June 29, 2012

Straw Poll

The day before the SCOTUS decision, we were at the George Bush Presidential Library.  That's President 41.  I think the Obamacare decision may be the best thing to happen to Mitt Romney this year.  Not that my state is one he should be worrying about.  We arrived shortly after they opened, but chatting to the desk volunteer, this seems to be the usual daily result of their straw poll.


June 28, 2012

Hurry up, Darwin

The Dallas NAACP is calling for an end to the Texas lottery because:
"People with very little money are spending their money on the lottery," said Juanita Wallace, president of the Dallas branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. "This has been bothering us for a while.
No shit?  Apparently the Christian Life Commission of the Baptist General Convention of Texas agrees, saying that the lottery 'preys on the poor'.

Is there someone going door to door in poor neighborhoods, selling lottery tickets to welfare recipients?  Is there a lottery ticket vending machine at the social services office?  How, pray tell, does the lottery prey on, or cater to, poor people?

I would argue that this nanny state, entitlement-riddled society caters to the poor.  There is no real fear of going hungry or without shelter.  There is no work ethic engrained in people to provide for themselves.  And the EBT card thing - it is like my 5-year old's view of my debit card - it is the magical money card.  Difference is, when I use mine to pay for groceries, the money comes out of my checking account, not the pockets of American taxpayers.

How about a little tough love in the 'hood?  Is the NAACP calling for a ban on gold jewelry?  Fancy cars with fancy rims?  Booty implants?  Call me racist, but there is a whole lot of materialism amongst the NAACP's poor.  Try teaching some basic budgeting skills.  Try having the age old discussion about needs versus wants.  If poor people want to buy lottery tickets instead of health insurance, we call that thinning the herd.

June 27, 2012

Shedding Senoritas

This morning I woke up in College Station, Texas.  Again.  Second time this month.  I know of eight more trips planned before the end of the year.  I have been making a comprehensive list of which hotels are obviously skeezy and which are worth a try. 

One of the things I like about restaurants in C-Stat is the requirement to post health inspection scores.  That takes quite a bit of the guess work out of things. 

I often laugh when we go to the Costco snack bar back home.  I am not sure if it is store or city policy, but the workers that have facial hair have to wear one of those paper shower cap things over their face, along with their head.  I am still not sure what purpose is served by making food service workers cover their hair.  Is there something particularly disturbing about hair falling into food?  Is it more or less worrisome than saliva?  We had a Whataburger drive-thru worker with a heck of a speech impediment the other day.  I couldn't help but wonder how much she was spraying on the food she was tasked with preparing.

Though I don't know that I understand the necessity of the hair net for sanitation purposes, I certainly understand the need from an aesthetic and gross-out point of view.  While a random hair in the food at home is just removed, when it is a stranger's hair, all bets are off. 

While we are at it, can we make hotel housekeeping employees wear a hair net?  I am sick to death of checking into a hotel and finding long, dark hair.  Especially in the towels.  The kids jumped in the pool upon arrival today and, as I dried off little Crash, there was a long, thick, dark hair sticking to his face.  Gag.  Went up to the room to rinse off, grabbed a new towel and, you guessed it, there was another dark hair. 

Hopefully we have left the hairy towels behind, as we had to switch rooms due to an ant issue in the first.  No way I will sleep tonight as every little tickle will make me think ants are crawling on me.

This too shall pass, and in two days time I will be headed to my favorite road trip of the year to hang with some of the best people I know.   I can almost taste the Shiner now...

June 26, 2012

FHD - that's Eric Holder

In case you think that America is still the land of the free, and that people are innocent until proven guilty, I bring you this story of Obama, Holder and Homeland Security run amok.  A respected and revered New Mexico family that runs a gun store has been living a nightmare for the past year.  Four members of the family were arrested, three remain in jail nearly a year after this catastrophe began.

Extreme fisking here, as others have summarized quite succinctly:
Rick and Terri Reese, along with their two sons Ryin and Remington ran a federally licensed gun shop in Deming, New Mexico.  They kept meticulous records of all the firearms and ammunition they purchased and which were purchased by customers.  They performed the required FBI background checks when necessary.  Basically, they ran their gun shop by the letter of the law for 17 years.

Even much of their hired help was legal as the Reeses often hired law enforcement officers who were either retired or off duty, to work in the gun shop.  This brought in a substantial amount of business with the law enforcement community and agencies.

In 2011, Terri noticed a customer that had made an unusually large number of purchases.  The customer, Penny Torres, told Terri that they were having a family reunion at a ranch in the area and that they all liked to shoot.  Terri was suspicious of Torres story and being the law abiding gun dealer she is, she reported her suspicions to one of her friends that worked with the Luna County Sheriff’s Department.  Terri told him that she suspected Torres might be a ‘straw buyer’ (someone who purchased guns for illegal purposes such as going over the Mexican border to the drug cartels, kind of like what the US government did with Operation Fast and Furious).

The Luna County Sheriff’s Department officer Terri reported to was someone she trusted and who she always turned to if they had any need for law enforcement.  He told her that he would promptly report it to ATF and would let her know what happened with the case.
Torres was subsequently arrested, but ended up making a deal with the feds for leniency by implicating the Reese family as knowingly selling guns that were to illegally cross the border into Mexico.  This launched an investigation by a recently formed federal agency known as Homeland Security Investigators (HSI), who set up a sting operation to entrap the Reeses.

HSI hired a confidential informant called Roman, who was seeking a reduced sentence for human trafficking and drugs smuggling.  Roman agreed to go to the Reese’ gun shop, purchase weapons and drop hints that they would be heading across the border into Mexico but to do so in such a way as not to alarm them and cause them to refuse the sale.  Roman was fitted with a wire to record everything that was said.  HSI figured that if the Reeses sold the guns to Roman, that they could then arrest them on gun walking charges.
Shortly after Roman made his gun purchases, the feds swooped in to arrest all four members of the family.  

HSI and local law enforcement raided the gun store and the Reese home.  They came in helicopters, armored vehicles and too many heavily protected and armed law enforcement officers to count.  Not only were the four members of the Reese family arrested, but the feds confiscated every gun, all ammunition from both their store and their home, then they confiscated the home, cars, bank accounts, coin collections and virtually everything the family owned.

