On behalf all of us here at AOR, I want to wish you and your family a Happy 2015!



A fanboy alert struck earlier today as director JJ Abrams’ latest addition to the Star Wars Universe (Episode VII) released its official subtitle today.  The movie, set for release in December 2015, will be called:  Star Wars Episode VII — The Force Awakens.

While nothing about the plot was released or officially confirmed today, Abrams and crew have given Star Wars fans everywhere a reason to buzz, ponder, speculate, hypothesize, etc. all sorts of things about the apparent implications of this rather plain subtitle.

While I’m completely stoked about the upcoming film, I also don’t want to know anything about it.  I  know about some of the returning characters, and about the new cast, but I don’t want major plot spoilers.  I will, of course, try avoid the spoilers as much as possible until that inevitable jerk gets a hold of some juicy kernel of info and spews it all over the fanboy pages, which will inevitably get picked up by the web media, and suddenly be all over the Internets before you know it.

I hope we’ll be able to get through Interstellar, The Hunger Games–Mockingjay, Part 1, and the last Hobbit film before the new Star Wars gets spoiled!  Though, it’s one thing to be told what’s coming, but something else entirely to experience it — I knew a major plot spoiler about Liam Neeson’s character in Episode I, but was still pretty shocked when I saw it on screen.


The election results from the 2014  midterm election are coming in, but the outcome is already a fait accompli:  the GOP has retained the House of Representatives, won 24 of 36 gubernatorial elections, and took the Senate by at least two votes [as of this moment some these numbers are in flux as a few races are still being decided].

After enduring a GOP-controlled Congress for six years during the Bush Administration, I’m not particularly joyous about the GOP taking the reins of the House and Senate again.  During the Bush Administration federal non-military discretionary spending rose more than any other presidency since LBJ, the father of the Great Society.  A Republican Congress and a Republican President did that.

I’m not one to easily forget when I’ve been wronged.

However, people can change.  So, what lessons have the GOP learned?

The soon-to-be Senate majority leader boasted of “crushing” the Tea Party – the only true vibrant conservative political force in America today.  No Democrat-crushing; Tea Party crushing.  I have no use for Mitch McConnell beyond that he’s literally not Harry Reid.  He’s an old fuddy-duddy power-hungry bully who needs to retire.

On Obamacare?  McConnell merely wants to tinker with it through a labyrinthine appropriations process where anyone can say anything politically about what shakes out.  What about all that repeal talk?  Even though 100% of the Senate GOP candidates who won campaigned on repealing Obamacare, there’ll be no more repeal talk.  NOR will McConnell entertain any tough budget negotiations.

Useless.  Completely useless.

At this point, here’s what seems to be the basic differences between the GOP and the Dems:  the GOP wants the opportunity to manage the $3+ trillion federal coffers its own way and the GOP will occasionally pay lip-service to the Constitution when their base gets too noisy.

Since there is no true fiscally responsible political party devoted to limiting government to strengthen the people, I do not have any positive expectations from Congress over the next few years especially with McConnell as Senate majority leader, and Boehner as the House Speaker.  An anti-conservative, hidebound, Droopy-like bully leading the Senate and a weak-kneed, weepy, creamsicle leading a rudderless party in the House is now pitted against a Mussolini-like statist bent on social derision and extra-Constitutional action.

Great.  The Stupid Party and the Evil Party continue to earn their reputations.

So, I’m not particularly optimistic or happy or excited about the GOP wins last night.  These victories are hollow, being more anti-Dem than anything else.  Even if the Dems are as nationally weak as at anytime since the 1920s,  so what?  Practically speaking what does that even mean if McConnell’s ready to make deals compromising the very principles the GOP was just elected to represent?  I didn’t feel represented by my government Monday, nor am I confident that the new Congress will fight on behalf of strong citizens over a strong central government.

As a former registered member of the GOP (I dropped my party ID back in 2009), I can sympathize what it must have felt like to be a disenfranchised, unrepresented Whig back in 1854.

Finally, regarding who really won the 2014 Election last night, Glenn Beck said it best: “Not you.”


That’s a question more and more parents want to know.  Evidence is mounting that the wave of enterovirus EV-D68 cases impacting students throughout the nation originated in Central America, giving fuel to the argument that Obama’s policy of sending those unaccompanied illegal minors to all 50 states may have spread this deadly virus.

I’ve contended that this was kind of a no-brainer since these kids weren’t adequately screened and were huddled together before being distributed across the nation.  This kind of thing seemed predictable and I would not be surprised if this epidemic is ultimately connected to Obama’s irresponsible and deadly lax-border policy.


