Truth Before Dishonor

I would rather be right than popular

Archive for November, 2011

The bold leader of the Revolution!

Posted by Dana Pico on 2011/11/15

From a fleabagger drops trou and takes a dump on the public street.

Note: he didn’t wipe his butt, and there’s no indication he washed his hands.

Boldly leading the Revolution!

Posted in humor | Tagged: , | 10 Comments »

It looks like someone is taking action to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons

Posted by Dana Pico on 2011/11/15

From TIME:

Was Israel Behind a Deadly Explosion at an Iranian Missile Base?

By Karl Vick / Jerusalem Sunday, Nov. 13, 2011
Israeli newspapers on Sunday were thick with innuendo, the front pages of the three largest dailies dominated by variations on the headline “Mysterious Explosion in Iranian Missile Base.” Turn the page, and the mystery is answered with a wink. “Who Is Responsible for Attacks on the Iranian Army?” asks Maariv, and the paper lists without further comment a half-dozen other violent setbacks to Iran’s nuclear and military nexus. For Israeli readers, the coy implication is that their own government was behind Saturday’s massive blast just outside Tehran. It is an assumption a Western intelligence source insists is correct: the Mossad — the Israeli agency charged with covert operations — did it. “Don’t believe the Iranians that it was an accident,” the official tells TIME, adding that other sabotage is being planned to impede the Iranian ability to develop and deliver a nuclear weapon. “There are more bullets in the magazine,” the official says.

The powerful blast or series of blasts — reports described an initial explosion followed by a much larger one — devastated a missile base in the gritty urban sprawl to the west of the Iranian capital. The base housed Shahab missiles, which, at their longest range, can reach Israel. Last week’s report from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said Iran had experimented with removing the conventional warhead on the Shahab-3 and replacing it with one that would hold a nuclear device. Iran says the explosion was an accident that came while troops were transferring ammunition out of the depot “toward the appropriate site

More at the link. And then there’s this, from The Telegraph:

Iran claims defence computer systems hit by another ‘supervirus’

Iran says its defence computer systems have been infected with another “supervirus” known to be similar to one which severely damaged its nuclear programme last year.

Richard Spencer
By , Middle East Correspondent
2:59PM GMT 14 Nov 2011

Anti-virus experts last month identified a virus called “Duqu” that they said shared properties with the now famous “Stuxnet” worm, which spread across the world but is thought to have been successfully targeted at the nuclear programme’s centrifuges, the devices that enrich uranium to create nuclear fuel.

It was not clear on Monday from the Iranian statement whether Duqu had also struck nuclear facilities, but it was the first admission of damage.

“We are in the initial phase of fighting the Duqu virus,” Gholamreza Jalali, the head of Iran’s civil defence programme, said. “The final report which says which organisations the virus has spread to and what its impacts are has not been completed yet.

“All the organisations and centres that could be susceptible to being contaminated are being controlled.”

Although Mossad and other western intelligence agencies makes no comment on sabotage operations against Iran or any other country, there is little doubt that they are an important component of attempts to prevent Iran developing nuclear weapons.

Naturally, there’s no official comment from Israel, though there’s just enough unofficial bragging being leaked to let the Iranians know/fear that their suspicions are correct. Just about everyone paying any attention to this assumes that the Israelis were probably behind these things, and that’s just about the level of confirmation Israel would want. It’s kind of like the purported Israeli arsenal of nuclear weapons; everyone assumes that they have them, usually giving a number of between 100 and 200 warheads, but Israel has never confirmed nor denied the reports.

The stories quoted above follow on the heels of this one, also from The Telegraph:

Israel refuses to tell US its Iran intentions

Israel has refused to reassure President Barack Obama that it would warn him in advance of any pre-emptive strike on Iran’s nuclear capabilities, raising fears that it may be planning a go-it-alone attack as early as next summer.

Israel is tight-lipped with US over Iran intentions Adrian Blomfield
By , in Jerusalem
7:49PM GMT 12 Nov 2011

The US leader was rebuffed last month when he demanded private guarantees that no strike would go ahead without White House notification, suggesting Israel no longer plans to “seek Washington’s permission”, sources said. The disclosure, made by insiders briefed on a top-secret meeting between America’s most senior defence chief and Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s hawkish prime minister, comes amid concerns that Iran’s continuing progress towards nuclear weapons capability means the Jewish state has all but lost hope for a diplomatic solution.

On Tuesday, UN weapons inspectors released their most damning report to date into Iran’s nuclear activities, saying for the first time that the Islamic republic appeared to be building a nuclear weapon. It was with that grave possiblity in mind that Leon Panetta, the US defence secretary, flew into Israel last month on what was ostensibly a routine trip.

Let’s be honest here: President Obama doesn’t trust Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and vice versa. There was the famous live microphone gaffe in which French President Nicolas Sarkozy was overheard telling President Obama that he “couldn’t stand” Mr Netanyahu, and that the Israeli Prime Minister was a “liar,” a characterization with which Mr Obama expressed no disagreement. I’ve never met Mr Netanyahu, and have absolutely no idea whether President Sarkozy’s characterization is accurate or not, but it isn’t hard for me to believe that, at least when it comes to preserving the safety and security of Israel, the Prime Minister would do whatever he believed it required, with lying certainly not excluded. He is, after all, a politician.