Each member of the family was eventually taken to a different jail or prison facility to be held without bail until their trials.  The prosecution argued that they were flight risks or might even stage a Ruby Ridge type stand off because their home had a well and solar panels and they had found guns on the premises.  Can you imagine that?  They actually found guns and ammunition in the house and place of business of federally licensed gun dealers.  It was also noted by the prosecution that Rick and Terry Reese were part of the local Tea Party, which must have made them look violent in the eyes of the prosecutor.

Six months after being arrested, Terri Reese was allowed to post bail, but the courts continued to withhold bail for the father and two sons.

Recently, the first preliminary hearing was held for the four members of the Reese family.  According to a WND report, the prosecution revealed a number of revelations during the preliminary hearing.  For one thing, Roman spoke little broken English and that most of the hinting of guns going to Mexico was said in Spanish, which none of the Reese family knew or understood.  However, the transcripts that the court had to read had all been translated into English, so that it appeared that the conversation had taken place in English.

Additionally, the prosecution admitted that all of the Reese’ gun sales had been properly logged and all transactions appeared to have been legal.  They also admitted that the Reeses has paid all of their taxes and that there was no evidence of any under the table transactions and that all banking and financial evidence indicated that all members of the family never received any money other than their normal paychecks.

When the defense pointed out to the prosecution that they used so many law enforcement personnel in their store, the prosecution replied that it didn’t matter because ‘a lot of them [cops and former cops] are dirty.’

Now the Reese family is awaiting the main trial which is scheduled for some time in July.  Since all of their worldly possessions, even personal items accumulated over 25 years of marriage, have been confiscated, they have no money with which to use to pay for their defense.  And if by some miracle they are acquitted of all charges, they have no home and no business to return to.
Lord help us.  Why isn't this story front and center in the MSM?  Hell, even the non-MSM seems to have ignored it.  Click around to some gun blogs and news aggregators and there is plenty to read.  Eric Holder gets to sit on his ass and refuse to turn over documents.  The president exerts executive privilege to protect him.  And the Reese family, who followed the letter of the law and reported suspect sales, ends up in jail for gun walking.  And, you bet, they are getting a fair shake:
It is worth noting that as HSI progressed in their investigation against the Reese family, they were briefing and receiving guidance from Phoenix ATF Bureau Chief Bill Newell – the man responsible for directly overseeing Operation Fast and Furious.

June 25, 2012

FOD

I was going to post about the Obama campaign's asinine suggestion that people with gift giving events coming up (think weddings, showers, birthdays) ask their invitees to donate to Blowie's campaign in lieu of a gift.

Smarter and funnier people beat me to it.  I would like to add that Emily Post should call someone at the White House and remind them that formal etiquette dictates that you never mention gifts, much less tell people what to do instead of get you the gift you were obviously expecting.   

Here, now, are the top ten rejected Obama Fundraising schemes, as seen on White House Dossier:
1. Going to church this Sunday? When they pass the hat, reach in, take the money out, and send it to President Obama.

2. Did your rich uncle recently pass away? Please consider donating a portion of your inheritance in his name to the Obama campaign.

3. Do you yourself have a terminal illness? Make sure your will reflects your commitment to President Obama.

4. Are you one of the few people who shorted Facebook? Don’t forget the Obama campaign. And pick up some Nicorette for him.

5. Planning on robbing a 7-11 this week? Please remember to share a portion of the loot with President Obama.

6. Counting cards in Las Vegas? Don’t forget to share some of the winnings with your president.

7. Running a pyramid scheme for your financial clients? Please send the Obama campaign a portion of the “investments” before the scheme collapses.

8. You know your children don’t keep track of the money in their checking accounts. Remove half of it and send it to President Obama.

9. Planning to kill someone for the insurance money? Assuming you get away with it, please donate a share of the proceeds to Obama 2012.

10. Tired of being criticized for being in the “one percent”? Take a moment to donate enough to the Obama campaign so that you can boast that you are merely a member of the “two percent.”



June 24, 2012

Tapped Out

Some of the things that I don't immortalize on the interwebs have been taking a toll for these past 4 months.  A season of my life has, thankfully, ended.  I have been a public servant slave for over 10 years.  For most of that time, it was incredibly rewarding.  I learned so much about government and leadership, and met and worked with some amazing people.

Unfortunately, I have seen the underbelly of the beast.  Six or eight years ago, I encouraged people to get involved with their communities.  I have served on boards, committees and councils for charities and municipalities.  Deep down, they all share the same levels of dysfunction that we see on full display in D.C. right now.  I wouldn't wish public service on (most of my) enemies.  It is a thankless, bloody task.  It is a guarantee, that at any given time, half the people love you and half hate you.  Occasionally that balance tips and they all love you - but usually they all just hate you.

It won't be news to you, but I have learned that the most startling difference between liberals and conservatives is, at its foundation, the classic battle of good versus evil.  Democratic strategists, consultants and worker bees operate on the 'say and do whatever it takes' mentality.  They prey on people's fear.  Republican strategists, for the most part, try to take the high road.  And this blind devotion to doing things the same way, because that is the way it has always been done, leads to disaster.

We have to wake up, and we have to wake up our friends and neighbors.  It is apathy that is killing the right. Some just don't care.  Some think that their vote doesn't make a difference.  Some are ignorant.  If we can't fix the apathy problem, we will never fix the Obama problem.

In the end, we elect the government we deserve.  Our forefathers intended for us to participate in the process.  Our vote is our participation.  Without it, democracy ceases to exist. 


June 23, 2012

What goes around...

I think it is poetic justice that a man who raped boys in showers is headed to prison and likely to be on the receiving end for the rest of his life.

There isn't much to say about Jerry Sandusky that the 45 guilty verdicts don't already say about him.  Pedophile.  Predator.  Creep.  Liar.  Rapist.  He will get his in the end (pun intended).

No disrespect for the dead, but Paterno got an easy out.  The president of Penn State got off easy, as well.  The two administrators that were aware of Sandusky's deviant behavior will get theirs.  But the evidence of the trial showed that this evil man has been preying on boys for decades.  There are certainly other victims and there are certainly others that knew what was going on.

Before the verdict, one of Sandusky's lawyers commented that,
To convict Sandusky, “you have to believe he was the boldest perpetrator in history, taking these kids out, showering with them in front of other coaches,” Amendola said. “It doesn’t add up. It makes no sense, absolutely no sense.”
'It makes no sense'.  I am sure that each of the victims had that very thought when they were abused by a man they trusted, a man that showered them with gifts and took them to football games.

