Sunday, November 30, 2014

Courting Speaker Boehner

While conservative Americans wish Speaker of the House John Boehner would show some backbone, the New York Times seems intent on wooing his ego, calling him in the direction of compromise.

Black Friday big fail

Maybe it was too much hype. Maybe it was rioters in Ferguson.

Maybe it was the politically conservative American shopper showing disdain for greedy retailers infringing on the hallowed Thanksgiving holiday.

Whatever it was, it hurt retail's bottom line big time.

Spending for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend was down eleven percent, the number of shoppers was down, and those who did show up spent less than those shopping the holiday weekend last year.

Black Friday ads started showing up in my email in September. By the time it the real day got here, any freshness and sizzle that used make it special was long gone.

I have to suspect Thanksgiving Day openings also worked to diminish what was once the Black Friday phenomenon. While millions may have shopped Thursday openings, many millions more stayed away. And I think a lot of Thursday's boycotters didn't see Friday the same knowing stores had been open the night before.

2014 may be the year it finally happened; the year Black Friday retailers jumped the shark.

Fits right in with a whole series of downward trends facing America right now. Little's being done to fix any of it; folks in charge too busy trying to convince you everything's just hunky-dory.

White House still stoking fires over Ferguson

Obama's White either ignores or disregards findings of the Ferguson grand jury.

Instead, Obama's White House encourages memorials to Michael Brown be posted or erected in America's public school classrooms.

Via Twitter:

What's White House Af-Am Ed?

The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans.

And the article this White House office links to has this suggestion:
During the first few weeks of classes, students can create a memorial to Michael Brown on a classroom bulletin board. This activity involves having students use whatever they feel skilled in to create something that would honor Michael Brown and other people who have been victims of police and other violence. 
The article goes on to suggest once a (cultist) Mike Brown curriculum is started, the theme can continue throughout the school year, helping to push young learners towards (presumably angry) activism.

Modern day slaves in Britain?

An official now says there could be as many as 13,000 people who live functionally as slaves in modern Britain. It's a figure four times that of previous estimates. These include domestic workers, women forced into prostitution, as well as field, factory and fishing boat workers, according to the UK Telegraph.

Has the number risen in recent times, or has it always been under counted?

Recent disarmament march in Britain
Regardless, I have to wonder if Britain's obsession with preventing its people access to personal arms is contributing factor. The British are not only denied possession of firearms, knives are now becoming taboo. Even passively defending life or property can get you in serious legal trouble.

A population that's disarmed and conditioned not to defend itself is a population that's being conditioned for slavery. So yes, I'm not at all surprised Britain now finds large numbers of its people now live under slave-like conditions.

Paging Dr. Carson... Cops shoot to kill for good reasons

You may have seen stories or the video clip where Dr. Ben Carson, a doc who now flirts with a political career - and maybe a run for the presidency, said police need to be trained to shoot for a suspect's legs.

Well, doc, there's lots of reasons.

Bearing Arms seems to sum it up better than I can.

First and foremost:
Police officers and self-defense shooters all learn the same thing: you shoot to stop the threat. The best way to stop that threat is to put bullets in the largest possible part of the body (typically, the upper torso).
Dr. Carson may be a nice guy. But his recent comments, and previous ones, show him to be woefully ignorant when it comes to firearms, defensive use of force, and our right to bear modern arms under the Second Amendment.

Carson once said "he'd rather you not have" semi-automatic firearms in large cities.  While some claim Carson has since changed his mind, others wonder if he's just choosing his words more carefully.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Laundry day when the grid goes down

I like this idea. But double the recommendation of installing a grab-bar before trying it at home.

A writer to suggests using a bathtub for laundry duty, and make like you're stomping grapes for wine:
Have children (or adults) stomp, march, stomp, and dance on the laundry. Installing a grab bar all around the tub will help avoid mishaps. This will get the dirt out, and works best on heavy work clothes, which are the hardest to wash by hand. 
I can almost hear the off-key singing.

"Oh, I've been stomping on the blue jeans, all the live long day... "

Two tubs make up the laundry facilities at a trailer park in San Diego, circa 1940
Sign says "These Tubbs [sic] are for clothes only. No dishes, no dogs. Nothing but clothes."
Courtesy: Library of Congress

How'd the cable news outfits miss this?

A band of armed black Ferguson residents took up positions to protect a white owned business.

They see it, they just don't understand it

As seen here and there on the Internet:

Another voice heard from

Saw this this morning: "Did we just witness the last great Black Friday celebration of American materialism?" 

Cheap oil has a high price.

The assessment matches my thinking. I posted this last night.

2015 has plenty potential to be much, much uglier than 2014.

And the forces perpetrating harm on America know our government is either complicit with them, or lacks the spine to stand up and fight back.

Buying time ain't cheap

While media first stokes the fires, then makes excuses for Ferguson...

While Obama makes his unilateral move to flood our labor market with immigrants, and more are on the way with potential to overwhelm social services...

While we still counting down to the biggest shock Obamacare's packing, the employer mandate...

While OPEC dumps cheap oil in the U.S. on a scale that could eventually implode our newly revitalized drilling industry, something that could also trigger a wave of big bank distress or failures...

We have the U.S. government making continuing desperate moves to paper over our rising national debt problem.

From CNS News: U.S. Treasury issues a trillion dollars in new debt in eight weeks - to repay old debt

2014's been ugly enough.

2015 promises to be uglier.

Ugly enough that it should make you wonder, what's gonna be left by 2016?

Update: Don and I will expand on these topics and more on our December 5th radio program.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Welcome to the oil war

No, not a war in the Middle East.

I'm talking what appears to be a pricing war being waged by key OPEC players to undermine America's higher cost shale drillers.

For months, the price of oil has been tumbling, and it appears to be falling far faster than any real drop in global demand. It can be argued that producers like Saudi Arabia are targeting intentional damage to U.S. producers. Think short term pain for long term gain.

Reuters quotes oil analyst Iain Armstrong: "It is a question of who blinks first - OPEC or the U.S. shale producers. The longer the oil price stays at these levels the greater chance a U.S. shale producer will go under. But it will take time."

Conventional wisdom has been lower oil prices will bring an American economic upturn.

Not necessarily. Not this time.

Cars and trucks are more efficient. So consumer savings from cheaper gasoline aren't as significant as in the past. And any cost savings are likely to be eaten up by higher prices for other forms of energy, or for other necessities. Health insurance costs are rising. Residential property values are rebounding, likely meaning higher property tax burdens for families.

