10/23/14: GROW A PAIR

10/23/14: GROW A PAIR

The Sentinel was shocked by the recent vote in Scotland to remain part of the UK.  I remind the Scots that, before the invasion of the island by the Angles and Saxons from Germany, the native Picts in what is now Scotland were the ONLY POPULACE EVER to stand up to the Roman Empire.  After years of failed attempts at conquest, the Romans finally built Hadrian’s Wall at the southern border of Scotland in the early 100s to keep the ornery bastards at least locked in.  Rome harbored  no more illusions of conquest. 

And how about William Wallace?  Scotland’s great hero led a rebellion against England in the 1300s that almost succeeded, for which he has long been remembered in literature and film, ala Mel Gibson and “Braveheart.”  The point is that these people have long yearned to be free and independent and, when given the chance to walk peacefully, they blinked.  There may never be another opportunity.  The Picts and Wallace are rolling in their graves.  Shame on you.  

SO SAYS THE SENTINEL.

National Debt: $17.886 Trillion

2014 Interest on Debt: $269.442 Billion

2014 Budget Deficit: $481.909 Billion

Unfunded Entitlements (SS/MC/MC): $115.289 Trillion

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

10/21/14: LAME CHOICE

10/21/14: LAME CHOICE

I ignore the disturbing fact that the President chose a political operative, Ron Klain, to spearhead our ebola response, rather than a medical professional.  The President’s stated purpose was to put someone in charge who knows his way around the bureaucracies.  Even assuming that’s a valid criterion, how does being a chief of staff to two Vice Presidents equip one to navigate the federal government?

Far more disturbing to me is that Mr. Klain, yet another lawyer, was in charge of the infamous Florida recount debacle in 2000 on behalf of his man, Al Gore.  It is disturbing enough that Klain was portrayed by Kevin Spacey, a fine actor most skilled at playing sleazy characters to perfection, in the film on the subject, “Recount.”  What really clinches it for me is that Mr. Klain made the WORST CALL in the history of politics by asking for only a limited recount in Florida, in three Democratic counties where Mr. Gore was likely to do well.  Forget hanging and dimpled chads, although you can’t make this stuff up.  The fact is that, by not asking for a statewide recount, Mr. Klain colored the thinking of the Supreme Court of the United States, which likely stripped the presidency from Mr. Gore by a 5-4 vote.  

So now we have a political operative in charge of a health scare, who is on record making the worst decision in the history of American politics.  A fine choice indeed.  Let’s see what monumental blunders he can come up with to undermine our battle against the scourge of ebola.  All he cost Al Gore was the presidency.  Now he’s got a chance to cost us all our lives.  

SO SAYS THE SENTINEL.

National Debt: $17.884 Trillion

2014 Interest on Debt: $269.556 Billion

2014 Budget Deficit: $481.989 Billion

Entitlements (SS/MC/MC) Shortfall: $115.265 Trillion

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

10/16/14: Ps & Qs

10/16/14: Ps & Qs

I have no idea where “Ps & Qs” came from or what it stands for exactly, but we all know what it means: mind your own business.  What the hell is CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden doing telling us that we shouldn’t impose a travel ban on Ebola central in West Africa because these are “precarious, fledgling democracies” whose economies we don’t want to hurt?  That’s presidential talk.  Leave the policies to the elected idiots.  You, Doctor, just tell me how to stop this spreading pandemic.  That’s your job.  Our State Department may overrule you, but let the chips fall here they may.  You don’t make economic decisions.  Just give me the medical angle.  

By the same token, what the hell is Joint Chiefs Chairman Martin Dempsey doing talking about Ebola transmission on the talk shows?  Let’s leave that to Dr. Frieden.  All I want to hear from Chairman Dempsey is how we’re going to stop ISIS in the Middle East, how we’re going to stop Iran from getting nukes, and how we’re going to stop Putin from reclaiming the Soviet Reunion’s Eastern European empire.  You just talk about military stuff and leave the medical stuff to the doctors, if they can ever stop talking about geopolitics.  Mr. Chairman, just tell me how we’re going to kill our enemies.

SO SAYS THE SENTINEL.

National Debt: $17.865 Trillion

2014 Interest on Debt: $269.828 Billion

2014 Budget Deficit: $482.179 Billion (significant progress here)

Entitlement (SS/MC/MC) Shortfall: $115.209 Trillion

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

10/14/14: ECHOES OF THE PAST

10/14/14: ECHOES OF THE PAST

As I watch Turkish tanks sitting idle just over the Turkish border from Kobani, Syia, I am reminded of the Warsaw uprising in 1944.  The people of that Polish city rose up against their German masters and were slaughtered as the Soviet army sat encamped just outside the city, only too content to let the Germans do their bidding.  The Germans then withdrew and the Soviets moved into a destroyed but tamed city that probably would have revolted against their rule as well.  The Russians then enslaved the Poles along with the rest of Eastern Europe for a half century.  