Sandusky will never walk free again.  Hoping for an early death is probably the most he can hope for and that would suit me just fine.  And for all the other people that knew what he was doing and didn't say or do anything...what goes around comes around.  Good luck sleeping at night.

June 22, 2012

Obese, Homeless and Naked...

....is no way to go through life.
A 400-pound woman decided to strip down to her birthday suit while she sat on a bus bench in Fort Lauderdale on Wednesday afternoon.
Gag.  Can you imagine?  Four kids and mumble-mumble pounds since I was young and lithe, and I don't even like to see myself naked, 400 pounds of naked woman would either be vomit-inducing or wet-your-pants funny, I think.

What really has me giggling is the thought of the people who plopped down on that bench after the scene was cleared.

But I digress.
Patricia McCollum was arrested and charged with exposure of sexual organs in public and was initially held on a $100 bond, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
The 52-year-old, who is currently homeless, was sitting buck naked on a bus bench at 3900 N. Ocean Blvd. She claims she was only trying to put on a different outfit.
“That’s why I was changing my clothes on the bus bench. I don’t have anywhere else to stay but bus benches,” McCollum said during a first appearance court hearing Thursday.
Have you caught on to what keeps tripping me up?  Re-read that post title.  Oh, and one other important tidbit:
The impromptu nudist, who uses a walker to stand, currently collects Social Security disability checks, according to her statements in court.
Can someone, anyone, correlate for me, how you can be homeless, seemingly without the means to put a roof over your head, but weigh 400 pounds? 

June 21, 2012

Not as young as I used to be...

...forgive the lack of a post this morning.  Went to the Van Halen concert last night, stayed out waaaaay past my bedtime, had to be up at the crack of dawn, ears are still ringing and the kids want to be entertained.  Gah! 

Taking Bang to school this morning, I accidentally nudged the radio dial to CNBC, but didn't realize it for several minutes because they were talking about the need for lower taxes, policies that are friendlier to businesses and good trade practices.  What?  Is the MSM singing a different tune now?  I never listen to their drivel, so their acknowledgement of the no-recovery-recovery was surprising.

I think there is hope for November, especially as long as the big issue is the economy.

More and more news outlets are talking about the overall unemployment trend versus the up and down weekly numbers.  When lumped together and averaged in 4 week chunks, there is a clear uptick.  Those historic lows in mortgage rates don't mean a damn thing when people don't have jobs and the money to buy houses.

The petroleum supply is driving down the price (amazing how that works), but probably not as quickly or as far as would be needed to make a significant impact in most people's wallet and get them singing the praises of the Oval Occupier. 
 
I hate the erosion of what my family, and many others, have worked for, BUT I would rather scrape by for a few more months if it will help validate an Obama loss.  

June 20, 2012

"They suck and they're blaming us"

During the school year, Neal Cavuto's show filled the radio time slot during my afternoon school pick up rounds.  I didn't always like Cavuto, but over the past couple of years have developed quite a crush.  Yesterday's show ended with a kick ass rant about the big mouthed European Commission President, Jose Manuel Barroso.

At the G20 conference, Barroso, when asked why North American countries should help bail out Europe, he commented:
Since you mention North America, this crisis was originated in North America and many of our financial sector was contaminated by, how can I put it, unorthodox practices, from some sectors of the financial market,” 
This sent Neal on a rant-bender.  Thank God and Fox News that he has a television pulpit to be heard from, because his response was one for the ages!
“For god’s sake wake up and sniff your obviously spiked cappuccino,” Cavuto exclaimed while commenting in frustration on Barroso’s remarks during the G20 summit in Mexico Tuesday. “U.S. banks did not create your mess, you did. U.S. banks did not grant cradle-to-the-grave government protections that were unsustainable decades ago let alone today, you did. U.S. banks did not make austerity a foreign concept in Europe, you did. And U.S. banks didn’t force public workers to retire at age 52 or refuse to ask them to contribute so much as a single euro to their healthcare benefits, or their prescription drug benefits, or their ridiculously–unaffordable spousal and kid benefits, you did.

“You created the safety net and now you’re throwing us under the net? I don’t think so Peppe. We are many things in this country, but even our most gullible institutions aren’t half that stupid.”
The rest of the rant is just as epic.



Here are a few of my favorite quotes:
Our politicians might have been late for that accounting class, but you pathetic, finger-pointing socialists didn't even bother showing up for the class.  No class, no guts, no gumption, no glory.

And the next time you blast the U.S. for all that ails you, remember who magically appears to save your sorry ass every time you can't pay the bills that are hitting you. 

Back-stabbing America's to blame for everything klutzes.
I will tell you what, Mister finger-pointing, overly condescending, Portuguese, holier than thou, constantly lecturing EU Commissioner...we are due a whole lot more than a 'screw you'...
If Cavuto wanted to avoid any European reporting assignments, he probably locked it up with that rant.  Too bad our government won't speak as plainly to those who can't accept blame for themselves....oh, wait...pot, meet kettle.

June 19, 2012

Stayed tuned for a beheading

Subtitled: How to invite more, and less subtle, cartel violence to America...

The other day I wrote a post about a big raid on a racehorse training facility that was a front for Zeta money laundering.  As one would expect, the Feds just rounded everyone up, from multiple locations across several states, put them in cuffs and led them away to be sorted and charged back at the office.

One of the men arrested was Eusevio Maldonado-Huitron, a horse trainer working in Texas, that had trained horses for the operation.

The first smart thing this guy did was have his public-defender lawyer proclaim quite loudly and publicly that Maldonado-Huitron...
...is an illiterate horse trainer who poses no threat to the Zetas. An associate of Maldonado-Huitron's from El Paso testified Monday that the trainer was actually dismissed weeks before his arrest because his horses were underperforming, which the defense attorney said meant his client was now even less important in the eyes of the cartel.
"Why on earth would they hit my client?" he asked. "What has he done? He's a horse trainer."
Announcing that Maldonado-Huitron is illiterate was a stroke of genius, what a great way to show the Zetas that, if he saw any documents, he couldn't read them.  Highlight his stupidity, his ineptness at his job and repeat how unimportant this guy is to the cartel.

