Recently Read Books

  • A Delicate Truth- John Le Carre (fiction)
  • Perfect - Rachel Joyce (Fiction)
  • The Expats - Chris Pavone (Fiction)
  • An Event in Autumn - Henning Mankel (Fiction)
  • Winter in Madrid - C.J.Sansom (Fiction)
  • The Brothers - John Foster Dulles and Allen Dulles - non-fiction
  • LIfe Among Giants - Bill Roorbach (Novel)
  • Empty Mansions - Bill Dedman (non-fiction)
  • Woodrow Wilson (non fiction)
  • Lawrence in Arabia (Non-Fiction)
  • In Sunlight and In Shadow by Mark Helpren (Fiction)
  • Lesson in French - Hilary Reyl (fiction)
  • Unbroken- Laura Hillenbrand (Non-Fiction)
  • Venice, A New History- Thomas Madden - (Non- Fiction)
  • Life is a Gift - Tony Bennett Autobiography
  • The First Counsell - Brad Meltzer (Fiction)
  • Destiny of the Republic - President James Garfield non-fiction by Candice Millard
  • The Last Lion (volume III)- William Manchester and Paul Reid (non-fiction, Winston Churchill)
  • Yellowstone Autumn -W.D. Wetherell (non-fiction about turning 55 and fishing in Yellowstone)
  • Everybody was Young- (non-fiction Paris in the 1920's)
  • Scorpion - (non fiction US Supreme Court)
  • Supreme Power - Jeff Shesol (non-fiction)
  • Zero day by David Baldacci ( I read all of Baldacci's Books)
  • Northwest Angle - William Kent Krueger (fiction - I have read 5 or 6 books by this author)
  • Camelot's Court-Insider the Kennedy Whitehouse- Robert Dallek
  • Childe Hassam -Impressionist (a beautiful book of his paintings)

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Random Thoughts

I cannot believe this year’s Super Bowl is Super Bowl 47 or XLVII. I vividly remember the first couple of Super Bowls with the Green Bay Packers, I remember the Joe Namath –New York Jets Super Bowl. I went to the 1978 Super Bowl with my father and some cousins. It was Dallas v. Denver held in the Superdome in New Orleans. I had a wonderful trip. It seems like it was just a few years ago.


I don’t know what Skype is. I am pretty certain the Lovely Sharon has told me what it is, but for some reason I cannot remember what it is.

Salt Lake was in the 30’s today. That is the warmest it has been for a long time.

I think Hillary Clinton did a good job as Secretary of State. If I were her, I would not run for president in 2016. I would enjoy life and do something else.

Last Sunday I played golf with the Lovely Sharon, who is a very good player and with Mina and Gary. At one time Mina was on the LPGA Tour, she regained her amateur status and a couple of years ago won the USGA Senior Women’s Championship. I think she took second the year before or the year after her Championship. This last year she was inducted in the Texas Golf Hall of Fame. In her class of inducted members was Justin Leonard. Her husband Gary was the Director of Golf at a club in Texas. Gary and Mina are great golfers and wonderful people. As I have blogged before, I am a horrible golfer and that day I played worse than ever. It was humiliating. I kept my spirits up but I can tell you I was horrible. If my golf cart had of been gas instead of electric, I would have been sucking on the exhaust pipe by the 8th hole.

I wish I had a dog.

Two weeks ago I attended two funerals in four days. It made me think about my own mortality and how few good things that can be said about me when I move on. I suppose I ought to do better or not have a funeral.

I am thinking about buying a Microsoft Surface Tablet. Maybe I will, Maybe I won’t.

I had a scary eye issue a couple of weeks ago but it seems to be ok now.

In the near future I would like to go to Catalina Island. Is has probably been 45 years since I was last there.

I never cared much for Actor/Director Orson Wells.

I think NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre is a terrible spokesman for the NRA. I am not an NRA fan but if I were them I would get a more effective spokesman.

I love images of the 1920’s to the 1950’s.

Ok that’s it. I have download my brain.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Question From the Lovely Sharon

I woke up around 4:00 am, made coffee, read the morning news and checked office email.  A couple of hours later, the Lovely Sharon walked in the room in jammies and a robe, looking pretty cute.  Her hair was a little mussed but as Lary David might say, she looked pretty, pretty good.  She gave me a kiss and a hug.  After a while she looked at me with what I erroneously thought was a "come hither" look.  She looked right into my eyes. I looked back. It was kind of like a Viagra or Cialis televsion add.  You know know the ones when the wife looks at the husband, the husband looks back at the wife. The walls of the house magically move away and there are two bath tubs on the beach.  Background music plays while the couple looks seductively at each other.

