I know it’s been a while. Shut it.

Yes, I know I’ve been remiss in updating the blog. It’s been a busy week, and I don’t have a gazillion co-bloggers like some much bigger, much better blogs. I keep opening the Dashboard, looking at the blank blog form, and deciding that a nap is a much better way to spend my time. Why? Because I’m spending 11-12 hours at the office each day. Not that I’m complaining, mind you, because it’s fun, but after a while your brain just shuts down, or decides it’s going to do a tap dance inside your skull, and the only way to calm it down is a hammer…

…or a nap.

I opt for the latter.

So what’s been going on?

Well, obviously there’s this whole economic warfare thing with Russia. After Russia “didn’t” sent troops to Ukraine, and “didn’t” do anything illegal with the signed law to annex Crimea, even though the Ukrainian Constitutional Court has ruled the independence vote was unconstitutional (as I said all along – Crimea did not have the legal authority to make a unilateral decision that affects the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the nation as a whole) and “didn’t” participate in some election fraud, the US rolled out some sanctions.

Many folks scoffed, claiming, “Meh. Only 29 people were sanctioned along with one bank,” but consider the consequences of sanctioning some of Putin’s closest and richest allies (look up Ozero collective on Wikipedia, if you don’t know what I’m talking about) and a pretty large bank. Result? Russian media reports that one of Putin’s pals – a guy named Kovalchuk (known as Putin’s banker), along with the bank is losing about 20 percent of his holdings (link is in Russian). Oh, and did we mention the Fitch and S&P downgrades of the Russian Federation? And the long lines at Rossyia’s ATMs?

Yeah.

Some may smirk at these measures, or stupidly call them an “act of war” (yeah, I’m talking to you, Ron Paul and the Paulbots), but that just shows an ignorant lack of understanding of what this listing does that I cannot even begin to address without getting frustrated at the utter stupidity of those claims, so I won’t.

What else has been going on?

Saw the new 300 movie last week. Decided that Sullivan Stapleton is incredibly hot.

Am going to see Wicked next month in Richmond with a high school buddy of mine, whom I just don’t get to see enough. It is my early Mother’s Day present.

I loved “The Walking Dead” last week, and for those who wail about it being “too far,” because children are dying… WHAT THE FLYING, SNIVELING HELL DO YOU THINK WOULD HAPPEN DURING A REAL ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE (or more realistically, an outbreak of some kind of hideous disease)? Do you actually think children would be spared, because they’re… uh… children and cute? Do you think human nature, sociopaths, even dangerous “bad seed” children will cease to exist just because of the need to band together and help one another? Shut up and turn off the damn TV, Sparky!

Oh, yeah – and I don’t know where that damn plane is, OK? So stop asking.

30 responses

  1. Well, in regards to the Walking Dead, Lizzie and Mika are merely replacements for Ben and Billy from the comics. Ben kills Billy, and the group locks him away while trying to decide what to do with him. While he’s locked up, Carl takes it upon himself to kill Ben to protect the rest of the survivors.

    Carl in the series is nowhere near the killer that he is in the comics.

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    1. Carl in the series is an annoying child, but he’s actually pretty representative of a typical teenager. He’s getting better, and I think he’s going to start killing more.

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  2. LOL. Wake up on the wrong side of the bed, did we??? If you enjoy “The Walking Dead,” I suggest you pick up a copy of John Ringo’s latest books on the subject. The first of the series is called “Under a Graveyard Sky.” I think you’d probably enjoy them since you like Michael Z. Williamson’s books….as do I.

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    1. Yeah, grumpy and tired are both understatements. LOL

      Truthfully, I’ve never been a Ringo fan. I like it when he writes op eds about political or military issues, but I’ve never gotten into his sci-fi work. I actually have “Hero,” which he co-wrote with Mike, but meh… Might check out “Under a Graveyard Sky,” though.

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      1. I’m not crazy about his sci-fi either, but I am currently re-reading his “Paladin of Shadows” series for the 7th time! Just finished “Ghost” and started “Kildar.” If you can get past the marginal pedophilia and S&M, his novels are exceptionally good. Not really science fiction, however. The “Paladin of Shadows” series consists of “Ghost, Kildar, Choosers of the Slain, Unto the Breach, A Deeper Blue and Tiger by the Tail.” I have hard-bound copies of them all.

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        1. I may give him a try again. I dunno. We’ll see. I’ve got a long list of books on my Kindle. I didn’t like Kratman’s work at first either. Although I still find “State of Disobedience” unreadable, I did like “Caliphate,” though.

