Murphy Hit A Milestone!

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200,000 miles baby!!!!!


I’ve been delinquent in my blogging responsibilities lately. Much goings on!

This actually happened almost two months ago.

Oh, in case you don’t know, Murphy, or Murph as we like to call her, is my 1987 $500 Subaru Turbo Wagon!

murph in mountains

So Murph….  Congradulations on a job well done!


Geek Allert – Happy Birthday To…

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Fedora Linux!

Note, if you’re not a geek and know nothing about Linux, this post will be gibberish.

When they split the Red Hat distro into the commercial version, which stayed Red Hat, and the free experimental one, which was christened Fedora, I thought they were making a huge mistake. Red Hat was the first type of Linux I ever tried back in 2000… Version 7.2 I think, and I really liked it. I thought they were messing with a good thing. We thought the Fedora side would be fed the scrap with all the good stuff being saved for the commercial product that was Red Hat. But the Fedora development team quickly showed they were ready for business and continued to put out a fine version of Linux.

Though I mostly use Debian proper, or derivatives such as Mint Debian Edition, or Peppermint, I continue to have a soft spot for Red Hat / Fedora.

PS. To the Fedora development team…  Guys… Right now, the “upgraded” installation program sucks. Redesign it more like the Anaconda of old and we’ll all be better off..

NFL Thoughts.

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New Orleans is for real.

Bengals are for real.

The Chiefs may be.

My Chargers are not.

New York Giants are for real… Really bad.

As I predicted last season, Colin Kaepernick was going to struggle this year.  I’ve sen this a billion times. A new young quarterback is thrust into the starter spot… And does great! The  new QB’s with a good skill set look really good the first few games and usually win a few games. Defenses just don’t have enough time mid season to adjust to the new, guy. But reality usually catches up. Teams didn’t quite know how to play him. Teams have had an off-season to watch film on this guy and find his tendencies and weaknesses.

Cognitive Dissonance…. The Tea Party “Oops” Edition… Part 2

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Remember how a slew of Conservative  / Tea Party talking head went into a tizzy last month saying that President Obama had, with a the stroke of a pen, exempted Congress from Obamacare?

Here’s a remind if this passed you by.

Barack Obama hasn’t become known for his bold style of leadership. Even the lapdog media has called him out on his seemingly passive role as president. He leads from behind on many issues. He is ignorant of the facts on many issues, like the IRS scandal: “I first learned about this from the same news reports that most people learned about this.” That has been a consistent theme with this president. Rarely does it seem that the president gets anything done himself, relegating his role to giving speeches and espousing propaganda without walking the walk.

But that wasn’t the case last week. What issue was so incredibly pressing that Barack Obama himself backed away from the teleprompter and made his way to Capitol Hill? It was an issue so incredibly important that he had to become intimately involved in the negotiations.

The answer: Exempting Congress from ObamaCare.

The meme actually may have started as early as 2009, long before the more recent evil edict was issued. So do the two exemptions cancel each other out?


But it gets better.  Turns out, as does happen with Conservative media when talking about anything that concerns Obama and his policies, this meme is false. At the beginning of the year, Congress does go onto the ACA plan as written into law.

You want proof? Here’s proof. And it’s from the Conservative Washington Times, which is often the source of many stories and falsehoods that are featured on other Conservative media:

“Rep. Phil Gingrey, Georgia Republican, introduced a bill Tuesday that would reverse the Obama administration’s decision to let members of Congress and their staffs retain an employer subsidy that will pay for the lion’s share of their health premiums even as they enter new health exchanges tied to Obamacare.

.Wait… What????

..”even as they enter new health exchanges tied to Obamacare.

I thought they were exempt. That kind of blow apart the whole narrative.


Cognitive Dissonance…. The Tea Party “Oops” Edition.