We’re sixteen days out from what should be a massive GOP landslide in the 2014 Midterm elections on November 4.  Ebola, ISIS, Obamacare’s latest victims, the porous borders, etc. should make this real easy for the GOP.  Yet, the latest polls indicate that a landslide is not likely to take place.

Why not?

Brent Bozell has a hunch in a recent Fox News editorial — the GOP is doing everything it can to mute conservatives, even though a conservative message would both provide a stark contrast with the Democrats, as well as reflect where the American people actually stand on the issues.  The GOP leadership is “AWOL” on attacking the Administration and Democrats regarding the results of their horrible progressive policies which are manifestly hurting this nation.  This should be a cake walk.

Historically, the sixth year of a presidency is murder to the President’s party.  The “six year itch” has been a real phenomenon.  With only one exception (in 1998, shaped by the short-term force of an impending and very unpopular impeachment vote), every sixth-year Midterm since the 1800s has yielded trouble:  TR’s GOP in 1906 got hammered, Wilson’s Dems in 1918 got trounced, FDR’s Dems in 1938 lost 72 seats, Truman’s Dems lost many seats in 1950, Ike’s GOP lost plenty in 1958, Nixon/Ford’s GOP lost 54 seats in 1974, Reagan’s GOP lost the Senate in 1986, and Dubya’s GOP lost both houses in 2006.  Since the Civil War only in 1862, 1934, 1998, and 2002 did the President’s party actually pick up seats in any Midterm election!

No one expects the Dems to pick up seats in the 2014 Midterms, but the closeness of these elections indicates are real problem with the GOP that has been well-documented throughout the years on this website.  The Establishment doesn’t know how to win, and when the GOP wins they misinterpret the reasons, preventing any real shift in voting patterns.

We’ll see how this all shakes out in a few weeks, but it looks like another missed opportunity for the inept, ineffective, hidebound GOP Establishment class who are screwing things up once again and earning the well-deserved reputation as leaders of the Stupid Party.

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The old WMD story has recently resurfaced and if what I’ve read is true, I’m beyond outraged.

The back story:  Back in 2006 the Pentagon feared that the insurgents (particularly Al Qaeda in Iraq, now ISIS) would use remnants of Saddam’s chemical weapon stockpile against US troops particularly for use in IEDs. Of course, that implies that WMDs were present and had the potential for use — something at the time, few wanted to talk about.

Just this week the New York Times (in a random act of journalism) published this:

From 2004 to 2011, American and American-trained Iraqi troops repeatedly encountered, and on at least six occasions were wounded by, chemical weapons remaining from years earlier in Saddam Hussein’s rule.

The Times goes on to indicate that nearly 5,000 chemical weapons shells were found from 2004-2011 around a country that was supposedly void of such weapons according to Bush’s critics.

So, Bush was vindicated, right?  We found stockpiles of WMDs in Iraq — some nerve and mustard agents even wounded 17 American soldiers.  The weapons may not have been new, but they were there with the potential to harm others.

But here’s where the whole thing gets completely f@^&ed up in my mind.  Apparently:

The American government withheld word about its discoveries even from troops it sent into harm’s way and from military doctors. The government’s secrecy, victims and participants said, prevented troops in some of the war’s most dangerous jobs from receiving proper medical care and official recognition of their wounds.

And who spearheaded the effort to cover up something that would have mostly vindicated President Bush’s reason for war, bolstered his loyal defenders, and reinforced the justness of our soldiers’ sacrifices?

Karl Rove is the one being thrown under the bus.  “We don’t want to look back,” was Rove’s response to then Senator Rick Santorum who received photographs of these weapons straight from the front.  Apparently, this disclosure was deemed politically “dangerous” to reveal in the 2006 election cycle, indicating that the public narrative was too entrenched to argue with… even if it was a complete distortion?!

Mark Levin had a few things to say about this.  I agree with just about all of his sentiments.  If true, my impression of the Bush Administration and Karl Rove is irreparably altered.  I’m not surprised that this is the same government preparing to send thousands of troops to fight (and likely catch) Ebola.


Right now two plagues are a scourge across America — Ebola and the Non-Polio Enterovirus D-68.  While our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of these highly infectious and deadly diseases making their rounds around the USA, two notions popped into my mind.

First, how in the hell did Ebola get in the United States (we know how, technically, but what the heck!) and why are we sending thousands of US troops into Ebola ravaged areas?  That’s really out of whack.

