Thursday, July 31, 2014

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Now that's funny .... and strange.

Everyone Loves that Fresh-cut Smell




I'm currently reading THE PARIS AFFAIR by Teresa Grant. This is 3rd of 4 in series featuring  Malcolm and Suzanne Rannoch, a diplomat and his wife, in 1815 Europe. Here is a description:
In the wake of the Battle of Waterloo, Paris is a house divided. The triumphant Bourbons flaunt their victory with lavish parties, while Bonapartists seek revenge only to be captured and executed. Amid the turmoil, British attaché and Intelligence Agent Malcolm Rannoch and his wife, Suzanne, discover that his murdered half-sister, Princess Tatiana Kirsanova, may have borne a child—a secret she took to the grave. And Malcolm suspects there was more than mere impropriety behind her silence… As Malcolm and Suzanne begin searching for answers, they learn that the child was just one of many secrets Tatiana had been keeping. The princess was the toast of Paris when she arrived in the glamorous city, flirting her way into the arms of more than a few men—perhaps even those of Napoleon himself—and the father must be among them. But in the melee of the Napoleonic Wars, she was caught up in a deadly game, and now Malcolm and Suzanne must race against time to save the child from a similar fate…

Published in 2013, it has 449 pages.

Tonight I'll have Motive at 9, and I'll stay awake by watching Who Do You Think You Are.  Yeah, I know, pathetic.

Hot, blah blah blah, hate it, yadda yadda yadda, hanging out in the basement, etc. etc. etc.

Stay cool....

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

I love you, popcicle

Keepin' Cool With the Cuteness


Still here. Sorry I didn't get a chance to post anything yesterday.

Over the weekend I finished the Peter Robinson book and was reminded why I like that series. I'll have to get caught up. Last night I finished a SFF book by Elizabeth Moon - part of the Serrano/Suiza space opera series. I really enjoyed that a bunch but I have to tell myself to slow down and not rush to the next one.

I have a hold to pick up at the library, the newest by Alex Grecian. I may have to get that tomorrow, maybe at lunch.

I'm going to try a new recipe to make for dinner. The day before payday, one seems to find herself short of dollars and has to be more creative with the food on hand. I found a simple casserole using Rice Roni and mushroom soup. Cross your fingers, folks.

There was a really nice breeze blowing early this morning when I walked the dogs. Gone. In the high 80s it says for Billings but I'm sure reality is hotter. And it will be hotter the rest of the week. Blech.


Friday, July 25, 2014

Well, where else would a giraffe go? Sheesh.



I'm currently reading BAD BOY by Peter Robinson. This is 19th of 22 in series featuring Alan Banks, Eastvale detective chief inspector, in Yorkshire, England. Here's a description:

A distraught woman arrives at the Eastvale police station desperate to speak to Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks. But since Banks is away on holiday, his partner, Annie Cabbot, steps in. The woman tells Annie that she’s found a loaded gun hidden in the bedroom of her daughter, Erin—a punishable offense under English law. When an armed response team breaks into the house to retrieve the weapon, the seemingly straightforward procedure quickly spirals out of control. But trouble is only beginning for Annie, the Eastvale force, and Banks, and this time, the fallout may finally do the iconoclastic inspector in. For it turns out that Erin’s best friend and roommate is none other than Tracy Banks, the DCI’s daughter, who was last seen racing off to warn the owner of the gun, a very bad boy indeed. Thrust into a complicated and dangerous case intertwining the personal and the professional as never before, Annie and Banks—a bit of a bad boy himself—must risk everything to outsmart a smooth and devious psychopath. Both Annie and Banks understand that it’s not just his career hanging in the balance, it’s also his daughter’s life.
 Published in 2010, it has 417 pages. I was in the mood for a police procedural and I'm behind in this series. It was finally time to read it after it sat on my Kindle for four years. Oy.

Tonight on TV we have Cold Justice. I love love love cold cases.

No firm plans yet for the weekend beyond the usual chores. May go shopping with Mom tomorrow.

TGIF!

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Waiting for the weekend....

And Now...We Wait...


It's National "Is it hot enough for you?" Day. No joke. And today is the hottest so far here in Billings. I don't know if we hit it or not, but it was supposed to reach 100. Blech blech blech.  Last night we had a big thunder/boomer and gulley washer of a storm. I missed most of  it because I was huddled in the bedroom with Ryker and Coda. :)

I'm thinking this may be a TV night. Definitely have Motive at 9. Prior to that, I may surf the channels a bit. Actually, I'll probably check out Who Do You Think You Are? 

Steve has shooting tonight. The boys and I will hang out in the basement.

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Monday, July 21, 2014

We're not pleased ... Monday, Summer, bugs, allergies ....


Man, allergies are hitting me hard today. I took a 24-hour Zyrtek this morning but apparently the 24-hour type is not terribly strong. My eyes mostly are affected. And the side of town that work is located is older with more mature trees if that's what I'm allergic to. And smoke. The smoke is mostly gone today, at least visibly. Uff da.

And bugs. We have little flying gnat thingies at work. Driving me crazy. And it looks like Steve was bitten by a spider last night while dealing with some weeds (shock). Keeping an eye on it but just looks like a bite.

Tonight, nothing on TV for me. I hope to do some reading.

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Saturday, July 19, 2014

It's the weekend!!

1w3yuuI

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The freezer would have been better

It's Too Hot Outside Today

We're going into a weather pattern of 90s for the next several days. Just ... yuck.

I hope to do a whole lotta reading tonight. But I'm thinking sleep will get me.

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Doesn't everybody?