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        2. I don’t know who “Kratman” even IS. If you liked “Caliphate,” maybe I’ll give him/her a shot, though. I was OK with “Hero,” though I’m not a big fan of what my daughter calls “pod-people” fiction, meaning non-human alien stories. My son (age 50 and just NOW taking an interest in reading) has become a Ringo fan, too…at least insofar as his Paladin of Shadows series is concerned.

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        3. Tom Kratman. Retired Army JAG Colonel. Writer. Look him up on Amazon. “Caliphate” could be considered controversial. I’ll let you decide why. LOL Also a bit raw in terms of rape scenes, violence, etc. Overall, though. Pretty good read. I can’t remember what Mike has up next. “Tour of Duty” just came out in August 2013. And he says “I’m wrapping up ‘A Long Time Until Now,’ and publication is likely late in the year.”🙂

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        4. Good Lord! I’m getting senile! I’ve got a hard-back copy of “Come and Take Them” by Tom Kratman, and it hasn’t been all THAT long ago that I read it!!!!

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    2. Seeing as we’re pimping John Ringo (I’m actually the opposite of you, I can read anything of his except Paladin of Shadows), here’s his page on the publisher’s ebook store. You can read the first quarter of all of his books for free there. Here’s the link for his zombie series.

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      1. Thanks for that! Good to know for future reference!

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    3. Caliphate just isn’t any good.

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      1. That’s an opinion. I liked it. To each his own.

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      2. Just finished it this AM. I wouldn’t say it’s “no good” but it’s not my cup of tea. Difficult to follow as it jumps all over the place in both time and location, but paints a pretty accurate picture of what Europe is letting itself in for if it continues on its current path. I doubt the US will ever become the “Imperial” nation depicted, however.

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  3. You might enjoy the “Honor Universe” series by David Weber. Give it a try. Has Williamson anything new?

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  4. Please, rest. I admit that I feel deprived when my favorite bloggers or webcomic artists don’t keep cranking out free stuff for me, but I know that makes me a jerk, and I try to stomp on it. YOU are entertaining me, free, gratis, and for nothin’. There must be billions of thing you could be doing that would improve your life more than pandering to my insatiable hunger for free stuff. I will school myself to look after my damn self, hope you are well and getting better, and be happy when you return.

    Besides, I am several weeks behind on my own Blog (I, too, have a life, and the carpet isn’t going to tear itself out, nor is the new flooring self-installing), so I am in one piss-poor position to gripe.

    I like Ringo, myself, but there are a number of excellent authors whose style just doesn’t make a fit with my so-called taste. And, fer cryin’ out loud, I read Eddings. It isn’t as if I’m nice in my preferences.

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    1. LOL – I want to see Divergent tonight, because I’m a nerd, and I like teen dystopian fiction. Other than that, and a lunch date with a good friend, I’ll be pretty much sleeping all weekend, I think!

      Good luck on those carpets!🙂

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  5. Just ordered a paperback version of “The Caliphate” and pre-ordered his next book “The Rod and the Axe” on Amazon. I always buy hard-back books, but could only get “The Caliphate” in paperback. Promised delivery next Monday.

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  6. Excuse me. That should be “The RodS and the Axe.”

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  7. I 100% agree with you on Putin. I’ve been saying that I think Mitt Romney was right about him since the race, when Obama was too cowardly to say anything bad about him. ( I am generally an Obama supporter). I wasn’t sure if the sanctions went far enough, but I think that your blog showed me that they are pretty serious.

    Without knowing anything about Russia, (ok, very little) it seems to me like a politician grabbing for power at the last second of his demise.

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    1. Ryan, actually Putin is far from sunsetting. He’s consolidated his power and enjoys high approval ratings regardless of the bad economy and such. His ultimate goal is to be head of a world power, which is what this is about.

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    2. Out of curiosity, why are you an Obama supporter?

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    3. “Generally an Obama supporter?” Why on Earth would anyone do that? If you can name just THREE “accomplishments” of his since January of 2009 that will be of BENEFIT to the country in the long run, I’ll apologize.

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      1. Since what is of benefit to the country in the long run is debatable, I’ll list different ones from different perspectives. Of course there is crossing, I’m sure everyone is happy that Osama is dead, although, I personally would have liked to see him humiliated in a court in the US, live, and televised, and then publicly put to death.

        Mainstream Conservative
        Killed Bin Laden, Killed Gaddafi, and WORKED (not forced) with auto manufacturers to improve fuel efficiency standards.

        Libertarian
        Eliminated the star wars missile defense which is obsolete, saving $1.4 billion in just one year.

        Brokered Agreement for Speedy Compensation to Victims of Gulf Oil Spil (not forced)

        Killed the F-22 – most people on this blog know much better than I can ever know, they cost $358 million apiece. Though the military had 187 built, the plane has never flown a single combat mission. Eliminating it saved $4 billion.