But if I were the Prime Minister of Israel, and my government had decided that a military strike was the only way to stop the Iranians from building atomic bombs, the President of the United States, regardless of whom that might be, would be about the last person I would inform in advance: it doesn’t seem like any secrets can be kept in Washington, and a secret like that would be way to interesting to expect it to be kept secret. In a town where a Deputy Secretary of State can gossip with a reporter about a spy’s secret identity, and literally think nothing of it until it blows up in his face, it’s easy enough picturing this making the rounds at one of Sally Quinn’s parties. Washington is too much a town all about talk; Israel is a country which actually gets things done.

Assuming that all of these stories are true, it looks like Israel really has decided that diplomacy will not keep Iran from building nuclear weapons, and that a nuclear-armed Iran is an intolerable situation. But it also looks like Israel has found methods of at least delaying Iran’s ability to build and deliver atomic bombs other than an open military attack. That’s pretty smart.

Posted in Israel | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Dear hunting …

Posted by DNW on 2011/11/14

The hunting of whitetail deer is considered a less than admirable pursuit by many people nowadays. And for various reasons. Some feel it’s just a bit gauche if not atavistic, while others more hostile to both man and his sport, claim to believe that the only real hunting that can be justified is the kind of hunting that makes man the hunter as likely to wind up prey, as the ostensible game.

And too, some arguments used by hunters to “defend” their activities are as emotional and ill thought out as the critcisms. Anyone who has actually spent days stalking deer only to wind up with a mere 70 lbs of dressed meat to be shared out amongst family and friends, has probably also had the thought cross his mind that insofar as producing a supply of  meat goes, it would be much more efficient to just raise such things in a pen and …

And just about then you drive past a farm field with a herd of grazing beef cattle.

Oh yeah, someone has already thought of that.

Funny how that works though.  Mankind spends thousands of years of energy in domesticating and breeding, say swine, and the beneficiaries of this effort can’t wait to release the product into the wild so they can then face the uncertain prospect of obtaining in the woods and swamps what could easily have been had from the pen.

And what, to get back on track,  about overpopulation? From the point of view of logic, killing to reduce an animal population through unsportsmanlike culling practices is just as reasonable as culling through fair chase, IF your only “real” aim is to control the population and benefit from the product.

That said then, my own reasons are perhaps not too much better grounded, or bullet proof, so to speak. But they are my reasons, and I’ll try to lay them out.

Going Hunting

Although the “deer camp” social experience has often appeared in outdoors writers’ works as a significant part of the hunting event, it ranks with me in importance somewhat above a run of the mill game of poker with friends, but well below a family holiday at home. The only thing that makes the collective aspect of it enjoyable on balance rather than annoying, is the outdoors context, and the companionship of people – in my case mostly relatives – whose company one already appreciates.

Now as far as primitive goes, we certainly don’t tent it. But on the other hand, the cabin has no running water, and no electricity, and the nearest paved road is miles away. So being there, for some days, with no radio, TV,  or electricity, does constitute a different experience. One that given sufficient time, resets your internal clock, and reengages your mind with certain physical realities, from which we as adults have become distanced. For someone in good health, this re-acquaintance with the simple life can be a very satisfying experience. For someone physically weak, or fearful, I will grant you it’s not so much of an attraction.

This though, constitutes the outdoors experience available to most of us, whether or not we hunt.

What hunting really adds to it all, is this: It will, in a more concentrated way than any simple outdoorsy experience can, tell we “everyman” types some important things about ourselves. If, we are willing to listen.

And if we listen, and heed, then we may be able to make some of the corrections that it suggests to us.

To really learn the message however, it takes more than a few days afield, or a couple of lucky morning outings during the course of a lifetime. For what one is reminded of and forced to confront as a result of a sufficient period of time spent in the field,  are the local and direct costs of petty sloth and indifferent ignorance, of lack of seriousness of purpose, of lack of focus, and lack of sustained, sustained, and well-directed effort. These are natural mini-lessons presented with just enough intensity and immediacy of feedback and effect to make a broader life point.

Thus, in chasing game, you learn in a very immediate and analogically applicable way the cost of pointless minor indulgences: the cost of a negligent shrug, twitch, kick or yawn; that of a slothful retreat into a reverie, when outward attention is due; that of the impatient step, or of yielding to an impulsive urge to lean up against, or to take an easier yet the noisier path.

The body and it’s habits and urges, which are felt as our psychological dispositions, can in everyday life be more or less  allowed to sweep us along without harm – seemingly. In hunting however, no judgement is put off. Thus, welling impulses must be mindfully at first, and then habitually, controlled, in order for one to have an expectation of more than fitful or random success.

Hunting, still hunting, is not easy. It’s not even easy, I hear, to sit patiently in a blind for hours. But hours of alert, purposeful, and controlled passage across a forest floor covered at almost every step with fallen and entraping limbs, grabbing branches, crackling twigs, all while being buffetted by cold and and gusting winds can be psychologically as well as physically exhausting, no matter how unhurried the effort.

The meaning of the wood signs are not obvious to the beginner either, and remain uncertain for years for most of us who have only a limited amount of time to spend in the woods or fields. They take effort to learn. To take an almost comic example, no one who has never before seen a deer or read about one, would have any reason to know which way a set of deer tracks are pointing in the snow. There is no analogy with common household pets, and a young and untutored novice would just as likely imagine that the foot of a deer is streamlined so that the narrow part of the track pointed to the rear, as to correctly imagine the opposite. Don’t ask me how I know this. I just do.