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Today at Gay Patriot, V the K has a guest post giving 10 reasons why possible  2016 GOP Presidential candidate Chris Christie is comparable to the Democrats 1988 guy Michael Dukakis. Here is a summary of the list. I will comment on each one as as presented:

1. Christie and Dukakis are both blue-state governors with mediocre records. Both campaigned for governor as reformers, but achieved little in the way of actual reforms while in office. (For all Christie’s screaming at schoolteachers, all he’s really accomplished is increasing the number of years to get tenure from 3 to 4. Yeah, that’ll break the back of the teacher’s union.) Both are supporters of gun control, Amnesty for illegal immigrants, and massive Federal spending in their own states. (BTW: New Jersey’s economic performance under Christie: No so great.

Having a mediocre record has not been much of an impediment to many Presidential winners on both sides of the fence – Jimmy Carter was a mediocre governor of Georgia, Clinton wasn’t considered a great governor of Arkansas, G.W. Bush’s Texas stint had holes in it, and, to put the icing on the cake, even Ronald Reagan had, it put it kindly, a mediocre record as the governor of California.

Summary on Reagan’s Legacy as Governor

  1. His legacy as a conservative – and as a successful conservative – governor was “mixed.”
    • He was unable to keep his campaign promises to reduce taxes and the state budget, but this was largely because such actions were probably impossible at the time. Instead, he instituted the largest increases in the state’s history.
    • Most policies he supported were negative, requiring reduction or elimination of programs without alternative proposals.
    • Passed the most stringent air and water standards in the nation.
  2. Reagan lacked the skills or experience to effectively deal with lawmakers.


I could elaborate, but you get the picture. On the economic record of Christie, I’ll comment on that at the end of this critique.

2. Both gained notoriety by dealing with natural disasters…. Dukakis went on TV during the Blizzard of ‘78 to deliver weather bulletins. Christie famously hugged Obama in the aftermath of “Superstorm Sandy” and yelled at Republicans to pass a massive “Relief” Bill that contained more pork-barrel spending than actual hurricane relief.

The problem with this critique, is that while Dukakis may have gained national attention as a result of his actions during the 78 blizzard, Christie had the public eye long before hurricane Sandy. On the Federal aid, it’s convenient when Conservatives don’t mention that other Conservative governors take aid when given. Texas and Governor Perry, I’m looking your way! Another case of “Do as I say, not as I do” from Rick Perry.


3. Both had rivals who were taken out by bad judgment. Before the 1988 primaries, the Democrat frontrunner was a good-looking senator who was the darling of his party; Gary Hart of Colorado. Hart took himself out of the race after being caught en flagrante with Jessica Hahn. Going into 2016, the Republican Party also had an attractive, much adored senator who was the clear frontrunner… until Marco Rubio got caught in bed with Chuck Schumer and Dick Durbin.

This is just silly. It’s 2013… There have been no primaries. There IS NO FRONTRUNNER! This is like saying the San Francisco 49ers are the favorites to win the Super Bowl… in April, before the NFL draft or a single pre-season ball has been snapped.


4. The Republican Primary Field of 2016 is a Bizarro-World version of the 1988 Democrat Primary Field. Christie, like Dukakis, may face in the primaries: an ideological stalwart beloved by the activist base (Jesse Jackson/Ted Cruz), a congressman with deep ties to the party establishment but little appeal outside of it (Dick Gephardt/Paul Ryan); and a senator representing a political dynasty (Al Gore/Rand Paul). Should he prevail, Christie is likely to emerge as a candidate with an unenthusiastic party behind him, just like Dukakis in 1988.

See my comment above.  It’s 2013…. Blah, blah, blah.  Plus, in 2005 was anyone going on record to predict Barack Obama would run and win the White House. Those were some great Vegas odds there.


5. Christie has his own Willie Hortons in the form of Abel Hernandez, Andy Maguino, and Jose Luis Galindo-Sanchez… illegal immigrants benefiting from New Jersey’s “sanctuary cities” who killed Americans. Maguino, notably, was sentenced to probation and community service after running down an old lady in his car and fleeing the scene. [Link]

This one might have some legs. Former Ark Governor Mike Huckabee, who had had his eye on the Presidential prize in the previous election cycle,  would have dead in the water had he run in 2012, due to the Seattle area shooting of four police officers by Maurice Clemmens, who was granted clemency by  Governor Huckabee.