Second, the Enterovirus has impacted people all over the country killing children in both New Jersey and Rhode Island, my two home states, while mysteriously infecting 538 people in 43 states (as of last Friday).  On this point, I feel oddly singular:  Has anyone else noticed that right around the time when those tens of thousands of illegal alien children sent to all 50 states began going to our public schools, this mysterious respiratory virus struck in 43 states simultaneously, and mostly to youngsters?  Seriously, has no one else noticed that?

So, we’re sending thousands of American soldiers into Ebola infested areas while our CDC says a quarantine will somehow make things worse, and we’re whistling passed at least two little kid’s graves because we don’t want to entertain the possibility that the administration’s no borders policy has let loose a deadly virus in 43 states.

When did America become a third world country?  Our lax immigration policies may be directly related to serious public health issues and someone needs to be held responsible for the preventable aspects of these diseases.

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The three Axis of Right bloggers all moved away, but we grew up in the smallest state in the union and still keep track of what’s going on there.  Tonight, the state held its primaries, and the gubernatorial race could be an interesting one.

In the Democrat primary, State Treasurer Gina Raimondo won comfortably over Providence Mayor Angel Tavares and Clay Pell.  The win was a bit of surprise because, although liberal, Raimondo has not been overly ideological in her time as General Treasurer.  As someone with a background in venture capital, Raimondo is a woman who understands numbers and understood just how unsustainable Rhode Island’s pension system is and had the courage to push for reform against entrenched interests.  Tavares also understood the need for pension reform, but his candidacy seemed to generate the support of many who are guided by identity politics.  As for Pell, well, his grandfather was a senator and he’s married to Michelle Kwan.  So, of course, he had a following in that nepotistic blue state.

Raimondo will face Allan Fung, the competent and popular Mayor of Cranston, who won tonight’s Republican primary against Ken Block.  While I wish Fung’s proposals were a bit bolder, he seems to understand that a state that taxes corporations into oblivion is not a state that will attract the jobs those corporations create.

As someone who has faith in the ability of people to improve their own lives and contribute to the prosperity of their communities when the government stays out of their way, I’m pulling for Fung.  Nevertheless, it is good to know that the Democrats selected their best candidate as well.  No matter who wins, Rhode Island will have a better governor come January.  Let’s hope it’s Fung though.


I know I haven’t posted in a while and that my last post said something about avoiding silly season, but after I saw today’s news about Russian planes practicing cruise missile attacks on the United States, I remembered Obama’s ignorant and arrogant taunt about the 80s wanting their foreign policy back.  Rather than wondering about whether this president can even hold onto Alaska, I figured I’d rather think back to that happy decade.

So here’s a fun video of today’s teenagers learning how to play Mike Tyson’s Punchout after they found out what an NES was.  Enjoy.

As for me blogging? Baby steps.  Baby steps.


You know the old saying “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.”  The September 11, 2012, attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya, was just such a story.  The Obama Administration’s reaction to it seemed odd (like they were hiding something), and anyone could have figured that this terrorist attack (less than two months before a Presidential election) may politically hurt Obama.

Well, Fox News may have a weak-kneed Establishment Republican spin at times, but they do balance their stories very well compared to the competition.  By not letting go of the Benghazi story, the administration attempted to chill Fox News reporters.  Listen to Greta Van Susteren’s take on what happened to her:


Recently, Fox News anchor Bret Baier interviewed a few of those on the ground that night nearly two years ago, called “13 Hours at Benghazi.”  The controversy surrounds a “stand down” order the five veterans say they received that night, though the administration denies it.  Had the soldiers intervened, the four Americans killed that night may not have died.

So, why all the obfuscation and obstruction from the administration early on in the scandal?  Can we get clarity about this “stand down” order?  Who else was there that night and why haven’t we heard from them yet?  Why the heck was the US still operating a consulate in a known dangerous area when every other Western nation, including the British, already left?  Until these questions are clearly answered, this issue will not go away.


The Washington Redskins name controversy is resurfacing as the 2014 NFL season draws closer.  The politically correct cultural elites are trying to force their views onto a generally disinterested public to further turn the mostly neutered  NFL (No Fun League) political.  For libs everything is political — they can’t help it, it’s just who they are.

Recent polls on this issue illustrate a major divide between the cultural elites and the people actually directly impacted by the name “Redskins.”  According to the latest data, 90% of American Indians do NOT think the term “Redskins” is offensive, while 71% of NFL fans do NOT want the name changed.  Clearly, the “Redskins” controversy is being driven by outside forces.