Now that you are older and hopefully wiser, have you been paying attention to when that snow squall started and stopped while you sat there at the base of the tree resting? Or were you more than likely ( don’t ask me how I know this either) hunkered down in your parka, drowsily daydreaming about a hottub stuffed with girls in bikinis? Alertness to the cold world “out there” will tell you whether those tracks you eventually discover 20 yards on further, were laid down in the last 30 minutes, or date back hours.

And are you ready for the opportunity? It’s tiring to walk with your rifle at a semi-port or “patrol” arms for hours, even with the sling wrapped around your left wrist as you grip the fore-end of the stock. So, whew … what the hey, take a break; stop, adjust that burden and sling it over your shoulder.

Which proves just enough to undo that near hour of careful traversing, and to  send that deer you hadn’t yet seen,  but which you had moved to within 30 yards of, bounding away – before you could recover enough from the startle to unshoulder your rifle, disengage the safety, sight the target, and fire with control.

Aren’t you glad you yielded to that impulse to drop the pretense of stalking, step out of the hunter act, and unguardedly relieve the strain at just that moment? After all, you had been a good little woodsman for more than 45 minutes. Enough deliberation and deliberateness. Nature owed you this break; and a bite of that crackly wrapped candy bar in your pocket too. And since we are not taking this all that seriously – you know as a matter of life and death or something – why should our targets respond as if they are?

Well, I guess I don’t know why others hunt, when it comes right down to it. Nor maybe, did I even know when I began. But I do now, and I think that it provides a refresher course once a year in lessons, the objects of which, I need to keep in mind for the rest.

Posted in society, sports, stereotype, Uncategorized | 8 Comments »

The Thing About Umbrellas

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2011/11/11

Umbrellas, they say, are useful tools to have during rainy times because those umbrellas, they say, keep you dry. But do umbrellas really keep you dry? An inverted bowl of material roughly four feet in diameter hanging a few inches over your head is all you have between yourself and the rain.

When I have spent any time at all under an umbrella, I have still found myself mostly wet. Oh, the umbrella kept my head and shoulders and maybe even most of one arm dry. But the rest of my body was still open to the rain. Basically, from my mid-chest down to my feet were wet because the umbrella did not protect my entire body from the rain.

I remember when those clear plastic bubble umbrellas were a big fad. With those umbrellas, you could lower the bottom edge of the umbrella to just-below-shoulder level and still see. What was the purpose for designing the bubble umbrella? It was an attempt to rectify an innate flaw of the umbrella, a flaw that allowed most of your body to get wet. But even the bubble umbrella does not keep you dry in the rain. Sure, it will keep more of you dry than a standard umbrella, but it still doesn’t protect you from the waist down.

So why do we use umbrellas if they’re so bad? Because umbrellas do serve a purpose, and effectively so. In short durations, umbrellas help keep much of the water off us. A quick trip from the car to the front door of home or a business establishment is a good time to use an umbrella. In long durations, umbrellas keep water off our heads and, if the umbrellas are large enough and handled expertly (Go ahead and laugh at that over-extended use of the word “expertly;” I got a chuckle out of it.), our shoulders. And let’s face it, we are much more comfortable with our heads and shoulders dry and the rest of our bodies wet than we are with our heads and shoulders wet and the rest of our bodies dry. So, despite their inability to keep much of our bodies dry over any length of time, umbrellas are very useful.

Why Umbrellas?

“Why am I reading about the travails of umbrellas on a political blog?” I do have a reason for talking about umbrellas and that reason isn’t actually about umbrellas. If you consider the picture of a person as an image of a country, you will begin to understand. You can look at it as a scale from elite to common, rich to poor, connected to not-connected. Those who are at the top of the scale will stay dry while those from above-midpoint to bottom will get wet from the rain.

Now that I have developed this word-picture, what am I doing with the word-picture? It is to explain tax policy. For a great many years, “soak the rich” has been the class-envy cash cow of the liberals. It is classic redistribution policy. And yet, that policy has failed the communist states.

Anytime politicians have attempted to “soak the rich,” the rich have sheltered their money from the soaking. Want to increase the profits tax on the wealthy? They’ll just pull their money from their business investments and store it for better times. Want to sock it to corporations? They’ll just pass on the added tax to their customers. Increase the income tax on the big money-makers? They’ll shift their earnings to benefits packages or shift their earnings to later years. Add luxury taxes to yachts or private jets or high-dollar cars? They won’t buy them.

No matter how you try to use class-envy to “soak the rich,” the rich still have umbrellas. And the middle-class and the poor suffer for it. Let’s not forget the politicians who are doing the soaking are also protected from the downpour.

How do the rich umbrellas soak the poor and middle class? If the rich quit buying items that have luxury taxes, those items quit selling. If those items quit selling, the businesses quit building them. If the businesses quit building them, the workers – the poor and middle class – lose their jobs, and thus their incomes. Remember when the Democrats under the Clinton administration nearly single-handedly destroyed the yacht-manufacturing business with the luxury tax on yachts?

It is very important to understand corporations do not actually pay corporate tax. Oh, the records show they do, and the money coming out of corporations and going to government in the form of taxes say they do. But corporations don’t pay corporate tax, customers of those corporations do. When corporate taxes are increased, corporations pass on that tax to their customers who have to pay higher prices for goods to cover the higher tax. So those with less money pay more of their money for the same thing to make up for the added cost of doing business the government put on them. “Which ‘them’ is ‘them?’” When government increases corporate tax, it is an effort to increase the cost of doing business to the corporation. But in actuality the increased tax is an increased cost of doing business for the buyer and not the corporation.