That is almost exactly what the Turks are doing.  Kobani is a Kurdish city and the Kurds of Syria, Iraq and Turkey want to form an independent Kurdistan, and why not?  The Turks are opposed to Kurdish independence and are therefore only too content to let ISIS conquer Kobani and crucify its inhabitants.  History is repeating itself.  If the Turks won’t do it, we must come to the defense of Kobani, even if it means American boots on the ground.  War is hell.

SO SAYS THE SENTINEL.

National Debt: $17.863 Trillion

2014 Interest on Debt: $269.937 Billion

2014 Budget Deficit: $525.628 Billion

Entitlements (SS/MC/MC) Shortfall: $115.187 Trillion

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

 

10/9/14: THE GOLD STANDARD

10/9/14: THE GOLD STANDARD

The St. Louis Cardinals have replaced the New York Yankees as the new standard of excellence in Major League Baseball.  In beating a very good Los Angeles Dodgers team, the Cardinals advanced to the their fourth consecutive National League Championship Series, where they will have a chance to avenge their shocking 2012 loss to the San Francisco Giants.  Perhaps even more startling is that, since 2005, the Cardinals have played 80 playoff games.  Second place goes to the Yankees and the Detroit Tigers at 51 each.  That’s an amazing differential.  The Cardinals are the new standard of excellence.

Two further notes:  First, the Boston Red Sox, who defeated the Cards in last year’s World Series, did not even make the playoffs this year.  In fact, they finished last in the American League East Division.  Second, far more satisfying, the traitor Albert Pujols, who dumped the Cards after their World Series triumph in 2011 to join the California Angels, is out of the playoffs.  The Angels made the playoffs this year for the first time since he joined them, indeed had the best record in baseball, but were ignominiously swept by the lowly Kansas City Royals.

The Sentinel dreampt of a Cards/Angels World Series, where Prince Albert would have returned to Busch Stadium.  You know what would have happened?  The Cardinal fans would have given him a warm reception, because they’re that classy.  Not me.  I hope he gets too fat on frijoles to play next year.

SO SAYS THE SENTINEL.

National Debt: $17.859 Trillion

2014 Interest on Debt: $231.789 Billion

2014 Budget Deficit: $586.239 Billion

Entitlements (SS/MC/MC) Shortfall: $115.130 Trillion

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

10/7/14: CROSSING THE RUBICON

10/7/14: CROSSING THE RUBICON

Everybody’s all atwitter about the Supreme Court declining to take the gay marriage cases yesterday.  It was a no-brainer, since to date there is no “conflict among the Circuit Courts” on the issue, a key criterion for the Court to take up cases.  All five federal Courts of Appeal which haved decided the issue have invalidated state bans.  The High Court might have taken the case anyway, if there was substantial unanimity to overturn the intermediate courts but, with four Commies on the Court, Chief Justice Roberts was right to persuade his brethren not to take up the issue.  

The Sixth Circuit may yet come down on the other side in cases before it, and that would give the Supreme Court the justification it seeks to get involved.  But, make no mistake, yesterday was a significant day.  By declining cert, the Court left in place rulings allowing gay marriage in many states.  It is difficult to foresee the Court later undoing those marriages with the stroke of a pen.  We may have crossed the Rubicon.

The Sentinel is glad the great State of Tennessee is not one of those states.  Remember: anal intercourse is an abomination.  I refuse to live in a state or country which countenances the practice.  

SO SAYS THE SENTINEL.

National Debt: $17.857 Trillion

2014 Interest on Debt: $231.680 Billion

2014 Budget Deficit: $586.619 Billion

Entitlements (SS/MC/MC) Shortfall: $115.107 Trillion

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

10/2/14: PC RUN AMOK

10/2/14: PC RUN AMOK

So what do the Secret Service fiasco, the Ebola outbreak, and the Hong Kong uprising have in common?  PC, that’s what.  The fired head of the SS, Julia Pierson, was brought in to clean up the frat-boy image of the agency, acquired after the prostitution scandal in Central and South America.  I’m sure every agent attended sensitivity seminars, but sheer competence slipped in the meantime.  Can you imagine a knife-wielding intruder inside  the Wite House or an armed felon in an elevator with our President?  I’d rather they still be whoring if they can attend to their primary functions. 

I knew their was something wrong with the CDC announcement about the Dallas case when the Director refused to say the victim was a black man from Liberia.  Now we find out he was treated and released — WITH EBOLA — by an ER after telling a nurse he was from Liberia.  I suspect she didn’t want to be accused of profiling.  Now he has exposed numerous adults and several children to the deadly virus.  Another strike against our highly overated health system.

The situation in Hong Kong reminds me of the Green Revolution in Iran several years back, when the Obama administration did nothing to encourage the protesters. Why are we not trumpeting to the world that candidates for Hong Kong’s elections should not  have to be vetted by China?  Why is Great Britain not suggesting that Beijing’s position is a violation of the handover agreement, in which China guaranteed free and fair elections in Hong Kong on or before 2017?  PC, that’s why.   

SO SAYS THE SENTINEL.

Current National Debt: $17.805 Trillion

Projected 2014 Interest on Debt: $235.092 Billion

Projected 2014 Budget Deficit: $549.145 Billion

Projected Entitlement (SS/MC/MC) Shortfall: $116.350 Trillion

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

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.