Into this context comes a member of the old school, NFL Hall of Famer, Super Bowl-winning player and coach, and current ESPN analyst, Mike Ditka.  In an interview with Mike Richman, the “Redskins Historian,”  Ditka said the following:

What’s all the stink over the Redskin name?  It’s so much horsesh*t, it’s incredible.  We’re gonna let the liberals of the world run this world.  It was said out of reverence, out of pride to the American Indian, even though it was called a Redskin. What are you gonna call ‘em, a brownskin?  This is so stupid, it’s appalling, and I hope that owner keeps fighting for it and never changes it, because the Redskins are part of American football history and should never be anything but the Washington Redskins.  That’s the way it is.

He wasn’t done:

It’s all the political correct idiots in America. That’s all it is.  Hey, listen, I went through it. I went through it in the sixties, too.  I mean, come on.  It’s fine to protest. You know, that’s your right. You don’t like the word? Protest. You have a right to do that.  But to change the name? That’s ridiculous.  Change the Constitution? We got people trying to do that, too, and they’re doing a pretty good job.

Rush Limbaugh also wondered aloud whether or not these statements threaten Ditka’s job at ESPN this fall (ESPN is one of the primary combatants in this battle in the culture war).  It’s a question worth pondering — libs do not tolerate dissent from those leaving the reservation (so to speak).

Here’s My Opinion:  As 6.25% American Indian myself (I had a great-great-grandmother who was 100% Abenaki), I feel 6.25% justified in publicly offering my opinion, which in the politically correct age in which we live, apparently makes my opinion more valuable than your opinion for some reason.

That being said, I’m with Ditka.  Leave the name alone.  To be blunt, if not for sports teams, SUVs, and attack helicopters, American Indian culture would be absent from the mainstream American psyche.  The term “redskin” was initially a term coined by American Indians themselves to differentiate between all the various newcomers from overseas they were encountering; it was translated from French sometime in the 1760s.

After the Wounded Knee Massacre in 1890, an interest in American Indian culture began to emerge in popular culture.  By the days of Theodore Roosevelt, boy scout troops and other nature-oriented organizations often adopted the American Indian as a symbol of nature, strength, and survival.  When Boston got a fledgling football team in 1933, the proposed name “Braves” was already used by a local team, so “Redskins” was adopted to prevent having to change an already existing logo.  Trademark law has upheld the logo, but the case law has been somewhat mixed.

Regardless, I’m not interested in what a bunch of political correct social agitators think about the term “redskins.”  To these leftists, it’s not necessarily the nature of the cause (which may be legitimate), it’s how loud they shout — I’m intellectually savvy enough to know the difference.  So, as a person who is 6.25% American Indian, it is my belief that if most fans want a name change and most American Indian tribes (not the usual suspect activists) demand a change, then I’d acquiesce to their opinion — I’m a Patriots fan anyway.


Iconic comic Robin Williams was found dead yesterday of an apparent suicide at the age of 63.  The comic leaves behind a wife and three children, as well as a nation in shock and sadness.

How could a man so funny be dealing with such deep depression?

As someone close to a few people with mental illness, I can appreciate that trying to explain why people with mental illness act the way they do in a rational way is often fruitless — if their brain was working right, their actions would make sense, which frustrates and confuses those of us trying to make sense of things.

Today, social media and Hollywood are in mourning for Robin Williams, ironically, a man superbly talented at relieving people’s bad mood.

I can’t say I have a favorite Robin Williams moment, because his comedic mania can’t be nailed down to one moment or line.  Everyone loved Williams in Good Morning Vietnam, Mrs. Doubtfire and Aladdin, etc., and who can forget him meeting Koko the Gorilla, but I was most intrigued by Williams when he branched out.  Dead Poets Society was a brilliant film made indispensable by Williams’ iconic role of Mr. Keating.  Good Will Hunting showed us Williams as an actor with depth beyond his manic schtick — and the Academy rewarded him with his only Oscar for it.

However, Williams’ role in What Dreams May Come evokes the most poignant feelings today.  In the story, Williams character dies in a car crash and goes to Heaven, only to tragically find out that his wife killed herself from depression over his loss.  In the movie, those who commit suicide go to Hell, stuck in a darkness very few ever leave.  He decides go into Hell and try to retrieve her, but only if she is willing to go.  It’s one of Williams best films in my opinion and raises many personal and philosophical questions, brought to an unfortunate relevancy today.

Today, our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.


James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas just released a new video designed to emphasize the real problem with an open Southern border — we don’t really know who is coming over the border!  Here’s the latest video showing O’Keefe himself, dressed like Osama Bin Laden crossing from Mexico into the United States.

