Little Creel RV Resort
My singular accomplishment today was getting laundry done. That is not to say that is all I did but when it comes to judging accomplishments - that was it.
We did do our morning walk under a slight cloud cover but that was all gone by 8:00am. It was near 50° which was warm enough that I did not need my wool shirt/jacket; probably need to retire it for the remainder of the summer.
The past couple of days have been hot, nearly 90° but the weather guessers think it will be cooling down to the lower 80s for my remaining time here. Not quite as good at my next camp with the forecast there being in the upper 80s but still not too bad when compared to the rest of the country.
It was only wishful thinking that my neighbors across the street with the yappy dogs would only be here during the weekend. They came back sometime yesterday afternoon and the dogs have been hard at it all morning. Patches has been tolerant so far and may be accepting their incessant barking better than I have. If she begins to bark in response I think I'll be talking to the Park office about the problem but so far so good.
Why the left’s preoccupation with the Redskins? by Dennis Prager for Human Events opens with the paragraphs shown below, then goes on to explain why. The silliness does not stop with the Redskins however, the Left has now charged that the Apache, Comanche, Chinook, Lakota, Cheyenne and Kiowa military vehicles were a “greater symbolic injustice” than the NFL’s Washington Redskins’ name. With Hagel as Secretary of Defense I expect that those names will be changed but can only hope that the Washington Redskins remain so named.
Given how much evil there is in the world; given how many signs of moral, intellectual and economic decline there are here in America; and given the increasing irrelevance of America to world events, it is fair to ask why the American Left is preoccupied with the name Washington “Redskins.”
The Washington Redskins have been in existence for 82 years. For about 80 of those years, virtually no one, including the vast majority of American Indians, was troubled by the name.
Yet, it is now of such importance to the American left that the majority leader of the United States Senate [Harry Reid] has repeatedly demanded, from the floor of the United States Senate, that the team drop its name; 50 United States senators, all of them Democrats, have signed an open letter demanding the same; Sports Illustrated’s Peter King no longer uses the name; other leading sportswriters have adopted the same practice; and the president of the United States has weighed in on the issue.
The pressure is relentless. There is more concern in the pages of the Washington Post and the New York Times — not to mention the rest of the left — with the Redskins than with Internal Revenue Service targeting conservative groups for investigation, one of its division heads pleading the Fifth Amendment before Congress, and the Agency’s losing all relevant emails and hard drives.
Little Creel RV Resort
I sent an email to Pagosa Smiles last Sunday telling them that I was doing well with the tooth extraction and asked them to mail me a copy of the panorama xray they took. I have not received a reply to the email so don't know if I will get a copy or not. I sent another email to my RV insurer that same day telling them to charge my Credit Card for the additional premium for this year because I had changed my domicile address. Again, no reply to the email and no Credit Card charge. Maybe more emails are now in order.
The weather experts have picked 20% chance of rain as their forecast today. I have been seeing clouds that look like they may contain some rain rolling in all morning that I think increase the chance by a lot. Maybe not but the monsoon rains will start any time now so today could be the day.
This is the second book by Vince Flynn that I have read and it is number 8 in his Mitch Rapp Series. The first read was Term Limits, his first novel and only one that was not in the Rapp Series, which I reviewed on 5 August 2013. As I said about his first book, it was not a great but it was entertaining. That holds for this one also and from the Weekly review I can assume that all of the Rapp Series are similar. That will not keep me from picking up another one of his which I did here at this Park.
Flynn continues to ratchet up the stakes for CIA assassin Mitch Rapp, who here battles a Saudi billionaire bent on revenge, an ex–East German Stasi spy and a deadly husband-and-wife team of assassins. There's a $20-million contract out on Mitch's head, and to add injury to insult, he hurts his leg during a morning run. After a knee operation and an even more serious mishap, Mitch is out of the hospital and hot on the trail of the evildoers. Meanwhile, Mitch's wife, NBC White House correspondent Anna Reilly, who has been in jeopardy in other Flynn novels like The Third Option, announces midway that she's pregnant: even the dullest of readers will know big trouble is in store. Besides terrorists and assassins, Mitch has to battle the new national director of intelligence, a craven, hypocritical, inside-the-Beltway operator. When Mitch whacks this twerp on the side of the head with a heavy file during a high-level meeting, readers will stand up and cheer. Flynn is sometimes criticized for turning out formulaic work, and while that description fits here, he perfectly measures all of the ingredients for a fast and furious read. - Publishers Weekly
Don’t Mess with Messiahs by Victor Davis Hanson for National Review Online comments on the President's speech on the economy at Lake Harriet in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The emphasis is mine and not in the original article.
In Obama’s most recent — and embarrassing — public whine, he lashed out at the once-obsequious press. In his now customary first-person I/me/my/mine lament (e.g., “They don’t do anything, except block me and call me names. . . . If they were more interested in growing the economy for you and the issues that you are talking about instead of trying to mess with me, we would be doing a lot better. . . . The critics, the cynics in Washington, they’ve written me off more times than I count.”), he lambasted the partisan culture of Washington. He lashed out at the Tea Party, the House Republicans, his opponents in general, and all those who would unreasonably oppose his blanket amnesties, his climate-change taxes and regulations, the shutdown of the Keystone-pipeline project, Obamacare, and $9 trillion in new debt.
Apparently someone other than Obama is in charge ... Obama’s impromptu adolescent moaning was bizarre and reminds us again why he would be wiser to stay close to his teleprompter... Obama also seems oddly to forget that when he promised to use his pen and phone to run things by his lonesome, nearly everyone took him at his word. And so he tried just that. What Obama is now angry about is not partisanship per se, but that his own partisanship and subversion of settled law have been repudiated consistently by both the Supreme Court and the American public.
Little Creel RV Resort
My second email to Pagosa Smiles elicited a Reply. I'm not sure from reading it if they had already mailed the panorama xray and not responded or if they did both yesterday after receiving my second email. I have time to get the xray copies either way.
The correspondence with my RV insurer took a lot longer a lot more effort. I did get a Reply that said I could use their online bill paying service by registering at MyNationwide. I went to that website and proceeded to register and failed multiple times. Sent another email telling them about my failure and was given a telephone number to call. In the string of emails I had already said that I did NOT have a telephone. OH Well.
Looked for a Help Contact and sent an email to them asking for help with the MyNationWide problem and received a Reply that said I needed to use AlliedInsurance. There I was able to register, see the previous payment that I had made via telephone to Nationwide, see my balance due and make a payment for that amount. It is very confusing who I am insured by; I have bookmarked AlliedInsurance for payments but I know that call Nationwide for a claim.
The Bureau of Labor released their non-farm job numbers for June today that showed an increase of 288,000 jobs. The stock market and the media think this is the 'cat's meow' with the Dow Average breaking through 17,000. You would think that the US economy had never been stronger when reality points to the obverse.
There was no reporting that the Current Employment Statistics (CES) Net Birth/Death Model adjustment added 121,000 jobs for the month. That makes a total of 759,000 jobs added through 'adjustments' during Feb-Jun, or the 5 months, that the media is crowing about when writing " Employment has now grown above a 200,000-jobs pace for five straight months for the first time since the technology boom in the late 1990s". What they do not say is there was NO CES adjustments made in the late 1990s.
If you look at the Household Data for June the number of Employed increased by 407,000 which make two consecutive monthly increases - perhaps a trend, and good News. But the media is more focused on the all important Unemployment Rate this month because it dropped to 6.1%. There was a 325,000 decrease to Unemployed so many of those unemployed did find jobs.
There was also an increase of 111,000 in the Not in the Labor Force that established another all time high. The media is rather silent about this which also contributed to that great Unemployment Rate that they are gushing over. Nor are they saying much about the Participation Rate which remained at 62.8%, continuing to match the low set back in October and December and 1979.
The average earnings gained seven cents to $24.45 an hour, while the average workweek again remained at 34.5 hours. As I said last month these are not employment numbers that I think point to a strong economy but the stock market has a different opinion and will continue to go up until it can't.
Read Will Rogers column 88 years ago: July 4, 1926
Little Creel RV Resort
I was a couple days premature in when the monsoon would arrive here. It showed up yesterday a little before 3:00 in the afternoon with about 10 minutes of hail, hail mixed with rain and then a hard rain for about 30 minutes. Patches and I went out for our walk as soon as it quit but looked like it could start again any time. It did just that but we were lucky that it started again as we were finishing our walk.
The weather experts had forecast a 10% chance of rain for today and nothing over 20% for the next 5 days then 60% chance next Tuesday. I think there is a much higher chance than that every day that I am sttll here. My next camp has a more realistic forecast with a chance of rain everyday during the next 10 days ranging from 30 to 90%.
There was a trailer across the road down stream from me in a riverside space for the past 3-4 days. I assumed that they would stay for the July 4th weekend but they left yesterday. It was a large group of people that seemed to have day visitors join them for big meals that were cook in a smoker attached to the back of the trailer. I then saw them later in afternoon where they had moved to spaces on the circle loop.
Some friends joined them on Wednesday by taking the riverside space directly across the street from me and blocking my river view with their toad. Most of yesterday they parked the toad just far enough north of their trailer that I still had my view and have continued to do so today. If they stay the weekend I may be lucky and they will park in the same place.
Since President Obama has openly sent troops back into Iraq (I believe there have been US military there since we withdrew) there may be some more casualties added in the months to come from what I guess will be Iraq III or perhaps Iraq3. You can believe that if that happens the Administration will do their best to keep the loss of life hidden from the public. The dutiful media will do all they can to also suppress that News simply by not reporting it as the have done since Obama become President. I will do my best to report them here, the table below shows the military war deaths for the first half of each year and the President in office when they occurred.
|Total US Casualties Iraq & Afghanistan|
Little Creel RV Resort
This Park is NOT the place to be for the July 4th weekend. It is packed with RVs, tents, boats, motor vehicles and the people that came in them. Lots of people and lots of dogs. Generally speaking both the people and dogs have been well behaved it is simply the quantity that is the problem.
