8/26/14: WAIT JUST A MINUTE

8/26/14: WAIT JUST A MINUTE

Curiously, one of the apparent “lessons” emerging from the Ferguson shooting is the need to take away military armor from local police.  Apparently this frightened protesters and looters.  I have other questions: 1) Why is the boy’s name Brown but his mother’s is McSpadden?  Who is his father?  Why is he reported to have “attended” high school?  Did he graduate?  What were his grades? Did he have a job?  Why weren’t looters shot in the head by police snipers?  

But nobody seems to care about these questions, or even the facts of the case.  Excessive force may have been used, or not.  Time will tell.  But taking away armor from police is a bad idea, and not just because of the Ferguson fiasco.  As the figures below indicate, we are on the verge of financial collapse.  Sooner or later, possibly as early as this October, the Fed is going to stop printing money to buy our own bonds and keep interest rates low.  Private investors will demand a greater return and interest rates will climb.  Our annual debt service will explode to a TRILLION DOLLARS, and social programs, along with everything else, will have to be cut.  If they looted over the shooting of one boy, how do you think minorities, or any entitlement recipients for that matter, will react when their federal benefits are cut or eliminated?  I’m not just talking sporadic looting.  We’re facing WIDESPREAD CIVIL UNREST.  Our cops, state troopers, National Guard, and the American Army will need all the armor they can get.  

It’s coming people, like the sunrise tomorrow.  The best advice I can give is to stock up on water, canned food, guns and ammunition. 

SO SAYS THE SENTINEL.    

National Debt: $17.683 Trillion

Annual Interest on Debt: $233.673 Billion

2014 Projected Budget Deficit: $562.325 Billion

Projected Entitlements (SS/MC) Shortfall: $117.931 Trillion

THE UNITED STATES IS BANKRUPT AND WILL SOON BE INSOLVENT.

 

8/21/14: THE BIG STICK

8/21/14: THE BIG STICK

Sure, I wish the President had spoken more passionately two days ago about the decapitation of the reporter by ISIS, but I like his military response.  We hit 14 more targets from the air yesterday just to show those murdering bastards we won’t be intimidated and they’ve fucked with the wrong cowboy.  I hope next time it’s 28, and then 56, etc., until they’re all dead.  That’s a language they understand, maybe the only one. 

Teddy Roosevelt said, “Speak softly but carry a big stick.”  Amen, brother.  Keep up the good work, Mr. President.  Never hought I’d utter those words.

SO SAYS THE SENTINEL.

National Debt: $17.659 Trillion

Annual Interest on Debt: $226.349 Billion

Projected 2014 Budget Deficit: $564.099 Billion

Projected Entitlements (SS/MC) Shortfall: $117.874 Trillion

THE UNITED STATES IS BANKRUPT AND INSOLVENT.  GOD SAVE OUR PRINTING PRESSES.

8/19/14: YA THINK?

8/19/14: YA THINK?

Ferguson again.  Now that the autopsy results are in for Mike Brown, the question is, do you think:

a) an officer with no disciplinary record opened fire on an unarmed black youth with his hands in the air, on a busy street in broad daylight, and shot him six times? or

b) a black thug who just robbed a market pushed a policeman into his cruiser, tried to go for the officer’s weapon, was repelled but then charged the vehicle and was gunned down by a cop in fear for his life?  

Well, what do you think?  You know what I think.  Police are trained to use deadly force to repel any effort to seize their weapon, as well they should be.  I’d be interested in the toxicology report on this kid, which might take another month.  I’ll bet he was hopped up on something.

SO SAYS THE SENTINEL.  

National Debt: $17.657 Trillion

Annual Interest on Debt: $226.316 Billion

Projected 2014 Budget Deficit: $564.825 Billion

Projected Entitlements (SS/MC) Shortfall: $117.851 Trillion

THE UNITED STATES IS ALREADY BANKRUPT, AND WOULD BE INSOLVENT BUT FOR OUR PRINTING PRESSES.

