Saturday, January 31, 2015

Football rules changes...? You've come to the right place


There’s no denying that over the last few decades most all on-field rules changes made by the NFL have been exercises in increasing offense and scoring. This has created an arms race in a sense where the pendulum swings back and forth between the NFL offenses and NFL defenses whereby the offenses get aided by rules changes and the defenses counter with a combination of innovative schemes and superior athletes. To wit, for years, it’s been conventional wisdom that the best athletes in the world were in the NBA. Now days, we would add NFL defensive backs and possibly outside linebackers/rush ends into that mix (you don’t think dudes like Richard Sherman, Darrelle Revis and J.J. Watt can ball a little?).



But to the rule changes…. They’ve become ridiculous. In addition to wanting to increase offensive excitement in the game, the competition committee (the group within the NFL responsible for on-field rules changes) now must address the issues of concussions when tweaking the rules of the game. This has resulted in, quite literally, a hands-off approach to defending receivers downfield and rushing the quarterback to the point that were an NFL fan from 1980 transported forward in time 35 years, he would scarcely recognize the game. And to be sure, this is not necessarily all bad: we understand the need to protect the players while they become bigger and faster as the game’s evolution demands it. And it’s also understandable that as NFL viewers/consumers, we, all bitching and grousing aside, adjust our expectations to what is and isn’t a penalty accordingly (i.e., do we watch any less football because you can’t lay a hand on the quarterback, anymore?).

There are, however, a few rule changes that we would like to see made that would, simultaneously, increase offense/scoring and/or offensive plays without having direct adverse impact on the defenses and defensive personnel.



They are as follows:


1) Decrease the width of the goal post: At this year’s Pro Bowl, it was decided that the width of the goal post would be decreased by 4 ft. and which resulted in Adam Vinatieri missing 2 35 yard extra points and 1 38 yard field goal. This is a good thing. Let’s face it: Place kickers are just too good. Hell, by their appearances these days, lots of them actually look like athletes and inclement weather aside, anything inside 45-50 yards is pretty much automatic. We actually think it should be decreased by 6 ft. but we’ll settle for 4 ft., for now. And do you know why? Do you know what’s fun? 4th downs. 4th downs are fun. Do you know what’s not? Field goals. Field goals suck. Let’s force head coaches and offensive coordinators to make the tough call and keep their offense on the field for a 4th and 2 from the 32 yard line going in instead of picking up the perfunctory 3 points.


2) One foot instead of two inbounds: Why this has not happened by now absolutely baffles us. One foot inbounds while possessing the ball has been the rule at the college level for as longs as we can remember and if you want to increase offense at the pro level without putting the defense at a distinct disadvantage, why must you have two feet inbounds? This is such a no-brainer. C’mon, guys. Hit the Easy Button – make this happen!


3) The Calvin Johnson Rule: Now known as the Dez Bryant Rule. Let’s face it. We were robbed of one of the greatest moments in NFL Playoff history in the divisional playoff game a few weeks back between the Packers and Cowboys because the referees made the, we guess, correct ruling on an NFL rule that no one really understands. Sorry, any rule that contains the verbage “…and then makes a move consistent with the game…” is a bad rule. If the receiver comes down with two feet (one foot? Please see above) and possession of the ball and is downed by contact… it’s a catch. Or as one wag put it: “If 25 drunk guys at the bar think it’s a catch… it’s a catch.”

4) Football inflation: We won’t bother re-hashing any of the controversy surrounding an issue that has garnered more attention than perhaps it has deserved other than to say that both Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, about 10 years ago, lobbied to have control of the footballs they were using for that particular game. As they were granted this concession, why not take it to the logical conclusion that they should be able to inflate/deflate the balls to whatever psi they desire? Honestly, does anyone really care to what pressure the footballs are inflated? We think not. And remember, this rule change does not put the defense at any specific disadvantage. This isn’t baseball where in a mano a mano matchup between the pitcher and the batter, the pitcher is at a significant advantage by “doctoring” the baseball. Besides, defensive backs have hands like snakes so it’s not going to matter anyway.

This simply makes it easier for the quarterback to throw the ball and for the receivers to catch it and for the running backs and receivers to hold on to it. Or does it? Ahhh… therein lies the rub: the quarterback will have to take into consideration the preferences of his receivers and backs… or… he doesn’t. All in all, if this rule change goes through, we don’t foresee the psi of the football moving much out of the league-mandated range of 12.5 – 13.5 psi as it is now. Just let the QBs do with their footballs what they want so we can eliminate silly controversies like DeflateGate.


