sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Friday, September 4, 2015

Fishwrap Friday

Reviewing news of the previous week just for shits and giggles.

Middle Eastern Humanitarian Crisis - You can lay it at the feet of a number of players, but the American government's disastrous foreign policy, crafted by presidential hopeful (former Secretary of State) Hillary Clinton is a major variable.

The Hungarians who are building a 100-mile long razor wire wall to keep out what they refer to as, 'human lice', are not struggling over the need to keep their borders intact as Americans seem to be. Then again, I don't think that Hungarian credit with the Chinese is sufficient to borrow twenty trillion dollars to spend wastefully on the hoards of immigrants, either.

Shameless Self Promotion: For you with a need for greater insight to this crisis and to the potential solution to the problem, check out the Sunday Sermonette here on Virtual Mirage on Sunday, September 5th. going live (as usual, at 2:30 am in the Pacific Time Zone.)
And make sure to visit Virtual Mirage tomorrow for The Mistress, a new fictional short.   Even though I am out of town, the blog must go on!

BarvettaContext & Precedence: Barack Obama's Special Assistant, Barvetta Singletary, 37, is a single black woman who is getting to be a bit long in the tooth and is on the homely and desperate side, if you get my drift. She was indicted in Washington DC for assault with a firearm on an off-duty police officer. Now that is disconcerting.

I sense that there was a black-on-black crime here, with Barvetta behaving as though black lives don't matter. Here are the salacious details:
Police said that Barvetta texted her boyfriend, a Capitol po-lice officer, who was not identified, “to come to her residence … for sexual intercourse,” according to the charging documents. Afterward, according to the criminal complaint, Barvetta had concerns because the unnamed officer screamed out a name other than hers in the throws of passion. As Barvetta saw things, the guy who just drilled her may have love interests, other than her. She went to the man’s car with him and accused him of dating other women. 
Inside the car, she allegedly took the boyfriend/officer's two cellphones and his (.40 caliber) Glock 23 service weapon, demanding the passwords to unlock messages on the phones.  When the officer/boyfriend refused, Barvetta allegedly discharged his service weapon  toward him in violation of law. The officer grabbed one of the cell phones back (as he began his sprint like the hounds of hell were on his heels - and in fact, she was) and called 911.
Upon arrival, the police took Barvetta into custody without incident and she identified herself as a senior member of President Obama's staff.
This is a booking photo of Barvetta (above left).  The unfortunate officer is lucky that she didn't bite something off. Look at that face -- next time, she will.

Move on, nothing here! Nothing to see here! Clinton, the Democratic presidential frontrunner, has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing related to her private server. (emphasis in the Fox News piece below is mine)
(Fox NewsA former aide to Hillary Clinton who helped set up her private email server has told at least three congressional committees that he will invoke his Fifth Amendment right to avoid testifying against his former boss, Fox News has confirmed. (I wonder how much Hillary is paying him to keep his mouth shut? - Or is he really that worried that his answers will land him in federal prison along side the Bitch of Benghazi? Being in a cell with Hillary for a decade would - be cruel and unusual punishment, forbidden by the Constitution)
Bryan Pagliano, who worked on Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign before helping install the so-called "homebrew" server system in her Chappaqua, N.Y. home, was asked to testify about the server by the House Select Committee on Benghazi, the Senate Judiciary Committee, and the Senate Homeland Security Committee. 
"Mr. Pagliano’s legal counsel told the committee yesterday that he would plead the 5th to any and all questions if he were compelled to testify," a spokesperson for Judiciary Chairman Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, told Fox late Wednesday. 
The letter from Pagliano's attorney Mark MacDougall cited the ongoing FBI investigation into whether classified national security information was mishandled when it passed through Clinton's server. 
"While we understand that Mr. Pagliano’s response to this subpoena may be controversial in the current political environment, we hope that the members of the Select Committee will respect our client’s right to invoke the protections of the Constitution," MacDougall wrote. (I'm sure that his answers would plant Hillary in Sing-Sing wearing an orange pantsuit)
The Washington Post reported that Pagliano had been subpoenaed by the Benghazi committee Aug. 11 and committee chairman Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C. had ordered that he appear for questioning Sept. 10. Gowdy had also demanded that Pagliano provide documents related to all servers or computer systems controlled or owned by Clinton between 2009 and 2013. 
The Post reported last month that Pagliano had worked as an IT director on Clinton's ill-fated 2008 presidential campaign, and was asked to oversee the installation of Clinton's server to handle her correspondence while secretary of state. He was paid by a political action committee tied to Clinton until April 2009, when he was hired by the State Department as an IT specialist. The Post reported Wednesday that Pagliano left the department in February 2013 and now works for a technology contractor that provides some services to the State Department. 
I called the Clinton campaign headquarters to get a quote or comment since that is required of a responsible journalist and this news review is the very marrow and soul of responsibility. The lady on the phone (who may or may not have been Hillary Clinton) told me, "at this point, what difference does it make?"

