Reading Is Fundamental

During the week I have my deeper thoughts and on the weekends I try to be amusing as well as informative….what’s life without whimsy?

I begin my two days of mental clarity with a line from the kid’s TV show Reading Rainbow (I believe)….it was a show that was dedicated to getting children to read more and to enjoy the experience……

Books!  I have an extensive library of about 2500 books more or less and of those numbers only about two dozen are fiction…..to say I am an avid reader would be an understatement of my lifetime……these days because of pain issues I can only get one or two books in a month….if it does not expand my knowledge then I have little use for it….

I tried the Kindle thing……not what I needed…..there is something magical about the physical turning of pages of a book…then there is the smell of an old book……I am old and I do not feel that a book can be replaced with a random electronic gizmo……….

One of the things I am most proud of is that I instilled a desire for knowledge and reading in my daughter who I raised from age 7 to well…….. today……and I am doing the same with my granddaughter….she reads constantly even in these days of instant gratification of the electronic age….(Proud grandpa)……..

With all that said I was sad to see in a recent story about people’s reading habits……

A depressing state for bibliophiles: 27% of American adults surveyed this year said they had not read a single book during the prior year. That’s out of a Pew Research survey conducted in March and April. Seventy-two percent said they had read at least one book in that timeframe (another 1% refused to answer or said they didn’t know), though even reading a book “in part” counted for the purposes of the survey. That’s down from 79% in 2011. Interestingly, young adults aged 18 to 29 were more likely than older adults to have read a book in the past year. The survey also found that the average number of books read per American adult over the previous year was 12.

That is just sad!  But I guess it is to be expected in the age when we have adult diapers, chewy adult vitamins and coloring books made especially for adults……I mean why complicate life trying to get through a book, right?

Do you read?

Beware Of Those Pesky Anarchists

Tomorrow is Halloween and according to the FBI the popular custom this year will be that of an ANARCHIST!

From time to time the DHS will issue warnings of possible terrorists attacks or civil disobedience….actually most of it is just fear mongering….so far they have been less than accurate (polite way of saying “fucking wrong”)……

With Halloween approaching most people are concerned about what custom their child will wear and what “treats” will they get……but not the FBI….they are warning of possible attacks, of all things, anarchists……

The FBI has issued an alert to police warning anarchists dressed in Halloween costumes plan to create disturbances and attack responding police.

The “Halloween Revolt,” according to the federal law enforcement agency, is planned by the National Liberation Militia, a group reportedly from Eugene, Oregon, and said to be responsible for violence in Seattle during the World Trade Organization conference in 1999.

According to the New York Post the group is calling for members to wear Halloween masks and use weapons such as bricks, bottles and firearms.

Source: FEATURED: FBI SAYS ANARCHISTS PLAN TO ATTACK COPS ON HALLOWEEN | Ace News Services

First of all….what the Hell is ANARCHY?

Anarchy is a confusing word to define, since it has several possible definitions. The word comes from the Greek word anarchia, which simply translates as without or lacking in authority. In the modern sense, it may be used negatively or positively, but most often, the word is used in a negative sense to imply a complete lack of order.

In another sense, anarchism may refer to the idea that people would better profit without a government of any kind. Anarchists believe that most people can govern themselves and would be happier doing so. Within this idea of self-government, as opposed to government by the state, fall many theories of how lack of a government could possibly work. There are questions of whether people, for instance, have the same currency, be asked to abide by the same laws, or have any types of organized assistance.

It would be hard to argue that all individuals are capable of doing this. For instance, in a society that is deliberately anarchist, there is the question or what would be done with a person who was severely incapacitated by mental retardation. The person might not be able to act in his or her own best self-interest or for the welfare of the society. If that person had no caretakers, it’s unclear what provisions in an ungoverned society there would be for caring for such a person.

(Wisegeek)

About here my reader knows that there has got to be a history lesson in here somewhere, right?

You are in luck!

Anarchy is a form of socialism……it became associated with violent protests back in the 1890’s……a group of anarchists at a labor parade started acting violently and the media immediately made it the tenet of anarchy……and it has been used in that context ever since…….