We also have to factor lost of jobs in the American oil patch. We have more jobs there now, that's more jobs at risk. If OPEC intentionally under-prices what U.S. drillers can match, job losses and other economic hits to the U.S. economy could be significant. Railroads are already starting to see impact.

A decline in oil production, brought on by under-pricing competitors, could mean a significant hit to U.S. GDP.

Was a time, the U.S. government would have taken steps to defend against price dumping by an aggressive foreign competitor. But the Obama adminsitration probably isn't all that interested in defending U.S. shale drillers. Fact is, the Obama team may have goals that are quite the opposite.

Update: From CNBC, more widespread potential economic badness from falling oil prices

Black Friday. Then and now

Great mash-up on YouTube.

Black Friday 1983 constrasted with more contemporary video.

Society's behavioral decline, when it happens over a span of decades, is mostly imperceptible on a year to year basis. But over the longer window, it can be pretty dramatic.

Too bad mainstream media won't pull from their archives, and do their own now-versus-then Black Friday mash-ups.  But I suspect they're too afraid of push back from both viewers, and perhaps more on-point, Black Friday advertisers.

If you're thinking about giving a gun at Christmas...

Is re-gifting a legacy firearm among the options you'll consider?

What's hot on Black Friday?

Forget the iPods or cheap TVs.

Black Friday is America's top gun buying day. Apparently this sparks some fretting at the Washington Post.

The Post notes that some gun purchases are allowed to go through without a full background check because the FBI fails to complete a relative handful of checks in a timely manner.

It's true. Sometimes Black Friday sales overwhelm the background check system.

The Post doesn't mention that the vast majority of unqualified buyers who are caught lying on required federal purchase forms are never prosecuted.

Last year, noted:
The Justice Department has never placed a high priority on pursuing perjury charges from background checks. There are about 70,000 denials for gun purchases a year. Under Bush, 15/100th of 1 percent of the cases were prosecuted. Under Obama, 8/100th of 1 percent of the cases were prosecuted.
Progressive politicians may fret we need more gun control to keep guns out of the what they say are the wrong hands.

But it seems foolish to argue for tougher regulation when government refuses to enforce laws already on the books.


Easy Bomb Transaction?

Dare I say the system needs fixing?

If you like electricity, you can keep your electricity...

And, if you like your factory, you can keep your factory.


Maybe not. 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Outside agitator, indeed

What do the Battle for Seattle, Occupy Wall Street, and Ferguson, Missouri all have in common?

Connect the dots. What's happening in Ferguson is about more than Mike Brown.

The dead are easily exploited.

Poor Joe

With Obama and Holder hoggin' all the headlines, you know Joe's gotta feel left out.

Meanwhile, to the south...

Venezuela's Maduro tries to blame the rich for socialism's repeated failures. 

Thanksgiving Day political ad

Understanding the times.

An ad from a group called Conservative War Chest:

I wish every congressman and senator in DC would have to view this. And then have to justify their complicities in the madman's fundamental transformation.

Boehner's gonna stay

Forget the earlier talk. Any Republican will to replace John Boehner as Speaker of the House has apparently collapsed.

I missed this at the time, but a voice vote in earlier this month only saw two or three House Republicans voicing objections to a third Boehner term as speaker.

At least one of the dissenters was from Georgia.

The Hill notes:
Rep.-elect Jody Hice (R-Ga.) confirmed in an interview that he was one of the members who voted no. A conservative talk-radio host, Hice had pledged during the campaign to vote against Boehner. 
"Throughout the district, I heard over and over and over they wanted new leadership," Hice said of his constituents.
But even Hice says he may not vote against Boehner when the official 'on the record' vote rolls around in January 2015.

If you thought the conservative wave that hit the polls November 4th would lead to a resurgence in Republican conservatism, think again. Another election has come and gone where the conservative vote was taken for granted, and now that campaigning's over, the party leadership returns to its muddling middler ways.

Giving thanks this Thanksgiving Day

"It is a beautiful sight - that of a great and free people thus voluntarily setting apart one day in the year for the public recognition of their dependence upon God, and the free, full utterance of their gratitude to Him for their many national and personal blessings." - Charles Burgess, writing in The Divine Goodness As Seen In Our National History, 1853

Will you honor the day, and give thanks as intended, or be seduced by early Black Friday sales vending cheap stuff from China?

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Another move to stoke the fires of class war

The Obama administration, its appointees and bureaucrats keeping driving the wedge where ever they can.

From the Wall Street Journal:
Companies are preparing for a controversial new federal rule that will force them to disclose just how much more the top boss makes than the rank-and-file worker. 
By year-end, the Securities and Exchange Commission may adopt a regulation requiring most public U.S. companies to disclose the ratio of pay between their chief executive and their typical employee. At a time when pay disparities are a hot political and business issue, the coming rule may put businesses in the sticky spot of having to explain why the highest executive is rewarded so richly while regular workers make comparatively little.
The proposed rule sounds like a perfect complement to an Elizabeth Warren (or Hillary Clinton) presidential bid.

Keep stoking the fires of class war.

So much of what Obama and his team do now reminds me of an article I read a few years back. One where a young collegian named Obama reportedly longed for a Marxist revolution in America that he seemed sure was coming.

Obama, Sharpton and Ferguson, Missouri

"Either we have a president so utterly naive he believes a hoax-perpetrating, riot-inciting Al Sharpton, who denigrated the grand jury process, pre-organized protest rallies in 25 American cities, and uses his MSNBC platform to fire up racial unrest, is a man of peace. Or the president, who once urged his Latino followers to “punish our enemies,” remains as wedded to the same racial “us against them” mentality as America’s foremost racial arsonist." - Arnold Ahlert, writing at FrontPage Mag

The Left's dangerous and deceptive agenda

"Ferguson helps further that agenda in ways that Chicago does not. Hence, the left posits that the Michael Brown shooting is the norm, even though the data show that it’s the exception. Andf black criminal behavior is a response to white racism, how is it that black crime rates were lower in the 1940s and 1950s, when black poverty was higher, racial discrimination was rampant and legal, and the country was more than a half-century away from twice electing a black president?" - Jason Riley, writing in the Wall Street Journal

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Chuck Schumer now says Obamacare passage was a mistake

Senator Chuck Schumer now longer seems to think Obamacare was such a good idea.

The Daily Caller quotes the New York Democrat:
“Unfortunately, Democrats blew the opportunity the American people gave them” by electing President Obama and a Democratic-controlled Congress in 2008. “We took their mandate and put all our focus on the wrong problem.” 
“The plight of uninsured Americans and the hardships created by unfair insurance company practices certainly needed to be addressed,” Schumer said. “But it wasn’t the change we were hired to make” in the 2008 election. ”Americans were crying out for the end to the recession, for better wages and more jobs — not changes in health care.”
I'd love to see the polling the senator's privy to that's pushed him to push Obamacare under the bus.

