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Posts by Blue_Ridge_Mtn_Geek

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  • Ignore Cruz And Trump — Scapegoating Muslims Is An Un-American Response To The Brussels Attacks

    03/22/2016 9:01:53 PM PDT · 70 of 79
    Blue_Ridge_Mtn_Geek to Steelfish

    Another BOHICA moment, i.e., another opportunity for feckless Eurocrats to wring their hands over the dangers of Islamophobia.
    So “British Muslims Fear Repercussions Over Tomorrow’s Train Bombing” is now joined by “Belgian Cabinet Minister Says Tomorrow’s Train Bombing Is All Our Fault”.

    So “we” have to work on it. That means you, the Flemish frequent flyer, poking your head up from the rubble at the airport concourse. And you, the Walloon strap-hanger blinking into the dust and chaos and wondering where the lower part of your left leg went. You are going to “have to work on” it, harder and harder and harder.

    Just how are they going to work on it? In Brussels, the terrorists blew up the area outside the secure zone. Which was entirely predictable.

  • "I Guess It's Food Stamps": 400,000 Jeopardized As Giant State Pension Fund Plans 50% Benefit Cuts

    02/19/2016 2:35:32 PM PST · 115 of 126
    Blue_Ridge_Mtn_Geek to Rusty0604

    “Someone would have to be an idiot to buy those bonds.”

    Perhaps someone like the manager of the pension fund or retirement plan that you or your family members are relying on.

  • FBI outlines reasons why six Southwest Airlines passengers were arrested and charged in Amarillo

    09/01/2015 7:31:04 PM PDT · 42 of 55
    Blue_Ridge_Mtn_Geek to E. Pluribus Unum

    “Lawsuit by CAIR and multi-million dollar settlement to follow.”

    Not likely. There may be a lawsuit, but I doubt if CAIR will care. From the names and other identification, these punks are probably ethnic Chaldean Christians.

  • Susan Sarandon Wants Andrew Jackson Replaced With a Woman on the $20 Bill

    03/26/2015 7:25:00 PM PDT · 162 of 166
    Blue_Ridge_Mtn_Geek to drewh

    Hetty Green
    While Green’s husband Edward pursued investments as a sort of “gentleman banker”, Hetty Green began parlaying her inheritances into her own astonishing fortune. She formulated an investment strategy to which she stuck throughout her life: conservative investments, substantial cash reserves to back up any movement, and an exceedingly cool head amidst turmoil. During her time in London, most of her investment efforts focused on greenbacks, the notes printed by the U.S. government immediately after the Civil War. When more timid investors were wary of notes put forth by the still-recovering government, Hetty Green bought at full bore, claiming to have made US$1.25 million from her bond investments in one year alone. Her earnings on that front were to fund her great subsequent rail-bond purchases.

  • This Map Shows America’s Most Armed Counties. #1 Might Surprise You.

    01/18/2015 1:58:32 PM PST · 38 of 89
    Blue_Ridge_Mtn_Geek to hlmencken3

    As firearms ownership is increasingly politicized, and owners duck intrusive survey takers, measures of ownership will only become less reliable.
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    “There is no definitive data source from the government or elsewhere on how many Americans own guns or how gun ownership rates have changed over time. Also, public opinion surveys provide conflicting results: Some show a decline in the number of households with guns, but another does not.”

    “The General Social Survey (GSS), conducted roughly every two years by the independent research organization NORC at the University of Chicago, with principal funding from the National Science Foundation, provides a widely-used look at the rate of gun ownership over time. The GSS data show a substantial decline in the shares of both households and individuals with guns. When the GSS first asked about gun ownership in 1973, 49% reported having a gun or revolver in their home or garage. In 2012, 34% said they had a gun in their home or garage. When the survey first asked about personal gun ownership in 1980, 29% said a gun in their home personally belonged to them. This stands at 22% in the 2012 GSS survey.”