As they say in “Starship Troopers”…….”would you like to know more?”

Source: Anarchists! Militias! War on Cops! Halloween! It’s All Connected, Sheeple! – Hit & Run : Reason.com

Is this a true threat or is it just the FBI attempting to look as if they are effective?  (Something that they desperately need….good PR)

Or better……has the FBI been punked?

Jeb: Time For An Obit?

Once again the presumptive nominee a couple of months ago is having a horrible time trying to win over the voters…..and the last debate that all said he had to crunch did NOTHING to help his cause….I hear people mock Carson for being too sedate….apparently they have not witnessed the performance of Jeb Bush in the past 3 months….Carson is like a dude on meth next to Jeb…..

After his dismal performance at the CNBC debate there are many in the political world calling him a dead candidate….or at least should consider going home and playing with his wife….for he is DONE as a GOP candidate…

Please do not take my for for it only…there are plenty of critics……

Think Wednesday night was a rough one for Jeb Bush’s candidacy? Consider these assessments:

  • Politico: “It will also likely be remembered as the night the Jeb Bush 2016 deathwatch began,” writes Glenn Thrush. Candidates can recover from the various missteps Bush has previously suffered, “but you can’t do all those things, and then lay an egg in the most important debate of your political career.”
  • Matt Drudge: “Jeb Bush can eat carbs now… #GOPDebate.”
  • Weekly Standard: “Rubio ended Jeb Bush’s campaign with the kind of body shot that buckles your knees,” writes Jonathan V. Last. “That’s on Bush, who never should have come after Rubio in that spot for a host of strategic and tactical reasons.”
  • New Republic: “The whole [Rubio] exchange exemplified my point that Bush just isn’t very good at this, and would help his party by suspending his campaign,” writes Brian Beutler.
  • Five Thirty Eight: “Yeah, Jeb Bush Is Probably Toast,” reads the headline on a Nate Silver post. The “conventional wisdom” is that he’s in trouble, which is a problem in this case because “Bush is running a conventional campaign.” He “maybe” can recover, “but his problem isn’t a mere lack of ‘momentum,'” writes Silver. “Bush has never looked all that electable or all that conservative.”
  • Slate: “It was do or die,” writes Jamelle Bouie. “And Bush died. … Bush might have cash reserves and support from family backers, but after tonight, he’s slipped to the second tier. He may not leave the race, but he’ll struggle to get traction.”
  • Washington Post: “Oh, Jeb. This was a really bad night for someone who needed a good-to-really-good night,” writes Chris Cillizza. “The buzz about whether Jeb is up to this race, which was at a relatively low level before tonight, is going to start getting a lot louder.”
  • And a counterpoint: “Be patient,” says a GOP strategist quoted in Mike Allen’s Playbook blog at Politico. “He has the cash to stay in until he can retool. Let the new frontrunners tear each other apart. Trust his abilities and résumé will give him a path back. Don’t stop fighting.”

Personally, I do not think all the money that he supposedly squirreled away will do any good…..he is on life support….and rich donors are looking for the plug…..he could make it to Iowa….but is there not a city named Waterloo in Iowa?  That would be poetic!

Please let me have your thoughts on the Bush candidacy……

Iraq:  The Early Days

ISIS is on the lips of anyone that cares about the US and its path to the Middle East……ISIS made the transition from Al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia (AQM) to ISIS in the years between 2003 and 2013….a decade in the making.

The common wisdom blames then GW Bush for his decision to invade Iraq when our true enemies were in Afghanistan, at the time……the truth is that we may blame him but the rise of ISIS after the near defeat of AQM was not all his to bear…..

Granted his appointees were as much to blame as he is……and in most cases more so…..but the real culprits are those appointed mid-level bureaucrats…..or as like to call them….the “Unaccused”.

How about a short history lesson in the days after the defeat of Saddam and the taking of Baghdad…….(you knew I could not pass this up, right?)

In May 2003, in the wake of the Iraq War and the ousting of Saddam Hussein, events took place that set the stage for the current chaos in the Middle East. Yet even most well-informed Americans are unaware of how policies implemented by mid-level bureaucrats during the Bush administration unwittingly unleashed forces that would ultimately lead to the juggernaut of the Islamic State.