Or does Schumer simply see Obamacare's going to continue to implode as we approach the part where the employer mandate kicks in?

Oh, by the way, I checked.,,

Chuckie Schumer's up for reelection in 2016.  No wonder he's trying to close out 2014 by dissing O-care.

Lest ye be tempted

Before falling in love with the idea of a Scott Walker presidential bid, be sure to study up on the Wisconsin governor's immigration position.
"Not only do they need to fix things for people already here, or find some way to do it, there's got to be a larger way to fix the system in the first place," he said. "Because if it wasn't so cumbersome, if there wasn't such a long wait, if it wasn't so difficult to get in, we wouldn't have the other problems that we have (with people living here illegally)," he said. 
Hat tip to David Codrea for bring Walker's immigration stance to my attention. Codrea has more on Walker and what his immigration position might mean for the Second Amendment at

Cop behaving badly

Chicago cop apparently didn't like being suspected of DUI by another agency's officer.

It's alleged the Chicago cop pulled his gun and opened fire.

Van Jones live in Ferguson

Having Van Jones, the former (so some say) communist, former Obama White House czar, and fan of 2011's Occupy movement on the ground in Ferguson and having him play a major on-camera role was a really stupid move on CNN's part.

I'm not the only one to think so.

From the Baltimore Sun:
But all the good reporting by Carroll and others at CNN was seriously compromised by the terrible decision to have political commentator Van Jones on the ground with Lemon. 
Was it CNN's intent to intentionally inject bias?

The Sun goes on:
Jones was so far out of his depth and so far off in his assessment of the actual situation all night that you had to wonder if CNN President Jeff Zucker or any of his executives were actually watching the coverage.
Jones was a big cheerleader for stirring up the streets with Occupy and copy cat movements in 2011. Here's a clip from MSNBC back then:

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Here's a 2011 tweet where Jones was cheering Occupy:

He was out in front again last night, clearly working to pull CNN's live coverage in a typical Jones direction, at the same time exploiting trouble in Ferguson seemingly to fit his personal political agenda.

Snippets of testimony

Via (do I dare say?) The Smoking Gun:

“The only way I can describe it, it looks like a demon, that’s how angry he looked.” - Officer Darren Wilson, describing Mike Brown's face.

“Dang if that kid didn’t start running right at the cop like a football player. Head down.” - Unidentified witness, in statement to grand jury.

Monday, November 24, 2014

No indictment in Ferguson

My initial take:

Brave people on the grand jury, not swayed by lynch mobs at the court house door.

Missouri justice made the toughest call possible. No can kicking like squeamish Florida did with Zimmerman.

Wonder how all this is playing at Obama's White House or with AG Eric Holder, wherever he is tonight.

Coup coup ca choo

"Obama is directing a self-coup whereby he came to power 'through legal means but [is] now dissolving or rendering powerless the national legislature and unlawfully assuming extraordinary powers, not granted under normal circumstances.'" Eileen Toplansky, writing at American Thinker

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Must've struck a nerve

Washington Post rises quickly to "fact check" last night's Obama executive order skit.

"It Can't Happen Here"

It's a 1935 political novel by Sinclair Lewis about a firebrand president who sets out to fundamentally
change America.

"It Can't Happen Here" was required reading in one of my college lit courses back in the '70s.

Not an exact blueprint for what Obama's doing, but there's enough relevance to make reading it worthwhile.

"We will not engage"

If this report is accurate, the cut-n-run GOP is at it again.

No surprise. Fits their profile.

The GOP appears to be dumping its base even faster than it did in 2010.

If GOP's gonna do the right thing, they're gonna have to be dragged kicking and screaming.

NYC schools brace for more of Obama's kids

With a swarm of illegals already enrolled, New York City schools are being told to expect more arriving immigrants.

They call this a deterrent?

U.S. media seems to see recent moves by NATO as some kind of significant deterrent build-up to counter perceived Russian aggression.

Media reports say eighteen NATO fighter jets are now stationed in countries near the Russan border.

Eighteen fighter jets.

Eighteen friggin' fighter jets won't deter Putin.

If that's the best NATO can scrounge up after all these months, and all Putin's provocations, the Kremlin has to be encouraged by our LACK of response.

Meanwhile, Russia's apparently moving more fighters of its own near its border.

And for the Russians, I'd suspect large numbers of reinforcement aircraft can be rushed forward on short notice, and they'd likely still be in range of logistics for resupply.  Is NATO capable of doing the same?

Delta Airlines

Working hard to become the official airline of Obama amnesty.
"Delta Air Lines applauds the steps announced this week to enact much-needed reforms to the nation's immigration system," said Joanne Smith, Delta's Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer. "The President's actions will provide economic development opportunities and enhance public safety by streamlining legal immigration while cracking down on illegal immigration at the border and focusing on deporting felons rather than families."

Needless to day, there's some push back:

I'm just a Bill... til Obama comes along...

Did you see last night's SNL open? They updated School House Rock for the Obama era:

Gotta say, I saw something like this coming. Tweeted this last Wednesday:

GOP, are you gonna let Obama get away flagrantly destroying how American government works?

Maybe we need to send SNL's Bill video to Republicans in Congress. Maybe it's simple enough to make Boehner and his get-along-gang understand how dangerous it is what Obama's done.

Marion Barry dead

The somewhat infamous former DC mayor Marion Barry has died at age 78.

I make mention only because Barry was recently in Georgia, and caught some attention for his attendance at an Atlanta gathering of Democrats in support of Michelle Nunn (senate candidate) and Jason Carter (candidate for governor) trying to win statewide elections.

Nunn and Carter later lost their races by wide margins.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Afghanistan? Yeah, we're staying

Obama commits our troops to another year of combat in Afghanistan. 

Serfin' USA

"While the general population is aware something is seriously wrong, people remain extremely confused about the root of the problem. This is because what’s happening all around us isn’t socialism and it isn’t free market capitalism. It is actually a return to something much more ancient and much more oppressive. It is a return to serfdom, neo-feudalism and oligarchy." -  Michael Krieger at Liberty Blitzkrieg 

How long before the Bloomberg types try this here?

Via Twitter:

Daring to speak ill of Obama

"Apparently, America now has its first emperor. And he has issued an imperial order to dissolve America's borders. Millions more will enter and demand the same amnesty benefits as those who came before. The entire moral foundation and consistency of our laws will have been eviscerated." - U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL)

For daring to oppose Obama's rise to emperor, Republican leadership may be signaling it intends to reduce Sen. Sessions clout in the senate.