  • Pelosi, Dems 'fully aware' of CIA interrogation techniques, says former agency official

    12/14/2014 5:42:32 PM PST · 15 of 16
    Blue_Ridge_Mtn_Geek to Kaslin

    Wretchard and friends have an interesting thread on this topic.
    From his two “most liked” comments:

    A refusal to apply torture must ultimately rest on taboo. The taboo need not be a religious, but it must be founded on a belief secular or otherwise so unyielding that it amounts to the same thing. Unless such an absolute prohibition undergirds a society then resistance to its use will collapse when expediency demands it.

    A commitment not to torture has to be maintained in situations demanding the greatest sacrifice. If you are only opposed to torture when you have little or nothing to lose, then you are really like a fair-weather patriot, your commitment is worth nothing in a lurch.

    Societies without a core belief system cannot resist applying torture when their elites are threatened. Every Marxist Leninist regime in history has not only employed, but was dependent on torture. A society which has talked itself into repealing the taboo on infanticide cannot resist the temptation to apply torture for long, once the elites decide to push that narrative. If you will kill a child you will torture your enemy.

    If you press a liberal into explaining why he is opposed to torture he will ultimately be driven back on a half remembered but traditional prohibition rooted Christianity, Judaisim, or perhaps some humanistic philosophy. Something he learned in grade school to which he has a sentimental attachment. But if he reconsiders it coldly, he has no reason to maintain it.

    And they won’t. Should some terrible attack ensue; or should it threaten some sacred modern narrative like feminism or gay rights; or should it endanger celebrities or politicians; if someone put a nuke under Congress then they will say what Feinstein and Rockefeller told the CIA after 9/11. “Take care of it.” Take care of it and don’t tell me what you did.

    All that moral opposition to torture will vanish in a puff of smoke once their own hides are at stake, because come to think of it, their First Commandment is Thou shall not put any God before saving my ass.

    The impulse to resist applying torture is irrational in the way patriotism is irrational. It springs from some fundamental belief that we should die for a country we may not even like. Because we live here. Because we were born here. And I don’t torture because it says somewhere in the Good Book or some book that “don’t do it”. If you can’t feel an impulse to fight for your country, you won’t find the impulse resist the temptation to torture once the chips are down.

    A lot of the opposition to torture is superficial. It is based on guilt. But a little whiff of grapeshot gets rid of a lot of guilt. Fear does that. Yet for a civilization to survive it has to have a select number of non-negotiable taboos. Tell me, what is taboo to our great leaders? Which among them would fear to endanger their immortal soul or its secular equivalent?

    Let me say for the record what I have said before. That if I were president I would openly approve a degree of coercion, including sleep deprivation, drugs and psychological pressure. And sign it. But I would not under any circumstances, authorize torture in the Gestapo or NKVD sense. No thumbscrews, bone breaking, ice water dunking, etc. Why? Because that’s me. That’s religious conviction speaking there.

    And having disauthorized torture I would take a deep breath go to the public and say: “You folks don’t necessarily share my conviction. Please understand that people are going to die because I won’t authorize this torture, because it works sometimes. I want you to know that. To understand what this choice implies.

    “We’re giving up an advantage which is why it is morally hard. We are trading off something in the world we know in exchange for some value which may not even exist.

    “If you don’t like the tradeoff, I understand that too. If you object, I’ll resign and gladly too. I can only promise you this: if you go along I’ll make sure that if my own son were taken to be killed and I had the power to compel his kidnapper to reveal his whereabouts to me and save him, that I am prevented from making an exception. That even if he were on the phone saying, daddy, daddy, save me, that I would lift a finger against his grinning kidnapper.

    “Because I am determined that if this price should be paid then should not ask someone to make a sacrifice I will not myself undertake.”

    “Are well on board here? Are we all willing to make the pact that if our sons or daughters were facing a horrible death; and torture could reveal their locations, that we would not do it?

    “If not, then let’s sign on to torture now. Own up to it like men. Because otherwise we’re not serious. Let’s do all the necessary torture ourselves and not outsource it to Pakistan or Egypt. But if you are determined to avoid it, then be serious about it, like the Christians of old were, and take what comes, furnace or lions den. Because that was the choice and they chose the lion’s den. Take what comes or our morality isn’t worth a damn.

