12/18/14: ONE LAST TIME — THANK GOD

12/18/14: ONE LAST TIME — THANK GOD

I’m speaking of “Hobbit 3,” released yesterday.  It was my birthday gift to myself.  What a mistake.  It was dreadful.  I can’t imagine what all the glowing reviewers were thinking about. 

First, it’s just a bloated battle epic, with little dramatic content.  Second, Thorin’s descent into and recovery from gold madness are completely unconvincing.  Third, the ultimate attack of the Gundabad orcs never materialized or, if it did, I somehow missed it.  Fourth, there was no resolution whatsover.  The interminable battle finally ends and Frodo just walks home.  That’s it.  Who becomes the new dwarf King under the Mountain?  What accomodation did the dwarves reach with men and elves?  These questions, about the which endless battle was fought, are left unanwered.  Perhaps the footage was left on the cutting room floor, and will appear in the inevitable extended edition.

Which I was buy out of a sense of obligation and to complete my library of all 6 extended editions.  “The Lord of the Rings” was and remains — after 50 (!) viewings — a magical movie experience.  In fact, last night, after wasting our afternoon at “Hobbit 3,” I showed my girlfriend, India, the “Ride of the Rohirrim” from “Return of the King,” just to show her how rousing Peter Jackson’s initial vision of Middle Earth was.  He completely lost his way.  My memory of the experience will be one of faded glory, and I am sad.  

SO SAYS THE SENTINEL.

National Debt: $18.016 Trillion

Annual Interest on Debt: $266.650 Billion

Annual Budget Deficit: $479.955 Billion

Unfunded Entitlements: $115.924 Trillion

WE ARE BANKRUPT AND INSOLVENT.

12/16/14: REGULAR ORDER?

12/16/14: REGULAR ORDER?

John Boehner and Mitch McConnell have announced their intentions to return Congress to “regular order” after the New Year, when Republicans will control both chambers.  So why pass a “Cromnimbus” funding the government through next September, except for Homeland Security, which is funded only through March?  Why not simpy pass a Continuing Resolution funding the government at current levels for three (3) months, and then returning to “regular order” next year by passing separte funding bills for each department of the federal goverment, rather than one (1) bill stuffed with irrelevant pork.  As much as I hate to say it, the Socialist, Elizabeth Warren, may have a point about the amendment to Dodd-Frank in the Cromnibus.  What’s that doing in a spending bill?  The amendment would surely pass both chambers as a separate measure come January.  No doubt we’ll find other rank pork in the lengthy bill as its contents emerge in the coming weeks.  As Nancy Pelosi infamously said about ObamaCare, “You have to pass it before finding out what’s in it.”

On a side note, Ted Cruz seems to have gotten his pants pulled down again.  He insisted the Senate remain in session to debate his opposition to the Cromnibus stemming from “executive amnesty,” the President’s order to legalize five (5) million illegals.  So Harry Reid took advantage of the continuing session to ram through numerous Obama appointments, including some boob to serve as Surgeon General who finished his residency in 2008 and whose principal qualification was that he was a big Obama contributor.  Ted shut down the government last year over ObamaCare, a near disaster for the Republicans.  I like the man’s rhetoric, but perhaps a cooler head will prevail next time.  Be careful what you ask for, Senator.  

SO SAYS THE SENTINEL.

National Debt: $18.015 Trillion

Annual Interest on Debt: $266.761 Billion

Annual Budget Deficit: $480.033 Billion

Unfunded Entitlements (SS/MC/MC): $115.901 Trillion

WE ARE BANKRUPT AND INSOLVENT.    

 

12/11/14: NATION OF PANSIES

12/11/14: NATION OF PANSIES

Item: Libs have their panties in a twist over the Senate “torture” report.  Dick Cheney, the only adult in the room, said last night on Fox News it was all “crap.” 

Item: Columbia law students have been given the option to delay their first semester finals to “recover” from the “trauma” of the non-indictments in St. Louis and Staten Island.

Item: Some silly Oklahoma school has gone to court over a blown call by the refs, to get a replay of something as insignificant as a high school football game.

We’re a nation of pansies.  I remind my readers that, in the waning days of World War II: a) we shot Jap prisoners in droves because we had no stockades for them on the little islands we were fighting over; b) we firebombed Tokyo, targeting its shantytown and incinerating 100,000 people; and c) we then dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, vaporizing 100,000 civilians in each.  War is hell.  Grow a pair.