There may be more Republicans serving on Capitol Hill come the new year, but it appears their leadership has no more will to challenge Obama in practical, effective ways than it's had for the past four years.

Bienvenido a los Estados el Partido de Obama

The White House es ahora La Casa Blanca.

Translation: Welcome to the Divided States of Obama. The White House is now La Casa Blanca.

No use crying... It's time to mix things up

Seen at Chris Muir's Day By Day Cartoon

How things work in the real world

"Congress has no imperative to pass anything; it acts through absence of legislation more often than it legislates, in point of fact, and this is exactly what the founders intended -- and how all Constitutional Republics that are functional operate." - Karl Denninger at The Market Ticker

A spiritual remake for the Obama era

C'mon, you know the tune...
More immigrants a comin', train's just around the bend.
They come to see Obama, he says he is their friend.

Get on board, little children, get on board.
Obama makes room for many a more

Like Obama?

If you still like Obama, then I'm sure you'll love it if the Democratic Party goes full-blown Sandinista in 2016.

From the New York Post:
Mayor de Blasio — not Hillary Rodham Clinton — will be the Democratic nominee for president in 2016. 
That’s the jaw-dropping prediction being made by New York’s top Republican, state GOP Chairman Ed Cox, who, as son-in-law to former President Richard Nixon, knows a thing or two about national politics.
For those who are unfamiliar with de Blasio's past, he was an activist who aligned with Daniel Ortega and Nicaragua's Leftist Sandinista regime in the 1980s.

He also honeymooned in Cuba in violation of the U.S. travel ban, says the New York Times.

Assessing Obama's immigration play

"President Obama strode into the White House promising to give the American people the audacity of hope.  What we are witnessing instead, with his immigration agenda, is an audacious grab for power and an evisceration of the Constitution." - Joe R. Hicks, former executive director, Greater Los Angeles Chapter, Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC)

Friday, November 21, 2014

Holder lectures the police

Attorney General Eric Holder has long praise for those who've orchestrated protests in recent months. But not one word from Holder about the looting or businesses burned by rioters.

In a video lecture to police, Holder tells law enforcement he has their back.

Then it's like he asks them to stand still, because that's where he plans to insert the knife.

Got grid?

Sure, we have an electrical grid.

But top security officials says it can be compromised.

Chinese hackers, and others, have the capability to throw the country into blackout, or so we're told.

Anyone have an idea how long a restart would take from a full-down scenario?

No inbound radar images to tell of a coming cyber attack, either.

Once the grid's down, how many defense systems are compromised that are intended to respond or retaliate to a more conventional (or nuclear) attack.

Here's another sticky scenario, targeting an EMP to come right on the heels of a cyber-caused.

We live in a complex world with sophisticated adversaries.

And thanks to our confused leaders, they've never perceived America's to be weaker.

How tempted might they be to take full advantage of these circumstances?

Or at least tempted to just turn off our lights, and watch us squirm and flounder?

Letter to a Republican senator

This is the text of an email letter I sent this morning to Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA): 
For nearly six years, the GOP in DC has played appeasement games with Barack Obama. 
Last year, you, Sen. Isakson, even rounded up GOP senators so Obama could have a crack at lobbying them over dinner. 
No more. 
Obama grows bolder with each abuse he gets away with. 
He and his wife promised fundamental transformation in 2008, and it's looking plenty ugly. Michelle stressed then that Obama's goal would be to change our traditions, and change our history. And they're making ugly strides to erase the free standing America as we knew it. 
You trusted Obama to negotiate an arms deal with Russia. And Russia now puts bombers and boomers off our shores with alarming regularity. 
Your GOP has failed to stand and fight for budget reduction that you all promised.
It's time to stop surrendering. Even if your surrender is crafted to appear to be something else. 
Do the right thing. Stop Obama's immigration power grab. 
The electoral victory earlier this month didn't happen out of trust for the GOP. It happened because the GOP offered an expedient hope of forcing some kind of Obama accountability.   
So now it's time to do the right thing.  
Defund him. Shut him down. 
And please, no games where you kick the can down the road, and he can override your "efforts" with a veto later. 
I sent a similar letter to Georgia's other senator, the soon to retire Saxby Chamblis.

The ball's in our court people.

Write your congressman and senators. Regardless of their party affiliation.

State your case clearly and concisely.

It's time to put pressure on those we've elected and sent to DC.

American Apocalypse

Immigration, Obamacare, Racial Divide, and Climate Change.

It's 2010 all over again. Actually, it's probably worse

Conservatives came out strong to give the GOP the House in 2010.

The GOP repaid 'em by dismissing their interests, publicly chastising their viewpoints, and steering a course that largely appeased Obama and facilitated his plans for fundamental transformation.

Well, it's happening again.

Conservatives again turned out in droves to oppose Obama, and in the process delivered another strong showing for the GOP, this time giving them the Senate.

And the GOP? Already sharpening the knives they'll use to stab those conservatives in the back.

Carefully choreographed moves are in the works for Republicans to say they're opposing Obama's immigration power grab but in the end, Obama gets what he wants. By design.

At Red State, Erick Erickson notes:
Republicans are pushing forward with a plan to fund the government. They claim they will then return next year and defund the President’s plan. But doing so would be subject to a Presidential veto. The GOP does not have the votes to override that veto. In effect, they’ll be funding the President’s plan while setting themselves up to claim they oppose it.  
The GOP does not oppose the President’s plan. Hell, much of the GOP, including most of its Senate leadership, has previously voted for what the President did. And these same Republicans have attacked their own base as racists and bigots for opposing comprehensive immigration reform.
Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

Come 2016, we get the same disingenuous Republican scam all over again. You'll be told to vote Republican to stop the Democrats, and if they win, Republicans will turn around and be just as bad, maybe worse.

Want to save America? Turn your wrath on the GOP now. Call 'em out on their traitorous intent.

Elections have consequences. So should performance after the elections.

Time to demand Republicans deliver as promised. As an opposition party. Not as Obama and the Chamber of Commerce want them to.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Obama looked weak

Obama's go-it-alone immigration change speech was a dud even by Obama standards.

He spoke of immigrant fathers working two or three jobs to support their families, completely overlooking the millions of citizens who can't find one job.

He kept telling us who we are as a nation. We're the same nation he pledged to fundamentally transform six years ago... His wife once said we'd have to change our history and traditions.

He used his Gruberesque tale of a secure border, and claimed he's deported more illegals than anyone.