That Was One Crazy Fight


I'll be starting HUNTING SHADOWS by Charles Todd. This is 16th of 17 in series featuring an Rutledge, a shell-shocked World War I veteran returning to his job at Scotland Yard. Here is a description:
A society wedding at Ely Cathedral in Cambridgeshire becomes a crime scene when a man is murdered. After another body is found, the baffled local constabulary turns to Scotland Yard. Though the second crime had a witness, her description of the killer is so strange its unbelievable. Despite his experience, Inspector Ian Rutledge has few answers of his own. The victims are so different that there is no rhyme or reason to their deaths. Nothing logically seems to connect them—except the killer. As the investigation widens, a clear suspect emerges. But for Rutledge, the facts still don’t add up, leaving him to question his own judgment. In going over the details of the case, Rutledge is reminded of a dark episode he witnessed in the war. While the memory could lead him to the truth, it also raises a prickly dilemma. To stop a murderer, will the ethical detective choose to follow the letter—or the spirit—of the law?
Published in 2014, it has 341 pages. This is a digital loan from the library. I'm also reading INFINITE QUEST by John Edward. We're seeing his show here in August. We're also seeing the Blue Man Group at Alberta Bair Theatre in October. Woot!


Steve has shooting tonight, I have Motive at 9pm. I'll have to force myself to stay awake. The last couple nights it's been nice to close my eyes at 8:30. And yes, I wake up a couple times in the night but that's going to happen anyway.

And this is good news:

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Woot! Really, it's not that far off.

And we'll end with some happy book thoughts....


Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Air conditioning!!


Actually the weather isn't too bad today but it will be in the 90s by the end of the week and will stay that way for a while. This morning, a thunderstorm was grumbling very lowly in the distance and the sunrise was a strange but beautiful gold/yellow spotlight.

I brought soup for lunch today but didn't feel like it by the time it came around to eating it. I got a sandwich at Good Earth Market - turkey, fig spread, sprouts, and cream cheese. "Twas good. But not something I'd indulge in a whole lot.

I have been doing some meditating in the past week or so. And I'm just going to have to go with what I'm receiving -- to focus more on inward stuff, stress relief, healthy, etc., than the current events which, sadly, is so much negativity. So I'm setting that current events portion aside for a bit.

May watch Deadliest Catch tonight. Otherwise, I'll read. I didn't get much of anything done last evening. I had a monster neck ache that went into a head ache that wouldn't go away. Finally, at 10:30 I put a Salonpas patch on the neck and when I woke at 2am it seemed to pop loose and today I felt perfect okay. Thank goodness.

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Monday, July 14, 2014

Tuff enough to drive pink

They See Me Rollin'...


Monday Monday. Al called in sick so I was on front desk duty all day. Busy.

I have no idea what's for dinner. 

I hope to read tonight and then sleep so deep.

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Sunday, July 13, 2014

All by myself -- and I'm okay with that

tumblr_n1wme9Ziti1qdlh1io1_400


Yesterday was lost to an all-day shooting tournament in which I was score keeper. Not a hard job; it was just a hot day and an endurance test. We got home at 4. However, I'm either fighting a slight bug or I'm still recovering from yesterday. Feeling a little under the weather.

Today, I'm doing the usual weekend chores. Napped a little. And we're back to work again tomorrow. Oh boy.

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Friday, July 11, 2014

I got plans, baby, BIG plans....



TGIF!

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster



Thursday, July 10, 2014

Starry eyed



I'm about to start reading AMERICA: Imagine a World Without Her by Dinesh D'Souza. Here's a description:
Is America a source of pride, as Americans have long held, or shame, as Progressives allege? Beneath an innocent exterior, are our lives complicit in a national project of theft, expropriation, oppression, and murder, or is America still the hope of the world? New York Times bestselling author Dinesh D'Souza says these questions are no mere academic exercise. It is the Progressive view that is taught in our schools, that is preached by Hollywood, and that shapes the policies of the Obama administration. If America is a force for inequality and injustice in the world, its power deserves to be diminished; if traditional America is based on oppression and theft, then traditional America must be reformed—and the federal government can do the reforming. In America: Imagine a World without Her D'Souza offers a passionate and sharply reasoned defense of America, knocking down every important accusation made by Progressives against our country. D'Souza, an Indian immigrant to this country, and proud American citizen, fears for America's future. He loves this country and fears that unless the Progressives' anti-American arguments are met forcibly and on their own terms, America will cease to be the beacon of freedom and hope that it always has been. In America: Imagine a World without Her D'Souza offers a passionate and sharply reasoned defense of America, knocking down every important accusation made by Progressives against our country. In this book, you'll learn:
  • Why it is a pernicious myth that English colonists "stole" America from the Indians or that American settlers and soldiers "stole" the southwest from Mexico

  • Why the descendants of slaves—and the successive waves of immigrants to the United States—are better off here than in their old countries

  • How America, more than any other country, is based on rewarding the enterprise and hard-work of the common man

  • How traditional American virtues sustain prosperity and freedom, and Progressive arguments about "liberation" and "justice" undercut them

  • How Progressive demagoguery about "inequality" expands the power of government and its grasp on the taxpayer's wallet

  • Why we should fear the Progressive agenda of "reform" which is in fact an agenda of totalitarian control of the state over the individual

  • Why national decline is a choice--a choice that it is still not too late to reverse

Published June 2014, it has 304 pages.

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

I'm scared, can I sleep with you?

I Have My Own Bed but I Have This One Instead


I have really got to finished the Anna Lee Huber book asap. I have a line of books waiting for me, tapping their feet. I've got the Rhys Bowen, the Edward Klein nonfiction, and another hold from the library.

Not much else going on. It's hot and going to get hotter in the next few days. Summer sucks. :)  Okay, I take that back. Heat sucks.











Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Current Events - July 8, 2014

 
 


Is the border crisis Obama's 'Katrina moment'?

....The administration is in cloud cuckoo land if they think anyone believes them when they claim they are enforcing the law. In fact, they are flouting the law and there's no sign that's going to change anytime soon.
But in order for this crisis to be Obama's "Katrina moment," the media would have to pile on in criticizing his government's policies at the border. That's just not going to happen. Alreadd, the media is distancing Obama from the crisis by failing to report most of the bad news about what's happening in those camps. They aren't even reporting that the illegal alien kids are being let go after processing.
It would be nice to think that the incompetence and cynicism being displayed by the administration would be punished. But most of the media is still on Obama's pocket and it's likely that this story will go away soon - just like every other scandal in this administration.