We wring our hands over waterboarding, while we murder the preborn, sanction homosexuality, and incur $18 trillion in debt.  First things first.

SO SAYS THE SENTINEL.

National Debt: $18.010 Trillion

Annual Interest on Debt: $267.036 Billion

Annual Budget Deficit: $480.225 Billion

Unfunded Entitlements (SS/MC/MC): $115.844 Trillion

WE ARE BANKRUPT AND INSOLVENT.

 

 

12/9/14: PARTING SHOT

12/9/14: PARTING SHOT

The Democrats have lost control of the Senate, but they’re going out with a bang.  Senator Diane Feinstein, usually a voice of reason, has engineered things so her Intelligence Committee will release its report on CIA torture techniques in the War on Terror today.  The political motivation is obvious.  Republicans will control her Committee next month and wouldn’t dream of releasing the report.  The lady from California also wants revenge because the CIA spied on her Committee last year out of fear over this report.  She seems oblivious to the fact that she is putting American lives at risk.  The report may disclose information identifying undercover operatives abroad and Radical Islam will seek revenge for the disclosures by kidnapping and beheading even uninvolved Americans everywhere.  The President is in favor of releasing the report, but his own Secretary of State, John Kerry, is not.  Let’s wait and see if Kerry gets the ax for opposing Obama like Chuck Hagel did two weeks ago.   

Frankly, The Sentinel is not at all troubled by the disclosures.  There are only three instances of waterboarding discussed, and waterboarding, undoubtedly coercive, hardly seems like torture.  Electric shock, pulling fingernails, blows to the genitals, now those might be torture, and I wouldn’t particularly have a problem with that.  The purpose of all this was to learn plans for additional attacks on the Homeland after 9-11.  Why the hell not?

And there can be no doubt as to the effectiveness of coercion.  Even Kathryn Bigelow from the Hollywood establishment admitted as much in her excellent film, “Zero Dark Thirty,” which makes clear “torture” led directly to the killing of Usama bin Laden, the administration’s most touted blow in the War on Terror.  Let’s get real: the ACLU types in this country are going to get their shorts in a twist over this report, but most Americans will say, “Go get ‘em boys.”  

SO SAYS THE SENTINEL.

National Debt: $18.008 Trillion

Annual Interest on Debt: $267.143 Billion

Annual Budget Deficit: $480.300 Billion

Unfunded Entitlements: $115.822 Trillion

WE ARE BANKRUPT AND INSOLVENT.   

 

 

12/4/14: WHAT HAPPENS IN STATEN ISLAND …

12/4/14: WHAT HAPPENS IN STATEN ISLAND …

Media coverage of the decision by a “New York City” Grand Jury not to indict a police officer in the death of a black man misses a key point.  It’s not New York City.  It’s Staten Island, a conservative white bastion in the heart of a liberal colored city.  The officer was Italian, the arrestee was black.  He was committing a petty crime, selling untaxed cigarettes.  He technically resisted arrest.  People don’t seem to understand that telling a police officer not to touch you, when he’s trying to cuff you,  is resisting arrest.  He was a VERY big man and potentially deranged.  That’s all a Staten Island GJ would need to hear.    

Having said all that, the incident was captured on videotape.  The police asphixiation of this man, after he cried out that he couldn’t breathe, seems at least negligent if not reckless homicide.  There should have been an indictment for something, even if there were no eventual conviction at trial.  I would encourage the feds to pursue civil rights charges even if they can’t get a conviction either, although that reinforces the prevalent view that only the federal government can save us.    

Nobody hates to saythis more than The Sentinel, but maybe the charlatans, “Revs.” Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, do have a point.  

SO SAYS THE SENTINEL.

National Debt: $18.004 Trillion

Annual Interest on Debt: $267.417 Billion

Annual Budget Deficit: $480.492 Billion

Unfunded Entitlements (SS/MC/MC): $115.765 Trillion

WE ARE BANKRUPT AND INSOLVENT.

12/2/14: SCAPEGOAT

12/2/14: SCAPEGOAT

There’s more to the story of Chuck Hagel’s “resignation” as Defense Secretary.  This very nasty White House is putting out the story that he was fired for incompetence, when in fact there were policy differences over ISIS.  Hagel knew, as all military men know, there is only one way to defeat this foe — substantial American ground forces — but the President would have none of that.  That’s what his departure is all about. 