Well this was that moment.  The Lovely Sharon and I seemingly in a tv add siutation.  I listened for the music. I am pretty sure I could hear some, although it might have been the news on MSNBC. I did not expect the walls to disappear because it was raining and I would not want the furniture to get wet.  So I waited for her next words.  She said

"I wonder if you want to do something with me?"

She really did look good and she really seemed to have that look in her eye.  I immediately thought "Are you kidding? Absolutely I do."

I was ready for the next words out of her mouth.  She said nothing for a few seconds and then she said:

"Do you want to go bowling with me today?"

I responded with "What?" not believing what I had just heard, having assumed something entirely different.

She repeated "Do you want to go bowling with me today?"

I just looked at her and said "sure, why do you ask?"

She said she was bowling with lady friends on Monday and she had not bowled for years and wanted to practice.  Well we went bowling.  I had not bowled for years either.   We boweled for an hour.  It cost $25 dollars for the hour and the rental of two pairs of shoes.  It was fun.  I was horrible.  After a slow start she played pretty, pretty good. The Lovely Sharon had a 161 in one of the games. 

She did not like the rental shoes so we need to go buy her own shoes today.


I tried to give her some tips, but she is a better bowler than me.


She had a little mishap.


All in all it was fun and after bowling we had Mexican food and Margaritas.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Military Spending

The US needs to reduce spending and probably, to everyone’s displeasure, increase revenue (raise taxes) if something is to be done about the deficit.  What do you cut?  Medicare, Social Security, Foreign Aid, Program Grants, military spending?   No doubt all of these expenditures need to be adjusted.  I have no claims to have more than pedestrian knowledge about the US budget and expenditure but I do read about it and listed to pundits and those in government.
 
I read an interesting article in the January 28, 2013 issue of New Yorker Magazine entitled “The Force How much military is Enough?”  by Jill Lepore
 
 
The article deals exclusively with the issue of military spending.  I think military spending should be cut, with everything else.  Some of the interesting points in the article include:
 
The United States spends more on defense than all the other nations of the world combined. Between 1998 and 2011, military spending doubled, reaching more than seven hundred billion dollars a year—more, in adjusted dollars, than at any time since the Allies were fighting the Axis.
 
Very interesting. If you add the miltiary spending of all countries in the world, the US spends more.
 
Here is an interesting parargraph from the article:
 
In 1934, the publication of “Merchants of Death,” a best-seller and a Book-of-the-Month-Club selection, contributed to the formation, that year, of the Senate Munitions Committee, headed by Gerald P. Nye, a North Dakota Republican. Not coincidentally, that was also the year Congress passed the National Firearms Act, which, among other things, strictly regulated the private ownership of machine guns. (Keeping military weapons out of the hands of civilians seemed to the Supreme Court, when it upheld the Firearms Act, in 1939, entirely consistent with the Second Amendment, which provides for the arming of militias.) For two years, Nye led the most rigorous inquiry into the arms industry that any branch of the federal government has ever conducted. He convened ninety-three hearings. He thought the ability to manufacture weapons should be restricted to the government. “The removal of the element of profit from war would materially remove the danger of more war,” he said. That never came to pass, partly because Nye was unable to distinguish his opposition to arms profiteering from his advocacy of isolationism, a position that had become indefensible.
 
Republican President Eisenhower, a life time member of the military was concerned about excessive military spending.
 
Eisenhower’s first major address as President, delivered before the American Society of Newspaper Editors on April 16, 1953. In the speech, Eisenhower reckoned the price of arms:

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed. This is a world in arms. This world in arms is not spending money alone; it is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. . . . This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the clouds of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron. "


Look at this quote from Eisenhower at the end of his presidency:
 
In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex,” Eisenhower warned then. “Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.”
Lockheed Martin is the largest or one of the largest military equipment provider to the US. The New Yorker article states:
  
Lockheed Martin contributed to the campaigns of nine of the twelve members of the congress Supercommittee (budget issues), fifty-one of the sixty-two members of the House Armed Services Committee, twenty-four of the twenty-five members of that committee’s Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces—in all, to three hundred and eighty-six of the four hundred and thirty-five members of the 112th Congress.
 