The "running for office Hillary" has had her face stretched, her hair done and I expect that the cokebottle glasses have been swapped for some sort of contact lenses. You will recall that this photo (right) was taken not long after she claimed to have suffered traumatic brain damage as the result of a fall -- impairing her memory. You don't hear much of that from the campaign trail do you?

A Homage - to friends of mine who are "Christian" and maintain that the planet is only somewhere around 6,000 years old as the Bible states, despite massive geological evidence to the contrary. 

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Cash (still king?)

I may be one of the last people in American society who carries cash around in his wallet, refusing to use an ATM card to pay for the sundries of life. I'm not opposed to the use of an ATM, but it's too easy to use an ATM because it doesn't 'hurt' in the same way that tossing cash on the barrelhead does. Thus, it's not a hatred of electronic money so much as it is a habit. Possibly my parsimonious nature?

The French have taken it a step further, making cash transactions over 1000 Euros illegal (link).

I realize that I am hopelessly old fashioned, but part of me yearns for a currency indexed to precious metal reserves. A British Pound Sterling would be worth a pound of silver - and a dollar would buy you 1/1200 th of an ounce of gold. The youth of today can not recall when coins were silver or currency was backed by specie. It must seem to them as those days were linked to the demise of the dinosaur or gunfights at the OK Corral.

YET, could you be wiped out financially in a single day from a cyber-attack when your "digital money" vanished back into the anonymous electrons that made it. However since all of the banking is digital anyway, you'd be wiped out there even if you did have a few thousand in Federal Reserve Notes (backed by the full faith and credit of the US Federal Reserve...) in a shoebox under the junk in your closet.

However if the system completely breaks down, even your gold and silver aren't worth anymore than people think that they're worth and what they are willing to barter for... Guns and ammunition on the other hand always have that useful base value, don't they? (stand and deliver) The more screwed up the world is, the more value that is transferred to an M-4 or an AK-47 with spare magazines, ammunition and web gear. It's not subject to cyber attacks and there is more comfort in them that one would find in even a large pile of gold as the world went to hell.

So my argument has come full circle. Cash is not quite king, gold and silver have their place, but there are other options as well for storing value. Even though it's not politically correct. 
This article came out in 2013: "There have been 65,376,373 background checks completed for Americans purchasing firearms since February of 2009, the first full month of Barack Obama's presidency."
I may not be the only person in America who feels this way.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Humpday Follies (Obama Legacy Edition)

The Obama Legacy - Yes, I know, there's not much of one beside the re-armament of the American public. He will leave office with a heavily armed and equipped populace, that is roughly the equivalent of a seventy-five million person standing (irregular) army who brings their own kit to the fight. The combination of an armed populace and a large cadre of former combat veterans for the past twenty years of near constant war, is not a small thing to leave behind.