IMHO, that was the last smart thing the defense did.  Apparently, they paraded a bunch of witnesses through the courtroom during the bail hearing - including family (that now have a target on their back as well) to beg for Maldonado-Huitron's release.  And they were convincing enough to get the judge to go for it.

Two thoughts come to mind - either the Zetas have an impressive network of members in American jails or this guy is, in fact, a complete idiot.  Unless there is a credible threat of him getting shanked by some incarcerated Zeta, I think he is safer in jail. 

And no, I have no bleeding heart for this baboso, but I do care about those who might get caught in the crossfire of any action the Zetas take.  They aren't known for quiet murders or hiding the bodies.

June 18, 2012

One Habit of a Highly Effective President


FOD - Pick your cliche

There are many cliches that would be appropriate, but I will go with, "What's good for the goose..."



Video from 1994 has surfaced of David Axelrod, President Obama’s chief campaign strategist, calling former President George H.W. Bush “out of touch” for “tastelessly” playing golf while trying to convince voters that the economy is improving.
“Bush tastelessly did it, often from the ninth hole, and from the cigar boat and other places,” Axelrod said.
Added the adviser: “The impression you got was that he was out of touch.”
Throughout his presidency, Obama has been known to hit the links nearly every week.
(What's good for the goose...)...is good for the gander.  Unless you are president.  Or a democratic strategist. 
President Obama rolled out of his Kenwood, Chicago home Sunday morning and headed to out to play his 100th round of golf since becoming president.
Obama has already played golf eight times this year. He actually is a little off his normal pace – perhaps campaigning is intruding on golf. The president golfed 28 times in 2009, 30 times in 2010, and an incredible 34 times in 2011.
Obama’s golfing takes about five hours, including the motorcades back and forth from the fairways. If one thinks of this as taking up  much of the day – include getting ready to go and cooling off afterward – its fair to say that Obama has spent more than three months of his presidency golfing.
Only good thing about Blowie hitting the links - he isn't screwing up anything but his handicap for at least 5 hours.

In the comments over at White House Dossier, there was a list of proposed campaign slogans for Blowie.  Here are my two favorites:
Fore More Years!
The Economy is just a 9 iron from being fixed.

June 17, 2012

For the dads.

Happy Father's Day to all of you to whom it applies.

I know several of you that are exemplary examples of what a father is meant to be.  You restore my faith in the intent of parenting, making up for those ghetto sperm donors, deadbeats and every-other-weekenders that claim the title of father, but have never been a real DAD.

Enjoy your day, enjoy a frosty beverage, smoke 'em if you've got 'em and know that you make a difference in this crazy world.

June 16, 2012

Whiz Kids

Waaaaay back when I was a young teenager, many hours of my misspent youth was spent hanging out at a strip center that provided a large parking lot for Frisbee playing and car parking, to watch those that were 'cruising'.  There was an arcade called 'The Wiz', and it was behind this particular business that a boy I knew got busted for public urination, earning the nickname "Whiz Kid".

The other day, Crash and I had grabbed a bite at Chick-Fil-A and were getting in the car when a lady came rushing to the SUV parked next to ours, with two kids in tow.  She was telling them to hurry, and turned to the little boy and said, "You need to go potty, don't you?"

My thoughts at this point were that she needed something out of the car, before heading back into the restaurant with the perfectly serviceable restroom.  As I was buckling Crash in, the lady opened the back of her SUV, revealing a potty chair.

Bear in mind, that our row of parking was directly adjacent to the glass walled side of the dining room of the restaurant, as well as being parallel to the very busy drive through line.

Before I could process the meaning of the plastic potty chair in the cargo area of her Mary Kay SUV, down came Little Johnnie's trousers, as she plopped him down on the chair and backed off to put her other kid in the car and let the boy do his business.  With the back liftgate in the full upright and open position.  With no fewer than 30 pairs of eyes staring at him.

I was more than a little taken aback.  Was this some germaphobe mom that won't let her precious offspring's ass touch a public toilet seat?  Was she one of those whackjobs that won't take a preschool boy into the women's restroom with her?  I even, charitably, wondered if the boy had some medical or mental issue necessitating the car-john.  Perhaps he can't go without his particular potty.

The mental image stuck with me, so I eventually Googled it.  Apparently, potty chairs in the car are a thing.  Modern moms everywhere are opting for the convenience of potties on the go.  Because traffic can be bad.  Or parks can be restroom-free. 

I cannot imagine the smell of a car potty.  I don't care how expedient the mom is at emptying and cleaning - there is residual odor.

There was a time when it was accepted that sometimes, nature called at unexpected or inconvenient times and places, and when it did, the side of the road, behind the car door, or a near tree or bush was an acceptable substitute.  Our polite society didn't get too bent out of shape, or stare, and the pee-ers were subtle as possible about it.  Why should I, and the entire drive through line, have to stare at Little Johnny hunkered down in the back of mom's Suburban?  What was that woman thinking?

I am going to devote my day to thinking up the dumbassiest ideas I can, like putting a potty chair in my car, and submit them to Parents magazine or whatever the hell kind of magazine it is that prints these ridiculous child-rearing ideas.

June 15, 2012

Two Quick Thoughts

Two brief thoughts before we hit the campus this morning:

I am not sure what disturbs me more; seeing the actual hair bands of my youth still on stage shaking their asses, or Tom Cruise playing the prototypical hair band lead singer.  Could they not find someone a little younger?  And why can't aging rock stars at least dress a little more appropriately for their age?  Next week I will be reluctantly attending a Van Halen concert, Mr H's favorite band of old.  So help me God, if David Lee Roth is wearing Spandex, I am likely to throw up.

My other thought is spurred by hearing about the millions Obama raked in during his New York City fundraisers.  This after successful fund raising on the left coast a few weeks ago.  What is a million bucks in Cali or NYC worth compared to a million in fly over country?  The cost of living is astronomical by comparison.  I would like to see cost adjusted figures, that account for the differences.

June 14, 2012

HBO not standing behind their man

I am on the road with Boom, one of several trips to college for various registration tasks. We are staying in a small historic hotel. By historic, I mean next to the railroad tracks. Didn't get much sleep.

Clicked on the TV and was greeted with the story that HBO's Game of Thrones used a prop head resembling George Bush in several scenes of their first season. The show's creators even talk about it on the DVD commentary.
“It’s not a choice, not a political statement!” one of the writers say during the commentary. “We just had to use what heads we had around.” 
What a bunch of crap. HBO has apologized and says that part of the commentary won't be on future DVD releases. That DVD has been out for months. Surely someone watched, edited, reviewed the commentary before the DVD went to production. Seemingly no one at HBO was concerned until the story hit the news. And Obama started polling bad.