Egad, Obama even tried to quote a little scripture.

He looked like he didn't believe half what he was saying. And that he knew even the low infos weren't buying it.

He seemed to keep things intentionally bland, perhaps hoping his specific words will soon be forgotten, that there will be no soundbites from the speech going viral.

Now he'll wait for Republican or conservative push back. And he'll claim they started the fight.

Obama commemorates Revolution Day

Can't make this stuff up.

Obama chose today to make his immigration power play.

Among the websites noting the day's significance is one called Baja Insider:
November 20th is Revolution Day in Mexico. The day commemorates the beginning of the Mexican revolution that ran from 1910 to 1920. The revolution was begun by the arm struggle against dictator/president José de la Cruz Porfirio Díaz Mori called for by Francisco Madero. 
The holiday celebrates the social upheaval of 1910 and that which emerged as the current form of government in Mexico. Much like the American Civil War shaped the modern United States, the Revolution of 1910-1920 shaped the following century of the fundamental direction of Mexico.
Revolution Day in Mexico is now commemorated on the third Monday in November. But prior to 2006, it was celebrated November 20.

I've said it for years, Obama's fundamental transformation is revolution.

But Obama continues to count on the ignorance of Americans to miss what he's pulling off right before their eyes.

Get Along Gang

The GOP establishment still seems to have its caboose hitched behind Obama's engine of fundamental transformation.

Americans voted Republican to stop Obama.

Will the GOP rise to the occasion?

Or will Republicans do their best to mimic a 1980s cartoon series?

So much for the opposition

It seems senate Republicans may be shopping for a chair that will be more comfy for Obama.

Jeff Sessions, who now chairs the Senate Budget Committee, might use purse strings to strangle Obama's immigration power grab.

So, are Republicans gearing up to dethrone Sessions?

Wyoming's Mike Enzi's already making a play for the chairmanship.

Even Rush Limbaugh now sees the GOP as being obsessed with being Obama's get-along-gang.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Tonight's closing thought...

Obama works to undermine our national fabric. His fundamental change is about breaking the American dream.

Obama goes full scale renegade

And broadcast networks look the other way.

Does MSM think the sheeple are so asleep they'll not know what Obama's doing, or not attach significance because it's not on live TV?

To borrow a phrase: "The revolution will not be televised."

Coming soon. If it's not here already.

Saw this online a couple weeks back.

More appropriate than ever.

Thursday night's poison, Friday's follow up

The White House makes it official. Barack Obama will announce his go-it-alone immigration amnesty plan Thursday night.

Then on Friday, NBC News says Obama will then fly to Las Vegas for a celebratory rally with Harry Reid.

Vegas. Same place Obama dashed off to the day after the 2012 attack on a U.S. consulate in Libya that left four Americans dead.

By flying to Vegas, it strikes me Obama not only flaunts that he's gone outside the bounds of constitutional authority on immigration, it's like he's also rubbing it in that he  escaped accountability after the attack in Benghazi.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Gruber's words...

And the words of those he closely advised on Obamacare.

Gruber's right. Stupid people let Obamacare sail through to passage.

I have no doubt the same type of misleading tactics are constandly exploited in other areas as well. Immigration "reform" and the left's "climate change" agenda would be two key examples.

If you don't yet see the disdain the these government and academic elites have for you as an American citizen, then I guess Gruber's right. You really are stupid.

Welcome to our American victimocracy

"The Victimocracy is a lot like any other tyranny. In an aristocracy, power belongs to the nobles, in a theocracy, power belongs to the clergy, in a meritocracy, to anyone with skill and a work ethic. But in a Victimocracy the biggest and angriest whiner wins." - Daniel Greenfield at Sultan Knish

Scary? No, not really

Harry Reid's at it again.

Saying GOP talk of a government shutdown, regardless of how limited such talk is, is "scary."

What's so scary about holding a rogue president and other unconstitutional forces in check?

The Constitution designates budgeting approval to be separate from the executive branch for this very reason, a system of checks and balances to prevent a renegade executive.

Progressives hate the idea of a government shutdown. A shutdown would show their executive is not invincible, not omnipotent.

Americans may have lost their messianic zeal for Mr. Obama long ago, but I suspect most still need some waking up to understand the true menace he continues to pursue against America.

It's not that Congress threatens too much to hold Obama in check. It's that it hasn't yet done enough.

Monday, November 17, 2014


Poor old Bob Schieffer. The elder CBS newsman says he was "dumbstruck" upon hearing Jonanthan Gruber's disclosures about the unsavory, deceitful way Obamacare forced on the American people.

If millions of Americans, including myself, could see Obamacare was a ruse full of false promises, how'd the mainstream media miss it?

Maybe Schieffer really is dumbstruck by Gruber's confessions bragging. But there's gotta be others in the news media who saw Obamacare for what it was, and either held their tongues or cheered in on anyway.

What kind of tales will they now spin to excuse their complicity in perpetrating the Obamacare lies?

Obama's immigration plan puts citizens' job prospects at risk

Immigration threatens to depress the wages of blue collar Americans.

Don't take my word for it.

Obama says so.

Or at least he did in his 2006 book The Audacity of Hope:
"If this huge influx of mostly low-skill workers provides some benefits to the economy as a whole—especially by keeping our workforce young, in contrast to an increasingly geriatric Europe and Japan—it also threatens to depress further the wages of blue-collar Americans and put strains on an already overburdened safety net.”
There are already millions of young American citizens out of work. Millions more can only find minimum wage part time jobs.

Yet Obama now wants to welcome millions more immigrants into the work force to compete against American citizens young and old.  And he says he'll do it on his own if Congress won't become complicit in his push to undermine the financial security of American citizens.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

When's MIT going to weigh in on the Gruber fiasco?

Jonathan Gruber is an economics professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the school's name was frequently attached to Gruber's Obamacare analysis when the legislation was being shaped five years ago.

How is MIT reacting to Gruber's now confessed use of deception in crafting Obamacare legislation and its sales pitch to the American people? Does MIT consider Gruber's use of deception, and his exploitation of the school's name and reputation unprofessional or unethical?

I've yet to see any comment from MIT.

Maybe MIT doesn't know what to say.

Maybe this is a classic case where education elites knowingly conspired with political elites to deceive and win more control over the American people.

Who knew what at MIT, and when did they know it?

Home improvement shortcut

We have a nearly 30-year-old fiberglass garden tub in our master bath. The problem with these old fiberglass tubs is that they tend to develop hairline cracks with age. Our did just that, and was drip, drip, dripping down into the kitchen.

Replacement would have been very pricey, and might have required modification of the tile base.