 

 

 

8/18/14: LET ME COUNT THE WAYS

8/18/14: LET ME COUNT THE WAYS

I’m talking today about this ridiculous debacle in Ferguson, Missouri, near my hometown of St. Louis.  It’s too early to reach a final verdict, so I offer some random thoughts at this juncture:

First, Ron Johnson, the state trooper who is calling the shots in lieu of local police, or possibly was until the National Guard was called in last night, is a little too touchy-feely for me.  What is he, a cop or a community organizer, whatever that is?  Last night he said, “My son is like Mike Brown.  Baggy pants.  Hat cocked sideways.  Tattoos on his arm.  But he’s my son and I love him.”  Great, Ron, but two questions: 1) What are his math scores? 2) What does he want to do when he grows up, fuck bitches or bust a cap in whitey?  Your boy, just like Mike Brown, is just another shiftless black bully.  That video of Brown committing the robbery is offensive, the way he disdainfully pushes the intervening storeowner aside.      

Second, the cops have something to hide, not releasing Patrolman Wilson’s statement on the shooting as of yet.  The autopsy shows Brown was shot six times, including twice in the head, and not at close range.  What the hell happened? 

Third, what kind of boobery is involved in releasing the video showing Brown robbing that market minutes before he was killed, but then just hours later admitting Officer Wilson was unaware of the robbery when he accosted Brown?  You can’t make this stuff up.

Fourth, the release of the video put a looting target on the market Brown robbed, and sure enough the looters struck that very night.  Peaceful protests are constitutionally protected, but looting is a crime, not a protest.  Looters must be stopped, if necessary by lethal force.  It’s a disgrace the local police refused to intervene, presumably because state troopers had jurisdiction.  

Fifth, what the hell is going to happen next?  The lack of command structure and the shifting sands are just, well, frightening.  I have no idea how bad this is going to get before it calms down.         

SO SAYS THE SENTINEL.

National Debt: $17.656 Trillion

Annual Interest on Debt: $226.299 Billion

2014 Projected Budget Deficit: $565.187 Billion

Projected Entitlements (SS/MC) Shortfall: $117.889 Trillion

THE UNITED STATES IS ALREADY BANKRUPT, AND WOULD BE INSOLVENT BUT FOR OUR PRINTING PRESSES. 

8/15/14: GARDEN VARIETY

8/15/14: GARDEN VARIETY

Everybody’s apparently shocked by Robin Williams’ suicide.  Fact is, for alcoholics and drug addicts, suicides are a dime a dozen.  And that’s what he was.  Apparently he sobered up for 20 years or so, but relapsed in 2006 and has been struggling since to regain sobriety.  He’d done another rehab the month before his death.  

Much sympathy has been expressed for him as a victim of depression.  Who isn’t depressed when they can’t get sober?  I have the same question as TV baseball announcer Curt Gowdy, who responded  when asked to lament for a ballplayer whose spouse had succumbed to cancer, “how ’bout the wife?”  Why do you think Mrs. Williams walked out of the house late the evening before his suicide, as she is reported to have done?  Because Robin was ranting or using, or both.  She couldn’t take it anymore.  So he showed her; he killed himself.  Don’t you think it crossed his mind she would discover his dead body upon her return?  That’s the self-centeredness of addicts.  Even at his death, it was all about him.  

So I am sorry such a great talent is gone, but I have little sympathy.  He knew what he had to do.  Get sober.  He just didn’t want to sober up more than he wanted to get high.  I could sympathize if he didn’t know better; but he did.  He did this to his wife, to show her what her lack of sympathy could drive him to.  Sane thinking?  Obviously not, but it goes with the territory. 

But not to worry.  Even the family is trying to portray him as the victim and avoid dealing with their own anger.  It might be about royalties, but it’s a family illness.  We know he was not working a program of recovery.  Were they?  Al-Anon is for families of alcoholics.  It’s still available to his widow and daughter if they want it.  

SO SAYS THE SENTINEL.