Of course, when the corporation increases its prices, it loses buyers. Increase a price too much and a corporation will go bankrupt. But even without going bankrupt, a loss of business translates to a loss of employment need. A loss of employment need translates to more people out of work. You know, those middle-class and working poor?

When investors take money out of the stock market, businesses have less money for Research and Development, less money for expansion, less money for employee-base maintenance. And that means fewer jobs for the working class.

Countries who have used “class warfare” over any period of time have suffered for it. “Spread the wealth” countries, like Cuba, have depended on money from other countries to keep them propped up. USSR, with its spread the wealth ideology collapsed. China has begun to move from “spread the wealth” toward more of a free-market economy, and has begun a business and economic boom but is hurt by the lack of buyers for their goods in markets that are running toward government control.

At no time has socialism, big government, class envy ever improved the lot in life of the lower classes. Only by reducing government and allowing the market to act has any country experienced any true improvement in living standards of the populace. But we are fast becoming a nation of historical illiteracy, a nation of lazy sheep, seeking a shepherd to lead us ever which where he desires. Our jealousy, our envy, our arrogant ignorance has led us to this point and will lead us ever further into the quagmire unless something violently shakes us out of our lethargy.


I wrote the above in January 2009, when next to nobody even knew about my blog. I’m reposting it now because Barack Obama and the Liberals are working the Socialist “class warfare” angle so feverishly, in an attempt to divide Americans and pit us one against another.

Well, the Obama Administration, ever needing to pit Americans against each other, rewrote the “poverty” guidelines to increase the number of so-called poor in America. As Mark Levin stated on his radio broadcast, it was written in such a way that if every living soul in America doubled their income (and nobody else in the world did), the number of “poor” Americans would stay exactly the same. It’s a wholly dishonest and dishonorable lying game Socialists must play if they want to succeed in destroying the American Dream and substituting the totally depraved and unworkable Socialist Sheol.

The Heritage Foundation has an excellent article that is well worth the read.

According to the columnist Robert J. Samuelson, the new Obama poverty measure “fails.” It flunks the test of “political neutrality,” and is based on “misleading statistics that not one American in 100,000 could possibly understand.”

That’s because the new calculation would measure poverty on a sliding scale. Thus, if the average income of families in the United States’ increases so too does the poverty threshold. Talk about keeping up with the Jones. This new measure provides the perfect climate for left-leaning politicians to promote equalization of wealth through redistribution. This new measure would bump poverty up 30 percent: more poverty equals more political fodder to argue for increased welfare.

As they say, read the rest of the article. The Truth about the American “poor” is that they are already orders of magnitude wealthier than most of the rest of the world. It is a Truth that cannot be denied without Dishonoring oneself.

For every four square feet that the average European has to live in, a poor American has five.

Watch the video to see how wealthy America’s “poor” actually are. Or, if you’re a class-warfare Socialist, ignore the video so you can continue with your lies in total ignorance. “The Truth shall set you free” unless you’re a radical Leftist wholly dependent on nobody learning the Truth; then the Truth shall destroy your agenda.

There are truly poor Americans who need a help up. But the number of truly poor Americans is far lower than what the old matrix showed, and far and away lower than what the Socialist Obama class-warfare matrix shows. The truly poor need a leg up. They’re not going to get that leg up from people who want to destroy the “rich”. Destroying the “rich” will only lead to greater poverty and greater power among the Socialist class (like Barack Obama and the Unions and the Democrat Party leadership).

Posted in Conservative, economics, Liberal, Obama, Philosophy, politically correct, politics, Socialists, society, truth | Tagged: , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Look At All Those Ones

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2011/11/11

Eleven minutes and eleven seconds after eleven Am today marks a very interesting (to me) occasion. The time and date will be:

11:11:11 11/11/11

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Look At All Those Ones

Happy Birthday to the United States Marine Corps!

Posted by Dana Pico on 2011/11/10

Especially for our host:

1775: Founding of the Marine Corps

A legacy is born

During the American Revolution, many important political discussions took place in the inns and taverns of Philadelphia, including the founding of the Marine Corps.

A committee of the Continental Congress met at Tun Tavern to draft a resolution calling for two battalions of Marines able to fight for independence at sea and on shore.

The resolution was approved on November 10, 1775, officially forming the Continental Marines.

As the first order of business, Samuel Nicholas became Commandant of the newly formed Marines. Tun Tavern’s owner and popular patriot, Robert Mullan, became his first captain and recruiter. They began gathering support and were ready for action by early 1776.

Each year, the Marine Corps marks November 10th with a celebration of the brave spirit which compelled these men and thousands since to defend our country as United States Marines.

Posted in military | 3 Comments »

Ohio Issue 2 And 3 Vote Analysis And Governor Kasich Response

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2011/11/09

Last night, Ohio Issue 2 went down in defeat while Issue 3 was victorious. Almost immediately after the outcome was decided, and well before all the counting had been completed, Governor Kasich sent me an email.

The final unofficial results show Issue 2 failed 39 percent to 61 percent, with those voting for Issue 2 numbering 1,351,543 and those voting against Issue 2 numbering 2,143,792. 5 of the 88 counties reached above 50 percent yes votes, while in 1 more county, the yes vote won a 50/50 margin. In 3 additional counties, the yes vote lost a 50/50 margin. That means the 79 other counties contributed an even more lopsided defeat.

