About Crucis

I'm a retired telecom engineer, life NRA member, Amateur Radio Operator and Air Force vet. I created this blog at the urging of some folks who think I have an occasional thought. A liberal friend once described me as "being just to the right of Atilla the Hun." I thanked her for that description and told her I'd do my best to maintain her expectations.

Grrr!

Some statements just make me want to reach for tar, feathers and a splinter-covered rail. The statement below by a so-called ‘Pub who wants to run for Governor would be a fine subject of scorn, tar and feathers.

RTW DAY? — ‘Mike Parson supports right-to-work, but questions Senate’s approach,’ PoliticMo: “State Sen. Mike Parson, a Republican who wants to be Missouri’s next governor, said Monday he thinks “right to work” is worth giving a shot. But, in an interview Monday, Parson did question why Senate Majority Leader Ron Richard, R-Joplin, was pushing the issue so hard ahead of a likely veto by Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon.

‘If you can’t get it across the finish line, you have to weigh out why you’re doing it…Can we get this done and get an override over the governor after he vetoes, and can you not? I think that as to be part of the equation. I hope people have thought that through. …  Parson, who chaired the committee that passed a House “right-to-work” bill on Monday, said he will vote for the bill, but would not say whether he would support a rarely used motion to cut off debate and force an end to an imminent Democratic filibuster. At Monday’s hearing, Parson said he was “surprised there weren’t more to testify in favor of it,” but still feels the policy is good for the state. — PoliticMO, May 12, 2015.

What Parson really said, “since Nixon will veto RTW, why bother.” If that is Parson’s attitude, he has no business holding an elective office. If RTW is passed quickly, and Nixon vetoes it as expected, we could have time to override Nixon’s veto this session instead of trooping back to do it in September.

The Legislature has already over-turned one of Nixon’s vetoes this year. Taken in context, it’s easy to interpret what Parson wants. He wants RTW to fail to satisfy his union buddies; he just doesn’t want to be blamed for its failure to pass.

Senator Tom Dempsey (R-St. Charles) is using his daughter as an excuse for not voting for RTW. Like Parson, Dempsey doesn’t want RTW to pass, either; he’s in bed with the St. Louis unions.

By the way, is Dempsey term limited yet? I surely hope so.

‘Daughter’s graduation means a top Missouri Republican will miss end of session,’ Post-Dispatch: “Senate President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey, R-St. Charles, tweeted Monday that he will miss the last two days of session to attend his daughter, Meaghan’s, graduation from Tulane University in New Orleans. The session ends May 15. … In the past, Dempsey has said he won’t actively push the bill but also won’t stand in the way of it coming up on the floor.“ — St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

As PoliticMO suggests, perhaps an alternate headline for that piece in the Post-Dispatch should be, “Area man who opposes right to work relieved!”

***

I suppose this section could be labeled, “What’s good for the Goose, is good for the Gander.” We have all heard about the Clinton Family Foundation, or, the Clinton Crime Family Foundation as some call it. It is a supposed non-profit organization that is really a money laundering scheme of the Clinton’s. It is an avenue for bribes to Hillary when she was SecState.

Now it appears that Jeb Bush may be following in Hillary’s footsteps. He, too, has created a non-profit foundation. We don’t yet know if it will be an avenue for illegal money laundering like the Clinton’s. On the other hand, Jeb does seem to be following closely in hHillary’s footsteps.

A nonprofit group allied with former Florida governor Jeb Bush is playing a more expansive role in his current political operation than previously known, housing several top policy advisers who are expected to join his eventual campaign, according to people familiar with the structure.

At least four people with expertise on energy issues, foreign affairs and communications are working with Right to Rise Policy Solutions, a nonprofit advocacy group that can accept secret, unlimited donations from individuals and corporations.

Bush’s reliance on the non­profit as he prepares for a likely presidential bid puts him on untested legal ground, cloaking who is paying the salaries of his expected advisers. But a polarized Federal Election Commission is unlikely to scrutinize the maneuver, campaign finance experts said.

