War on "Merry Christmas" is over. Reason won.

I was in Target yesterday afternoon and, upon leaving, I noticed decorations hanging from the ceiling that declared "Merry Christmas". It occurred to me that maybe, just maybe this artificial outrage that's been manufactured over the word "Christmas" has finally been exposed for the foolishness it is.

I grew up, and still live in, a predominately Jewish neighborhorhood. Believe me, Jews are not offended in the least by Christmas and they never have been. if you're Christian, Christmas can be religious but if you're not, it can be secular. It's really pretty accommodating.

An obnoxious, yet vocal minority of "evangelical atheists", searching for something to bitch about started this whole thing. I don't blame corporate America, they just reacted to what they thought "appropriate" in modern society and overestimated who was actually "offended" by Christmas. What they found was that it was all smoke and no fire.

I think the war on "Merry Christmas" is over and we won.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Everything Old is New Again

As if we don't already have enough on our plate, remember that the cold war never really ended, it just took a break while Russia could transmogrify itself into a 21st Century Soviet Union.
Medvedev: Russia May Target Missile Defense Sites

MOSCOW –  President Dmitry Medvedev says Russia will aim its missiles at the U.S. missile defense sites in Europe if Washington fails to address Russian concerns on its missile defense plans.

Medvedev said that Russia will deploy missiles in its westernmost Kaliningrad region and other areas if Russia and NATO fail to reach a deal on the U.S.-led missile defense plans.
He also said in a televised statement Wednesday that Moscow may opt out of the New Start arms control deal with the United States and halt other arms control talks if the U.S. proceeds with its plans to deploy its missile shield in Europe.

Russia considers the U.S. shield as a threat to its nuclear forces.
This isn't really a revelation or even that new a development; the cold war has been rearing its ugly head for a while now. I've no doubt that as this progresses, the Left will find a way to blame the Americans for Russia's paranoia.

As it has always been.

Word of the Day 11/23/11

Word of the Day for Wednesday, November 23, 2011

crepitate \KREP-i-teyt\, verb:

To make a crackling sound; crackle.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

November 22nd

Many people my age remember November 22 as the day President Kennedy was slain in Dallas. I won't bore you with that subject; far too much has been written on that already.

No, today was also my mother's birthday; Gladys Baker Weeks, her middle name was Eulalie. She's gone now, has been since '82. She was in the Navy before, and during World War II where she served as a cryptologist for Naval Intellegence, specializing in Japanese code. She simply didn't speak of her work, ever, other than to say she rode to work in a windowless bus in DC and assumed that where she worked was underground. When she died, we were sent a special commendation, signed by President Reagan. It still didn't mention what she did, but I can only assume that she did it very well.

She was a very plain spoken woman who had a talent for boiling down BS in order to get to the truth. This plain-spoken nature could be embarrassing, to be sure, but it was an intrinsic part of her nature and at times, hilarious. She loved to laugh.

What can I say? She was a good mother who whipped my ass when it was deserved and kissed my bruises and scrapes when it was needed. As I grew, she was always my biggest fan. As an only child, one would have thought me incredibly "spoiled" and, to a point, I suppose I was. One thing's for sure, though, I was raised to have respect and dignity and on those subjects, I was always on a very short leash. Looking back, I'm incredibly grateful for that, and, let's face it, for being fortunate in having her as a mother.

She died somewhat slowly, of cancer. I never could speak to her about that subject, the subject of terminal illness. Many times I tried, failing miserably, and she patted me and said "Don't worry, I know", and she did. One of the last pieces of wisdom(and there were many) she imparted to me was "Dying isn't the worst thing that happens to you; it's only the last".

RIP, while I never thought I thanked her enough, I'm sure she knew how much I loved and treasured her. I'm sure that she still does.

Word of the Day 11/22/11

Word of the Day for Tuesday, November 22, 2011

poltroon \pol-TROON\, noun:

1. A wretched coward; craven.

1. Marked by utter cowardice.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Gawd, This is Beautiful

I ran up to the Mall (Oxmoor, if you're local) this afternoon to do some MacBook Pro scouting, and what should appear before my weary eyes but this:

She was absolutely perfect (a '65, I believe) and upon an inspection of her interior, she was found to be flawless.