    “If you want to be a saint or a hero, prepare to pay the price. That’s the way it’s always been. Any politician who promises you both convenience and a good conscience is damned liar.”

  • Did the historical Jesus exist? A growing number of scholars don’t think so

  • Dissolving the Institution of Marriage: Liberals are coming out & acknowledging their true agenda.

    06/07/2014 3:15:32 PM PDT · 10 of 20
    Blue_Ridge_Mtn_Geek to SeekAndFind

    An LGBT activist’s testimony:

    In 2004 Gessen was married in the U.S. to Svetlana Generalova, a Russian citizen who was also involved in the LGBT movement in Moscow. By the time Gessen returned to the U.S. from Russia in December 2013, she was married to Darya Oreshkina. Gessen is, however, opposed to the existence of marriage at all, and advocates for the fundamental change of the institution of marriage, including her three children being legally able to have five parents.

    Gessen has three children, the older two being a boy, Vova, and a girl, Yolka, both of whom are U.S. citizens. Vova was born in 1997 in Russia and was adopted by Gessen from an orphanage in Kaliningrad for the children of HIV-positive women. “At the time,” she has written, “no other Russian citizen would have adopted him, so great was the fear of AIDS, and so rare were adoptions generally.” Yolka was born to Gessen in the U.S. in 2001. A third child, a son, was born to Oreshkina in February 2012.

  • Church Members Mistreat Homeless Man in Church, Unaware It Is Their Pastor in Disguise

    12/06/2013 4:13:01 AM PST · 32 of 45
    Blue_Ridge_Mtn_Geek to 21twelve

    Yes, congregations should be attentive to the whole counsel of God, which includes awareness of the perverse nature of fallen men (e.g., John 2:23-25). Having practices that filter out the grifters and frauds from access to church beneficence is not a slam on the poor any more than having security measures and audits in banks and other repositories of wealth is a display of undue suspicion of the well-to-do. People from both groups need to be accountable.

    Giving cash to beggars is easier than inviting them home or to a nearby eatery for a meal together, but is reinforcing bad behavior, not helping them. Likewise for shelling out cash to clever con artists, when it could be directed to those truly in need by doing some simple verifications of the sort you mention.

  • VA sued for harassing Christian chaplains

    11/11/2013 2:59:20 AM PST · 13 of 13
    Blue_Ridge_Mtn_Geek to Blue_Ridge_Mtn_Geek
  • VA sued for harassing Christian chaplains

  • Edward Snowden is a patriot

    08/12/2013 12:01:55 AM PDT · 104 of 170
    Blue_Ridge_Mtn_Geek to fabian; Chgogal

    “We live in an age of terrorism, with mass murder being able to be stopped by listening into cell phone data...then that makes sense. How is that hurting any law abiding citizen? If we have a city go up in an nuclear explosion, don’t worry, we are all going to lose far far more rights! The very fact that Snowden went to our enemies speaks volumes, does it not?”

    Your government has declared that YOU are the enemy, and has been gearing up to “COIN” you for some time now. What Snowden illuminated was just one element in the construction materials for your incarceration, 21st century style:

    [from the link]:
    The so-called war on drugs was the casus belli for the militarization of the local police forces in the U.S., although it took time to effect the evolution far and wide. Near the end of the campaign in Iraq, the favorite think tank of the left, the RAND Corporation, published a report in 2009 entitled Does The United States Need A New Police Force For Stability Operations? In it, Seth Jones, et. al., conclude:

    Weighing all considerations, the researchers concluded that the best option would be a 6,000-person hybrid force headquartered in the U.S. Marshals Service. The personnel in reserve status could be employed in state and local police forces so they would be able to exercise police functions in a civilian population daily and could be called up as needed.

    The Marshals Service was deemed to have many of the requisite skills. However, its training and management capabilities would need to be expanded to take on this large mission, and it would have to recruit additional personnel as well. The annual cost, $637 million, is reasonable given the capability it buys. The cost savings in relieving military forces of these duties could be greater than required to create the SPF.