The latest hire was announced Monday: Michael Steel, a top spokesman for House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio), said that he was moving to Florida to take a role with the nonprofit group. If Bush officially launches a presidential campaign, Steel would join it, according to people familiar with the plans who were not authorized to speak publicly. — The Washington Post.

Jeb got himself in trouble during an interview on FOX with Megan Kelly. She asked him if he, Jeb, would support the 2003 invasion of Iraq if he knew what would follow. Jeb said, “I would.” Shortly thereafter, Jeb’s handlers were scurrying about trying to walk back Jeb’s statement. They attempted to clarify Jeb’s statement saying, “the former Florida governor misunderstood the framing of the question – ‘knowing what we know now’ – and instead focused on the less controversial issue of whether he believed his brother acted rightly given the available information at the time.” Source: FOX News. The whole episode reminds me of the old comedy routine, reminiscent of Saigon’s “5 O’Clock Follies,” called, “What the General means…

Dig, deeper, Jeb. Dig deeper and reveal more of your liberal core values.

Pluses and Minuses

A plus for Carly Fiorina. She opposed the GOP’s trade deal. What is it? It would allow Obama to ‘fast-track’ trade treaties with nations along the Pacific Rim, i.e., the PRC. That is the People’s Republic of China for those of you who are acronym deficient.

Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina on Sunday came out in opposition to giving President Obama the authority to fast track a massive trade deal with Pacific Rim countries, breaking with the GOP’s free-trade agenda.

Mrs. Fiorina, a former chief executive officer of Hewlett Packard, insisted that she supports free trade but said she doesn’t trust Mr. Obama to make a good deal for American workers and businesses.

“The devil is usually in the details, and that is particularly true with this president. The truth is we don’t know what’s in this deal,” she said on NBC”s “Meet the Press.”

“This administration unfortunately has a track record of burying things in fine print … that turn out to be very different from their selling points,” said Mrs. Fiorina, who announced her White House bid last week.

The Senate this week is scheduled to take the first votes on fast-track authority, or trade promotion authority, which would make it much easier for the president to pass the 12-country Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal. — The Washington Times.

The GOP is about to sell out US businesses in exchange for what? Campaign funds? Oh, that’s illegal although it didn’t stop Bill Clinton from receiving laundered ChiCom money. Remember all those Buddhist monks giving thousands upon thousands of dollars to Bill’s campaign? I do.

As Fiorina claims, the devil is in the details and in this treaty, no one really knows what is in it. Again! Issues like this make you wonder how much McConnell’s and Boehner’s cuts will be from the kick-backs.

***

Have you heard about the gender trail that going on in the Army? By trial, I mean…a test. A test to see if women can successfully pass the Ranger course.

Ranger School is the toughest course in the US Army. It is physical and mental torture. It is the closest to actual combat the Army can create in a training scenario. The washout rate among men, enlisted and commissioned, is high.

One of the goals of the course is to teach leaders, Officers and NCO, just how hard they can push their troops and the physical and mental impacts that combat inflicts on the troops. The Ranger graduates know. They’ve been there and know how to care for their troops to get the most and best out of them.

In the ‘new’ gender-neutral military, the liberals want women in combat. The Army was willing to see if women can endure the same conditions as men. Not so much as line troops, but as leaders—platoon and company commanders leading troops in the field, in combat. It’s important. You can not have a fighting unit whose lowest denominator is the physical and mental condition of its commander.

Passing Ranger school is also a career builder…or destroyer. If a candidate gives up, he/she is classified as “lacking motivation.” and “leadership skills.” No claims the women applicants, volunteers, all, lack motivation. Some have displayed enormous stubbornness to succeed. Unfortunately, none, to date, has passed the first stage of Ranger training.

http://www.gannett-cdn.com/-mm-/dd830f725178e1798000a372cbccc2a4e851f31a/c=318-0-5298-3744&r=x513&c=680x510/local/-/media/2015/04/23/GGM/MilitaryTimes/635654094046570203-ARM-women-ranger-school-day-two-2.JPG

Male and female trainees in the US Army’s Ranger School.

