Thursday, July 24, 2014

Day Of The Triffids, Er, Cicadas

Sketch Courtesy of Ann Telnaes
It started a week ago.  I noticed several clumps of brown leaves lying on the grass.  I never made the connection between this trashing of my lawn and the invasion that followed.

At the same time, I witnessed the arrival of scores of crows that descended on my lawn in vast swaths.   Their numbers were so massive that it looked like someone had draped the yard with a black tarp.  They appeared to pick my yard clean and then move on to my neighbors’ lawn with creepy precision.

Both events were a portend to what happened yesterday.

I am officially retired now.  Yesterday was Day One of my newfound freedom.  Sophie, my little furkid, and I were enjoying a lazy breakfast on the deck.  She was dining on a delectable chicken jerky treat and I was savoring a plate of grits, scrambled eggs, hot sausage and a warm, fluffy buttermilk biscuit.

The serenity of the morning was pierced by the deafening, screeching sound of a high-speed drill bit going through steel.  (A search of the Internet revealed that some cicadas can register over 100 decibels when singing.)

Singing?  It’s one of the most annoying sounds I know other than the sound of The Insufferable Airhorn AKA The World’s Most Dangerous Community Organizer.

Last year, you’ll recall, everyone was anticipating the arrival of the 13 and 17-year cicadas.  I would be thankful if I only had to deal with these hideously ugly insects every so often, but I am cursed with the arrival of these prehistoric looking creatures every damned year.

There’s an old wives’ tale about the wings of cicadas.  Supposedly, if you look closely, you will either see the shape of a “W” or a “P” near the tip of their wings, signifying war or peace.  I can assure you homegirl ain’t gonna look to see if the letters are there.

The emergence of the cicadas can last as long as 8 weeks.  That means that once again I will have to knock the grotesque exoskeletons they shed off the bricks of my house and sweep their exhausted, nasty bodies off the deck.

I hate these things.  Can you tell?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Divorce Court

Blubbery gasbag Michael Moore entered the Antrim County Circuit Courthouse today to finalize his divorce from the woman to whom he had been married 22 years.  (Thankfully they did not spawn any little Moores.)

The Detroit News reported that in legal pleadings Mikey blamed his wife for the long-running criticism of his mega hypocrisy pretending to defend the poor while owning a mansion in Torch Lake worth $2 million.  This, of course, was before the world learned today of the nine, count ‘em, nine homes they own.

According to court documents the couple owned nine properties in Michigan and New York, including a Manhattan condo.

In a remarkable manifestation of supreme pettiness, the tub ‘o shit demanded from his quilting enthusiast wife a “list, with photographs, of all quilts in your possession whether purchased,  gifted, loaned or produced by you.” 

His common-man persona has been an elephantine lie and now the world knows it.

Why Was Coverage Of Nation’s Apollo 11 Heroes Closed To The Press?

Sunday July 20, 2014 marked the 45th anniversary of the first moon landing, when astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to step on to the surface of the moon.

On Tuesday, The World’s Most Dangerous Community Organizer met with Michael Collins, Buzz Aldrin and the widow of Neil Armstrong.

The mission was the fifth manned expedition in the Apollo program. It was broadcast around the world and ignited awe for its achievement.  The landing has been a symbol of mankind's yearning for adventure and exploration into the unknown.

Reporters and television crews were not allowed to enter the Oval Office for the meeting, but photographers were given brief access.   CBS News White House correspondent Major Garrett filed a complaint about the lack of coverage available declaring the event deserved press as the members of the Apollo 11 crew were American Heroes.

“The astronauts were among the most visible, televised national heroes this country has ever known, that entire program was financed by the American taxpayer. Stills presentation of that limits television coverage of that event we believe that is a classic definition of something that should have the broadest press coverage imaginable, and we are therefore lodging a complaint against your decision to keep us out,” Garrett said.

ABC News’ Jonathan Karl wondered why there was such intense secrecy surrounding the event and went further by speculating that the decision may have been due to the criticism Armstrong made of TWMDCO’s decision to hollow out NASA’s space program—a decision that sent shock waves throughout NASA, the Congress and the American people.

