Monday, February 29, 2016

Location, location, location

When Mitt Romney ran in 2012, his campaign set him up to host a pancake breakfast at our local high school. We're in a decidedly Republican stronghold. And even those in the community who didn't support Romney showed up for the chance to have a presidential candidate serve 'em a plate of 'cakes. The place was packed to capacity, with spillover.

Cruz's ground team has missed on almost every effort since Iowa. Or missed enough that it looks that way. On Saturday, a Cruz rally in downtown Atlanta, drew about 500 people, according to media reports.

Why would anyone stage a GOP candidate's rally in a largely deserted downtown area on a Saturday morning, far from Republican voting districts? Just dumb.

In comparision, a Marco Rubio rally held 25 miles to the north, on Republican turf in a northern Atlanta suburb, drew 5-thousand or more. Like the Romney event four years ago, many who showed up may have merely been curiosity seekers. But it looks good on camera.

Sad really that the Cruz campaign blew this latest opportunity.

I think Cruz has a solid approach targeting a return to a more basic, constitutional republic.

But big government establishment and its supporters want no part of it.

And Cruz remains too wonkish to attract support from the angry masses who know establishment has betrayed them. They'd rather hear Trump over simplify, and communicate on very basic, very emotional level.

It's human nature. ]Donald Trump's rise has been helped by decades of efforts to dumb down Americans, efforts like education curriculum that emphasized emotion over reason.

I think it significant that well known and well respected Republican conservative Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama endorsed Trump over the weekend. It's an endorsement that will likely pack a punch in the core southern states voting tomorrow in the Super Tuesday primary.

Sunday, February 28, 2016


People aren't supposed to have guns in Mexico.

So how could this be happening? 

Gun control laws are only as good as people's willingness to follow them.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

First Amendment chill

I've seen this in a couple places. And there's video of Trump's comments.

Seems Mr. Trump proposes to lower the bar on libel laws as a way to avoid negative coverage in the future.

It's hard to tell at this point, but Trump's priority seems to target a chill the practice of First Amendment press freedom.  At the same time, if libel laws are relaxed, it would likely further enrich trial lawyers, who are historically a major source for financial donations to the Democratic Party.

Before cheering looser libel laws targeting MSM, also consider they would likely be used to target bloggers or those posting on social media, the kind of folks that don't have insurance or other resources to fight a well financed libel lawsuit.

Georgia map

As seen on Facebook:

Friday, February 26, 2016

Meanwhile, on the phone front...

I've had two political pollsters call in the past two nights.

Last night's was an automated poll sponsored by Ted Cruz's Keep the Promise III PAC.

Tonight, a pollster called that I suspect was working for Marco Rubio. The bulk of the questioning centered on Rubio.

"Would you be more likely to support Rubio if Romney endorsed him?"

Next question: "Would you be more likely to support Rubio if Paul Ryan endorsed him?"

 Next... "Would you be more likely to support Rubio if Jeb Bush endorsed him?"

Pollster guy snickered at some of phrasing of my answers. One of my responses to one of the above was something like: "How deep into the establishment sewer are you trying to drag me?"

This sounded like a Rubio poll. But it makes me wonder.

Could it possibly have been on behalf of GOPe, or aligned parties, attempting to gauge whether backing Rubio is worth the risk of soiling others' reputations by doing so.

Will the active field of candidates see significant changes by Tuesday?

Establishment panic will only increase as the Trump's train gains momentum. I noted in the previous post, Chris Christie is now in as endorsing Trump.

Trump train picks up speed rolling toward Super Tuesday

Year after year the political establishment thought they were rolling over the voters.

Then Bam! Along comes Donald Trump, who capitalizes on the anger and resentment establishment created.

Now, guys like David Brooks at the New York Times seem to want the "outsiders" denied a seat at the table to roll back into the a more docile mode.

Ain't gonna happen.

Don't like what you see? Don't blame Trump as much as the likes of John Boehner and Paul Ryan, guys who told us to trust the GOP, then commenced with knives in our backs as soon as the votes were counted, as they became overwhelmingly complicit with a big government DC agenda.

I'm oft been critical of Trump's campaign. But I've also long been tired of professional politicians telling the "little people" to sit down, shut up, and take what scraps the elites were willing to dole out.

In today's blogcast, Don Dickinson and I, not as Trump supporters, outline the case that the Trump train is likely unstoppable at this point.

This just in: Chris Christie has chosen to empower the Trump Express. 