So we went with a service that patched the crack, and reglazed the whole tube, enhancing the appearance, and supposedly reinforcing the aging fiberglass.

Cost was under 600 bucks. Looks great. Time will tell how well it holds up, but I've done do-it-yourself patches on fiberglass tubs in past that lasted for years. And my skills in this area are far from professional.

Another great parody

The Hitler bunker scene from Downfall has to be one of the best ever put to film.

It works well with almost any narrative, including this parody that gives a good bashing of "tacticool" firearms.

Gruber was Obamacare wizard

Jonathan Gruber, who's recently outed deceptions used to sell Americans on Obamacare, was once a darling of the Left for his ability to craft and sell the program.

The White House touted his economic analysis, though it failed to disclose Gruber was being highly paid for his glowing pre-passage asessment.

In 2012, the New York Times profiled Gruber as a "wizard" behind Obamacare. Not only did Gruber work directly for the White House, the White House loaned him to Congress to work directly with staffers there.

The Times story makes it even more ludicrious that Nancy Pelosi claimed earlier this week not to know who Gruber was. Pelosi's office has since tried to backtrack, saying the former House speaker didn't know Gruber personally, but even that seems unlikely considering Gruber's high profile role in engineering passage of Obamacare legislation.

Lynch in lockstep with Obama and Holder

Loretta Lynch, Obama's attorney general nominee, says voter ID laws are racist. She also claims school discipline policies are intended to separate black and Hispanic youth from education. 

She's been caught on video saying so.

Last thing America needs is another race-baiting attorney general.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Obama's climate change break-thru

Via Twitter:

New favorite pocket knife

I recently picked up a very nice "Recruit" Swiss Army knife, and I'm really liking it.

Slightly smaller than the old Boy Scout pocket knife I've had for years, the Recruit has nearly the same features, and my scale weights it at only 1.54 ounces compared to 2.94 ounces for the Scout knife. There's a second smaller blade on the Recruit where a Scout knife has the awl.

Sure, there's Swiss Army knives with bunches of more gadgets. But they can be fat and heavy. The ergonomics of the Recruit seem about perfect as a gadget knife can get.

"Cold, dead hands"

Some police departments have "cold case units." In Buffalo, NY, there's something more akin to a "cold hands unit."

Officials in Buffalo now police death records  to target seizure of guns of recently deceased owners. 

We don't need an AG who champions theft by government

Regarding Obama's nominee for Attorney General, Robert Johnson of the Institute for Justice in Arlington, Virgina notes this:
In a widely reported case, federal prosecutors working under Ms. Lynch have seized more than $446,000 from the innocent owners of a family-owned business on Long Island merely because they deposited their lawfully earned money in their own bank account in amounts under $10,000. The government hasn’t even alleged the money was the proceeds of any crime, yet it has denied the family due process by holding the money for two-and-a-half years without any hearing before a judge.
Johnson's comment is part of a letter to the editor appearing this week in the Wall Street Journal.

It's time we weeded civil forfeiture out of the system, not elevate another harsh practitioner to the top of the government bureaucracy that's abusing the system.

Additional background on the Long Island case via the Institute for Justice

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Pelosi's a senile dingbat

If she's not senile, Pelosi's telling a whopper of a lie.

She' never heard of Jonathan Gruber, Pelosi now says.  But she specifically cited his work on Obamacare five years ago.

Flashback video:

I recall Don and I did a show a while back, noting that the Dems are so deep into open, bald face lying that it may well be a sign they know the end is near.

Gruber's Obamacare disclosures just add another data point to help connect our dots.

Thought for the day

“Guns are a lot like parachutes. If you need one and don’t have one, you’ll probably never need one again.” - Bernard Goldberg, who credits a reader for sending him the comment

Piecemeal disclosure

Over the past few years, there's been a series of disclosures about Obamacare.

Let's connect some dots.

Most recently, video has surfaced of an Obama health care architect named Jonathan Gruber saying America was sold Obamacare under false pretenses.

Well, the White House now claims Gruber's claims are not true.

But wait, I remember a Democrat senator who previously said something that dovetails with Gruber's assertion. Sen Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) said last year "everyone knew" Mr. Obama himself spun his Obamacare pitch to the American people in a deceptive manner.

And if Obamacare's passage was transparent, why did Nancy Pelosi also previously brag it wasn't?

The same White House that once lied to us about keeping our health care plans or doctors now asserts that claims that it lied about Obamacare is lie.

This is the kind of stuff that happens when sheeple blindly follow a false messiah with huge gaps in his past.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Appealing a property tax assessment

Got a rollback on a property tax assessment hike today.

County assessors went far afield to find 2013 comparable sales to justify a hike on a rental property I own.

But showed me two comps on the same street as my house. One was for $28,000 less than my new assessment, the other $11,000 less. I always use sites like Zillow to check comps for myself when I get a property assessment notice. I've found county assessors often overlook closer-in, more comparable sales in resetting property values.

Not a complete victory today, but the Board of Equalization (a property tax appeals board provided for under Georgia law) knocked seven-grand off this particular property's 2014 tax assessment.

The real payoff will likely come in the next couple of years.

Flippers are working the neighborhood, and some resale prices this year are getting back near 2006-07 "bubble" levels.  Because my assessment has been adjusted by a Board of Equalization, the board's revised assessment is locked in for three years.

Of course, there's a chance the economy and the housing market tanks again. But I believe Georgia law still allows me to appeal a locked-in assessment if prices on the street collapse.

"Tooling up for anarchy"

In Missouri...

And elsewhere...

The grand jury weighing the Micheal Brown shooting could come back any time now.

Let me add a few thoughts:

If you live in - or frequently pass through - communities that may be impacted by direct or copycat trouble, know alternative routes if unrest blossoms along the paths you usually take.

Also a good idea: Stock your pantry and fridge now, and keep at least a day or two ahead. Depending on where you are, it may be best to avoid unnecessary trips out if things start getting nutty.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Obama's agenda marches forward

Look out. A new wave of "progressive" Obama regulation is about to be unleashed...

More hassles for the private sector to comply with, resulting in higher costs for consumers.

More nudges that may push struggling businesses over the edge, prompting them to give up, close their doors.

The Obama bureaucracy further tightens its grip around the neck of the American economy.

Fundamental transformation.

You were expecting something else?

The impact of Obama era gun buying sprees

Folks have been arming up since Obama's been president.

And gun related homicides have been trending downward. 