The Public Employee Unions spent millions of tax-payer dollars to defeat Issue 2, and not just Ohio tax-payer dollars, but Pennsylvania tax-payer money, California tax-payer money, Massachusetts tax-payer money, … You get the picture. Because all Public Employee Union dues are tax-payer dollars. Every last cent of them. PEUs won the ability to continue extorting exorbitant benefits packages and pay packages that are head and shoulders above that of the private sector workplace that pays them.

What does this mean for Ohio, moving forward? It means fewer teachers, fewer firefighters, fewer police officers at higher costs. Because the State, local municipalities, public school districts will need to find a different method to reduce their costs than to bring PEU benefits packages closer in line with the average Joe’s benefits package. And that means reducing the workforce. And possibly even increasing taxes on the backs of the people who are already over-taxed and over-burdened as it is. It means a less business friendly environment and less economic opportunity in Ohio, at a time when Ohio is just starting to turn the corner on a very bad economic condition created by Big Government, anti-business folks who came before Governor Kasich.

And it means what progress was started in 2011 will be stymied at just the time the current President needs Ohio growth for the 2012 election. Can you say “pyrrhic victory”? Because that’s ultimately what this will be for the Democrats and their Union cohorts.

Issue 3 is a different matter. Issue 3 was the direct result of ObamaCare, a counter to ObamaCare, an attempt to bring ObamaCare to a screeching halt. And it was passed in dramatic fashion. In fact, it was passed in a much more dramatic fashion than the Issue 2 failure. Issue 3 passed 66 percent to 34 percent, with the final unofficial vote count being 2,219,717 for and 1,162,731 against. This spells trouble for Democrats come the 2012 election cycle. Republicans can use ObamaCare against Democrats running for office and that will harm Democrat chances. But the county-by-county numbers are even worse for the Democrats, as not a single county voted against Issue 3. Not even the solidly Democrat counties. Cuyahoga County (Cleveland) voted 58 percent to 42 percent in favor of Issue 3. Lorain County (Lorain, big city suburb of Cleveland and home to a Ford assembly plant) voted 65 percent to 35 percent in favor of Issue 3. Summit County (Akron, think steel and Firestone tires) voted 64 percent to 36 percent in favor of Issue 3. Stark County (Canton, next-door neighbor to Akron and home of Pro Football Hall of Fame) voted 66 percent to 34 percent in favor of Issue 3. Franklin County (Columbus, Ohio’s Capitol with Ohio State University and Nationwide Insurance) voted 59 percent to 41 percent in favor of Issue 3. No county voted Issue 3 down.

Issue 2 will effect 2012 but in reverse fashion and behind the scenes. The defeat of Issue 2 will bring economic and tax harm to Ohio, driving people to vote more Republican in the 2012 elections. But Issue 2 won’t get the blame. Issue 3 will directly effect 2012 as it will be the proof needed for Republicans to hammer Democrats on their support of ObamaCare when 2/3 of Ohio voters declared Ohio needed an anti-ObamaCare Constitutional Amendment to stop the Democrat leadership from doing what it did.

All in all, don’t expect Obama to win Ohio in 2012. In fact, expect Sherrod Brown to have a very difficult time being re-elected to the US Senate. And expect Democrats to not gain any ground in the US House out of Ohio.

Posted in Constitution, economics, Elections, Health Care, Obama, politics, society, Tax | Tagged: , , , | 4 Comments »

Pop vs Popular

Posted by Foxfier on 2011/11/09

This is spoiler-free, for two reasons: one, I haven’t seen an episode of Mad Men, and two, I don’t want to spend an hour trying to figure out episodes and times for story points in NCIS.

From Ricochet guest writer, Richard Rushfield.

Next March, AMC’s Mad Men will return to the airwaves after a year and a half absence. It’s return will be treated as the most significant cultural event of the year. Its stars will blanket the covers of our glossy magazines. Articles will be written in the New York Times and our most elite literary journals dissecting the show’s meaning. Banana Republic will promote its high end Mad Men line.

Mad Men at its height was watched by 2.9 million viewers. In contrast, CBS’ military police procedural drama NCIS last week was seen by 19.7 million viewers. As far as I can tell, NCIS has never been featured on the cover of any major American magazine apart from TV Guide and one issue of Inland Empire, the magazine of California’s suburban Riverside and San Bernadino counties.

First, let me say– as polished and stylish as the guys in Mad Men look, let alone the lovely lady, I gotta prefer Gibbs and co. It’s nice to hear that there’s a decent number of my fellow Americans who are likewise getting their dose. ;^)

This is not to say that NCIS is more deserving of a magazine cover than Mad Men, or that ratings numbers alone should determine what gets coverage and critical attention and what gets ignored. With its layered, morally ambiguous plotting and characters, Mad Men no doubt provides much richer fields for critical inquiry than the straightforward crime of the week NCIS.

I’d say that NCIS is more deserving of a cover. There’s no shortage of writers who lived through the sixties– there’s a definite shortage of those who can write modern military stories and get it right often enough to be enjoyable. (My biggest complaint is on technology, for crying out loud, not military.)

Then again, I also think that NCIS is a lot more worthy of consideration than he’s giving them credit for. Mad Men is, from the promotional stuff, pretentiously ‘deep.’ It’s got a great big sign hanging over it with flashing neon lettering saying “I AM SERIOUS AND DEEP. DEEPLY SERIOUS.”

NCIS, on the other hand– Elf borrowed the entire series up to season six from a coworker, and I’m constantly surprised at how good it is.  If you pay attention– or if you’re watching two or three episodes in order, two or three times a week– they are amazing.  At least once a week– usually once an evening– while we were burning through the series, I’d suddenly get hit over the head with things they’d been hinting at for weeks.  The relationships between the characters, especially, are very well done.