The red-headed bully prof is out at Mizzou.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Easy taillights for a motorcycle hitch carrier

Picked up a lightweight motorcyle/scooter carrier (a Rage Powersport AMC-400) for the back of the Ranger. Neat gadget to tote our Buddy 50 to areas with less traffic, more friendly for low power, low speed riding.

One problem. When the Buddy's on the carrier, the left side Ranger taillight is completely obstructed, and the one on the passenger side partially so.

So I got to tinkering. I had a scrap 44 inch section of angle iron. I cut it in half. Twenty-two inches easily spans the width between two rear bolts holding the aluminum carrier to its steel hitch insert/carrier frame. Once mounted with the same bolts holding the carrier together, I used a couple screws and bolts to attach the second piece of angle iron to the first, creating a U shaped bar.

Harbor Freight had its budget trailer light kits on sale earlier this month, and I picked one up for about 15 bucks. The taillights from the kit mounted well on the vertical side of the second piece of angle iron.

Not the brightest set of turn signal/taillights, but a darn sight better than none. The way they're mounted, the frame of the carrier should provide some protection from road hazards. And they're out of the way from the scooter when carried.

Update: One more photo of the light rack and wiring. For full size, click on the photo.

The lslamic invasion continues

Stats presented here show over 100,000 "migrant" arrivals in Europe already this year.

I suspect January or February aren't peak months for warm blooded Middle Easterners trekking north into the colder climes of northern Europe.

Also of interest, the speculation that Turkey has an active role in motivating the migration.

Wouldn't be the first time Turkey's sent Islamic masses bent on conquest north toward European capitals. But when past efforts took place, what's today's Turkey was known as the Ottoman Empire, or the Ottoman Caliphate.

The weeping Bernie girl

Have you seen this video?

Is it some kind attempt at anti-Trump, anti-Republican campaign psy-ops? If so, is there a campaign or shadow group behind it?

Maybe it's just someone (or some little crew) seeking to "go viral" by posting a spoofy video.

Or are Bernie Sanders supporters really becoming unhinged that the rest the country's not clamoring for free college and other free stuff like they are?

Almost too cliche to take this thing seriously.

Rush Limbaugh shares his thoughts here.

Monday, February 22, 2016

NYPD shootout

When NYPD officers were confronted by an armed radical Muslim, it's possible officers may have shot one another in the confrontation. 

The New York Post reports injuries to officers in the shootout may have come from "friendly fire." The possibility is under investigation.

Something else I learned today: NYPD cops may have trouble shooting straight because their department insists they pack pistols with a 12-pound trigger. Twelve pounds is a lot of energy to expend while trying to hold a pistol on target. 

Left wing, right wing...

As seen on Facebook:

Where things stand post-SC

Mike Huckabee posted a post-South Carolina primary assessment.

If you're on FaceBook, you should have access.

Huckabee says, in part:
The American people aren't stupid, even when they're wrong. Republican voters knew that they had been head-faked and used by forces that didn't really care about them. So they turned to candidates who speak their minds, and are firmly outside Establishment politics. Better someone I can trust to tell me the truth than more of the same. Trump and Cruz are two versions of outsider, in-your-face politicians who will do as they say. 
It's not surprising, and it was inevitable. This electorate is the political monster that the Establishment created from spare parts of the body politic. It's escaped and no one knows how to restrain it. 
Marco Rubio? Really? Trump and Cruz can stomp on him for days. Just imagine the Schumer/immigration and Christie/Robot commercials if the Donald decides to spend a little cash on ads. 
Super Delegates? Really? Trump comes to the convention with 45 percent of the delegates he needs and the unelected Establishment delegates unite behind Paul Ryan or some other supply-sider with a smile? Trumpites and Cruzians will stay home in droves in November.
Meanwhile, hardcore progressives have joined the push to sack the Cruz campaign. Strikes me, they only build a case for him...

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Gun seller with a sense of humor

Lifted this from an ad from AIM Surplus.

Yee Haw! Free cosmoline!

On a more serious note, I find it ironic that the price of these Mausers has risen as they have despite the fact that economical surplus ammo for them dried up several years ago. Sure, they're nice rifles. But Mosin prices have risen proportionally, but the Mosin's appeal (other than being much cheaper still) is that you can get cases of cheap surplus ammo for 'em.

8mm, with very few exceptions, is pricey stuff these days.

I picked up a decent, but probably just below B grade Yugo Mauser in a pawn shop a decade ago, think I paid around $150. J&G and a couple other online sellers had 'em for $125 at the time. Quit shooting it when I got down to only a couple hundred rounds of surplus ammo and couldn't find anymore.