Of course, I remain convinced we’re totally on the wrong track in the Middle East.  Our current war on ISIS finds us on the same sides as Syria and Iran, when we seek Assad’s ouster in Syria and restraints on Iran’s nuclear program, objectives which may be lost in the shuffle.  Why don’t we try a new tack altogether?  Let the Sunnis and the Shias fight to the death, as they have been for 1400 years.  There are radical terrorists on both sides.  Set up a list of terrorist states and, when our vital interests are affected — like a terrorist attack on Israel or the homeland — pick a number out of the hat and bomb one indiscriminately.  Let our enemies feel the terror, and perhaps they will start to police themselves.  Then we can return to the core principles of our Middle East policy: protect Israel, oust Assad, and denuke Iran, by whatever means necessary.  

SO SAYS THE SENTINEL. 

National Debt: $18.002 Trillion

Annual Interest on Debt: $267.520 Billion

Annual Budget Deficit: $480.564 Billion

Unfunded Entitlements (SS/MC/MC): $115.744 Trillion

WE ARE BANKRUPT AND INSOLVENT.

11/27/14: MORE FERGUSON QUESTIONS

11/27/14: MORE FERGUSON QUESTIONS

I wanted to write today about Chuck Hagel’s dismissal as Defense Secretary, but pressing business in Ferguson continues to occupy me.  Had I been at the Prosecutor’s press conference the other night, the question I would have asked is this: if Brown had survived, how many crimes could he after been charged with?  Surely robbery and assault at the convenience store, certainly assault on a police officer if not attempted murder (reaching for the officer’s weapon), and likely  resisting arrest (initally running away before turning and charging).  This was “no angel,” to quote “The New York Times.”    

Second, where in the hell was the National Guard the first night of the rioting?  Were they held back — they were in town but did not appear — just so the crowd could do a “little venting?”  I’m sure owners of burned out businesses appreciated that.

Third, after the first night, why didn’t the Governor declare martial law, impose a curfew, and allow not even peaceful protests after dark?  Because the Governor is a Democrat and, typically, has no balls.  Looters and arsonists should have been executed by Police/Guard snipers with kill shots to the head.

SO SAYS THE SENTINEL.

National Debt: $17.957 Trillion

Annual Interest on Debt: $267.799 Billion

Annual Budget Deficit: $480.760 Billion

Unfunded Entitlements (SS/MC/MC): $115.686 Trillion

WE ARE BANKRUPT AND INSOLVENT.

11/25/14: COP HUNTER

11/25/14: COP HUNTER

The decision not to indict in the Ferguson shooting was really a no-brainer.  Numerous black witnesses and the forensic evidence corroborated Officer Wilson’s version that Michael Brown attacked him in his cruiser and tried to take his weapon, that the Officer chased him in the street, and that Brown turned and charged him twice.  The forensic evidence revealed Brown’s blood was inside the cruiser and he had a close-range wound on one of his hands.  Some of the black witnesses testified against Wilson that he stood over Brown’s prostrate body and shot him repeatedly in the back.  The autopsy revealed no back wounds.  They were lying.  One was Brown’s co-robber of the convenience store.  

I only have two questions: First, relatedly, why would Brown rob a convenience store and then waltz down the center of a street right off Ferguson’s main drag, and why would he turn and charge while making his escape?  It seems that he was begging to get accosted by a single cop in a cruiser, so he could kill him.  My thesis is that Brown wanted to earn his stripes in the hood as a cop killer.  He got what he deserved.

Second, why did these idiot officials in St. Louis County reveal the decision at 8 o’clock at night, after a restive crowd had gathered?  Why didn’t they just pass out automatic weapons to the crowd?  They were inviting the rioting which ensued.

The only remaining story line of interest might be the Grand Jury deliberations and whether the vote was 9-3 along racial lines.  No doubt a Grand Juror will risk a misdemeanor charge in exchange for a hefty stipend from a media outlet to tell his or her story.  We’ll just have to wait and see about that. 

SO SAYS THE SENTINEL.

National Debt: $17.956 Trillion

Annual Interest on Debt: $267.911 Billion

Annual Budget Deficit: $480.838 Billion

Unfunded Entitlements (SS/MC/MC): $115.663 Trillion

WE THE PEOPLE ARE BANKRUPT AND INSOLVENT.