We have some other proposed rules changes but we wanted to keep this list specific to increasing offense and excitement while not putting the defense at a specific disadvantage.


There you have it gang. Let us know what you think.

Monday, January 5, 2015

If we are going to get ahead of ourselves...



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You’re loving this 4-team college football playoff format, aren’t you? You’ve been loving the weekly unveiling of the top 4 teams every Tuesday night that was must-see T.V. for East Coasters and must-listen radio/must-interwebbing for us work-a-daddies on the West Coast, yeah? And you totally ate-up those semi-final games on New Year’s Day, didn’t you? But you’re a greedy one, right? We know what you’re thinking, you dirty bird: Now, that you’ve wet your beak on this particular playoff format, you’re of the mind that if 4 teams are good, 8 is better. Did we feel you on that?


Well, pump the breaks, there, champ.


There are certain logistical details within an 8-team format that need to be overcome, the chief amongst those being asking a college program’s fanbase to make plans for possibly 3 different road trips in a 2-3 week time span.


A quick aside on the weekly unveiling show: face it, the real excitement isn’t who’s going to be #3, #2 or even who will be #1. The real excitement that kept you on edge every Tuesday afternoon/evening was who was going to be last one it at #4 and who was going to be first one out at #5. You think that same level of anticipation, that same level of buzz is going to carry over to finding out who is in at #8 and who is out at… #9? Just something to think about, there, oh greedy one.



This isn’t realistic and simply geometrically expanding the current format whereby the 2 semi-final games are played at a traditional bowl venue isn’t going to work. 1st round half-full or even three-quarters-full stadiums because fan bases aren’t willing to travel, possibly, coast-to-coast one week with the possibility of another road trip the following week is not going to fly with college and university big-wigs.


Not-at-capacity stadiums will suggest a lack of buzz and juice with the general public when, overall, momentum and the overall popularity of college football is undeniably on the upswing.


So, here’s what needs to happen in order to make the 8-team format work: First off, first round games will be played on the home turf of the higher seeds. So, the top 4 seeds will host the first round games against the 5-8 seeds. This guarantees sell-outs and gets things kicked off in front of rowdy partisan crowds. If you are worried about the lower-seeded team being at a disadvantage, well, yes, they are the lower seeded team and that’s pretty much how it works in every other sport. The moment the “playoff” button was hit, that ship set sail and non-traditional tweeks to the system will have to be made in order for an 8-team playoff to be sustainable. Trust us, a sold out game at the Coliseum or down south “between the hedges” will be great television.


OK, now for some normalcy or rather "new normalcy": the two semi-final games will be played at 2 of the 6 rotating bowl sites on New Year’s Day just as it is now. Just as it is, now. Perfect. This keeps everyone who matters on board and minimizes disruption to the current system that everyone, thus far, is pretty excited about.


Lastly, as we understand it, the national championship game goes to the highest bidder and as it stands, naturally, this year’s game will be played at Jerry’s World (Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys) there in Arlington, Texas outside of Dallas. Short of having it there every year (which would not be a bad thing – we’ll explain later), the college big-wigs would be well-served to keep the games at domes in the middle of the country, again, for travel/logistical reasons. We’re looking at you, Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis and Ford Field in Detroit.


Back to our modest proposal of a semi-permanent home in Arlington/Dallas for the national championship game: in expanding to an 8-team format before we've even finished up the inaugural 4-team playoff format, we are looking into the unknown and some assumptions need to be made and, again, as we see it, maximizing partisan crowd attendance has to be top priority. That’s why we went with home-field first round and Dallas for national championship game. Dallas provides a central location on the U.S. map that is not-too-far for any one particular program’s fan base and here is perhaps the best part: Dallas is pretty much the geographic center of America's college football fan base; it’s in the heart of Big 12 country, a reasonable drive west down Interstate 20 from SEC country and a 3-hour plane ride from much of an ascendant PAC-12 territory. What this means is you will be guaranteed a sell-out of college football fans that will create the right atmosphere for college football’s national championship game.


Of course, it probably already is a Super Bowl-like corporate junket, but boys can dream, can’t they?


We welcome any and all critiques and alternatives.


* Heisman Trophy winner and Oregon Duck QB, Marcus Mariota who will be taking on Ohio State on January 12 for the college football national championship.



Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Why hasn't the nation-wide gun control movement gained any real traction?



If you inclined to answer that it is due to the gobs of money the NRA spends on an annual basis to support or block legislation according to their favor and to do the same on political candidates, we won’t necessarily argue against that. Allow us, however, to offer up another reason that may have more actual influence than any money spent by the NRA: many gun control advocates and, in particular, the ones that have the most “voice” in that community are criminally incompetent.


One example that immediately comes to mind is our very own wunderkin Vice President, who in the aftermath of the Newtown school shooting, claimed he told his wife Jill that the proper way to deal with a home intruder is to go out on the back deck with the shot gun and fire off a few rounds.

Uhhh… Joe? You bumbling stooge… that is against the law and may very well get you thrown in jail. You see, it’s kind of tough to enact “sensible” gun control legislation when you don’t even have a grasp of the ones already on the book.


And then there was the time David Gregory of “Meet The Press” brought a gun magazine on the set for a debate with Wayne LaPierre of the NRA in contradiction to Washington D.C. law. You see, it’s kind of hard to take the gun-control set seriously when they hypocritical flout standing gun laws.



And most-recently we have an anti-gun PSA from a filmmaker Rejina Sancic that really must be seen to be believed. Here it is:





(If embed no worky, please click on link above)



We have it from very reliable sources what you just watched was not parody nor satire nor was it any sort of false flag operation designed to mock the lack of credibility of gun-grabbers… that was the real deal, gang. People much smarter on the topic of gun laws and gun safety can chime in but what is advocated here is stealing and carrying a firearm onto school grounds, both criminal offenses. Also, the young man’s trigger finger is hovering over the trigger as he puts the gun into his bag and when he sets the gun down on the desk of his teacher, the barrel of the gun is clearly pointed at the teacher, thus two gun safety 101 no-nos in 90 seconds.


We have a sick feeling in our gut that Sancic knew exactly what she was doing and has thusly deluded herself into believing that advocating unsafe and feloniously criminal behavior is justifiable as it serves “the greater good” of gun control. Sacrifices must be made at the altar of the collectivist religion of gun control, we suppose. The irony burns as it is gun control advocates that continually level the charge of “callousness” and “uncaring” at gun owners and 2nd amendment supporters with respect to the victims of gun violence.


You see, it’s really, really tough to take gun-grabbers seriously when they advocate unsafe and criminal behavior for our nation’s young people.



In short, please get your s**t together before you begin preening and lecturing the rest of us upon whatever moral high ground you believe you stand.

.

Monday, November 10, 2014

And where a Salon writer wades into (for him) completely uncharted waters


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*

Over the weekend, Salon writer, DAVID MASCIOTRA, caused quite a bit of dust-up on social media with his own “salute to the troops” ahead of Veteran’s Day . Here is the headline, followed by the sub-headline and then followed by the first paragraph of the piece.



You don’t protect my freedom: Our childish insistence on calling soldiers heroes deadens real democracy

It's been 70 years since we fought a war about freedom. Forced troop worship and compulsory patriotism must end

Put a man in uniform, preferably a white man, give him a gun, and Americans will worship him. It is a particularly childish trait, of a childlike culture, that insists on anointing all active military members and police officers as “heroes.”


If you desire, you can read it in its entirety, here.



The first thing that jumped out at us was the use of “forced” and “compulsory”. His definition of the words would be at odds with ours or else he would be in some sort of legal trouble outside of being roundly criticized on the internet. But, we suppose, if you are going to pen this on the weekend prior to Veteran’s Day, you’d be well-served to go big on hyperbole. And what we’ve seen on T.V. this weekend, mostly at sporting events, was expressions of thankfulness and gratitude, not worship. But, again, if you are going to go there, go big.


So, let’s put semantics aside and dig right into this with a critique angle that originates from the American left, Saul Alinsky specifically, and which is rooted in using one’s own arguments against them. Are you familiar with the term “mansplaining”? Wiki has got it covered here, but in short it is: "a man condescendingly explain[ing] something to female listeners".


And more expansively, it is the phenomena of the explainer knowing less about the subject than the explainee. Narrowing it down again, we’ve seen the term used most consistently in the abortion argument where men have no right to an opinion on the matter since they are biologically incapable of having one. OK, then. So, what say you, Mr. Masciotra? Oh, wait. Who cares what this guy has to say? He is the ideological heir of those who spit on the G.I.s and Marines returning home from Vietnam. The man despises the military as an institution so WTF right does he have on even opining on the subject? By the logic of the left, his arguments are null and void from the start. See how that works?


