9/30/14: TRUTH IS A RARE COMMODITY

9/30/14: TRUTH IS A RARE COMMODITY

The Sentinel watched Chris Wallace’s interview of conservative black Ben Carson on Fox News Sunday two days ago with great interest.  I remain convinced that Mitt Romney is the best Republican candidate, but Carson did have som interesting things to say.  I try to stick with principles and avoid pesonalities but, if Dr. Carson is to offer himself as a serious candidate, he needs to come to life.  His manner was essentially comatose.

But to substance.  What really caught my ear was Wallace’s incredulous question about a recent quote from Carson that the 2016 elections could be marred if not disrupted by civil unrest bordering on anarchy.  The good doctor calmly stuck to his guns and replied that the debt situation was such that it could well lead to tearing of the social fabric.  Finally, someone is telling the truth.  I was more struck with Wallace’s incredulity than Carson’s answer.  Where exactly does Wallace think we are heading?

The  Fed is in a very tight spot now.  They are slowing their printing of money for Treasury bond purchases, and after that they will slowly increase our artificially low interest rates.  When they do that, the borrowing costs for the government will inevitably rise.  No investor is going to buy Treasuries at .03% if they can earn 5% on Apple or GE debt instruments.  According to the CBO, our annual interest payments on our $17.5 TRILLION debt could go from $250 billion to A TRILLION DOLLARS annually.  The federal government will have no choice but to cut social programs like welfare, foodstamps, Medicare and Social Security.  That’s not going to please some people, and one of the lessons of Ferguson is that unhappy beneficiaries of the entitlement state riot and loot.  Hence Dr. Carson’s prediction, which could be right on the money, if you’ll pardon the play on words.  According to him, out time is short.  He may well be right.

SO SAYS THE SENTINEL.

National Debt: $17.758 Trillion

Annual Interest on Debt: $235.015 Billion (for now)

2014 Projected Budget Deficit: $549.861 Billion

Projected Entitlements Shortfall: $116.328 Trillion

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

9/25/14: “THE MILLSTONE SOCIETY”

9/25/14: “THE MILLSTONE SOCIETY”

The Sentinel has just published his first book, “The Millstone Society,” a dark fantasy about how the Catholic Church should have handled the sex abuse scandal which scarred so many victims and rocked the Church to its foundations.  Remember Jesus’ words in all the Gospels except John: “It would be better for him who harms a child to have a millstone tied around his neck and be drowned.”  I paraphrase, but you get the idea.  Enter the Millstone Society.  The rest I leave to your imagination.  

I will have a book signing tomorrow, Friday, September 26, 2014 at Hastings Bookstore in Maryville, TN from 5-7p.  It’s near the Post Office.  Meet the author (me) and buy the book for $12.95.  If the scandal makes you angry, “The Millstone Society” is for you.  “Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord.”  

SO SAYS THE SENTINEL.    

National Debt: $17.754 Trillion

Annual Interest on Debt: $234.825 Billion

2014 Projected Budget Deficit: $551.626 Billion

Projected Entitlements (SS/MC/MC) Shortfall: $116.271 Trillion

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

9/23/14: THE HEART OF THE MATTER

9/23/14: THE HEART OF THE MATTER

Everybody’s talking about the Ravens’ and NFL’s responses to the Ray Rice incident, but how about the player and his now wife?  The root of the matter is alcohol.  They were coming out of a casino, where drinks are free, and appear visibly impaired as they approach the elevator.  She is wacking at him into the elevator, he smacks her once, she gets in his face and spits (!) on him, and he coldcocks her.  He then drags her out of the elevator like a sack of potatoes and inexplicably removes one of her shoes.  You can’t make sense out of nonsense, but the problem was alcohol. 

That doesn’t legally excuse anything, but it explains a lot.  By all accounts, Rice is a good guy, but I’m told that black couples often behave this way.  Alcohol, anger, spitting and violence.  And that’s the problem for the NFL.  I was also told a recent publication showed the pantheon of all NFL players charged with domestic violence, and all 10 were black.  Let’s face it, it’s a black league.  I watched the Denver/Seattle game last weekend, and all players on both defenses — all 22 — were black.  You know why?  Because the key to defense is speed, and blacks are generally faster than whites.  Some idiot in another game tore up his knee doing a victory dance.  He, too, was black.  And whites paint their faces and cheer in the stands.  Same for college football.  For the most part, these are steroid-crazed athletes with little to no education playing a violent sport that fits right into their hood mentality.  And whites paint their faces and cheer in the stands.  I’m sick of it.