I hate being manipulated by a show, and I know enough about narrative structure, musical tricks and basic production to catch on to the things that shows usually do as shortcuts.  Can’t count the number of times Elf has ordered me to stop thinking and enjoy something.

NCIS not only doesn’t lean on those shortcuts, it generally uses them correctly as intensifiers when they’ve already laid the story-and-acting ground, or to give a misleading impression that heightens the payoff.  (Misleading, not false.  There is a difference.)

Unlike the umpty-bazillion police shows, I generally can’t tell you who will be the bad guy in the first five minutes of an episode of NCIS, and if I can there’s a good reason for it.  (Such as that the characters know it, too, or they’re the bad guy for totally different reasons than I assumed.)

Probably part of NCIS’ success is due to their lack of pretension.  Just like actual military folks I know, they are serious, silly, noble, immoral, utter jerks and have hearts of gold at different times with different motivations.  Some things strain credibility from an outside point– like Abby’s antics– but reality does that, if you are introduced to a situation with no background.  Failure to realize that is part of why so many workplaces are soulless; new boss comes in and destroys any character that a places had.  (I’ll agree that the repeated failure of new powers to succeed in wiping out the awesome characteristics of the NCIS workplace is a bit unlikely, but there’s got to be some wish fulfillment here.)

Posted in Entertainment, media, society | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Maine Voter Registration Referendum

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2011/11/08

Maine recently changed its law to require voter registration at least two days prior to an election. It is an obvious attempt to cut down on voter registration fraud and ultimately voter fraud. The referendum would repeal that law and return Maine to same-day voter registration, a roughly 40-year-old invitation to fraud.

As of 8:23pm local time, according to the Bangor Daily News, the ballot initiative is 56 percent yes (to repeal the 2-day requirement), 44 percent no (to keep the 2-day requirement) with 5 of 594 precincts reporting.

As of 8:31pm local time, the ballot initiative is 59 percent yes to 41 percent no, with 8 precincts reporting.

As of 8:44pm local time, the ballot initiative remains 59 yes to 41 no, with 32 of 594 precincts reporting.

As of 8:57pm local time, the ballot initiative continues 59 yes to 41 no, with 73 precincts reporting. The yes vote holds a 4,300-vote advantage.

As of 9:27pm local time, the ballot initiative remains 59 yes to 41 no, with 160 of 594 precincts reporting. Yes holds a roughly 11,000 vote advantage.

As of 9:50pm local time, the ballot initiative to overturn the 2-day voter registration requirement stands at 60 percent yes to 40 percent no, with 254 of 594 precincts reporting. The yes vote holds a 23,000 vote advantage. At this point, I’m calling it Yes. Apparently, Maine voters like taking their chances with voter registration fraud and vote fraud.

As of 10:16pm local time, the Bangor Daily News has called the ballot initiative Yes. The vote stands at 60 percent yes to 40 percent no, with 339 of 594 precincts reporting. Yes holds a 33,000 vote lead.

As of 10:56pm local time, the ballot initiative stands at 60 yes to 40 no, with 429 of 594 precincts reporting. According to the Bangor Daily News, there are 959,074 registered voters in Maine. With nearly 3/4 of all precincts reporting, 245,773 votes have been counted, or a little over 1/4 of the registered voters.

As of 11:27pm local time, the ballot initiative stands at 61 yes to 39 no, with 465 of 594 precincts reporting. Yes has a 62,000 vote lead.

Posted in Elections, Law, politics, Vote Fraud | Tagged: | Comments Off on Maine Voter Registration Referendum

Arizona Recall Election

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2011/11/08

Republican Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce faces a recall election. Pearce is best known for being the architect of Arizona’s immigration law.

In Arizona, Republican state Sen. Russell Pearce, architect of the immigration law that thrust the issue into the national political debate, faces a recall that could throw him out of office. The Republican attempting to defeat him has made immigration a constant theme, but Pearce has a 3-to-1 fundraising advantage.

As of 9:05pm local time, the SEIU-backed Jerry Lewis has apparently defeated Russell Pearce. With all 16 precincts reporting, Jerry Lewis gained 10,816 votes for 53 percent of the vote to Russel Pearce’s 9,188 votes for 45 percent of the vote.

Posted in Conservative, crime, politics, society | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »

Mississippi Personhood Vote And Governor Election

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2011/11/08

Today, Mississippians vote on who will replace term-limited Republican Governor Haley Barbour, and Republican Lieutenant Governor Phil Bryant is the clear favorite to win. Also on the ballot is a measure declaring the unborn to be legal persons declaring that life begins at conception, clearing the way to granting them the rights persons have.

Also on the ballot is an initiative to prevent eminent domain taking of land from one person and giving it to another, and a Voter ID initiative.

As of 8:27pm local time, according to AP, the Person at Fertilization ballot issue (Initiative 26) stands at 39 percent yes to 61 percent no, with 184 of 1876 precincts reporting. The Voter ID ballot issue (Initiative 27) stands at 63 percent yes to 37 percent no, with 134 precincts reporting. The eminent domain ballot issue (Initiative 31) stands at 75 percent yes to 25 percent no, with 131 precincts reporting.

In the Governor’s race, Republican Lieutenant Governor Phil Bryant leads Democrat Johnny DuPree 58 percent to 42 percent, with 340 precincts reporting (8:33pm).