A lasting legacy is what he's shooting for. That and putting Biden into office so he can have what will constructively amount to a third term in office while Ms. Hillary obliges him by denying, obfuscating and lying as her pre-Ohio caucus poll numbers tank. Obama will whip her again as she waddles off into the sunset wearing her pantsuit, holding Huma's hand.

The recent re-naming of Mt. McKinley to Mt. Denali (possibly named for his favorite SUV?) is one of those legacy moves. There will be more. He'll want a Barack Hussein Obama mosque - maybe the "national mosque". You know that's coming.

The love affair that Barack - and friends - has with Iran won't be nearly as much of a legacy as the great divider hopes that it will be. I don't even know if it will last long enough for him to put up the exhibit in his one-billion dollar presidential library in Chicago. 

I believe that history will treat President Obama harshly. The book, Barack Obama, Son of Promise, Child of Hope, ghost written by Weather Underground terrorist Bill Ayers, the author painted the president as a uniter. Nothing has been further from the truth as we see more racial division now than we have seen since the 1960's. Dr. Ben Carson and others like him may be the curative influence that the nation needs irrespective of how the next election turns out, but Obama has been nothing but a train wreck as the Black Community is much worse off for his eight year tenure in the White House.

America has racked up 11 trillion dollars in debt for the Obama Years with absolutely NOTHING to show for it. It's the socialist way, and we are in danger of running out of "other people's money". If there is any anchor (other than anchor babies) that will weigh down his legacy, it will be that one.

Rabid Socialist and Environmental Maven, George Soros recently decided to buy Coal. Peabody and Arch Coal had been trading for $90/share until the Obama Administration declared that it would shut down all coal-fired power generation plants.
(Fox News) Soros, who has demonized fossil fuels for years through his think tanks and political contributions, recently snapped up 1 million shares of Peabody and half a million shares of Arch Coal, giving him significant stakes in what’s left of the U.S. coal industry. His company purchased 553,200 shares of Arch Coal for $188,000 and made an investment of $2,254,000 into Peabody Energy for 1,029,400 shares.

The trades would have cost Soros a lot more six years ago, when Peabody, which trades under the symbol BTU, was at about $90 a share, but shares have now fallen to around $1.
The 85-year-old former Nazi and hedge fund manager is the 19th wealthiest person in the U.S. with a net worth of $24.2 billion.

I think that Soros believes that the next US President will be a Republican and that the next leader of the free world will return coal's status to one of function. (Coal gasification plants are very clean, but the environmental lobby hates them all the same) George Soros may be a repellant cur, but he is not in the business of losing money.

ESPN commentator and former baseball star, Curt Schilling was suspended by the network for a tweet: "It's said that only 5-10% of Muslims are extremists. In 1940, only 7% of Germans were Nazis. How'd that go?"

ESPN didn't say that Schilling lied. They simply didn't like what he had to say.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The Rocking Chair

The Rocking Chair

a fictional short

Ruby's rocking chair moved rhythmically on the weathered wood deck that had been added to the trailer sometime late in the 1960's. She spent her days in the chair, shotgun in hand, surrounded by a dozen feral cats. Sometimes she listened to the Stones. Sometimes to Deep Purple. At other times she sat and thought. Sometimes she just sat--and rocked--to Martha and the Vandellas. Nearly ancient Motown music was the only thing left of the Motor City besides a sense of desperate desolation and a lot of rats. Which is why the cats, don't you know.

Sometimes she fell asleep there on the porch of her metal home. During summer, the heat turned the place into an oven and the electricity hadn't worked for a long time, so there were no lights, no swamp cooler, no power. Which seemed odd, since the music played all the same, even while she slept on the porch, clinging to that twelve gauge, break-action, coach gun, loaded with 00 buckshot, safety off.

There were people who believed that Ruby lived in the rocking chair but twerent true. Every Sunday she walked one block east to church, wearing her best. She sat in the service and listened to the preacher croon out his cadence of hellfire and damnation, even though the building burned to the point of being unused back in the nineties. Every Wednesday, she walked two blocks west to the corner market where she bought cat food for herself and her children. The water department had a neighborhood office next door where she paid the bill in cash on the first of every month.