Obama's next two years

"Disowned by Democrats and made to feel irrelevant in this election, President Obama’s enormous and unjustified ego is deeply wounded. He is frustrated and feels caged, cornered. This is when people like him are most dangerous." - Charles Hurt, writing in the Washington Times

Press clippings from Barack's Beijing visit

Obama's in China, testing his "post election clout."
But some photo staging has drawn attention. Has our petulant preezy been sidelined?

Meanwhile, Obama's behavior in China draws criticism. It's amazing what a wad of chewing gum can do to one's international image.

Net neutrality sounds good on the surface

President Obama comes out for regulation of the Internet.

The regulation plan is all gussied up as something called "net neutrality", and it probably sounds pretty good to the naive. Yes, there may be flaws with the way some Internet providers skew things now.

But a progressive push for net neutrality opens Pandora's box, puts government in a position of control including potential for control of content.

In an era where government is either simply sloppy or has a hidden agenda for most everything it does (sometimes both), now's not the time to give it potential to reign over the Internet and Internet content.

Net neutrality may sound good for some reasons. But I don't think comparisons to Obamacare should be dismissed out of hand. Not with the current administration that's running Washington, not in light its continued commitment to fundamentally change America.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Obama's Attorney General nominee

Regarding the record of Loretta Lynch, Mr. Obama's nominee to succeed Eric Holder as Attorney General, the Wall Street Journal notes:
She has been a member of Eric Holder’s Advisory Committee of U.S. Attorneys, and as such should be questioned about his policies. These include his use of race as a political cudgel—especially in law enforcement. Mr. Holder has used “disparate impact” theory to coerce settlements from banks and other businesses based on statistics but no proof of discrimination. A federal judge recently threw out the Administration’s disparate-impact rule in housing, and the Supreme Court is hearing a separate legal challenge. 
As a prosecutor Ms. Lynch has also been aggressive in pursuing civil asset forfeiture, which has become a form of policing for profit. She recently announced that her office had collected more than $904 million in criminal and civil actions in fiscal 2013, according to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Liberals and conservatives have begun to question forfeiture as an abuse of due process that can punish the innocent.
Sounds like she's a pro at statistical coercion, seizure and wealth redistribution. And she's has insider familiarity with Holder's racially charged policies.

Ms. Lynch seems a perfect fit for the Obama's administration. But that's not synonymous with being good for America.

Ms. Lynch seems someone chosen to continue with Obama era business as usual, and to keep the administration's  misdeeds under wraps than she was chosen to represent and carry true justice for the wider interests of all the American people.

Make a point to contact your senators. Lynch deserves a thorough vetting.

Meanwhile, the Obama team has built their pitch for a Lynch confirmation around her race and gender, whipping up political and media excitement for the first African American woman attorney general.

How many senators may be too afraid of being called racist and sexist if they demand anything beyond a cursory review of Lynch's record or other aspects of her suitability to serve in the post she's been nominated for?

Saturday, November 8, 2014

I miss the good old days...

When sabotage was called sabotage.

Law enforcement in Missouri is chalking up a deliberate power outage in Ferguson on Halloween to vandalism.

Strikes me, vandalism doesn't carry enough sinister overtone to describe what may be percolating over Ferguson way.

Former Obama cheerleader sees something's very wrong

"It’s as if he doesn’t think he has to work with others, he only has to be right. I think Mr. Obama sees himself as a centrist because he often resists the pressures of the leftward-most edge of his base. Therefore in his imagination he is in the middle, the center. If he is in the middle of a great centrist nation, how can they turn on him? The answer: They are confused. This is their flaw, not his. He’s not going to let their logical flaws change his game." - Peggy Noonan, writing in the Wall Street Journal

Noonan thought Barack quite the hottie back in 2008. She gushed and gushed over Obama and his candidacy right up to the election. Poor Peggy. Finally seeing what some of us saw - and said - long, long ago.

Still, Noonan opines Obama seems only "mildly delusional."

I think her mind continues to underplay what's unfolding.

Vintage Kelty gets a MOLLE makeover

Picked up an old Kelty external frame backpack for cheap on Ebay but, alas, it came with shoulder straps that had hardened with age to the point of being unusable.

Good frame, good pack. Good hardware holding it all together. Everything good but the shoulder straps.

Used to be, you could buy replacement shoulder straps at most sporting goods stores. But browsing online, I found nothing of a commercial nature that came close to looking like a fit. I read Kelty does sell parts for its vintage gear, but blogs and message boards said it's pricey. And I'm not going to put a lot of money into a 35 dollar pack.

So, I got creative.

Pulled a set of MOLLE straps off a milsurp pack in the basement (a pack I'll never use, just too bulky and heavy). Decided to use the waist belt and padding as well.

With MOLLE before pack reinstalled

Straps and pads view

Gotta say, I'm pleased with the way it turned out. Yes, it's just a wee bit heavier pack than it was, but as it originally came, the 29 inch frame seemed a little small for my 19 inch torso. The MOLLE gear strapped on in such a way to give much wider range of adjustments. I did keep the original upper back cushion, it helped to stabilize the upper MOLLE pad.

Rear view pack re-installed

No load testing yet, but everything fits real snug. Worst case, I may need some plastic tie-downs to prevent any up-down slippage. The frame is still plenty accessible for attaching a sleeping pad and/or tent below the pack.

I actually first thought ALICE straps would be a good fit for this pack, and I could have kept the original Kelty waist belt. But I had the MOLLE gear on hand, so the old Kelty got a MOLLE makeover.

No modifications to the frame whatsoever. What I've done is completely reversible should I ever find commercial straps. But I think I'm going to like this backpack even better the way ti is now.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Breaking commnetary you won't hear anywhere else

Today's Don and Doug program was a solid one. Yes, I know. I'm prejudiced in its favor, but we jumped on some topics not yet heard in other media.

We opened with with Ukraine and reports Russian troops and hardware had crossed the border. Don had excellent commentary as to how Vlad Putin seems to be reapplying some old Soviet style strategy.

We also talked a bit about how the Saudis appear to be engaged in economic warfare against U.S. oil producers, dumping their product in the U.S. below what they're selling to other nations.

Political analysis and midterm commentary, as previously advertised, followed these breaking topics.

Check Out Current Events Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with TalkSouthRadio on BlogTalkRadio

Nothing's been fixed. The landscape's just changed a bit

Way too soon to sigh with relief over results of Tuesday's elections.

On today's webcast, Don and I will lay out some of the potential dangers ahead.

Things in DC may soon be more tumultuous than we've seen up until now.

The Friday webcast starts at one o'clock Eastern at TalkSouthRadio on BlogTalkRadio.

On a related note, from Hope n' Change Cartoons:

Remember Ebola?

Overshadowed by this week's election news, Ebola continues to be developing story.