This is a lengthy piece but well worth the time it will take to read it……people are always looking for someone to blame for any situation…..we may be blaming the wrong person when it comes to Iraq and the birth of ISIS…..

Source: The Deciders | The American Conservative

I truly enjoyed this article and especially the closing paragraph……

This episode highlights a weakness in the executive branch that is ripe for exploitation under any administration. When the neoconservative Frank Gaffney, speaking about George W. Bush, told Vanity Fair, “This president has tolerated, and the people around him have tolerated, active, ongoing, palpable insubordination and skullduggery that translates into subversion of his policies,” it seems incredible to think that he failed to see the irony of his assertion. But for those who have a deep understanding of how the government works, it is quite possible to undermine a president, then step back and pretend to have had minimal involvement, and finally stand in judgment. But now that the story is known, the American people can be the judges.

I sincerely hope that my readers care enough about their country and their way of life to have read this piece……

Something to think about…..that is if you have the time……

Jimmy Carter And The Syrian Crisis

First, I do not like to use the NYT as an authority on anything….their opinion pages are diverse and good….but the paper itself is not a reliable source of information…

Next, Jimmy Carter….I know that the GOP wants to demonize him every chance they get….but he was probably the most pious president we have ever had…..his work internationally is unprecedented…..he has worked for better understanding among nations without rest…..his choice was to make the world a better place…not to see how much money one could make by pretending to care.

Carter has taken on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and now has waded into the Syrian conflict with a possible plan to end this thing….

The United States, Turkey and Saudi Arabia should join with Russia and Iran to develop a peace plan for Syria.

Source: Jimmy Carter: A Five-Nation Plan to End the Syrian Crisis – The New York Times

Jimmy gave us his take on Assad….but what does the rest of the world think……

United Kingdom – The United Kingdom reaffirmed its willingness to accept a temporary role for Assad in a transitional administration in exchange for a successful settlement to the conflict.

  • Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond: 04 OCT – “If the price for [ending the Syrian Civil War] is that Assad will remain as titular head of state for a period of time, do I really care if that’s three days, three weeks, three months, or even longer? I don’t think I do.” (The Telegraph)

European Union – The European Union released a joint statement on the Syrian Civil War which attempted to merge the differing stances towards Assad held by Europe. France maintains a strong position calling for the removal of Assad while Germany and several other European states have been much more reticent in their approach.

  • European Council Joint Statement: 12 OCT – “There cannot be a lasting peace in Syria under the present leadership and until the legitimate grievances and aspirations of all components of the Syrian society are addressed.” (EU)

Russia – Russian attempted to portray itself as a neutral actor in the Syrian Civil War through hints that Assad may depart as the leader of Syria over the long-term. Nonetheless, Russia continued to defend the legitimacy of Assad and the Syrian regime as a whole.

  • Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev: 17 OCT – “We are not fighting for specific leaders, we are defending our national interests…at the moment Russia is working on the basis that Assad is the legitimate president.” (AFP)

Saudi Arabia – Saudi Arabia softened its position on Assad by expressing an ability to tolerate his presence in a transitional government for several months. This apparent shift conflicts with other statements reflecting persistent Saudi demands for Assad’s immediate departure.

  • Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir: 19 OCT – “After the formation of this [transitional] governmental body, President Assad must step down. If it is a matter of months, two or three months or less, that is not important. But Assad has no future in Syria.” (Reuters)
  • Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir: 22 OCT – [On whether Assad could play a role in an interim Syrian government] “His role would be to leave Syria… The best case scenario is that we wake up in the morning and Bashar al-Assad is not there.”

Turkey – Turkey also softened its stance on Assad following diplomatic talks with the U.S. and other partner nations, acceding to a transitional administration which preserves Assad as a titular head of state for up to six months.

