sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Hogmanay

For those of us who have lived in Scotland, there is a deep and abiding understanding that nobody is capable of celebrating in the new year as completely as the Scots. 

The observation of Hogmanay is not like a Robert Burns birthday celebration where they pipe in the haggis and everyone wears the kilt.

This year, it began last night (the night before New Year's Eve) with a torchlight Viking parade down the streets of Edinburgh. (see photo) There is nothing quite like starting a drunken orgy off with a Viking parade. 

Living in California as I do (land of fruits and nuts), and as eccentric as people tend to be here, I am prohibited from wearing armor, and marching down the street carrying a torch in celebration of the new year. No, it has nothing to do with the berserker orgy, it has everything to do with the prohibition against open fires, which apparently harm the environment. Thus I must content myself with something short of what's going on in the 'old country'.

Hogmanay Do's and Don'ts (as observed in Scotland)

(1) When in Scotland on Hogmanay you may wear a toga, when partying but it may not be white - only tartan is allowed. Any clan's tartan is ok except for the treacherous Campbell tartan, which should not be worn in the Highlands unless you are ready for a good arse (their word) kicking at the behest of Clan McDonald - who still smarts at their defeat at the hands of the bloody Sasonacks* at the pass of Glencoe. (Clan Campbell fought with the English as their hirelings in this engagement to their everlasting shame)
*A Sasonack= Anyone who lives in England. It does not apply to Americans. Highland Scots are none too fond of the English - thus the Scottish national song, "Oh Flour of Scotland", which I memorized out of necessity.
(2) Hogmanay begins on New Years Day and runs for a solid week. Even though January 2 is an observed bank holiday in Scotland, the country (sort of part of the UK) is closed for the entire week. When walking on the sidewalk in any city, you must take care to avoid the barf (slimy and slippery). If you slip on the wet sidewalks (wet from both inevitable rain and barf) and slide into the gutter, you are likely not to be hurt because you'll be falling onto somebody who is already there.

(3) Vodka is not consumed on Hogmanay. If it's your beverage of choice, you need to set that preference aside for a week. Yes, there is an exception. After the first night of Hogmanay, nobody really knows what you're drinking and you can slip from bitters and whiskey into anything you like, so long as it has been distilled and is not served mixed with anything. 

(4) Hangovers are not allowed during the week of Hogmanay. There is plenty of time for that once the week is done. The cure for the morning after the day after the night before is Iron Brew. One of the sad ironies of living in the vast American economy is that they don't sell Iron Brew over here. A Scottish conspiracy? Maybe.

(5) You can fall in love on Hogmanay. However the Scots lassies are just as likely to be eating pickled eggs (horrible belches and farts) as the laddies and you should proceed prudently. Farting is encouraged on this holiday of holidays as explained by Billy Connolly (from Glasgow) below. You are also allowed to light your farts on Hogmanay with no loss of decorum. 


(6) Can you observe Hogmanay for a fortnight (two weeks)? Yes. Many do. May you bathe during that time? It's optional. Most who are celebrating have killed off the brain cells that know what a bath is, one week into the party.

(7) May you get in a fight (legally) on Hogmanay? I guarantee you that you will whether or not you want to. The one thing that most Scots do when they're deeply into their cups is fight. However at a 4.0 blood alcohol most of them think that they are fighting more adeptly than they really are.

(8) Will you learn to "speak Scottish" on Hogmanay? Difficult to predict, however I have heard drunken Chinese trying to speak with a Scottish accent on Hogmanay and there are few things funnier.

(9) Is sheep shagging allowed on Hogmanay? Apparently not only on Hogmanay...but it's illegal in the USA unless you are celebrating the Scottish national holiday of Hogmanay.


Wishing you a very happy Hogmanay.


New Years Resolutions

It's time for me to make New Year's resolutions the same
way that people make Las Vegas wedding vows - which
are half-assed promises made by drunken idiots.
Have fun on New Year's Eve and when you're deeply into your cups tonight and you see the best looking woman/man that you've ever seen, remember the difference between love and herpes...herpes lasts forever. And when you're at the karaoke machine singing, remember that if men could sing songs that made women love them, Bill Cosby wouldn't have had to put rohypnal in the wine.

Now for my resolutions for 2015:

1.  Study the Kama Sutra. Yes, of course I come by it naturally, I'm a Navy man. But study and practice makes perfect. Now all I need do is buy the book and find a tutor.

2.   Finish a chap-stick. There's a back story to this. I only use them when I'm at high altitude, which means that I use them on off-road trips in the Rocky Mountains and then they end up sitting in my truck, which heats up in the summer and melts them sideways in the tube, and ruins them. If I finish a chap-stick, that means that I'm where I need to be rather than in the flat lands with the inner city people.

3.  Throw away fortune cookie messages. I have a habit of putting them into my pocket and then reading them again later when I empty my pocket. I need to leave them at the Chinese restaurant. I don't need the affirmation, and they don't come true anyway. Blogger Race Bannon claims that they're not even printed in China - which is disappointing beyond all rationality.

4.   Don't be accepting. With the assault on all that's good and decent, I need to keep up the fight against that which society finds correct like homosexual marriage, the 'nobility' of inner city thugs, NSA domestic surveillance, legalized narcotics and all things Kardashian/Beverly Hills Housewives.

5.   Spend less time interacting with real people and find the time to join instagram and all of the social networking sites that I now ignore.

6.   Be less perfect. Perfection, combined with my sublime humility, annoys people around me. I need to work on that.

7.  Switch my username to "password" and my password to "username" to make it impossible for North Koreans to hack my computer.