In New York City alone, hundreds of potential carriers are now under "observation."

Most of them are new arrivals from West Africa.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Heads up?

Ferguson protest leaders want advance notice before a grand jury returns with its decision in the case of officer Darren Wilson.

Protest leaders say a heads up will help them diffuse the potential for violence.

Seems more likely a requested 48 hour warning would give organizers more time to bus in protest participants.

Heads up? Probably not a good idea.

Scout camp up for auction

Citing low attendance and high costs, the Boy Scouts of Americais putting one of its Connecticut campgrounds up for auction. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Talk about condescending...

Michelle Obama said some strange stuff just days before Tuesday's election.

From Hope n' Change Cartoons:

An American industry is under attack

Saudi Arabia is waging economic war on U.S. oil producers by deliberately flooding U.S. markets with cheap Saudi oil sold at prices below what the Saudis sell to other customers.

Obama stands by, does nothing. Makes me wonder to what extent Obama may even be complicit in orchestrating this strike at an American industry.

Thoughts on another GOP landslide

Other blogs and media are packed full of facts and figures about yesterday's election. I won't begin to try to replicate 'em.

But there's a few short points I want to make.

It was just a decade ago that the GOP also won both the House and the Senate, and then screwed things up so badly, the Democrats won both houses in a 2006 landslide. There's no guarantee it won't happen again.

Does anyone really believe a senate under the direction of Mitch McConnell will be anymore conservative than the house has been under the waffling ways of John Boehner? If anything, there's risk of passing more progressive legislation, not less. But it won't be called progressive. It will be billed as bipartisan.

It does appear conservatives showed up yesterday and voted GOP. Will the GOP show respect to these voters post-election, or will the party's elites continue to snub and disparage them as it's done since 2010?

This is not a time for conservatives to be lulled back into complacency. Some name plates and labeling may get switched in DC, but nothings been fixed. At least not yet.

Until there's real change, America remains on a downward slide.

And Republicans have been part of the problem for as long as the Democrats have.

Loesch book signing cancelled in Texas

Citing security concerns, conservative author Dana Loesch cancels a book signing on the "gun free" campus of Texas Christian University.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Toying with an improvised cook stove

Remember "buddy burners" - cook stove fuel cans made by packing cardboard and birthday candles into a tuna can, and dousing the interior with melted paraffin?

Well, I make 'em out of cat food cans, and I noticed something: The top of an opened cat food can is a perfect mate for an inverted kitchen sink stopper to fit right in.

So I tried an experiment. Had a buddy burner left over from last year, and a cheap spare stopper in the garage, so I put the burner in the fireplace. Gave it a light, let it burn for a few minutes.

Next, I carefully dropped the stopper (with the center rubber stopper part removed) on top the burner. All good to this point.

I then placed a metal camp cup with 12 ounces on water on top the stove. Flame levels instantly dropped, but didn't extinguish.

Slow, slow, slow. Yes, the water boiled, but it took about an hour.

The stove returned to a robust flame as soon as I removed the cup. The flame was easily extinguished by placing an upside down empty cat food can over the stove.

Minor modifications would probably improve performance. Lower fuel contents in the burner might help, but I suspect cutting or drilling more ventilation into the sides of the stopper would help even more.

I'm also thinking a drilled cat food can, with wider openings cut on one or two sides, might make a good twig firebox with the same stopper again used as a top for a wood burning micro-stove. Would certainly save the time and effort that went into making buddy burners.

Growing tired of Democrat overseers...

One of the better conservative ads to surface in the senate race in Georgia.

Election day thought...

Obama's been sitting on his hands the past few months, trying to make the ramp up to elections seem normal as possible.

No telling what happens after today, regardless of who wins, at least in the short term.

Even if Republicans take the senate, Democrats there now can continue to give Obama a free hand during their lame duck period.

Radical Muslims stump the FBI

Seems the FBI is having trouble figuring out who America's wannabe ISIS enlistees are.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Christmas music in retail. Too much, too soon

I really like to shop local brick 'n mortar retailers when I can. From indy businesses to big box chains, I think we're all better off when these outlets employ our neighbors, and make it easy for us to pick up what we need or want without having to wait days for delivery.

But when I went shopping today, I stopped browsing to look up. Bing Crosby's White Christmas was coming from the speakers above. Seriously? It's only November 2nd.

A more secular music choice followed... and I resumed shopping.  But three or four songs later, Elton John's Step Into Christmas was playing in my head,,, and throughout the store.

Too much, too soon. Was a time when Christmas music right after Thanksgiving was pushing the envelop.

I'm sure conventional retail wisdom assumes that Christmas music puts shoppers in a holiday buying mood. I have to wonder if it's a mistaken assumption.

I can shop at home all day online and not be subjected to too-early Christmas music.

I purchased a few things in the store today, but didn't get all I came for. I headed to check out once Elton's Step In started.

Once home, I finished my shopping. On Amazon.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Thrift store finds

Chilly day in suburban Atlanta. And the TV weather dude had a glimmer in his eye as he forecast a low of 30 for tonight.

Seemed the perfect day to scout thrift stores.

Fall's a season when people seem more prone to toss old camping gear.

I hit four stores. Struck out at two, hit pay dirt at the others.

Here's what I found:

An older off-brand backpack with aluminum frame. Frame's a small, likely too small for me. I could make it work, but it's probably a better fit for my daughter.  I paid about twelve bucks, including tax.

But wait, there's more: The tag said the pack was full, and indeed it was. When I got it home, I dug in, finding, three complete aluminum mess kits, an old style aluminum canteen, and a camp trowel, most the stuff wrapped in the pack's rain cover. There's also a rope to hang the pack from a tree to keep critters (and bears) out.

Next stop, not the treasure trove of stop number three, but what I found had potential. Paid $4.99 for it, contents sight-unseen.

Turns out, it was an older Hillary brand two man dome tent. Unpacking showed it has good poles, but lacks stakes. Clean inside and out, signs of only minor use, no tears or holes, zippers intact and work well.

At 5.2 pounds (I initially thought it felt like less), it's not the lightest thing for backpack camping, I could lug it into the woods if I wanted, but I'm thinking it makes a nice spare.  And I like the colors. they go well with Alpenflage (a Swiss camo pattern).

If you're new to camping or prepping, and want to grab some additional gear for cheap - fall's a great time to scout yard sales and thrift stores. I try to go for stuff I can use myself, but if the bargain's irresistible, I'll buy with the intention of swapping later for something I need.

And if my stash of spares gets too big, there''s probably a Boy Scout troop nearby I can donate to.