The Southern border should have been sealed up directly after 9/11.  For some reason, the Bush Administration decided that thousands of miles of porous border wasn’t a national security concern.  Obama has only made it worse.  Is everyone crossing the border a poor Latin American looking for the American dream and just didn’t feel like waiting in line like everyone else?  Or are more sinister elements taking advantage of our leader’s malfeasance?  I don’t know.  That answer alone should be enough to justify a guarded, secure border.  Rumsfeld would call it a “known unknown.”

Either way, I love what O’Keefe does by exposing our ruling elites the way that the press really should.

H/T Daily Caller.


Back in Iraq

by Ryan on August 10, 2014

in The Iraq Front,War on Terror

Iraq is a mess.

Unfortunately that line could have been described Iraq at any time since 1980.  Like Tito in Yugoslavia, Saddam was able to keep all the various factions in line, usually with brute force.  Remove Saddam from the mix and without proper planning and support, a mess could ensue.  And it did.

After the United States got Iraq stable enough to govern itself, we left.  It was not a strategic withdrawal, but a political one.

The two biggest problems the US inflicted upon Iraq, in my opinion, were

  1. the creation of the completely inept Coalition Provisional Authority in 2003 which used an American-style bloated bureaucratic governing structure that propelled Iraq into the drift that caused magnified sectarian strife and created a magnet for al Qaeda in Iraq, and
  2. leaving Iraq in December 2011 without a residual force in place just to keep an eye on things.

One was Bush’s fault, the other Obama’s.

Since we took too long to attack ISIS properly, the terror group has seized Mosul, oil fields, a major dam, and has started ethnic and religious cleansing of their territory.  Threatening thousands of Christians with starvation or execution finally got President Obama to take notice.  Ordering limited airstrikes on ISIS targets is overdue, but unfortunately not enough.  The Kurds need arming, and love or hate the Maliki government we cannot ignore them — remember that Iraq is now an ally in the Mideast!

Obama’s reluctance to do anything against ISIS underscores one of his faults — he needs to deal with the world as it exists, not how he wants it to be.  He campaigned against US troops in Iraq and brought them home.  OK, but now the situation has changed.  Who knows what ISIS would have done if 10,000 US troops and an airbase filled with US planes still sat in Al Asad Airbase in Anbar Province.  I think they’d still be in Syria or risk being obliterated in the dark by overt and covert joint-US/Iraqi operations.

But that’s not the world that exists.

Our world has a declared Islamic caliphate with uncontested territory, oil, money, weapons, and an intent to kill Americans, Christians, Jews, and Shiites.  It’s a pre-9/11 al Qaeda dream at the center of the most volatile area in the world.  Maybe we don’t send 10,000 troops, but a sustained bombing campaign for the next six months would seriously degrade ISIS and would give the Iraqi government and army time to regroup.

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Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi got a bit unhinged when Pennsylvania Congressman, Republican Tom Marino, called her out for playing politics with the border by indicating that the Democrats had all the power back in 2009-10 and did nothing about these problems.  Here’s a Fox News interview with Marino on his reaction to Pelosi:

While a wimpy border bill eventually passed the House, it is likely to die from neglect on Harry Reid’s desk over in the Senate.  Regardless, Pelosi’s Ruling Class demeanor on the floor of the House is telling — Marino did hit a nerve, and one Pelosi should have let her acolytes deal with in the traditional fashion.  She’s losing it.

It’s clearly time that she spend more time with her grandkids in retirement.


Forty-five years ago today Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first people to walk on the Moon.  Michael Collins drew the short straw and had to stay in orbit.

Real heroes achieving a milestone in history on par with the discovery of the New World, and one which required less computing power to accomplish than your cell phone.  And America did it.  Wonder if we could do it today

Though doubters persist, Ockham’s Razor teaches us that the simplest explanation is probably the correct one.  Therefore, we did go to the moon (six times).  Think:  it was too big an event with too many people working on it with too much at stake in the Cold War to actually fake it and get away with it with too many people having to keep too many secrets, and it all still holds up to reasonable scientific scrutiny.

However, I must admit that my biggest concern was the grainy film that looks fake.  However, with some quick research it can be easily explained through 1960s tech:

The black and white images of Armstrong and Aldrin bounding around the moon were provided by a single small video camera aboard the lunar module. The camera used a non-standard scan format that commercial television could not broadcast.

NASA used a scan converter to optically and electronically adapt these images to a standard U.S. broadcast TV signal. The tracking stations converted the signals and transmitted them using microwave links, Intelsat communications satellites, and AT&T analog landlines to Mission Control in Houston. By the time the images appeared on international television, they were substantially degraded.