Documents: Illegal Immigrants Sending Billions Back to Home Countries


By Tony Lee
Central American nations may have no incentive to prevent migrants from flooding across the U.S.-Mexico border because of the billions of dollars of remittances that illegal immigrants who are able to stay in the United States are sending back home. 
As the number of illegal immigrants from Central America has been increasing over the last three years, so have the remittances that Central American nations have received.
According to a leaked June 4, 2014 internal Department of Homeland Security (DHS) report from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that Breitbart Texas obtained, remittances from those in the United States to El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras make up at least 10% of each country's GDP.
The report estimates that remittances to El Salvador from those in the United States totaled $3 billion in 2010 but ballooned to an estimated $4.2 billion in 2013, which is 16% of El Salvador's GDP.
Remittances to Guatemala from those in the United States totaled $3.76 billion in 2010 and increased to $4.4 billion in 2012, which is 10% of Guatemala's GDP. 
And remittances to Honduras from those in the United States totaled $2.3 billion in 2010 and increased to $3.2 billion in 2013, which equaled 20% of Honduras's GDP.

Very sad to see Costco pull a stunt like this in retaliation to Dinesh D’Souza’s new movie

 By Joshua Riddle
Big mistake from Costco. Not only are they losing money, they are squashing political debate and angering half the country.
What in the world were they thinking?  If liberals were actually confident in their ideas, they would have Saul Alinsky’s book right next to Dinesh D’Souza’s and let the American people decide for themselves who is full of it.
From WND:
NEW YORK – The retail giant Costco Wholesale has issued an order to remove all copies of Dinesh D’Souza’s bestselling book “America: Imagine the World Without Her” from the shelves of its stores nationwide, WND has confirmed.
The book, in this mid-term election year, is a strong rebuttal of the progressive ideology behind President Obama’s policies, which have been supported by Costco co-founder and director Jim Senegal, a major Democrat donor and a speaker at the 2012 Democratic National Convention that nominated the president. A Washington Post political reporter has noted Obama’s “romance” with the nation’s second-largest retailer.
At Amazon.com, D’Souza’s book, released June 2, is ranked No. 43 overall and is the No. 3 hardcover book in Amazon’s Politics and Government section and No. 1 in the Commentary and Opinion subsection of Politics and Government.
Costco has sold more than 3,600 copies of “America” nationwide, with about 700 copies sold last week as D’Souza’s film by the same name opened at more than 1,000 movie theaters nationwide.
But Costco’s book department issued the “pull-order,” requiring all Costco stores nationwide to remove the book, confirmed Scott Losse, an inventory control specialist in the book department at the Costco Wholesale corporate office in Issaquah, Wash., a suburb of Seattle.

 VA Whistleblower: ‘They Had Us Stop Work Processing Vets Applications’ for ‘Obamacare Enrollment’, Complaint Was Leaked to His Boss by WH

By Katie Maguire
The VA is under fire once more for purging over 10,000 applications of Veterans seeking healthcare. No, that is not a typo. The VA DELIBERATELY disposed of these applications.  
From Weasel Zipper’s Article:
We reported on VA whistleblower Scott Davis yesterday, charges that thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of VA applications were either destroyed or just never processed. We also noted his charge that VA employees were asked to stop working on VA applications to concentrate on Obamacare applications.
That would be shocking enough, in and of itself.
But there’s another headline out of the interview that we wanted to highlight. At around 4:18, Davis says he reported the destruction or losing of applications to White House deputy chief of staff, Rob Nabors, and gave him a copy of his whistleblower complaint. He says the complaint was then leaked to the very same people about whom he was complaining.

Ed Sec. Arne Duncan Launches Unilateral 'Education Equity' Initiative

Dr. Susan Berry
In a press conference Monday, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said he was launching, without the approval of the U.S. Congress, the Excellent Educators for All Initiative, an endeavor that purports to assist states and school districts with support to hire “great educators for the students who need them most.”
Calling attention to the social justice agenda that underlies the Education Department’s initiatives, which include the Race to the Top grants for support of the Common Core standards and universal pre-school, Duncan said he “just cannot continue to wait” for Congress to respond to the needs of children.
...“Absent Congressional action, the President is moving forward on behalf of vulnerable children and families,” USED continues.
The Excellent Educators for All Initiative includes three parts:
Comprehensive Educator Equity Plans, in which the federal government will require “states to analyze their data and consult with teachers, principals, districts, parents and community organizations to create new, comprehensive educator equity plans that put in place locally-developed solutions to ensure every student has effective educators.”
Chief State School Officers, or the state departments of education and chairs of state boards of education, will receive a letter that indicates the plans are to be submitted to the federal government in April of 2015.
According to the letter, “in accordance with the requirements of Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA),” each state educational agency must “describe the steps it will take to ensure that ‘poor and minority children are not taught at higher rates than other children by inexperienced, unqualified, or out-of-field teachers.’”
An Educator Equity Support Network, in which the federal government will spend $4.2 million of taxpayer funds “to launch a new technical assistance network to support states and districts in developing and implementing their plans to ensure all students have access to great educators.”
Educator Equity Profiles, in which the federal government will publish profiles of the states to “identify gaps in access to quality teaching for low-income and minority students…”
In addition to the profiles, USED says states will receive their “complete data file from the Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC),” so they can design strategies for improving their inequities.


Our Roost, Obama’s Chickens

From the Middle East to Russia to our own southern border, Obama’s bills are coming due. 