But shutting down dissent is no fun, right? Especially when we can have more fun deconstructing his argument.


Maybe ol’ boy is pitching such a fit because he’s jealous. That’s right, jealous. Gallup has been tracking respect in/confidence in various American institutions for decades. Follow the link here and you’ll see the military has, over the years, been the most respected institution in America. And where would Masciotra’s profession(s) be? Newspapers, Television news, internet news, i.e., the mainstream media, are towards or right at the bottom of the heap.


Scroll down to the performances of the individual institutions over the years and you’ll see that the military’s numbers have remained steady where the public’s confidence in the media has eroded over time. So, perhaps having a 4th estate, the watchdog of democracy, that is so un-respected because the public lacks confidence they are doing their job is more deadening to real democracy than “worshipping” the troops.


The definition of “hero” is very much open to interpretation as it should be. One man’s hero may not be another’s and that’s fine. But here’s the thing Masciotra and his ilk don’t understand: Members of the most respected institution in the country will get the benefit of the doubt in this country’s cultural lexicon. And members of the least respected institutions in this country, the media hackeratti, of which he is a member, will not. Sorry, Dave, no one likes you.


Pre-historic societies passed along history and the pillars of that particular culture through story-telling and myth-making. Warriors were held up as models of physical bravery, courage and honor. There is a positive aspect to mythologizing the favorable aspects of society be they soldiers or not. Characters in our country’s past like, Paul Bunyan, Johnny Appleseed and John Henry have been mythologized and made figuratively larger-than-life in an effort to strengthen a shared American cultural experience and to perhaps serve as an anology to vastness of our country.


The vet = hero narrative is really no different. We’ve seen it a couple of times when we are out with my little brother and his family where he will “force” his 3 young children to approach members of the Huntington Beach Fire Department to express their gratitude and thanks for the work they do that if it hasn’t already, may certainly in the future, put their limb and life in harm’s way. My little brother is mythologizing (making his children look up to) the best aspects of our culture through these men: sacrifice, courage and bravery being among them.


And almost identically, the vet = hero narrative mythologizes and makes larger-than-life its subject because a huge swath of the country of which Masciotra finds foreign, still believe these traits to be important to our country.


Let’s leave with this: Guys: when you were growing up, what did you play? “Army” or “crap-weasel columnist at a lefty rag”? Ladies: “Into whose arms do you wish to fall? A fireman’s (mustachio and all), or David Masciotra?



* Pearl Harbor survivor Houston James of Dallas, Texas embraces Marine Staff Sgt. Mark Graunke Jr. during a Veterans Day commemoration in Dallas. Graunke lost a hand, a leg and and eye when he was injured by a bomb in Iraq.



A special Veterans’ Day shoutout to my two older brothers who also happen to be two of my favorite Cold War warriors who served with distinction and honor in this country’s nuclear sub fleet and the U.S. Army’s vaunted 82nd Airborne Division, respectively.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Next, they came for the craft beer and you said nothing




Want to know how to goon up a perfectly good win-win situation for all participating parties? You get the federal government involved, that’s how.


The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will now be regulating the spent grains from the brewing process because of pet food or something.



For centuries, brewers have given or sold the leftover grain from the brewing process to local ranchers and dairy farmers for cattle feed. But new regulations proposed by the Food and Drug Administration threaten to end that relationship.

"The whole brewing community was shocked about it," said Josh Deth, co-owner of Revolution Brewing in Chicago, Ill.
Deth, whose title is "Chairman of the Party," says it's always been a great deal for both sides. The ranchers get the grain, and the brewers get those leftovers removed from their facilities for free.

"We're trading, giving something of value to each other and working it out. I think that's one of the really great things, and people really hate to see the government get involved in something where they can just as easily stay out of this."

Under the FDA's proposed regulations, so-called spent grains would be regulated the same as pet food.


Deth said the regulations would make it far too costly for him to prepare the grains to be passed along to farmers. The only remaining option would be sending it to a landfill, which would cost more than $100,000 a year.

That would be bad for dairy and cattle farmers like Jim Minich, who gets 30 tons of spent grain from Revolution Brewing each week. Not only does the grain save him more than $100,000 a year in feed costs, his 750 cows also produce more milk after chowing down on their "happy hour."