As of 8:49pm local time, Initiative 26 stands at 43 percent yes to 57 percent no, with 425 of 1876 precincts reporting. Initiative 27 stands at 62 percent yes to 38 percent no. Initiative 31 stands at 73 percent yes to 27 percent no.

In the Governor’s race, the Republican holds a 56 percent to 44 percent lead over the Democrat, with 549 of 1876 precincts reporting.

As of 9:17pm local time, Initiative 26 (the life begins at conception issue) is 40 percent yes to 60 percent no, with 814 of 1876 precincts reporting. No holds a 49,000 vote advantage. I’m calling it No at this point. Initiative 27 (the Voter ID issue) is 60 percent yes to 40 percent no. Yes holds a 50,000 vote advantage. I’m calling it Yes at this point. Issue 31 (the eminent domain restriction) is 73 percent yes to 27 percent no. Yes holds a 118,000 vote advantage. I’m calling it Yes at this point.

In the Governor’s race, AP has called the race for Republican Lieutenant Governor Phil Bryant. The Republican leads the Democrat 60 percent to 40 percent, with 893 of 1876 precincts reporting. Republican Bryant holds a 60,000 vote advantage.

As of 9:52pm local time, AP has called Initiative 26 No. The vote stands at 43 yes to 57 no, with 1202 of 1876 precincts reporting. No holds a 65,000 vote advantage. Initiative 27 stands at 62 yes to 38 no, but AP has not called it yet. Yes holds a 111,000 vote advantage. AP has called Initiative 31 Yes. The vote stands at 74 yes to 26 no. Yes holds a 212,500 vote advantage.

In the Governor’s race, the Republican leads the Democrat 62 to 38, with 1213 of 1876 precincts reporting. The Republican holds a 113,000 vote advantage.

As of 10:26pm local time, Initiative 26 is 43 yes to 57 no, with 1457 of 1876 precincts reporting. The vote stands at:
Yes 251,303
No 339,361

AP has called Initiative 27 Yes. The voting is 63 yes to 37 no, with 1454 precincts reporting. The vote stands at:
Yes 371,771
No 217,102

Initiative 31 is 74 yes to 26 no, with 1454 precincts reporting. The vote stands at:
Yes 437,962
No 154,967

In the Governor’s race, the Republican leads the Democrat 63 to 37, with 1509 precincts reporting. The vote stands at:
Bryant (R) 393,503
DuPree (D) 231,939

Posted in abortion, Conservative, Elections, Law, Philosophy, politics, society | Tagged: , , , | Comments Off on Mississippi Personhood Vote And Governor Election

Ohio Issue 2 And Issue 3 Voting Is Today

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2011/11/08

In Ohio, voters will decide on statewide ballot issues. Issue 2, if passed, “would permit workers to negotiate on wages but not on pensions or health care benefits. It also bans public-worker strikes, scraps binding arbitration and eliminates annual pay raises for teachers.” And Issue 3, if passed, would add an amendment to the Ohio Constitution making it unconstitutional to require a person buy health insurance or prevent a person from buying health insurance of his or her choice or penalize a person for the health insurance purchased. In short, it’s the anti-ObamaCare, anti-RomneyCare Constitutional Amendment.

The polls close at 7:30pm local time, and then the counting.

As of 8:00pm local time, Issue 2 is 34 percent yes, 66 percent no, with 5 of 9522 precincts reporting. Issue 3 is 58 percent yes, 42 percent no.

As of 8:12pm local time, Issue 2 stands at 33 percent yes, 67 percent no, with 8 precincts reporting. Issue 3 stands at 59 percent yes, 41 percent no, with 7 precincts reporting.

As of 8:24pm local time, Issue 2 remains at 33 percent yes, 67 percent no, with 124 of 9522 precincts reporting. Issue 3 stands at 61 percent yes, 39 percent no.

As of 8:34pm local time, Issue 2 stands at 36 yes to 64 no, with 340 of 9522 precincts reporting. Issue 3 stands at 63 yes to 37 no, with 314 precincts reporting.

As of 8:46pm local time, Issue 2 remains at 36 yes to 64 no, with 636 of 9522 precincts reporting, the no votes holding a 163,000-vote advantage. Issue 3 stands at 63 yes to 37 no, with 629 precincts reporting, the yes votes holding a 148,000-vote advantage.

As of 9:16pm local time, AP has called Issue 2 no. The voting stands at 37 percent yes to 63 percent no, with 1792 of 9522 precincts reporting, for a 243,000 vote advantage. Issue 3 is 65 yes to 35 no, with 1774 precincts reporting, for a 284,000 vote advantage but AP has not called it yet.

As of 9:37pm local time, Issue 2 stands at 38 percent yes to 62 percent no, with 2769 of 9522 precincts reporting. No holds a 310,000 vote advantage. AP has called Issue 3 yes. The voting stands at 66 percent yes to 34 percent no, with 2742 precincts reporting. Yes holds a 390,000 vote advantage.

Remember, Issue 3 is the anti-ObamaCare, anti-RomneyCare Ohio Constitutional Amendment. Candidates running on a pro-ObamneyCare position will not like Ohio very much.

As of 9:54pm local time, Issue 2 stands at 38 percent yes to 62 percent no, with 3549 precincts reporting. Issue 3 stands at 66 percent yes to 34 percent no, with 3519 precincts reporting.

As of 10:23pm local time, Issue 2 stands at 38 yes to 62 no, with 6,280 of 9,522 precincts reporting. No holds a 556,000 vote lead. Issue 3 stands at 66 yes to 34 no. Yes holds a 724,000 vote lead.