June 13, 2012

They're Heeeeeere

Yesterday CenTexTim wrote a post about the Mexican cartel infiltration of American small towns.  It has been an ongoing story, with news popping up every week or so about a drug stash house here, or some other money-laundering scheme there, in some nondescript suburban area.  Not long ago I saw a presentation by local law enforcement that showed the drug carrying routes and the known and suspected cities occupied by cartel members, along those routes.

Yesterday, the news broke that the Zetas have infiltrated the American horse racing circuit.  Jose Trevino, the brother of a high-ranking cartel member has been laundering money for the Zetas by buying, breeding, training and racing horses.
"This case is a prime example of the ability of Mexican drug cartels to establish footholds in legitimate U.S. industries and highlights the serious threat money laundering causes to our financial system," said Richard Weber, the chief of the IRS' criminal investigation unit.
The story says that Trevino was unknown to authorities until he began buying expensive race horses in 2009.  At first he pretended not to speak English and avoided the cameras when his horses did well, until November of that year, when his horse won the Texas Classic Futurity and, apparently, that Mexican machismo kicked in and he wanted to bask in the limelight and spoke perfect English on camera and to reporters.

For the next three years, his horses kept winning big, in major upsets, all around the southwest.  Last year Trevino shed his "cover" story of being a construction worker living in a low-income neighborhood outside of Dallas, near Lone Star Park, and moved his family to a sprawling ranch in Lexington, Oklahoma, south of Oklahoma City.  (Small town near major highway, access to large city and airport - cartel SOP).

Obviously the Feds were on to him at this point, and, obviously the Zetas were aware:
The Times also reported the tragic story of Ramiro Villarreal, "an unlikely horseman" from a modest family who became the brothers' prized horse purchaser. But Villarreal eventually turned informant against "El 40," whom he called "Papi," the paper reported. In March 2011, his body was found in a torched car near Nuevo Laredo.
(Are you paying attention, Tim? This investigation began in Laredo and then ballooned across the country, as the Feds started connecting the dots.  I really wish you would move to a different location for work.  Hell, even the Qatar campus would be an improvement).

I am aghast that the theme of the investigation seems to revolve around the money, and sure, that is important.  But, when the Zetas are sweeping the major races on the Quarter Horse circuit, and are naming horses things like "Coronita Cartel" - they aren't exactly keeping things on the down low.  Shouldn't the Feds have noticed something before huge transactions were taking place?  What is it we do with all of that intel, watch lists, facial recognition tech and tracking info?

What really freaks me out is how close to home this hits.  I live in the middle of Texas' horse ranch territory.  I have a neighbor that just retired (and moved away...whew...wonder if any Zetas ever visited his place?) on the success of his race horses.  The level to which the Zetas were openly participating in, and fully accepted by, the equine community is astounding.  Those message boards aren't lighting up with "I always wondered" comments, they are full of shock and disbelief that the wildly successful organization that people bought horses from or sold top notch horses to, was the Mexican Mafia.

One more side note - my knowledge of how law enforcement investigations work is limited, but, here is how the local police found out about the ranch raid:
Lexington Police Chief Deana Standridge told The Purcell Register Lexington Police noticed a large number of vehicles, in addition to Air Evac, parked at the high school around 5 a.m. Tuesday.

Agents in the vehicles told the local officer they were FBI working “on one of the largest operations they’ve had in quite sometime.”

Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/2012/06/13/4027839/us-officials-say-zetas-used-the.html#storylink=cpy

Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/2012/06/13/4027839/us-officials-say-zetas-used-the.html#storylink=cpy

June 12, 2012

Border Confusion

My brother-in-law has a death wish.  Or he is stupid.  Maybe both.  Having lived his entire life in El Paso, he has no patience for the violence in Juarez.  His dentist is across the river, he has many business clients in Mexico and he has always shopped for certain items south of the border.  A couple of times in the past few years, BIL has narrowly missed a gun battle in the street.  Still, he refuses to change his routine.

Sister-in-law has taken up feral cat rescue of late.  The cats are trapped, neutered and returned to the 'wild'.  She puts out food for them (which keeps the others coming to the traps) and has amassed quite a group of regular visitors.  They like to lounge on the BIL's car.

BIL went to Mexico for some business last week.  Coming back across, a border patrol dog hit on his car.  Big time.  Said he was watching the dog circle around the back, lost sight of it as it went behind the car, and the next thing he knew, they were face to face in his open car window.  He was invited to exit the vehicle, was taken to the side and mildly questioned while border patrol agents searched his car.

In the course of the incident, when it was becoming clear that nothing would be found, BIL asked what sorts of things would make the dog hit like that.  He was told drugs, money and...another animal's scent.

What?  Can that be true?  How many times a day is the Fourth Amendment being trampled on because the old lady likes cats? 

June 11, 2012

FOD

This is either going to work for us or against us, the "fine" comment.  My hope is that it is the phrase that they attribute to his loss.


And because this never would have happened in Reagan's America, I blame Obama for idiocy like this:
While 90 percent of Americans associate sidewalk chalk with harmless childhood fun, one Denver neighborhood homeowners association (HOA) wants to ban the “offensive” and “distracting” art, CBS Denver reports.
Someone complained about a little girl drawing hearts and flowers on the sidewalk with chalk.  They didn't talk to the parents about their concerns, they went straight to the HOA Nazis and filed a complaint.  A lawyer is involved.  A meeting will be held.  There is likely to be photographic evidence. Standby for the ACLU to swoop in to defend this little girl's right to free speech through chalk art. 

June 10, 2012

Biden's Hat

How are you spending the weekend?  For us, it is mostly work - house work, yard work, work work.  The kids did manage some pool time yesterday, which I hope to join in on today.

Our president played golf for the 99th time since taking office yesterday.  There weren't any official events on his calendar for today, so don't be surprised if he rolls over to an even 100 today.

The vice hosted his annual Beach Party for members of the media, staff and their children.  There have been any number of articles written about the ethical concerns for true journalists to attend a party, with their family, of a man they are tasked with reporting on, so I won't go down that path.