That seems to explain the grainy, degraded look of the initial film.  One of the coolest aspects of the Apollo missions to me has always been Earthrise.  So cool.


It’s just one of those days.

Israel invades Gaza.  After ten days of on-and-off ceasefires and peace talks, the Israelis decided that a blunt force trauma to the Hamas terrorist infrastructure would be the best move to secure their border.  Can’t blame Israel — they even announced days ago that they were coming in order to limit civilian casualties.

Sharing the headlines this afternoon was a Malaysian airliner which was shot down by who-knows-who over Ukraine killing 298, with at least American.  Was it the Russians? a Ukrainian splinter group?  a terrorist infiltrator? Who knows!  The chaos in Eastern Ukraine has made anything possible.  Tragically, it hasn’t been such a good year for flying Malaysian Air.

And don’t forget the escalating crisis on the US Southern border (though given the latest polls the administration would be happy if we did).  On this issue I think it’s safe to say that what we are experiencing is tantamount to an invasion — another self-inflicted wound to our national security which the administration will be glad to see relegated to the back burner for a few days while the other crises explode.

This one’s not going anywhere though — can’t wait until September when school districts across the country will have to account for thousands of new LEP (Limited English Proficient) students in the Fall, or in January when the Obamacare employer mandate kicks in to the chagrin of native workers who employers may lay them off in light of all the cheap underground laborers they can exploit instead.  Those issues should go over just peachy with the American people.

I’d feel better about things if we had competent people with America’s best interest at heart running things.

UPDATE: It seems like a Russian-backed Ukrainian separatist group is at fault for downing the plane.


I needed some veg time after finishing up a grad school paper yesterday and found myself going to see a mindless film on a random rainy Tuesday.  Given what’s out right now, I decided to see the 416th (eighth actually) “Planet of the Apes” film, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.  Here’s the trailer:

Surprisingly, while I was looking for mindlessness, I actually watched an allegory about the motivations for war.  The barometer of film reviews, Rotten Tomatoes, noted that Dawn received a 91% positive review rating!  Even Glenn Beck chimed in on the film, reiterating the allegorical look at why people go to war portrayed through the lens of an Apes movie — they have to try to make this franchise fresh somehow, right?

The trailer kind of gives a lot of the plot away, so I won’t spoil any of the surprises it didn’t mention.  However, issues of power, control, politics, revenge, and “the other” echo throughout the film in a way that tells a story about human nature that younger viewers can easily understand and appreciate.  While there’s an anti-gun message imbedded in the film here and there, it’s not enough to get hung up on.

However, there are a lot of apes in this film.  Unlike the first reboot, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, the apes are not just side characters, they dominate large swaths of the film.  If your sci-fi sensibilities are average, I’m not sure how you’ll take to the film.  I thought it was a solid B.  As for the casual lay movie goer, I think you may get something out of it too — 91% positive reviews does say something.


Happy 238th birthday America!
Hope everyone has a great day celebrating America’s heritage of


The Supreme Court handed down two big decisions today (5-4, predictably), one striking down parts of the Obamacare contraception mandate, the other allowing certain employees to opt out of union membership.

The Burwell v. Hobby Lobby decision notes that since HHS has already carved out some exemptions for religious institutions to be exempt from the contraception mandate, freedom of conscience allows of owners of “closely held” businesses to do the same for some of the contraceptives involved.  Justice Alito wrote the majority opinion for this narrow, but important ruling.

The Harris v. Quinn decision was also defined narrowly:  public sector unions cannot collect dues from home health care workers if those workers do not want to be part of the union, in this case SEIU, a notoriously aggressive union. Pretty straight forward First Amendment case too.

It’s nice to see that at least five of our esteemed oligarchs justices come down supporting the First Amendment from time to time.


This past Tuesday, Mississippi Senator Thad Cochran defeated insurgent Tea Party-favorite Chris McDaniel in a run-off election by about 6,700 votes.  While McDaniel defeated Cochran in the popular vote after the first primary election, McDaniel failed to get the 50% needed to avoid a run-off.

McDaniel is obviously upset and is threatening legal action, which will only turn more voters away from the general election this Fall.  Part of McDaniel’s frustration is that Mississippi has an open primary system, which means Democrats can potentially vote to determine the Republican nominee.  And show up they didRace-baited in a way usually reserved for Democrats, Cochran supporters intimidated thousands of traditionally Democrat black voters to go to the polls against McDaniel.

