01 July 2013


Well, I see the President is off on another taxpayer funded family vacation, this time to Africa.  And that's a good thing.  I mean, how else do you rest up for your upcoming family vacation in Martha's Vineyard.

Now, I know many folks--some of whom I love and respect-- will criticize me, saying "What about all the time Bush spent in Texas?" and "Reagan was always going to California."  Good questions, I suppose, but at least they were going home.  He goes, or sends his extended family, to Asia and Europe and, now, Africa, none of which are in, well, you know, the United States.  (I'll give him this.  Chicago isn't California or Texas, and given the chance, I'd go to Texas, or northern California or Missouri or Montana, too.   But he's from Kansas, fer cryin' out loud, and that is as good as any of the other 49 States--except when KU plays MU, of course.)

Others--some of whom I love and respect-- will howl "This isn't a family vacation!  He's representing our country on an important diplomatic trip!"

Maybe, but look at the photos of the Pres, his wife, her Mom, one of the girls and his niece visiting a port in Senegal from which slaves were shipped to Europe, Africa, the Middle east, and North, Central, and South America two to five centuries ago.  Looks like a typical family vacation pic to me, complete with bored teenagers who wish to heaven they were back home in their rooms, doors closed to parents, surrounded by their music, iPhones, iPads, and so forth.

He was urged by his base--and, to his credit as an educated man, resisted--to apologize for slavery in America on this trip.  Ya see, he would have also had to admit that slaves were kidnapped by black men and then sold to other black men who then sold them to black and white traders to start that trade.  That would have required Senegal to have to apologize for the slave trade, a real breach of manners by a tourist.  In the elite liberal mind, political correctness trumps historical correctness every time.

Diplomatic trip?  Yeah, boy, we sure have  serious problems with Senegal, Tanzania, and South Africa.  I mean, where else can a President spend billions of taxpayer dollars (to fund electric power development)?  Probably in coal-fired plants....

Well, he could de-fund and close a whole lot of VA veterans health clinics.  As my (typically rebellious) 14 year old told me night before last, "Those guys [vets] were all volunteers.  If they got hurt in the Army, they volunteered for it and should pay for their own healthcare.  People on welfare didn't volunteer to live in slums and deal crack!"

The Pres apparently agrees because the only effect he can ever mention when cutting government spending is discussed is cutting defense spending and spending on veterans.  Maybe someone should mention the Department of Education, crowded with bureaucrats who are loyal dues paying union members and Who. Do. Not. Educate. A. Single. Child.  All at the unbelievably low price of $70 billion per year!    But I digress.

Look, Mr. President, if you want to take the wife and kids and mother-in-law and a niece or nephew or two on a foreign vacation, have at it.  But, please, Sir, not on my dime...

14 May 2013


Twenty six people were killed by a madman at the Sandy Hook School.  The media was all over the story.  The response from liberals:  Ignore the Constitution which explicitly states that the right to keep and bear arms is a right of the people.  Instead, ban all firearms.  Keep a list of every gun bought and sold, even gifts from parent to child, and do everything possible to disarm law-abiding citizens, all in the name of protecting innocent lives.  After all, if everyone is allowed to exercise their right to keep and bear arms, deaths will follow.  Criminals don’t kill people, guns kill people.  Legislate guns out of existence (except those in the hands of the government).  Laws making gun crimes punishable by stiff jail terms won’t do, the Liberals cried.  We have to stop people from getting their hands on guns.

Kermit Gosnell, MD, a physician in West Philadelphia murdered 3 innocent babies, whose only offense was to survive botched late term abortions.  In the United States, over a million innocent babies are killed by abortionists each year.  Until Fox News raised the question of why the trial was not being covered, the media was silent and the screens dark.  Abortion rights groups also contend the problems at Gosnell’s clinic reflected a lack of enforcement, not a lack of regulation.  A few deaths are a small price to pay to protect the "constitutional right" to abortion on demand.
“There were regulations on the books over there,” Eric Ferrero, vice president for communications for Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said recently. “Pennsylvania officials should have enforced those regulations better. But when you’re talking about someone who’s a criminal, you’re talking about someone who’s going to break laws.”

In other words, don’t outlaw abortions.  Just go after the folks who do their killing in a sloppy way.  And by the way, the "constitutional right" to abortion is nowhere mentioned in the Constitution. Can you spell “double standard.”