I think it is important to remember that, no matter our personal views of the current administration, they are still, very much, the face of America.  The internet allows for the worst of our imagery to be shared with the world in the blink of an eye.  While I have become accustomed to the entertaining things that come out of Biden's mouth, today I am reeling from his wardrobe choices.

Story here.  More photos here.

Unless you are a catcher, and actively engaged in a baseball game, there is no reason to wear your hat backwards.  Ever.  This affront is magnified by the lack of rap music, age of the wearer and the impossible-to-avoid mental picture comparison to this guy:

jawdrops.com

June 9, 2012

More illegal immigration idiocy

This week, Metropolitan State College of Denver, Colorado, approved a special tuition rate for illegals.
The new rate, which will go into effect this fall, is $3,358 per semester, which is higher than in-state students, who pay $2,152, and lower than out-of-staters, who pay $7,992.

To qualify, a student must prove they have been breaking the law for at least three years:
Three criteria must be met to qualify for the new category of tuition. A student must:
• Have attended a Colorado high school for the past three years.
• Have graduated from a Colorado high school or gotten a general equivalency diploma in the state.
• Provide proof they are in good legal standing, other than their undocumented status, and that they plan to seek lawful status when eligible.
 The article, in the Denver Post, is full of bile-inducing quotes from illegal immigrant students explaining what they "deserve" and from school officials that admit the rule change circumvents the actions of their state legislature (which had voted against a similar statewide measure five times).

Metro expects up to 300 illegals to enroll this fall.

In my world, we would call that a golden opportunity for ICE to know where to pick up 300 offenders.  No reconnaissance needed, no fake lottery win, no sting operation - get their class schedule from the registrar and make the rounds.

I can't comprehend why immigration laws are not just ignored, but openly defied.  It infuriates me daily.  There is no argument that can be made to me on why it is acceptable, as a nation, to not only  turn a blind eye to illegals, but to recognize them, praise them and reward them with a reduced tuition rate.  Hell. No.

And Metro College should lose their accreditation and any state or federal funding.  They are willfully encouraging lawlessness.

June 8, 2012

The Perceived Power of the Media

The big font headline on Drudge for the past twelve hours or so has been a link to a Time article by Mark Halperin and Elizabet Dias that begins with:
With five months until Election Day, Barack Obama faces a grim new reality: Republicans now believe Mitt Romney can win, and Democrats believe Obama can lose ...
Lest you think that the MSM is giving up on their Golden Boy, read just a bit further:
Another danger for the President: the media freak show. Stalking that circus' center ring is Matt Drudge, whose caustic website continues to help drive the news cycle with an emphasis on negative, mocking items about Obama and Vice President Joe Biden and their wives. The latest sign of Drudge's potency: Ed Klein, the author of the virulently anti-Obama book The Amateur, was barred from major TV appearances and mostly ignored by the mainstream media, but the book's prominence on Drudge's website propelled it to the No. 1 slot on the New York Times nonfiction list.
Do they even realize how they contradict themselves?  Earlier this week it was the juxtaposition of Obama claiming $60 million in fundraising for the month of May, while his party cried about how Scott Walker's spending bought the recall race in Wisconsin.

Now Time and the MSM would have the public believe that one little old news aggregating website is a 'danger' for the president.  Do they get that Drudge just gathers what others have already reported?  When Halperin and Dias typed that sentence about a caustic Drudge website that links to articles that mock the prez, vice and their wives, were they just emerging from a decades long hibernation?  What, exactly, would they call the treatment that conservative politicians get from the left?  Have they ever heard of Bill Maher or John Stewart?  MSNBC?  CNN? Their own publication?

I am not about to re-post it, but the best example of a 'caustic', 'mocking' article was the one Time ran a few weeks ago.  That 'Are You Mom Enough (to let your preschooler stand on a chair with your boob in his mouth while you are photographed)?' cover wins the prize in my book.

Leave it to the MSM, they know how to line up their excuses well in advance of a loss.

June 7, 2012

Church Keys

After watching this, I was thinking it would be a fun experiment to set a flat-top can down in front of my younger kids and ask them to get it open, see if any of them know which utensil to get.  Unfortunately, I think I have waxed poetic one too many times about the old Hershey syrup cans (chocolate syrup just isn't the same without that metallic twang).  And, they still sell juice in cans, so my kids have seen that.  Not to mention that we occasionally have beer in the house that does not have a twist top, and we call the bottle opener a church key.

 

June 6, 2012

D-Day

Blogger seems to have eaten my scheduled post, but I can't let the day pass without saying something about the day:

For the anniversary of D-Day 2012, I will memorialize James Earl Rudder and his Rangers.  My heart swells with pride each time I visit the campus of Texas A&M University and see the many ways he is immortalized there.  He was a Texan, an Aggie, a Major General, a mayor, the president of TAMU and an American war hero.  He is remembered in Normandy each year, among many other places.  Today, he is remembered here, along with all of those other brave soldiers that landed on those beaches sixty-eight years ago today.  God Bless You.


The Hypocrisy of Disney

The First Wookie is applauding Disney's announcement that they will not allow "junk food" advertisements on their TV channels, radio stations and websites intended for children.
First Lady Michelle Obama called the announcement a “game changer” in a statement.
“With this new initiative, Disney is doing what no major media company has ever done before in the U.S. — and what I hope every company will do going forward,” Obama said.

Disney says its guidelines are aligned with federal standards to promote the consumption of fruits and vegetables and reduce the intake of sodium, sugar and saturated fat.
Oh, the Disney guidelines.  That is where I should have been looking to figure out what to feed my kids.  GMAFB.

The initiative doesn't go into effect until 2015, due to existing advertising agreements.  (Plenty of time for an about face, pending election results).