By Victor Davis Hanson
Often, crazy things seem normal for a time because logical catastrophes do not immediately follow.
A deeply suspicious Richard Nixon systematically and without pushback for years undermined and politicized almost every institution of the federal government, from the CIA and the FBI to the IRS and the attorney general’s office. Nixon seemed to get away with it — until his second term. Once the public woke up, however, the eventual accounting proved devastating: resignation of a sitting president, prison sentences for his top aides, collapse of the Republican party, government stasis, a ruined economy, the destruction of the Vietnam peace accords that had led to a viable South Vietnam, the end of Henry Kissinger’s diplomatic breakthroughs, and a generation of abject cynicism about government. Did Nixon ever grasp that such destruction was the natural wage of his own paranoia?
In the post-Watergate climate of reform, for nearly three years a naïve Jimmy Carter gave utopian speeches about how American forbearance would end the Cold War and create a new world order based on human rights — until America’s abdication started to erode the preexisting global order. Scary things followed, such as the fall of the shah of Iran, the rise of Iranian theocracy, the taking of American hostages in Tehran, revolutions and insurrection throughout Central America, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, radical Islamists taking over Mecca, more gas lines, continued stagflation, and China invading Vietnam. Did the puritanical Carter ever understand what might be the consequences of his own self-righteousness in an imperfect world?
Barack Obama likewise has done some crazy things that seemed for years to have no ramifications. Unfortunately, typical of the ways of Nemesis (a bitter goddess who waits until the opportune moment to demand payment for past hubris), suddenly the bills for Obama’s six years of folly are coming due for the American people.
When a president occasionally fails to tell the truth, you get a scandal like the monitoring of the Associated Press reporters. When a president serially fails to tell the truth, you get that plus the scandals involving the IRS, the NSA, the VA, Benghazi, and too many others to mention.
The same is true abroad. The American public hardly noticed when Obama recklessly withdrew every peacekeeper from Iraq. Did he not boast of “ending the Iraq War”? It did not mind when the U.S. posted dates for withdrawal from Afghanistan. Trashing all the Bush–Cheney anti-terrorism protocols, from Guantanamo to renditions, did not make much sense, when such policies had worked and, in fact, were of use to Obama himself. But again, most Americans took no note. Apparently the terrorists did, however, and they regrouped even as the president declared them “on the run.”
Lecturing Israel while praising Islamist Turkey was likewise ignored. America snoozed as its president insidiously redefined its role in the Middle East as secondary to the supposed pivot to Asia. Each new correction in and of itself was comparatively minor; but in aggregate they began to unravel the U.S.-inspired postwar global order.
At first, who cared whether Iran serially violated every Obama deadline on halting nuclear enrichment? Did we worry that Libya, where Obama was proud of having led from behind, was descending into Somalia? Few Americans were all that bothered over Obama’s empty order to Syrian president Bashar Assad to step down, or over Obama’s later vacuous red-line threats that bombs would follow any use by Assad of chemical weapons.
Few noted that Obama lied to the nation that a video had caused the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi, that Obama had known who the real terrorist perpetrators were but had ordered no immediate action to kill or capture them, and that Americans had been engaged in mysterious and still unexplained covert activities in Benghazi. After all that, we still shrugged when the president traded five top terrorist leaders for an alleged American deserter.
Trashing George W. Bush’s policy toward Vladimir Putin while promising a new reset approach (illustrated with a plastic red button) to an aggressive dictator raised few eyebrows at the time. Nor did many Americans worry that our Pacific allies were upset over Chinese and North Korean aggression that seemed to ignore traditional U.S. deterrence.
We were told that only Obama-haters at home had catalogued the president’s apologies abroad, his weird multicultural bowing to authoritarians, his ahistorical speeches about mythical Islamic achievements, his surreal euphemisms for radical Islam, terrorism, and jihadism, his shrill insistence about civilian trials for terrorists and closing Guantanamo, or the radical cutbacks at the Pentagon, coupled with the vast increase in entitlement spending.
But after six years of all that, our allies have got the message that they are on their own, our enemies that there are few consequences to aggression, and neutrals that joining with America does not mean ending up on the winning side. The result is that the Middle East we have known since the end of World War II has now vanished
Supposedly crackpot fantasies about a worldwide “caliphate” are becoming reified. What were once dismissed as conspiracy theories about an “Iranian arc” —  from a nuclear Tehran through Syria to Hezbollah in Lebanon to the borders of Israel to the Shiite minorities in the Gulf kingdoms — do not seem so crazy.
The idea of visiting the Egyptian pyramids or hoping to reengage with a reforming Libya is absurd. The best of the Middle East — Israel, Jordan, Kurdistan — no longer count on us. The worst — ISIS, Iran, Syria — count on us to remain irrelevant or worse. Old allies in the Gulf would probably trust Israel or Russia more than the Obama administration. In the next two years, if Obama continues on his present course, we are going to see things that we could not have imagined six years ago in the Middle East, as it reverts to premodern Islamic tribalism.
The same trajectory has been followed on the home front. Americans at first were amused that the great conciliator — and greatest political recipient on record of Wall Street cash — went after the rich with an array of hokey epithets and slurs (fat cats, corporate-jet owners, Vegas junketeers, limb-lopping and tonsil-pulling doctors, business owners who should not profit, or should know when they have made enough money, or should admit they didn’t build their own businesses). Few connected the dots when the polarizing attorney general — the John Mitchell of our time — referred to African-Americans as “my people” and all the rest of the nation as “cowards.” Did we worry that the craziest things seem to come out of the president’s own mouth — the Trayvon-like son he never had, the stereotyping police, the absence of a “smidgen” of corruption in the Lois Lerner IRS scandal, or the mean Republicans who “messed” with him?
The president before the 2012 elections lamented to Latino groups that he did not have dictatorial powers to grant amnesty but urged them in the meantime to “punish our enemies” — a sort of follow-up to his 2008 “typical white person” incitement. Who was bothered that with “a pen and a phone” Obama for the first time in American history emasculated the U.S. Border Patrol, as part of a larger agenda of picking and choosing which federal laws the executive branch would enforce?
Those choices seemed to be predicated on two extralegal criteria: Did a law contribute to Obama’s concept of social justice, and did it further the progressive political cause? If the answer was no to either, the statute was largely unenforced. No president since World War II has done more to harm the U.S. Constitution — by ordering the executive branch not to enforce particular laws, by creating by fiat laws never enacted by Congress, by monitoring the communications of journalists and average Americans, by making appointments contrary to law — to the apparent yawns of the people.
Too few also seemed to care that almost everything the president had promised about Obamacare — keep your health plan, retain your doctor, save money on your premiums, sign up easily online, while we were lowering the annual deficit and reducing medical expenditures — was an abject lie. In such a climate, Obama felt no need to issue accurate data about how many Americans had lost their health plans, how many had simply transferred to Obamacare from Medicaid, how many had actually paid their premiums, or how many were still uninsured. The media ignored the serial $1 trillion deficits, the chronic high unemployment and low growth, the nonexistence of the long-promised “summer of recovery,” and the nonappearance of “millions of shovel-ready and green jobs.” The fact that electrical-power rates, gasoline prices, and food costs have soared under Obama as wages have stagnated has never really been noticed. Nor have the record numbers of Americans on food stamps and disability insurance.
Meanwhile, as Obama has refused to enforce immigration law, the result is chaos. Tens of thousands of children are flooding across our border illegally, on the scent of Obama’s executive-order amnesties. Advocates of open borders, such as progressive grandees Mark Zuckerberg and Nancy Pelosi, assume that these impoverished Third World children will not enroll in the private academies attended by their children or grandchildren, or need housing in one of their vacation estates, or crowd their specialists’ waiting rooms. They do not worry about the effects of illegal immigration on the wages of low-income Americans. Dealing first-hand with the ramifications of open borders is for unenlightened, illiberal little people.
Obama’s economic legacy is rarely appreciated. He has institutionalized the idea that unemployment between 6 and 7 percent is normal, that annual deficits over $500 billion reflect frugality, that soaring power, food, and fuel costs are not proof of inflation, that zero interest rates are the reward for thrift, that higher taxes are always a beginning, never an end, and that there is no contradiction when elite progressives — the Obamas, the Clintons, the Warrens — trash the 1-percenters, while doing everything in their power to live just like them.
We are the roost and, to paraphrase the president’s former spiritual adviser, Obama’s chickens are now coming home to us.