I think our elected leaders are making spedning decisions based, in part, as paid minions of Lockheed and other military contractors.
 
Do we really need all of overseas military bases for our protection?  The article states:
 
Six decades after V-J Day (the end of World War II) nearly three hundred thousand American troops are stationed overseas, including fifty-five thousand in Germany, thirty-five thousand in Japan, and ten thousand in Italy. Much of the money that the federal government spends on “defense” involves neither securing the nation’s borders nor protecting its citizens. Instead, the U.S. military enforces American foreign policy.
Read the article if you get a chance.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Observations and Declarations

Here are some very important declarations and observations:


I like frozen peas (I nuke them of course) but I don’t like peas in cans which are basically mushy and tasteless. For some dumb reason, a couple of years ago I was at the store and canned peas were on sale. I think I bought six cans. When I brought them home, the Lovely Sharon treated me like I was a leper. She asked me what the heck I was thinking when I bought six cans of peas. I honestly could not give her a good answer. She did even want me to store them in the pantry. I ultimately gave them to the food bank. Now if the Lovely Sharon is giving me a bad time, I threaten to buy canned peas. That is pretty effective tool of getting her to back off. Maybe that is what we ought to do in the Mideast - threaten to air drop thousands of cans of peas on the land. I think I will email the President.

Almost every morning I buy a breakfast burrito at McDonalds in their drive through. The burrito cost $1.08 including tax and is 300 calories. Cheap price and not a bad number of calories for breakfast. They may be bad calories, but ok. When I get to the ordering speaker in the drive through, they ask me if they can help me and I always say the same thing: “I would like one breakfast burrito and some mild sauce and that’s all.” Inevitably, they ask “Is that all?” and I say yes. Then they ask me ”Anything else?" and I say no.   Every morning this irritates me. When I give my my order specifically as to what I want and follow my oral order with “that’s all” you would think that would clearly describe what I want. But no, I need to respond two more times that I don’t want anything else. If I were president I would issue an executive order preventing this from happening in the drive through at McDonalds.

The internet news has been full of stories about the Denise Richards dog dying. I am sure she loved her dog and she is probably very sad. When my dog Wilson died I was incredibly sad. But folks, this is not news worthy. If you recall, Denise Richards was married to actor Charlie Sheen. They had a volatile relationship and eventually divorced. The following was on Wikipedia about her:

On November 8, 2006, officers from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) were called to the River Rock Casino in Richmond, B.C., where Richards was making a movie. After seeing two photographers taking her picture from a nearby balcony, she confronted them, and threw their two laptop computers over the balcony. One laptop struck an 80-year-old woman in a wheelchair. The other laptop grazed the arm of a 91-year-old woman. Neither woman suffered serious injury. No charges were filed against her.

It’s a warm thought for me picturing her angrily grabbing laptops and throwing them over the rail where they rained down on elderly women. Now that is news. I can see that going viral, but her dog dying? Not so much.

Ms. Richards apparently posed for Playboy in 2004 and I am sorry to say I did not see that but I think she has had enough publicity for dead dog.

I like Mrs. Obama’s new hairdo. She now has bangs. She looks nice. But again, is this so newsworthy that it has been on every news program and in every news source for 10 days? No.   I have not change my hair style since junior high school. If I were to change my hair style, now that would be news worthy.


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Inauguration


The inauguration of a President is one of the great things of our American government.  It does not matter whether the inaugurated president is a Democrat or a Republic, a new president or a second term president. The constitutional, statutory, pageantry and historical processes and customs that are involved with the inauguration are part of the bedrock of our democracy and our republican form of government.  I love the music, the flags flying, the parades, the oath of office and the speeches.  I love the poems recited and songs sung.  I loved the prayers given. I have watched Inaugurations since I was a kid.  Each year their seems to be more TV coverage which I think is great for those us not able to attend in person.  I hope to attend one day.  The photos included in this posting were all on the CNN website.







Although many of my friends are not fans of President Obama, I am.  I voted for him both times.  I think he has done a relatively good job at a difficult time.  I have not agreed with him on all matters and all of his actions but I have on many. I think he is a thoughtful and good person.