Even if an advertised meal for a restaurant meets the golden standard of Mickey, they don't necessarily get to pay Disney to air their advertising:
The kids’ meals offered by traditional fast-food chains may not meet the new advertising guidelines, even if the meals come with healthy side orders, says Leslie Goodman, Disney’s senior vice president of corporate citizenship. That’s because Disney will be assessing the restaurant’s broader offerings in deciding whether to approve ads.
“It’s not just about reformulating a meal for a single advertising opportunity,” Goodman said. The company will have to show it offers a broader menu of healthier options, she said.
For example, a complete meal under Disney’s guidelines could have no more than 600 calories and a side dish no more than 200 calories.
Having made two trips to Disney in the past six years, myself, plus Boom returning from Disney two weeks ago, I was surprised to read this:
The latest push by Disney is an extension of the internal nutrition guidelines the company launched in 2006, with the goal of making 85 percent of the food and drinks served at its parks and resorts healthy. The remaining 15 percent was reserved for special treats, such as cake for birthday celebrations. The company also stopped using toys in kids meals to advertise its movies, Iger said.
Visitors to parks and resorts were also given the option of trading out soda and fries for low-fat milk and fruit. Disney says 60 percent of the meals served are now with those healthier options.
85% of the food at the parks and resorts are supposed to be "healthy" by when, exactly?  I could give you the run down of Boom's meals from a few weeks ago, but it is just too damn depressing to be reminded of what a teenage metabolism can withstand.  She did confirm that all of my favorites were still being served - Dole Whips, School Bread in Norway at Epcot, Fish and Chips, Kaki-gori.  This site has a great list of Disney recipes (but Tonga Toast just isn't the same without the Polynesian music and Kona coffee).  I suppose we are to ignore the "all you care to eat" character breakfasts and dinner buffets?  Not to mention the endless candy and sweets options throughout the parks and hotels.  They sell colored sugar by the tube.

Boom read the nutritional guidelines and suggested that the only way Disney is meeting their 600 and 200 calorie limits are by portion size - a third of the normal size and twice as expensive.

Dare we talk publicly about the concierge level at the resorts?  Moochelle and Iger probably don't want to mention the box of chocolates in the rooms upon arrival, the soda-filled mini fridge or the all day food service in the lounge with cookies, pastries, desert bar and endless gummy bears.

I doubt that Disney will be axing their licensing agreements that result in Disney birthday cakes, cookies, pancakes, Pez dispensers and all other manner of obesity causing items

Obviously, the other TV networks with children's programming will be laughing all the way to the bank with the advertising revenue.  Kids will still get fat, as long as their lazy ass parents continue to set a bad example and offer them crap to eat and video games to play.

June 5, 2012

Damn Yankee

The big news in our little town tonight is that a local boy, one of Boom's former classmates, has been drafted by the Yankees.   He was supposed to play football and baseball for TCU, but got the call and took the offer two days after moving into his dorm room.

I am not sure how I feel about high school kids skipping college and going straight to professional sports.  I know it isn't like he is starting tomorrow, but there is a whole big, sometimes bad, world out there waiting to swallow up good, talented kids.  It is a shame that our society skews celebrity, sport and success to the young.  That we are focused on always setting new records, doing things faster, longer, better, no matter the cost.

I know three former major league players (there must be something about this area as a retirement settlement for MLB).  Two are kinda washed up - for different reasons, but washed up all the same.  The other is a real stand up guy.  Married for nearly twenty years, two good kids (one a classmate of Boom's), active in their community and charitable ventures.  For fun, he used to sit by Boom and run the clock at basketball games, while she kept the book.  He worries about his daughter getting her heart broken.  Welcomes friends and school chums into his home, possibly never realizing just how great of a role model he has been to those boys and girls.

Out of those three guys, only one went attended a university- getting an associates degree from a community college, and he is one of the washed up ones.  So I can't really draw much of a conclusion about the importance of college, from my personal view. Digging deeper, I found that, in a 2010 survey, only 26 MLB players had a college degree, less than 5%! 

I'm not for more rules or restraints, I just wish our society put more emphasis on lifelong skills and knowledge, and less importance on celebrity and fame.

That Pesky Second Amendment

I have been annoyed repeatedly over the past several days by anti-gun rights people.  The first occurred at a graduation party - a young man, the older brother of one of Boom's classmates, was a fervent and loud sharer of his political opinions.  Among them, was his anti-gun sentiment and he launched into the tired argument about Britain's gun laws and how wonderful they are. 

And on a local news message board, a predictable battle is raging that began with the news that a soon to open indoor gun range will be hosting birthday parties and offering gun safety education for young people.  Gasp! Children and guns, mentioned in the same breath as 'parties'.  Of course it is just an accident waiting to happen and then won't all of you gun nuts be sorry!  I have learned that I, and my children, are of the sort that some people 'keep their children away from'.  A few liberal moms are in such a tizzy that they suggest any invitation to a children's party at a gun range deserves a call to CPS to report the sender's dangerous and unfit parenting habits.  Many of them are making the same argument about Britain's rigid gun control laws...

If you are a regular reader here, you know all the arguments and have likely made them yourself - so I won't do it again. 

While I consistently try to make intelligent, albeit fruitless, arguments about the erosion of our rights, this one brings me back to a lame, but honest thought each time the subject comes up.

If Britain's laws are so great, MOVE THERE.  I know that is childish and simplistic, but it is the truth.  It isn't a complex concept to understand.

Our country was formed around an agreed upon set of ideals and laws.  In my mind, the Constitution, and its Bill of Rights, are no different than, say, a lease agreement.  We are America, here are our rules and basic beliefs.  If you don't like them, GO SOMEWHERE ELSE.  We left that other place because they were always trying to force everyone into a one-size fits all mold.  We chose freedom and I plan on seeing that it stays that way for my great-great-great (you get the idea) grandchildren.

June 4, 2012

There are no sluts in Amarillo, Texas

According to "Rock the Slut Vote", there are no sluts in Amarillo, Texas.  There is a fairly impressive dearth of sluts throughout West Texas.  There aren't any shown in my town, or the immediate vicinity, but I would beg to differ on a few counts.  Time will tell.

Words don't suffice for the sick feeling I have in my stomach for any group of women that would proudly declare themselves "sluts".  I realize that it is tongue-in-cheek, based on their inability to make the distinction between a woman who likes to have out-of-wedlock sex on a frequent basis and then tell Congress about it while demanding free birth control versus actual prostitutes. 

There is no pride in calling yourself a slut, no matter the cause.  I am sad for these females, calling them women seems a stretch and ladies would be a flat out lie.

The hardest part of being the parent of girls, for me, has been instilling in them a sense of self respect and importance, so that they don't put themselves in situations that would compromise their values or allow a boy to treat them in a way that lowers their sense of self worth.

'Campaign' slogans and groups like this are depressing and destructive to the very women they claim to represent.

FOD

This was the White House photo of the day for Memorial Day:


And, yes, that is the Oval Occupier, shown in silhouette against the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, with a halo of light around his head.  Did you vomit just a little?