While I like Mustangs, she's not my dream car, but a lovely specimen, nonetheless.  Ah, the classics.

Not That OWS Hasn't Been Getting Creepy Before Now......

....But it seems to be progressing on pace.
OWS Protesters Chant ‘Follow Those Kids!’ As Small Children Try To Go To School On Wall Street

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — They were caught in the middle of madness.

Some grade school students were forced to walk a gauntlet of screaming “Occupy Wall Street” protesters just to get to school on Thursday.

It was a wild day in lower Manhattan for most everyone involved, including elementary school children who had to brave the mayhem just to get to class on the other side of Wall Street.

In the middle of thousands of protestors yelling and chanting — some kicking and screaming – CBS 2’s Emily Smith found little school kids trying to get to class. Nervous parents led them through the barriers on Wall Street. The NYPD helped funnel the children, anything to ease their fears while some protestors chanted “follow those kids!”
Ah yes, they're the "enlightened ones", aren't they?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

What I Saw at "Occupy Louisville"

(Update: Welcome Instapundit readers, and thanks, Glenn!)

Rather, I should call it "Whinestock Louisville 2011", as per my previous post.

Louisville's a nice city, big enough for the amenities, yet small enough to not be an urban nightmare. I like it here, that's why I live here and arranged to have been born here - always a tough decision. Yes, we have an urban area, and it's rather nice and, not to be outdone by larger cities, we've also been "Occupied", of late.

Today was a lovely, yet crisp, autumn day. I heard there was going to be a demonstration, so I went down there to get my fair share of abuse.

I had trouble finding "the Demonstration", try as I may. They were bringing in the city's Christmas Tree, so the flashing lights on the police cars were because of the tree's movement, not "the Demonstration".

As I was just about to give up, I saw about 30 or so people with homemade signs and a guy with a bullhorn. At last, The Demonstration!

There was the fat guy with the bullhorn

There was this guy, doing his Abbie Hoffman imitation

There was an aging hippie dude in poncho

There was mom with her child who implored us to "Demand Glass Steagall" (?)

There was a THOUGHTFUL CONCERNED PERSON with a sign to prove it
Uh oh, who stole the shopping cart?

"Food Not Bombs".  It depends, are we eating or fighting? 

There was the ubiquitous "War is not the Answer" sign.  (Depending on the question, it may be the BEST answer!)

And then, there was the supporting cast of oddballs, malcontents and their nests:

I have more pics, but they're just more of the same. I have to say that things were fairly orderly; no evidence of crapping or on the streets and everyone seemed pretty friendly. Crazy as loons, in my opinion, but pleasant.

After seeing reports from across the country, I felt a little civic pride - our malcontents are behaving with a degree of civility not seen in other cities. In short, our nuts may well be better than your nuts.

I see a tourism campaign in the making.....

How Do We Define the "Occupy" Movement? WHINESTOCK!

What Woodstock was to Boomer popular culture, the "Occupy" movement is to filth, third-world diseases, public defecation, broadly based malcontentment, urban camping and interminable whining about everything from student loans, to war, to jobs, to corporations in general, to bankers and brokerage firms, in particular.

In short, it's Whinestock; I hereby offer this word into the public lexicon and claim it as my coinage.

I visited "Occupy Louisville" this afternoon and will be posting pictures later today or tomorrow on this site, and perhaps on Facebook, as well.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

As Wrong as One Can Possibly Be

Good Lord, this is ugly.

Cain: ‘I’m Not Supposed to Know Anything About Foreign Policy’

[Cain] defended his view that presidents and presidential candidates don’t need to be immersed in the fine print of world affairs – they simply need to be leaders who can surround themselves with the right people and sift through their advice.

“I’m not supposed to know anything about foreign policy. Just thought I’d throw that out,” he said, a dig at his critics.

“I want to talk to commanders on the ground. Because you run for president (people say) you need to have the answer. No, you don’t! No, you don’t! That’s not good decision-making,” said Cain.

It's time to shut it down, last one out, turn out the lights.