    The Military Police option was attractive for a number of reasons, especially its capacity, training, and logistical capabilities, but its inability to engage in policing activities when not deployed was a major stumbling block. The Posse Comitatus Act precludes military personnel from exercising police functions in a civilian setting, and legislative relief might be difficult to get.

    Not to be outdone or left behind, the military establishment has weighed in with papers advocating the use of U.S. troops for a similar mission on American soil. One example, causing me forever to lose any respect for Small Wars Journal, was entitled Full Spectrum Operations In The Homeland: A Vision Of The Future, and SWJ followed this up later with Political Violence Prevention: Profiling Domestic Terrorists. The former paper advocated the use of U.S. military troops for stability operations in America, while the later paper advocated the use of human terrain systems for profiling “domestic terrorists” (I discussed these papers here).

    Just to ensure that we all knew that the full force of the think tanks was behind this effort, the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point published Challengers from the Sidelines: Understanding America’s Violent Far Right (via Western Rifle Shooters Association). Several observations may be made at this point. First, while the seeds for military operations on American soil by police and/or U.S. troops had been planted long ago, watching war occur for a decade across our television screens caused a change in those whose predilections would point them in the direction of waring on American soil.

    This is how it is to be done, it was easy to conclude. Social science with a gun: community involvement, town meetings, law enforcement knowledge of everyone all of the time, biometrics to track people (and especially men of military age), door kicking and killing as punitive measures, all sanctioned by the authorities and fully approved. A new mission. No longer will we merely perform constabulary duties. We must rebuild our cities, bring stability, and ensure that the centralized planners work with the military leaders to guide us all. The example has been set, and we’ve watched it unfold before our eyes for ten years. It has been paraded across our television screens for years, and now we know how to do it.

    Second, in order to effect this revised mission, they must have the same tactics, same military hardware, and the same doctrine. Police involving the community sounds warm and acceptable to the uninitiated, but it has a dark underbelly. The carrot and stick approach requires that they perform as COIN troops, as forces of occupation, to enforce their will. War is, after all is said and done, the use of violence to enforce your will.

    And this history of COIN in America has indeed been violent, partly because of the paradigm which guides the mission. I know something about the mission because my son is a former Marine and conducted operations in Fallujah in 2007. He performed counter-sniper operations, cleared rooms with an M4, cleared rooms with his Squad Automatic Weapon, performed satellite patrols, and operated an M2 aboard a helicopter targeting insurgents as they crossed over the Euphrates River into Fallujah after checkpoints had locked down the city. Marine Corps 2/6 went into Fallujah hard in the summer of 2007, but there’s an interesting instance that demonstrates how SWAT teams operate in America. [ more at the link]

  • A Drunk Trying to Make the Next Lamp Post [Hey, Jim Wallis, look at Detroit]

    07/20/2013 7:52:38 PM PDT · 21 of 21
    Blue_Ridge_Mtn_Geek to GeronL

    “of course Obie will bailout DET-roit”

    Perhaps, if so, he can point to the NY City 1975 precedent and several others.
    During the 1970s, New York City became over-extended and entered a period of financial crisis. In 1975 President Ford signed the New York City Seasonal Financing Act, which released $2.3 billion in loans to the city.

  • The Disappearing First Time Home Buyer

  • Crackers, please…

    06/28/2013 3:00:43 PM PDT · 105 of 113
    Blue_Ridge_Mtn_Geek to NotYourAverageDhimmi

    < Who cares if Trayvon Martin called George Zimmerman a “creepy ass cracker”? White grievance-mongers, that’s who >

    Why should black grievance-mongers like Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and Kanye West have a lock on the market in peddling grievances? It’s such a lucrative gig after all, and it’s time to spread the wealth around according to the current grievance-monger in chief who helped to kick of this episode and the resulting show trial, half-black BO. So, monger away, and ignore caviling members of the in-the-tank-for-BO punditocracy like Walsh. They’re just jealous that the field is not left to them in an increasingly crowded market place as their market share dwindles to the vanishing point.

  • 4 GOP hawks who support the NSA

    06/18/2013 2:10:48 AM PDT · 14 of 14
    Blue_Ridge_Mtn_Geek to Abakumov

    Tories, not American conservatives.