8.  Only go to Costco when they are serving the really good free samples. Yes, it's the prime component of a bachelor's eating lifestyle. Figuring out the sample schedule even if it means co-opting key Costco employees by discovering personal matters that they'd rather keep hidden -- and having them call me when the good stuff is going onto the sales floor to keep personal matters personal.

9.    Always finish what I

10.   Eat bacon once a day.



Happy 2015!

Go buy some firearms and ammo - and practice with them.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Then and Now

King George III in later life.
On the 19th of October, in the year of our Lord Seventeen Hundred and Seventy-Four, George the Third, by the Grace of God, King of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, Duke and prince-elector of Brunswick-Luneburg in the Holy Roman Empire, Defender of the Faith, The Supreme Governor of the Church of England and thus (essentially) the Vicar of Christ on Earth issued an Order in Council forbidding the export of arms and powder to America.

King George the Third clearly fancied himself as God's instrument on Earth, but his efforts at clamping down on uppity colonists in the Americas cost Great Britain the continent. 

The "Shot heard round the world" that resulted from the British march on Concord (through militia assembled on Lexington Green) was a move to seize firearms, powder and shot from Americans lawfully in possession of same. It forced Americans to make a decision. Enough of those who were sitting on the fence hopped off, and it led to a Declaration of Independence.

In his later life, King George III was blind, deaf and suffered from dementia. His legacy consisted of his two sons, George IV and William IV, who succeeded him but both of whom died without leaving legitimate heirs -- thus the throne went to the only legitimate child of the Duke of Kent, Victoria, the last monarch of the House of Hanover.

Enforcing gun control in America didn't work very well for King George III. 

Shortly after taking office, American President Barack Hussein Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder and others devised a scheme to use clandestine means to deliver firearms in the United States to Mexican drug cartels under the rubric of an OCDEF Group 1 investigation, led by the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, titled Operation Fast and Furious. The actual purpose of this operation was to generate public outcry at firearms  originating in the United States ending up in the hands of organized crime. This would become the basis of an initiative to craft and execute draconian firearms control laws in the US (in violation of Constitutional Law).

Early research done at the request of Secretary of State Hillary R. Clinton found that only about six percent of the firearms used by drug cartels in Mexico originated in the USA. This number was dismally small to those who had an agenda. BATFE's "Gunrunner" program was seen as the solution to puffing that six percent number to something meaningful enough to use as a partial basis for depriving law abiding people in America of their firearms.

We all know how that turned out - a bloodbath that soured US relations with Mexico to the low ebb they are now at. Congress officially accused Attorney General Eric Holder of lying under oath. Holder is the bulwark to protect President Obama from impeachment for high crimes and misdemeanors. To date, the bulwark has held.

Obama Presidency will leave America a lasting legacy - by generating a buying spree for firearms and ammunition unequalled in the nation's history, leaving the private citizenry in the nation more heavily armed than they ever have been.
(Link) "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."
Author's note: That only applies to lawfully purchased firearms. One can opine that the number of firearms purchased outside of legitimate and lawful channels was significant. By 2012 Mexican drug cartels were importing Chinese and Russian made firearms into the US in significant numbers because the profit was greater for them than trafficking in drugs. Whereas many otherwise law abiding Americans would not buy drugs from organized crime, firearms were a different matter and the source was not as important as the very fact that people now owned firearms. It's also significant to note that there has not been any reported use of these weapons in the commission of crimes of violence.
It's interesting how that works.


Sunday, December 28, 2014

Islamic Ambition


Early warriors who stood as a bulwark against Islam (1099)
(translated: Order of the Hospitalier Knights of Saint
John and the Knights of the Holy Sepulcher)
Islam has been trying to conquer Europe since the 700's. Christian Europe stood as a bulwark to those ambitions, but Europe isn't Christian anymore and they welcome Islamic people as guest workers. Nowhere is that more in evidence than in Germany. ISIL is making noise about their ambition to give it one more try. (read here) The story was carried by CNN, but watered down, as one would expect. CNN wouldn't want to appear Islamophobic.
No, we will conquer Europe one day. It is not a question of if we will conquer Europe, just a matter of when that will happen. But it is certain. ... For us, there is no such thing as borders. There are only front lines," the spokesman, identified only as a German ISIS fighter, told journalist Juergen Todenhoefer in an article for CNN.  
"Our expansion will be perpetual. ... And the Europeans need to know that when we come, it will not be in a nice way. It will be with our weapons. And those who do not convert to Islam or pay the Islamic tax will be killed."
Convert or die is a well-worn refrain from Islam.

Context and Precedence: (a history lesson)

Charles Martel was the general who halted Islam's march into Europe. As a matter of practice, he appeared where his enemies least expected him, when least expected, at midday, when armies of that era traditionally were resting. Finally, he attacked them how they least expected it, by feigning a retreat to draw his opponents into a trap. The feigned retreat, next to unknown in Western Europe at that time—it was a traditionally eastern tactic—required both extraordinary discipline on the part of the troops and exact timing on the part of their commander.


In the modern era, Matthew Bennett and his co-authors of Fighting Techniques of the Medieval World, published in 2005, argue that "few battles are remembered 1,000 years after they are fought ... but the Battle of Poitiers, (Tours) is an exception ... Charles Martel turned back a Muslim raid that, had it been allowed to continue, might have conquered Gaul." Michael Grant, author of History of Rome, grants the Battle of Tours such importance that he lists it in the macrohistorical dates of the Roman era.

European schoolchildren learn about the Battle of Tours in much the same way that American students learn about Valley Forge and Gettysburg.