I was tied up all day yesterday until 5:00 or so and did not see the festivities live but I watched selected replays last night.  I watched his speech. I watched Beyonce’ sing a spectacular version of the National Anthem.  I watched Kelly Clarkson sing an inspiring version of “My Country Tis of Thee”.  It gave me chills and brought a tear to my eye. I have always been a sucker for patriotic songs.  I never tire of them.

Sitting on the Inaugural stage at the Capitol, were former Presidents, members of the Supreme Court and other government leaders.


I watched CNN last night and watched the reporting from the Inaugural Balls, saw the President and the First Lady dance.   Heard the singers, saw the crowds dressed in their finery.  I loved it all

What a country we live in.  The population votes for who we want as our president. The votes are usually fairly close, but we don’t have armed insurrection in changing our government.  We select a leader and we move on.  After the Inauguration, we all have the right to comment on the President’s actions, praising him, criticizing him, and second guessing him.  That First Amendment right to comment and criticize is also one the things I love most about America.

Good Luck Mr. President and God Bless America.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Manhattan


I watched Woody Allen’s “Manhattan” on Saturday.  The movie is from 1979 and I have problem seen it more than 12 times.  It is one of my favorite movies of all time.  This black and white classic is romantic and funny.  It has a wonderful sound track. I love it.  Here are some of the lines from Manhattan that I really like:

 I feel like we're in a Noel Coward play. Someone should be making martinis.

I think people should mate for life, like pigeons or Catholics.

Let's fool around. Let's do it some strange way that you've always wanted to, but nobody would do with you.

She's 17. I'm 42 and she's 17. I'm older than her father, can you believe that? I'm dating a girl, wherein, I can beat up her father.

I finally had an orgasm, and my doctor said it was the wrong kind.
You had the wrong kind? I've never had the wrong kind, ever. My worst one was right on the money.

I had a mad impulse to throw you down on the lunar surface and commit interstellar perversion.

Plus I'll probably have to give my parents less money. It'll kill my father. He's not gonna be able to get as good a seat in the synagogue. He'll be in the back, away from God, far from the action.

Years ago I wrote this short story about my Mother called "The Castrating Zionist"

Don't stare at me with those big eyes. Geez, you look like one of those barefoot kids from Boliva who needs foster parents.

Oh, but really biting satire is always better than physical force.
No, physical force is always better with Nazis.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Women in Italy

When I am on vacation, or just out and about, I like to take photos of the people around me.  Men, women, boys and girls. The unsuspecting always make good photo subjects.  Yesterday I was looking through photos that I took in Italy on a trip the lovely Sahron and I took a few years ago.  I have hundreds of normal tourist type photos. The Lovely Sharon took a similar number of photos.  No doubt her photos and my photos were very similar.  As I was reviewed my photos I came across a number of photos of women.  Some were obviously women from Italy and some tourists like me.  Here are some I like:

Nuns in Assisi



 
The Lovely Sharon relaxing in our yard in Assisi (she is not a nun, she only plays one on TV).  Our hotel had about 7 rooms and was several hundred years old.  She has the wine bottle in the shade to keep it cool.
 
 
 
Venice
 
Our table mate in Venice.  This lady was so happy that she made me happy

 
 
Music in San Marco Square
 
 
Pianist in San Marco Square.  This lady looked very dignified to me.
 
 
The Lovely Sharon in Venice. I love the glassware shops in Venice.
 
 
Maybe I am wrong but I think she was a tourist.
 
 
 
Rome
 
It was a hot day in Rome and these ladies found resting places near the Pantheon
 
 

 
One day I was eating lunch on my own in Rome in an outdoor cafe and this mother and daughters sat near me.  Those desserts look so good.
 
 
 
This lady was walking near the Roman Forum in a very colorful outfit.   I think she was humming "I am woman hear me roar". I tried to get the Lovely Sharon to buy a similar outfit, but she refused.
 
 
The Lovely Sharon being serenaded in Rome.
 
 

Bellagio

This shopkeeper was a compelling image.  She did not speak English. What a beautiful smile.
 
 
 
 
 
Another lovely shopkeeper.
 
 
 
The Lovely Sharon. The handbag furtherst away is always the one that looks the best.
 
 
 
 
Lady friends drinking coffee with a dog looking for crumbs.
 



This was somewhere after we left Bellagio

The cheese transaction




 
Well those are some of my pictures.  They are probably not of interest to many of you but, they are of interest to me. They make me want to go back to Italy.
 