I hate the thought of having any firearm without at least some ammo for it.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Thugs don't need guns to terrorize disarmed people

A series of slashing attacks have New Yorkers on edge. 

Flashback: 1935

Louisiana populist Huey Long had aspirations to be president.

However, an assassination took Long's life in 1935.

Prior to his death, Long authored a presumptive novella of how he'd handle his first days in the White House.

It's available for free online as a PDF.

My First Days in the White House

Makes for some interesting reading considering what Trump's done to revive populist political notions. And there's chunks of Bernie's agenda in what Long was pitching as well.

Interesting to note, first publication of Long's book came just days after his assassination. It appears the text was recently republished, and remains available in book form for those interested.

The ability to reason slips away...

Don and I are back later today with the weekly blogcast. 

New tricks much like old games

Today's "progressive" Democratic Party is much like the old Soviet Politburo when it comes to stacking the deck to advance the party's chosen candidate.

Retail's decline deepens

American retail is in trouble.

Saw this this morning:
"The blunt truth is that while stores remain a vital part of the retail mix, they are not quite as relevant as they used to be," Conlumino CEO Neil Saunders wrote in a research note about the company's recent store closures. "Walmart's decision is part of a larger shift that will be played out across all parts of the retail sector over the coming year and beyond."
I've frequently noted on the Don and Doug webcast that brick and mortar retail is losing its relevancy. More narrow and thinner stocking of inventories are a sign of decline, and as a result, more Americans shop more online for what's no longer available locally.

It's a downward circle.

About the only thing I regularly buy local these days are building supplies to maintain my house and rental properties, and groceries. A bunch of the rest comes delivered to my door after buying online.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Wine making

Hadn't made any wine in decades, so I thought I'd give it a whirl.

Currently have a couple of apple juice varieties fermenting. Just using bottled grocery store apple juice for this initial trial.

Jug on the right employs some store-bought specific hardware, and is powered by wine-making yeast. Jug on the left is more in keeping with "hillbilly" practice of a balloon airlock and more common bread yeast.

The facade of normalcy continues to crumble

"We are seeing the transformation of the paradigm of politics. All the old rules are failing. All the old assumptions don’t work. And we have a new set of assumptions evolving. And we have a public that no longer seems to want to eat the dog food that the establishment has dished out and are, in fact, going for choices that are outside the boxes of our ordinary politics." - Pat Caddell

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Trump's a new Teddy Roosevelt. Or so some say.

I've seen some Trump supporters on social media now comparing him to Teddy Roosevelt. Perhaps closer to the truth than might be imagined. I doubt they realize TR was a progressive who founded the Bull Moose Party (officially the Progressive Party of 1912).

This graphic accompanied a pro-Trump
tweet on Twitter

Roosevelt and his Bull Moose split the Republican vote in 1912, allowing progressive Democrat Woodrow Wilson to ascend to power.

The progressive era in the early 20th century delivered constitutional amendments that gave us a  permanent federal income tax, established the Federal Reserve Bank, and diminished state's influence over the federal government by making elections to the U.S. Senate by popular vote.

What changes lie ahead for America if the new progressive era unleashed by President Obama is able to move ahead under a progressive successor, be it a Democrat or a Republican?

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Kibble over candidates

I chose not to watch yet another GOPe orchestrated Republican presidential debate.

Rather that watch a televised cat fight, I went shopping for cat food instead.

Splurged on new bowls for two of our kitties.

Saturday morning news nuggets

GOP elites stack the audience for tonight's debate in South Carolina, and blame CBS television for choosing an undersized venue. 

And then there's this:

Democrat led Dodd Frank financial reform is killing off community banking. Central planners hate anything that's community based.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Tradition be damned

There has been no economic recovery.

And the present on-going financial crisis is like no other in recent centuries.

Time to lock in those CDs at a quarter to one-percent before things to negative?

Or would piling up some gold or silver be a better bet?

Update: Another article on negative interest rates.

The day after the Super Bowl

A report out of NYC:
A 51-year-old white man told cops he was on Nostrand Ave. near Glenwood Road in East Flatbush when a black man ran up and knocked him to the ground about 5:40 p.m. Monday. 
“This is for Malcolm X, cracka,” the brute said before storming off.
Happened less than 24 hours after Beyonce's Super Bowl half-time salute to Malcolm X and the Black Panthers.