Obama goes fundraising as ISIS head emerges to preach jihad, killings continue

By Andrew MalcolmNot that you'd know it from most U.S. media, but the shootings, beheadings, hangings and crucifixions continued in ISIS-controlled Iraq over the holiday weekend, as Americans focused on barbecues and benevolently beautiful fireworks.
The Obama administration also took a break from its grueling daily photo-ops designed to change the topic of discussion from any number of ongoing Obama predicaments. Joe Biden was secluded in his waterfront Delaware home. Secy. of State John Kerry pursued Mideast peace by kite-surfing off Nantucket.
And President Obama sought to protect his reputation for being oblivious to political optics. He made a brief appearance at a White House party for military and played golf with the usual suspects. This afternoon he leaves for three days of fundraisers in Colorado and Texas. (But no border visit.)
Analysts, meanwhile, pored over an unusual videotape released by the terrorists currently conquering Iraq. It purports to show Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the shadowy head of ISIS, speaking in a Mosul mosque at Friday prayers.
Obama aides, invested in the president's claim that he left no residual U.S. forces in Iraq in 2011 because it was so well-situated, have expressed surprise at how quickly ISIS was able to move through a large swath of Iraq.
However, subsequent reports reveal that, just as with the ObamaCare rollout debacle and the IRS scandal, administration officials had been warned of the looming problem many months ago. But they did nothing in preparation and ignored the Baghdad government's pleas for help early this year. As Nobel Peace Prize winner, you may recall, Obama launched a war on Libya when its dictator merely threatened to kill civilians.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Have ducky, I'm happy

I Got My Duck!  Yayyyy!



Adding another book to my currently reading, HER ROYAL SPYNESS by Rhys Bowen, 1st of 8 in series featuring Lady Georgiana, minor royalty in 1930s England. Here's a description:
Her ridiculously long name is Lady Victoria Georgiana Charlotte Eugenie, daughter to the Duke of Atholt and Rannoch. And she is flat broke. As the thirty-fourth in line for the throne, she has been taught only a few things, among them, the perfect curtsey. But when her brother cuts off her allowance, she leaves Scotland, and her fiancŽ Fish-Face, for London, where she has: a) worked behind a cosmetics counter-and gotten sacked after five hours b) started to fall for a quite unsuitable minor royal c) made some money housekeeping (incognita, of course), and d) been summoned by the Queen to spy on her playboy son. Then an arrogant Frenchman, who wants her family's 800-year-old estate for himself, winds up dead in her bathtub. Now her most important job is to clear her very long family name.

Published in 2007, it has 348 pages. This is a loan from the digital library. 

I'm glad the holiday weekend is over. Last night there was a thunderstorm of sorts that prevented people from putting off fireworks -- or they were just tired of it by Sunday night. Now, I think we can all get back to our normal sleep patterns and relax in general.

Steve has a board meeting tonight; I will read and hang with the boys and try to stay awake past 8. :)

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Current Events - July 7, 2014

 
 
 
 
 


The Obamas Have Spent Over $44,351,777.12 In Taxpayer Cash On Travel

By Ariel Cohen
The Obamas have spent over 44 million dollars in taxpayer money on travel and vacations. Some are even calling him the “most well-trvaeled, expensive” president in our nation’s history.
As Americans head off for the long holiday weekend, let’s take a look back at some of the president’s holiday spending.
Our president vacations a lot — we’re talking $44,351,777.12 worth of “a lot,” with most expenses charged to the American taxpayer.
As of March 2014, Obama has spent more time traveling internationally than any other president, taking 31 trips since assuming office in 2009. The 119 days spent overseas have cost taxpayers millions of dollars.
At the same point in their respective presidencies, George W. Bush had spent 116 days on 28 trips, Bill Clinton had spent 113 days on 27 trips and Ronald Reagan had spent 73 days on just 14 trips.
By Susan Crabtree
President Obama will face more pressure this week to help resolve the immigration crisis at the Texas border as he travels to the state for three fundraisers and a speech focused on the economy.
...Obama will head to Texas Wednesday after headlining a fundraiser in Denver the same day.
On Monday, the president and Education Secretary Arne Duncan will host a group of teachers at the White House for lunch to “discuss the administration's efforts to ensure that every student is taught by an effective educator,” the White House said over the weekend.
On Tuesday, he will meet with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen at the White House ahead of the NATO summit to be held in Wales in September.
...On Thursday morning, Obama also plans to deliver remarks on the economy at a theater in Austin.