  • Anonymous Turkish officials: 20 OCT – Turkey provided initial support for a political transition that retains Assad as the “symbolic president” of a “transitional administration” for up to six months on the condition that Assad hold no control over the Syrian military or intelligence apparatus and that there be a “guarantee of his departure”. The proposal was reportedly formed with a group of nine countries including the U.S. during the UN General Assembly sessions in late SEP 2015. (Hurriyet)

Iran – Iran mirrored Russian rhetoric on the future role played by Assad in a reflection of the deepening strategic alignment between the two countries over the Middle East.

  • Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian: 21 OCT – “In any political process the role played by Bashar al-Assad will be important…we are not working for Assad to stay in power forever as presidentBut we are very cognizant of his role in the fight against terrorism and the national unity of that country. The people of Syria will make the final decision – and whatever decision they take, we will endorse.” (The Guardian)

Most Americans know very little about Assad other than what the media tells them they need to know….and that is a very limited amount of knowledge…..

Th effort by Carter and others is at least an effort to solve this problem without the use of force and the deaths of civilians….it will be crapped on by the world we have today because……let’s face it…..war is all we know….anymore.

Personally, I appreciate Carter’s attempts over the years to solve problems without the use of violence and I wish him and the others luck on this endeavor……they will need it when facing the warmongering public.

I Knew There Was Humor In the Ryan Story….

It is official….Paul Ryan has a new job….Speaker of the House of Representatives….(let the peasants rejoice)……

House Republicans officially nominated Paul Ryan as speaker Wednesday, CNN reports. Er, excuse us, Paul D. Ryan. Also Wednesday, the congressman asked the Clerk of the House to formally change his name on all official documents and offices to Paul D. Ryan, Politico reports. His full name is Paul Davis Ryan. The full House is expected to approve Ryan’s nomination Thursday morning.

This just wasn’t his day…….as exciting as the news is that Ryan will be the next Speaker…..there was something that crapped all over his day…..

A runaway blimp!

Ryan’s big moment was overshadowed on all cable news channels by the daring escape of the military blimp……

A 243-foot military blimp called a JLENS has come free of its tether in Maryland and is now floating out of control somewhere in Pennsylvania.

The JLENS slipped out of Maryland’s Aberdeen Proving Ground, an hour outside Baltimore, at 11:54 am Eastern. It is still in the air, trailing 6,700 feet of cable across the Pennsylvania sky. The US military has dispatched two jets from Atlantic City Air Force Base to follow it.

The blimp may be armed and dangerous…..nothing is more dangerous than a blimp on the run!

According to the Baltimore Sun, “Authorities warned anyone who sees the blimp to keep a safe distance and dial 911.”

The Air Force has scrambled two F-16s from the Atlantic City Air National Guard base to track the blimp, which officials say is holding at 16,000 feet. The blimp broke free at 12:20 eastern time. “NORAD officials are working closely with the FAA to ensure air traffic safety, as well as with our other interagency partners to address the safe recovery of the aerostat,” NORAD said in a statement.

An unmanned Army surveillance blimp broke loose from its moorings in Maryland and floated over Pennsylvania for hours Wednesday with two US fighter jets on its tail, triggering blackouts across the countryside as it dragged its cable across power lines. The bulbous, 240-foot helium-filled blimp finally came down near Muncy, a small town about 80 miles north of Harrisburg. The North American Aerospace Defense Command in Colorado said the blimp detached from its station at the military’s Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland at about 12:20pm and drifted northward, climbing to about 16,000 feet.

The F-16s were scrambled from a National Guard base at Atlantic City, New Jersey, according to NORAD. At the Pentagon, Defense Secretary Ash Carter did not say what the two fighter jets might be asked to do or whether he considered it a threat to aviation. Witnesses reported seeing the blimp drifting in a sparsely populated area. Its tether was snapping power lines. The local electric utility, PPL, reported about 20,000 customers without power in the area, and Bloomsburg University canceled classes because of the outage. It was not immediately clear how the blimp came loose.

Sorry, my eyes have not been dry since I saw the daring escape……and Ryan is sitting in his office muttering to himself….”I can’t catch a break”….”who do I have to blow to get some press?”

Now I wonder how much this will cost the taxpayer?  To pay for it we will have nix the catheter program…..

Some news is just too good to pass up….and this is just such a story…..