Mail service stopped in that part of Detroit sometime in the 2000's because Cleotis Jackson killed three or four letter carriers in succession. That ended the welfare checks that everyone lived on, but she did for Cleotis with that coach gun when she found him skulking around the back of her place one moonless winter night. Dogs must have pulled the body away in the next evening. There was a lot of growling and snarling as they worried the meat in a neighboring tumbledown shack for several days. 

The dogs left her chickens alone, and she had quite a flock, none of them named. If she had a hankering for a frier, it bothered her to kill a chicken with a name. The eggs were divided between herself and her children. She had no idea why the dogs steered clear of her place but it might have had something to do with genetic memory. Over the years she'd sent her share to dog heaven, or wherever the departed hounds went. They always wanted to get into those chickens. Dogs and Cleotis. Both ended the same.  

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Promotion Party

Promotion Party

a fictional short, Sunday sermonette/going to church saga and sea shanty

The debate started with one innocent comment and turned into a full blown war, two-on-two. Simply stated, it began with this postulate: Taco Bell bean burritos with fire sauce are the ultimate cure for too much alcohol ingestion. Both of us in the front of the car agreed and we tipped a magnum of Grey Goose, toasting our agreement as I drove the old white Honda Accord with the freshly dented right front fender down the Interstate, flaunting both the law and common sense (which departed fourteen swallows and forty minutes previously). The men in the back of the car disagreed, suggesting that pancakes with extra butter and syrup worked better. Privately, I tend to agree with the guys in the back, but having staked my ground, I couldn't pull back. 

Before I go on, introducing the guys may be useful. We'd all been in the Navy over ten years. Lizard just made Senior Chief, which prompted the trip and party. It also assured him of the shotgun position in the car. The rest of us were chief petty officers. We worked at Naval Air Station Oceana, assigned to Blue Team. Enough said of those things.

The celebrated promotee self-identified as "Lizard" Boudreaux. Real name, Clovis Beauregard Boudreaux, of the Atchafalaya River Boudreaux K/Clan. He claimed that his mother water-birthed him in the bayou rather than doing it on a conventional bed, thus to baptize him at the moment of his birth. His mother, who I met once, claimed that a gator ate the after birth. It's a claim that has never been disputed to my knowledge. I clearly didn't have the guts to. His mother is bigger than he is, and much meaner. She runs the family still and her shine recipe is legendary in those parts.

I've never met a man more saved and washed in the blood of the Lamb than Lizard, or one who would be more willing do descend into the depths of depravity after one sip of demon rum. The moniker, "lizard", came from his two week training session at Centre d'entraînement à la forêt équatoriale, the French Foreign Legion's jungle training school near Regina (which he called Vagina), French Guyana. While attending the very challenging course, he discovered a serious appreciation for lizard meat to the extent that he would still prefer lizard to something wholesome like a Taco Bell bean burrito. However, he would be the first to acknowledge that the burritos cut the effect of alcohol better than lizard meat. And if you don't believe me, ask him yourself.

Quentin Lauritzen, who you'll think should have been named lizard because his last name sounds more like it than Clovis Beauregard's does, received the nickname "Gash". If Quentin was sitting here next to me, he'd remind me, as he reminds everyone that Gash does not refer to the opening of a woman's reproductive organs. It refers to a large shrapnel wound that winds itself around his left arm and down his side to a point about four inches below the termination of his ribcage. When he received the injury in Kunduz Province, Afghanistan, nobody though that he'd survive as they packed the gray coiled intestines back into him, but live he did. He rehab'd, dried off the pain killers and remained on active duty. Upon his return to the Teams his name had been officially changed from "Q" to "Gash". Gash sat behind me in the car and when I pulled into Taco Bell to order bean burritos, he choked me nearly unconscious from behind while I conned the car down the narrow roadway to the order screen. I ordered twenty bean burritos, extra cheese and onions defying his preference for pancakes.