David Axelrod: Gosh, Obama is just too complex for you plebes

By T. Becket Adams
...No, here love died between voters and the president because he's just too darn complex, or so says David Axelrod, a former senior adviser to the president.
National Review's Rich Lowry flagged this gem of a quote in a recent New York Times article:
Reagan significantly changed the trajectory of the country for better and worse. But he restored a sense of clarity. Bush and Cheney were black and white, and after them, Americans wanted someone smart enough to get the nuances and deal with complexities. Now I think people are tired of complexity and they're hungering for clarity, a simpler time. But that's going to be hard to restore in the world today.
Just so we’re clear: The president's decline in popularity is not because of the lagging economy, the many White House’s scandals or the administration's dithering in the face of an increasingly unstable world.
Nope. Obama’s poor marks are because he’s just too complex for voters.

Congress has just weeks to replenish expiring highway fund


By Susan Ferrechio

Roadwork nationwide could screech to a halt if Congress doesn't act soon.
Congress returns this week to confront the looming expiration of federal funds for highway projects, but there isn’t much time to pass legislation. That has left states worried they’ll no longer receive federal funding that pays for most state bridge and road repairs.
Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx sent a letter last week to state transportation officials, warning them funding will be reduced in August until Congress acts to replenish the Highway Trust Fund.
...But neither the House nor Senate has scheduled time this week to debate legislation to fund highway projects, even though just a handful of workdays remain before lawmakers depart for the August recess.
The House this week is slated to debate an energy and water appropriations bill and a workforce training measure, while the Senate may consider a “Sportsmen's Act,” which, among other things, would allow states to electronically grant stamps for duck hunting.



All Obama's World's a Stage

By Cindy Simpson
...“Have you noticed,” Jonah Goldberg recently remarked, “that basically the only way this White House can get out from under one scandal or controversy is by getting crushed by another?”
That cycle -- scandal, outrage, subsequent rejection as “phony,” followed by another scandal -- has conveniently appeared throughout the Obama presidency.  Pick any scandal and watch it run through the wash: Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
“Scandal exhaustion,” noted Tom Blumer, seems to be a part of the left’s “Cloward-Piven attempt to overwhelm opponents. With so many scandals out there, no single outrage can generate concerted, sufficiently visible opposition.”
It’s “a scandal a month,” Ben Shapiro commented, “and then every so often, President Obama decides to replace one scandal with another, the media loses interest. Two years later, we’re still asking the same questions and then told, ‘Dude, that happened like two years ago.’”
Besides brushing off scandals as old news, Goldberg observed that the complex often focuses attention on the GOP reaction of “outrage” instead of the outrageousness of the scandal itself.
And should anyone take note of the remarkable timing of the scandal cycle, there’s always the most effective and often-used weapon of the left: Ridicule.  In this piece published at The New Republic titled “The Maddening Illogic of the IRS ‘Coverup’ Conspiracy Theory,” the author asserted:
Yet I'm 100 percent confident that if the IRS or another government agency were to rescue the Lerner emails a week from now, and provide them to Congress, the same people who are currently treating their absence as proof of a coverup would cast their reappearance as a conveniently-timed distraction from some other scandal.
The scandal-a-month program, conspiracy or not, certainly appears to be working to the benefit of the Democrats. In typical “Hollywood” fashion, noted John Hinderaker, they “have learned how to make childishness pay” by using talk of impeachment and lawsuits over the scandals as “fundraising props.”

Federal Agents With Riot Gear Arriving In Murrieta To Subdue Immigration Protesters

 By Katie Frates
Federal agents will be arriving in Murrieta, Calif., the site of ongoing protests against the recent flood of illegal immigrants into the town, on Monday to quell protesters, Breitbart has learned.
Murrieta has been in the news since June 1 when protesters blocked a convoy of buses carrying illegal immigrants to a local border patrol station.
Protesters have not left yet, and federal agents are supposedly fed up with American citizens being concerned about their hometown.
John Henry, a Murrieta resident for over two decades, was told by local officers that the feds will be barricading streets.
“We’re being told that federal Marshals or ICE will be here in the next few days and that they are bringing riot gear,” Henry said. “They’re apparently going to be blocking off the street with concrete blockades so that no vehicles can get through. The River County Sheriff’s Department showed up last night and brought a huge watch tower that shoots up into the air 35 feet.”



Why the White House Wants Amnesty

by Ben Shapiro
....But this strategy isn’t what Democrats are up to. Cloward-Piven’s goal was to create impetus for government to guarantee a universal living. The modern Democratic Party is significantly less interested in guaranteed benefits than for an economic leveling. The motivating factor of the left is not caring for the poor but tearing down the wealthy. The philosophy of the Democratic Party was embodied by Barack Obama’s response to a moderator question in 2008: “I would look at raising the capital gains tax for purposes of fairness.”
Fairness. Not prosperity. Fairness.
And so the Democrats will move to bankrupt the system. No welfare state can survive with open borders. That is a truism. And yet that’s exactly what Democrats are now promoting: open borders with a full welfare state. Why? Not because Democrats believe that the homegrown poor in America will be better off with more people joining them on the dole; they won’t. Rather, Democrats love the size and scope of the state and despise the rival the state faces in individual success. A growing welfare base requires higher taxation, more degradation of individual success. That is the goal.
It is the goal of the left’s hero of the moment, Thomas Piketty, who seeks a global tax on wealth in order to heal “inequality” – not to bring prosperity. It is the goal of Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), who suggests that all wealth is communal, and none is individual:
There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own -- nobody. You built a factory out there? Good for you. But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police-forces and fire-forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn't have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory -- and hire someone to protect against this -- because of the work the rest of us did. 
Obviously, none of this does anything worthwhile for immigrants who come here to seek prosperity rather than fairness. But the rise in illegal immigration certainly creates impetus for higher taxes, more economic leveling, and a decline in prosperity for purposes of fairness. The Obama administration isn’t merely taking advantage of a good crisis. They’re creating one in order to do so.