No real “Oops” here.

6. Like Dukakis, Christie will also have his “tank” moment. For Dukakis, his desperation to prove he was not a weak-on-defense northeastern liberal led to a photo op riding around in a tank and looking like… a weak-on-defense northeastern liberal riding around in a tank. Christie has to do something to disavow his post -Sandy bromance with Obama. At some point, he is going to have to denounce his BFF, and in doing so, he is likely to end up looking very foolish because the gesture will be so transparently fake… like Dukakis in the tank.

More pure speculation. Christie is a smart, cagey politician. Plus, after Iraq and Afghanistan and Lybia and the general publics push back against even sending a few bombs Syria’s way, and the Ron / Rand Paul stance of less-interventionism gaining ground among the rank and file, being “strong on defense” may not have the same luster it has had in the past.


7. Christie Will Need a Running Mate to Pick Up Voters His Party Is Losing. Dukakis picked Lloyd Bentsen as his running mate to reach out to “Reagan Democrats.” Christie will also have to choose a running mate more appealing than he is to a key voting bloc, in his case, women. He may choose someone like New Hampshire senator Kelly Ayotte; a northeastern moderate who shares his support for Amnesty and Gun Control.

Given Christy’s loud and bombastic ways, I doubt the VP is going to get much publicity, unless he picks Sarah Palin.  And, seeing that there are no primaries yet, this again is pure speculation and not based on facts of any kind. See my replies to both points 3 and 4.


8. Christie, Like Dukakis, will try and turn a negative personality trait into a positive. Dukakis tried to pass off dull detachment as “competence.” Christie tries to pass off being a jerk as “leadership.” The problem is that leadership and competence are just empty slogans. Bush 41 beat Dukakis by promising to continue Reagan’s policies; a promise he almost immediately broke by imposing massive tax increases, but “Read My Lips” got him into office, because he presented voters with something tangible – a continuation of Reagan Era prosperity. Dukakis lost, and Christie will lose, because neither man presents a compelling alternative to the person he did/will run against.
9. Both face opponents who are mediocre politicians riding the coat-tails of better politicians. If Christie is the Mike Dukakis of 2016, Hillary Clinton is the George H.W. Bush. Like Bush 41, she is the heir-apparent to a two-term president who wrought major changes to the country. Like Bush 41, she is an awkward campaigner with a grating speaking style.

Christie, Like Dukakis, will try and turn a negative personality trait into a positive.” Well DUH!  Every politician is faced with that.

Bush 41 beat Dukakis by promising to continue Reagan’s policies; a promise he almost immediately broke by imposing massive tax increases, but “Read My Lips” got him into office” Not quite accurate. The budgets for 1989 and 19090 had no tax increases.

So. Double Oops!

10. Like Dukakis, Christie will lose massively. A lot of people are claiming Chris Christie is “the only man who can beat Hillary.” Most of those people want Hillary to win. Hillary will win by promising a return to the era of her husband’s presidency; and a large number of voters are incapable of critical thinking beyond “the last time a Clinton was in office, I was doing all right.”

It’s 2013… We don’t even know if Hillary is going to run. Plus, who knows if she will even be the choice if she does. See criticisms 3 and 4.



Now, back to point number 1… On those weak economic numbers.

Chris Christie might not be your favorite Conservative, because he’s squishy on social issues and he — gasp —  hugged Barrack Milhouse Obama, but he has been a very steady Fiscal Conservative. Lets go through the check list. Has he:

Not raised taxes?


Forced  government unions to accept pension and pay reductions?


Given large tax breaks to businesses and the wealthy?

Uh huh.

Actually deleted and dismantled a government agency (something that’s often talked about by is in reality actually pretty hard to do)…


Expanded the charter school program in the state?


Limited property taxes increases?

You know the answer.



And yet, despite all these very Conservative reforms that Governor Christie has managed to push through in his state, the link provided by V the K show the New Jersey economy is, despite that, still in the tank.

What gives?

