Just to get you in the mood for the rest, go watch this video. I hope there's some extra room in your chest, 'cause your heart's gonna swell some...
Now, about our national leadership. I was going to sponsor a meme of word-smithing to properly describe the horror that is that leadership, but I seem to have miraculously found a website to do that for me.
I expect that at Examiner.com, they have a plan to welcome the Government, when, shod in it's usual jackboots, it comes storming through their doors.
That Government didn't get there in time to stop this article though, or this one. In fact, just click through "News" > "Politics" > "Republican" and they are ALL worth reading. Take your high blood pressure meds first, though...
Unless you just got off the slow shuttle from the Planet Zargon, you know that Oprah Winfrey was touring Switzerland for some undisclosed reason last month, and she went into a shop in Zurich that has some very expensive goods. When she asked to see a $38,000 crocodile handbag, the clerk told her she wouldn't show it (it was inside a locked glass case) because the clerk thought it was too expensive for her.
According to this story, the clerk's main language was Italian (one of the three "official" languages of Switzerland, the others being German and French), and she had difficulty with translating "expensive" into English.
Meh. This isn't racism. It's loss control, boneheads. The clerk wasn't about to just hand over a $38,000 purse, a highly portable item, to someone she didn't know. That would be like a Ferrari dealership just handing you the keys to one of their models just because you walked in and asked for a test drive. You or I wouldn't do that, either, without some more secure way of handling the demonstration. The clerk took what she thought was the easy way out, and told the unknown-to-her Oprah that she couldn't afford that purse. She took a gamble with excellent odds, and lost her gamble. Oprah, of course, could have bought the shop and all it's inventory on the spot, had she chose to.
Now, it gets nasty, and I'm here to dish out some nasty in return.
Oprah brought this all on herself. As an uber-wealthy woman, she MUST have known the procedures for handling very expensive merchandise in haute couture boutiques. She must have. She must also know the way around this, pick one of several:
Have your private secretary call ahead and inform management that the Big Cheese herself is coming by.
Oprah could simply have presented her business card to the clerk. Or her passport. Or even told her who she was to her face. She could even have channeled being a supermodel and said "do you know who I am?"
Oprah took none of these common-sense choices, so she must have decided that the opportunity to play the race card was more important.
Or, Oprah might have set the whole deal up. That's a possibility, and not unknown among the class of race pimps. See the History books: Al Sharpton and the Tawana Brawley incident, the Duke Lacrosse incident, or most any of Jesse Jackson's incidents, all are planned to bring out a certain response which wouldn't otherwise come out.
Also of note is the fact that Oprah is marketing her new movie now, "The Butler", a movie supposedly about racism in the White House of yesteryear. She could easily have blown this incident out of proportion as part of her flacking for her own movie, which is a work of race-pimping anyway, if the reviews and trailer are to be believed.
As a side note, the Swiss Government, which I had great respect for up until now, immediately issued an "apology" for the incident. How was the Government even involved?
Race pimping: it's not just for political wannabees anymore.
If you're like me, you have a house that either is or was underwater, and you faithfully made your payments anyway. You've been offered dozens to hundreds of "mortgage modification" schemes by your bank/other banks. I get at least two per week, and have for several years. Chase even sends them to me via FedEx.
Chase Bank is VERY big in these, in fact, even though I'm a customer of theirs, I have NOT been able to shut off the stream of offers to get me to re-do my mortgage. I've resisted a new mortgage, even though I might save as much as $7-800/month, just because my old mortgage, at 6%, is a bulletproof, REAL fixed mortgage. The new "fixed" mortgages are not quite that, have some contract language in them that lets the bank holding them raise the interest if certain "emergency" conditions are declared from Washintoon, as I've heard from several knowledgeable sources.
Every time I have asked to see a copy of the contract before signing a committment to apply, I have been refused by Chase. They're just like the Democrat Senate under Harry Reid, they want me to sign for the contract before I get to read it.
In the present case, the first to ever come to a JURY in Oregon, a guy sued because Chase promised him a re-do of his mortgage into one of the "Obama-mortgages", and after he applied, paying a $10K fee, they denied his app, then foreclosed on his house and gave him the boot!