The eight women who remained in the first gender-integrated class of Army Ranger training will not move onto the next round of training, Fort Benning announced on Friday.

That means all 19 women who began the training in April have washed out in the first phase.

The eight women, together with 101 men who washed out of the Darby phase, will retry the first part of the Army’s most elite training course beginning May 14, the release said.

“I had the opportunity to visit the Ranger students yesterday and was impressed that whether going forward to the mountains or recycling the Darby phase they were motivated to continue training and focused on successfully completing the Ranger Course,” said Maj. Gen. Scott Miller, commanding general of the Maneuver Center of Excellence. “They’re a strong group of soldiers, who are working their way through the U.S. Army’s most physically and mentally demanding course.”

Thirty-five male soldiers failed to meet the standards of Ranger school and will not attempt the course again, the release said.

About 15 percent of soldiers repeat the first phase, called Darby phase, however, about 75 percent of those who make it through the first week of the program will eventually pass the Darby phase and move onto the mountains, according to the Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade’s website.

About 37 percent of all students recycle at least one phase of Ranger training, the site said. — The Washington Times.

The Army appears, at least, to be enforcing a single standard for both male and female trainees. There are male and female observers present to insure the rules are enforced equally. There is no favoritism of male over female, nor of female over male. As least as far as we know. There was one instance where the male trainees were ‘smoked’, i.e, went through a series of strenuous exercises before commencing one of the Darby-phase full-pack hikes. The women were not. The men started the hike exhausted. The women were fresh.

But that was a minor detail and not uncommon throughout the school. Each trainee is evaluated how they perform under pressure and stress. I would hope the Army does not relent to political correctness and change the standards for women to be less than those for the men. To do so would only lead to unnecessary causalities in wartime. Combat is no place for political correctness.

Friday Follies for May 8, 2015

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Jackson County MO Sheriff Mike Sharp

Here is some local Missouri news. Jackson County MO Sheriff Mike Sharp, in the face of a 21,000 CCW application/renewal backlog and growing pressure from state and local parties, finally acts. He has hired two temporary, part-time employees to address the issue.

You can find the story here, on the WMSA website.

***

Today is the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe. Today’s FOX Newsletter noted the anniversary with this short piece.

Today we celebrate the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe. Fortunately for posterity, the late Pulitzer-Prize-winning author Relman Morin, then an AP war correspondent, was present to paint a gripping picture of the surrender by German commanders to allied officers: “There was a moment of silence, and in that moment, the scene seemed to freeze. It had the character of a picture, somehow, a queer unreality. Here was the end of nearly five years of war, of blood and death, of high excitement and fear and great discomfort, of explosions and bullets whining and the wailing of air raid sirens. Here, brought into this room, was the end of all that. Your mind refused to take it in. Hence, this was a dream, this room with the Nile green walls and the charts, the black table, and the uniformed men seated around it. The words, ‘There are four copies to be signed,’ meant nothing unless you forced the meaning to come, ramming it into your brain with a hard, conscious effort.”

“All the greatest things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom; justice; honor; duty; mercy; hope.” – Winston Churchill in a May 17, 1947 speech at Royal Albert Hall. On Thursday, members of the high command of the British military presented a bust of Churchill  to their counterparts at the Pentagon.

I wonder if Obama will force the Pentagon to send the bust back like he sent back the bust of Churchill that used to reside in the White House?

***

On Drudge’s front page is an announcement. The US unemployment rate exceeds 93 million. The AP states the unemployment percentage is only 5.4%.

The AP lies. Simple math will tell you that if 93 million are unemployed out of a population of 325 million, the rate is 28%, not 5.4%.

But…but…but…you can’t include children and school kids! True, that would reduce the 93 million to a lower number AND INCREASE THE PERCENTAGE OF UNEMPLOYED!

Math works. You can fudge the figures and lie, but math will tell you the truth.