"I mean it's just basically grain and it's got a lot of yeast in it and it's wet, so it adds to the palatability of the feed so they eat more," he said.

The regulations are part of the FDA's Food Safety Modernization Act, a sweeping new food safety reform law signed by President Obama in 2011. According to the FDA, the purpose of the law is to improve the safety of animal food.




And just like that, farmers like Minich will be adding $100,000/year to their operating costs and breweries like Revolution Brewing will be doing likewise all in the name of animal food safety?


In Placentia, California, this is known as a solution in search of a problem as the article readily explains.




There's no record of spent grains causing any problems for cows or humans, though, according to Chris Thorne, a spokesman with the Beer Institute.

"We already meet or exceed the goals that the FDA would like us to see. So we see these regulatory procedures as completely unnecessary," Thorne told Fox News.

The FDA was flooded by comments from brewers, distillers and cow farmers when the proposed rule was announced.
Responding to the outcry, the FDA said in a statement it is now looking to revise the language for the rule this summer before issuing a final decision sometime next year.

"We are working to develop regulations that are responsive to the concerns expressed, practical for businesses, and that also help ensure that food for animals is safe and will not cause injury to animals or humans," the FDA said.




This represents a classic example of a sprawling federal bureaucracy looking to justify its existence by creating a make-work program, if you will, that accomplishes nothing but to the detriment of the dairy/cattle and brewing industries.


For you big government types, regulations are all fine and dandy when they don’t effect you. However, think of this completely unwarranted and unnecessary intrusion into a completely voluntary and mutually beneficial business arrangement the next time you are pedaling your fixie over to Toronado for a Pliny the Younger.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Mission Accomplished



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At a Rose Garden presser yesterday, here’s the winner of the Washington Post’s “Lie of the Year” do a victory lap in claiming that the administration met its goal of signing up 7 million “enrollees” for the federal healthcare law (aka "ObamaCare) by the March 31st deadline.








Of course, the administration that lied about being able to keep your plan and lied about being able to keep your doctor offers up no substantive data regarding this 7 million figure…. So, go ahead and spike the football, Preezy, we know you’re full of it.


The administration that from October 1st right up until yesterday was purposely vague as to the number of “enrollees” suddenly got purposely specific on the day after the sign-up deadline. Weird. Forgive our cynicism but if the goal had been 8.5 million or 10.2 million, we know damn well what number they would’ve pulled out of their collective asses for yesterday’s presser.



And about this term “enrollee” – what specifically does it mean? Again, no specifics from the White House because the only figure that matters is the number of people that have paid their premiums… a figure which the White House has been conveniently unable to provide.


Despite the gloating and happy talk from the President, folk who have taken the time to crunch the numbers tell a different story. A survey of insurers and other industry players has shown that of those 7.1 million the administration is parading around, anywhere between 65-89% of them were previously insured. And the majority of those who previously had insurance signed up on the ObamaCare exchange because either their company dropped their coverage or their insurance plan was rendered illegal by ObamaCare.


After all this law has put us through for the last 4 years, in a nation of 350 million people, we are talking about insuring in the neighborhood of 2 million previously uninsured people with upwards of 45 million federal law-breakers still walking around out there scot-free. Heckuva job, guys.



“The debate is over…”

A curiously undemocratic thing for the leader of the Democratic Party to say. Something like that is reserved for a person who knows he cannot debate his side on its own merits because the facts on the ground don’t support it. Perhaps not coincidentally, it is also something said to us only by our parents while we were children, at least without getting heckled out of the room. And perhaps not coincidentally, that’s the same line used by the global warming book-cookers and decline-hiders.


We can only hope the President’s un-Presidential gloating doesn’t lead his fan boys and fan girls to engage in more “civility” and “tolerance” like the below:





What were we saying again about not having the facts on one's side?



As it stands currently, we will continue our fight in debating our side and happily subverting this law in any peaceful, legal and civil way we can.





Saturday, March 29, 2014

Your California high-speed choo-choo update


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Poor old Jerry Brown and his end-of-career legacy defining project, the high-speed rail project, just can’t seem to catch a break these days.


Amid mounting legal problems thrown down by California Superior Court Judge Michael Kinney regarding the financing of the high-speed choo-choos, the project is now facing internal fire from their own peer review board over the travel time between San Francisco and Los Angeles.