Then there is my neighbor in the big 5th wheel with the skirting. I have only seen the wife that came back late Wednesday or early Thursday. She also brought her two small yappy dogs that are outside in a big fenced in area and bark at everything or if nothing appears they bark to just hear themselves bark.
The women apparently loves it. She may be sitting outside while they are carrying on and makes no effort to control their barking. Patches has accepted them for what they are and does not even raise her head anymore when they start yapping. I find it to be a big PAIN.
The other noise makers yesterday were a band(?) of some sort in the RV circle loop that played the same song for 4-5 hours starting around the time we finished our afternoon walk. I say they played the same song; that might not be true but that is what it sounded like to me. When they finally stopped it was so everyone could hear the fireworks explosions from the display in Chama.
I did not watch much of the rockets red glare but sat up with Patches to calm her and wishing they would stop. For a very small town they have a huge fireworks budget. I can only guess that 1/2 of all property taxes collected are spent for fireworks. It went on and on and on!
We also got another light rain that started later yesterday and did not rain nearly as hard. Wasn't hard enough to stop the band nor did it stop the flow of people walking, running or bicycling past Desperado.
Patches has been very good about not barking at people that have come VERY close to our house as they head for the river or the circle loop. The woman with the yappy dogs came over to take some picture of my other neighbors hummingbirds at their feeder. She was close enough that I could have opened the window and slapped her on the head - was tempted.
The monsoon rains came early today. Started around 1:15 and came down HARD accompanied by lightning and thunder. A good old fashioned monsoon thunder storm. I think there were some group activities happening in the Park that got a bit wet if not rained out. I'm hoping that it is over by the time Patches and I want to do our afternoon walk. We certainly are not going to go out there the way it is now.
Little Creel RV Resort
This has been my 5th July 4th weekend in Desperado while living as a full time RVer. The previous ones were non events, just another day. The one here in Chama has not been as good and although the first 3 weeks here were great the Holiday crowd is a big reason I will never return here during a July 4th weekend.
That said, I may never return here at any time because of the barking dogs across the street. The owner does nothing to curtail them and I have seen no evidence that Park management has done anything. I don't know if it has bothered any of the other neighbors or not and really do not care to know. It has bothered me and I would not want to return and find myself in the same situation.
Probably the best RV Park in Chama is the Sky Mountain Resort but they are much more expensive and have an extensive dog breed restriction (discrimination) policy. The majority of the breeds I have never even head of but they also restrict Bloodhounds. They explicitly list Pit Bulls and American Bulldogs but do not include American Staffordshire or Bull Terriers; however if you were to show up with either of those breeds I would bet they would not let you stay. Not my kind of place. There is a good chance I'll not stay in Chama again.
The rain quit after about an hour yesterday so we got our afternoon walk in without even a sprinkle. The previous days when it rained we did get a few drops on us but not enough to say we got wet. Our morning walks along NM17 that goes through Chama have been a little dicey with 3 dogs. One mixed breed mutt is quite protective of his territory so we have gone across the street when passing by him.
The other 2 dogs are German Shepherd. One of them is a little skittish and stays away from us but the other one has twice crept up on Patches and myself from behind. I ran him/her off the first time but the second time Patches exchanged butt sniffs and she didn't have her hackles up so it appeared that they could be friends - but I'm unsure of the Shepherd. This morning we avoided NM17 and I may do so during the remainder of our walks.
A productive day for me. I started the link process for the September Will Rogers weekly articles. Forgot to include the links on Friday for the past two weeks but got it done on both Saturdays. My excuse? The first Friday was tooth extraction day and the second was the 4th of July. I also made up my 3x5 route card for the move to my new camp next Friday. Decided where I was going to have breakfast and gas is not an issue because it will be a short driving distance day.
Little Creel RV Resort
Another great morning for our walk. I'm guessing the temperature was close to 50°, calm and not a cloud in the sky. We saw two deer on our southern route along US84/US64 which is unusual, this is only the second time that I can remember doing so. Most of our sightings have been as we walk north, at the south edge of Chama or by the entrance road to the Park.
When we finished our walk I unhooked electric and we went to Sonny's restaurant. They were closed when we arrived so I sat on a bench by the door waiting for them to open. While I was there three other fellows arrived and were eager to have breakfast. When they found that the door was locked they got back in their truck and went in search of someplace that was open, probably Fina's.
Sonny's did open a few minutes after 7:00 when another employee showed up. I was going to give them 5 more minutes and then I would have been at Fina's also. Their breakfast menu is rather limited but they had Huevos Rancheros which I ordered. Not made the way I expected nor what I think is traditional. I did get a choice of red or green and my selection of red was also disappointing. The fried potatoes and coffee were good but I don't think I will be going back.
I then stopped at Lowe's market to pick up this weeks groceries. Among the things that I got was some Jimmy Dean sausage, two cans of chicken broth, two cans of creamed corn, some red potatoes and a bag of frozen corn kernels. I browned off the sausage and everything went into the pot to boil for a few minutes and then into the Thermal Cooker for 4-5 hours. Somewhat like a corn chowder. I'll let you know how it turned out.
The Park has quieted down. Only two RVs remaining in the circle loop although the two rows of long term RVs are still almost full. All the tenters have left and almost all the people that were in the cabins are gone. The neighbor with the yappy dogs has been gone all morning which has been a blessing. Maybe I'll get lucky and she will stay gone until Friday when I will leave.
Little Creel RV Resort
I think my 'yappy' dog neighbor has a job that she goes to every day. She and the dogs were gone from early yesterday morning until in the late afternoon. This morning her truck is gone again and the dogs are not outside doing their usual barking. This is very good. I hope I am right and get through the next couple of days without their aggravation.
Started doing some housework today. I got the toilet and the bathroom sink cleaned. Then after a suitable time for rest I vacuumed all of the floors and washed the bathroom floor. That is more than enough for today. Wash the kitchen floor tomorrow - maybe.
I also picked up mail at the Park office from Pagosa Smiles. It included a paper copy of the panorama xray that they took prior to the tooth extraction. I never could make sense out of the traditional xrays of my teeth but the panorama ones are great and even I can understand what is in my mouth now.
I got a huge (probably 40') Class A in the riverside space directly across the street from me this morning. It is completely blocking my river view. They almost ran out of room trying to pull into the space with pine tree limbs now resting on the front left corner. The important thing is that I don't think the limbs block their TV dome antenna so they should be good. My guess is they will still be here when I leave.
I think this is the first book that I have read by Stephen Coonts but is #9 in his Jake Grafton Series. It is a good action packed thriller. The Weekly review is good but did make a small error when they said "moments later ... nuclear submarine America is hijacked". It may have been moments later when the reviewer was reading but the story line has it happening a month or so after the SuperAegis is lost. I liked the Grafton character as well as Carmellini that also has a Series. I'll be looking for more of his books.
What could possibly go wrong if Congress manages to approve the ICBM missile defense shield being pushed by the White House? This master of the techno-thriller spins a bone-chilling worst-case scenario involving international spies, military heroics, conniving politicians, devious agencies, a hijacked nuclear sub, lethal computer hackers, currency speculators, maniac moguls and greedy mercenaries that rivals Clancy for fiction-as-realism and Cussler for spirited action. Rear Adm. Jake Grafton is shocked, as are his fellow Russian and European observers, when a satellite for the SuperAegis missile shield goes out of launch mode and is lost in seconds. Moments later, the state-of-the-art nuclear submarine America is hijacked on her maiden voyage. The sub is armed with Tomahawk missiles with "Flashlight" warheads capable of frying all unprotected electronics within miles of detonation, crippling target cities. Jake suspects Janos Ilin and his Russian bosses, and forms a shaky "alliance" to test Ilin while digging for info. Meanwhile, Tommy Carmellini a, a convicted felon with a talent for burglary that got him "recruited" by the CIA, tumbles onto a dastardly agency plot and secretly cues Jake. When American Tomahawks launched on Washington paralyze the city the whole East Coast lapses into chaos, the dollar plunges, and Jake's team, led by streetsmart black marine Gen. "Flap" LeBeau, goes into overdrive. Perennial bestseller Coonts (Hong Kong; Flight of the Intruder) never lets up with heart-racing jet/missile combat, suspenseful submarine maneuvers and doomsday scenarios that feel only too real, providing real food for thought in his dramatization of the missile-shield debate. - Publishers Weekly
CostCo Throws AMERICA in da briar patch... by Agent Pierce at agentpiercesaid.com a blog site that claims to be "Politically Incorrect and Proud Of It" had the following to say about CostCo and their removal of D'Souza's book America. I don't know if CostCo’s Jim Sinegal is simply trying to suck up to Obama and the Democratic Party or if he truly thinks he can keep D'Souza's thoughts from the public by not selling his book in CostCo stores.
The Great Unifier, President Obama, has unified opposing beliefs in this country and created what this blogger has labeled "Retail Politics". Agent Pierce cites Hobby Lobby but could have also mentioned Chick-fil-A and Phil Robertson (Duck Dynasty) that have been at the center of controversies because of their political/religious positions. Time will tell if Sinegal/CostCo has made a good decision and Sinegal is putting his money where his mouth is as did Hobby Lobby, Chick-fil-A and Phil Robertson.
If you recall Uncle Remus (before he got PCed out-of-existence) you remember B'rer Rabbit & The Briar Patch. Wily ol' B'rer Rabbit cajoled B'rer Bear & B'rer Fox to throw him in da briar patch by pleading to 'dem "Please don't throw me in dat briar patch" which, in reality, is exactly what he wanted them to do.....