 
 
 
 


Saturday, January 19, 2013

Fountains of Rome


The last week has been a week that I am glad is over.  Deaths of friends and loved ones, frigid weather, air you can’t breathe and the continued ineptitude and childishness of the US Congress. I wish the politicians would not piss me off so much but they do. I must stop watching these news shows.  After a day at work with the normal stresses of work and life, for some no good reason I watch the cable news shows and by the time I go to bed I feel beat up.  I have not even been writing in this blog lately.  Every time I start to write only the only thing I can think about are negative things.   Further, it has been kind of lonely in the Bud Cave with the Lovely Sharon out of town.    I needed something to pick up my spirits a little. 

I was working at home the other day, drafting contracts in the Bud Cave and I had the TV on for background noise.  There were four movies about Rome on in a row and a 10 minute travelogue about Rome.  It made me think about the many beautiful fountains in Rome.  The thought of the large, beautiful and historic fountains, works of art, made me feel a little better about life.  I recalled standing by these fountains, amazed at their beauty and amazed that anyone could really create and build such moving works of art.

I know it is a tourist place but Trevi Fountain is beautiful.  I like to sit at the Trevi Fountain with all of the other tourists and watch the fountain and watch the people.  It’s a gathering place; a spectacular gathering place.  I have sat at the fountain in the day and at night.  It is amazing in any light.  I found the following from       http://www.trevifountain.net

The Trevi fountain is an imposing fountain that served as a display of an ancient roman aqueduct termination.  The acqueduct is the Virgo - Virgin in English - Aqueduct constructed by Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa around 19 B:C: Agrippa was the son-in-law and the favorite general of Emperor Octavian Augustus. The aqueduct was 21 km long but 19 were underground.  The aqueduct was built by Agrippa to supply the thermal baths he built in the Campus Martius, by the Pantheon. There was a fountain at the end of the aqueduct already then. The display spilling water was located on the site of the actual Church of St. Ignatius.

According to Sextus Iulius Frontinus' specialised book "De aquaductibus Romae commentarius", the acqueduct takes its name from a virgin lady that the Roman soldiers met when they were thirsty and tired. She lead them to a source of water to restore. That source was in the Ager Locullanus, the land between the Tiburtina road and the Collatina road, two of the many roads that led to Rome. That source still today supplies the acqueduct.

In the 4th Century there were in Rome 1352 fountains. The aqueduct was damaged by the invasion of the Ostrogoths led by King Vitigis in 537. After the barbaric invasions the last portion of the aqueduct was abandoned and all the medieval restorations did not continue further than the trivium crossing.  Starting from the early renaissance the popes start to decorate the end of the aqueducts they restored with large fountains that were richly decorated.
 
Trevi Fountain:
 

 
 
My favorite piazza in Rome is no doubt the Piazza Navona. The following description is from Frommers


Piazza Navona, one of the most beautifully baroque sites in all Rome, is an ocher-colored gem, unspoiled by new buildings or traffic. Its shape results from the ruins of the Stadium of Domitian, lying underneath. Great chariot races were once held here (some rather unusual, such as the one in which the head of the winning horse was lopped off as it crossed the finish line and was then carried by runners to be offered as a sacrifice by the Vestal Virgins atop the Capitoline). In medieval times, the popes used to flood the piazza to stage mock naval encounters. Today the piazza is packed with vendors and street performers, and lined with pricey cafes where you can enjoy a cappuccino or gelato and indulge in unparalleled people-watching.

 In addition to the twin-towered facade of 17th-century Santa Agnes, the piazza boasts several baroque masterpieces. The best known, in the center, is Bernini's Fountain of the Four Rivers (Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi), whose four stone personifications symbolize the world's greatest rivers: the Ganges, Danube, della Plata, and Nile. It's fun to try to figure out which is which. (Hint: The figure with the shroud on its head is the Nile, so represented because the river's source was unknown at the time.) At the south end is the Fountain of the Moor (Fontana del Moro), also by Bernini. The Fountain of Neptune (Fontana di Nettuno), which balances that of the Moor, is a 19th-century addition.

            On two occasions I have enjoyed a dinner in the Piazza Navona, sitting outside watching the people stroll through the Piazza.  Each time after dinner I spent time looking at the people and the fountains my favorite of which is Bernini's Fountain of the Four Rivers.