***

Speaking of Drudge, The Hill has just announced that Matt Drudge is the 2nd most influential man in America. The liberal digital magazine is no fan of Matt Drudge. But they did admit…

Is Drudge the second most influential man in America, behind the president? It is a debatable proposition that might well be true. More than any single person in American politics besides the president, he determines the content of debate in our national discourse on an hourly basis.

In many ways, I deplore the influence of Matt Drudge, but in the meantime, would someone send this piece to Drudge and maybe he will post it (wink, wink)? — The Hill.

The Hill would love to had as many hits on their website as does Drudge in just one hour.

***

In case you weren’t looking, conservatism, well, the British variety, returned to the UK. Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative Party takes the majority of seats in Parliament in their general election yesterday. The Scottish National Party (SNP) took 56 out of 59 regional seats making them a political power that must be accommodated. Many of the opposition party leaders resigned their party positions. Some lost their seats as MPs as well.

Cameron won on a platform of more power to the Scottish regional parliament and a vote on the UK’s continuing membership in the EU. If the UK leaves, the EU could, in light of its growing financial instability, fragment, shedding some of its more financially irresponsible members…like Greece.

 

Take that!

Well…it’s a start. What am I talking about? A US Appeals Court is limited the Patriot Act. Specifically, limiting the NSA authority to collect telephone data without a warrant. No more mass collection.

Top federal court rules against NSA’s phone records program

By Julian Hattem05/07/15 09:25 AM EDT

A federal court has decided that the National Security Agency’s (NSA) bulk, warrantless collection of millions of Americans’ phone records is illegal.

The sweeping decision from the Second Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday represents a major court victory for opponents of the NSA, and comes just as Congress begins a fight over whether to renew the underlying law used to justify the program.  

That program “exceeds the scope of what Congress has authorized,” Judge Gerard Lynch wrote on behalf of the three-judge panel.

The law “cannot be interpreted in a way that defies any meaningful limit,” he added.

The key section of the Patriot Act that ‘allows’ the government to collection information has been interpreted too broadly according to the bill’s author, Rep, Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.). It is §215 that is flawed and the section that the 2nd Appellate Court is limiting.

But, the win in court may be moot. Despite efforts by the White House, the NSA and statists in Congress, §215 is due to expire within a month.

***

Chris Cuomo, son of the late New York Governor Mario Cuomo, displayed his stupidity on Twitter. His liberal buddies piled on. Not to defend him, but to ridicule him. It couldn’t happen to a better, ‘stuck on stupid’ liberal.

CNN’s Chris Cuomo gets Twitter-spanked after boneheaded First Amendment gaffe

His claim that the “fighting words” exception applies to hate speech made for “fighting words” on Twitter

It is increasingly difficult for those who identify on the left and right to find anything they agree upon, but this morning CNN anchor and law school graduate Chris Cuomo provided those across the political spectrum with some common ground.

Cuomo was hosting a Twitter conversation about the constitutionality of hate speech and wrote:

First Amendment experts, self-styled and actual and of all political stripes, jumped in to inform him of his wrongness:

Such a painfully dumb tweet! @ChrisCuomo: can you point to where this free speech “exception” is in US Constitution? https://twitter.com/ChrisCuomo/status/595934009764487168 

Ass. You are a disgrace to Fordham Law School, which only admitted you because of your famous father. https://twitter.com/ChrisCuomo/status/595934009764487168 

it doesn’t. hate speech is excluded from protection. dont just say you love the constitution…read it https://twitter.com/TweetBrettMac/status/595931074477305856 

@ChrisCuomo hey, long time listener first time caller, looking for this in this constitution you speak of. Got a link?

it doesn’t. hate speech is excluded from protection. dont just say you love the constitution…read it https://twitter.com/TweetBrettMac/status/595931074477305856 

@ChrisCuomo I did read the First Amendment, and still can’t find the “hate speech” exception to free speech. Can you point it out for us?

Morning Twitter Update, 5.6.15: Chris Cuomo is getting the fighting words doctrine and First Amendment hilariously wrong.

Chris Cuomo phonically learned the dit-dit of law but has no basic understanding of law and rights. That’s why all the dumb.