        Liberal

        Passed healthcare reform
        Passed the Stimulus
        Passed Wall Street Reform
        Ended the War in Iraq
        Turned Around U.S. Auto Industry:
        Repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell
        Told Mubarak to Go
        Improved America’s Image Abroad
        etc.

        My general support for Obama is my general support for democrats. Since there is significant evidence that GDP, Stocks, and Jobs are better created under democrat presidents than republican ones. No, don’t worry I’m not fooled, Obama isn’t a nice guy, and yes, the Clinton’s are scummy.

        http://www.foxbusiness.com/investing/2012/09/04/history-shows-markets-gdp-outperform-under-democrats/

        This is an article from fox business, so it shouldn’t be terribly biased in favor of liberals.

        My source for the achievements were from my memory of the news, and from this website claiming to list the top 50 achievements of Obama. (achievements are debatable)

        http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/magazine/march_april_2012/features/obamas_top_50_accomplishments035755.php?page=all

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        1. Oh boy. Where to start with this. No, the majority of the measures passed during this worthless administration will not be for the longterm good of the country, and that’s not debatable. But let’s examine your claims one by one.

          The hunt for bin Ladin started long before this guy took office. The intelligence community did a shitload of work to find him, and the Navy SEALS killed him. NOT Obama. Period. Giving the order, after being briefed by others better and smarter than he is does not equal killing bin Ladin.

          No, he did not kill Gaddafi. NTC fighters in Libya killed him. Obama had nothing to do with it. We didn’t even have troops on the ground.

          Fuel efficiency standards. No, he didn’t WORK with car manufacturers. This administration passed requirements that will make vehicles more expensive in the long term. And by the way, as someone who was actually driving in the 1990s, I can tell you my cars got a LOT better gas mileage back then.

          No, he didn’t dismantle SDI. He had nothing to do with any of that. The Missile Defense Agency still exists.

          And he put pressure on BP to compensate the Gulf oil spill victims. BP agreed to a huge settlement, but I don’t see how you can possibly give him credit for that.

          HE did not kill the F-22. That had been in the works since at least 2006. Gates hated that program. Obama talked big about vetoing funds for the F-22, but it’s ultimately the SENATE that voted in favor of ending production in 2009. And BTW – the F-35 is over cost, behind schedule, and a lot of the partners are considering pulling out or reducing their initial commitment, which will make the purchase even more expensive.

          The healthcare “reform” is the biggest fiasco in recent memory. People are losing coverage and losing DOCTORS, because in order to bring the less expensive coverage under the exchanges, the insurance companies are reducing in-network providers. The “reform” was a huge gift to the insurance companies, who helped write this monster of a bill, because now that everyone is required to use their services, whether they want to or not, they’re going to get paid. Isn’t THAT convenient! Never mind that the service is degraded, and the rest of us are forced to pay for it! Why don’t you read this. This is from a buddy of mine who is an actual physician. He said it better than I ever could.

          Stimulus? STIMULUS??????? This is what you call a success story? It was a handout of our tax dollars to unions and corporate cronies! Ferpetessake!

          Wall Street Reform? Dodd-Frank is shitty for the economy. Read here. This is from a guy who was senior counsel on the minority staff of the Senate Banking Committee during the drafting of Dodd-Frank.

          Ended the war in Iraq. Are you shitting me? Do you read the news about what’s happening over there? Fallujah is now back in the hands of the enemy. Suicide bombers. IEDs. Come on!

          No, he did not turn around the auto industry. GM is still a piece of shit. It only paid back a portion of what it owed the taxpayers, because its shares are worth less now. So no.

          DADT repeal is a good thing. But again, he signed it. He certainly wasn’t responsible for repealing it.

          Mubarak is dead. Great. What we have is a bunch of Islamist extremists running around the joint over there. Mubarak was no great shakes, but at least he kept the region somewhat stable. What we have there is chaos now. Gee… THANKS, Obama!

          As for improving our image abroad…. HAHAHAHAHAHAH! Have you been abroad recently? His foreign policy is shit. After the initial euphoria, even our closest allies are telling the US to pound sand.

          In all but one of 12 European countries polled in both 2009 and 2012, approval for Obama’s handling of international affairs dropped over that period – by 21 points in Bulgaria, 17 in Italy, 16 in Spain, 16 in Slovakia, 15 in Britain, 13 in Germany, 11 in the Netherlands, 11 in Portugal, eight in Turkey, seven in France and six in Poland.

          The sole exception was Romania, where his approval ratings climbed eight points from 2009 to 2012.

          Ryan, you seem like an open minded person and a smart guy. “My general support for Democrats” is not an excuse to vote to destroy this country. You need to open your eyes and do your research. What you’ve spouted about Obama’s “accomplishments” is pure BS, as I showed you in this lengthy reply. And I wouldn’t have spent time on this lengthy reply if I didn’t think you were intelligent and capable of keeping an open mind.