Part of Armstrong’s letter read:
“For The United States, the leading space faring nation for nearly half a century, to be without carriage to low Earth orbit and with no human exploration capability to go beyond Earth orbit for an indeterminate time into the future, destines our nation to become one of second or even third rate stature. While the President's plan envisages humans traveling away from Earth and perhaps toward Mars at some time in the future, the lack of developed rockets and spacecraft will assure that ability will not be available for many years.” 
“Without the skill and experience that actual spacecraft operation provides, the USA is far too likely to be on a long downhill slide to mediocrity. America must decide if it wishes to remain a leader in space. If it does, we should institute a program which will give us the very best chance of achieving that goal.”
Obama’s third paid liar since he took office answered Karl by saying, “It’s merely a scheduling matter, there was a number of things on the president’s schedule.  You know we had a trip to the Dutch Embassy, the president making remarks at EEOB… and the president needs to get on a plane at 1 o’clock this afternoon. The president has a very busy schedule and we weren’t able to accommodate TV cameras this time."

Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Object Of Our Affection: James Garner Dead At 86

I grew up in a time when men were men.  Hollywood celebrities weren’t precocious, perfumed, perfectly coiffed brats.

James Garner served in the Korean War winning two Purple Hearts. "I wasn't a hero," he said modestly. "I just got in the way a lot."  How humble is that?  How many actors today can say they’ve served in the military?  I dare say not many.

There’s a terrific obit for Mr. Garner in The New York Times.  After reading the piece I learned he was a lifelong Democrat.  Oh well, I loved him just the same.
“Mr. Garner disdained the pretentiousness of the acting profession. ‘I’m a Methodist but not as an actor,’ he wrote in The Garner Files. ‘I’m from the Spencer Tracy school: be on time, know your words, hit your marks, and tell the truth. I don’t have any theories about acting, and I don’t think about how to do it, except that an actor shouldn’t take himself too seriously, and shouldn’t try to make acting something that it isn’t. Acting is just common sense. It isn’t hard if you put yourself aside and just do what the writer wrote.”
As a young girl I came to love James Garner in his role as Maverick.  My Dad loved to watch him in the television series The Rockford Files.  He never missed an episode, hence, neither did I.

I remember some of those Polaroid camera commercials he did with Mariette Hartley.  Polaroid produced so many of them that Hartley had a t-shirt made up that read, “I am NOT Mrs. James Garner.”  I have to admit they were the perfect pairing for a wholesome advertisement.

Garner was believable in his roles.  I adored him in the 1985 film Murphy’s Romance.  He starred opposite Sally Field.  At the end of the movie, after some small talk Murphy tells Emma (Sally Field) that he may be worn but he’s sturdy and faithful and in love for the last time.  Emma confesses she is in love for the first time then invites Murphy to stay for supper.  He said he’d only stay if he’s still there for breakfast.  Emma asks, “How do you like your eggs?” 

Murphy’s Romance is perfect fodder for the hopeful romantic and the capper, for me at least, is 2004’s The Notebook, a heartwarming tearjerker that proves that true love can last forever.

Godspeed you handsome devil.  Thanks for the memories.

Point Of View For Sunday July 20, 2014

Calling Up The Devil

Rockets being fired from the Gaza strip into Israel 
Israeli police remove part of a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip towards the city of Tel Aviv 
A Palestinian child shouts at al-Shifa hospital after Israeli forces shelled her house 
I must commend Richard Fernandez for his elucidation of the conflict between Israel and the militant Islamist Hamas terror group and Palestinian militants.

He brings into crystal clarity evidence that Hamas, Islamic Jihad, al-Qaeda affiliated jihadist militias and Fatah have zero interest in a peaceful coexistence with Israel.  They are committed to the extermination of Israel and its Jews.

There are estimates that Hamas’ military is still only using less than 20% of its military weapons capacity, according to an expert in Hamas affairs.  This suggests that there may be more months of rocket firepower.  Those closely watching events on the ground contend that the number of rockets being launched from Gaza into Israel is neither increasing nor decreasing.

After 12 days of fighting, Israel’s military said that Palestinian terrorists have fired at least 1,705 rockets out of an estimated stockpile of 10,000.

Their arsenal includes Qassam rockets with a range of 17km (10miles) that can reach into Ashkelon and Sderot, Grad rockets with a range of 20km (12 miles) that can hit Beersheba and Grad WS-Es 40km (24 miles) than can attack Tel Aviv, Dimona and Jerusalem.  The destructive power of their long-range Farj-5/M-75 missiles 75km (46 miles) can reach Haifa, Zikron Yaacov and Hadera and their Khaibar-1 missiles 160km (99 miles) are capable of reaching into the neighboring country of Jordan.

Mr. Fernandez explains:
“Nihilism isn’t the absence of a belief. It is something subtly different: it is the belief in nothing. The most powerful weapon of terrorism is therefore the unyielding No. “No, I will not give up. No, I will not tell the truth. No, I will not play fair. No, I will not spare children. No, I will not stop even if you surrender to me; I will not cease even if you give me everything you have, up to and including your children’s lives. Nothing short of destroying me absolutely can make me stop. And therefore I will defeat you even if you kill me. Because I will make you pay the price in guilt for annihilating me.” 
“It’s an extremely powerful weapon.  The Absolute No is a devastating attack on the self-image and esteem of civilization.  Hamas will demonstrate the No, the Nothing. It will show that deep down inside Israelis—and Americans—are animals like them.  This can be called the Seven Gambit, from a 1995 film which explores this exact theme. It depicts two detectives versus the devil in the shape of nameless man, who kills people not by attacking them directly, but by creating situations where they kill themselves by yielding to one of the seven deadly sins: sloth, gluttony, vanity—and finally vengeance and wrath.”
Sara Roy, in a warped diatribe at The Boston Globe, penned the following:
“Gaza’s present anguish did not emerge in a vacuum nor in response to a single terrible event as the Israeli government would have us believe. Instead, it emanates from a context of ongoing occupation and repression that has transformed Gaza—the center of Palestinian nationalism and resistance to Israeli occupation—into one of the most impoverished, imprisoned areas of the world.”
Spittle-laced voices here and abroad share Ms. Roy’s perverted view.  One such example was CNN’s Diane Magnay who called a group of Israelis “scum” and today in London and Paris tens of thousands of protesters holding placards and banners chanted pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel slogans.
"Saturday’s demonstration in London came on the heels of numerous protests Thursday and Friday worldwide, including Cairo, Istanbul, Cape Town, Berlin, New York and Washington. Many of the protests have turned violent."
"In Istanbul, police warded off hundreds of rioters who attempted on Thursday to storm the Israeli embassy building. Demonstrators in Ankara and Istanbul also hurled stones at several compounds where Israeli officials reside. Calls for the destruction of the Jewish state were heard in both Turkish cities. Police responded by firing tear gas canisters and water cannons at the crowds. Israel decided Friday to pull some of its diplomatic staff out of Turkey in the wake of the protests."
Less than ten years ago, Israel uprooted 21 settlements in the Gaza Strip withdrawing its entire military and thereby relinquishing it to the Palestinians.  The Israelis gave the Palestinians 3,000 greenhouses worth $14 million that had produced fruits and flowers for export in an effort to promote the economy in Gaza. Palestinians looted them walking off with irrigation hoses, water pumps and plastic sheeting in a blow to fledgling efforts to reconstruct the Gaza Strip.

It has been 47 years since the 1967 Six Day War and throughout Israel’s existence efforts to bring peace to the region have largely failed.  In 1967, UN Security Council Resolution 242 called for the exchange of land for peace.  Jimmy Carter brought together Anwar Sadat and Menachem Begin at Camp David for the Camp David Accords in 1978 that resulted in two agreements.  Then followed the Madrid Conference in 1991 and the Oslo Agreement two years later that tried to build on UN Resolution 242 and 338.

The purpose of the 2000 Camp David peace talks was to offer the Gaza Strip and part of the Negev desert to the Palestinians and the “right of return” of Palestinian refugees.

The 2001 Taba talks were held amid an election campaign for Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak.  Barak said that "nothing is agreed upon until everything is agreed upon". He said that he could not commit a subsequent government to what he called the "ideas" coming out of the talks. With the election of Ariel Sharon in February 2001, time ran out.

In 2002, the Arab Peace Initiative introduced a two-state solution.  Efforts to have the parties agree have failed at every turn.  The Roadmap talks in 2003 attempted to hammer out how a settlement could be reached.  This eventually led to the 2003 Geneva Accord in which the Palestinians would give up their “right of return” in exchange for almost the whole of the West Bank.

Hamas, in 2007, had just won parliamentary elections and taken control of the Gaza Strip.  The Annapolis Peace Talks that year failed because Hamas was not represented and declared it would not be bound by anything declared at the talks.

In Washington in 2010, Mahmoud Abbas wanted a guarantee of a Palestinian state based on 1967 lines.

It is impossible to understand the uncontrollable hatred of Jews.  So demented is Hamas’ insanity that they wantonly use women and children as human shields. (Please go to this link and this link to view Hamas’ confessions about the use of human shields.)

Benjamin Netanyahu said, “It must be understood that our enemy hides in mosques, puts weapons stores under hospitals and situates command posts next to kindergartens. The enemy uses the residents of Gaza as a human shield and inflicts disaster on them. The responsibility for harm to the citizens of Gaza lies on the shoulders of Hamas and Israel regrets any harm to them. The difference between Israel and Hamas is that we use missiles to defend the citizens of Israel while they use the civilian population to defend the stores of their missiles.”