Obviously conservatives are upset; others are really upset!  I am not surprised that the Establishment chose power over principle, or that though McDaniel got more GOP votes than Cochran in the initial election (and possibly the second as well), or that the good ol’ boy impulse reigned supreme.  The Establishment sucks.  They don’t get it — their thinking, politicking, and paradigm are old.

Also, listening to talk radio and reading online perspectives, it seems like Mississippi conservative voters may sit out November or write-in McDaniel.  If Cochran loses this Fall and happens to have been the lost 51st GOP vote in the Senate, I stand with those who believe that the Establishment contributed greatly to the loss for caring more about race-baiting Democrat voters to the polls to protect a hidebound lackey than listening to the only energized base the GOP has.

You’d figure that since 2.5 million GOP voters stayed home in 2012, the Establishment would start encouraging the GOP base to engage in the process, rather than depressing it through blatant opposition or courting of Democrats in the primaries to squash grassroots upstarts.  After what the Establishment did in this run-off, I’d have no problem writing-in McDaniel were I a Mississippi voter.  The Establishment would have earned my lack of trust.

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Michigan Congressman Mike Rogers has some insight into why ISIS and al Qaeda have had issues, and note that while the intelligence community was well aware of the growing threat from ISIS, watching them gain power and influence over the past three years, the administration largely ignored the threat.  Here’s a brief clip of Rogers explaining his position:

The situation on the ground in Iraq is intensifying as Ramadan is fast approaching.  ISIS will likely use the month of Ramadan to consolidate their gains and recruit more people to their cause.  ISIS has recently threatened supply routes from Iran into Syria, and since Syria is an Iranian proxy-state the Assad regime may feel pressure to attack ISIS-held areas, drawing Iran deeper into the fight.


Iraq is descending into chaos as a terrorist militant group called ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria/Levant) has seized the second largest city in Iraq, Mosul, and have stampeded across Anbar province to within 50 miles of Baghdad.

A number of factors are in play:  the fact that the US never renewed the SOFA (Status of Forces Agreement) leaving a vacuum in the Sunni-dominated areas after 2011; the Syrian Civil War allowing unfettered training grounds for these militants; the preexisting sectarian troubles in Iraq between the Sunnis and Shiites, exacerbated by al Maliki’s government; the wild-card Kurdish areas; and Iran’s potential response.

Iraq is 60% Shiite, who mostly live in the South, South-Central areas.  The areas controlled by ISIS were taken with remarkable speed and ferocity, but also with the blessing of local Sunni tribal leaders.  The Iraqi Security forces melted away once the executions and beheadings began.

The Shiites are the most concerned — al Maliki can’t get anyone to fight, but a cleric roused volunteers to help in Baghdad.  Plus, Iran is on the verge of sending in troops to help their historic enemy — they know a Shiite slaughter is assured with an ISIS victory.  No one wants an al Qaeda affiliated group of monsters in charge of a lawless recruiting ground for worldwide jihad in such a tempestuous area of the world.

Obama’s crew seems completely unprepared to react, implying that Iraq has to “solve their problems.”  Ground troops are off the table, but we are mulling air strikes.

By the way, Secretary of State John Kerry is in London reciting poetry during all of this, while the President is playing some golf this weekend in between fundraisers.  They obviously either don’t care or can’t see the gravity of the situation. Can’t wait to see gas prices if an al Qaeda-linked group of monsters are in charge of most of Iraq’s oil.

By the way, the leader of ISIS was in US custody, but was released by the Obama Administration in 2009.  Kind of puts a fresh perspective on the recent Bergdahl exchange.

UPDATETony Blair takes a swipe at our foreign policy, while a video is circulating around of Mitt Romney predicting this mess in 2007 if we ended up leaving Iraq too quickly.

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Last evening a political earthquake took place that everyone is still trying to absorb.  Eric Cantor became the first sitting House Majority Leader to ever lose a primary (at least since the position was created in the 1890s).  That’s big, especially since his opponent was a little known college professor named Dave Brat, who won with 56% of the vote.

Cantor was on the path to perhaps being House Speaker one day, but instead will likely join the K-Street lobbyist crowd this January.  I’m sure he’ll be fine.

However, the Establishment lost one of their top brass and should be concerned.  Cantor’s campaign spent $5 million to Brat’s $200,000.  Cantor’s name ID in his district is near 100%.  As Brat said, “Dollars don’t vote, you do” — a very troubling prospect for the Chamber of Commerce and the GOP Establishment.  If money loses its monopoly on the selection and manipulation of the members of one’s caucus, then the game really has changed.

Yet, one election does not make a game-change, but the message is clear to our ruling class elites — no one is completely safe from the judgment of the people.