    Questioning the abuse of our government is not questioning its legitimacy, and by using the wrong word, perhaps purposefully, perhaps through ignorance, Gerson exposes his real concern. He is attempting to suggest that it is patriotic to love, trust and obey your government over your blessed country.

    Therein lies the parallel between Bush Loyalists and the Obama Administration. Big government, obese government, is legitimate and worthy of defense because both parties are seeking the ability to exert control over the people.

    The flags are too similar.

    < Because this is still the “last best hope of earth,” not a police state. Because Americans have fought and died for this country, and to turn on it in this way is noxious. It is dishonest. And it is dishonorable. >

    Finally, Gerson mentions the country, but uses the blood of patriots to scold those warning of the bill of particulars against the Crown.

    The only person dishonest and dishonorable here is Michael Gerson, self-aggrandized, impenitent Loyalist.

  • Bodies Pour In as Nigeria Hunts for Islamists

    05/08/2013 6:32:27 AM PDT · 10 of 15
    Blue_Ridge_Mtn_Geek to LibWhacker

    “Accused, often on flimsy or no evidence, of being members or supporters of Boko Haram . . .”

    ‘The slime at the NYSlimes can wring their hands all they want, but this is how you fight terrorists.’

    Be careful what you applaud - - it could come back to bite you.

  • How to combat flak from Christians for teaching biblical sexual ethics

    04/10/2013 2:27:28 AM PDT · 6 of 7
    Blue_Ridge_Mtn_Geek to Linda Frances; Fester Chugabrew; Morgana

    Homosexual perversion is to heterosexual perversion as gnats are to camels. I strain the gnats out my food too, but it’s the mountains of camel dung that present the more serious challenge.

  • Gun-control advocates say Obama is too late

    01/18/2013 5:25:24 AM PST · 5 of 15
    Blue_Ridge_Mtn_Geek to Scooter100

    I don’t know about your numbers, but BO and the devoted gun grabber set have certainly sold a lot more weapons in recent weeks than any weapons marketer’s paid-for ad campaign could have accomplished in several years. If only they could collect a regular commission on their sales they would be as loaded as a Mega Millions lottery winner.

    I think it’s a mistake, though, to tag the gun-grabbers as solely “leftist/liberal”. I have plenty of liberal acquaintances who are also staunch NRA members based on both their valuing the freedom to defend themselves, and opposition to disarming the general public. The real divide is between those who trust their neighbors more than they trust state institutions, and those who are devoted to centralization and expansion of state power as long as they can claim their share of the loot such power concentrations accumulate for the adherents to whatever faction is currently in control of the levers of power.

    Likewise, it’s a mistake to think about BO in terms of his real or alleged affiliations, i.e., “Muslim” or “Liberal” or “Marxist/Communist”. BO is an indifferently educated (despite his Ivy League credentials) narcissist, whose basic allegiance is to BO. As these disappointed civilian disarmament zealots are noting, he does not share their zealotry for this (or most any) issue. He does have an enthusiasm for golf and posh vacation expeditions however, which he can indulge from his perch on the Imperial Presidency roost our polity has been erecting for nearly a century now. I wonder if he will bring back the Nixon “Palace Guards” uniforms for the Secret Service cadre assigned to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave? Even if only to ‘twist the knife’ in his political adversaries, which is another hobby he seems to enjoy.

  • Can a $1 Trillion Coin End Debt Ceiling Crisis?

    01/05/2013 2:54:26 PM PST · 44 of 44
    Blue_Ridge_Mtn_Geek to Red in Blue PA

    Quite possibly they are serious... and if so it highlights a peculiarly Inner Beltway delusion: that the “Debt Ceiling” is something that can be fixed by law or regulation. The reason for a ‘legal’ debt ceiling is to avoid the debt ceiling that really counts: the one imposed by bond and currency markets. When the ‘legal’ debt ceiling loses credibility through stunts like this proposal, the US dollar and US debt denominated in dollars will be discounted just like the debt of fiscally incontinent European states like Greece, Portugal, Italy, and Spain.

    A review of 20th century examples: