Tuesday, December 31, 2013

As 2013 Ends and 2014 Begins...

Don't let phony headlines and indices fool you. Major cracks are forming in the infrastructure: economic, financial, political, institutional, societal, spiritual. As 2014 moves forward, the foundations will begin to crumble from it's own weight and instability.

I may have been relatively silent this past year here on this blog, but I have been aggregating important news items throughout the year. I haven't gone away. I've been running this blog since July 6, 2004. And my next post will be my 1000th. :-)

2014 begins in a few hours. It's a new chapter in our lives - as individuals and as a society.

It is a time to keep the faith. To be strong. To love. To lend a hand. To take a stand. To work hard. To be watchful. To stand guard and to protect. To fight. To never give up on hope.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Chesterton (and Ahlquist) on Breitbart...

American Chesterton Society chief Dale Ahlquist is interviewed on Breitbart. It's a great read.


On whether Pope Francis is supportive of the effort to have Chesterton named a saint: 
"I think he's out in front. We do know that the Argentine president of the Chesterton society, who was an ambassador, Miguel Angel Espeche Gil, wrote a letter to one of the Chesterton societies in England. In that letter, he said that 'Our cardinal has just approved a prayer for Chesterton's intercession.' Well, that cardinal, three days later, became pope."

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


In October I posted about Ace's great commentary on "progressivism".

Well, Ace is at it again with yet another insightful commentary about what he calls the MacGuffinization of American Politics. He starts off with this intro:

In a movie or book, "The MacGuffin" is the thing the hero wants. Usually the villain wants it too, and their conflict over who will end up with The MacGuffin forms the basic spine of the story. In Raiders of the Lost Ark, the MacGuffin is, of course, the Lost Ark. Indy wants it; the Nazis have it. This basic conflict over simple possession animates a two hour long movie. Alfred Hitchcock noted -- counterintuitively, when you first hear this -- that the specifics of the MacGuffin don't really matter at all to a movie. He pointed out that the audience doesn't care at all about the MacGuffin. The hero in the movie itself cares, but the audience doesn't.

He continues:

A MacGuffin only has one requirement: That it be important-sounding, so that the audience understands he hero isn't engaged in some trivial matter, but that the Stakes Are High. But an important sounding MacGuffin is just another way to increase the audience's emotional attachment to the Hero, not to the idea of possessing the MacGuffin. 

And then he nails it:

And that, of course, explains all you need to know about the abnormal political situation we find ourselves in, and the Cult of Barack Obama. For Obama's fanbois, this is not politics. This isn't even America, not really, not anymore. This is a movie. And Barack Obama is the Hero. And the Republicans are the Villains. And policy questions -- and Obama's myriad failures as an executive -- are simply incidental.
They are MacGuffins only, of no importance whatsoever, except to the extent they provide opportunities for Drama as the Hero fights in favor of them… [it's] about Obama's Hero's Journey in navigating the plot of President Barack Obama: The Movie. As with a MacGuffin in the movie, only the Hero's emotional response to the MacGuffin matters.

The entire post is phenomenal, with great examples of the MSM playing up The MacGuffin and The Hero.

Ace follows up with a bit more info and analysis in this post, as well.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

THE FREEDOM PLAN by John Perry (how to fix the health care crisis)...

President Obama wasn't really apologizing to Americans about the disaster that's ObamaCare.

He and his administration lied repeated about Americans being able to keep their plans and their doctors.

Millions are facing losing their insurance and/or their jobs.

The tidal waves of high premiums, co-pays, deductibles, and federal taxes & fines will make this nightmare even scarier.

The website is a broken, bureaucratic mess with serious security issues.

And further implementation of his plan will bankrupt the nation, possibly irreparably.

We most definitely need to REPEAL ObamaCare. That is obvious. My wife (who voted for Obama in 2008) has faced the reality personally, losing her employer-provided insurance at the end of the year. The cheapest replacement coverage through the exchange will double everything (co-pays, out-of-pocket premiums, and deductibles). She now wants ObamaCare repealed after years of thinking it was a great idea.

But after it's repealed (and it MUST be repealed), how do we FIX the mess?

My cousin, Jack, is an orthopedic surgeon who has recently published a comprehensive book on the nature of the state of the health care industry, explains how we as a nation got into this mess to begin with, and has proposed a plan on how to fix it.

His book -– "The Freedom Plan: An American Answer to Health Care Reform" by John F. Perry M.D. -– is available in both kindle form as well as paperback (the paperback is more recently published - June 2013 - and includes graphs and charts that are not included in the e-book version).

From the book description:
"A board-certified orthopedic surgeon takes on America's health care crisis. Using a "sports medicine" approach he identifies our problem and then methodically and relentlessly establishes the cause of that problem. Only then does he construct a targeted, specific and effective treatment to not only restore America's health care system, but to make it the best that it can be. Finally, there is a look at competing visions for the future or America; one if we continue on the path we have taken till now and another if the Freedom Plan is adopted. The Freedom Plan is not only a "Declaration of Independence" for patients and health care providers; it is nothing less than a blueprint for an unprecedented age of prosperity for all Americans."

As my cousin stated in a personal email to me recently:

“This is not about Democrat vs. Republican, left vs. right, liberal vs. conservative. It's about liberty vs. compulsion, efficiency vs. inefficiency, excellence vs. mediocrity, unnecessary financial hardship for most Americans vs. opportunity and prosperity. Mostly, it's about loving your neighbor. The Freedom Plan is the only comprehensive, integrated, compassionate and workable alternative to the way we as a nation have been treating health care for over 50 years.”

I strongly urge everyone to read his book. I think you will like what he has to say, and it will lay out a strong blueprint for the likes of Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, etc., and common sense citizens to hold up as a model/example of how we can fix this horrible mess that we’re found ourselves in as a nation.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Don't Forget to VOTE today!

It's an off-year, so there may only be elections in select cities or counties across the country (as well as governor elections in VA & NJ). There are city council elections in my neighborhood today.

So, DON'T BE LAZY… make your voice heard… make positive & common sense changes in your local and state offices… and VOTE!!!

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Three Types of People...

Ace (over at Ace of Spades) wrote an interesting analysis in the middle of this post:

"I think people break down like this. Obviously, these are not hard and firm rules.
  • People who derive a sense of meaning from the vastness of God. These people, having found meaning in God, do not need to find it in a large corporate entity, such as Government, and tend to be more conservative, or at least are not drawn into progressivism by its strongest pitch (meaning).
  • People who thirst for a greater meaning but do not believe in God. Disbelieving in God, and yet needing the sense of transcendence that a belief in God offers, these people turn to the next-biggest entity beneath god, which is a national government. These people are not liberals per se, but progressives, and what they're "progressing" towards is sanctification and transcendence via the United Church of State.
  • People who do not particularly thirst for any kind of meaning. Such people, the All Dead Inside Contingent, I guess could go several different ways. Some will be Libertarians, some will be hedonists, some nihilists. Most apological (as most people are). But they seem to be only around 10% of the population.
The major thing, though, to me, is the Trouble With Progressives, because they are seeking something from government -- Meaning, Validation, Belonging, Transcendence -- that government simply isn't equipped to give.
So they're always hungry for more -- more government, that is.
The first group isn't a problem because it finds what it seeks outside of government.
The third group isn't a problem because it's not looking for meaning.
But progressives... Progressives are crusading for the One True Church, the Church of the State. And, being mad zealots, empty inside of everything but gnawing spiritual hunger that cannot be appeased, will never stop crusading."

Fascinating analysis.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Speaking of "Gold"man Sachs...

So, the other day I posted about Goldman Sachs being added to the Dow Jones Industrial Average (one of only 30 companies).

The banking institution that in June told everyone to sell gold because it's a bad investment, then went right around and bought a whole bunch of gold themselves.

Well, looks like they're at it again, sending the word out that gold (currently down to $1324/ounce after reaching $1400 last week) will drop below $1000.

Anybody want to take any bets that Goldman Sachs will be buying a boatload of gold this month and possibly next month (like they did in June)???

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

It's The Oddest Little Things That Matter...

I received a text message from my brother Joe earlier today that the old house was going thru the selling process, and that everything would most likely be finalized by the end of the month.

My parents bought that house - a row home in the outer edges of West Philly - nearly 60 years ago. It was their first and only home. My sister Val was not yet a year old when they moved in. I came along nine years later. That place was home to us seven. Always was, always will be.

I had been preparing for this. I knew when I went back east for my Dad's funeral last March that that would be the last time I would ever walk in that house. But I knew that it was inevitable. And I knew that it wouldn't hit me emotionally until the next time I'm back east (whenever that will be), and I drive by that house knowing I can never walk thru that door again. I'm ok with that. For now, I guess. The distance of 3000 miles helps.

At work today I was telling one of my bosses about the news (above) and about the house, and how the seven of us lived in the house over the years. Happy times. Fond memories. I said I was ok and prepared about this moment. But what was more difficult for me was the turning off of the phone line. That old landline. That number that is as old as that house.

When I moved to California 19 years ago (time flies) I made a promise to my parents to always call on Sunday evening to let them know how I was doing. And I did. And when my Mom passed away a little over 11 years ago I started to call twice a week to keep in touch with my Dad. Sundays and Wednesdays. And that was my routine for nearly every week since then.

The last two times I called that number were the night before dad died (a Wednesday eve), the last time I spoke with him, and the day he died (knowing my siblings would be there). After the funeral I flew back to CA. I thought about calling that number again. But I didn't. 

In May, my brother Joe asked if it was ok with each one of us to turn off the landline. I told him that many, many times I thought about dialing that number, like old times. Maybe wanting to hear Dad's voice on the answering machine. But each time I just couldn't. I just... couldn't. I told Joe it was ok to shut off the line. Everyone had agreed, and so... that was that.

And today I relayed that story at work. And for the first time in a loooong time, I welled up with emotion, and the tears started flowing. It shocked me how, out of the blue, those emotions came right back to the surface. Dear God how I miss my Dad, and my Mom, and that house, and... that phone number.

Maybe it was because today was the 12th anniversary of that horrible terrorist attack on U.S. soil that triggered the flood of emotions. I don't know. And I can't even imagine the depths of the emotions of those who have lost loved ones on this tragic day 12 years ago.

We feel the loss because we felt the love. Experienced it. Miss it. Want it back again.

Prayers to all of you who have experienced the loss of loved ones over the years. Especially to those who lost their loved ones in NYC, DC and Shanksville on 9/11.

Let's Keep That Stock Market Shell Game Going...

So, the Dow Jones “industrial” average, as we know, is a complicated amalgam of just 30 corporations. From time to time, they will remove certain companies from the DJ and replace them with some other corporations.

Well, today it’s announced that the following three companies are being dropped: Bank of America, Hewlett Packard, Alcoa.

BofA is caught up in the middle of the housing disaster of the last six years.

HP is fumbling badly in the computers and printers market, what with the advent of tablets and smartphones.

Alcoa is aluminum - a key to the manufacturing base, which is also failing these last number of years.

Replacing these are the following (SURPRISE, SURPRISE!!!):

Don’t look behind the curtain, nothing to see here, move along, move along!


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Saint Chesterton???...

Dale Ahlquist, head of the American Chesterton Society, makes the announcement about the beginnings of the process of the cause for sainthood of G.K. Chesterton.

The money quote:

Martin [Thompson, head of the UK Chesterton Society] explained that this interest in Chesterton’s sainthood is not going to go away. He told [Rt. Rev. Peter Doyle, the new bishop of Northampton - Chesterton's hometown] about the many letters that I receive from people here in America wanting to know the status of the cause. He told him about the letters that he receives in England. “Including this one,” he said, handing the bishop a letter. It was from Ambassador Miguel Angel Espeche Gil, who is the chairman of the Argentine Chesterton Society. The ambassador also wanted to know what could be done to move the cause forward. He described the great devotion to Chesterton in Argentina, that there, too, Chesterton is a maker of converts. He closed by saying that the Cardinal Archbishop of Buenos Aires had approved a prayer (for private devotional use) asking for Chesterton’s intercession. The letter was dated March 10, 2013. Three days later, that Cardinal, Jorge Bergoglio, became Pope Francis. [emphasis mine]

Then, on August 1, Dale Ahlquist made this announcement at the nation Chesterton Conference in Massachusetts:

Martin Thompson had met with Bishop Peter Doyle and said that the bishop “has given me permission to report that the Bishop of Northampton is sympathetic to our wishes and is seeking a suitable cleric to begin an investigation into the potential for opening a cause for Chesterton.”

For those interested in the prayer for private devotion authorized by Cardinal Bergoglio (now Pope Francis I), the link is here.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Public Service Announcement...

This Public Service Announcement is brought to you by the law firm of…

Filner, Weiner, Spitzer, Clinton & Edwards

"Our body of work demonstrates that nothing is too hard for us to handle."

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Was I Right, or Was I Right?...

ATF Fast & Furious Mexico Gun Running Scandal
DOJ AP Wiretapping Scandal
DOJ Fox News' James Rosen Scandal
CBS News Sharyl Attkisson Computer Hacking Scandal
Military Drone Strike Scandal
Solyndra/Green Tech Scandals
Benghazi Scandal
Pigford Scandal
EPA Scandal
HHS Scandal
IRS Scandal
NSA Surveillance Scandal
ObamaCare Disaster
Economy & Jobs Failures
More U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan in last four years than in Bush's eight years.
Five separate islamic terrorist attacks on U.S. soil since he took office, including the Boston Bombing and Fort Hood.

And now, about to arm Syrian rebels who are connected to Al Qaeda


What I wrote about the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue four years ago:

Obama in 50 words or less
He's a smug, snobby, arrogant and inexperienced empty-suit charlatan with a narcissistic messiah complex who sprung from and was steeped in the notoriously and perpetually corrupt Chicago Democrat Party political machine, and who brings a militant pro-abortion culture and a radical socialist agenda that will bankrupt and destroy America.  Period.

Basically, he's the redux of Jimmy Carter's failed economic and foreign policies combined with the corruption of Richard Nixon. The worst of both… in the 21st century.

I told you so.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Oooo… Look… Bubbles...

Got this from Gateway Pundit:

Now THAT'S scary.

Also, the last time the markets went this high was in early 2007.  That was when the housing market started to crash.  Recession hadn't officially started until the end of 2007 and continued throughout 2008.  Although technically the recession ended by 2009, it continued through the remaining years (as deficits, houses, unemployment, the markets, and GDP, interest rates, and everything else continued to remain depressed).

Well, here we are again.  The markets are at all-time highs again.  But unemployment (the real numbers, that include those who are no longer counted because they stopped looking for work, as well as those under-employed via part-time work only, and the underpaid due to pay cuts that have yet to be recovered) is still high.  The government is still spending out the whazoo.  GDP is still razor thin.

And housing?  Well looky here:

"Bank repossessions, the final stage of the foreclosure process are down 29 percent from a year ago, but foreclosure starts, which are the first stage of the process, jumped 10 percent in February from the previous month. This after falling for three consecutive months.

"At a high level the U.S. foreclosure inferno has been effectively contained and should be reduced to a slow burn in the next two years," said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. "But dangerous foreclosure flare-ups are still popping up in states where foreclosures have been delayed by a lengthy court process or by new legislation making it more difficult to foreclose outside of the court system. Foreclosure starts have been steadily building in those states over the last several months and likely will end up as bank repossessions or short sales later this year."

In hard hit Nevada, where a new state law criminalizing faulty foreclosures went into effect last year, foreclosures basically ground to a halt. In February, however, they hit a 17-month high, up 334 percent from a year ago, according to RealtyTrac, which means banks will inevitably repossess thousands more properties in the near future.
The jump in new foreclosures is not just in the formerly hardest hit states either.

Foreclosure starts jumped 319 percent in Maryland from a year ago, 172 percent in Washington, 139 percent in New York, and 70 percent in New Jersey. All of these states have large backlogs of delinquent mortgages due to new state laws governing foreclosures and/or the fact that they require a judge in the process."

 More news and info about housing here:

The S&P/Case Shiller composite index of 20 metropolitan areas registered its biggest increase in home prices in December since July of 2006—just before the bottom began to fall out of the U.S. housing market… [pointing out] three problem areas... [chief economist for the National Association of Home Builders David Crowe said] it's still difficult for buyers to get a mortgage; many home appraisals are coming in lower than the asking prices; and conventional housing inventory is facing price competition from foreclosures and short sales.
Jed Kolko, chief economist for the real estate websiteTrulia, was also a bit cautious, citing the relationship between job growth and housing. "There are actually two different types of recoveries going on right now," he said. "In some markets, a lot of that price growth isn't driven by job growth. It's driven by investors." Institutional and private investors alike have been scooping up single-family homes all over the country to flip or to fix up and rent.

[Also] If the mortgage deduction cap were reduced, Crowe said, "almost all of that pain" would come from the high-end housing market. "You would hurt the markets in California and along East Coast…"
 CNBC says to look at three key numbers as the year moves forward:
What do a $3.80 [national average] gasoline price, a 2.15% 10-year Treasury yield, and a 20 reading on the CBOE Volatility Index have in common? They're all levels that could ring the bell on this rally.

Fun times ahead.  Brace yourself.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

I'm bAAAAAAAAck...


I have taken a much-needed time off from blogging here.  I do intend to return to regular blogging, but not quite yet.  The current state of the nation, my state of California, and the economy are too important to just shrug off as "oh well, it is what it is… it's the new normal, as they say… can't change anything anyway".

B. S.

In the meantime, I will occasionally be posting commentary on RedState in my new Diary page here.

Read my very first post here.


P.S.  Only 15 more posts and I'll reach #1000 here at Blogger.