Cuomo replied:

@ChrisCuomo I did read the First Amendment, and still can’t find the “hate speech” exception to free speech. Can you point it out for us?

@EdMorrissey I will keep saying one word: chaplinsky

That word, “chaplinsky,” refers to Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire, in which the Supreme Court decided that some speech — like “fighting words,” or other statements that incite violence — aren’t protected by the First Amendment. Unfortunately for Cuomo:

FYI, the case @ChrisCuomo keeps citing (a) has been subsequently so gutted it’s basically a dead letter & (b) IS NOT ABOUT HATE SPEECH.

And you will still be entirely wrong. ReTweet: @ChrisCuomo @EdMorrissey I will keep saying one word: chaplinsky

@EdMorrissey So, basically, @ChrisCuomo‘s expert fact-based legal opinion is a single word chanted repeatedly like a talisman against evil?

I love how Cuomo screams READ THE CONSTITUTION then cites case law (incorrectly).

Also, of course, @ChrisCuomo completely overlooks the face-to-face requirement as he alleges that fighting words doctrine somehow applies.

As a followup to Cuomo’s use of, “Chaplinski,” it has largely been reversed. You can follow the link above to see how limited it was. The limitation with ‘Chaplinski’ is that it requires a face-to-face confrontation. None of those requirements are met contrary to Cuomo’s assertions.
Not even über-liberal Salon can stomach Cuomo’s idiotcy.

Vampire Day

Today is my quarterly visit to the vampire. For many of us, this visit is now a repeating ritual.

See y’all tomorrow.

Let’s take a look at…

…Carly Fiorina. She announced her candidacy for President yesterday. She wasn’t present at the NRA Annual Meeting last month, but she did sent a video which is more than Rand Paul could bother himself with and many present wished Jeb Bush, Lindsay Grahamesty and the Huckleberry had done.

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Carly Fiorina, 2016 GOP Candidate for President

She was applauded at the NRA meeting in Nashville as were all who spoke there. I should note the applause for Jeb and Grahamesty was more perfunctory. All in all, Fiorina’s topics from her video was complementary with those of the other conservative speakers.

Today she is making the rounds of the talk shows. She spent some time with Glenn Beck this morning and, I believe, she’ll be with Hannity this afternoon.

I was in the shower, listening, when she said something that I’ve heard no other candidate, certainly not Jeb, Grahamesty nor Huckleberry say. She said the government should be placed on a zero-based budget like the private sector.

What is a zero-based budget? It is a budget where every penny spent must be justified—every penny. No increase from last year. Every year, every penny spent, regardless of the project, must be justified. And if the expense cannot be justified, it is cut!

A business knows how much it can spend. It has a reasonable expectation of its income, and it knows every penny that will be spent. Spending cannot exceed income. Unlike the government, a business cannot arbitrarily print off a few billion dollars if the treasury is low.

I retired from Sprint a few years ago. One of the exercises we expected every Spring was budget submissions. The process was this. The board allocated funds for the company. The executives broke that down by divisions, then to departments, continuing down the the project and, in some cases, the individual.

Next came the project that the business side wanted done. From that point a winnowing process began between the business side that wanted products and the development and operational side who would build, implement and maintain those products. As each product was analyzed and and expensed, those projects went up the management chain to be justified. If the project couldn’t be justified, it was allowed to be resubmitted with a reduced cost or cut. The project cost also includes the cost of the employees who develop, test, implement and maintain the product.

When this idea has been floated before, one complaint is that the process ‘takes too long.’ Yes, it does take a while. Sprint built next years budget, this year. It took about a quarter to get it done and approved. But, during that quarter, we also performed our regular jobs. No missed delivery dates allowed just because we had to work on a budget. In addition, our product cycle from concept to development to production was often much less than a year.

When one is employed in the private sector, you quickly learn what ‘multi-tasking’ really means. It means you deliver all your projects on time and on budget—or you’ll soon be escorted out the door.