Nation Debt: $17.654 Trillion

Annual Interest on Debt: $226.25 Billion

Projected 2014 Budget Deficit: $566.242 Billion

Projected Entitlements (SS/MC) Shortfall: $118.906 Trillion

THE UNITED STATES IS BANKRUPT, AND WOULD BE INSOLVENT BUT OUR PRINTING PRESSES.

8/12/14: LIVE IN THE NOW

8/12/14: LIVE IN THE NOW

Regarding ISIS, does it do any good now to lament the initial invasion of Iraq in 2003 by President Bush, or President Obama’s inability to negotiate a status of forces of agreement with Iraq in 2011?  No, it does not.  What counts is what are going to do now about the current crisis on Mt. Sinjar and in Kurdistan.  I think the President has it about right this time.  We can’t resinsert ground troops without a SOF agreement with Iraq, even if we wanted to, and we don’t.  Iraq made that bed, so let them sleep in it.  Their insistence on non-immunity for our troops in Iraqi courts was a non-starter, and they knew it.  Al-Maliki is on the verge of a coup of stay in power as Prime Minister, so Iraq is completely disfunctional.  The Iraqi “army” fled in their first encounter with ISIS and surrendered our equipment to the enemy, which ISIS is now using against the Kurdish peshmerga.  This is both ironic and disgusting, but the point is the likelihood of Iraqi “forces” coming to the defense of the Kurdish region is zero.  We should continue our air campaign in support of the Kurds, arm them, and get those people off the mountain, just as the President is doing.  We might even establish the airbase in Kurdisatan that the Kurds have been offering us for years.  Prediction: the Kurds will win, and gain their independence from hapless Iraq in doing so. 

There’s another reason not to get more involved.  Senators Graham and McCain speak of the danger ISIS poses to our homeland, but I laugh when I see a 20-something ISIS fighter telling the world their flag will fly over the White House.  Right.  ISIS has many battles to fight before then.  They are radical Sunnis, so they have their sights initially on Shiite Iraq.  Iraq will find Jesus and unify before submitting to another Sunni dictatorship like Saddam imposed.  No doubt ISIS’ next target will be Damascus and Alawite Syria, supported by Shiite Hezbollah (Lebanon), Shiite Iran and Christian Russia.  ISIS might even take on Shiite Iran for us directly.  Then will come the Sunni kingdoms (Saudi Arabia and the Emirates)  And, finally, will come Jewish Israel.  Does anyone seriously think ISIS can survive all these death struggles?  We can count on their radicalism to follow just this path.  Let someone else do our fighting for us, while we rain death from the air.  We are in the catbird’s seat, a perch we should not lightly surrender.  

SO SAYS THE SENTINEL.         

National Debt: $17.651 Trillion

Annual Interest on Debt: $226.2 Billion

2014 Projected Budget Deficit: $567.329 Billion

Projected Entitlements (SS/MC) Shortfall: $118.871 Trillion

THE UNITED STATES IS BANKRUPT AND WOULD BE INSOLVENT BUT FOR OUR PRINTING PRESSES.  

8/7/14: CLUELESS

8/7/14: CLUELESS

The President sounded good at his press conference after his Africa summit yesterday.  He almost always does.  I’m sure he was very proud of being the first black President and holding the first Africa summit, and he had every right to be, but his words were ominous.  Hamas, he said, was “irresponsible” to hide among Palestinian civilians to launch their rockets against Israeli targets.  No, they’re murderous thugs, who are Nazi-like in their anti-Semitism and in the final solution they propose: extermination of Jews worldwide, not just in Israel.  Israel should refuse to even sit down at the same negotiating table as these terrorists.  The Palestinian civilians killed by Israeli attacks are not altogether innocent either.  They elected Hamas their leaders, rather than the Palentinian Authority, in 2005.  They made their bed; let them sleep in it.