The Muslim army tried once again, invading France in 736. All worked as he had planned, until Martel arrived, albeit more swiftly than the Moors believed he could call up his entire army. Unfortunately for Rahman's son, however, he had overestimated the time it would take Martel to develop heavy cavalry equal to that of the Muslims.
The Caliphate believed it would take a generation, but Martel managed it in five years. Prepared to face the Frankish phalanx, the Muslims were totally unprepared to face a mixed force of heavy cavalry and infantry in a phalanx. 
The Umayyad Caliphate was ultimately destroyed at the Berre River (Near Narbonne) in 737.

History Repeats - Sorta

ISIL first needs to take out the Saudis and the oil sheikdoms in the Persian Gulf. The oil sheiks need US military might to stop them. Wonder why the price of oil is half of what it was 6 months ago? Wonder why the US is staging heavy armor in the Gulf at the moment, preparing for yet another (Third) Gulf War?

In order to have a Caliphate, ISIL first needs to eliminate competing Muslim/Arab potentates in the nuke their ass and steal their gas scenario. Their ambition requires that they first strangle the West from Middle Eastern oil. That may be a problem with US/Canadian proven reserves far outstripping the Saudis - but with ISIL, it's not an exact science.

DLC
In Texas

As to the Lone Star Parson and his Dallas Light Cavalry (Irregular) Troop. There is plenty of justification for military orders in the modern day based on historical precedent.  And if Sikhs can carry knives around for religious purposes, there is no reason that you and your folks can't carry a revolver and a saber.

Military orders were founded during the Middle Ages for the purpose of crusading and either propagating or defending the faith either in the Holy Land or against Islam. Some orders have become secularized (castrated) in the modern era, but it doesn't negate history and precedent.
This list is intended to be comprehensive. The orders are listed chronologically according to their dates of foundation and extinction (in parentheses), which are sometimes approximate, and may in significance vary from case to case, the foundation of an order, its ecclesiastical approval, and its militarisation occurring at times on different dates. (Wikipedia)
Order of Saint James of Altopascio (c. 1075-1459)
Knights Hospitaller (1099, today known as Sovereign Military Order of Malta)
Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem (Awarded as an honorific to prominent pilgrims by the Franciscan Custos of the Holy Sepulchre from the 14th century onwards and established formally as an Order by the Pope in the 19th century)
Knights Templar (c. 1118-1312)
Order of Saint Lazarus (c. 1123, disputed legacy)
Order of Aviz (1128, secularized in 1789)
Order of Saint Michael of the Wing (1147, disappeared early in the 18th century, restored in 1828 (disputed legacy))
Order of Calatrava (1158)
Order of Aubrac (1162, disappeared late in the 18th century)
Order of Santiago (1170)
Order of Alcántara (1177)Order of Mountjoy (c. 1180-1221, merged into the Order of Calatrava)
Teutonic Knights (1190, converted to a purely religious order since 1929)
Hospitallers of Saint Thomas of Canterbury at Acre (1191-1538)
Order of Monfragüe (1196-1221, merged into the Order of Calatrava)
Order of Sant Jordi d'Alfama (1201 - early 15th century, merged into the Order of Montesa)
Livonian Brothers of the Sword (1202-1236, then merged into the Teutonic Order as the Order of Livonia, disbanded 1561)
Order of Dobrzyń (1216, disappeared mid-13th century)
Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy (1218 - Converted to a Clerical Order in 1398 with Knights readmitted in 1926 and reaffirmed in 2002)
Militia of the Faith of Jesus Christ (1221-1285, merged into the Third Order of Saint Dominic)
Order of the Faith and Peace (1231-1273)
Militia of Jesus Christ (1233, disappeared mid-13th century)
Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary (1261-1556)
Order of Santa María de España (1270-1280, merged into the Order of Santiago)
Order of Montesa (1317)
Order of the Knights of Our Lord Jesus Christ (1318, secularized 1789)
Order of the Dragon (1408, disappeared late 15th century)
Order of Saint Maurice (1434-1572, merged into the Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus))
Order of Our Lady of Bethlehem (1459-1460)
Order of Saint George of Carinthia (1469-1732)
Order of Saint George of Parma (before 1522)
Order of Saint Stephen Pope and Martyr (1561)

Toilet Flower

Dateline: Newport Beach, California 

Deconstructing Saturday. 

I slept in until people called from the East Coast regarding work, forgetting that there is a three hour time difference and it's Saturday. 5 am is early but you play the cards as they fall.

The Japanese refer to a toilet as a "beni" -- and the word for flower in Japan is "hana". That being the case, I can't understand why they gave the popular restaurant chain the name, "Benihana". It's Saturday and the youngest daughter (23) craved Japanese, if you please. And since I am not a fan of raw fish, we ended up at toilet flower for lunch, followed by a leisurely desert of trifle at Muldoon's Irish Pub

For those of you who don't know, trifle is my favorite desert. I like good trifle better than bad trifle, but even bad trifle isn't all that bad. Muldoon's trifle is excellent. Some prefer the sponge cake soaked in liquor. I find that the taste of alcohol overwhelms and prefer it without. Some of you will think that fake Japanese food, bathed in sodium, followed by an Irish desert of pure delicious carbs is a bit odd and may be unsettling. It wasn't. 

Death Star Fire Pit
Since the weather was warm (temp 65), a walk on the beach worked. Keep in mind that there is a practical difference between walking on the beach wearing shorts and a swim in the water. 