The most significant development last week was the revelation in the head injury lawsuit by NFL veterans against the league that 1/3 (ONE-THIRD!) of all former players have or will have significant cognitive impairment after their playing days.  Wes Welker has sustained 3 concussions but plays on, and sustained some awful hits in the Denver/Seattle game.  He won’t remember his name in 10 years.  I’m with George Will.  Football is a distasteful violent game with significant risk of injury.  I’m sticking with baseball, and the playoffs are coming up.  A pox on all their houses.  Fuck The Shield!

One final note: Rice’s defense on league appeal appears to be Double Jeopardy — that he was already punished with a 2-game suspension, which cannot be enhanced.  The contention has no legal merit.  The Constitutional provision applies only in criminal prosecutions.  

SO SAYS THE SENTINEL.

National Debt: $17.752 Trillion

Annual Interest on Debt: $234.745 Billion

2014 Projected Budget Deficit: $552.370 Billion

Projected Entitlements (SS/MC/MC) Shortfall: $116.248 Trillion

THE UNITED STATES IS BANKRUPT AND INSOLVENT.

9/9/14: BOMBS AWAY

9/9/14: BOMBS AWAY

An unnoticed oddity of the U.S. Open tennis finals were the scores in both matches: 6-3, 6-3 (women) 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 (men). Sensing a pattern?  Never seen anything like it.  Pure coincidence of course, but striking.  

I’ve said for years Caroline Wozniacki needs to get back to the drawing board, and her final against Serena only underscored that.  The lovely Dane had one winner from the ground the entire match.  Her backhand is decent, but her forehand is structurally unsound.  She’ll never get to the top unless she overhauls it and leads with the racket head and a wrist snap instead of stiffarming the ball.  You’ve got to hit the ball.  I’d also recommend a few pushups to enhance her serve.  She’s 5’10″ and 130 lbs.  No reason she can’t serve like Serena.

Actually, not many men can serve like Serena.  Marin Cilic is certainly one.  He simply overpowered a game and likeable Kei Nishikori in the finals, just as he had Roger Federer in the semis.  Neither was any contest at all.  I was reminded of Juan Martin del Potro, who did the same to Federer and Rafael Nadal at the same tournament in 2009.  It just goes to show that all the guile and grit in the world won’t beat a big hitter when he’s on his game.  and Cilic was on his game. 

Does the Croat have staying power?  Sure, but I thought the same thing about Delpo until he was done in by injuries.  It has never quite happened for him.  Cilic appears to be on his way barring injury.  That would be something to see, Cilic v. Delpo, if both were on their games.  In any event, it was good for the men’s game that none of Big Four were around at the end.  

I never like to say happy loser, but little Kei can look back on three sterling victories over Raonic, Wawrinka and Djokovic consecutively.  I’d say his victory over Stan the Man was my favorite match of the tournament.  Stan’s backhand is the most beautiful shot in the game today.  

SO SAYS THE SENTINEL.

Current National Debt: $17.730 Trillion

Projected 2014 Interest on Debt: $234.210 Billion

Projected 2014 Budget Deficit: $557.332 Billion (add to Debt)

Projected Entitlements (SS/MC/MC) Shortfall: $116.090 Trillion (add to Debt)

THE UNITED STATES IS BANKRUPT AND INSOLVENT.

9/4/14: BOMBS AWAY

9/4/14: BOMBS AWAY

I’ve just finished the second of two great books by Richard Rhodes, “The Making of the Atom Bomb” and his subsequent, “The Making of the Hydrogen Bomb.”  These are a little technical at times, but well worth the read.  The author seems opposed to the bombs, though that is not crystal clear; it’s a generally even-handed treatment of the subject.  I learned a lot.

First, splitting the atom, the key to the fission bombs dropped on Japan, was discovered only in 1939.  It is a remarkable testament to our ingenuity that only 6 years later, we were able to test and deploy atomic weapons against Japan, which would not have surrendered otherwise.  