From the L.A. Times and their high-speed rail beat writer Ralph Vartabedian:



Regularly scheduled service on California's bullet train system will not meet anticipated trip times of two hours and 40 minutes between Los Angeles and San Francisco, and are likely to take nearly a half-hour longer, a state Senate committee was told Thursday.

The faster trips were held out to voters in 2008 when they approved $9 billion in borrowing to help pay for the project. Since then, a series of political compromises and planning changes designed to keep the $68-billion line moving ahead have created slower track zones in urban areas.

But Louis Thompson, chairman of the High-Speed Rail Peer Review Group, a state-sanctioned panel of outside experts, testified that "real world engineering issues" will cause schedules for regular service to exceed the target of two hours and 40 minutes. The state might be able to demonstrate a train that could make the trip that fast, but not on scheduled service, he told lawmakers. If public demand for the service supports additional investments, travel times could be improved after the currently planned system is built, he said.




The article does not expand on to what specific “real world engineering issues” Thompson is referring but let’s just assume he’s talking about “stops”, as in “stops” to let fare-paying business embark and disembark the choo-choos.


This thing has become so politicized and such an albatross, we can imagine every blessed cow town out there in the Central Valley is demanding that if the choo-choos are going to be rolling through their jurisdiction, then by damned, they are going to be making a stop there.


And with every stop there is the inherent logistical inertia with respect to safely loading and unloading passengers that will have to be factored into that 2 hrs. and 40 minutes claim.


But 2 hrs. and 40 minutes? $68 billion (real world estimates put this project at nearly twice that, by the way, due to budgetary sorcery wrought by Brown’s cook crooks) to achieve a feat that can be accomplished in 50 minutes via aircraft out of Burbank to San Jose? And now the experts say it's going to take 30 minutes longer than that?

Back to the article:


Rail authority officials said after the hearing, held by the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee, that they would meet the requirements of state law, but did not specifically say that trains would operate at the faster travel times. State law requirements may be open to legal interpretation. Language approved by voters says the system must be "designed to achieve" trip times of 2 hours and 40 minutes.



Did you see what just happened there? The original voted-upon 2 hrs. and 40 minutes is now the faster time. Peachy.



The article ends by talking about Brown raiding the carbon emissions cap and trade fund to help finance the project, a mere pittance up against the $68-120 billion tab (in the 6 years since voters approved the project, they have yet to name one private source of funding which will be required to finance this boondoggle).


The largest public works project in the history of this country, which will of course, be powered by very conventional fossil fuels is receiving cap and trade dollars; an irony which we are sure is not lost on you.


As it stands, dear readers, yet another nail in the considerably-sized coffin of California’s high-speed choo-choos. We cheer on its staggering, stumble-drunk demise.

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Monday, March 24, 2014

Farewell, England, we scarcely knew ye


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Alternative headline: Alternative fuel source gets a foothold in British hospitals


England of Magna Carta, ending slave trade and ending worldwide tyranny via WW I and WW II fame has appeared to step aside and say, “Ya know, eff it. We’re done here”.

This is what the self-revocation process looks like for a member in good standing of Western Civilization.


Via KT of the Scratching Post who had this to say with respect to the following: “.... it turns out there was no reason to Bomben auf Engelend after all. The British lion would eventually see the light.


From the Telegraph:



The bodies of thousands of aborted and miscarried babies were incinerated as clinical waste, with some even used to heat hospitals, an investigation has found.

Ten NHS trusts have admitted burning foetal remains alongside other rubbish while two others used the bodies in ‘waste-to-energy’ plants which generate power for heat.

Last night the Department of Health issued an instant ban on the practice which health minister Dr Dan Poulter branded ‘totally unacceptable.’

At least 15,500 foetal remains were incinerated by 27 NHS trusts over the last two years alone, Channel 4’s Dispatches discovered.

The programme, which will air tonight, found that parents who lose children in early pregnancy were often treated without compassion and were not consulted about what they wanted to happen to the remains.

One of the country’s leading hospitals, Addenbrooke’s in Cambridge, incinerated 797 babies below 13 weeks gestation at their own ‘waste to energy’ plant. The mothers were told the remains had been ‘cremated.’
Another ‘waste to energy’ facility at Ipswich Hospital, operated by a private contractor, incinerated 1,101 foetal remains between 2011 and 2013.

They were brought in from another hospital before being burned, generating energy for the hospital site. Ipswich Hospital itself disposes of remains by cremation.