As WoFat would point out to you, he thinks I'm crazy as a shit house rat for making my living jumping into cold water. Who am I to argue, but those were the days of my callow youth. Today, splashing my feet in the surf on a beautiful day in the warm SoCal winter was good enough.

Once at the beach, there is no reason to leave when the sun goes down, is there? (temp 58) But it's better with a fire than it is without a fire. Better with good company than alone. Better with a light supper than going hungry. Better with live music being played by friends and singing along than sitting there mute.

I'm getting to the sermonette portion of this missive. Hang on. 

Now for the polemic: Doing something that you like, even if it is not doing anything constructive, is better than doing something that you don't like. I realize that it's not profound wisdom, but think of all of the people who do things that they don't like because they feel that they "should" be doing it. I realize that we all have to do things to keep the ball rolling -- but you have to examine your motives and need vs want. So the essence of this sermonette is that I don't want you to "should" on yourself. Life is too short.

Life's a beach.




Saturday, December 27, 2014

Manufactured Crisis

Even your own Party is turning on you?

"Never let a good crisis go to waste." - Rahm Emanuel, former Obama Chief of Staff - current
Chicago Mayor.

"If there is no crisis, manufacture one" (paraphrase) - Machiavelli.

Sharpton's finger puppet.

The inner city unrest is fueled by the progressive movement's champions and is validated ultimately, most assertively, by President Obama himself. Yes, he walks it back to try and not appear to be a political bomb thrower, but make no mistake who is pulling Reverend Sharpton's strings.

Failed presidency? Another scandal? Obamacare unraveling before his eyes? Making 5 million illegal aliens legal isn't playing well with the Democratic Party base and Saturday Night Live is making fun of Him. Time for a crisis that the Obama Administration can take ownership of. The current race crisis is nothing but Wag the Dog.

Can't get respect?

People holding you up to ridicule because you're a fat little dictator in a crap hole country? Time to hack Sony Pictures, the company that made a B movie that is about to be the most watched in American history because, "we can't let the terrorists win".

Every time people stop paying attention to North Korea, they shoot a missile, attack a South Korean navy ship, or fire off a nuclear weapon in their testing area. There's nothing that a narcissist hates more than to be ignored.

Ask President Obama, he'll tell you. Being ignored and made fun of isn't tolerable if you want to be a serious narcissist.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Broken Blue Line?

Attorney General Eric Holder needs to put on a police uniform, pin a badge to his chest and show police in Fergusson, Missouri, The Bronx and Watts (LA) how its done. I want that pencil neck geek to man up and DEMONSTRATE to the nation how he would handle a questionable situation which requires quick thinking and demands action.

We all know that will never happen. Holder is nothing but a cheap hack with the right skin color and the right friends to be Barack Obama's factotum and Attorney General. 

Wait a minute -- if Eric Holder had been a law enforcement officer who lied under oath to Congress (as he did as it pertains to the Fast and Furious Scandal), he would have been FIRED.

Ok, put that lawyer in a uniform anyway. Attorney General Eric Holder has ordered the retraining of police in several major departments across the country to combat what he calls pervasive racism in law enforcement.

Earlier this year, more than 120 Seattle police officers filed a lawsuit against Holder, arguing that his retraining program has created "hesitation and paralysis" among officers, stripping them of their right to make reasonable, split-second decisions in the line of duty to protect themselves.

The suit, now on appeal after a Clinton-appointed judge tossed it, alleges that officers have turned in Tasers in large numbers because of confusion about how and when to use them. They're also reluctant to respond to backup calls out of fear of being disciplined by federal monitors.

A simpler solution would be to train black people not to kill other black people - thus requiring the police to respond. 96% of all black men who are murdered in America are murdered by other black men. The primary cause of death for black men under 50 in the inner city is murder -- by other black men.

New York City, needs an ACLU Legal Emergency Sharpton Squad (ACLUELESS) made up of ACLU members, attorneys and Al Sharpton. Whenever police encounter the need to subdue a drug crazed and possibly armed criminal, they simply call upon an ACLULESS member to subdue and handcuff the criminal. In this way, the criminal's dignity is preserved and the Obama/Holder team is satisfied.

People who live in fly-over country who senselessly cling to God and guns have another solution for inner city thugs, thieves and looters who leave their liberal havens and branch out to other as yet untouched victims a bit further afield. It doesn't require the intervention of the police or of AG Holder.
  • Shoot
  • Shovel
  • Shut Up
It may be better for inner city looters, thugs and members of the New Black Panther Party if they remain in the inner cities.

Kwanzaa Wishes

December 26 is Boxing Day to some, a birthday to others, but in the inner city, it begins the celebration of Kwanzaa.

There are two kinds of people in America. Those who celebrate Kwanzaa and racists...

Kwanzaa begins December 26 and runs through the week, ending on New Year's Day. It's best celebrated while sitting on porch furniture in the inner city, eating a full bucket of KFC, drinking malt liquor, shoplifted from an inner city convenience store and shooting out street lights that the city just installed to try and reduce street thuggery. Maybe steal a car and go for a joy ride, torching the car at the conclusion of your celebration. Normally these cars are stolen from other Kwanzaa celebrants who are "race traitors".

(Race Traitor Defined: Inner city people who actually have jobs and inner city fathers who have elected to raise their children, trying to pull themselves out of poverty)

History of Kwanzaa

Kwanzaa was the brain child of Ronald Everett, a devout Marxist and American African revolutionary. Ronald is his 'slave name' (he since took the name Maulana Karenga), a professor at the California State University, Long Beach (chairman of African Studies). Karenga has a checkered past involving torturing a young black woman, that ended him in state prison.