“The [squad leader, platoon commander, Company Commander, Battalion Commander, Regimental Commander, Commanding General] is responsible for everything his unit does or fails to do.”  FMFM6-1, et seq.  This sentence is identical in the Fleet Marine Force Manual series on the role of the units which make up a Marine Division.  That is why command is so exciting and professionally rewarding.  With the absolute authority of command comes the absolute responsibility for the commander’s decisions and leadership.  Unless, apparently, you are the President and Commander-in-Chief.

The Obama White House is famous for insisting that anything good that happens on his watch be credited to him alone.  Good news may not be announced by the departments and agencies; it must come from the President.  

 “What about bad news,” you say?  That’s another story. The last seven days have not been fun for the President and the Nation.

First, last fall, it was impossible to escape hearing the President’s campaign claim that he was responsible for getting Osama bin Laden and getting rid of Moammar Ghaddafi and protecting American soil from terrorist attacks.  That’s fine—he was President when it happened and he is responsible for everything that happens on his watch.  

 Then came Benghazi. The airwaves were full of claims that the attack came out of nowhere, with no advance warning, and all due to some fifth rate con man (I apologize to other fifth rate con men, but I had to pick a number) who made a “movie” that displeased Muslim fanatics.  The attack was so sudden that nothing could have been done to save our people.  And it simply wasn’t an attack by terrorists.

Now we learn that bad news was covered up.  Why?  In the midst of a heated campaign, State (“the leadership in my buildings”) needed to cover, so as not to embarrass the President.  One of Secretary Clinton’s hatchet women insisted that the CIA not give a true accounting of the background of the attack, including the fact that the warning signs were there that real live, honest-to-god terrorists were planning to do us harm on the tenth anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and Washington did nothing before the attack to beef up security.  Then, during the attack, our guys were hung out to dry.

Next, we learned that the IRS, the outfit that will be a lead agency in implementing Obamacare (which is a tax) of which the President is so proud, intentionally targeted conservative political action groups, delaying their applications for tax-free status and actually demanding to see their membership lists.  You know this is bad when top-level Democrats are appalled.  They have donor lists, too.  But the President says, “if” it happened, he will look into it.  Not his fault.  The White House had no clue it was happening (except the White House Counsel’s office, we now learn).

Finally, we learn that the Department of Justice executed an unprecedented collection of information about two-month’s-worth of telephone records of the Associated Press and many of its employees.   Why?  To discover sources who leaked information that the White House did not want leaked.  (As opposed to information that the White House wanted to leak, an old and bi-partisan practice in Washington.)  Seems the current administration has an equal lack of respect for both the first and the second amendments. 

So, where does this lead us?  I suggest that this administration is just what it wanted to be.  It took a liberal agenda, shoved it down the people’s throats, used the press to cover its tracks, and then ran from its record when things went bad.  The people don’t want health care to be nationalized if it costs them their current insurance and raises premiums substantially?  Use the press to deny that information.  Lie about it, and use the IRS to go after groups that are trying to get at and get out the truth.

Want to gut the national defense in order to fund bread and circuses (through redistribution of the wealth)?  Tell everyone that the war is over, and when the enemy doesn’t get that message, cover up that inconvenient truth.

When the press does anything other than parrot your line, get them and their sources.  (Disclaimer: In the past, I have wished that we could go after a “hate America first” press that often actually went out of its way to hurt our national defense.  I still do, but embarrassing the President is not such a case.)

The question, then, is this.  Will the American people let him once more get away with this kind of manipulation that damages our Constitution, or will they finally stand up and say “Enough!” 

16 April 2013


As were many Americans last night, I was watching televised reports from Boston.  I was struck by how American television journalism has slumped.  The story—as is often the case in situations such as this—was what we do not know.  Kipling’s “six men,” as a team, were noticeably absent, but that did not seem to stop CNN (the network I watched with a friend).  I suspect all the others were covering the story with similar superficiality.

Oh, “What … and When and Where…” were there, reporting over and over and over.  Two bombs exploded as was evidenced by the same footage repeated every thirty seconds or so.  The race clock never changed, nor did the location.  The bloody pavement, shown in graphic closeness, titillated and repulsed.  Over and over and over.  The runner who was blown off his feet hit the pavement.  Over and over and over.  The journalistic “thrill” of the next big story, with blow-dried and well-coiffed reporters breathlessly repeating what we already knew, was evident.

But Mr. K’s other three “honest serving men,” those whose spirit is the real essence of journalism, were mugged on the way to the story and replaced with the Rumor family triplets: Sloth, Speculation, and Fabrication. 