He is the 99%!

Living, crapping and peeing in the street just doesn't attract the better elements of society, does it?

DC Shooting Suspect Could Be Threat to Obama, Police Say

"Authorities suspect Ortega has been in the area for weeks, coming back and forth to the Washington Mall.  Before the shooting, he was detained by local police at an abandoned house. U.S. Park police say Ortega may have spent time blending in with Occupy D.C. protesters."

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

No Less Than Societal Suicide

The inmates are truly in charge of the asylum.

Court Order Allows Protesters to Return to Zuccotti Park

The National Lawyers Guild said it has obtained a court order that allows Occupy Wall Street protesters to return with tents to a New York City park.

The injunction prevents the city from enforcing park rules, which were published after the Occupy Wall Street protest began.

Those rules would bar protestors from bringing tents, tarps and sleeping bags into the park.

At a morning news conference at City Hall, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the city knew about the court order but had not seen it and would go to court to fight it. He said the city wants to protect people's rights, but if a choice must be made, it will protect public safety.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

A Few Words About "Sexual Harassment"

I spent some 35 years in business and I've no doubt that at some point uttered what I felt was a clever witticism that was perceived, by someone, as "sexual harassment". I don't make light of this, I just think there's a distinct difference between bad taste and boorish behavior and actual "harassment".

The Cain "scandal" dredges all of this up, once again. And, once again, the wide net known as "sexual harassment" will be cast, yielding more socially graceless and slightly tipsy cubicle dwellers during office parties than actual predators. There's two words that explain this phenomenon; ZERO TOLERANCE. These two words, when used together, can turn a wholly innocent (though possibly clumsy) action or phrase into the equivalent of a crime against the State.

Women are at once fierce competitors who have risen to the pinnicles of business and politics, yet also delicate creatures who can be made to "feel uncomfortable" by phrases or actions. Yes, there are true serial sexual harassers and predators in the workplace, but I honestly feel that the reality is far less formidable than the legend. ZERO TOLERANCE has equated ass-grabbing with "you look lovely this morning" and is doing more harm than good.

By the end of my career, I didn't even want to speak to women, and you better believe that I didn't want to be friendly for fear of how it would be taken. Is this a step forward or backward?

I travelled a LOT, often with women. Is it not natural to grab a bite to eat in a strange city with your travel companion? There were only a couple who I would even consider joining for a meal, out of fear. I thought I had the reputation of a gentleman and it was a reputation I wanted to protect. I wasn't a preditor, but there were times that I definitely felt like a potential target should I step out of line, or even be perceived as doing so.

The fact is that women can make men feel like insects with nothing more than a dismissive smirk or snicker. They have a lot more power than many would have us believe.

The true preditors should be punished, severely. As for the socially clumsy, inarticulate boors, quit treating them like criminals, they have enough problems already. And for God's sake, learn to know the difference!

Is He Toast, or Can He Recover?

Good morning all.

I'm still looking for a good center-right discussion site, non Facebook based. Any suggestions would be helpful.

I've said he's toast (yesterday, as it happens) but I may, or may not have been premature. I don't predict the future, I'm doing good to understand the present.

It seems the "Cain scandal" is still going full tilt boogie with no signs of relenting (there seems to be a new woman I haven't seen yet this morning). Forgive my noticing, but they all seem to be blond, white women. They (who the hell is "they", anyway) seem to be playing on an age-old prejudice.

Then there's the possibility that it's all true. Cain DID give a convincing presser yesterday during which he UNEQUIVOCALLY denied ANY impropriety. No weasel words to be found. The women, on the other hand, aren't exactly paragons of virtue. Before you say that "they're not on trial here", they actually are. They've chosen to step into the arena, so all's fair.

I've been critical of Cain's handling, as well as his staff's handling of this whole, excuse the word, affair. It's been atrocious. What happened yesterday should have happen a week ago, at least. I know he likes to say he's not a politician, but he's running for president so that makes him, by definition a politician. He should get a staff, a real one, that can handle these situations. I'm also highly critical of his serial blaming of everyone in sight - get some proof and hit 'em with both barrels. Until then, SHUT UP!