So be it with the Obama-lovin' owners at CostCo who have banned D'Souza's book AMERICA from their stores. What better recommendation to run out and buy it than Obama's buddies are afraid for you to read it. They can't refute it so they burn it.
Stalin, Lenin and Mao did that with The Bible.
There are plenty of other places you can get it. There are also several other buying club stores you can shop at other than CostCo. ...... NOTE: Just as there are other "hobby supply" stores than Hobby Lobby. America is now playing hard-ball Retail Politics.
If nothing in this book or movie rang true... if it could be refuted... if they could engage in a debate… they would not ban the book for sale. The only way their lies can thrive is if everyone is too dumb to challenge them.
Costco has formally declared itself a shill for the Obama Regime. It has the Right to do that.
Little Creel RV Resort
More housework this morning. Vacuumed the carpet in the living room again as well as the kitchen floor. Then washed the kitchen floor. It was then break time before washing dog slobber off both cab side windows. Then washed the dash down and called it a day. I think I need a maid. HA
Our afternoon walk yesterday was rain delayed. When it sounded like the rain had stopped we went out into a very light sprinkle that became progressively harder by the time we got back to Desperado. I was a bit wet and Patches was doing the 'dog shaking off water moves'. We were lucky that we got back when we did because soon thereafter it rained hard and if we had still been out in it I would have been doing the 'dog shaking off water moves'.
I haven't reported on my latest 'linner' creation as I said I would. It is not bad but the online recipe called for some half-n-half that I skipped to keep the calorie count down somewhat. I think it would have been better if I had included it and perhaps more sausage or some other meat with the sausage.
Obama kills time amid border crisis by Chris Stirewalt for FoxNews.com has a paragraph about what President Obama is doing rather than visiting the border. He follows that with the paragraph that I have copied below which I think is the more important one. President Obama does not want to take responsibility for anything much less the 'crisis' on the border. The fundraisers are not political stupidity as the author claims it is just who Obama is; this is what he knows, this is what he does. He does not do the managing/administrating 'thing' he campaigns.
The reason the president isn’t inclined to visit the border is that he does not want further responsibility for a crisis his administration foresaw and helped create. Unless and until he can shift blame to Republicans, the president understandably wants to keep his distance. Why he and his team proceeded with these Texas fundraisers now, though, is an act of political stupidity that could only be borne of some combination of inattentiveness and arrogance. When pressure from his own party eventually forces Obama to visit the border, it will be reactive and come too late. The White House has been advertising the president’s trip this week as some kind of walkabout by the chief executive. Because what’s more invigorating than kissing up to rich people for money, right? With a problem as serious as an overwhelmed southern border, now would be a better time for the president to be looking serious himself.A follow-up to my posting of yesterday about CostCo. Dinesh D’Souza’s book, “America: Imagine a World Without Her,” vaulted to #1 on Amazon.com’s bestseller list, shortly after retail behemoth CostCo yanked the pro-American book. A CostCo spokesperson said that the company pulled the books because of “shoddy” sales however it has now agreed to re-order them. I guess their politically motivated attempt at book banning didn't work quite as they expected.
Little Creel RV Resort
I am almost ready to leave tomorrow morning. The chore today was to dump holding tanks and take on fresh water again. The fresh water tank idiot light has been reading 3/4 full since soon after I last filled it but the pump started making strange sounds late yesterday. This morning I didn't have much pressure and the pump would continue to run after the faucet was shut off.
Filled the tank and all is well again with the idiot light claiming the tank is full. I need to wipe down the stove top, kitchen sink and counter tops after 'linner' today and that should be the end of housecleaning for now. I'll be ready to get on the road.
My timing was excellent this morning. I left Desperado just as my riverside neighbor fired up his big Class A diesel and then set off his car alarm as he prepared to leave. I got back just as they were pulling away with the toad hooked up and thereby avoided about 15 minutes of listening to his diesel running. I now have my river view back and there is a good chance I'll keep it for the rest of today. The Park is filling up again but the crowd will come in tomorrow.
Read Will Rogers column 88 years ago: July 11, 1926
Taos Valley RV Park
We got the hardest rain yet yesterday starting at about 2:00 and it was still sprinkling a drop or two when we went for our walk at 3:45. A lot of standing water right after it quit but it soaks in quickly here and most of the dirt roads looked almost dry again within only a few hours. I noticed that the Rio Chama was running a little deeper and the clear blue waters have turned to muddy brown since the rains started, yesterday will certainly add to that.
We did our usual walk this morning and I then unhooked from electric and we were off. But not for long and not very far. Only went about 1/4 of a mile to the Elk Horn Restaurant that was still closed but we only had to wait 5-10 minutes. I got the Huevos con Chorizo which was pretty good as were the hash browns but the beans were not refried and rather tasteless. The coffee was also rather tasteless - made me think I was back in Utah. I went to three restaurants in Chama for breakfast and can not recommend any one of them; if you are looking for breakfast there just flip a coin and don't expect much.
It was a short driving day but most of it was very scenic along US64 until Tres Piedras, NM. A great view of the Chama Valley and the Brazos Cliff from the 10,507' lookout at Brazos Summit. We stopped a couple of times along the way and still arrived at our new Park by 10:00 after driving only 97 miles. The route: US64/US84, US64, Blueberry Hill Rd (County BA007), NM240, NM68 & Este Es Rd.
I got a late start on reading my Daily blogs but should get that done. I spent more time than it was worth trying to find out what the elevation was at Bazos Summit. There was no sign there and I did not even know what the name of the summit or pass was. Finally found it but the search was long and hard. Will do a quick look at the News although I don't think much has changed from yesterday.
The Park here is at the top of my price range or slightly above. However, I selected Taos for where I was going to get my August teeth cleaning done and this looked like my best choice. The Park that I would have preferred has a dog discrimination policy so they excluded themselves. I don't take pictures of my spaces very often but this one does merit a picture or two that I will get around to taking. The roads and spaces are all gravel but when I backed in and checked to see if I was close to level I found the entire bubble in the center ring of my target bubble level. I can not remember when I have been in a space this level before.
Today and tomorrow are the two hottest days in the 10 day forecast with today expected to be 84 and tomorrow 86. Everyday in the 10 has an expectation of thunderstorms with the lowest chance or rain pegged at 40% with 8 of the 10 in the 80-90% range. I expected that since this is the monsoon season but I could do without another rain like I got yesterday - that was a gully washer like I have not seen in a long time.
Taos Valley RV Park
Patches and I cut our afternoon walk short yesterday. We were starting to get wet and the street that we were on had far more traffic and far less sidewalk or shoulder than I care to be on. We tried a different route this morning. It had a bike lane on one side of the street which was good and had very little traffic as we walked back along the other side on our out and back return. This will work as one route.
Have looked at Google Maps and selected another possible route for this afternoon. Never know for sure how these will turn out until I actually walk them. The road or street may look like it is going to be alright but there is no way to know what the traffic might be like. The route we started yesterday had a lot of traffic but looked like it had none this morning so it could be a morning route.
I stopped at the Park office this morning to see what they might have in the way of a book exchange library. They have very little or you might even say they have nothing. I may try the Taos town library before I leave because it does not look like there will be much available here in the Park. The library has a Friends of the Library Bookstore where I may be able to swing some trades or maybe buy some of their books at a discount by contributing the books that I have read.
The thoughts about "Where will I get more books?" did not stop me from continuing to read the one that I currently have. I also have about 1/2 of my library unread but my next RV Park may be as bad as this one for trading material. I also read some more of a blog that I'm trying to get current. Then last but not least, I got some work done on the Will Rogers weekly article links. Maybe have them ready by the middle of this month and then start reading Monthly blogs again.
Taos Valley RV Park
Patches and I found a closed road yesterday afternoon where we did an out and back walk. The only downside about this route is getting across NM68 which is very busy in the afternoon. Our morning walk today was great with either wide shoulders, bike path or sidewalks on all of it except Este Es Rd. This route can be reversed during the morning hours when traffic is light so that will give us a couple different walks.
It began to sprinkle just as we were finishing our walk yesterday afternoon and again this morning. There has been a high overcast almost all day today with a slightly lower high temperature in the forecast. There is the continuing forecast for thunderstorms which I could see yesterday afternoon to the north and south of Toas in the mountains but we stayed dry.
Finished the book that I have been reading and began another one today. I'll get a review posted in a day or two. I also completed the Will Rogers weekly article links for September. That means I can start reading Monthly blogs before getting too far behind with them.
I got a neighbor on my east side yesterday and then one on the west side came in at noon today. This new arrival has a BIG dog that could cause Patches some problems but probably not. The sites here are well spaced with sage brush that is 3-4' high between them that provides some privacy as well as a covered picnic table that also blocks the view between spaces. I'm on the main road to the back of the Park which has a lot of foot and vehicle traffic; some of it involving dogs which Patches has accepted very well.
Taos Valley RV Park
We got some rain during the night; I could hear it and then this morning I could smell it. The official measurement was we got none but I could smell it on the sage this morning. Our walk took us around and through a lot of that sage and it smelled wonderful. Later in the day it lost its aroma but it was so good when we went out early.
Unhooked from electric as soon as we got back to Desperado and headed for town. Breakfast at Michael's Kitchen was the first goal. There I had the Breakfast Enchilada which was scrambled eggs in a tortilla with red sauce, hash browns, beans and a sopaipilla. The online reviews are all very positive. It was good but rather bland because this is a tourist stop, I paid tourists prices, put up with loud talking tourists and don't think I'll go back.