Gash came from some hick town in nowhere Utah, born of Mormon stock. There had been a running exchange between he and Boudreaux since Basic Underwater Demolition School about which of them would/would not end up in heaven. The fact that he could out-drink Lizard proved that he had become a fallen Mormon and that had also became a source of secret shame for Clovis Beauregard Boudreaux, who believed himself to have a near godlike capacity to drink. We pointed out that Gash simply had better drinking genes long enough that Lizard believed our speculations. Firm though his belief had been anchored, he could never discuss those concerns back home in the family's floating trailer/houseboat compound on the Atchafalaya.

Andrew (Petals) Wasilewski sat next to Gash in the back seat, well into his second bottle of Jack Daniels. Petals was said to have as much body hair as a wooly mammoth. Those of who knew him, would all testify that he had more body hair than the scruffiest mastodon. With the hair came an animal odor that he had difficulty controlling. As he sat in the back of the car, the scent of wet dog overpowered me to the point where I had to roll the window down and keep it down even though the temperature had dropped to well below freezing. He had tattoos, but nobody could see them, so he shaved his arms and portions of his chest that were tattooed so that we could. Since he hailed from Minnesota, we claimed that he was related to former Minnesota Governor Jessie Ventura, a former SEAL who had fallen into disgrace over his lawsuit against Chris Kyle's widow, Taya. Naturally, he denied kinship, as anyone would. It's not unlike denying kinship to Barack Obama. Petals had only been on Blue Team for a couple months, having come to the Development Group from Bremerton, Washington and SDVT-One.

I bumped into the back of a really nice Ford pick-up with a Confederate Flag sticker on the back window, two cars from paying and picking up the pogie bait. The error in judgement, while understandable to all in the car, had not been to the driver with the cowboy hat who emerged holding a baseball bat.

I started to get out but both Lizard and Gash reminded me that I looked like a surfer/Boy Scout and wouldn't strike fear into anyone's heart despite the fact that I was a trained killer who at that very moment was reaching for a tomahawk to counter the baseball bat. Gash got out of the back seat, and threw one partially full and one empty bottle of Jack at the driver with the bat in hand. One bottle ten-ringed the Confederate Flag sticker and the window of the late model Ford that it adhered to. The next one arced farther and smashed into the large plate glass window of the Taco Bell.

"Get in the car!" I screamed. Then I punched the car into reverse and went back down the narrow ordering driveway, over the curb, through the shrubs and onto the black top parking lot that belonged to the strip mall where the Taco Bell was sited. Both of them managed to get partially into the car before I hit the parking lot. Petals Wasilewski opened our last bottle of Jack by the time that I ramped back up onto the Interstate. He downed at least a quarter of it in one long chug.

"Technically I'm in charge now," Lizard said with as much command presence as he could muster. "It's my party and I outrank all the rest of you."

"Does that mean that we need to find another Taco Bell or a Pancake House?"

"Neither, I'm in the mood for a titty bar, and a better type of company."

I must point out to you that though we considered ourselves supermen in our own right, and more so while we were in our cups; strippers -- any beautiful women really, were kryptonite. (trust your buddies with your life but never with your money or your wife) Lizard, the recently promoted, once showed up at a dining-out when he was at Team 2 Bravo with two strippers as his 'escorts' for the evening. The XO took him aside and counseled him, and he had to send one of the two back to wherever she came from with a couple hundred in her clutch purse for her trouble. Notwithstanding the polygamous decorum violation, one, the busty one, remained through the evening with him and beyond. I know this because we shared an off-base apartment when we were both based at Little Creek (VA). She crawled in my rack before dawn, bringing me breakfast in bed, because she wanted company and Lizard was too hung-over to handle her itch. Back to the events of that evening of evenings.

Going to a strip-bar was usually referred to as attending church.