A phrase Rush Limbaugh has used quite a bit in his years as a political commentator goes something like this: “Conservatism Has Worked Everywhere It’s Been Tried”…

Well, as I showed in a previous post regarding Wisconin Governor Scott Walker, and has been accidentally shown here by the Tea Party Conservative known as V the K…. Um… No. It doesn’t.

One… Huge… Big… Fat…


This Really Is TheBush Years All Over Again. (except Bush did it better… sort of)

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Here’s the push from the Obama administration to bomb Syrian – Some quotes from the mouth of White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough as he tried to sell the bombing of Syria on “Meet The Press”:

“This is an opportunity to be bold with the Iranians,”….


“Our troops have not been subject to chemical weapons attacks since World War I”


“We have to make sure that for the sake of our guys – our men and women on the front lines – that we reinforce this prohibition against using chemical weapons.”

First point –  We had, you know, 100,000 plus troops on the ground in the country right next door to Iran, and we had at one point openly discussed the possibility of invading Iran from Iraq to affect regime change, yet they continued to invest and build up their nuclear program. Do you REALLY think then that dropping a few tomahawk missiles on Syria will make the Iranians suddenly shudder and behave the way we want them to????

Me neither.

If you want to be bold with the Iranians, be bold with the Iranians. Being stupid with the Syrians is NOT being bold with the Iranians, OK.

Point number 2 – Um, are you saying we are going to have boot on the ground then? Because, if we’re not there, our  troops will not be subject to chemical weapons attacks then, would they.

I was of the understanding we’re not going to have any boots on the ground.

Point three –  That’s nonsensical.  IF we have boots on the ground in a country, whether or not they have chemical weapons or not, we’re more than likely going to be bombing them.  So how is bombing a country where we have no boots on the ground going to stop a country that we’re at war with from using em if they got em?????

Jeez. If this is the reasoning being used to try and convince Congress to follow the President into war, then I would half expect him to lose even more support after this….

Then again… It IS Congress we’re talking about. Yes, you may have a lot of Rep. Loretta Sanchez’s out there, who said this:

“I haven’t heard that Assad wants to use the weapons against us; I haven’t heard that he wants to use the weapons against our allies (or ) that he’s moving them to terrorist organizations.”

“The minute that one of those cruise missiles lands in there, we are in the Syrian war. It’s a civil war and we’re taking sides with the [al Qaeda linked] rebels,”

There is a Congressman like Rep. Tom Cotton,  who has said he strongly supports military action and wants to go even further and topple the Assad regime to achieve “an ultimate victory in Syria” with “a pro-Western, moderate native Syrian government” taking Assad’s place..

Yeah, because that’s been so successful the last two times we tried it! At least the Bush administration could count on the naiveté of the world to float that proposition and make it sound like it might be a doable idea. Well, thanks to them, we know from experience that’s a pipe dream!

What is this guy smoking? (I’m not sure that I want some this time… no. I’m pretty sure I don’t)

And one more thing.

What the hell is this nonsense that we can bomb Syria while they are in the middle of a civil war and NOT become a part of that war? Secretary of State  John Kerry has said this over and over again.

I have two word for him……


And remember, that was an act of bombing a specific military target. It was an act of war to us, wasn’t it? Why would that be different for the Syrians? Because we SAID SO?????

Interesting that I didn’t hear any of the Senators in opposition to Kerry’s arguments and rationals bring this up. I give full credit to the wonderfully incisive Dan Carlin for pointing out this obvious point in his “Common Sense” podcast, “An Army Of One“.


Link Of The Day… No More War? Or No More Celebrities????

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Where have all the celebrities gone

Long time passing

They Said It – Discrimination Is A Religious Expression.

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Just read a story about the new law passed by the San Antonio city counsel banning discrimination against gays and lesbians. Texas is one of the least friendly state in the union concerning this issue.

Here is what the law does.

It prohibits council members from discriminating in their official capacity and forbids workers in public accommodation jobs, such as at restaurants or hotels, from refusing to serve customers based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Here is how the opposition to this law couches their resistance.

Opponents say the ordinance would stifle religious expression and does not have the support of most of the city’s residents.