Thursday, February 11, 2016

2016 delivers a bumpy ride

Time's been spent this week tweaking my 16-year-old Ford Ranger to, at least for the time being, resume a role as an everyday vehicle. Darn thing couldn't swing 15 mpg earlier this week, but seems to be doing much better after cleaning the MAF (Mass Air Flow) sensor. Never heard of MAF 'til I started researching possible causes of my lousy mileage. Easy task once I found the right Torx bit and a spray can of sensor cleaner at AutoZone.

I'm also spending more time reading my favored economic and financial sites. Things are looking mighty bleak, and Central Bankers seem to have no more tricks left in their magic bags. Pulled some money out of the market this morning. Maybe I should lock in some CDs paying around one-percent before things unravel further, and the Fed tries to steer us into negative interest rate territory.

On top of it all, the political elites are pulling their hair out over Bernie and Donald.

For the life of me, I can't get a reading on Trump. I like a lot of what he's done to upset the establishment's apple cart. I just don't have a feel of where he'd try to take us if he's elected.

He's pretty clear about what he wants on the border, and on Islamic immigration. But he also talks like he wants to open the door for government single-payer health care.

And it concerns me so many conservative voters want to bestow the title of conservative on Trump. Trump's a populist pitching nationalism. That's not necessarily synonymous with conservative.

If you've followed the Don and Doug program in recent months, you know we anticipated 2016 to be an emotional roller coaster filled with uncertainty and deepening calamities. Not yet two months in, we're seeing just how wild a ride it can deliver.

By the way, no program this week. My Friday afternoon, if goes as planned, will be spent settling with the insurance company on my Sienna that got totaled last week.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Impound game complicated insurance claim

As mentioned earlier, our intrepid 2006 Toyota Sienna, with an odometer just 92 miles shy of 200,000 thousand miles, was clobbered from behind. We've since been told the insurance company's going to declare it a total loss, and based on what we've been told to-date, we concur with the finding. I've been impressed with the way the other driver's insurance has handled things.

But getting to this point was complicated last week by the nuttiness of the towing company that removed our disabled van from the accident scene, and then later insisted the vehicle had been "impounded" at the request of police.

When the insurance company sought access to the vehicle, the wrecker service insisted "impound" fees would have to be paid prior to access.  First off, this should not have been an impound. Secondly, insurance companies tend not to pay impound fees, as "impound" implies a vehicle seized for some criminal or civil infraction.

My wife contacted the police department, trying to get things straightened out. But when police intervened on our behalf, at least one of the cops who called was accused by the office manager of being my wife's "brother." Eventually, after several Saturday morning phone calls from officials of escalating rank, the tow employees realized they'd dug themselves in deep. They told us to get our own wrecker, get our car, and get out.  They would not show us any paperwork, but they also refused to discuss payment, so we retrieved our van without paying a cent.

With the car liberated from the stigma of "impound", the insurance claim got moving again on Monday.

Also on Monday (or maybe it was Tuesday), my wife got an email from a city official saying the tow company is now on probation concerning its city contract, that it should have transported our car to the body shop we requested on the day of the accident. The company owner apparently blamed "a new employee" for the "misunderstanding." We encountered three employees in the course of our dealings, all played off the same script.

God only knows how many other people may have been screwed over by these blustering people claiming to act under color of law. However, the city tells us ours was the first complaint it's had regarding this company.

We were lucky the police department involved is relatively small agency where the concept of community relations is more than just lip-service. Its people really did go to bat for us. If we'd been someplace where the police were more embedded and ingrained with bureaucracy, we'd have likely been screwed over by tow folks with little recourse.

Near the end of our dealing with the wrecker folks, one of the tow guys said "why don't you just mind your own business and let insurance handle this."

I got a kick out of the dude's comment, he had no idea of the contradiction of his statement.

We pay a high price for the way bureaucracy and middlemen have wormed their way into a system where consumers now tend not to question circumstances and are shield from direct payment of costs.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

The right kind of rebel

"The traditionalist rebel is not seeking perfection, but humanity. He is a skeptical idealist who is interested in character rather than movements. He is above all else an individualist with an instinctive distrust of any movement that requires him to abandon his rights for the greater good." - Daniel Greenfield at Sultan Knish

Saturday, February 6, 2016


We have cats.

And in most cases, the fact that each has claws enforces an environment of mutual respect.

There are exceptions, of course. But, hey, they're cats.

And I would never deny one of its means of defense.

Photo (left) via Facebook

Friday, February 5, 2016

Data suggests economic decline

More wells shuttered by U.S. gas and oil drillers.