As of 11:01pm local time, Issue 2 is 39 yes to 61 no, with 8105 precincts reporting. The vote totals currently stand at:
Yes 1,163,473
No 1,851,829

Issue 3 is 66 yes to 34 no, with 8078 precincts reporting. The vote totals currently stand at:
Yes 1,921,725
No 994,083

As of 11:34pm local time, Issue 2 is 39 yes to 61 no, with 8825 of 9522 precincts reporting. Issue 3 is 66 yes to 34 no, with 8781 precincts reporting.

Posted in Conservative, Constitution, economics, Elections, Health Care, Law, Ohio, politics, society, Tax | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »


Posted by Yorkshire on 2011/11/08

Today in the happenings of the world, we have OWS harassing vendors for free food and having fights, and at OWS more rapes are being talked about amoung other crimes, We have Obama and Sarkozy bad mouthing the PM of Israel, and another accuser of Herman Cain comes along towing Ambulance Chaser Extraordinaire Gloria Aldred.

So, which of these stories is followed closely by MSM, otherwise know as the LSM? There’s no prize since we all know the answer.

Posted in Character, media, politics, Real Life | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

Election Day, 2011

Posted by Dana Pico on 2011/11/08

I received an e-mail today from Reince Priebus, Chairman of the Republican National Committee:

Dear Pennsylvania Republicans,

Today is Election Day, and Republicans are counting on your vote.

With your help, we can elect principled Republican leaders to state and local office.

I hope you’ll exercise your right to vote today. Polls are open 7am – 8pm.


Reince Priebus
Chairman, Republican National Committee

Paid for by the Republican National Committee.
310 First Street, SE – Washington, D.C. 20003 – (202) 863-8500
Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.


Copyright 2011 Republican National Committee

Well, the esteemed Mr Priebus can rest easy, because, as the button to the right indicates, I voted today!

In the Keystone State, what we have today are local elections, for the borough council, the school board, the county commission, and some ballots on retaining judges. Maybe some people don’t think those elections are important, but consider: I personally know the mayor of Jim Thorpe, I personally know some of the borough councilmen, and I personally know some of the members of the school board. If I need to speak to a county commissioner, I can.

Get above that level? Well, my state representative has met me, but I can’t say that he really knows me. I’ve never met the Governor, I’ve never met my congressman or Pennsylvania’s two senators, and I’ve never met the President of the United States. But, other than all of the money the federal government taxes away from me, the greatest impact of government on my life is at the state and local level; it’s the state which pays for the roads, and it’s the borough which plows the snow and picks up the trash.

Governor Rick Perry (R-TX), a candidate for President, said that his aim was to make the federal government inconsequential in our lives, and that’s the way it really should be. We have federalized far too much, in taxation, and in services, and then we wonder why the politicians don’t listen to us. It’s simple: they don’t know us!

Governor Perry may not win the Republican Presidential nomination, but his statement about federalism is right on target. We need our involvement with government to be far more at the local and state level, and the elections for those offices are important.

Posted in Elections | 1 Comment »

The ‘Cry Me A River’ Story of the Day

Posted by Hube on 2011/11/07

In the far-left The Nation today (via The Corner) we’re supposed to shake our heads and let a tear roll down our collective cheek for this guy:

A few years ago, Joe Therrien, a graduate of the NYC Teaching Fellows program, was working as a full-time drama teacher at a public elementary school in New York City. Frustrated by huge class sizes, sparse resources and a disorganized bureaucracy, he set off to the University of Connecticut to get an MFA in his passion—puppetry. Three years and $35,000 in student loans later, he emerged with degree in hand, and because puppeteers aren’t exactly in high demand, he went looking for work at his old school. The intervening years had been brutal to the city’s school budgets—down about 14 percent on average since 2007. A virtual hiring freeze has been in place since 2009 in most subject areas, arts included, and spending on art supplies in elementary schools crashed by 73 percent between 2006 and 2009. So even though Joe’s old principal was excited to have him back, she just couldn’t afford to hire a new full-time teacher. Instead, he’s working at his old school as a full-time “substitute”; he writes his own curriculum, holds regular classes and does everything a normal teacher does. “But sub pay is about 50 percent of a full-time salaried position,” he says, “so I’m working for half as much as I did four years ago, before grad school, and I don’t have health insurance…. It’s the best-paying job I could find.”

Life is all about choices, Joe. You freely left your job as a full-time teacher to pursue a degree, and then hopefully subsequent career, in puppetry. You freely understood that jobs in such a field aren’t very numerous, and the pay (and bennies)? Better than that of a NYC public school teacher? Heh.

“Surprisingly,” when this didn’t work out, you found you couldn’t be hired back at your old gig. At least not full-time. So, naturally, instead of accepting the consequences of your free (and poor) choices and either waiting it out until times improve and/or still looking elsewhere, you’ve decided to join the OWS movement to … protest the result of your freely chosen career moves.

Indeed, the article goes on to note Joe “was ‘totally won over by the Occupation’s spirit of cooperation and selflessness,’” and

… has already produced a museum’s worth of posters, poetry readings, performance-art happenings, political yoga classes and Situationist spectacles like the one in which an artist dressed in a suit and noose tie rolled up to the New York Stock Exchange in a giant clear plastic bubble to mock the speculative economy’s inevitable pop.

Just imagine how Joe could be supplementing his income using that energy at a part-time job (or two).

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , | 5 Comments »

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