“The problem I have is that you criminalize us if we speak our faith,” said Marc Longoria, 42, a pastor at My Father’s House Church. “We are Christians all the time. We don’t have an on and off switch.”

Note that there is no punishment doled out if one says “I hate gays!” Hell, I’m gay, and sometimes I hate gays!

There had already been some fallout over this new ordinance, thanks to the freak-out caught on tape a couple of weeks ago where San Antonio city councilwoman Elisa Chan exclaims that homosexuality is “so disgusting

“Just because I disagree with the lifestyle of the LGBT community doesn’t mean I dislike them,” Chan said before the vote. “Similarly, just because one opposes this ordinance, does not mean one is for discrimination.”

Yeah. It kind of does… And…. Yeah. It kinda does.

And I love her defense of her comments. After making the free speech argument (which I agree with BTW), she offerd this:

Chan also argued her comments, which were leaked in a report to the San Antonio Express-News, were taken out of context.

Chan said her use of the word “disgusting” was in reference to pedophilia and bestiality and not homosexuality.

“Quite frankly, I still find those behaviors disgusting.” Chan said.

First. — Homosexuality is not a “lifestyle”, any more than heterosexuality is a “lifestyle”. I wonder when Mrs Chan sat down and decided “You know, I think I’m going to be straight!”.

Second: — The justification for the comments actually makes it worse. The councilwoman’s response came following a comment about bisexual women, not a comment about “pedophilia and bestiality”. Which means that here is a person who equates homosexuality to pedophilia and bestiality.


Connecting Fuzzy Dots, Pt 3… Who Used The Chemical Weapons?

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Something I wrote on a previous post concerning the use of chemical weapons:

“So. Because someone used chemical weapons in the Syrian conflict, we’re on the precipice of directly involving ourselves in yet another Middle East war….

Are we that sure this was done by the Syrian government and not the rebels? That was my thought on the first supposed “attack” back in May. We have no idea who did this. The different factions that make up the rebels are no angels. They are not the civilians who started the uprising. Now, the US is saying that they have intercepted phone calls and e-mail from the Syrian governments (and listening to them is against NSA policy, since this is not specifically a terrorist attack). I want to hear this and know the accuracy of this.”

Well, it is starting to look like it WAS the rebels. From Reuters:

The United Nations independent commission of inquiry on Syria has not yet seen evidence of government forces having used chemical weapons, which are banned under international law, said commission member Carla Del Ponte.

“Our investigators have been in neighboring countries interviewing victims, doctors and field hospitals and, according to their report of last week which I have seen, there are strong, concrete suspicions but not yet incontrovertible proof of the use of sarin gas, from the way the victims were treated,” Del Ponte said in an interview with Swiss-Italian television.

“This was use on the part of the opposition, the rebels, not by the government authorities,” she added, speaking in Italian.”

I don’t know if the rebels are losing… But they certainly aren’t winning. It would make no sense for the Assad government to use sarin gas right when the UN inspectors are coming into the country to investigate the first reported use of gas back in May. It would make much more sense for the rebels to use it in hopes that the US would blame Assad and thus drawing us into the conflict on their side. We are, idiotically, already committed to arming them, if we weren’t already (see my original “Fuzzy Dots” post). If you’re the rebels, why not do something that would bring them more advantages, even if it were just dropping a few tomahawks on government facilities?

If this does pan out, and it was the rebels instead of the Syrian government that used the gas this time, the Obama administration is going to end up looking like a bunch of fools who, once again, pushed to involve us in yet another middle east quagmire based on false intelligence. Thank God the British Parliament had the nads to derail the push to take action before all the facts were in. With out their rejection, I’m pretty sure we already would have taken action.

One more thing… Note that one of the few bits of information the administration HAS released about the evidence they claim supports the notion the Syrian government did use the gas are NSA obtained phone records and conversations. I wonder if that specific piece of evident was purposely released and used to try and justify the existence of this troubling program????

“Look! It helped us with the Syrian sarin case, and we were able to use it to bring justice to those bad actors!”…. Not!