Then went to Smith's for groceries. The store is located near 'downtown' with not much parking and not the easiest entries and exits if you are in a RV. It is well stocked and I was able to get everything that I had on my shopping list which I would not have been able to do in Delta, Loa or Chama. I had the same problems finding those items however but that is part of the adventure of living the life of a Fulltimer.
Started next weeks main 'liner' course when we got back to the Park and I got backed in (by the time I leave I'll have mastered this space but the first couple of times have not been that easy). Cooked up some boneless country ribs in my Roaster while boiling some red potatoes. When both of those ingredients were almost done I put the ribs on top of the potatoes, then some cut up turnips and chopped up a head of Radicchio on top of that and into the Thermal Cooker for 4-5 hours.
Does Obama Care About Hamas Terror? by Jonathan S Tobin for Commentary on 10 June 2014. This is his lead paragraph for that article but it is the second paragraph that I have copied that is the meat of the article. Once again President Obama has violated the law. Then a month later when Hamas starts rocketing and Israel fights back he is all for a cease fire to keep Hamas from getting their clock cleaned.
He supports Hamas, he supports the Muslim Brotherhood and he has supported Sunni versus Shiite at every opportunity. He has no respect for Netanyahu and the feelings are mutual so why does the President think he can tell him what to do and when to do it much less have John Kerry (who served in Vietnam) tell him.
The Fatah-Hamas unity pact destroyed Secretary of State John Kerry’s peace talks and undermined the notion that the Palestinian Authority was a genuine partner for peace with Israel. But the standard argument heard from those who believe the United States must continue to support and subsidize the PA is that it is Fatah that is calling the shots in Ramallah and that a financially distressed Hamas is being absorbed by the supposedly more moderate Palestinian group. But that assumption, which had little basis to start with, was dealt a body blow this week when Hamas called on its operatives in the West Bank to redouble their efforts to target Israeli soldiers and civilians.
The State Department announcement last week that it would continue sending aid to the PA in the wake of the Hamas pact flatly contradicted the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act of 2006. That law stated specifically that taxpayer dollars could not continue to flow to the PA if Hamas was part of the Palestinian government until that Islamist terror group and the PA ceased terrorism and incitement. The only way to continue the aid is for the president to transmit to Congress a waiver saying the conditions of the law are being met. While the State Department claimed that the absence of any Hamas members in the new PA cabinet allows it to say that the group isn’t part of the government, the fact remains that the terror group is a full partner in this new government and no one in Ramallah or Gaza is pretending otherwise.
Taos Valley RV Park
Yesterday afternoon when we went out for our walk there was a city worker near the Park entrance directing traffic because they were painting road stripes. Patches had to go to him and say hello of course and he gave her a pet or two and asked me "This a Pit or Staffordshire"? He is the first person that has ever met her that thought she was a Staffy. The reason for that was he had a Staffy Mix and was familiar with the breed.
We had another thunderstorm last night after I went to bed. I found that the officials measured 0.17" before midnight but can not find any data for today. It sounded like a heavier rain that the night before but I did not have the great wet sage smell this morning. I wonder why?
When I looked at my Monthly blogs today trying to decide where I would start I realized that there were a few on my Monthly list that post more often than a few on my Daily. That led me to do some re-assigning. I moved some from Daily to a new Weekly category, some Monthly to Daily and some Monthly to Weekly. Therefor, I started reading those that I now have in the Weekly list and then will move to Monthly. Decisions, decisions, decisions ... my life can become so complex at times. HA
This is the first book that I have read by Stieg Larsson and the first in his "Millennium trilogy" of crime novels, which were published posthumously. He died of a heart attack at the young age of 50. There are two more of his books that I would like to find but I know what the chances are. I recommend the Millennium Series if they are all like this first one.
Once you start The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, there's no turning back. This debut thriller--the first in a trilogy from the late Stieg Larsson--is a serious page-turner rivaling the best of Charlie Huston and Michael Connelly. Mikael Blomkvist, a once-respected financial journalist, watches his professional life rapidly crumble around him. Prospects appear bleak until an unexpected (and unsettling) offer to resurrect his name is extended by an old-school titan of Swedish industry. The catch--and there's always a catch--is that Blomkvist must first spend a year researching a mysterious disappearance that has remained unsolved for nearly four decades. With few other options, he accepts and enlists the help of investigator Lisbeth Salander, a misunderstood genius with a cache of authority issues. Little is as it seems in Larsson's novel, but there is at least one constant: you really don't want to mess with the girl with the dragon tattoo. - Amazon.com Review
This quote is from an article written by Paul Joseph Watson for infowars.com with the sub title Making fun of the president is now considered a domestic threat requiring DOJ intervention. There is no law against making a racist comment so even if it is found that the float was racist what is the DOJ going to do? There is no law against showing disrespect for the President so is the DOJ now going to equate disrespect to making a threat?
President Obama is above all criticism and the DOJ and/or the IRS will come looking for you if you criticize him or show any disrespect. It is a page right out of Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un's play book. Perhaps we should be grateful that he has not yet adopted Kim's propensity to execute those that oppose him.
Following complaints by the NAACP, the Department of Justice is investigating a parade float, labeled “racist” by the Nebraska Democratic Party, which featured President Obama depicted as a zombie.
The float, which featured in last week’s July 4th annual Independence Day parade in Norfolk, Nebraska, depicted a zombie stood outside a hut adorned with the words “Obama Presidential Library.”
The Nebraska Democratic Party responded by describing the float as among the “worst shows of racism and disrespect for the office of the presidency that Nebraska has ever seen.”
Since the float has nothing whatsoever to do with criminal behavior or a criminal investigation, we can only assume that the Justice Department’s involvement is related to its function, “to ensure public safety against threats foreign and domestic.”
Taos Valley RV Park
While on our afternoon walk yesterday I stopped at the VA Clinic that is a few blocks from the Park. I wanted to know if they would take my blood pressure and compare it to what my home blood pressure machine is recording. They said that they could do that if they were not busy with other patients. I'll stop again today with my machine and hope that they have time for me.
We had a big thunderstorm last night soon after 8:00. The lightning was popping very close with thunder that got my attention as well as that of Patches. She handles the distant rumbles real well but the close stuff has her pacing the floor. I sat with her for a few minutes until the worst of the storm had passed and then she was ready for bed again.
I don't know how much rain we got. The 3 reporting stations that I can find using weather underground do not give any rainfall measurements. The Weather Channel claims there was 0.25" yesterday but I don't know where their station is located. I think we got a lot more than that here. I had a small water drip from the TV antenna crank which only happens when there is a really, really hard rain.
My neighbors left this morning. They were not a problem but it is nice to not have neighbors. The one on my west side was a little farther away and they have presented no disturbance but as they left they did load up a couple big dogs into the back of a pickup which Patches felt was too close to her home and she protested. But generally speaking all went well.
I have now read all the Monthly blogs that I moved to Daily and Weekly. Will now begin reading those that are remaining in the Monthly category. I don't know if this is going to work out better or not but I'll give it a month or two and see how it goes.
The Country Style Ribs cooked up to perfection. They were boneless but if there had been a bone the meat would have been falling off. The potatoes and turnips were also great but the Radicchio added nothing to the 'linner' dish that I made for this week. It was a good idea but poor execution. Since there are claims that it is good for me I'll give it another try in some other way.
Balkanization Beckons by Pat Buchanan is a column dated 15 July 2014 on his blog and republished on many other sites. Over the past 10-20 years there have been at least 10 states that have had succession movements with California being the latest where a petition has been circulated that proposes the state be split into 6 states. There has also been more 'talk' about splitting the USA into multiple countries during the past 10 years than during the previous 100. President Obama, the unifier, has generated much more interest in such a split and his transforming of the USA has increased that possibility, in my not so humble opinion.
In Federalist No. 2, John Jay wrote:
“Providence has been pleased to give this one connected country to one united people — a people descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion, attached to the same principles of government, very similar in their manners and customs … ”
He called Americans a “band of brethren, united to each other by the strongest ties.” The republic of the founders for whom Jay spoke did not give a fig for diversity. They cherished our unity, commonality, and sameness of ancestry, culture, faith and traditions.
But we are no longer that “band of brethren.” We are no longer one unique people “descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion.”
If a country is a land of defined and defended borders, within which resides a people of a common ancestry, history, language, faith, culture and traditions, in what sense are we Americans one nation and one people today?
More and more, 21st-century America seems to meet rather well Metternich’s depiction of Italy — “a geographic expression.”
Taos Valley RV Park
I stopped at the VA Clinic during our afternoon walk yesterday and they recorded my blood pressure almost immediately. Their reading was 128/78 then my machine recorded 138/76. These are both much higher than I get at home but I have always had 'white coat' readings. I do not feel anxious when in the doctor's office but my body says otherwise.
I had not compared my home machine to any other readings in over 5 years and was a little concerned that I have been providing erroneously low readings to Pahrump VA. Since the reading yesterday at the Clinic was close I have more confidence in the low reading that I am getting when I'm at home and relaxed.
Not long after we got back to Desperado yesterday we acquired new neighbors. Had them on both sides of me again overnight but they were gone by 11:00. These spaces are back-in and not too long so I will probably be getting a lot of smaller RVs that are just here for overnight stays.
Got more rain yesterday afternoon before we went for our walk which made it nice and cool. Then had a light rain sometime during the night, I think it woke me but I went back to sleep quickly. Not a big thunderstorm like the night before. Weather Underground claims that we got 0.11", The Weather Channel says 0.14", which seems about right.
I stayed up past my bed time last night finishing the novel that I was reading. Had 20 pages remaining and could not go to sleep without reading the epilog. Starting another book today and will have a review of the completed one posted within a day or so.