Here are the roots of Kwanzaa -- just like Christmas, right? -- just another day in the ghetto. Ronald Everett (Maulana Karenga) said,
"People think it's African, but it's not," Karenga said about his holiday in an interview quoted in the Washington Post. "I came up with Kwanzaa because black people in this country wouldn't celebrate it if they knew it was American. Also, I put it around Christmas because I knew that's when a lot of bloods would be partying." 

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas (afternoon)

It's the maid's day off at the LL household. 

(yeah haha, there is no maid) But I have daughters to dragoon to that task.

The plastic trash bags filled with torn wrapping paper have been moved into the trash bin outside as have misc. packaging items.

And bouncing through my heads are all of the fractured Christmas carols that I've learned through the years, each of which reminds me of people and places where I first heard them:

Joy to The World
Joy to the world, 'cause Santa's dead.
We bar-b-cued his head.
We bar-b-cued his body,
and flushed it down the poddy, etc.
Deck the Halls
Kiss the balls of an old brown Collie,
Fala-la-la-la
Lick the part that makes him jolly,
Fala-la-la-la, etc.
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer 
Rudolph the brown-nosed reindeer,
Had a very shiny gun,
And if you ever saw it,
You would turn around and run, etc.
Sure, there are more of them. I just shared the ones that I was humming while I cleaned up the mess. Then decided to come into the den, take a break and blog.


Things that Matter


Healthy children and in my case, grandchildren, make all the difference. It's one of those things that you want all the time, not just at Christmas, but it's still my Christmas wish -- and it was granted.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Eve Message

Merry Christmas

In the City of Bethlehem, Roman Province of Judea in April, 6 B.C., a very specific prophecy was fulfilled. 

  • The first is that a great star will rise. The prediction is not so much a matter of astronomy as it is of astrology. The positions of stars in the sky are a great clock and in the world where the sky's dome is not obscured by light pollution, great men study the movement of the stars.
  • The second is that the baby will be born in Bethlehem, a very small town outside of the walls of Jerusalem where the great King David was born a thousand years before.
  • The third prophecy is that the child must also be a direct descendant of David, a fact that can easily be proven by the temple’s meticulous genealogical records.
  • Fourth, powerful men will travel from afar to worship him.
  • Lastly, the child’s mother must be a virgin.
A child is born. The child’s name is Yeshua ben Joseph—or Jesus, meaning “the Lord is salvation.” 

Within a year, King Herod first learned about Jesus from the travelers who have come to worship the baby. Herod, a half-Arab/half-Jew and Roman-appointed king, was a man of sixty-nine who had ruled with blood and horror to maintain power. The wise men who traveled from the east asked, “Where is the one who has been born the king of the Jews? We see his star in the east and have come to worship him.” 

You know the story. The world changed and our ancestors were molded in ways that we do not presently fathom as a result of this birth 2,020 years ago. It's true that we celebrate a Spring birth in December but it is not the date that is important. It's what it represents.

And whether or not you believe, the message of Peace on Earth and Good Will toward All resonates. If we could live that every day of every year, the planet would me a much more gentle place and far more livable. Simply applying, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you," creates a cycle of good.

May the goodness of Jesus Christ's teachings of love, charity, tolerance, forgiveness and redemption resonate with you this day and always.


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Happy Festivus

Solstice is over and the witches have gone home to recuperate. They won't be around for Festivus because they are usually blind for three days with a combination of alcohol poisoning and LSD flashbacks.

Hannukah is still going on...eight days of cheesy presents.



The December 23rd Festivus holiday celebration includes a Festivus dinner (usually spaghetti), an unadorned aluminum Festivus (stripper) pole, practices such as the airing of grievances and demonstrations of feats of strength. The presence of the stripper pole suggests that one could celebrate Festivus at a local 'lounge'. 

If co-workers see you celebrating Festivus, they will think that you stripped your gears (again). 

Airing of grievances is an important part of all Festivus celebrations, but it's better if you don't do it in front of your loved ones or your boss. Better that you drink a few shots of your favorite and simply slam your friends (who you have dirt on...).

The last and most important part of the celebration of Festivus includes labeling easily explainable events as Festivus miracles. You may wish to cite your Festivus miracles below in the comments section.

I have heard negroes who celebrate Kwanzaa call Festivus a fake holiday. An elementary school principal in town told me the same thing. When you consider that Festivus is just about as old as Kwanzaa, I prefer to give both the same weight. If school kids are forced to celebrate Kwanzaa in elementary school, they should also be forced to celebrate Festivus and eat their fill of spaghetti and meatballs. I told that to the chubby, butchy, lesbian principal and was asked to leave the school assembly -- but it was over anyway.

***

Some of you may wish to know how I plan to celebrate Festivus. I will take an unconventional approach this year and have lunch (Mexican food) with a buddy of mine who is working in downtown Santa Ana, CA at the Orange County District Attorney's Office. We could have planned Italian food, but it's Santa Ana - a city that is 85% Mexican. When in Mexico, do as the Mexicans, I always say (Feliz Navidad). I don't think that there will be feats of strength, but we will air grievances as we usually do as we solve the problems of the world over a couple tacos, a little beans, rice and a diet coke.

Even though this is not an "official" sermonette, the discussion of celebrating a holiday may qualify as one. Or maybe not.  We eat the same food at the same restaurant just about once a month whether it's Festivus or not.