I suppose that is understandable.  It takes time for Why and How and Who to do their work.  But instead of journalistic honesty (“We just don’t know Why this cowardly attack occurred—and may never know.”  How a coordinated attack like this was planned and executed will only be revealed after the pains-taking work of investigators is completed over the next several days and weeks.  This isn’t CSI, where lab results show up in minutes and the crime is solved in an hour.   Let’s let them do their jobs and we’ll report back when we know something.”  “We don’t know Who did this.  And before we increase fear and distrust, we’ll wait for facts about investigative leads.”), we were put on the lookout for a “black man in a black, hooded sweatshirt.”  Whew.  We should have him in custody before the 11 o’clock news.  There cannot be many men in Boston matching that description!  

We were treated to speculation that the 26 miles of the marathon and the 26 victims of the Sandy Hook school shooting were somehow related (despite the fact that there were 27 victims in Newtown and the race is called a marathon because of the geography of ancient Greece).  And even after the Boston police chief stated that no one was in custody, report after report spoke of the middle-eastern man in the hospital who was being interrogated as a “person of interest.” 
Mr. K must have set a new rpm record in his final resting place.

Oh, Walter and Chet and David and especially Mr. Murrow.  How we miss you.

I keep six honest serving-men
(They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.

Rudyard Kipling, Just So Stories

29 March 2013


Back in the dark ages (the Kennedy administration) I was required by State law to pass to State-mandated examinations in order to graduate from high school. One was an hour-long exam on the United States constitution and the other was on the Illinois constitution. We took the exams as part of our required civics course. The idea was to give us a basic understanding of our rights and responsibilities as citizens. We learned the principles of jus soli and jus sanguinis, which seem to me to put the birthers weird complaints in the trash can. We learned about "the Great Compromise," checks and balances, and how a bill becomes a law.

 Lately, I have come to doubt whether our politicians have ever taken such a simple course. In light of the arguments before the Supreme Court regarding the Defense of Marriage Act, the inane comments of such folks as Nancy Pelosi, Bill Clinton, and President Obama are startling in the deception they are attempting to foist on the American people.

 A little background is required. Back during the Clinton presidency, a bill was introduced in Congress. It provided that for the purposes of defining federal rights and privileges of citizens with respect to, e.g., taxation and benefits which were either granted solely to married people or which were different for married and unmarried people, marriage was defined as being between "one man and one woman." The bill was passed by a majority of the Senate and the House of Representatives.

Assuming, as I do, that the members of Congress takes their oaths of office seriously, I presume that after debate, a majority of each house thought that the bill was constitutional. It was then forwarded to the President. President Clinton had two constitutional options: sign or veto. If he thought the bill was unconstitutional, he had a duty to veto the bill and return it to Congress, noting his objection. If he thought it was constitutional (as he did, according to statements he made as late as this week), he could sign the bill into law. He signed. 

One of the duties of the President as Chief Executive is to enforce or cause to be enforced the laws of the United States. Nowhere in the Constitution is he permitted, once a bill is signed into law, to refuse to enforce it. That defeats the purpose of checks and balances. (I will leave aside the issue of "signing statements" for another day.) If he, during his presidency, or a future President, comes to the conclusion that a law is unconstitutional, he may ask Congress to amend or repeal the law, but he cannot do so unilaterally. Unless you are Barack Obama.

DOMA is currently an in-force law of the United States. It has not been repealed. Neither President Obama nor any other serving President has ever asked Congress to repeal that law. Instead, he unilaterally decided that he would order his Attorney General to refuse to defend a duly enacted federal law in the Courts of the United States as it was his duty to do.

Bill Clinton says he now thinks the bill was unconstitutional, but who cares? He is not the President, and former Presidents do not get a vote. (President Truman thought former Presidents ought to have the privilege of the floor in the Senate--but not the vote. I tend to agree. I might go so far as to allow them, instead, the right to act as at-large members of the House of Representatives, i.e., giving them both voice and vote in the "peoples' house.")

Nancy Pelosi, in an another inane attempt to appear to be relevant, says that because the Senate and the President think the law is unconstitutional, that should carry some weight with the Court. "I'll bet she wouldn't have taken the position that the House is irrelevant when she was Speaker! So, I suggest that these people need to go back to high school. It surely didn't take the first time.

06 February 2013


Can someone please explain to me why the President (and most Democrats) refuse to do anything about cutting spending unless they get new or increased taxes? And why do they insist on increasing the debt ceiling—which will allow them to borrow and spend more and get us even further into debt? If they are planning to get new money, either from new taxes or new borrowing, being politicians, they will spend it. Being liberals, they will give it away to people who don’t pay taxes, but who have the vote. We overspent ourselves into this massive and unsustainable debt. We cannot get out of debt by overspending some more.