Spengler in this blog posting Hamas Is the Norm, Israel Is the Exception continues to write about the main theme in his book How Civilizations Die: (And Why Islam Is Dying Too). His view is not that of the lame stream media nor the liberal establishment but he has a lot of historical evidence to support his position. Past is not prologue but is does cause you to stop and think. Has the USA also developed a disgust with life? I think there is evidence that it has.
Hamas wants to die, obviously and visibly. That thought horrifies Westerners. As a number of Israeli commentators observe, Hamas doesn’t particularly care about having a Palestinian State. It wants to destroy the Jewish State and is willing to die in the process. It wants to die in such a way that Israel will die, too. There is something utterly surreal to Hamas crowding civilians around military targets, and Israeli pilots declining to attack them. It recalls joke about the sadist and the masochist. The masochist says, “Beat me!,” and the sadist says, No…suffer.”
Hamas, to be sure, proposes to die in an accelerated time frame and a particularly disgusting fashion, but it should be kept in mind that self-willed extinction is the norm. West of the Indus, Israel is the only survivor among the thousands of little nations that flourished between 10,000 B.C.E. and 600 C.E. To be sure, there have been plenty of small tribes that wanted to live but were trampled by conquering hordes. The rule, however, is that civilizations die of their own disgust with life. Most of the industrial nations are dying, some very quickly. Most of the Muslim world would rather die than accommodate modernity (although some of it may choose to cease to be Islamic).
Read Will Rogers column 88 years ago: July 18, 1926
Taos Valley RV Park
The past couple of days Patches and I have done our morning walks out-n-back along NM68. Yesterday it was north in the direction of 'downtown' Taos then this morning we went south. These are two more routes that we will be doing again while we are here. This now gives me 6 routes that I can use in the morning although two of them are rather muddy because of the heavy rain.
I did very little today. Certainly nothing outside of my normal routine. Noticed the coming and going of an overnight neighbor on my east side and the arrival of one to the west that appears to be here for at lest one more day. A big Class A that was across the street in front of me left today after being here as long as I have been.
The forecast is for a warmer weekend then getting hot during next week. The weather guessers think it is going to be in the low 90s with a reduced chance of thunderstorms. The mornings are still very nice and that is when we are doing our longer walks. The afternoon walk has been a little over a mile which I may shorten if it get hotter.
The News is awash with speculation about Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200, Flight 17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur and the death of 298 people. President Obama, now back in the White House after his New York fundraisers, had time today to say that the loss of life was an “outrage of unspeakable proportions” and a “global tragedy.” As always, he vowed to investigate exactly what happened although he did not add his usual threat that he would bring justice to those responsible. Yesterday he was not sure if it was a tragedy or not so his investigative process has come a long way in the past 24 hours.
Least we forget, this has happened before. I give NBC credit for reporting on 8 prior cases of civilian passenger aircraft that have been shot down. Here are two of the most egregious.
Korean Air Lines Flight 007 was a scheduled Korean Air Lines flight from New York City to Seoul on 1 September 1983. The aircraft was en route from Anchorage to Seoul when it flew through prohibited Soviet airspace and was shot down by a Sukhoi Su-15 fighter jet. All 269 passengers and crew aboard were killed, including Lawrence McDonald, representative from Georgia in the United States House of Representatives. The Soviet government expressed regret over the loss of life, but offered no apology and did not respond to demands for compensation.Then there was this tragedy.
Iran Air Flight 655 was an Iran Air civilian passenger flight from Tehran to Dubai that was shot down by the United States Navy guided missile cruiser USS Vincennes on 3 July 1988. The attack took place in Iranian airspace, over Iran's territorial waters in the Persian Gulf, and on the flight's usual flight path. All 290 on board, including 66 children and 16 crew, died. The United States agreed to pay US$61.8 million in compensation to the families of the Iranian victims, however, the United States has never admitted responsibility, nor apologized to Iran.The Ukraine conflict was headline News that overshadowed the ground assault by Israel into Gaza. But, President Obama was on the job today and called Netanyahu to say "No nation should accept rockets being fired into its borders or terrorists tunneling into its territory”. It was good of him to provide at least those few words supporting the idea that it is acceptable to defend yourself when attacked. His including 'tunneling' comes as a surprise however. I don't remember him ever condemning the builders of tunnels under the USA-Mexico border but then again those are used by 'migrants' as well as drug smugglers.
Taos Valley RV Park
Patches and I took a chance on walking the closed road loop this morning. With the amount of rain that we have had I was unsure of how muddy it might be. As it turned out it was not as muddy as along NM68 going south on that walk.
The neighbor to my west left early this morning but there is a good chance that space will be filled again before the day is done. I had a smaller Class A arrive on my east side last night soon after I went to bed but not asleep yet. They will probably be here until tomorrow. Noisy, loud talking weekenders with a Harley that they will most likely be cruising on today and maybe tomorrow although I doubt they will be up in time to do that and then also pack up and leave. I'll know by noon tomorrow.
I am current with my Monthly blog reading. It makes for quick reading when 6 of the bloggers have not posted anything in the past month. Moving those that do post more frequently to Daily and Weekly will keep me more current also and I think that was a good idea.
This is the first book that I have read by Lisa Gardner but the second of six in her "FBI Profiler Series" of thriller/crime novels. She has a couple other series as well as a few stand alone novels. I like the Quincy character well enough that I'll be looking for more in this series. I also liked Gardner's writing well enough that I will trade for any that I can find.
In her new thriller (following The Other Daughter), Gardner deftly probes the psychology of school shootings while developing a cast of complex, compelling characters. Rainie Conner initially joined the small-town police force in Bakersville, Ore., to escape the ghosts of her past. When she responds to a call from the local school and discovers students screaming, bodies lying inert in the rooms and one young boy holding two guns, however, Rainie find herself leading a controversial investigation and struggling to contain her childhood memories. The fact that the boy is the son of the town sheriff, Rainie's superior and friend, only intensifies the pressure Rainie endures from members of the community, the FBI and the media. Although she tries desperately to do her work amid the growing criticism, Rainie begins to question her own fragile psychological stability. Fortunately, she finds solace in the arrival of the gentlemanly Pierce Quincy, an FBI profiler with a sharp mind and a soft shoulder. The duo eventually reach the conclusion that someone else must be responsible for the massacre, someone who may have recruited the boy to do the shootings. A suspenseful, curl-up winter read, this thriller teems with crisp, realistic dialogue and engaging characters. - Publishers Weekly
I came across this research paper that causes me to have even less faith in the CES Net Birth/Death Model and the monthly BLS 'job created' numbers than I did before. Declining Business Dynamism in the United States: A Look at States and Metros by Ian Hathaway and Robert E. Litan, The Brookings Institution, May 2014 — Abstract says in part:
Business dynamism is the process by which firms continually are born, fail, expand, and contract, as some jobs are created, others are destroyed, and others still are turned over. Research has firmly established that this dynamic process is vital to productivity and sustained economic growth. Entrepreneurs play a critical role in this process, and in net job creation.Then in the body of the study there is a graph that shows Firm Entry dropping below Firm Exit in 2008 and remaining there through 2011. I don't have the data for later years but from what I have read I do not think this has reversed. Is it a coincidence that the CES Net Birth/Death Model began making adjustment to the monthly 'jobs created' numbers by adding net jobs every year starting in 1999 and have continued to do so even after 2008?
But recent research shows that dynamism is slowing down. Business churning and new firm formations have been on a persistent decline during the last few decades, and the pace of net job creation has been subdued. This decline has been documented across a broad range of sectors in the U.S. economy, even in high-tech.
You would think that after 2008 the adjustment would be a net reduction since there have been more firms exit (die) than firms enter (born). To add jobs assumes that those firms entering have more jobs than are lost when firms exit which I think is a false assumption.
Taos Valley RV Park
Our walk this morning was the reverse of yesterdays route. Thought we would do it while it was still dry and before it rained hard again to create mud holes. Then as soon as we got back to Desperado I unhooked from electric and we went to town.
Parked in Smith's parking lot and walked over to Ricky's Restaurant but they were still closed. Didn't want to wait for about 10 minutes so went to Smith's and did my grocery shopping. Then back to Ricky's where I had their Corned Beef Hash with poached eggs, hash browns and sourdough toast. The Hash was not very good, the toast was very thin and didn't have much sourdough taste.
Ricky's gets rave reviews at tripadvisor.com and I was not so disappointed that I will not go back but will try one of their Mexican breakfasts the next time. My server was pierced and tatted up heavily but carried on a civilized conversation about the book I was reading and reading in general. She was also very attentive so there are certainly no complaints about the service.
Started a pot of pozole as soon as we got hooked up again in the Park. This time I'm using Boneless Country Style Ribs (they are quite cheap) that I put in my Roaster for 1/2 hour first, two small cans of diced tomato, 32oz chicken broth, four small cans hominy (28oz cans not available), two extra large teaspoons cayenne powder and one of menudo seasoning. This I brought to a boil for 10 minutes or so and then into the Thermal Cooker for 5 hours.
There was a Tiger Bengal RV parked overnight in the space west of me. They are a great looking RV but the Base Price is $113,800 and then you can start adding on Options. I would rather have one of them than the small Class A that was in the east side space although when new it was probably more expensive. They were both gone by 10:00 this morning and there is a chance I will not have a neighbor again for a day or two.
Is the race card all that's left in the administration's deck? by Cal Thomas was posted at FoxNews.com on 17 July 2014. In the article he quotes many of the residents and they were critical of President Obama. They were so critical that if they had been white residents they would have had a visit by the DOJ and probably an IRS audit. This is what he said in part.
Last Friday [11 July 2014] in Chicago, a group of black residents of the city's South Side, staged a protest against the violent shootings that are becoming as commonplace as White Sox games at Cellular Field. It wasn't just the protest that should concern the administration and Democrats; it was the language used by some of the protesters, many of whom at the time of the president's 2009 inauguration likely joined other African-Americans in worshipping at the Obama shrine.