The sanctions, he said of Russia, “are working,” as Putin is poised to invade Ukraine.  Defense Secretary Hagel said invasion is imminent, and the Polish leader predicted a world war if it occurs.  Who can blame him?    Germany did not start World War II by themselves; as they invaded Poland from the west in September of 1939, within weeks the USSR invaded Poland from the east.  Russia has had designs on eastern Europe for centuries and now is no different.  Putin’s situation is growing desperate, and desperate men do desperate things.  The separatists are losing ground to the Ukrainian army; Russian troops and weaponry are needed to turn the tide.  What he President should have said was that an invasion by Russia was a complete game changer, with grave consequences. 

Thucydides once said that “the strong do what they must; the weak do what they can.”  We must side with Israel and Ukraine.  Are we becoming weak?  Our President talks like a weakling.         

SO SAYS THE SENTINEL.   

National Debt: $17.635 Trillion

Annual Interest on Debt: $226.119 Billion

2014 Projected Budget Deficit: $569.098 Billion

Projected Entitlements (SS/MC) Shortfall: $118.815 Trillion

THE UNITED STATES IS BANKRUPT, AND WOULD BE INSOLVENT WITHOUT OUR PRINTING PRESSES.

8/5/14: RESTRAINT OF TONGUE AND PEN

8/5/14: RESTRAINT OF TONGUE AND PEN

Sometimes it pays to dig a little deeper.  You are all aware of the many recent federal district court decisions invalidating gay marriage bans in numerous states.  Two appellate courts have affirmed two of those rulings, the Fourth and Tenth Circuits, both by 2-1 votes.  The Sentinel read the dissents.  They make for interesting and sobering reading.

First, the district court rulings are completely lawless.  The Supreme Court addressed gay marriage in a 1972 case, dismissing an appeal “for want of a substantial federal question.”  That ends the matter.  District courts have no choice but to dismiss all such cases.  They can’t ignore controlling high court precedent; only the Supreme Court can reverse itself.  

Second, the federal Constitution does not mention marriage, so gay plaintiffs hang their hats on the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment, and they play tricks to gain the benefit of those Clauses.  Without getting into the weeds too much, courts evalutate claims under these Clauses by either “strict scutiny” or “rational basis.” Obviously, plaintiffs prefer “strict scutiny” since it always favor them; “rational basis” generally favors the state law challenged.  To gain the benefit of strict scrutiny under the Due Process Clause, plaintiffs claim their right to gay marriage is simply implied from the broader right to marry, which has been recognized as fundamental under the Constitution.  As the Fourth Circuit dissent noted, however, this implied approach “fail[s] to explain … why this broad right to marry … does not also encompass the ‘right’ of a father to marry his daughter or the ‘right’ of any person to marry multiple partners.”  Construed narrowly, no court has held the right to same-sex marriage to be fundamental and entitled to the benefits of strict scrutiny analysis.  The dissenter has no problem finding Virginia’s gay marriage ban to be “rationally related to (1) responsible procreation, (2) effective parenting, and (3) the desire to proceed cautiously in theis evolving area.”  

The rebuttal is even easier under the Equal Protection Clause, where no court has ever previously held that discrimination based on sexual orientation is entitled to heightened scrutiny.  Relatedly, it may surprise you to learn that employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation has not been prohibited by federal law since the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was enacted.  Race and gender are “suspect” categories entitled to heightened scrutiny, but not sexual orientation.  As the dissent in the Tenth Circuit concluded: “The State [of Utah] has satisfied its burden on rational basis review .. the State’s position is at the very least arugable.  It is certainly not arbitrary, irrational or based upon legislative facts that no electorate or legislature could conceivably believe … We should resist the temptation to become philospher-kings, imposing our views under the guise of constitutional interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment.”  

And none of these cases discuss the abomination of anal intercourse, which is the elephant in the closet.  

SO SAYS THE SENTINEL.

National Debt: $17.633 Trillion

Annual Interest on Debt: $226.086 Billion

2014 Projected Budget Deficit: $569.798 Billion

Projected Unfunded Entitlements (SS/MC): $118.792 Trillion

THE UNITED STATES IS BANKRUPT, AND WOULD BE INSOLVENT BUT FOR OUR PRINTING PRESSES.