Charles Krauthammer, the American Pulitzer Prize-winning syndicated columnist, shares his thoughts on the moral depravity of the terrorist group known as Hamas:
"To deliberately wage war so that your own people can be telegenically killed is indeed moral and tactical insanity. But it rests on a very rational premise: Given the Orwellian state of the world’s treatment of Israel, fuelled by a mix of classic anti-Semitism, near-total historical ignorance and reflexive sympathy for the ostensible Third World underdog, these eruptions featuring Palestinian casualties ultimately undermine support for Israel’s legitimacy and right to self-defense." 
"In a world of such Kafkaesque ethical inversions, Hamas’ depravity begins to make sense. This is a world in which the Munich massacre is a movie and the murder of Klinghoffer is an opera—both deeply sympathetic to the killers. This is a world in which the UN ignores humanity’s worst war criminals while incessantly condemning Israel, a state warred upon for 66 years which nonetheless goes to extraordinary lengths to avoid harming the very innocents its enemies use as shields." 
"It’s to the Israelis’ credit that amid all this madness they haven’t lost their moral scruples. Or their nerve. Those outside the region have the minimum obligation, therefore, to expose the madness and speak the truth. Rarely has it been so blindingly clear."

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Meet Gil Fulbright (AKA) Phillip Mamouf-Wifarts: The Senate Candidate Who Thinks The People Of Kentucky Deserve The Best Representation Money Can Buy

Photo courtesy of
Isn’t it time politicians were honest with you?

He's running for U.S. Senate in Kentucky, but he's not going to talk to you about “jobs” and the “middle class.” People without jobs can’t afford to donate to his campaign. And the middle class, well, they’ll be gone soon anyway.

His opponents Mitch McConnell and Alison Lundergan Grimes will spend $100 million to show the people of Kentucky how much they care.

Honestly, he doesn't care about Kentucky. He cares about that sweet, sweet cash.

Find out what Gil thinks about net neutrality, healthcare costs, and the economy.  You can also follow Gil on Twitter.  Just remember, it’s not about you sweety.  It’s about your money.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Dachshunds And Manatees?

Okay, maybe I’m on a bit of a jag about manatees, but this was kinda cute so I’m sharing it with ya.  Happy Weekend!

My Bucket List

Last week a co-worker presented me with a farewell gift in advance of my retirement.  It was a beautiful My Bucket List Journal.

In the front of the journal is a place to list the top 100 things you want to complete before kicking the bucket.  Following the list are pages for the date, why it’s on my list, where I travelled, who I was with, the details of the event and would I do it again.  Then, of course, as each item is completed you cross it off the list.

In my blog post “Throwback Thursday” I wrote:
“As a young girl, my room had dozens of horse figurines on shelves decorating the walls because I was always fascinated with their beauty and the freedom one feels astride the magnificent creature.  To feel the wind in your hair as the countryside passes you by is to experience something wonderful.  In riding a horse, we borrow freedom.”
“I think I will celebrate my first day of retirement by finding a stable and going for a ride to truly feel free.”
Today, as I was puttering around National Geographic’s Your Shot Photo Community, I came across a photograph taken by Amy Capparelli of her Yorkshire Terrier Gilligan interacting with a manatee at the dock by her house.

I immediately began to reminisce about my experience snorkeling in Cozumel’s Chankanaab Lagoon and the beauty of sea life.  I immediately began to think about what an adventure it would be to swim with manatees.

Everybody wants to swim with dolphins, something I did way back in 2004 at the Hilton Waikoloa Village in Oahu, but I have always been fascinated with these roly-poly teddy bears of the sea.

It looks like the very next thing on my bucket list is going to be a jaunt to Three Sisters Springs in Crystal River, FL.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Disconnect Is Stunning

On a truly sad day The World’s Most Dangerous Community Organizer was in Port Wilmington to give a speech on the importance of investing in transportation infrastructure at the site of a damaged bridge.

Utterly dependent on his omnipresent teleprompters, TWMDCO spent 40 seconds to mention the murder of 295 souls on Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17.  Without even so much as a smidgeon of whiplash he jarringly returned to his prepared remarks including stupid jokes and a peddler’s wagon of grievances against Republicans.

House Speaker John Boehner released a brief statement that focused exclusively on the plane crash without combining it with domestic policy.

“Many innocents were killed today. It is horrifying, and we await the facts,” he said. “Right now, we should all take a moment to reflect, count our blessings, and convey our prayers to the loved ones of the victims.”


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