I find it curious that none of this surfaced when he ran for the Senate. Not a word. Now the bimbos are blossoming like "madness in the Spring" (to borrow a line from Jethro Tull).

It's difficult to shake the suspicion that someone's behind this, it's too orchestrated and it happened just as Cain achieved "front runner" status. That's why this will still take some time to play out. I doubt if it was a Republican opponant; at this stage of the game, to be found out would be suicide. Obama? He cut his political teeth in Chicago, where dirty tricks and dirty money are the mother's milk of dirty politics. If he is responsible, we'll likely never know for sure. He's too smart to allow it to be traced back to him....probably. I've over estimated his prowess before.

Alas, guilty or innocent, every minute spent on discussing the "Cain Scandal" diminishes his stature. Isn't my writing about it doing the very thing I criticize? Yes, but allowing the media to control the narrative will assure Cain's demise. If there's no "there" there, then that has to be shouted from the rooftops.

It's incumbent upon the accuser to provide evidence, but all I've seen forthcoming is innuendo, and stale innuendo at that. Is that enough to sink Cain's candidacy? YES IT IS. If you disagree, you just haven't been listening.

He's tentatively agreed to a polygraph; good theater but tricky science. I wouldn't gamble my life on one unless I had no other choice.

Alas, Cain has no choice but to ride this thing out, continue his unequivocal denials and education of the American people about what happened - and what didn't happen. DON'T trot out the wife! It's about HIM, don't put her in that position.

What he needs is an honest investigative reporter to get to the bottom of these nebulous "accusations" that have suddenly materialized from thin air. Excepting God Himself, everything has a beginning and a reason; that beginning needs to be uncovered as does the reasoning behind these charges. A guy doesn't grab your thigh 15-20 years ago and you decide one day to ruin his life. I don't find that credible, or even particularly sane.

This isn't over, and that's VERY bad news for Cain. Every news story about him begins with the "scandal". Yes, I understand his fundraising has gone through the ceiling, but credibility with ALL of the American people is at stake here, not just Cain's supporters. In the short run, it may galvanize support, but in the long run we just don't need another president with even the shadow of a "horn dog past" hovering over him. Been there, done that.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Stick a Fork in Him...

My gut's telling me that Cain's toast. No, it's not fair and this latest publicity whore doesn't smell quite right, but he's still toast.

Let's face it, this has been poorly handled from the beginning, it's gone on for a week now with no real sign of an end. It's quickly turning into a circus.

Herman's a great guy with a lot of admirable qualities but he's totally fumbling the ball in his first crisis. Was he ambushed? Probably. That's something you have to learn to deal with in the big leagues - it should not have caught him flatfooted. These charges weren't created out of thin air; something happened, perhaps far more innocent than what's being reported, but something happened. Again, Cain and his people should have seen this coming and managed it.

You just can't miserably fail the very first challenge that's put before you and still be considered a viable presidential candidate. He did and he can't.

UPDATE: Herman Cain gave a press conference today and performed exceptionally. He was forceful and, as far as I could tell, forthright. This should have been done a week ago. Yes, this latest Gloria Allred represented bimbo from central casting just came forward, but the rest of this story has been in a holding pattern for a week. That's unacceptable.

I would hope this unfortunate circus has finally left town and Cain, and his staff, have learned a valuable lesson.

Maybe he's not quite done after all, and that's a positive development.

Friday, November 04, 2011

A Passing Thought....

Lenin famously said that we, the capitalists, would sell them (the Communists) the rope they use to hang us. Maybe in this new world, the West will farm out to China, the making of the rope we use to hang THEM.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

I Can't Say I'm Surprised

Peaceful Occupy protests degenerate into chaos

How is it that a couple of people sleeping on the street are called vagrants, but a couple of thousand is called a "movement"?

Look, I'm all in favor of street protests, regardless of the cause. It's as American as apple pie. The seemingly endless urban camping trip in which the OWSers are engaged is something quite different; it's disrupting business, causing hardship, and generating crime.

A series of protests would be far more effective. The longer this macabre circus goes on, the more annoyed mainstream Americans will become and the greater the chance that, eventually, lives will be lost.