 Photo of Piazza Navona:
 
 
 

 Four Rivers Fountain
 
 
 


I did not take the photos inserted above.  I did take the following photos:






Next Post will be Ladies of Italy
 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Guns

Guns and controls on guns. More questions than answers. The Second Amendment to the United States Constituion reads as follows:

"A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

What does that mean?  What are "arms". What is a "regulated militia"?

Does a school full of dead children with their bodies riddkled with bullets make any difference to us? Does a theater full of dead movie goers with blood dripping down the floor make any difference to us? Should everyone carry an assault weapon at all times in all places to for protection from evil doers?

District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008), was a landmark case in which the Supreme Court of the United States held that the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution protects an individual's right to possess a firearm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home and within federal enclaves.  The Supreme Court held:
(1) The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.
(2) Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.  
(3) The handgun ban and the trigger-lock requirement (as applied to self-defense) violate the Second Amendment his handgun and must issue him a license to carry it in the home.
Does the Heller case limit the government's right to restrict assault weapons? 

Does the Heller case limit the government right to restrict body armor piercing bullets?  Who primarily wears body armor?  Police, right?  So is the primary purpose of body armor piercing bullets to kill policemen?  Should such bullets be legal?

Does the Heller case restrict registration, permits, background checks?

Did you see the video where a man threatened to kill people if gun laws were changed? The CEO of a Tennessee company that specializes weapons and tactical training is threatening to “start killing people” if President Barack Obama moves forward with gun control measures. Look at the video at  http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/01/10/unhinged-tactical-response-ceo-threatens-to-start-killing-people-over-obamas-gun-control/

Does this fellow and this attitude, not scare you to death?  What if somene threatened to start killing people if restrictions on our first amendment rights, or a fourth amendment rights or our fifth amendment rights are proposed?  Would this be ok?

Did you see Former General Stanley McChrystal  on "Morning Joe". Former General McChrystal, who led the war in Afghanistan, endorsed strong gun control laws Tuesday on Morning Joe.

As for me, I would ban assault weapons, I would ban high capacity magazines, I would require background checks in all gun sales including private sales and gun show sales. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Gun Control


I was watching Morning Joe on MSNBC this morning and saw an interview with retired General Stanley McChrystal.  He was asked about his views on gun control.  The following was from

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/08/stanley-mcchrystal-gun-control_n_2431063.html

Retired General Stanley McChrystal came out in favor of gun control restrictions in a Tuesday morning appearance on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."


"I spent a career carrying typically either a M16, and later a M4 carbine," he said. "And a M4 carbine fires a .223 caliber round, which is 5.56 millimeters, at about 3,000 feet per second. When it hits a human body, the effects are devastating. It's designed to do that. That's what our soldiers ought to carry."

Said McChrystal, "I personally don't think there's any need for that kind of weaponry on the streets and particularly around the schools in America. I believe that we've got to take a serious look -- I understand everybody's desire to have whatever they want -- but we have to protect our children and our police and we have to protect our population. And I think we have to take a very mature look at that."

McChrystal, though he resigned in disgrace in 2010 after a Rolling Stone article, is still revered by many as a top general, and his comments are significant for a former member of the military. If he does continue to advocate for gun control, he could be a significant voice in a movement whose opposition appeals to machismo.

"I think serious action is necessary. Sometimes we talk about very limited actions on the edges, and I just don't think that's enough," he said.

Asked what his message was to the National Rifle Association and the House Judiciary Committee, he said, "I think we have to look at the situation in America. The number of people killed by firearms is extraordinary compared to other nations. I don't think we're a bloodthirsty culture, and we need to look at everything we can do to safeguard our people."

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a co-founder and backer of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, praised McChrystal later in the program. "Stanley McChrystal is a guy who has more crediblity than I ever will have in terms of guns and the damage that guns can do," he said. "He's devoted his life to public service. But Stanley McChrystal can be as good a spokesman as can the five of us."

I for one believes something has to be done on this issue.




Friday, January 4, 2013

Republicans Are Fun

Republicans are fun:


Suggestions for Romance

The fiscal austerity crisis has been temporarily averted, but given the apparent animosity between the current leaders of Congress it's a miracle that any deal was made at all. Politico has a rather lengthy breakdown of the last week or so of negotiations that led to last night's budget bill and it leads off with an anecdote illustrating the current state of American politics. As they arrived for a much-hyped meeting with the President last Friday afternoon, Speaker of the House John Boehner spotted Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid approaching just steps from the Oval Office. According to "multiple sources," Boehner pointed his finger at Reid and without any other fanfare said, "Go fuck yourself." When Reid asked him what he was talking about, Boehner simply repeated his curse and moved on.