Carly Fiorina proposes to do the same to the Federal government. Just imagine the same rules applied to all departments and agencies of the US government! I wonder how well the IRS, EPA, FCC, the NLRB and many of the other departments, like Education and HHS would fare? I would not be surprised if many withered away or were consolidated, at a reduced level, into a governmental department.

I hope other candidates take up Carly’s idea. The country desperately needs it. I have no doubt our federal debt would not last long if Carly’s budgetary rules were imposed on the national government.

***

Some interesting statistics are coming out after the Baltimore riots. One statistic that I saw said that over 20% of the employed in Baltimore, worked as government employees. Just image what that percentage would be if you included everyone on the welfare rolls. Are not welfare recipients paid by the government? They should be included, too. When you examine the demographics of Baltimore, you will find that half of the Baltimore police are black and most of the elected and appointed officials of Baltimore are black.

With those facts on the table, where is the white oppression? The whites aren’t in control of the city and hasn’t for over thirty years.

The feds have given Baltimore billions, yes, billions with a ‘B’! Where has those billions for education, jobs and infrastructure improvements gone? I wonder how much slithered into private political pockets.

Add to that mess, is this item I came across this morning. The Baltimore PD went to the DoJ for funding of a training program for their street officers. Holder turned them down—but Obama claims it’s all the ‘Pubs fault. One more lie by Obama and the democrats.

It’s Monday!

…and all the news that happened over the weekend is…or isn’t, being reported.

In case you haven’t heard, there was a First Amendment event in Garland, TX, over the weekend. A couple of RIFs decided to crash the event with gunfire and a carbomb. The event was an art show. Nice liberal ring to that event, wasn’t it? It was a collection of cartoons about mohammad.

The RIFs drove up, fired one shot that lightly wounded a security guard, and fifteen seconds later, according to some commentators, they were DRT. It seems that some heavily armed police was on site. Just waiting for trouble.

I guess it’s open season for RIFs in Texas. Perhaps those heavily armed police were trolling for terrorists? Whichever, it worked.

I’ve noted the MSM has yet to identify the two shooters as Islamic. One, it was announced over the weekend, had been on the FBI’s watch list for some time when he attempted to travel to the middle east for training as a jihadi.

The libs are blaming the organizer of the event, Pamela Geller, for the attack. However, she was a darling of the media when she presented an anti-mormon musical, called, The Book of Mormon. I guess the media is fine attacking religions as long as they aren’t islamic and don’t shoot back.

***

Ferguson, MO, is and has been in deep financial trouble. They can, however, afford to hire a $1330 an hour lawyer to defend the city against the upcoming DOJ lawsuit.

FERGUSON • In the days following a Department of Justice report accusing Ferguson’s police and municipal court of widespread abuses, the city made a series of conciliatory moves. Three employees involved in racist emails were forced out. The city manager stepped down. So did the police chief and municipal judge.

Less than a month later, on March 27, a City Council that’s been grappling with declining revenues voted unanimously in a closed meeting to hire one of the nation’s most distinguished and highest-paid trial lawyers to navigate what could be a prolonged and expensive reform process.

His name is Dan K. Webb.

The city of Ferguson is paying him $1,335 an hour. — St Louis Post-Dispatch.

I suppose funding priorities are fluid in Ferguson. As I said in a recent post, People get the government they vote for.”

***

The eastern GOP establishment is firmly back in power in Jeff City. Liberal ‘pubs filed a bill to increase the state’s gas tax another 10¢ a gallon. The bill passed in the senate along philosophical and geographic lines. The dems and the eastern GOP senators voted for it guided by GOP Senators Ron Richard and Tom Dempsey.

After passing the bill, they allowed an amendment to be added to convert I-70 to a toll road. In essence, the Dempsey, Richard and the dems would sell I-70 to a private group who would then charge taxpayers to use the road their taxes had built.

With the selection of John Hancock to the GOP State Central Committee, there is not a single ‘pub from the western side of Missouri in the party’s leadership. The bad old days of GOP crony politics has returned to the detriment of rest of the state. That the GOP would allow a tax increase is one sign of the return of GOP collusion with democrats that we had hoped would never return to Jeff City.