“This practice is totally unacceptable,” said Dr Poulter.

“While the vast majority of hospitals are acting in the appropriate way, that must be the case for all hospitals and the Human Tissue Authority has now been asked to ensure that it acts on this issue without delay.”




“totally unacceptable”... “Human Tissue Authority”

Charmed, we’re sure.

We’re sure the global community will get properly exercised only when the British Health Ministry declares that the resulting embryonic tissue particulate is carcinogenic and a global-warming contributor as well



The second item as evidence of England stepping down from the world stage relates to Sharia law now being codified into British law and in this instance with respect to the writing of wills.


Also, from the Telegraph:



Islamic law is to be effectively enshrined in the British legal system for the first time under guidelines for solicitors on drawing up “Sharia compliant” wills.

Under ground-breaking guidance, produced by The Law Society, High Street solicitors will be able to write Islamic wills that deny women an equal share of inheritances and exclude unbelievers altogether.

The documents, which would be recognised by Britain’s courts, will also prevent children born out of wedlock – and even those who have been adopted – from being counted as legitimate heirs.

Anyone married in a church, or in a civil ceremony, could be excluded from succession under Sharia principles, which recognise only Muslim weddings for inheritance purposes.

Nicholas Fluck, president of The Law Society, said the guidance would promote “good practice” in applying Islamic principles in the British legal system.


Because Balkanizing your country absolutely demands “good practice”.



Western Civilization with it’s freedom of speech and religion, its property rights and equality-for-all features had a pretty good run and at one time Great Britain was at the forefront of that novel and rebellious movement.


All movements, however, have their arc and it would appear the fat and sclerotic Brits are exhibiting some defense-of-culture laziness and hastening the demise of its imperfect yet better-than-the-rest culture.


We are not fans of anti-Sharia legislation that we have seen pop up from time to time over the years. Like ridiculous flag-burning amendments, it comes across as cheap pandering.


Do we not have a culturally-approved standing code of laws as it is? And did we not fight a civil war for the fair and equal treatment of all citizens and then have it out all over again some 100 years later to further enhance civil rights guarantees. Did we not get this all straightened out?


However, when reality knocks and our English-speaking cousins are setting up a shadow or parallel legal system to the one that already exists, is anti-Sharia legislation worth a second look?


As it stands, right now, peace out, our cousins across the pond.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Technical bulletins: where horrible, no-good laws go to die






B-Daddy over at The Liberator Today did a fine job of covering that which we
are about to here, below.


Recall, back in September of last year at the height of shutdown fever, the
House passed a resolution that would've funded all government operations
while suspending the individual mandate for one year. At the time, we
thought that to be a very, very reasonable compromise. After all, there
was every indication that the rollout of the ObamaCare online exchange on
October 1st was not going to go smoothly so why not, legally, through the
legislative process, allow both the tragically flawed website and its
customers some more time to get up to speed?


Now, nearly six months after that, the individual mandate is about the only
aspect of the law that has not been delayed or waived or exempted by
executive fiat by the President himself. Yes, dear readers, it would
appear that it is not those House Republican "hostage-takers" and
"terrorists" rather President Barack Obama who is the biggest obstructionist
to his own signature piece of legislation.


But what now of the individual mandate? Since the individual mandate is
the lynchpin of the entire law (the mechanism by which to get young, healthy
people to pay for the healthcare needs of the old and infirm), there was no
way in hell anything was going to happen to it, right? Even if delaying the
individual mandate made the most practical sense for everyone involved,
there was no way that this administration was going to give in and thus give
tacit acknowledgement that the Republicans were right back last September.


Well, in the regulatory equivalent of a Friday evening news dump, the law
has once again been altered with dubious legality as an "out clause" of sorts
has been added to the regulations concerning the individual mandate.




From the Wall Street Journal... and we absolutely love the opening line:


ObamaCare's implementers continue to roam the battlefield and shoot their
own wounded, and the latest casualty is the core of the Affordable Care
Act-the individual mandate. To wit, last week the Administration quietly
excused millions of people from the requirement to purchase health insurance
or else pay a tax penalty.


This latest political reconstruction has received zero media notice, and the
Health and Human Services Department didn't think the details were worth
discussing in a conference call, press materials or fact sheet. Instead, the
mandate suspension was buried in an unrelated rule that was meant to
preserve some health plans that don't comply with ObamaCare benefit and
redistribution mandates. Our sources only noticed the change this week.