I'm Starting to Have My Doubts, Herman

I really like Cain, but I'm thinking that he might not be the man we need. I'm not deserting him yet, completely, but I'm fraught with doubt.

No, it has nothing to do with these sexual harassment charges per se, I think they're likely bunk. The fact that they're coming out now, after 20 years, has all the fingerprints of a dirty trick. Alas, he has handled this crises poorly, to say he least, he should have gotten out in front of this and controlled the narrative, instead, he's reacting daily as the story unfolds, drip by drip. Poorly done.

It has to do with a disturbing amount of foreign policy gaffes and, I hate to say it, lack of basic knowledge. He often looks lost when discussing foreign policy, he's getting better and his stance on Israel is perfect, but the fact that he's a complete novice in this area is painfully obvious,

Then there's 999. I'm completely behind this, to a point. The sticking point for me is the 9% sales tax. I could be convinced, but my gut reaction is negative.

He's so personally endearing that I really want to support him, but it's getting difficult. There's only so much one can write off when considering a man for the presidency.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

A few Thoughts about Confidence, and the Lack Thereof

My apologies for this screed having evolved into one about generational warfare, but it's all connected, and a bit personal for many of us.

For all of his faults, I think George W. Bush gave a damn about the American people's general welfare.  While presidents have questionable control over economies, as a whole, I honestly think W would have made a deal with the Devil, and sacrificed his political legacy (which he did in other areas), in order to lessen his people's suffering.  By contrast, I believe Obama is actually worsening the people's suffering in order to make a point - that point being that he was right, despite the empirical evidence that he's anything but.  The bottom line is that while Bush oft mis-stepped, I never doubted that he was on my side.  With Obama, well, I feel less important than the political/economic theory he's using me to prove and I'm growing more resentful by the day.

I was willing to give the man a chance, look at the archives and you'll find that to be true. "A chance", however, doesn't mean investing any more time in a man from whom I've gleaned not one iota of comeraderie with, or compassion for, an entire swath of Americans of whom I am a member. Too many of those who have made the right choices, paid their bills and worked all of their lives are seemingly being cast aside in favor of people who have made their own hell. In order to deal with our current "crisis", we're being told that "we're all going to have to make sacrifices". Really? When I first bought my house, the interest rate was some 18%, do you think that required some sacrifice? I served my country, while others were establishing their careers, does that qualify as sacrifice? I didn't have the luxury of having someone pay for my college education, instead I paid for a partial college education via the GI bill. No I didn't finish, I was far too busy building my career and gaining knowledge on my own. Does that qualify as sacrifice? My wife and I didn't have children because we felt that we couldn't afford to do it right because we were both working long hours. By the time we could afford it, it was a little late, age wise. I suppose we could have been selfish, but we tried to do the right thing.

What did I get for the trouble? Downsized at 50. After being out of work for some six months, I took the first job that was offered. Believe me, there's not a lot of offers for 50-somethings. The job entailed constant air travel, excruciatingly long days fueled by enormous amounts of caffeine and airport food. After six years of this I had a stroke. That was two plus years ago, still recovering and will likely always be. Unable to work, I'm existing on SSDI and I thank God that I have a wife of 30 years and I haven't lost my home. All things considered, I could have easily ended up on the street.

Now "my kind" are wearing a target. You know, "Boomers" are taking benefits from the young, bla bla bla. We're all selfish if you listen to our critics. They seem to forget that Boomers were not only a large generation, but a very well paid one. We paid more than our share into the system and now, as we are retiring, we're being accused of bankrupting it. Where did the money go? That flush of money that was the Boomers' contribution was spent on Oore government programs that bought more votes. Are the government sugar daddies that bought votes and influence with OUR money held responsible for the current shortfall? No, the meme is that it's the selfish Boomers' fault. Maybe we should be renamed "generation scapegoat".

The generational war is one that's being brought upon me and mine. Boomers are a feisty lot, even in our advanced years, so I would would not be so cavalier about discounting us. We've brought chaos to this country before, and we're even more capable today. Screw with us at your own risk.