I haven't made plans to celebrate Kwanzaa yet, but I'll let you know what sort of commemoration I have planned when I plan it. I looked for watermelons in the market because I was thinking of going to the desert and shooting them up. Alas, they are not available this time of year. Pumpkins just won't do. Are markets deliberately withholding watermelon? Are the markets racist, denying holiday Kwanzaa food to people who want to observe it? Somebody call Sharpton & Jackson. 

I may riot. I could use a new TV to watch the Bowl Games on.



International Brinksmanship

Let's set the stage:

The Saudis by themselves set the price of oil not because they have the largest reserves (which they don't) but because they have the largest production capacity. They don't like the US all that much but are operating under the concept that the enemy of my enemy is my friend. 

Thus, they are squeezing America's adversaries in Russia and Iran by pumping and refining as part of the game of international brinksmanship now underway. If they pump, the US will protect them from ISIL and will ultimately intervene in Iraq to counter that threat. A us presence back in Iraq provides a hedge against Iranian Ambition.

Enter China. China isn't an American enemy. They are simply China and want to rule Asia, as they believe is their right as celestials. If you know a lot of Chinese people on the mainland, you'll get where I'm coming from. 

China created the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank to trump Japan's involvement with the Asian Development Bank. Their $24 billion currency swap program to help Russia is also a sign of things to come.

Chinese President Xi Jinping's government doesn't care about upgrading economies, the health of tax regimes or central bank reserves. It cares about loyalty. The quid pro quo: For our generous assistance we expect your full support on everything from Taiwan to territorial disputes to deadening the West’s pesky focus on human rights.

The Federal Reserve’s inevitable tapering will hurt the Pacific rim economies and they will go to China for help. All China wants in return is their loyalty. So long as the US is COMPLETELY dependent on China for consumer goods (think Walmart, Target, Home Depot, Lowes, etc.), the Chinese can play the game without too much US interference.


Monday, December 22, 2014

Wasting Time

During the holiday season the pace of life slows.  True, tomorrow is Festivus and there will be a post honoring the day (one more reason to have a feast). 

Here are a few media time wasters that you might enjoy. I recommend both of them highly. Netflix isn't an expensive video streaming service and it might be something fun that you can get yourself as a gift of entertainment.

Netflix Original Series: Marco Polo (1270-1290)

It's a very well done account of Marco Polo's adventures in the Mongol Kingdom of Kublai Khan.  I don't know that it is precisely accurate, but it is a story and it's close enough to be a great series.



Netflix Original Series: House of Cards

The all star cast, headlining Kevin Spacey is a very well crafted political series. If you've missed it, that's easily fixed. 


Democratic People's Republic of Korea

The North Koreans can't allow the world not to pay attention to them or to trivialize them. Under most circumstances nobody cares what they do. It's a backward communist nation that can't feed itself, but spends a lot of money building weapons.

North Korea at night
Since they are in the news again, having initiated a cyber attack against Sony Pictures in the United States, there will be an American response that is proportional - war by other means perhaps? 

Thus, I wanted to keep you all (y'all) up to speed with the latest to try and make sense of what they're doing now, trying to put it in context.

Democratic People's Republic of Korea = DPRK = North Korea

DPRK media/propaganda departments have been busy this weekend. The Policy Department of the National Defense Commission issued the following statement on Sunday, 21 December 2014.
"The strange thing that happened in the heart of the US, the ill-famed cesspool of injustice, is now afloat in the world as shocking news."
"The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) has already launched the toughest counteraction. Nothing is a more serious miscalculation than guessing that just a single movie production company is the target of this counteraction." 
"Our target is all the citadels of the U.S. imperialists who earned the bitterest grudge of all Koreans. The army and people of the DPRK are fully ready to stand in confrontation with the US in all war spaces including cyber warfare space to blow up those citadels." 
"Our toughest counteraction will be boldly taken against the White House, the Pentagon and the whole US mainland, the cesspool of terrorism, by far surpassing the "symmetric counteraction" declared by Obama."
Dear Leader
The meaning of the "toughest counteraction" is not clear, except that DPRK plans to attack additional targets. The term might refer to another nuclear detonation. They do that from time to time the way a spoiled child breaks a toy to show its displeasure or to express the need to be paid attention to. In the past these counteractions have been nuclear detonations (test) or missile launches. Lighting off a nuke ticks off the Chinese more than anyone else. Since the Chinese feed the DPRK, I think that's less likely. More likely it will be a missile launch or another cyber attach, sponsored by North Korea. Possibly on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.

The Foreign Ministry of the DPRK released the following statement on Saturday:
"The efforts of the DPRK government to build the world's best power and a land of bliss for people where they are well-off as the masters under the socialist system have faced a grave challenge of the hostile forces....It is the most vivid manifestation of the U.S. harsh hostile policy toward the DPRK aimed at isolating and stifling it at any cost. Washington, in utter disregard of the procedures and regulations of the UN, staged a farce of making the "human rights issue" of the DPRK an official agenda item by instigating its followers at the UN Security Council even before the adoption of the "resolution" at the UN General Assembly…."
DPRK has done and continues to do everything it knows how to increase its nuclear capabilities, generally with limited success. It is a threat so oft repeated and in so many different contexts that it no longer intimidates anyone. Its terror effect also is undermined by the reasonably well known limits of North Korean capabilities to make more nuclear devices. It has the fissile material for a half-dozen devices and possibly a dozen, according to open sources. 

North Korean use of a nuclear weapon is a death sentence for North Korea. That means that while a North Korean nuclear weapons attack might cause great casualties and destruction in Allied countries, a US nuclear counter attack is certain. A Japanese and a South Korean counterattack might also ensue. The counterattacks will destroy everything that the communists have built in North Korea during the past 60 years.