Lib Language Police: ‘Illegal’ Is The New ‘N-Word’

By Larry O'Connor
CNN’s Sally Kohn says using the term “illegal” to describe anyone who enters or stays in America illegally is tantamount to employing a racial slur such as the “n-word” or the “f-word” as a disparaging term for a homosexual man.
You could see this one coming a mile away.  As the border crisis grows and politicians, pundits, and media personalities debate and discuss the problem of the 50,000+ unaccompanied alien children who’ve illegally entered our country over the past several months, leave it to liberal commentators to focus their arguments on the appropriate politically correct euphemisms used to identify the children.
Kohn writes in a column on CNN.com:
During the civil rights era, Alabama Gov. George Wallace was asked by a supporter why he was fixated on the politics of race. Wallace replied, “You know, I tried to talk about good roads and good schools and all these things that have been part of my career, and nobody listened. And then I began talking about n*ggers, and they stomped the floor.”
In the 1980s, during the rise of the gay rights movement, North Carolina Sen. Jesse Helms accused a political opponent for supporting “f*ggots, perverts, [and] sexual deviates of this nation.”
Today, opponents of immigration reform attack undocumented immigrants as “illegal immigrants.” Even worse, like anti-immigration extremists, some prominent elected officials use the term “illegals.” Maine Gov. Paul LePage, a Republican, said, “I urge all Mainers to tell your city councilors and selectmen to stop handing out your money to illegals.”
Once upon a time, the n-word and f-word were utterly acceptable terminology in undermining not only the basic rights but basic humanity of black people and gay people. That those terms seem radically inappropriate and out of step with mainstream culture now is only because social movements and legal and political changes have shifted the landscape. But make no mistake about it, words matter, not only in reflecting certain dehumanizing attitudes toward historically marginalized groups but in actively perpetuating and rationalizing that dehumanization.
Not the same thing? Of course it is.
This is a common tactic employed by the left. Instead of arguing the actual merits of their cause or the actual issue of the border crisis they instead attack you for the perfectly legitimate word you use when making your point about the issue.  And why not? The issues and merits don’t play well for the left right now, so much easier to call their opponents “racist” or “intolerant haters” than have to try to convince Americans that everyone and anyone should be welcomed as new citizens if they illegally cross our nation’s borders.

No, ‘Illegal’ Is Not Like the N-Word

Suppressing language does not change objective reality

By Walter Hudson
....No, it isn’t. Kohn’s equivalence is beyond despicable.
The n-word serves no descriptive purpose. It does not speak to a factual truth about its object. The n-word is plainly and only derogatory.
The word “illegal” is an adjective with objective meaning that describes a factual reality. We call illegal immigrants “illegal” because they are here illegally. It’s pretty simple.
Of course, Kohn knows that. An eighth grader knows that. Surely, someone writing for CNN understands that words have meaning and that communicating concepts accurately proves essential to any policy debate. We may therefore conclude with confidence that Kohn’s campaign to remove “illegal” from our policy vernacular is a naked attempt to deny the illegality of certain immigration by erasing any linguistic reference to it.
The answer is no, Sally. We’re not changing our language to suit your agenda. We’re not going to stop categorizing people objectively as illegal immigrants. We’re not going to dilute the gravity of truly derogatory terms by conflating them with one that is not.
 

Study: Conservative Books Missing From Freshman Reading Programs


A study conducted by Young America’s Foundation found that conservative books are missing from freshman reading programs.
The study looked at the top 50 colleges, as noted in Forbes’ top 100 colleges list. In the last three years, none of the colleges assigned a single book by a conservative author or featuring conservative themes.
Ashley Pratte, of Young America’s Foundation, spoke to Tucker Carlson this morning on “Fox and Friends” about the findings. She said colleges are seeking to indoctrinate students before they even arrive.
“It’s not enough that courses tend to trend more liberal now on campus and then your graduation speakers are liberal commencement speakers now, but now these freshman required reading programs are delving into concepts that truly present liberal themes. And there’s not one that we found on there that promoted free market principles or capitalism, which are things that maybe students should be learning,” she said.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Happy Independence Day



Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Independence Day - July 4, 2014

On a hot summer day, July 4, 1776, to be exact, a group of men met in Philadelphia. Each man signed his own name to a document. As each man signed, he knew either their great venture would be a success or they had just signed their death warrants. If they were not considered traitors by the British before this, they certainly were now.
  We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness

The ringing phrases of the document's famous second paragraph are a powerful synthesis of American constitutional and republic-an government theories. All men have a right to liberty as they are by nature equal, which is to say none are inherently superior and deserve to rule or inferior and deserve to be ruled.

Because all are endowed with these rights, the rights are unalienable, which means that they cannot be given up or taken away. And because individuals equally possess these rights, governments derive their just powers from the consent of those governed. Government's purpose is to secure these fundamental rights and, although prudence tells us that governments should not be changed for trivial reasons, the people retain the right to alter or abolish government when it becomes destructive of these ends.
 

My God! How little do my countrymen know what precious blessings they are in possession of, and which no other people on earth enjoy! ~Thomas Jefferson

"You see, freedom is very fragile – in fact, only 5% of all the civilized world throughout history has ever lived with the kind of freedoms we enjoy here in America. That 5% share a frightening commonality: when they lose their freedom, that’s it. They never get it back. And many did lose it. No matter how big, no matter how powerful. Do you want to be part of the generation that fell asleep and allowed America to fall? Do you want to be the ones who future generations of frustrated kids being told what car they can and cannot drive, how much soda they can drink, what temperature to set their thermostat at – point to and say ‘they did this!’ ?? I don’t. And I know you don’t either. So let’s commit ourselves to being ever vigilant." Glenn Beck