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        2. Well I think a lot of your points are valid, like the F-22, as for Gaddafi I’m not sure, but I’m almost sure we did something to help, although yes you are right about NTC forces actually killing him, I believe we destabilized the country?

          But on the other hand, I feel like some of your criticisms are not fair. For instance, although GM has not paid everything back, all others have, plus interest. Of the total $80 billion dollars loaned to all automakers, all of it has been paid back plus interest. So for that reason I don’t feel that criticism is valid. Maybe the information you have on that was a little outdated?

          He did end the war in Iraq, whether that is a good thing is debatable. Iraq is descending into chaos as a result, and I still support leaving, but I’m sure we could have done it smarter.

          Simply because his ratings have gone down, it doesn’t indicate where they started. In many European countries his approval ratings were in the 90’s, so for that I reason I don’t feel like that is a fair criticism.

          As for automakers, I think that we are both right. For instance he has placed higher EPA efficiency standards (forcing them), but also did reach an agreement with automakers in a different deal. In this article here it is explained.

          http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/obama-administration-auto-industry-strike-deal-on-vehicle-fuel-efficiency/2011/07/27/gIQA72mKdI_story.html

          As for the BP thing, I think it’s debatable. Did they acquiesce as a result of his pressure? Who knows. I don’t know.

          I do wonder about the GDP and stocks though. That has been generally my biggest reason for supporting democrats. It is a fact that GDP, and stocks, outperform under democrats, but of course attributing that to a reason would be wrong, since I don’t know why that happens. Also jobs. Since 1961 under republican presidents there has been 24 million private sector jobs, and under democrats, 42. So that’s my reason for supporting democrats.

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        3. The economic growth is actually easy to explain, Ryan. Even before I pulled up the research to confirm this – Democrat-run governments spend more. Period. And while that makes GDP grow, the long-term effects are not all that good, and include rising deficits and debts. Here’s Princeton research on the topic. Also, remember that Congress is ultimately responsible for the economy, so Presidents can’t take the majority of credit or blame. Government spending is certainly a large part of GDP growth. That’s the problem with measuring economic success or failure by merely GDP growth. Also remember that oil shocks and consumer confidence also play a huge role. In other words, it’s ridiculous to assume a causative relationship between Democratic presidents and economic growth.

          As for auto companies, you’re forgetting the stocks, which taxpayers bought, and on which they’re not getting a good return. Sorry, but that’s a no-go.

          And again, these new efficiency standards are going to make cars more expensive, and more cost-prohibitive for a lot of people. How is depriving people of affordable transportation to… say… go to work, or find a job a good thing?

          Believe me when I say his ratings are falling because he’s unpopular overseas. Pew research shows significant drops in his popularity overseas, and not just because it was oh-so-high before. Note, that some of the top officials of our closest ally – Britain – thinks he’s an incompetent boob.

          President Obama is “chronically incapable” of military strategy and falls far short of his predecessor George W. Bush, according to one of Britain’s most senior military advisors.

          The BP thing is debatable, so how in the world can you claim that as one of his accomplishments, hmmmmm?😉

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  8. Nicki, I didn’t want to say that but that was my suspicion. Will it stop with Crimea? Who’s next? Will our president stand up to him military? And should he? I think you’re the best qualified of anyone I know to speak on that.

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    1. Oh, I forgot to address this. I just don’t think there’s a huge appetite for more military action right now. If he attacks or invades a NATO nation, we are required under the collective security guarantee to respond. Otherwise, I doubt we’re going to get tangled in another military adventure.

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  9. I can sympathize with you Nicki about not wanting to blog. I write software for a living, so when I get home after 8+ hours sitting in front of a computer, I’m not really enthused about doing it some more.

    I have some comments on your reply to ryanshidayak at 21:15:02 (the only comment with a reply choice on this page is ryanshidyak’s one at 16:57:46). Government spending cannot increase GDP this year unless it borrows. You left out explicitly mentioning the borrowing part in your comment, but further on you mention the growth of deficits. The borrowing to raise GDP this year must eventually lower GDP in the year(s) the debt is paid, unless you can decrease the value of your currency more than the interest rate on the loan. Inflation is the savior of debtors everywhere. Borrow X today, promise to pay back 1.1X next year (10% interest), but if you can pay back next year with money whose value has dropped 10%, you’ve had an interest free loan. If the value of the money drops more than 10%, you come out ahead. This is why the government lies about the inflation rate. If people loaning money to the government knew how fast the dollar’s value is actually dropping, they’d either not loan the government money, or they’d demand a higher interest rate.

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