Dry Baltic Index at its lowest point ever:
When the index falls to its lowest ever level on record, the broader message is pretty obvious. Shipping rates are plunging because the global economy is too. We don’t need to draw any more conclusions than that.


Agree or disagree with these guys, they point to the shortcomings of making our choices in government based on emotion and personality rather than ideology and principle.

We're on the edge in America. "Revolution" of  one sort or another may indeed be coming.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Six feet under?

How many of the millions of guns purchased in recent years are no longer above ground?

If you wanted to put yours (or at least some of them) in a safe place, how or where would you do it?

The other kind of voting

To quote Mike Vanderboegh: "Voting with our wallets."

Europe's banks

It seems "migrants" aren't the continent's only problem. 

The big picture

Take in the message here:

"In the past four months, 29 Israelis have been killed in a wave of stabbing, shooting or car-ramming attacks by Palestinians or Israeli Arabs," according to a report by the BBC.

If guns are unavailable, those bent on violence adapt to another means. Sometimes, they may even embrace alternatives to do violence even if a gun is available.

Bottom line, banning guns won't stop violence. But banning guns would make it more difficult for an ambushed person, be it a government official or private citizen, to have the means to fight back against superior numbers of attackers.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Cruz birtherism run amok

If Ted Cruz wasn't born a U.S. citizen, why don't those who hate him challenge his serving in the U.S. Senate?

If Donald Trump believes Cruz is not a "natural born" citizen, and if we're supposed to trust Trump to uphold the Constitution, Trump seems derelict in not filing a court challenge to Cruz's eligibility that would settle the matter.

Trump supporters, don't allow yourselves to be used.  Either hold your candidate accountable and produce a challenge, or stand down with the emotional tantrums.

If the "birthers" won't stand up and actually do something, how bout they stand down with the innuendo, and let the primary process move forward without this distraction?

"Pearl-clutching nonsense"

"America's murder rate isn't the work of the suburban and rural homeowners who shop for guns at sporting goods stores and at gun shows, and whom the media profiles after every shooting, but by the gangs embedded in urban areas. If this were going on in Rwanda, El Salvador or Sierra Leone, we would have no trouble knowing what to make of it, and silly pearl-clutching nonsense about gun control would never even come up." - Daniel Greenfield, writing at Sultan Knish

"Just say no"

The Left mocked Nancy Reagan's anti-drug campaign.

But now Europe's PC leadership insists just saying "no", and perhaps the swing of a purse, is all that's needed to stop rape.

As taught via TV in Finland:

Europe's in the midst of an escalating rape epidemic because it allowed its nations to be invaded by millions of uneducated, illiterate "migrants" whose only concept of social order appears to be lifted from the violent, vengeful lessons they've heard preached from the Koran.

If governments refuse to protect their citizens, citizens will protect themselves. And even rise up and replace their governments.

Online pundit Ol' Remus shared a thought along these lines recently:
If European and Scandinavian governments force the citizenry to choose between the ongoing Moslem invasion and a '30s-style fascist regime, they'll choose a '30s-style fascist regime. And if things should go seriously bad, if they do what they are capable of doing, and have done repeatedly since Medieval times, in five years there wouldn't be a living Moslem north of the Mediterranean. As for the invaders, it's not too late for an orderly retreat back to the lands from which they came.
If fascism returns to Europe, blame goes squarely on the failure of elitist establishment governments and the political correctness that blinded them.

Back in main rotation. For a while, anyway

Spent the morning spiffing up my 2000 Ford Ranger. It's not in collector classic condition, but it's not too shabby for something that rolled off the line back in August 1999.

Bought it used somewhere back around 2003 or 2004 after a hit and run driver triggered a chain-reaction pile-up on I-285 that creamed my '89 GMC S-15.  In its day, that S-15 was one beater of a work truck. The Ranger is cushy in comparison.

Updated/Edited for clarity.

Hit from behind

You may know of the minivan I'm often fond of bragging on. Just 92 miles shy of 200k, it got nailed from behind by a beefy pickup yesterday.

We bought this van new in '06. Other than changing out the alternator and regular maintenance, zero issues with this piece of awesome engineering. I liked the ride and handling of it far more than the newer Odyssey my wife drives now.

I'd all but given up driving my Ranger cuz the Sienna could haul most everything a pickup can, and do it in more comfort and kept things more secure and drier.

Oh well.

No one hurt yesterday. But these newer vehicles sure do crumple and bend in absorbing the shock of a collision.