Last weekend [13 July 2014] on several Sunday talk shows, Attorney General Eric Holder asserted that criticism of President Obama is, for some, borne of racism. Since the criticizers in Chicago last week were black, are they racists, or can only white critics be racists? Are those who criticize conservative and Republican African-Americans also racists or does that overused label only apply to whites who criticize black liberal Democrats?
Taos Valley RV Park
I woke up around 4:45 to the sound of light rain but we only had a couple of drops fall when we went for our walk an hour later. We did another new route that is longer than the others we have followed. This one went past the entrance to the Taos Animal Shelter, we have been close enough on another route to hear all the dogs barking, to the entrance of a City/County Park with a walking trail and soccer field. Then the return was mostly along previously walked routes.
The pot of pozole turned out to be pretty good. The Country Style Ribs were not falling apart tender as were the previous ones that I cooked. To fix that I brought the pot to a boil again and then put it in the Thermal Cooker overnight. I'll be checking them out again at 'linner' time today.
My weekly salad used mustard greens last week but I have gone back to kale for this week. Those greens are part of my breakfast scramble also. The yogurt dessert has been Greek honey vanilla for the past few weeks (when I can find it), blueberries and either hazelnuts (when I can find them), pecans or walnuts.
The weather guessers have revised the 10 day forecast somewhat. They now think that it will be in the upper 80s but will not break into the 90s. I haven't had any breeze for most of the day so the A/C has been kicking on more than it has earlier this summer. They expect four of the days to have an 80% chance of rain with the other six being 50% or less. They do a fair job of predicting the temperature at this location but their rain guesses are not any better than mine. I can give every day during July a 50% chance and be correct as often as they are.
Russian View: Why Putin Is Not Impressed by Moscow Trader for wolfstreet.com provides a very good analysis of the effect of President Obama's Russian sanctions. It is also telling that Putin's retaliatory sanctions have been mocking in their nature with no punitive intent. His travel banning of Lynndie England, of the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal, was a stroke of genius; very few people remember the name and she has about as much chance of traveling to Russia as I do. President Obama's sanctions are issued to score him domestic approval and have mostly failed there also.
The effects of the first round of US sanctions enacted in the aftermath of Crimean referendum have been somewhat, let’s say, surprising for Western mainstream media. Besides the obvious fact that the sanctions haven’t had a visible impact on Russian foreign policy, they marked the local bottom of the Russian stock market, which has since outperformed the US stock market.
All in all, the sanctions are toothless, and the White House must have known that they are. So why did it refrain from using stronger options? One possibility is that Washington doesn’t really want to enter into a full-fledged economic war with Russia and is surely unwilling to do it alone. It is obvious that the European Union doesn’t want to cut its energy, financial, and industrial ties with Russia. But without European support, the only thing achievable by the White House would be a retaliatory economic strike from Moscow.
However, by using these watered-down sanctions, the Obama Administration killed two birds with one stone: the headlines about the sanctions and the list of targeted entities looked really scary for the uninitiated; at the same time, nothing important happened. Trying to look tough without taking tough actions is an art in itself, and most American politicians are very adept at it.
Taos Valley RV Park
Yesterday I had two Casita trailers come in at the same time with one parking on each side of me. It seems that Casita trailers need to have a white tow vehicle. Two pickups, different make and model but both of them are the requisite white. The tow vehicle on my east side was gone by 8:00 this morning. Then the truck and trailer on the west side left sometime around 10:00 with the east side one hurrying back at 11:00 to hitch up and leave. Maybe no more over night for another day or two?
A new route this morning. Went east on Este Es Rd until reaching Weiner Rd then joined previous routes. In the early morning hours this is doable but in the afternoon Este Es Rd becomes heavily traveled and there is no shoulder other than out in the weeds.
The other downside this morning was a couple of loose dogs. One of them seemed to be very mellow but the other one laid down beside the road and watched us approach. When we were about 50' away he came charging at us and I met his charge. He tried to came at us again and I let Patches go to the end of her leash to meet him and he turned tail. Not sure if I'll try the route again or not.
Secretary of State John Kerry, who served in Vietnam, is back doing what he truly does best. He is the Administration's point man assigned the task of stirring up the Europeans and set the stage for the trope "Let's You And Him Fight". This is what he had to say about the use of chemical weapons in Syria.
We have additional information about this attack, and that information is being compiled and reviewed together with our partners, and we will provide that information in the days ahead.That additional information was released as a White House Unclassified Intel Report that said in part.
The United States Government assesses with high confidence that the Syrian government carried out a chemical weapons attack in the Damascus suburbs on August 21, 2013. We further assess that the regime used a nerve agent in the attack.That worked so well for the Administration that they are trying to use the same shuck n jive to condemn Putin and Russia in the media for shooting down Malaysia Airlines flight 17. What Putin Knows by Mike Whitney for The Unz Review on 22 July 2014. It is a long article but I want to quote only this statement made by President Obama on Friday 18 July 2014 followed by Kerry's on Sunday 20 July 2014. This is a great example of the Administration's use of the US Media as their propaganda tool where they can play good cop/bad cop (just like they did with Syria) to a domestic audience plus the Europeans.
These all-source assessments are based on human, signals, and geospatial intelligence as well as a significant body of open source reporting. Our classified assessments have been shared with the U.S. Congress and key international partners. To protect sources and methods, we cannot publicly release all available intelligence...
I think it’s too early for us to be able to guess what intentions those who might have launched the surface-to-air missile might have had… In terms of identifying specifically what individual or group of individuals, you know, personnel ordered the strike, how it came about—those are things that I think are going to be subject to additional information that we’re going to be gathering.Kerry:
We know for certain that the separatists have a proficiency that they’ve gained by training from Russians as to how to use these sophisticated SA-11 systems….. there’s enormous amount of evidence, even more evidence than I just documented, that points to the involvement of Russia in providing these system, training the people on them.
Taos Valley RV Park
We had a light shower before going on our afternoon walk yesterday. Then had a few drops fall on us while on the walk. It could have been a wet walk however because I could see rain falling both west and east of where we were. If we don't walk when it looks threatening then most afternoons we would not walk.
We walked the out and back route north along NM68 but modified it by moving over to Gusdorf Rd for most of the return. At the turn around is Taos Java where a latte could be had and I did so. The latte was not that good so I probably will not do it again. Patches enjoyed the stop however, she got to meet new people that payed her some attention as they entered to get their coffee.
John Howard Kunstler has done it again (wrote something that I agree with) in War Zones, his blog posting of 21 July 2014. I have copied his opening and closing paragraphs that provide a good sample of what he has to say in the entire posting.
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu summed it up the other day when he said, “We use our rockets to protect our women and children; they [Hamas] use their women and children to protect their rockets.”
Some time ago, the Left adopted the Palestinians as their pet oppressed minority group so there is nothing that Israel might do that will be okay with them, except to commit suicide, that is, cease to exist — which is the stated policy of Hamas. Every time Israel refuses the suggestion that it cease to exist, the Left becomes inflamed. They cannot imagine why Israel would prefer to fight for its existence than to roll over and die.
The other hot zone in the world right now, Ukraine, got hotter the past week when somebody or some faction shot down a commercial Malaysian airliner. The question that no news organ has so far raised: why are any commercial airlines routing their planes over a war zone? Especially a war zone where other airplanes have been shot down recently. Just how dumb has the human race become?
And as sad as this incident may be, what business is it of the USA to get involved over a downed flight of a foreign airline that originated in the Netherlands and was carrying passengers overwhelmingly of Dutch nationality? Our presumption to involve ourselves in this is flat-out insane. It’s the kind of behavior that leads to world wars.
Taos Valley RV Park
Neighbors on both sides of me again last night. The west side left by 8:00 but the east side has the appearance that they will be staying for a while, maybe through the weekend. I saw a group of bicyclist on NM68 two different mornings during this past week. Yesterday afternoon they came into the Park and it looks like they may be staying for at least one more night.
I finished a not so good book yesterday and have started another that seems to be a big improvement. However, a couple of chapters does not make a book. I'll try and get a review posted in a day or two. This book that I have started is the beginning of the second half of my library. I definitely need to check out the Friends of the Library here in Taos before I leave.
The daily high temperatures have remained in the upper 80s so I have had the A/C kicking on very early in the day. That is forecast to continue through Saturday which may hit 90°. Then, if the weather guessers are right it will cool down into the 80s and upper 70s during the remainder of the 10 day forecast. The chance of rain also increases to 80-90% starting Sunday although there has been a chance every day as I see it. We got damp yesterday afternoon and just made it back to Desperado before we got WET (officially it did not rain).
Secretary of State Kerry (who served in Vietnam) and President Obama have failed once more in their attempt to get Europe to fight a war for the President. They could not get Europe to fight in Syria and they have not been able to get Europe to impose 'heavy' sanctions much less fight a war with Russia. The vaunted US intelligence did not come forth with an assessment that backed up Secretary Kerry's words and it appears his alligator mouth overloaded his hummingbird ass one more time.
The European Union failed to agree Tuesday [22 July 2014] on tough new sanctions on Russia over its alleged help for Ukraine separatists accused of shooting down Malaysian Airlines Flight 17. It opted instead for milder penalties on Russian officials.
Senior U.S. intelligence officials said Tuesday that Russia was responsible for "creating the conditions" that led to the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, but they offered no evidence of direct Russian government involvement.
The intelligence officials were cautious in their assessment, noting that while the Russians have been arming separatists in eastern Ukraine, the U.S. had no direct evidence that the missile used to shoot down the passenger jet came from Russia.