Two, the scientic know-how was such that, in 1943, during the develolpment of the fission bomb, the fusion bomb was first conceived.  The scientists called it the Super Bomb.  We know it today as the hydrogen bomb.  Fission bombs serve merely as the fuses for fusion bombs.  That’s how much more powerful the latter are.

Three, the hydrogen bomb was so awesome that interim tests could not be conducted, so much of the development work was done by projective mathematical calculations.  These calculations were so complex they drove the early development of computers.  Once again, a public works project had tremendous spin-off into the private sector.  That is the appropriate business of government.  

Fourth, the Soviets absolutely stole both bombs from us.  They had two spies, Klaus Fuchs and David Greenglass, on staff at Los Alamos during the War.  For Christ’s sake, Fuchs even held some of the patents on the fission bomb.  We lost a tremendous post-War advantage because of these traitors, along with Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, who deserved worse than the electric chair.

Fifth, the author concludes his second book noting that nuclear weapons were simply too powerful to ever use, and that it is a credit to both the US and the USSR that they refrained.  I agree, but Mr. Rhodes concludes his little study observing that the arms race destroyed the Soviet Union and left us saddled with $4 trillion in debt as of 1995.  What would he say now to $17.5 trillion and climbing?

SO SAYS THE SENTINEL.

National Debt: $17.704 Trillion

Projected 2014 Interest on Debt: $234.018 Billion

Projected 2014 Budget Deficit: $559.116 Billion

Projected Future Entitlements (SS/MC/MC) Shortfall: $118.033 Trillion

THE UNITED STATES IS BANKRUPT AND INSOLVENT.

9/2/14: IS ANYBODY LISTENING?

9/2/14: IS ANYBODY LISTENING?

Vladimir Putin dropped the “N” word last week and President Obama said Russia was just doing the same old thing in Ukraine.  Not.  What Putin reminded the world was that Russia was a “nuclear power.”  What do you think that means?  That means unmistakably that Putin is contemplating the use of nuclear weapons if things don’t go his way in Ukraine.  No major power has dropped that word since the Cuban missile crisis of 1962.  This is a BIG DEAL. 

The situation in Ukraine has become a flat-out invasion.  Let’s not mince words.  Putin is telling us that there are Western responses that might cause him to go nuke.  Almost certainly if we made Ukraine part of NATO so that member boots would go on the ground there.  Possibly if we armed the Ukrainian army.  Maybe even if we just stiffened the sanctions to the point of intolerability on Russia.  Should this cause us to back down?  Hell, no, but listen to what the man is saying.  He really is determined, if not just plain crazy.

Just remember that World War II started by an invasion – by the USSR and Nazi Germany — of a European nation — Poland.  History is repeating itself.  This is a very serious matter, and Putin should be diplomatically bitchslapped for dropping the “N” word.  NOW. 

SO SAYS THE SENTINEL.

National Debt: $17.702 Trillion

Annual Interest on Debt: $233.940 Billion

2014 Projected Budget Deficit: $559.838 Billion

Projected Entitlements (SS/MC/MC) Shortfall: $118.010 Trillion

THE UNITED STATES IS BANKRUPT AND INSOLVENT.

8/28/14: NO MORE MISTER NICE GUY

8/28/14: NO MORE MISTER NICE GUY

In battling ISIS, we may find ourselves in the odd position of coming to the aid of Syria and Iran.  The Sentinel predicted this conundrum in a recent blog.  Of course ISIS will target Alawite Syria and Shiite Iran; that’s what Sunni militants do.  Then they’ll come after Israel, then Europe, then us.  They want to establish a worldwide Islamic caliphate and await the coming of the 12th Imam to signal the end of days.  Period.  If you haven’t the slightest idea what I’m talking about, that’s on you.

My point today is, if we do assst Syria and Iran, we should exact a price.  Require Assad to hold supervised elections, and force the Grand Ayatollah to give up his  nuclear weapons program.  Or they, too, can be crucified and beheaded.  It is not unseemly to demand concessions from “allies.”  It is just good business.  

SO SAYS THE SENTINEL.

National Debt: $17.684 Trillion

Annual Interest on Debt: $233.747 Billion

2014 Projected Budget Deficit: $561.631 Billion (add to Debt)

Projected Entitlements (SS/MC/MC) Shortfall: $117.953 Trillion

THE UNITED STATES IS BANKRUPT AND WILL SOON BE INSOLVENT.  

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.