Chase has done this over and over, but this is the first time the case ever went to a jury.
The jury said bullshit, gave the guy back his $10K fee, and now the case is remanded back to the Special Master who, with his hands untied of Chase's fetters, will now likely give the guy back his house and return the old mortgage to effect.
You cannot imagine how bad this is for Chase:
They've just been told that their practice of hiding the contract terms until application is irrevocably filed is BS (as I've suspected all along).
They've just been told that despite contract language that puts everything in writing, their phony promises are as good as their written corporate word, and they have to stick by them. Sales talk counts!
They've just been put on notice that their practice of Democratic-Style business is not appropriate for Oregon.
I would expect that a flood of similar cases will now hit the Courts, and I would expect that the Attorney General of Oregon, in Chase's pocket up to now, might just have to side with nos populi against the megabank from now on.
Sic semper tyrannis, really!
Maybe I ought to get a copy of the judgment in this case, walk into Chase Bank, and demand to see that contract. That would shake their tree, wouldn't it?
Read this blog. It's a few years old, but it clearly shows the circle of folks that President Obama runs within, and it shows the associations of that circle of folks to be not healthy for the national interests of the USA.
Make the final connection of Obama > Evil if you will, I'm not suggesting that such a connection is guaranteed to be valid, because there actually IS a Snowball's Chance in Hell that Obama might not follow all the evil guidance shown in this collection of malfeasance of his teachers, mentors, spirtual guides, business associates, etc.
We ARE generally known positively or negatively by the circle of folks we move within, though. That's our societal custom.
Obama's circle appears to have the following entrance requirements: you must be either left-radical, Islamist-radical or criminally corrupt to belong to that circle, and in some cases, all three negative qualities are evident.
You be the Judge. Yes, in this Nation, we may still Judge our President. Maybe not for much longer, but for now, we can.
So now we get the "details" of how NSA monitoring of every telecom communication in the USA (maybe the world?) saves us from terrorism.
Color me unimpressed.
Channeling Obi-wan Kenobe: "These are not the details you are looking for, you may go now."
Yeah. Whoopee, the FeeBees interrupted the wet dream of some muzzie bozo to kaboom the Great Satan in the Great Satan's very own Palace of Moolah. Would the good General Alexander be so kind as to raise his right hand and swear that only NSA phone surveillance records were used to make this big bust? Ummmm, no he would not.
How about this little gobbledegook exchange at the hearing today:
"The director of national intelligence's legal chief, Robert S. Litt, said if the NSA finds it has accidentally gathered a phone call by a target who had traveled into the United States without their knowledge, they have to "purge" that from their system. The same goes for an accidental collection of any conversation because of an error.
Litt said those incidents are then reported to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which "pushes back" and asks how it happened, and what the NSA is doing to fix the problem so it doesn't happen again."
Color this barrister a bit too clever for his own britches:
"accidently gathered a phone call..." BULL-TWADDLE, the NSA "gathers" ALL phone calls by DESIGN, not accident.
The FIS court "pushes back" do they? Not too damn hard it seems, because the NSA is still at it collecting all that metadata from all those phone calls.
"so it doesn't happen again"...BWAAAHAHAHA! Of course it's going to happen again, and again, and again.
This "hearing" was just another "Star Chamber" itself, designed to put the stamp of Big Government more firmly on what Big Government does best, crush Liberty.
If you think otherwise, you need to get a real mirror to look at yourself with, not Alice's Majik Looking Glass. That's the face of a sheep you see there, guy, not the wise visage of a free citizen.
This blog still hails Edward Snowden for his act to bring all this loss of Liberty to our attention, regardless of his motive or even of his character.
Until proven otherwise, he's still a Patriot in the finest use of the term. Even if he turns out to be a spy for China or anyone else (the NSA?), bought and paid for, his act was that of a Patriot.
There's no humor here, but there might be an explanation of the mind-set that could allow one person to commit such an atrocity. The technology of broadcasting your thoughts, as illustrated by your blogger in this blog, for example, might be a reason that we are self-absorbed, that we disregard the best proven teachings of the culture.
We are so, so, "whatever".
But we are NOT faithful to the culture.