That seven-page technical bulletin includes a paragraph and footnote that
casually mention that a rule in a separate December 2013 bulletin would be
extended for two more years, until 2016. Lo and behold, it turns out this
second rule, which was supposed to last for only a year, allows Americans
whose coverage was cancelled to opt out of the mandate altogether.




You remember those cancellations, right? The
if-you-like-your-current-plan-you-can-keep-your-plan cancellations? But we
digress. Back in December, the administration, again by executive fiat,
allowed those with cancelled plans to go back to their old "bad apple" and
"sub-standard" plans from which they were to be saved by ObamaCare. Now,
with minimal administrative effort, those people with cancelled plans will
be exempted from the individual mandate.




Back to the article:


But amid the post-rollout political backlash, last week the agency created a
new category: Now all you need to do is fill out a form attesting that your
plan was cancelled and that you "believe that the plan options available in
the [ObamaCare] Marketplace in your area are more expensive than your
cancelled health insurance policy" or "you consider other available policies
unaffordable."


This lax standard-no formula or hard test beyond a person's belief-at least
ostensibly requires proof such as an insurer termination notice. But people
can also qualify for hardships for the unspecified nonreason that "you
experienced another hardship in obtaining health insurance," which only
requires "documentation if possible." And yet another waiver is available to
those who say they are merely unable to afford coverage, regardless of their
prior insurance. In a word, these shifting legal benchmarks offer an
exemption to everyone who conceivably wants one.




"documentation if possible" tells you all you need to know about how it is,
or more precisely, how this isn't going to be enforced. How fitting,
how perfect that this administration which treats with such pique and
disdain the purposely difficult parameters for governing a constitutional
republic would create something within their signature law that could aptly
be called the "it's, like, too haaaard", exemption.


To quote B-Daddy, “So, this is what victory over ObamaCare looks like”.

So, what now? The administration has effectively gutted the requirements for the individual mandate so how is it that the rest of the law is supposed to remain financially stable?


What else to do to save this wretched law than to bail it out with massive tax-payer lump sums and subsidies for the health insurance lobby? It’s what they do best, in fact, it’s pretty much all they do.









Saturday, March 8, 2014

What we've been tweeting




We apologize for the infrequency of posting here of late, a condition we will chalk up to a busy work schedule and the dog days of February and March where nothing happens, right?


We were able to get off some thoughts this past week via Twitter which we will share below:




Another day, Another constitutionally dubious unilateral executive order ObamaCare delay...

























Over to you, Senator Reid:











So, the NFL is thinking of moving extra point tries back to the 25 yard line... color us skeptical:























We don't care whose mug it is being plastered over this nation's flag but please tell us how this is good for a constitutional republic...? oh, that's right a former constitutional republic.










Dude...










Some call it "growing in office" while we have some other choice terms for it:









Chess champion on the inevitable ripple effect of botching the Syrian situation last year:











Internecine squabbles on the left over who was/wasn’t a true socialist, communist, Marxist, fascist… whatever and the explicit definitions of those terms make us all warm and fuzzy inside…


















Yes! A thousand times over.





The (gun) control set obviously has issues with this concept.






So, the President wants to appoint a cop-killer advocate to the head of the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department...









It's getting to be that time of year...








OK, that's it for today, gang. Catch you all later.

















Sunday, March 2, 2014

Hey, America!


.



During the 2012 presidential campaign, Senate majority leader, Harry Ried, rather infamously accused the Republican nominee Mitt Romney of not paying any taxes for the previous ten years. This, of course, was based upon nothing. It was a shameless partisan smear that Reid has become famous for.


Reid was at it again this past week on the floor of the Senate essentially calling the tens of thousands upon tens of thousands of American who had lost their healthcare coverage, had lost their doctor, had been denied treatment under ObamaCare or had seen the premiums sky-rocket… calling them liars.


In Reid’s own words:


“Despite all that good news, there’s plenty of horror stories being told. All of them are untrue, but they’re being told all over America,”




Unreal. Never seen anything like this in our life: the 2nd most powerful person of a major political party calling the citizens of this country liars.
The NRSC responded with this video…


… and we responded on our own via Twitter:









Got media bias?








#WarOnWomen

























Remember... it's for the children!









People unable to uncancel their ObamaCare plans:




































Congratulations to the Senator from the great state of Nevada: there is no more loathsome and contemptible person on the American political scene than Harry Reid.