Read Will Rogers column 88 years ago: July 25, 1926
Taos Valley RV Park
I went over and spoke to the bicycling group leader for a few minutes yesterday afternoon. There are 3 groups that are riding from Charleston, SC to Santa Monica, CA. I saw the first two group in the morning a few days ago and this is the third group that had a lay over day here in the Park.
They are riding the American Challenge organized by Overland Summer Camps. It is for students who will finish grades 9-12 in June 2014 and 2013 high school graduates with college students as the group leaders. An experience they will never forget!
As I saw them ride out this morning I wished that I were going with them but those days are gone except in my memory and desire.
I had another neighbor come in late yesterday and take the west side space. I thought I would have both of these neighbors through the weekend but the one on the east side left at 10:00. They were both quiet so it is better to have good neighbors if you are going to have some. Now I will see who/what takes the east side space and hope for the best because I doubt that it will stay empty.
Obama dithering as the world is in chaos by Michael Goodwin for the New York Post writes about President Obama often and comments on what is obvious but what the lame stream media refuses to say.
From Ukraine to Iraq, from Syria to Asia and Latin America, not to mention our own southern border, the world is in chaos, and the president dithers, hesitates and then goes golfing.Charles Krauthammer says much the same thing about President Obama in his Opinion Column The Vacant Presidency for The Washington Post which is re-posted on a number of web sites.
Obama’s halting performance Friday [18 July 2014] was more typical than shocking. Time and again, he treats major events as annoying distractions from the things he’d rather talk about...The fact that he is not fully engaged in the job is now so obvious that some Democrats concede the point. Yet his detachment has been there all along, hiding in plain sight.
The tag of “no drama Obama” emerged during the 2008 campaign, when his staff marveled at how he kept his calm during political turbulence...His coolness seemed a virtue, especially compared to John McCain’s combustibility. But nowadays, the coolness looks like indifference bordering on contempt. How else to explain his decision to go to fund-raisers Thursday [17 July 2014] night, only hours after the horror in Ukraine?
The president’s demeanor is worrying a lot of people. From the immigration crisis on the Mexican border to the Islamic State rising in Mesopotamia, Barack Obama seems totally detached from the world’s convulsions. When he does interrupt his endless rounds of golf, fundraising and photo ops, it’s for some affectless, mechanical, almost forced public statement.
The preferred explanation for the president’s detachment is psychological. He’s checked out. Given up. Let down and disappointed by the world, he is in withdrawal. Perhaps.
But I’d propose an alternate theory, less psychological than intellectual, that gives him more credit: Obama’s passivity stems from an idea. When Obama says Putin has placed himself on the wrong side of history in Ukraine, he actually believes it...History sees to their defeat. “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice,” said Obama in June 2009 (and many times since)...
The world is aflame and our leader is on the 14th green. The arc of history may indeed bend toward justice, Mr. President. But, as you say, the arc is long. The job of a leader is to shorten it, to intervene on behalf of “the fierce urgency of now.” Otherwise, why do we need a president? And why did you seek to become ours?
Taos Valley RV Park
It was a busy Saturday. Well, busy for me the guy that does very little on any day and even less on Saturday because that is when everyone else is busy.
We did our usual morning walk which as we move through the summer towards autumn we are beginning to start the walks during the night. It is getting darker and darker although we are getting up and starting our walk at the same time.
As soon as we got back to Desperado I moved forward in our space so the hose would reach and did tank dumps. Took on fresh water and this should last until just before I leave when I'll do it all again.
We were then off to town. Stopped at El Taoseno Restaurant for breakfast. I was here once before a little over a year ago when I left Angel Fire, NM and had Huevos con Chorizo. This morning I had their Breakfast Enchiladas with red sauce, beans and a tortilla. The meal was acceptable but nothing that makes me want to go back and have it again although I may go back. The thing that will keep me from doing so more than the meal was the coffee - it was weak and had a bad taste.
Then did my grocery shopping at Smith's. It was not until I got home that I realized they had not bagged my Dial bar soap. I'm going to complain next week and maybe(?) get them to replace the missing soap at no charge. Then did my laundry at a laundromat directly across the street from the Smith's parking lot. It is a much bigger facility than what is available here at the Park; also much brighter, the Park laundry room is a rather small semi-dark hole in the wall.
This is the first book by Ted Bell that I have read and the first in his Hawke Series. It may be the last book by him that I read. I'll pick up another in the Hawke Series if I come across one but if there is another choice I'll take it.
The Weekly review is almost too kind. They describe Hawke as a cartoon which is a good description of most of the other character in the book but the author described Hawke thus "Alex Hawke, in Hollywood shorthand, is Errol Flynn meets James Bond meets The Thin Man". The action, there is a lot, could have come from a video game and the author saw it and said to himself "WOW, that is a great story line for a book". The action is fantasy; wounds heal overnight, old men are action heroes. This was almost as bad as the Eric Van Lustbader books that I read and said No Mas.
Bell's action-adventure novel actively courts comparisons to Ian Fleming's James Bond novels, even touching down on Thunderball Atoll in the Bahamas, in a nod to Fleming's 1961 Thunderball. Bell's hero is Alex Hawke, a jet-set business mogul who does "highly secret freelance work for the governments of the United States and Britain." Thirty years before the story begins, seven-year-old Alex Hawke watches from a hiding place as his mother and father are slaughtered by three modern-day pirates. The adult Hawke, descendant of the famous English pirate, Blackhawke, owns the finest of the world's goods, makes love to the most beautiful women and defeats the world's most heinous villains. He is, in short, a cartoon. When his friend and ex-lover, Consuelo de los Reyes, the beautiful and foul-mouthed secretary of state, asks him to save America with a difficult and exceedingly dangerous piece of derring-do, he leaps at the chance. The assignment involves a cabal of Cubans who have deposed Castro, bought themselves a secret submarine from the Russians and are preparing to launch 40 nuclear missiles at the United States. Hawke assembles an arsenal of cool weapons and exotic machinery, calls in a squad of deadly ex-SEAL anti-terrorist pals and saves the world. Along the way, he avenges his parents' brutal murder. Bell's first effort, Nick of Time, was a well-received pirate book for boys. This novel is a pirate book for adult boys. It's a fast, fun read, but the elaborately constructed homage to the master-Fleming and the inimitable Bond-tips over into unintentional parody more often than it should. - Publishers Weekly
Taos Valley RV Park
We got a short but very hard rain late in the afternoon yesterday; the official weather report said that it did not rain. It was welcome in that it did bring some cooling along with the rain but it was too late. It had already reached a high temperature of 93° for the day and that was about an hour before we did our afternoon walk (my hottest day so far this summer). Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun. - Noel Coward.
Both of my neighbors left by 9:00 this morning which surprised me. The one that was east of me was only an overnighter and I thought the one on the west was here for maybe a week. Perhaps I will stay neighbor free for a couple of days now but I have no complaints about any that I have had so far.
The big Class A that was across the street almost directly in front of me also left this morning which was also a little surprising, they looked like they were going to stay for a while. They had a dust mop dog that would throw a fit every afternoon when Patches and I would exit from Desperado. I could not hear him but could see his jaw working as he barked and bounced up and down on the dash of the coach where he had a pillow to lay on. Why is it that people with yappy dogs do nothing to train them not to bark?
Is it just too much work? I know it has been a lot of work with Patches but she now is almost to the point where she lets out ONE bark and then looks at me to see if she has my attention. If I then just wag my finger at her the ONE bark is all she will do. Now if someone knocks on the door that is another story entirely. I'm working with her on that!
My 'linners' this week require me to use the Roaster every day. More work but I needed a change. I'll be having Crab Cakes (very expensive, but I'm worth it), roasted cauliflower and roasted Yukon Gold potato. The crab will have a horseradish red sauce added with some slightly thinned condensed cream of celery soup topping the cauliflower.
Justin McCarthy write Americans Losing Confidence in All Branches of U.S. Gov't for Gallup which was posted on 30 June 2014 under Politics. This is what he had to say about presidential confidence. I doubt that this will get nearly the media coverage that the 33% confidence former President George Bush received. He was hammered by the media which did it with glee. With President Obama, if they report it at all, they will apply the spin that Congress is so much worse and that is all because of the Republicans.
The president in office is not mentioned by name when the presidential confidence question is asked, but how positively Americans evaluate the current president has a direct impact on how much confidence Americans place in the presidency as an institution.
Americans' Level of Confidence in the US Presidency, by Term Year
% Great deal/Quite a lot
Bill Clinton George W. Bush Barack Obama Year 1 43 48 51 Year 2 38 58 36 Year 3 45 55 35 Year 4 39 52 37 Year 5 49 44 36 Year 6 53 33 29 Year 7 49 25 -- Year 8 42 26 --
Gallup began asking regularly about the presidency in March 1991, when George H.W. Bush was in office. At that time, 72% of Americans had confidence in the presidency -- the highest confidence rating the institution has received. This was immediately following his leadership in the successful first Persian Gulf War, and at a time when his job approval rating hit the then all-time high of 89%. But the elder Bush also saw the largest drop in confidence for the institution that same year, when it fell to a still relatively high 50% in October 1991.
The three presidents who would succeed him would go on to be elected to two terms, with varying degrees of confidence in the executive branch of the U.S. government during those terms. Obama garnered the greatest first-year confidence rating, at 51% in 2009, but has held lower ratings than both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush in each subsequent year of his presidency so far.
George W. Bush's presidency commanded the highest first-term confidence ratings due to the post-9/11 surge in support for government leaders and institutions, marked by a record job approval rating of 90% for Bush in September 2001 and continued high ratings for him in the months thereafter. His second-term approval ratings plummeted, however, and so did confidence in the presidency, reaching an all-time low of 25% in 2007.