It's always "what my BFF said" or "what MC Gangstapunk rapped", but it's never "what Thomas Aquinas said" or "what John Locke said", is it?
We have shrugged off the brilliant minds who built our superior culture, and replaced them with..."Whatever".
The technology, or rather the abuse of it, did that to us.
I'm NOT going to say "reject the technology", because it is the same technology that enables us to carry the entire brilliant works of the culture on one pocket-sized device, so this same technology which gives rise to unfathomable evil can also save us from that evil.
It can only save us, though, if we choose to use it for navigation on that path. If we choose to use it to simply divert our minds from the ennui of having to live too close to one another, we have failed to realize the primary strength of the technology.
H/T to Country Gal, who I should probably promote to "bff"
The AssPress article asks the question, of whether Costas overstepped his position, in it's title. The answer is a simple "Yes". The article then goes on to issue a "well, no" answer and deliver a standard lefty excuse that Costas' departure from sports to delve into social engineering and Civil Rights Denial is okay because, well, because his ideas "will keep us safe". Except they won't keep us safe, that science is settled; denying the Bill of Rights is not only unpatriotic, it's treasonable; and just because, well, a sports blatherer is supposed to stick to sports. That's why they're there, isn't it?
When I want to see ass-kissing of the serious sort, I always turn to the Ass Press.
For Maroon of the Month, I give you Bob Costas. Wotta Maroon!
So, I just exercised my mind by writing a socio-philosophical piece, so I am not an Alzheimer's candidate (yet). But, when you're 69, you have to consider your frailty and you know that whatever is left of your life will not likely be much to write down. At 69, you've already done most of your good or bad works.
But then the gudwife mentioned one of our good friends in the yacht club who has Alzheimer's. He's the third one to suffer from that brain-wasting disease in the last 5 years, in a group of only 50 or so families. The other two are already dead, and I watched them go from healthy, independent men to total dependence, minds shut down to their loved ones, and death. The third one is going that way.
The first one was a systems engineer in electrical control systems for industrial equipment.
The second was a retired City of Portland cop.
The third one is a retired Army Lt. Colonel.
All of them were my good friends, but I felt closest to the retired Col, because he and I shared the fighting of a war (he was an Artillery officer in 'Nam, among his other duties, and bright enough to be a Professor of Military Science at the end of his Army career).
All three of these people had a window of time to make a choice, and had they made it, there would have been much less impact on their loved ones at their end.
That choice is to accept the finality of Alzheimer's (no one recovers, once afflicted) and end their own lives while they were still in charge of those lives.
They failed to make that choice, and they condemned their loved ones to misery as a result.
How can a person do good works his/her entire life, and fail so miserably to be responsible at the end of it? Yes, I say FAIL, because any time one has a choice of paths, one path leads to a good end and one to a bad end. I challenge anyone to tell me that requiring your loved ones to put up with the personal anguish, the expense and the suffering involved in a loved one's end by Alzheimer's.
It's not right, don't do it.
The way I see it, you WILL be Judged on the avoidable suffering you inflicted on others, when it was your choice to end your life and cut off that suffering.
In our religions and in our philosophy of life, we have put far too much importance on our personal survival as an organism, and far too little importance on the impact of our lives on others. Our society can never be considered perfect or even good as long as we insist on inflicting years of misery on our loved ones just so some coroner or priest can write down that we died of "natural causes" instead of by our own hand.
We are fools, and uncaring fools at that. It should say so on our headstones.
Tonight, the CINO O'Reilly showed his liberal colors, again. This time, it was an anti-gun rant, in which he first lamented that "heavy weapons, howitzers, mortars and machine guns" weren't registered with the FBI. Sorry Billy, those first two are "destructive devices" and are banned unless de-milled. Machine guns MAY be kept, but only after registration and taxing and permissions down to the local level.
Then O'Reilly got his Brady on and equated civilian semi-auto rifles with "heavy weapons". He shouted down a UT congressman who tried to set him straight on his several gaffes.
O'Reilly's only conservative positions are when he is in lockstep with the Catholic Church, which is often, but Rome is conservative only rarely.
Bill O'Reilly is far more of an Eastern Liberal, and Fox News does conservatives no favors by letting him masquerade as a conservative.