Adding to the FODedness of the photo, comes the news that Secret Service shut down access to the Wall for over 7 hours on Memorial Day.  So Blowie could make a 15 minute campaign speech in the afternoon. 

June 3, 2012

Family Fun Hangover

We are moving slowly this morning, a result of the manic state of these past few days leading up to Boom's graduation, family arriving in town, celebratory meals prepared, parties attended and other various missions accomplished.  I have not yet had the expected mom cry that I know is coming at some point.  I think keeping busy has helped.  I do recognize that I need to hit that low before taking Boom to college.  Slight separation anxiety on the college quad is expected, but not the full blown 'my baby' shrieks and snot rivers that are currently being suppressed.

Trying to keep somewhat in touch with the real world, while engrossed in our very personal world this weekend, I was struck by these two stories that seemed to line up on Drudge just so that I would make the correlation...

From Ronald Reagan, Jr. look-alike Rachel Maddow, when asked, regarding the election, "So if we’re in a fallow period now, when will we start to see people pay attention again?"(emphasis mine)
I think it’s the conventions and Labor Day. And I think the conventions are maybe more important this year than they have been in previous years. In 2008, particularly on the Democratic side, but also a little bit on the Republican side, there was real character-driven drama about who was going to be the nominee, and that made people interested in what was going on. So the conventions were the debut of Sarah Palin and some other stuff, but it was essentially trying to put some drama on something people are already paying attention to. Right now, nobody is paying attention. Cable news ratings are down across the board. The less you talk about the election, the more your ratings go up. The conventions are actually going to have a narrative import this year that they did not certainly have in ’08. That’s kind of exciting, to know that a political event is going to be politically important.
And, didn't she contradict herself in that paragraph by saying that there was character-driven drama at the 2008 conventions, and then she said that there was no "narrative import" at the 2008 conventions?

My favorite part is how she is the point man for MSNBC and CNN, trying to explain away their ratings drop by the generalization that all cable news ratings are down.  And why no mention of straight network news, to which she (and FOX) are affiliated? 

I had just finished reading Rachel's reality-shifting theory that talking less about the elections raises ratings, when this story caught my eye:
Reality TV shows are making increasing numbers of people convinced that they're the stars of their own, unwanted television programs. 
Psychiatrists are treating more people for so-called 'Truman Show' delusions -- named after the 1998 movie starring Jim Carrey as a man who spends his entire life unwittingly at the center of a fictional world that's being broadcast to millions of homes.
The startling cases often afflict successful people who develop paranoid fantasies that they're being filmed at all times and that the world that's in front of them isn't real.

June 2, 2012

My Three Husbands

My three husbands will be in one place today.  Trying to determine how much I can actually pregame and still present as sober at a school-related event.  While I am exceedingly proud of Boom and want to share her graduation with everyone, I wasn't expecting this unprecedented gathering of husbands past and present!

Not that it is anyone's business, and not that I really give a crap what anyone else knows or thinks about the situation(s), but, yes, I have been married three times and divorced twice.  I don't feel the need to justify beyond saying that while I hold the vows of marriage quite sacred, I hold my, and my children's, physical and mental well-being to be much more sacred.

So I have two ex-husbands.  Neither is notable for their paternal instincts.  Neither is a frequent visitor or part of either of my older two children's lives.  Boom's dad lives 15 minutes away and manages to see her about twice a year.  Bang's dad lives 700 miles away and sees him once or twice every three to five years.  Bang's dad is good about calling somewhat regularly.  Boom's dad doesn't do so good in the dependability or consistency department.

But, both of them will be attending Boom's graduation.  Since Bang's dad served as Boom's step-dad for several years, she thought it fitting to send him a graduation invite, thinking it would just be a nice gesture.  As it happens, he is traveling to a business meeting in Arizona this weekend and arranged his travel to accommodate stopping in Texas for the day to attend the ceremony. 

If I think about it for very long, it makes my head hurt - but, I think it may be God's way of helping me keep it together as Boom gets her diploma.  Can't let the exes see me become a basket case.  Instead, I will hold my head high, knowing how little they had to do with her upbringing, while being a big enough person to allow them to share in the familial glow of shared accomplishment. 

Tomorrow they will be back to their own lives, but I still have the everyday joy of my oldest daughter, seeing her face, hearing her voice, receiving her warm embraces.

Until she leaves me to go to college in 73 days.

June 1, 2012

DishTV versus the Old Guard

Dish Network unveiled a new DVR technology, called Auto Hop, on its Hopper DVR, that records programs and automatically strips the commercials out of them.  They also have a feature called Primetime Anytime that records the major networks primetime programming (all of them), strips the commercials and makes them available for 8 days from the initial air date.  That really sent the networks into a tizzy...

Dish is being sued by Fox, NBC, and CBS for this offering.  Unbeknownst to me, these networks also take issue with the sort of remote control that I have in my house - one with a button that skips forward in 30 second increments.  But that is old news, apparently.

IMHO, Dish is doing what a successful business must do to remain competitive - they are developing new ideas and innovative programs that appeal to their customers - meaning the home consumer customer.

The language of the lawsuit is what really torqued me.  The networks would have you believe that the law is broken each time a home consumer skips the commercials during a recorded show.   

Sports broadcasts aside, ninety percent of the television watched in our house is recorded or FiOS On Demand offerings.  Interestingly, some of our most frequently watched shows from the On Demand library don't include the commercial content. 

I admit to being one of those people who will record a show just to skip commercials.  I will start watching the recording 10-15 minutes after the show has started, and, after skipping commercials, finish the show at the same time as the broadcast.  Sue me.

On the rare occasion that the TV is just on, and my family is watching something, commercial breaks mean channel surfing, bathroom breaks, snack runs - or making fun of the stupid commercials.  Boom's favorite is the Cialis commercial that shows the couple in separate old-fashioned bath tubs.  Not much action in separate tubs, as she points out.  Lately the commercials are all political junk, which isn't helpful to anyone.

This isn't the 1950's - we are savvy consumers that aren't easily taken in just because something is advertised on television.  Perhaps the networks need to look at their business model.  Don't boohoo to me that advertising is the only way to finance your (crappy) programming.  We see the product placement.  We see the licensed products in the stores.  We know that actors are paid entirely too much money. 

Stop trying to suppress innovation and features that consumers want in the name of preserving an ancient business model.