Putin's Play

Russian President Putin invited DPRK leader Kim Jong Un to Moscow next May to participate in celebrations honoring the 70th anniversary of the Russian victory in the Great Patriotic War. The significance of the invitation is best understood in the context of Kim Jong Un's foreign travel -- Kim has never visited a foreign country since he inherited power upon the death of his father Kim Chong-il in 2011. He wants an appropriate public debut.

Russia can do even less for North Korea than before because of the drop in the price of oil. They are attractive to Putin because he can needle the US with almost no consequence, simply by siding with North Korea on nuclear issues. Now that Russia has no rubles to lend or extend, his ability to needle the US is embarrassingly negligible.


Sunday, December 21, 2014

Sky Burial, Friendship and the Season

I have WoFat as a witness. You all may not believe either of us, but such is my life.

I met Person X when he was being hunted (for real) and he took refuge in the back seat of my BMW. WoFat met him when Person X was an investigator for the United States Senate (I think - feel free to correct the circumstances of your meeting).

Subsequently...oh, for many decades, Person X has been near death from one cause or another.  Person X will outlive both WoFat and me. On that fact, both WoFat and I are in agreement.

"Stevie" (Green Beret) told me that he met Person X when he was stripped naked and tied to a bed frame with springs in El Salvador and he rescued said Person. Though I wasn't there, WoFat will testify that Stevie is serious as a heart attack.
This was a text from Person X today: Turn off your cell phone and steal my body before the coroner gets there, drag it out to some suitable location, and watch me feed the birds. Use a knife to slice and dice for their convenience. Collect suitable bones for various purposes. Leave the rest where nature will dispose of it, and use branches to erase the tire tracks. Even they catch you, you can plead the Korean Shaman Defense.
Person X wants a Sky Burial. (more on that here)

Person X is married to a woman from the Transylvanian region of Romania (Transylvania). No, you can't make this up. I suggested that she should make the arrangements since she has the "Igor Defense" based on her nationality.

Thus it goes. You can't make this up. 

My point is that I have a number of eccentric friends. Most of them are spooks, mercenaries, SpecWar operators, generally has-beens like myself, and Person X fits comfortably in that number. 

Another friend of mine is flying back from China on Monday and he's the guy who has the noteworthy reputation of being the only man in history who was unable to get laid in a Tijuana whorehouse. There is a long story attached to that which he acknowledges. Yes, of course he knows Person X. He and I were at Garwoods (Lake Tahoe) last summer with a generally proper woman who said that she didn't want to hear the story (fearing it was graphic). At the end of the telling, she was laughing. 

And so it goes. Another friend is arriving Tuesday from Mexico and an additional friend is arriving from Brazil. The holiday season does that. It brings them together from around the globe - in this case, to sunny Southern California. The holidays are a lode stone.

I think that Mike Watson is in Thailand - maybe next Christmas you and I should go there for a visit, WoFat? Cheng Mai for Christmas? Drop in on Mike and his wife?

Jerry worked in the high mountains on the Brazilian side of the Peruvian Andes in the Huallaga River Valley against the Shining Path Guerrillas (Maoist drug kingpins) until he outlived his usefulness and USGOV betrayed his unit to Sendero. Only he escaped. He called tonight and wants to come by on Christmas to see my girls (who have known him all their lives.

Want to come by my house for Christmas? Really?


Saturday, December 20, 2014

Solstice Sermonette

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Tomorrow, begins the witch holiday (December 21-23) of the Winter Solstice. I don't anticipate that my attempt at a sermonette will in any way offset the orgies or the conspicuous consumption of witches on this, their holy day. If you've been putting off shopping for your solstice supplies, you're too late. It's upon us.

As I understand it, the best places to buy solstice supplies are located in Austin, TX and Berkeley, CA because the concentration of witches coincides with the population of hippies. You can also buy supplies in Santa Barbara/Montecito, CA where the rich witch population (mostly Hollywood luminaries) are concentrated. It's also the home of Oprah and Al Gore. It would seem to me that there must be a ton of witch supply stores in Washington DC because of the need to supply the Congressional delegations with stuff they need. Maybe they buy their cauldrons, eye of newt, tongue of toad, etc. on-line? Since I don't move in the diplomatic community's witch circles, it's difficult for me to predict where they do their last minute shopping.

Because I'm not a witch, I'm sure that witches will take issue with my commentary. Too bad.

The winter solstice is the longest night of the year, the night that Witches honor the darkness and the Great horned God (or the Devil, which is what we who are not witches, call him) who rules the dark half of the year. Yule is often celebrated just before dawn and the rising sun is watched and celebrated to end the rite. In Berkeley and Austin there is also conspicuous use of LSD. Among "Earth Hippies/Witches" peyote or Jimson Weed is substituted - different strokes, I guess. Single malt scotch isn't good enough for them.

There are a lot of witches in Great Britain. It makes sense since that is the literary home of Harry Potter (wizard). I ran into some of them rutting in the woods when I was a serving officer in the US Military, assigned there. At first I thought that something had gone horribly wrong because they were covered in blood (turned out to be chicken blood). No, they were simply worshiping. Since I was just an invited guest in their country, I stood by while the SAS blokes I was with kicked a little ass and sent them on their way. I broke out my entrenching tool (shovel to you non-military types) and gave the unfortunate chickens a decent burial.

If your neighbors have these on their "Holiday Tree", they
are members of the local witch coven.
A witch told me that it's also acceptable to dance under the stars in military BDU's (because it makes you look like a tree). If you loan your BDU's to a witch for the night, make sure to disinfect in addition to standard washing.