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.” President Ronald Reagan
  [T]hey established these great self-evident truths that … their posterity might look up again to the Declaration of Independence and take courage to renew that battle which their fathers began, so that truth and justice and mercy and all the humane and Christian virtues might not be extinguished from the land … Now, my countrymen, if you have been taught doctrines conflicting with the great landmarks of the Declaration of Independence … let me entreat you to come back … [C]ome back to the truths that are in the Declaration of Independence." (President Lincoln presented this appeal in 1858 to a crowd in Lewiston, Illinois)



American Independence requires vigilance today

The Declaration of Independence was America’s first foreign policy document. It proclaimed to the world in 1776 our intention to become and remain a separate nation, while also expressing America’s political philosophy and the basic aims of government.
Building upon a rich Anglo-Western tradition that fostered virtues of self-government, the Declaration recognizes the popular sovereignty of the American people — comprised of individuals possessing rights that no government can take away. That is the idea of liberty, and the Declaration says it exists and has existed for all time in all places for all people, in principle. Over time, with great sacrifice and determination, the U.S. constitutional order has been remarkably successful at delivering on the promises of the Declaration for the American people.
The Founders meant to ensure the continuation of self-government at home where self-reliant individuals, effective local governments, and a limited Federal government with enumerated powers guaranteed the people’s exercise of liberty. Abroad the United States was to remain independent, not coerced by foreign powers, and safe from attack. The common defense of the American people and their system of government required a capable military, but the character of America’s role in the world was much more than “boots on the ground”.
After touring the United States in 1835, Alexis de Tocqueville noted that the “principal instrument” of American foreign policy is “freedom.”  He meant that, in the United States, diplomacy is not just something the government does. When American citizens proclaim their faith in their principles and practice it at home they are helping to make their nation’s foreign policy, because their words and actions are a lesson for the world. Just recently, the Chinese dissident and political activist Chen Guangcheng began his time in America with a careful study of the Declaration. Among the countries of the earth, he wanted to escape China in order to come to America.
This July 4th America still stands for freedom, but precariously so. Welfare and entitlement programs strain the federal budget, while sapping the spirit of self-government and the virtues that enable it.
On the international front, expanding international organizations and global governance institutions often try to restrict America’s freedom of action and, at times, are fundamentally hostile to America’s system of government.
These entities, as American legal scholar John Fonte has argued, follow the logic of Progressivism on a transnational scale and are therefore unaccountable to the U.S. Constitution and the sovereignty of the American people. Through a growing matrix of international legal institutions, foreign governments and IGO’s wage “law-fare” against the U.S. seeking to undermine the legitimacy and attractiveness of the American constitutional order in the arena of world politics. This is a dire, albeit not-widely-understood threat to American independence. The most recent example of this trend affects Americans’ second amendment rights: Foreign entities and the U.S. State Department are currently advancing the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty which would affect the use of legally owned firearms within the United States.
The future of our liberties is insecure, as ever. “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction,” Ronald Reagan once said. “We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.” Americans have enjoyed a tradition and culture of self-government with its attendant opportunities and risks, but this too is fading away. And yet the stakes are exceedingly high. As George Washington noted, “the preservation of the sacred fire of liberty and the destiny of the republican model of government are justly considered as deeply, perhaps as finally, staked on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people.”
There are now many decisions to make. The United States Senate is debating ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (also known as the Law of the Sea Treaty, or LOST) in which the meaning and practice of U.S. sovereignty is at stake. The House of Representatives is also currently weighing the budget priorities of welfare spending and national defense. And yet U.S. independence abroad will mean very little if Americans at home continue their slide into dependency on government.
America has become and remains an inspiring, albeit imperfect, model of liberty, attracting millions of immigrants eager for the opportunity to pursue happiness. This is a fulfillment of the Declaration and the proper meaning of America’s role in the world— a shining city upon a hill.  This Fourth of July Americans should remember that the struggle of 1776 continues today, both for freedom from government dependency at home and independence from foreign coercion abroad.



President John Adams: 
“You will think me transported with enthusiasm but I am not. I am well aware of the toil and blood and treasure, that it will cost us to maintain this declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet through all the gloom I can see the rays of ravishing light and glory. I can see that the end is more than worth all the means. And that Posterity will triumph in that Days Transaction, even although we should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not.”

President Ronald Reagan: 
"My fellow Americans, it falls to us to keep faith with them and all the great Americans of our past. Believe me, if there’s one impression I carry with me after the privilege of holding for 5 1/2 years the office held by Adams and Jefferson and Lincoln, it is this: that the things that unite us — America’s past of which we’re so proud, our hopes and aspirations for the future of the world and this much-loved country — these things far outweigh what little divides us. And so tonight we reaffirm that Jew and gentile, we are one nation under God; that black and white, we are one nation indivisible; that Republican and Democrat, we are all Americans. Tonight, with heart and hand, through whatever trial and travail, we pledge ourselves to each other and to the cause of human freedom, the cause that has given light to this land and hope to the world."  

A Detour on Independence Day


 By Lee DeCovnick
...So on this Fourth of July, let us celebrate what we have created, remember our strength, and not dwell, until tomorrow, on the self-inflicted paralysis the United States of America has suffered during the past half-decade.
We have created “one nation under God” with more liberty, justice, and religious freedoms for more people than ever in ten thousand years of human history.
We believe in an equal balance of power among the branches of government.
Our Founders created a radical Constitution, and we expect our leaders to obey its framework and the spirit of its wisdom.
We have a Bill of Rights, a right to vote, and a right to bear firearms.  We elect our federal and local government representatives, and we live with consequences of those votes until the next election.
We have an abundance of food, water, energy, and natural resources, unmatched in human history.
We give the individual the right of judicial redress, so in America, the little guy can fight the entrenched interests and governmental overreach.
We cherish our wilderness, to be saved for future generations.  We all want every American, not just the rich and privileged, to visit and enjoy these natural riches.
We have created a nation that thrives on entrepreneurship, on competition, on a lightly regulated capitalism that has created the wealthiest nation in human history.
We have created an education system that equally allows women and men to learn, compete, and excel. 
Most Americans are optimists, who want to help, to give back to their community.
We have created a country where your parent’s race, class, political persuasion, and religion are not to be held against the future success of your children.