"Aye-aye, Senior Chief, I replied, southbound at an indicated ground speed of between 80 and 85 mph. "I'm ready for church! Where can we find a suitable location to worship in this part of the State?"

"You're a mood-killer," Gash said to me.

"Drillers make killers," Petal slurred.

"What?" I asked.

"Something from training (mumbles)," Petal said. Then through his blurred, alcoholic haze, he spotted  purple neon style lighting on a building to one side of the road. "Look that has to be a kitty  and titty bar. They always have purple lights on them."

I took the off-ramp and sure enough, it turned out to be the "Lumberyard". The sign out front gave notice to prospective patrons that nude Jello wrestling began at 11 pm. The time on the dashboard announced that it was 10:25. Lizard howled. Gash hooted and Petal just smirked. Karma shined on us.

We all knew a timeless truth, but were too far gone to recall it. Locals often felt that establishments such as the Lumberyard were their own personal turf, as were the girls who were employed there to entertain them. Strangers in places such as those are often not wanted. Strangers are not ever wanted when they're four exceptionally fit, prime-of-life/late twenties custodians of the nation's defense, who had been banking cash on a six-month deployment and weren't averse to spending the slush fund in a single evening.

We closed the place with flying Jello, fists, feet, curses broken chairs and a stripper pole, which Lizard used effectively as a quarter-staff. A beautiful young lady of about twenty years with the prettiest green eyes I'd ever seen slipped me out the back door before the sheriff's department carted everyone else away. I could share more details of that interaction but decorum and a fear of retribution too horrible to contemplate holds my tongue.  Suffice to say, son, that is how I met your mother.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Anchor Babies

No European country grants birthright citizenship to any person born on its soil. Mexico doesn't grant birthright citizenship to the offspring of foreigners born on its soil. I realize that America has a long and generous past history of extending this privilege -- but perhaps it's time to revisit the practice. It's not only about Mexicans, Central Americans,  but it applies to other immigrant peoples who show up in the US, unbidden - like Jorge Ramos at a Donald Trump press conference.

No matter how things end up, going forward there has to be a national discussion that leads to action on the matter of anchor babies.

There is a big move to bring persecuted people from the Middle East to the USA. While I am sensitive to their plight, you know that if they birth a child while they're on US soil, they will be on welfare for life. Think of Obama's shiftless African relatives that we've been saddled with, and whose bills the public will be paying so long as they - their children and their children's children live.  We can't separate the aliens from their American passport holding offspring.

(aunt) Zeituni Obama, shiftless welfare recipient

Friday, August 28, 2015

Friday - Last Word.

A Product of Norway

I'm trying to swing a trip to Norway before the winter sets in but I'm burning daylight (literally). There are a lot of things that I like about Norway and I even have work to do there. However once it gets cold and dark, it's cold and dark for six months.

Next week, I have to block out an entire week for jury duty, even though I think that it will be over day-one. It depends whether I get to the voir dire phase on Monday or not.
Voir dire is a legal phrase that refers to a variety of procedures connected with jury trials. It originally referred to an oath taken by jurors to tell the truth (Latin: verum dicere), i.e., to say what is true, what is objectively accurate or subjectively honest, or both. In practice in the present day, it's a Q and A session with prosecutor and defense attorney with a judge overseeing it to determine the suitability for someone to serve as a juror. With my background, they'd never put me on a jury panel. 
The second or third week of September will likely be spent in Texas. LSP, you might want to think about going shopping for one of those American made AK's. Is there anyplace in town where we can shoot them to see if they're as cool as I think that they're going to be?

By October, the weather in Norway is cold. It usually stays above freezing, but barely. Which means that sailing on Oslo Fjord is done with very warm clothing, or maybe just Helga (picture above) clinging to you?

I've made definite plans for a busman's holiday to Norway with some ocean sailing and fjord cruising next summer. We will discuss work while sailing.  Ok, we might get around to it.