In witch culture, the mistletoe and holly have sexual significance, which is not all that strange because everything in witchcraft has sexual significance. Mistletoe has white berries which represent the divine semen of the Gods, while holly has red berries which represent the sacred menstrual blood of the Goddesses. Witches claim that the custom of kissing under the mistletoe is just a shadow of a memory that harkens back to the times of sexual orgies that accompanied the rites of the Oak God, that witches commemorate today. Sometimes they burn a wooden man at midnight for solstice.

Naked Witches at Burning Man
I know that you're asking yourself where the witches in America congregate during the summer solstice. They go to Burning Man, a week-long event held at Black Rock, Nevada. It's an extension of the wicker men that were burned by Celtic neopagans and witches, usually accompanied by a human sacrifice. Today they don't sacrifice humans in Nevada -- that I know of. 

Whether you celebrate by covering yourself in chicken blood and having unprotected sexual intercourse with total strangers at midnight... 


OR 

If you're not a witch, it's just another day to get ready for Christmas, and Kwanzaa (the voodoo holiday). Don't forget that it's right smack dab in the middle of the 'eight crazy nights' of your Hanukkah (Dec 16-24) celebration this year.

If you wish to share cherished memories of solstice celebrations past, you can do it here and I won't delete them.

I'll start -

December 21 sux because it the darkest day of the year and the shopping malls are crowded to the point of insanity. The shelves are picked over and I hate myself for waiting this long to go shopping. 

However, tonight, I'm going to the California High School Open Division Championship Football game. It's the Husky's of Centennial HS in Corona, CA vs the Spartans of De La Salle Concord, CA. Naturally, I'm hoping for a Husky victory since I have family playing #98.  De La Salle has a famous HS football team and there is a movie in the theaters about them. Rich kids of La Salle against the poor kids of Centennial. 

Are there witches in the San Francisco Bay Area city of Concord? Does a bear crap in the woods?  Does Obama golf? San Francisco witches -- legions of them. It may give De La Salle an advantage. This is what the odds-makers (naturally witches) are predicting by reading tea leaves and snake entrails:  De La Salle 35, Centennial 17

We shall see. Playing against Satan's imps on Satan's day (if you ask a witch, if you ask anyone else, it's just a busy shopping day and it gets dark early).

Why go Fishing?

Hidden benefits of Fishing:


Cats and Dogs


Now you know.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Seasonal Cautionary Note


I've been to a few office Christmas parties. Some of them end up not all that far off from the one cited above. If you are off to the seasonal gathering tonight remember...that you may not remember in the morning. But others certainly will.


However you decide to spend your holiday gatherings, I send you wishes of joy and merriment.


Look at her eyes. She clearly needs another couple of drinks. 

Some additional guidance:

If there is a possibility of several things going wrong, the one that will cause the most damage is the one that will go wrong.

If nothing can go wrong, something will.

Nature always sides with the hidden flaw.

Culture

American culture is changing and apparently the progressives are winning because (LINK) the Census Bureau reported in a study released this week that 65 percent of American children lived in households taking aid from one or more federal program as of the fall of 2011.  
"Almost two-thirds (65 percent) of children," said the Census Bureau, "lived in households that participated in at least one or more of the following government aid programs: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), Medicaid, and the National School Lunch Program."  

It's a battle against self reliance and it's a battle for the culture of the nation. The safety net - for the very poorest Americans now extends upward to 65% of children. Look around you, at your neighborhood, and ask yourself if well over half of the children are needy. These young people are being trained to be dependent on government.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Bundle of Joy







video

The best thing about being a grandfather, is grandchildren! This has been an especially good month because I've had two grandsons. You met Luke last Thursday. Today, meet his cousin, Riggins.  Both boys are healthy and are doing well. 

My daughter, Amanda, asked me to smuggle "real food" to her later this afternoon since she couldn't eat before the baby was delivered (by c-section). Since this is her third son, she knows the hospital drill all too well and put in her order with me before she went under the knife.

Simple Man Theory

Call me crazy.


NYPD


As with many of you, I watched Fox News and the crowds of angry protesters in New York City who called for all police officers to be killed. And I heard Mayor DeBlasio pander to the crowds, agreeing with them.


Maybe the Police need to quit.

Not some of them.

All of them.

And let the mob run wild.


And the New York State Police needs to stay out of this situation because a lesson needs to be learned and learned well. There will be no police to stop the looting, murder, rape and arson...free Air Jordans  and TV sets for everyone in The Big Apple.


Eventually the National Guard will roll in and of course, they will do so with unloaded weapons, the same as they did in Los Angeles and Missouri. And the looting, murder and arson will continue.




I know that this scenario won't go down like that because it's not in the nature of police officers to surrender the streets to the mob. But what if it did? What if they did as the mob and the mayor demanded? Would the progressives be happier? 
If the streets were ruled by warlords on the basis of the strongest and smartest taking what they pleased when they pleased would it make New York more prosperous? And what of the United Nations? I have a feeling that those parasites would be easy pickings. The Ghetto -- would be cleaned out because those people can't shoot. Two or three warriors would make mincemeat of two or three hundred inner city looters.

It might be worth going all aboriginal and moving to NY, NY. The mayor's greasy pate wouldn't make for much of a scalp on a spear, but it would be a good talking piece over a fire. And the mayor would feel good about it, praising the upheaval as some lawless bastard separated his hair and skin from his (large) cranium.

That's what happens when there are no police and there is no rule of law. The strong kill or enslave the weak...sort of the way it is in Obama's African dreamland every day.