So John Boy told Harry not once but twice to go*****************

Poor old Harry I hope he does not try it and hurt himself.

http://www.theatlanticwire.com/politics/2013/01/john-boehner-told-harry-reid-go-f-yourself-outside-oval-office/60481/

If you recall Dick Cheney told Senator Leahy the same thing. See blog entry

http://www.bheadman.com/2010/04/best-thing-dick-cheney-ever-did.html

I guess these family values guys are encouraging their opponents to multiply and replenish the earth. Wait, I don’t think that works if you are the only one involved.

Republicans vs. Republicans

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is furious at House Speaker John Boehner's decision not to hold a vote Tuesday night on a Superstorm Sandy disaster relief aid package.

"There's only one group to blame for the continued suffering of these innocent victims: The House majority (the Republicans) and their speaker, John Boehner," said Christie at a Wednesday afternoon news conference as he led a rising chorus of criticism from both Republican and Democrat lawmakers from New Jersey and New York at the failure of the $60 billion aid bill. Christie likened suffering New Jerseyans to "pawns on a chessboard" who are victims of political games.

Republican Congressmen Peter King, also angry over Boehner’s failure to call for a vote on Hurricane Sandy, said New York and New Jersey residents would have to be crazy to donate to a republican congressman. The vote subsequently took place and now Peter likes John Boehner again.

More news from Idaho

Idaho Mormon Republican Senator got picked up after drinking vodka tonics over the holidays. Idaho has had interesting Senators in the last few years. Remember when Senator Craig got caught in an airport men’s’ room trying the play footsies under the stalls? If you recall he said he was not passing on gay signals, he was merely a “wide spreader”. Good one Senator.

Hillary Clinton Attack. See the following:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/01/02/hillary-clinton-haters-hammered-for-mocking-her-illness.html

Hey, Fox News, guess it’s not the “Benghazi flu” after all. Turns out that Hillary—you know, the woman many of you love to hate—has a blood clot near her brain What we heard from some on the right after Hillary Clinton said she suffered a concussion last month—following a bout with the stomach flu—was that she could be faking it, since it happened just days before she was scheduled to testify about the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. (That’s you, John Bolton, the former State Department official who accused her of contracting a “diplomatic illness.”)

Seems to me that kicking people when they’re down isn’t a very Christian thing to do. Haven’t many of you spent all of the advent season talking about how everyone is taking Christ out of Christmas? Faking an illness is an accusation you would hurl at a third grader who wants to stay home from school. No matter what your politics, here’s a woman who has served her country as a first lady, senator, and secretary of state. What does it take to presume that someone is acting in good faith? And in case you haven’t heard, attacking someone who’s ill speaks more to the character of the person doing the mocking.

Columnist Charles Krauthammer said Clinton was suffering from “acute Benghazi allergy.”

Greg Gutfeld, co-host of Fox’s The Five, said: “How can she get a concussion when she has been ducking everything?”

On The O'Reilly Factor, Laura Ingraham joked that this appeared to be an “immaculate concussion.” Bill O’Reilly chimed in, saying he thought Clinton could at least make a phone call. Fox's 'The Five' co-host Greg Gutfeld wonders how Clinton could have a concussion 'when she's been ducking everything?''

Now that the news of the blood clot has surfaced, the Twitterverse has turned on the haters, demanding apologies from the skeptics who had rallied against her. Doctors now say the location of the clot—between Clinton’s skull and brain—should mean she’s out of the woods and will make a full recovery. Whew. Fire up your inner pit bull; you’ll still have her to kick around.

Closing Remarks

This last couple of weeks has been very interesting. Lifetime Network Holiday Movies and republican politics has made for a joyous holiday season

Thursday, January 3, 2013

A Holiday Story


I visited the Lovely Sharon in Palm Desert over the holidays.




She looked glamorous, I just tried to keep up.


We saw Santa but it was disappointing




During the holidays, Sharon cleaned the house






I helped her with the dishes



She had time to relax



Finally it was time for me to drive back to Salt Lake.


A Wonderful Holiday Season