Clinton had higher approval ratings during his second term thanks to a strong economy, and confidence ratings for the presidency improved as well. Compared with the sixth-year low that the presidency has reached under Obama this year, confidence in the institution registered at 53% for Clinton in June 1998. Even in the thick of the Monica Lewinsky scandal that year, Americans' confidence in the presidency remained higher than for either of his successors in their sixth years in office.
Taos Valley RV Park
I think I have RV "newbies" as neighbors on my west side. They arrived yesterday afternoon and I saw a Class C drive straight into a back-in space. It didn't take the fellow very long to see that was not going to work and he got backed in. I didn't watch him do it although I should have for the entertainment value.
I know I have entertained a few people with my backing skills although I am getting better. I got religion since backing into that post in Ardmore, OK. I have adopted GOAL (Get Out And Look) as my backing dogma and may employ GOAL 2-3 times before getting into a space. I do the same thing if I have to back up anywhere at any time now; it may look stupid but I don't want to back into something again.
We got another hard rain last night which went on longer than the prior night. The official rain measure guy was able to record 0.44" from this storm. Every day in the 10 day forecast now has been given some chance of rain with the lowest being today at 50% and 4 days at 100%. Patches and I may get wet, it is getting very dark in the west as I post this.
"… this theory of our government is wholly different from the practical fact. The fact is that the government, like a highwayman, says to a man: Your money, or your life. And many, if not most, taxes are paid under the compulsion of that threat.
The government does not, indeed, waylay a man in a lonely place, spring upon him from the road side, and, holding a pistol to his head, proceed to rifle his pockets. But the robbery is none the less a robbery on that account; and it is far more dastardly and shameful.
The highwayman takes solely upon himself the responsibility, danger, and crime of his own act. He does not pretend that he has any rightful claim to your money, or that he intends to use it for your own benefit. He does not pretend to be anything but a robber. He has not acquired impudence enough to profess to be merely a “protector,” and that he takes men’s money against their will, merely to enable him to “protect” those infatuated travelers, who feel perfectly able to protect themselves, or do not appreciate his peculiar system of protection. He is too sensible a man to make such professions as these. Furthermore, having taken your money, he leaves you, as you wish him to do. He does not persist in following you on the road, against your will; assuming to be your rightful “sovereign,” on account of the “protection” he affords you. He does not keep “protecting” you, by commanding you to bow down and serve him; by requiring you to do this, and forbidding you to do that; by robbing you of more money as often as he finds it for his interest or pleasure to do so; and by branding you as a rebel, a traitor, and an enemy to your country, and shooting you down without mercy, if you dispute his authority, or resist his demands. He is too much of a gentleman to be guilty of such impostures, and insults, and villanies as these. In short, he does not, in addition to robbing you, attempt to make you either his dupe or his slave." - Lysander Spooner
Taos Valley RV Park
I have been thinking about cleaning up my web site for a long time. Every time I have thought about doing it in the past I have decided that it is just too much work. I have also thought about changing my web host (currently Yahoo! is doing it) but every time I think about changing I have decided it would be too much work.
Last week I contacted a possible new web host but they put me on hold for a Live Chat and never responded by the time the estimated hold expired. I tried again yesterday and the same thing happened. I then tried a second host provider and again was put on hold for a Live Chat. This time I had someone respond and gave me some information that was encouraging.
This was enough motivation that I have started what I call a clean up of my web site. That is mostly moving the pictures from a separate page and embedding them in the Journal Page as I now do with pictures. It will keep my out of mischief for some time to come and I hope it will make the transfer to a new host less troublesome.
The rain that I saw coming yesterday did not reach me other than a few sprinkles. High clouds this morning and forecast to be down into the 70s today with an 80% chance of rain. The weather guessers had second thoughts about those 100% chance of rain predictions and have scaled them way back over the 10 day forecast but still a chance every day.
"History does not provide any example of capital accumulation brought about by a government. As far as governments invested in the construction of roads, railroads, and other useful public works, the capital needed was provided by the savings of individual citizens and borrowed by the government." - Ludwig von Mises
Do you remember President Obama's now famous campaign speech in Roanoke, Virginia where he said "you didn't build that". He then went on to say that rich people did not get rich solely due to their own talent and hard work, but that, to varying degrees, they owe some of their success to good fortune and the contributions of government i.e. roads, bridges and the Internet. Even Mises is too kind when he says the government borrows from individual citizens. The government obtains the money to pay for infrastructure through coercion.
Pat Buchanan's article A GOP Ultimatum to Vlad describes the danger of Senate Bill 2277 that is virtually a declaration of war with Russia. I doubt/hope that it does not pass in the Senate or if it does that the House ignores it and lets it die. Senator Corker and Senator McCain are just two of the neocons that are trying their best to get the United States into another shooting war now that Iraq and Afghanistan have been closed down. This Bill could do that!
S. 2277, the “Russian Aggression Prevention Act of 2014,” introduced by Sen. Bob Corker on May 1, and endorsed by half of the Senate’s GOP caucus.
Corker’s bill would declare Moldova, Georgia, and Ukraine “major non-NATO allies” of the United States, move NATO forces into Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, accelerate the building of an ABM system in Eastern Europe, and authorize U.S. intelligence and military aid for Ukraine’s army in the Donbass war with Russian-backed separatists. U.S. aid would include antitank and antiaircraft weapons.
A small, weak country might accept this dictation from a superpower. But Russia, where anti-Americanism is virulent and rampant and the Russian people support Putin’s actions in Ukraine, would want him to tell the Americans just what to do with their ultimatum. And how Russia would respond is not difficult to predict.
Taos Valley RV Park
We had another big thunderstorm last night soon after sundown. Lots of lightning relatively close with some loud thunder following that had Patches a little upset. She maintained her cool well enough that I did not sit with her just gave her a few comforting and encouraging words.
A very hard rain for about 1/2 hour but the official measurement was 0.28". I think we got more than that around here, lots of big puddles with standing water along our morning walking route.
I am making progress on moving pictures from their separate page to the Journal page were they are now embedded. I think I will finish doing that for all of Bulgaria by the end of today. It is tedious work and repetitious but I need to stay alert or I can mess up badly. I can only maintain my concentration on what I am doing for so long and then take a break before I screw up.
I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I traveled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer." - Ben Franklin
Taos Valley RV Park
I didn't finish the Bulgaria picture project as I thought I would. I got caught up in trying to add the VZAccess Manager to my computer. This is software that will let me see what signal strength I'm receiving from Verizon and WIFI sites. It has other bells and whistles but the signal strength information is what I want.
The download went fine and the install seems to be fine. However, the software does not recognize my Verizon Aircard. I have a Verizon store a few blocks from me so I stopped there yesterday afternoon and asked if they could help me. I was lucky that there was a fellow in the store that said that this was a common problem and he could fix it.
Patches and I went back this morning at 10:30 with my laptop and Aircard. After about 30 minutes and massive clicking all over my computer it was determined that I have a Pantech UML 295 Aircard that can not be used with VZAccess Manager. It replaced the UML 290 which could but the UML 295 is an improvement over that old model that can no longer be used with the Manager to measure signal strength.
The only thing that we accomplished was another walk for Patches and I. She had to sit outside, tied to a railing but she handled that with aplomb. She can be such a Good Girl - when she wants to be.
Under Obama, America has switched sides by Caroline B. Glick is a long article posted on JewishWorldReview.com. She explains how Secretary of State John Kerry, who served in Vietnam, was only Obama's water carrier when he proposed a ceasefire that handed victory to Hamas. When that proposal was refused and the Secretary severely criticized in Israel President Obama called Netanyahu and told him that Israel must lose, that he wanted an unconditional "humanitarian" cease-fire and he wanted it now.
...this leads us to the larger point about Obama's foreign policy, which his Sunday night telephone call to Netanyahu revealed. As rattled as Israelis are over Obama's decision to support Hamas against Israel, Netanyahu made clear in his remarks Monday night that Israel has no choice but to keep fighting until we defeat this barbaric enemy. Netanyahu didn't mention Obama, but it was obvious that he was respectfully refusing to hand Israel's head on a platter to Hamas's friend in the White House.The bigger issue that President Obama's telephone call raises is addressed by Monty Pelerin in his blog posting Transform The World. It would not surprise me to see President Putin take a position supporting Israel and fill the vacuum in foreign relations that President Obama has created. All Hail the Great Transformer!
And while it is hard for Israel to ignore Obama, it is impossible for Americans to ignore him. He runs their foreign policy. Americans are the ones who need to be most alarmed by what Obama's actions on behalf of Hamas reveal about the general direction of American Middle East policy under his leadership.
For the past five years, Americans from all quarters have concluded that the manifold failures of Obama's Middle East policies — from Iraq to Iran, Libya, Afghanistan, Egypt, Syria, Israel, the Palestinian Authority and beyond — owe to a combination of Obama's personal disinterest in foreign affairs and his presumed preference for withdrawal and isolationism over engagement.
Obama himself has often encouraged this perception with his endless golf games and his talk about fighting "the war at home." Obama's open, public engagement in Hamas's war against Israel shows that the popular assessment is wrong. Obama is as involved in the Middle East as all of his immediate predecessors were. He is personally leading US policy on every front. Kerry is not an independent actor.
The problem is that in every war, in every conflict and in every contest of wills that has occurred in the Middle East since Obama took office, he has sided with Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood, against America's allies. Under Obama, America has switched sides.
The manner in which Israel has been treated by Obama and his Administration is both deplorable and ominous. Even allies who have not been undercut understand they can no longer depend upon the US. Many have already distanced themselves from the US. Some already seek changed relationships with enemies. That is especially true of countries promised US protection, a promise no longer believed. When you cannot depend on your allies, you become less attached to them. In some cases, prudence may drive a switch of sides in the geopolitical malaise.