It’s very refreshing.


How in the hell do tens of thousands of unaccompanied children end up swamping the Mexican border, creating an impending humanitarian crisis?

As far as I can tell, there are two reasons:  1) negligent border security efforts and 2) the impression in many Central American countries that an amnesty is coming.

So, the Obama Nation creates a problem, then puts pressure on to create a politically advantageous solution.  Classic social agitation tactic, but people are suffering.

Predictably, the GOP has decided not to attack the Obama Administration’s negligence on this issue, but sit together with them to figure out a way to create a permanent Democrat-voting underclass through some form of amnesty.  That’s OK, because like five of them might be pro-life voters!  Woo hoo–5 out of millions!

The Stupid Party strikes again.  At least the Establishment’s Tea Party foes are keeping the heat on.

Oh, and how many of these folks are not Hispanic?  Romanians?  Very interesting.  How’d they get into Mexico to come here in the first place?  Sounds like there’s some complicity in the murk.


Just in time to take the V.A. scandal out of the headlines while head-faking the nation so a deal can be reached with the Hamas-led terrorist Palestinian government, President Obama neatly handed over five Taliban members who were resting comfortably at Gitmo for one American POW… without notifying Congress, which is illegal since these guys were at Gitmo.  Heck, even Diane Feinstein has to admit the Obama Administration is acting poorly on this one!

Some are even openly throwing the I-word (impeachment) around over this — especially since it seems like the American POW, Bowe Bergdahl, allegedly voluntarily walked into Taliban custody.  Constitutional expert John Turley even referred to Obama’s executive malfeasance in this way: “Barack Obama is really the president Richard Nixon always wanted to be.”  Turley is even an ideological sympathizer with Obama on most issues!

But, will this amount to anything?

The five Taliban leaders have been released and I’m sure are doing just fine before they rejoin the jihad against America.  If the Obama Nation’s purpose dealt with a V.A. distraction or a pro-Hamas head-fake, it’s worked.  The impeachment talk is hyperbole because, frankly, the GOP have no balls and Obama doesn’t take them seriously anyway.  The left-wing critics will fall into line in time.  It’s a sad state of affairs when we negotiate from a position of weakness with the Taliban and make aid deals with terrorist-sponsors like Hamas without any real consequences on the horizon.

UPDATE:  Apparent the Taliban likes this kind of prisoner exchange!  Duh.


Six people were killed and thirteen were wounded when 22 year old Elliot Rodger went on his killing spree this weekend.  Rodger left a massive manifesto and many YouTube videos trying to explain his mindset before perpetrating these murders.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends of the victims.

Unfortunately, the political class went into their usual frenzy to use this event to further their agendas.

However, Glenn Beck had a unique perspective that is worth sharing because he believes that the focus should not be on what we’re all yelling about, but about what no one else wants to talk about — how do kids go dead inside, and should we be worried about our own kids.

The perp was a kid who got everything he wanted, hit puberty and immersed himself totally in video games, and had to actually work for something (finding a girlfriend and keeping friends), learning he wasn’t good at it.  So his anger builds and builds and builds and he finally snaps, killing people with knives and guns.

Many of those reading this did not have the Internet during their formative years — PacMan and Super Mario Bros were as high-tech as things got.  Today’s young people do not remember a world without a vast instant-access Internet with immersive, realistic programs that could easily envelope  all of your time.  Heck, even “phones” have Internet access!  It’s all around us all the time.  To deny that this could have a serious effect on a developing brain or on developing social skills at a key phase of life is irresponsible.

When crazy people act, it’s hard to understand where they are coming from.  Beck is trying to start a conversation from an angle I haven’t heard much this weekend, but one I believe is very important for us to contemplate as a society.

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Today we honor and remember those who lost their lives in defense of this nation.  We honor the war dead who gave that “last full measure of devotion.” We also honor their families and friends.  In the recent wars America has fought:

Afghanistan:  (2001-Present) to date 2,322 have been killed with 19,964 wounded.

With an all-volunteer military, the bravery and valor of the fallen bring honor to America in these uncertain times.  Please keep them in mind while enjoying the barbeque or the beach today.


Representative Trey Gowdy will be leading the House Select Committee on Benghazi.  This former prosecutor definitely has theatrical flair, but when coupled with the truth — watch out!  Here’s a taste of what’s coming as he pelts the press with some questions of his own:


The New Math

by Ryan on May 14, 2014

in Education

This is not absurd.  In fact, it’s quite serious as it is really being taught to our children in schools in 44 states and DC:

I wonder what history will look like when Common Core gets its mitts on that!